Describing Set

Jun. 25th, 2017 07:42 pm
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Originally published at Ekunyi's Embers. You can comment here or there.

The apartment is quiet after a wonderful weekend with members of my spiritual family. We gathered to celebrate the Feast of the Beautiful Reunion, a personal favorite holiday of mine for several reasons. For one, my own anniversary often falls during this joyous festival, which is a lovely coincidence. I also deeply care for both Hethert and Heru-wer as deities I share a Beloved relationship with in my Kemetic tradition, and appreciate that Her return offers a wonderful chance to re-focus on the many forms of love we experience in our lives, celebrating the divine couple and our own relationships with music and fellowship.

During the gathering, as is often the case with individuals who mostly interact online, we stayed up late into the night just talking about our gods and our faith, enjoying the opportunity to hear one another and share ideas and the lived aspects of our connection to the gods. At one point on Saturday evening conversation turned to the concept of regional gods,  in the sense of how each individual present connected to the Netjeru in unique ways, often finding connections based on historical reference and detail, but also in the personal touch of the gods on their own lives, perhaps inspired by personality, location, or some other aspect of what is felt and discovered through experience. We considered that the gods perhaps show Themselves to us in the way They do for reasons that may not initially be clear, but perhaps hold some degree of purpose, well worth further contemplation.

And then at one point A’aqyt asked me, “What is Set like for you?” I initially could not answer, because I found it difficult to put to words. I found a brief description later, but even then it wasn’t enough. The urge to try again in writing has struck me now:

What is this land of green to you, Neb Deshret,
Father who walked alone through the dangerous red land?
Guardian of those who wander far from the river’s edge,
You know each hardship, bearing strength enough to endure.
Did you claim our waters that rose and fell not with seasons
but instead at the terrible fury of your storms?
Lord who walks the spaces of transition,
I have seen you transform the very passage of time.
Where once the boundaries of your hand were defined by flood and recession
You have now fiercely taken hold of the cycles of my home.
I sense you when the trees grow bare, when the ice hangs heavy on their limbs.
The color of autumn shifts to grayscale, and you are present in its sudden absence
As sharp as the snow that lands heavy on my bare, outstretched palm,
As hot as the air that burns deep within my lungs as I speak to you
of that once spoken by the great king who sought your protection,
recognizing your command over the cold winds of distant lands.
Set, you have claimed the winter’s edge,
Your grip rests upon the bladed peaks of our mountains.
You recognize the power of extremes
and balance them in your palm as a well crafted knife.
Father, you are not gone from me when this land’s cycles renew.
As the people of Dakleh sang your name in the oases
So shall I drum your heartbeat in gratitude for life returned,
Appreciating your power in the verdant leaf that rises from treasured water
Acknowledging the bounty we are gifted with the constant flow of rivers three.
Sa Nut, as light falls in winter or summer,
I fall to my knees and kiss the ground,
then rise with fist to chest and another aloft to the sky.
My eyes turn North to seek you amidst your mother’s expanse,
And I find you striding forth in constellations,
Until clouds obscure you from view, and I know that battle has begun.
Yet with the coming of the storm, your voice rattles the earth beneath my feet.
Your victorious shout against the Uncreated that assures me another day will dawn.
I will be there to greet you as the mandjet carries you back to Appalachia,
Your name on my lips,
Your voice in my heart.
I am your child of strange lands,
Who finds you at times in the knife of ice
and even the gift of living things.
But always, forever, shall I seek you amongst the stars.

.

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