I’ve noticed that on important days, my Father Set likes to wake me up roughly fifteen minutes before 6:00 a.m. For someone who almost always requires an alarm to get up and moving at the necessary time, these days stand apart. I get out of bed, even if still a little weary from a shortened night’s rest, and go about morning offerings as the dawn rises. I watch Zep Tepi in its most literal sense, seeing orange and red flood the sky over the Allegheny river valley, all the people in the neighborhoods below my apartment’s hillside perch turning on lights, starting their morning, getting in their cars and making the most of the new day, a first day unto itself.
I think I needed it this morning. This past April proved to be one of the most difficult months in recent memory, as I dealt with hospital visits for severe allergic reactions and infections, attempted to care for my partner’s illnesses in the midst of my own, was let go from the job I’ve been at for the past seven months, and most significantly, experienced my first loss of a very close family member. The last was not unexpected, given this loved one’s age, but the passing was swift and I’m still sorting out how to grieve for someone my mind has not wholly processed as actually being gone, even several days after the funeral. In the midst of sorting through all of these personal things, I’m also hurting for Nepal and Baltimore, the latter of which being very near the place where I grew up.
Life goes on with each new sunrise. I’m adjusting to the care my body needs. I start a new job on Monday. I’m allowing myself to grieve for my loved one. I made it through all of my school work for my first semester of my new program. I’m working to remember how to hope for a brighter future for my country and for those countries dealing with environmental or political tragedy.
I credit much of my (somewhat surprising, given how I believe I might have failed to handle all of this four years ago) resilience to my sibling Tenu, my partner, and my spiritual communities. The amount of support I received via social media, email, phone, and even in-person visits has been overwhelming in the best of ways. I have tried to express in words several times over the depth of my gratitude, and will keep doing so through my actions in the days to come.
I also give a great deal of credit to my gods. I have not been able to hear or sense them as easily as I usually do in the midst of everything that has happened, but I could still feel the magnitude of their presences, always near, waiting, strong and stable, until I was ready to reach out to them again.
Inspired by many of G.B. Marian’s recent artistic posts and Joan Lansberry’s beautiful works, I tried my hand at drawing on a particularly difficult day. Without even really thinking of it, Set appeared in my journal, contemplating the storms in His hands. It was a comfort, and a small way to start to reconnect (if obviously just a quick doodle by an amateur who very much needed the creative therapy.)
I was divined three years ago today as the daughter of Set and Bast, beloved of Heru-wer and Hethert-Nut. Heqat joined our family of gods earlier this year, but is no less celebrated this day than the others. I am grateful for all five of these Netjeru, for what they bring to my life, how they remind me that each new day holds potential for me to live in such a way as to reflect their strength, their beauty. I will honor Them today in shrine, fittingly the first day in several weeks that I feel pure enough in body and heart to do so. I will also endeavor to honor Them through my words and actions, by moving forward, respectfully reflecting on what has been while always looking to the future and what I can bring to my community, my gods, and my world.