Upholding Ma'at

Journeying through the modern world with ancient ways.


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Daily Ritual (My Abridged Version)

I originally posted this as a link to an outline on the Daily Morning Ritual from the Temple of Karnak during the 22nd Dynasty.  I thought it was a great outline to share at that time, and I still believe so.

Over time, though, I realized that people may not want to work on plugging in their own wording or look up what was said.  If that’s the case I recommend Richard Reidy’s book Eternal Egypt: Ancient Rituals for the Modern World.  I also realized some folks will feel obligated to follow through every step of the temple ritual.  If you don’t have time, that’s cool.  Based on the aforementioned ritual outline I linked here’s how my morning ritual tends to go.  You can adjust it accordingly.

Preparations

Formula for lighting the fire

Formula for taking the censer

Formula for placing the incense on the flame

Formula for proceeding to the sacred place

Another formula

Opening the shrine

Facing the image – hymns to the deity

Formula for kissing the earth

Formula for placing oneself on one’s stomach

Formula for placing oneself on one’s stomach and stretching out

Formula for kissing the earth, face down

Another formula

Incense

The offering of the goddess personifying What is Right Maat)

Formula for the offering of Maat

Food Offering

Libation

Incense

Reversion of Offerings

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Craft Friday: Mini Book

As I’ve mentioned before bookbinding is a hobby of mine, albeit I’m not very good.    So when I found a relatively simple “book” project to try as an outlet of my spring fever I figured it wouldn’t be too hard.  Here’s how it turned out.  It also allowed an outlet for my pre-spring fever.

Instead of grabbing an envelope I made one from this tutorial.  Using this tutorial allowed me to use some double-sided cardstock in lieu of the doilies and covering the envelope flap with a different paper as suggested in the book tutorial.  I also deviated from the book tutorial by using coin envelopes for the main pouch in lieu of the pull-out gift tag.

I didn’t use gift tags for the cover either.  Instead I used some cardstock to make the cover, hole punched it, and decorated with my own flower pin to go inside.

 

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I decorated with some leftover brads from a previous bookbinding project.  I also used the stickers for an upcoming project for which I can’t use for it.

 

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I had some pictures from a planner about fairies that I decided would work for this project.  Eventually I settled on one.   I tried to keep it simple.

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I think this page is the only time I used some gift tags.  I used up the last of my brads from the other book project on this page.  If you look closely you can even see my fingers.

 

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For the pouch I decorated it with some more stickers.  The coin envelopes are tucked inside this pouch.

 

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Here’s a closer look at the coin envelopes, front and back.  I haven’t decided what to put in there yet.

 

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I personally consider it a work in progress, but that’s fine by me.  I can add as time goes on and add keepsakes in the envelopes.


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Craft Friday: A Book Project

As some of you know I have a bookbinding hobby. I’m not particularly good at it, but I enjoy it the same. I finally finished one project because I found a nice stopping point for me, which is why I don’t have the tutorial for today ready (it will hopefully be up next week). In the meantime here are some photos of my completed project.

As you can see, I keep screwing up the spine cover. I’ll eventually get the hang of it…

 

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I also did a horrible job of trimming the paper this time around. Luckily I know what I did (I glued it down before sizing it). This is what happens when you cut corners.

 

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Despite my errors I do enjoy my work on the cover.

 

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A couple of people wanted to see the results of my work, and this is it.  When I get decent enough at it perhaps I’ll post a tutorial for bookbinding so others can try it too.


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Budget Thursday: Libraries

I remember as a child elated to venture through the library and select my own books to read. I was fortunate to have parents that weren’t too concerned with what I checked out as long as it wasn’t full of adult content or practices of which they didn’t approve (which was usually arts and crafts, but that’s due to the inherent mess that came with it). Thanks to the convenience of the internet and bookstores it’s a resource most remembered when one is lacking an internet service at their home. Regardless, the library is still a valuable resource for one researching Ancient Egypt with little change to spare.

Most libraries are more than books and videos. Some libraries actually subscribe to various academic journals relevant to your research; this subscription may be available in a digital or physical format, sometimes even both. The catch to this is usually how available a journal may be. I have found many times in my searches that journals are considered a reference source so you may not be able to check it out. Should that be the case in your library, don’t fret. You can still sit down with the copy and makes notes as necessary.

Take advantage of the inter-library loan program. Many libraries engage in some form of inter-library loan program. Libraries that partake in these programs show you what’s available not only at the current library but other libraries as well. If you use it you retrieve the book and pick it up at your desired location. The drawback is you may have to wait a few days, but this saves on costs of transportation in the long run.

Don’t forget to behave (and make sure any kids behave as well). It isn’t a budget-worthy point, but it’s a nice point to make these days. Even though much of how libraries function has changed drastically some protocols for behaving have not. Many years ago it was considered improper etiquette to carry on a conversation at a normal volume since it’s disruptive to a reading environment. In the day of cellphones it’s easy to just take a phone out and proceed to converse without regard to your location. Some libraries have set up “no cellphone” zones due to this rampant problem. Keep your cellphone on silent or turned off. If you must speak on your cellphone move to an area where you won’t disturb others (this may even be outside) and keep it brief. Also, speak in a hushed tone. This is akin to what my elementary teachers taught as the “3 inch voice”, or speak as if the person is within 3 inches of you.

Beware of the food court. Some libraries also provide a food court in today’s world (I don’t understand it either). It should go without saying to avoid from spilling food or drink onto a library book. If you damage a book the library has the right to ask for recompense.

Pay attention if something is for reference only. If it’s a reference book / journal / et cetera you can’t check it out. You can, however, take notes or make copies. On that note…

You don’t have to check out a book or other material. Many libraries accommodate for reading, just as they always have. You can come prepared to take notes, make copies, what have you and then place the reading material back into its proper place.


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Budget Thursday: Book Rummaging

I mentioned how second-hand bookstores can be intimidating for some. Those stores are child’s play compared to book rummage sales. The type of pandemonium that transpires is comparable I imagine to moonlight madness sales. I’ve experienced this from a salesperson’s perspective as well as the buyer. But fret not, because you too can survive with all your body parts intact with some of these tips.

Check out college bookstores. In case I haven’t mentioned it before I worked at a textbook store while attending college. The store held a yearly rummage sale and cleared out books where a teacher retired, or a particular book wasn’t suited for the course, or the professor simply wanted the latest edition. The rummage sale was a big perk, not to mention advantageous for research material. I was able to acquire many academic books on the topic of Ancient Egypt that ranged from everyday life to essays on the religion. Check your newspaper or the store’s website for dates and times.

Check out libraries. I learned also that my university’s library would also clear out books periodically. While I didn’t have much luck at the university library other libraries proved fruitful.

Get there early. Just like with any clearance sale, the sooner you get there the better books you may get. While better prices may occur closer to the end of a clearance the better books tend to be infrequent at that time. I’ve learned this the hard way. I have arrived close to the end of book sales, searched tirelessly through piles of books for several hours only to come out empty-handed. There is another issue to consider with book clearances: time.

Plan ahead. Scouring the racks for decent or relevant books is very time consuming. While it’s not likely to take an entire day to search through every spot for books it will certainly take a few hours. This can create a schedule conflict in your day. I recommend you plan accordingly, or if you have a bibliophile friend to make it a trip if you have engagements with said friend.

Be aware the entire stock isn’t out during a rummage sale. During a rummage sale books from various places and sections take days to bring out due to the accumulation over time. One day it may be an entire section of how-to books, then the next a stock of art techniques may fill the empty spaces. I’m not even certain calling and asking if a certain section will be available is even advised. People who work with books have to clear stacks of semi-organized sections at times, so it’s truly an issue of uncertainty from where a book is pulled or when. Conversely this is advantageous if the selection is poor on one day.

Find a silver lining. Spending hours looking may not provide anything despite early arrival. There are times when I arrived at a book clearance on the first day, scoured the books, only to yield no books. I don’t feel my time was always fruitless for various reasons. Sometimes my quests introduced me to a new bookstore, or a new friend, or even an employee who could defer me to places that provided better results. Sometimes the key to finding value for anything is to figure out what you wish to gain.