Ériu’s Lament

I heard you coming in my dreams. It was
no surprise to see your silver ship glide
over the mirror of a waveless sea, the five
gold rings of kingship at your throat, the pale
starlight of your eyes. The stillness
was everything I expected, the sharp crunch of sand
under your boot the sound that stilled my breath.
All that, I knew before you came.
I did not know I would tremble
at the nearness of your touch, the whisper
of your breath on my cheek. I did not know
I could fear when I had such longing.
The moon was a silver halo behind your golden
head. “It is a good night for lovemaking.” These words
were nothing to the desire on your lips
but I saw in your eyes that this
was not a beginning but an ending. I would lose
the dream I had so loved, that had turned
away the wooing of all my people, for the reality
of you, and of your leaving. That knowing held my voice:
“I made no tryst,” though my heart called me liar.
The smile was a fire in your eyes. “What need
for a tryst?” you asked, and I bent to my desire.
What heat, what knowledge in holding
all I had wanted though every joy was a  wound in me.
When you stood, your ship shining its summons,
you asked why I wept. “For two things—
that I love only you and not a man of my people,
and that you are leaving.” You seemed surprised
I knew, as if you expected me to think
you would stay, but you did not correct me, did not
pretend I was wrong, just gave me a ring,
not for me, but for our son when he would need you.
“And have you no name?” I asked, twisting
the ring that was too large even on my thumb.
“Elatha, king of the Fomoire,” you said, and named
our son as well, and left. Could I have killed
my love then, I would have done it.
You never asked my name.

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Drink the Sun

Armored in twisted petals, the tight bud’s heart
is hidden from the passing watcher’s eye.
Observe how silently it stands apart
keeping its secrets, openness denied.
But look, how as the sun’s unfolding rays
bring to the bud a generous, gentle heat
the bud unfolds and to us all displays
the beauty of bloom, once hidden in retreat.
So let us be as bold as life demands:
Bravely unfurl the armor of our souls-
Reveal our truths and learn to understand
how much our hiding never makes us whole.

An open flower may drink the sun and live;
the sun in burning dares even more: to give.

Dedication

ADF has a program for new members, or older members, who want to deepen their engagement with ADF called the Dedicant Path (fondly known as the DP). As I was finishing my PhD a year or so ago, I decided I would attempt the DP as a way to get my devotional path back on track. I felt I needed some sort of structure to refocus – and that I needed that renewed focus to finish my dissertation on time.

The dissertation came together, but I’ve run into an odd problem. The DP pushes participants to develop a devotional path based in an Indo-European culture, to celebrate regular high days to honor the gods and spirits, and to practice at least five months of “mental discipline” – meaning some form of meditative practice, very loosely bounded. It was this structure of requirements I needed to get my practice back on track – and I did, and it has enriched my work. The problem is one is supposed to write about it in a series of miniature essays broken up into specific topics that are meant to align one with ADF’s vision of practice.

Most people seem to snag on the practice of mental discipline, but since this was a good part of what I was looking for, that was the simplest requirement for me. But now I am meant to write essays about what I learned, how it affected me, how I’ve developed my relationships with the gods and spirits. This is not bad, but this is all framed in research terms: cite your sources, explain and define.

I am not convinced that defining the numinous is a useful pastime. Have I developed a relationship with the gods and spirits? Yes! Do I want to break them down into categories and define them in a way that is suitable for public consumption? Not really. Research is incredibly valuable, but we cannot engage with the worlds by citing spirits into submission. There are no texts that can substitute for experience with the holy powers. No amount of research will teach you to walk in *Xartus. No book can grant you inner contacts who can enliven your work.

Will I finish the DP? Probably, if I make time between career, relationships, and Work. The question I think I’m really asking myself is whether these little essays will add anything. I suspect they will – putting thoughts into words is an exercise in clarity, and the shortness of the essays rewards clarity’s succinctness – they just seem a pale shadow compared to living, breathing, ecstatic practice.

The Light of His Face

The light of his face is greater than my eyes
can bear; the lightning in his hair so crackling bright
I cannot move in the prison of his sight.
Though his spear is at my throat, I can’t disguise
the emptiness that wallows in my heart.
At his touch, my chest swings open like a door–
my heart in his hand, a stone that beats no more,
a lifeless jewel, an insult to his art.
He moves to crush it, then cradles it in his hand,
breathes into it light-sparked breath; it starts to beat
a dancing rhythm. He returns it to its seat.
Enclosed, it flutters, but answers his command.

Alive, the cage of ivory holds it fast,
But dancing in me it sets me free at last.

KRT: The Little People

This. We often need reminders to speak our own truths, and respectfully, at least if we want others to hear us. It’s certainly not just true for Kemeticism, but for all the scattered polytheisms around Paganism’s big tent.

The Twisted Rope

This week’s topic is: You Don’t Have to be a “Big-Name Pagan” to be a Trend-Setter and Enact Greater Change in the Kemetic community.

I’ve always been a firm believer that little things add up. A common discussion I have with people about little things adding up relates to the dollar charity donations you make at the grocery store. To illustrate the point (politics aside), I always ask people- how valuable is a dollar? Most people don’t think a dollar does anything. But when you consider the dollar charities at stores and how many people traipse through those stores every day- imagine how much that single dollar adds up.

Think about it- if you and everyone in a major metropolitan area (let’s go with a nice round number of a million people) donated just one dollar per month (so $12/year) to a charity- that could easily be $12 million in…

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