Upholding Ma'at

Journeying through the modern world with ancient ways.


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Festival of the Beautiful Union: Preparations

Despite the beginning of the holiday beginning on the new moon in the third month of Shomu preparations for The Festival of the Beautiful Union began in the second month of Shomu.

In Dendera there were two weeks of preparing for the ritual. During this time several rituals were performed, many of which repeat throughout the festival. The first of such festivals is the Offering of the First Fruits. Offerings from the fields were presented to Het-Hert. It seems there were some connections to the myth of Aset mourning the death of Wesir, as the offerings were presented by mourners before Aset and lamentations sung.

Another ritual practiced during this time is the Driving of Cattle ritual. Cattle are driven around the primordial hill four times while dragging ritual chests. Even though the main idea of the ritual is self-explanatory there are certain specifics. One source states cattle and donkeys are driven. Another source states that four cattle –one red, one spotted, one white, and one black, but all calves –are required. It is agreed, though, the cattle are driven around the primordial mound while pushing wheat into the ground. This is possibly a reference to Ka-her-Ka where Wesir’s effigy is made with sprouting wheat and clay. If so it serves to further the element of regeneration during the holiday.

After these rituals were performed the priests prepared a barque to sail towards Edfu. This journey had its own rituals and entourage, which will be covered in the next post.

Sources
The Festival of the Beautiful Reunion.” Asetmeri, n.d.Retrieved from http://www.philae.nu/

akhet/BeautReun.html.(dead link).

Coppens, Filip. “Temple Festivals of the Ptolemaic and Roman Periods”. In Jacco Dieleman

and Willeke Wendrich (eds.),UCLA Encyclopedia of Egyptology Jan 2009. eScholarship.

El-Sabban, Sherif. “Temple Festival Calendars of Ancient Egypt. Google books.

Lloyd, Alan B. A Companion to Ancient Egypt. Google Books.

Ritner, Robert Kriech. “The Mechanics of Ancient Egyptian Magical Practice.” Studies in

Ancient Oriental Civilization  54 (1993): 59. PDF.

Wilkinson, J. Gardner. The Ancient Egyptians: Their Life and Customs. New York: Bonanza

Books, 1988. Print.

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I Received a Blog Award!

Thank you, thalassa, from Musings of a Kitchen Witch, for the award!  I certainly didn’t expect it and it made my day brighter.  I apparently get to answer some questions, which leads me to believe I’m really in some sort of questions game.  Here, however are the official rules:

1.the bloggers have to have 200 or less followers.

2.there is a list of questions to answer from your nominator as well as having to come up with a list of questions for your own nominees. you can either use the same questions as was asked of you or make up new ones for your nominees.

3.copy/paste the award logo into your post. you can add it to your blog sidebar or footer if you wish.

4. notify your nominees of the nomination.

Now it’s time to answer some questions…

Which art form offers you the truest expression for yourself?

Just one?  Poetry, music, and dance are probably the truest expressions of myself.  When I dance, sing, play my ocarina, attend concerts or poetry readings, I feel the most at home.  Everyone is performing to some degree at these events.  It’s almost impossible not to become a performer when everyone has a role either as an observer or singing along with the band; it’s not just the people on the stage who perform in my view.  To me, they’re one of the same.

In that art form, what is your most honest piece of expression?

I try to be as honest as possibly in all my work (I think it’s really hard to be a performer and dishonest about your artistic expression).  That said my “most honest” (read “favorite”) pieces are “Revelations of the Hag of Lawrence” and “Light of God”.

What always makes you laugh?

A good scatological joke.  Also, very off-the-wall humor, provided the humor isn’t forced or trying to shame someone.

What always makes you cry?

Innocent lives harmed or taken away.  It shouldn’t happen.  I’m the type of person when I learn of it try to see what I can do to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

What is one thing that you can’t do that you’d love to be able to do?

I’d have to devote a whole blog to this question!  The top of this list is more of a temporary inability, but I want to physically embrace my partner again.  Currently we’re 2,000 miles apart.

What is your favorite book? Why does it affect you so?

I have a favorite book series.  The Middle Earth series by J.R.R. Tolkien (I know, I’m so cliche).  I love Old and Middle English literature (if I can get a copy printed in the original English I nab it) and Tolkien captures it pretty well, which is good given that was his area of expertise.

What is your favorite movie or play? Why does it affect you so?

I have a favorite movie and a favorite play(s).  My favorite movie is Monty Python and the Holy Grail because I love how Monty Python combines zaniness and fact to create a whole new level of humor.  It has just enough crazy and reality that it seems semi-plausible.  Since I grew up watching Monty Python’s Flying Circus their stylings have been a great influence on my humor and aspirations (I’ve always wanted my own sketch comedy show).

My favorite plays are a toss-up between Anton Chekov’s Ivanov and The Just Assassins by Albert Camus.  Both deal with, in my mind, with many of the same topics of the darker sides of human nature, the real consequences of our actions in how they affect others, and selfishness versus selflessness.

If you were given the opportunity to spend one more day with a friend or family member who has passed away, what would you do?

It depends on the person’s state.  I have many friends and family members who died from illnesses like cancer.  And if I spent time with them would it be some sort of reanimation idea?  That could be tricky since a couple of them died very violent deaths.  I’d rather not inflict that on someone again.  This is what I get for over thinking this question…

Provided the person is brought back for one day in a pristine state without illness or decomposition and whatnot, I’d say my maternal grandmother.  She was probably the closest family member to me and was the only one who made strident efforts to really be involved in my life.    I’d like to speak with her about everything just one last time.  It doesn’t even have to be about advice or secrets of the universe.  I’d want to spend that time with someone who truly cared about what I had to say.

If you had won the $580 million Power Ball jackpot, what would you be doing today?

Apart from paying off my debts, buying my dream home, fighting off the statistically likely people banging down my door for cash, and finally living with my partner again?  Probably what I’d do any other day.

Now it’s time to nominate some folks for an award.  I’ll just dig through my subscribers and pick the 3 people who’ve inspired me to keep going.  I’ll pick, Aubs Tea, kallistaqbwht, Shine, and warboar.

Here are my questions for you:

  • What inspired you to start a blog?
  • Have you been achieving any of the goals set out with your blog?
  • Which moment in your life do you currently find the most awe inspiring?
  • What is a fear you’d like to overcome / have overcome?  If you’ve overcome it, how did you do it?
  • How do you handle unfortunate situations?
  • What is your favorite holiday?  Why?
  • What is a tradition you hope to pass on, be it to your children or to other generations in your community?
  • What is your view of the Divine, be it from a believer or non-believer’s standpoint?
  • You have just attained your dream life.  Describe it in 140 words maximum.