Selqet: Ancient Egypt’s Scorpion Goddess

Editorial Note: This is the transcript of the presentation I gave on Saturday at the 25th Annual Fellowship of Isis in Chicago Goddess Convention. I added photos from my PowerPoint presentation and my references list.

Good afternoon, everyone, and thank you for joining us for this historic 25th anniversary Goddess Festival commemorated by the Chicago FOI Community! For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Anna Applegate, I’m an ordained Priestess, and as a Polytheist primarily dedicated to the Kemetic or Egyptian Pantheon of Gods in my personal spiritual practice, I am very excited to be talking to you about the mysterious and powerful Scorpion Goddess, Selqet. I love Her very much. She features prominently in my ancestor devotionals and in the Spirit Work that I do, and I am deeply honored to ritually invoke Her in our Main Liturgy this evening, “The Mystical Awakening of Scorpio and Kundalini.”  

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Honoring Eshu, Making Ébo

“You’ll simply never understand the true nature of sacrifice.”

—The Wicker Man (directed by Robin Hardy), 1973

A fundamental principle in the West African indigenous religion of Ifá is that of ébo, or sacrifice. That which is offered is of great value both to the one offering as well as to the Recipient, be it one or more of the Orisha or the giver’s Ancestors.  Continue reading

Contemporary Polytheist Theology: Does Geography Curtail the Gods’ “Outreach”?

It’s not often that I begin my day composing a Facebook post asking for pensive responses to a theological question of mine, but that’s how my morning started. Twelve hours and 100+ comments later, I’m reflecting on my musings, my Facebook friends’ insights (to the ones that overlap as readers of this blog, thank you for your input!), and it’s time to craft a blog post around it all. This was my inquiry for discussion:

Serious theological question for my fellow devotional Polytheists: Do you believe that the Gods you serve are limited in Their ‘outreach’ based on geography? Case in point: during my years in Hawaii, my contact with worlds-wandering Hekate and the Kemetic Deities I serve never abated (the Latter Group loved Hawaii, from my experience), but, try as I might, neither Odin or the Vanir were accessible to me out there. However, whenever I visited Chicago, my ‘line’ to Them was instantly reestablished. Upon returning to Hawaii, the spiritual phone line ‘went dead’ again until I moved back home permanently.

What have your experiences been with Gods and spatial/temporal boundaries?

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Ave, Magna Deum Mater! The Rites of the Goddess Kybele, Then and Now

Go to the Phrygian shrine of Cybele, to her groves

Where the voice of cymbals sounds, the tambourines rattle,

Where the Phrygian piper sings with the deep curved pipe,

Where Maenads wearing ivy throw back their heads,

Where they practice the sacred rites with sharp yells.

Where they flutter around the goddess’s cohort:

It is there we must go with our rapid dances.

–Catullus, Poem 63 (circa 60 BCE)

When we think of the Ides of March, naturally, our minds as postmodern Westerners turn to thoughts of the assassination of Julius Caesar in the year 44 BCE (Before Common Era). But the ancient Romans left us a far greater legacy than the anniversary of a sordid murder. This time of year was a very holy one in the Classical Mediterranean world. Aside from celebrating the Feast of Anna Perenna, the Goddess of Timekeeping, on the banks of the Tiber River and in a sacred grove between the Flaminian and Salarian Roads, the ancient Romans kicked off a multi-week Festival in honor of the Great Goddess Kybele (Cybele), a Phrygian Mother and Mountain Goddess/Lady of the Beasts as well as order-upholding Goddess of the Polis, She Who was known for Her ecstatic Mystery cult (featuring Her slain and reborn consort, Attis) and for granting the Romans victory in their demoralizing and horrendously protracted Punic Wars (264 – 146 BCE) against the Carthaginians. Continue reading

Prayer to La Santa Muerte Blanca

Mi Flaquita

Shrine of La Niña Blanca in my home temple space. Prayer and photo (c) A. Applegate 2018.

Most Holy Death,

Glorious and Powerful

Sister of Mercy,

Stand firm as my Protector:

My unwavering shield

Against all foes,

Those known and those not known to me.

Be my guiding light

When all avenues seem dark,

Ensuring the safety of my body and

The wellness of my mind and spirit.

Lady of Purity,

Lady of Righteousness,

Seated at the Right Hand of the Father,

May I always find refuge in

Your mantle of Protection,

Granting me spiritual and physical protection and peace.

So shall it be.

(Pray the “Hail Mary” three times.)

(c) A. Applegate 2018

Prayer to La Santa Muerte Dorada for Financial Well-Being

Prayer to La Dorada for Financial Well-Being

(c) Anna Applegate 2018

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This statue of La Dorada at my shrine has a robe with a fabric pattern meant to represent U.S. dollars. I love Her mirrored nimbus/crown.

La Santisima,

We will see You face to face sooner or later,

As You, without regard to age or riches,

Claim the old, the young, even the newly born

To come to Your feet at the appointed time.

Until that last day, hour, and second,

When Your Divine Majesty

Commands us to appear at Your feet,

Grant unto us Your favor

That our lives will be well lived:

Alleviate all financial insecurity,

All poverty and despair,

Bringing instead the health and joy

That comes in the wake of steady work and self-worth.

Let our businesses, our bank accounts,

And everything we do to provide for ourselves flourish.

Blessed and praised be Your Generosity,

Holy Death.

In God we believe but in You we trust.

Amen.

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La Santa Muerte Tres Metales (of the three metals), left, and La Dorada, right, at yet another of my shrines.