Category Archives: Kemetic things
I have a new prayer card (in progress) for the Kemetic Goddess Nephthys (Nebet-Het). She is the wife of Set, Mother of Anubis, Sister to Isis and a lovely Goddess Who cares for the dead. I have the image for the card, but I do not yet have a prayer.
So, for the next week, until November 10 ( at 9pm EST to be exact), I am running a little agon. I am inviting readers to submit prayers to Nephthys. Prayers should be between 25 and 30 lines long (they can be shorter but they need to fit on a 2 1/2 x 4 inch prayer card, so longer is often problematic) and can be submitted to me at krasskova at gmail.com. Just put “Nephthys” in the subject line.
Once the agon closes, I’ll use divination to determine which prayer is the “winner” and the author of that prayer will receive a copy of my Sekhmet novena book (if you already have it, you can request a different novena book, but that is the only one I have to One of the Neteru) and a dozen of the cards once they’re printed. Each contributor will receive a prayer card of his or her choice (include mailing address and let me know which card you want when you submit your prayer).
I don’t have a devotional practice to Nephthys, and I always feel it’s best when prayers for these cards are written by people who do have a relationship with the Deity in question. So, I’m reaching out to you for help. Here is the card, originally mixed media on Arches Watercolor Paper.
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I occasionally will write prayers on commission for folks. It’s one of the services I offer at my etsy shop. I want to share several of the more recent ones that I have done, though none of these Deities form part of my own personal devotion. I also want to share a little bit about my process in preparing for and writing these devotional pieces, especially those Deities to Whom I don’t have any personal devotion.
It can take me some time to write these prayers. First, I like to spend a few days reading up on and meditating upon the Deity in question. Sometimes insights will come to me through this – often through contemplation of particular epithets of the Deity—that I’ll later work into the finished prayer. I usually set up a small, temporary shrine and make nightly prayers, not rushing but taking time as I would with any prayer cycle. I make small offerings – nothing excessive but usually flowers or incense, fresh water, or alcohol where it is appropriate. I make sure to cleanse before approaching the shrine – especially if I do not know the traditional protocols around that Deity’s cultic practices. Some Deities desire stronger purificatory protocols than Others. Usually that takes about two weeks and then I will look up as complete a list of the epithets of that Deity as I can find and I’ll pray for inspiration, make another small offering, sit down and write the prayer.
Over the past month, I’ve had several commissions so I want to share the last three that I wrote. I like the way they turned out, and the first, to Imhotep, reminded me of one of the first Kemetic Deities that I ever honored after Sekhmet. I had forgotten how intrigued I once was by Him but it’s only now, writing for someone devoted to Him, that the devotional connection opened up. I am grateful for the momentary grace. (If any one of my readers honors Imhotep, feel free to comment below. I would love to hear a bit about your practices).
Prayer to Imhotep
By Galina Krasskova
(For C. for personal use only)
[Before praying, cleanse yourself ritually, even if only by a token washing of the hands and face. If you can, set out a glass of water in offering, to be discarded later respectfully. Water is the most basic of offerings and almost always appropriate).
Hail to You, Architect of Peace.
Hail to You, great and wise Physician.
You, Imhotep – come in peace, I pray!
Great servant of Ra,
You are a conduit for His healing rays.
You good God, restore balance and health.
I pray You turn Your benevolent gaze upon me,
my household, my land, and those dear to my heart.
Restore us and protect us from all iniquity,
as You ever restore the richness of the red and black land
Oh, Wisest of Physicians,
both firm and gentle in Your counsel,
hear my petition I pray.
Restore my ka.
Protect my ka.
Ward me from all evil.
Refresh my soul with Your healing waters.
Stretch Your hands over me, oh sweet and gracious God.
Bring my soul into alignment with Ma’at.
Bring my will into alignment with the will of the Gods.
Bring me, heart and mind, body and spirit
into the true health of reverence,
and let me never falter in my devotion.
You, Who are patron of scribes,
teach me to write the names of my Gods
immutably and always on the walls of my heart.
You, Who are patron of architects,
may my heart ever be ordered and aligned
to the ways of goodness, industry, and virtue.
You, Who are patron of mathematics,
teach me to know my part,
in the harmony of creation.
You, Who are patron of medicine,
may my hands bring healing to my world.
Beloved of Thoth,
Beloved of Ra,
Beloved of Ptah,
Beloved of Sekhmet,
Friend of Asklepios,
Counselor to Kings,
Bless our growth as You bless the rising of the Nile.
You Who were the best of temple priests,
guide us in our devotions.
That which comes from Your hands is good.
Please lay those healing hands,
upon the body of our souls,
that we may learn always,
to walk in reverence.
You are preceded by the ibis bird
and holiness follows in Your wake.
All the souls of those buried
at the holy land of Saqqara praise you.
Always, I will praise You too.
Come in peace, oh great and wise God,
Come in peace and please, I pray,
bring peace to my world too
Hail to You, Imhotep.
Hail, mighty Healer.
Now, I had never before honored Tawaret. I’m not a mother. I’ve never wanted children (though I like them well enough). I had erroneously thought that was all She was about. Instead, when I began to honor Her now, preparatory to writing this, I discovered a Deity who, like Sekhmet drives back evil, drives back pollution and protects with a fury and fullness of power that nothing unholy would dare to challenge. I may actually be integrating Her into my household veneration, I found myself so moved by the power of Her presence.
Prayer to Taweret By G. Krasskova (for C. for personal use only) copyright 2020 Hail to You, Life-Giver to Gods! Hail oh Goddess, Who nourishes humanity, Hail oh Goddess, Who nourishes us in our humanity. You are the richness of the Nile, the fertility of the rich, black soil, the promise of the endless waters rising and falling, filling the land with abundance. You are fullness: of blessing, of grace, of glory. Please hear my prayer now. You, oh Great One, guarantee the fertility of the land. You are ferocious, even as You nurture and protect. Oh Mistress of the Horizon, Goddess of the Northern Sky, You Who protect the vault of heaven, Who clears the way for the passage of Ra, He Who drives the dawn forward in His boat of Millions of years, raise high the ankh, the symbol of life, above our heads and rain down Your blessings, I pray. Oh terrifying One, You Who take the form of the lion and of the hippopotamus, great horse of the waters (1), You Whose name means ‘Great,’ protect us from evil. Drive out wickedness. Protect us from peril. Wield Your gleaming knife in our defense, and keep us clean of all pollution. You are mighty, and under the great shield of Your protection, no malignancy may find purchase in our hearts. Protect us, I pray, I and my friends, my family, and household, protect our world too from evil in all its forms. Grant us the space, the opportunity, to go to our Gods clean. Grant us the grace that we may always walk rightly in reverence. Oh Great and gracious Taweret, You are the Protector of all young and vulnerable creatures. You protect pregnant women. You protect laboring women. You protect their children too; and where You have turned Your gaze, no evil spirits may enact their evil intent. When you are present in the birthing room, You are a guard and a ward to the laboring woman. The birthing bed is Your sanctuary. You protect us now, and Your care ensures our next generation too. Offerings of milk, I shall bring you, offerings of figs and bread, incense with my head bowed low, for You restore and connect the circle of being, bridging the passage into life and death into life again. As You protect the living, so too You protect the dead. You assist souls in their journey to the gentle embrace of Osiris. You guide their way in rejoining the ancestors, --may they eat honey from the hands of their dead. You restore the soul, --may You wash us all in Your refreshing waters. I praise You as Taweret, (2) Great Lady of the heavens. I praise You as Ipet, and as Reret, for You are the ever-birthing One, restoring the order of heaven and earth through Your labors. Friend of Isis, Friend of Hathor, Friend of Sobek, Preserver of all that is holy, Make us holy too. Let nothing impure or wicked twist the integrity of our souls out of true. May we always be guided in the best ways to honor You and to honor all the Gods in ways pleasing to the heavens. Mistress of pure water, Lady of the birthing house, Lady of heaven, Yours is the power to ward off evil. Friend of Hedjet, Yours is the power to protect the household. Grant us peace, great Goddess. Let us rear our children in peace. Guard our house against evil, and always, turn our hearts to the ways of devotion. Hail to You, Taweret, now and ever. Notes: 1. Hippopotamus is from the Greek for ‘river horse.’ 2. From this point on can be taken out and used as a smaller, shorter, prayer of praise. Two for the price of one. Lol.
Finally, I was asked to write a prayer to Artemis (this was actually the first of the latest three, though I have a few more in queue to do, which I hope to get to this coming week).
Prayer to Artemis (For T., for personal use only). Copyright 2020. I pray to You, most gracious Goddess, and I ask that You hear my prayer. Daughter of Zeus, Daughter of Leto, born radiant with Your prophecy-loving Brother, You are fierce, and none may equal You in the focused fury of the Hunt. Under Your watchful eye, babes are birthed, children thrive, girls grow to adulthood, woodland creatures are nourished, and those who celebrate Your mysteries are protected. May I be nourished too. These things I know: You brook no offense toward Your pious Mother. You brook no violation of Your sacred groves, Your grottos, Your wooded glades, and sacred places. To gaze upon You is a privilege granted to few, yet Your protection is offered to any young girl who needs it, and You guard their integrity like a She-bear with Her cubs. In this, You are unswerving like the arrows You wield so keenly. None dare trespass the boundaries You fiercely lay. Rightly, it brings only woe. You are called Aeginaea, huntress, Weapons-wise with javelin, bow, and every killing tool. You are called Agrotera, blessing the land with the grace of Your hunt. You are called Amarynthus, Apanchomene, and Aristo, because You are supreme in all the arts that are Yours to govern. You are called Astrateia, greater than any amazon; Brauronia, most ancient Goddess, Receiver of Sacrifices, Diktynnaia, the huntress whom none can escape. You are called Chrysaor, golden armed Goddess, and You receive victory dances. You are called Phoebe, Cynthia for the moon, Delia and Limnaea for the land upon which You were born, and a thousand other names drawn from places where You were venerated by those wiser than we. You are the leader of the woodland hoard, Hegemone, and You take maidens and married women alike into Your service, Hymnia, Glorious, You are celebrated throughout Arcadia. You are celebrated throughout the world. You are called locheia, Upis, and women cry Your name when giving birth. Your blessing falls on every child, and woe betide those wishing them harm. You are called always Parthenia, because You will never yield Your liberty to any man. All Who have recourse to You call You Soteira, savior, for Your hand preserves and carries us away from harm. By these and many other names are You known, but today, in this place, and in the secret bower of my heart, I call You Artemis, for this name is sacred, and rings like a trumpet’s blast through all the rough places of my soul, bringing renewal. I thank you, Great and Holy Lady, and ask only this in return: may I serve you well and better each day. May I never do that which would make me ashamed, to place myself in Your presence. May I learn and do all that You would have me do; and in the end, may it be enough. Hail to you, Artemis, Holy One, Child of Zeus, Favored of Your Father. Child of Leto, Beloved of Your Brother. Hail Great Goddess, Beloved by me too. I thank You.
I enjoy doing this type of work. Even if it’s a Deity that I don’t personally venerate, it gives me an opportunity to enter into devotional headspace more carefully than I sometimes do – it’s easy to get into a rhythm with one’s own Gods and that can sometimes lead to cutting corners or becoming careless – taking it for granted. Having to approach a Deity Whose protocols I don’t know keeps me on my toes. It makes the experience fresh again, and that in turn highlights the areas that I need to better in my practice with the Gods I do regularly venerate.
Good morning, readers (at least it’s morning as I’m writing this!). As promised, here is your update on the availability of my latest devotional.
Seven for Sekhmet is now available here. It joins the passel of other pocket-sized devotionals that I’ve been doing lately. I have a few more planned but probably not until at least mid-winter.
Now I’m off to drink some tea, make some breakfast, and get ready for my patristics class (at the ungodly hour of 9am lol). enjoy your day, everyone.
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I had my start as a polytheist in service to Sekhmet so this volume is a particular pleasure to add to my novena series. It’ll be out soon. I’ll post about it here, but take a look at the gorgeous cover courtesy of L. Perkins. (the image is the same as the Sekhmet prayer card she did for me several years ago). Since I retired ‘When the Lion Roars,’ I rather consider this its replacement, smaller, more compact, but it will do. 🙂
As many of you know, I pulled all my books that were published through Asphodel Press (not because of Asphodel — they have been great to work with–but because the publishing platform they use, lulu has been less than stellar of late) not too long ago. Several of those books will be re-released in new editions this year (The second edition of Sigyn: Our Lady of the Staying Power, for instance, available here, has already been released), but many will not. I’m making some tough executive decisions on that front and while remainder copies of the original works may still be available on amazon and elsewhere, that will not always be the case. Once those are gone, they’re gone. My updates are taking time, as I’m working around a rather full schedule of PhD coursework and GTA work.
One of the books that I had no intention of re-releasing was When the Lion Roars: A Devotional to the Egyptian Goddess Sekhmet (remainders available here). As many of you know, I was originally ordained a priest of Sekhmet in 1995 and She remains a powerful part of my spiritual life. She was the first Deity to take me up and I in turn remain deeply grateful. The book itself was fraught with problems from the beginning, with several pieces appearing in the finished and edited text but NOT appearing in the published book (yay lulu. you strike again). To this day, I have no idea what happened and with the way I work, once a book is done it’s done and I rarely revisit. So, it was a vexing work from the beginning for me personally. Sekhmet was deeply involved in my spiritual formation though, and I love Her dearly, and I owe Her equally dearly. I want Her to have all the devotionals. LOL. Or at least, I would like Her to have something from my hands as a sign of my gratitude and devotion.
Because of that, I decided late last night, to pull some of my prayers (and that of two of my colleagues who expressed an interest in being included when I ran this idea past them) from When the Lion Roars and incorporate them into a small, pocket-sized novena book. That book, tentatively titled Seven for Sekhmet: A Pocket Book of Prayer, should be out in a month or so. As of right now, it will not incorporate new material, but will be a portable iteration of a select portion of the earlier text.
So, keep an eye out her for updates. I plan to have another book related update for you, probably on Monday (not sure there will be a movie post. I’ve been too busy to watch any!). In the meantime, have a lovely weekend, and stay safe, folks.
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Today also marks the bookversary of the Kemetic Devotional, Sekhmet: When the Lion Roars.
Sekhmet the Lion-headed Goddess was venerated in ancient Egypt and She is revered today by both contemporary Pagans and polytheists the world over. She is the embodiment of sacred force, as it manifests as both destructive and regenerative power. When the Lion Roars includes a varied collection of devotional articles, prayers and other insights from those who honor Her today. Readers will be introduced to the many ways in which this beloved Goddess continues to transform the lives of Her worshippers and through them, our contemporary world.
This one will be available in my shop later tonight. It’s a beautiful rendition of the Egyptian Goddess Ma’at, the Goddess of Truth. The art is by Grace Palmer. I love how the feather just glows.
Gifts from Hathor
Oh great Hathor
Queen of the Heavens
Beloved daughter of Ra
Please hear my prayer.
Humanity needs You now more than ever
There is so much ugliness, fear, and hate in the world
It is very easy for us to forget Your gifts of beauty, joy, and love.
Where there is ugliness, please beautiful One, send us beauty
Show us Your magnificent sunrises and sunsets
Let our eyes feast upon our comely lovers
And let us drink in their every curve and contour.
Where there is fear, please Queen of the Dance, send us joy
Send us Your sweet music so we may become joyful
Let us dance to Your rhythms and sway in time to Your sistrum
May we join in a dance with those we had feared.
Where there is hate, please Lady of Love, send us love
Open our hard hearts to let Your love in
May our hearts bask in Your love as a calf basks in the love it receives from its mother
May the warmth of our hearts then spread to other hearts across the world.
Praise be to you mighty Hathor! May we never take Your gifts for granted!
On the darkest eve of the year
when Nut’s black skin shimmers radiant
the people trembled in the cold—
what would emerge in darkness’ womb?
It was not radiant Re in His barque,
nor shining Set with His russet spear;
it was not Neith of the weaving ways,
nor even Isis Greatest-in-Magic.
She came forther, Hathor of Golden Horns,
tiaraed in turquoise, lapis lazuli Lady,
standing like a pillar of earth and heavens
upon a ford in a river of milky white.
“Between sun and moon, smiles and blood,
between life and death, breath and silence,
between day and night, flower and sleep,
between winter and spring, chill and grain—
only I may hold the balance.
Which of my hands on outstretched arms raised will you take?”
These are the words of the artisan Ptahmassu,
Beloved of Ptah, the master color artist,
Great Director of Craftsmen in the House of Ptah
Who has spent his life making images of the Gods,
Who propitiates the Gods through the works of
His hands, dynamic in the Soul-Mansion of Ptah,
Whom Ptah the Lord of Ma’at loves:
Rise, O Goddess, bedecked in the trappings of Ra,
Shining of face like the Disk at sunrise,
Acclaimed by the Vault as its mistress,
Heiress of the sky whose embodiment glitters
With fine gold!
Rise, O Hwt-Her, Hand of the Netjer!
Your body, young and perfectly appointed,
Causes Atum to rise in His season,
His passion becoming the verdant land,
His seed bearing the fruit of the Sacred Land.
Rise, O Hwt-Her, the Golden One,
Upon whose brow radiates the Eye of the Disk,
Whose radiation flares as the Cobra Goddess,
Her terror filling the hearts of gods and humankind.
O Beautiful One, the perfect countenance of
Her father in his sky, Ra has lifted you up,
Your body forming the domain of heaven,
Your navel becoming the great Mooring Post.
The Ark of the Day shines by your light!
The Ark of the Night follows your glistening
Thighs into the realm of the Blessed.
Rise, O Hwt-Her, Mansion of the Lofty,
The House of the Falcon, the Residence of the
Your embodiment is the seat of the Eye,
Whose wholeness becomes you,
Whose powers shine through you,
Whose life is renewed at your coming home
From the south.
Djehuty the Lord of Eight-Town comes out
To hail you, acclaiming your powers, and
Leading you to your throne at the Filling of
The Wedjat Eye.
Rise, O Hwt-Her, Mistress of Turquoise,
Mistress of real Lapis-lazuli, upon whose
Limbs glitters indestructible gold,
That skin of the gods which brings joy
To the hearts of humankind, through whose
Magic the netjeru possess the entire circuit
Of the sun.
Rise, O Goddess, O Hwt-Her, O Mistress of Love,
Lady of Intoxication swimming through the
Thighs of men!
They see you, their hearts beat fast and their
Loins shudder in rapture.
They hear the music of your feet, the shaking
Of your breasts, the swaying of your hips.
All men make a dance for you, you who grant
The joys of lovemaking, the beauty of the flesh.
Rise, O Hwt-Her, the Daughter of Ptah, His beloved,
The ornament of Ra Whose brow dazzles as the
Eye of the Sun!
Come, O Goddess, in peace and in beauty!
Awaken in peace, O Hwt-Her, awaken in beauty.
Awaken in peace, O Golden One, awaken in beauty.
Awaken in peace, O Lady of Life, awaken in beauty.
Awaken in peace, O Lady of the Green, awaken in beauty.
Awaken in peace, O Eye of Ra, awaken in beauty.
Awaken in peace, O Mistress of the Sky, awaken in beauty.
Awaken in peace, O Mistress of the West, awaken in beauty.
O Goddess, your holy image is established on earth and
Outshines the circuit of the sun, the zenith of your powers
Becoming this image in the eyes of humankind.
Let all honor be yours in it, and the fruits that come forth
Be all things good and pure!
These are the words of Ptahmassu, having consecrated
This body, this ba of the Great Goddess Hwt-Her,
Calling it after Her “Hwt-Her Mistress of the Sky”.
-Consecration prayer for the icon Hwt-Her Mistress of the Sky
By Master Iconographer Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa