A Devotional Ritual for Nephthys to Bless and Protect the Dead

This past Saturday at World Tree Healing, I led a workshop on “Loving and Serving ‘Dark’ Deities.” It was a well-attended workshop and for the first hour, I engaged the participants in a series of discussions based on the following prompts:

  • How has staving off criticism from mainstream religions made Paganism afraid of its own shadows?
  • How do you help outsiders to your tradition distinguish between “darkness” and “evil”?
  • Has anyone ever had an experience of invoking Dark Deities in a group ritual context and then been castigated for invoking Them?
  • How is the function of the Trickster valuable to a society? Who is devoted to Trickster Gods?
  • In his Manifesto for his powerful Apocalyptic Witchcraft, Peter Grey has declared: “We call an end to the pretense of respectability.” What are your thoughts on this? What do Pagans lose by attempting to claw their way to the interfaith table, begging for scraps of acceptance from Abrahamic religions?

It was a great discussion that appeared to make two people with Abrahamic allegiances very uncomfortable, so they left after I had announced that we’d be taking a short break before our ritual to Nephthys would begin. Good riddance, I thought. I certainly didn’t want the miasma, or spiritual pollution, of their presences to spill over into my devotional ritual to my Patron Deity. The major risk of hosting a public Pagan ritual is that you never know what kind of people may show up, especially folks with overtly hostile ideologies (read: patriarchal monotheists) who attend solely to destabilize the gathering, which is why I absolutely favor doing private ceremonies in the company of fellow devotees I can vouch for.

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Novena to La Santa Muerte: Day 9

The ninth and final day of the Novena to La Santa Muerte should occur on a Wednesday. The third of the three-day white glass candles burned in Her honor should be close to burning itself out. Take time for quiet contemplation of the entire Novena experience: How did your devotional relationship with La Santísima deepen? In what ways have you changed–perhaps your attitude towards your own mortality? Or your understanding of the nature of prayer in general, or its contextualization in Mexican folk magic and religion in particular? Have any portents presented themselves at any time during the Novena, assuring you that La Flaquíta has in fact been listening to you? Did you feel Her bony fingers steering your ship of destiny in the past nine days in any way? Synchronicities often abound, in my experience. And it has always been my experience that my prayers manifested pretty quickly, especially if I was seeking payback against an enemy. And somewhere in the darkness, La Santa Muerte Negra grins Her skeletal grin broadly…

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The 5th and Final Epagomenal Day: Happy Birthday, Nephthys!

What an amazingly auspicious day this is, one with extremely potent energies perfect for channeling into magico-religious rituals such as today’s Polytheist Day of Protest against Daesh, as well as for celebrating the Eve of the Egyptian New Year! And let’s not forget that it’s also Lughnasad weekend for those who celebrate the Feast of the Celtic God of the Long Arm (technically, Lughnasad commemorates the God’s Foster Mother, Tailtiu, but I digress), and thousands of miles away, hundreds of polytheists are convening in Washington State for the Many Gods West conference.

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My Upcoming Ritual Honoring Set at Chicago Pagan Pride This September

Great news! I’ve just received word from the organizers of the annual Chicago Pagan Pride celebration, which is scheduled for Sunday, September 13, in Oak Park, Illinois (a beautiful southwest Chicago suburb known for being the birthplace of one of my favorite Modernist authors, Ernest Hemingway), that my proposal to lead a workshop and ritual honoring the Great God Set has been approved! Huzzah!

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Prayer to Sedna

I am so incredibly excited! Galina Krasskova, a Heathen author and spirit worker whose work I’ve admired for years, personally contacted me today, asking me if I’d be interested in writing the prayer to accompany stunning imagery for a prayer card of the Inuit goddess Sedna! Galina has been producing Pagan prayer cards depicting various artists’ lovely renditions of Deity images from different cultural pantheons–and Sedna is up next for production! Galina informed me that her partner told her about my devotion to Sedna–my deepest thanks to you, Sannion!–and of course I immediately replied that I would be honored to compose the printed prayer (below) in honor of the Sea Woman; it’s going to be published under my legal name.

"Sedna" by the late Susan Seddon Boulet. This is not the image going on the prayer card Galina is producing; it is one of my personal favorites, however.

“Sedna” by the late Susan Seddon Boulet. This is not the image going on the prayer card Galina is producing; it is one of my personal favorites, however.

Sedna, Mother of Plenty, my thanks to You for granting me this opportunity to share my devotion! I’m so happy I’m squealing like a narwhal!

 

Prayer to Sedna

Sedna, I honor You

I welcome You, I give You thanks

 

Praise to the Sea Woman, swiftly advancing, roaring

Uinigumasuittuq the Tormented

Survivor of treachery

Your severed fingers birthed new beings

O Nerrivik, Mother of Plenty

Sustenance for The People in exchange for observing Your pittailiniq (taboos)

 

But when the balance is broken, O One Who Halts Harpoons in Mid-Flight,

You rightly gather up Your children

And they sigh with relief

Not being made food for fools, You shelter them in Adlivun

As our sins choke the ocean with grief

 

Ravenous Sedna, Bringer of Hunger, harvest my whispered prayer:

Teach me to free You from the nets that suffocate—from the paralyzing

Plastic bags of past deeds deserving of punishment

May I bring You comfort, soothe Your flippers when they ache

And disentangle Your long, black hair, thereby dissolving strands of Memory

Until all that is known is the sea

 

Dread Goddess Sedna, have mercy on me

 

Sedna, I honor You

I welcome You, I give You thanks

Mondays Mean More Devotions to La Santa Muerte

It’s Imbolc, it’s the Feast Day of the orisha Oya, it’s the birthday of the sky-mother goddess Nut, it’s the eve of a super-auspicious full moon (in Leo, conjunct transiting Jupiter in Leo), and its the 11th birthday of my big kahuna Hawaiian import of a cat (Happy Birthday, Thor!). Needless to say, things have been buzzing in my home temple space with virtually round-the-clock ritual activity and will continue to do so for the next few days. While Chicago (a.k.a., Chiberia) has been hit hard with a snowstorm whose system began Saturday evening, resulting in 19″ of snowfall recorded in my Northwest Side neighborhood as of this morning, and spring seems very remote, I’m certainly counting my blessings. And since today is a Monday and that’s the day most sacred to La Santa Muerte, counting my blessings in a ritual context of weekly devotionals to Mi Flaquíta (My Skinny Girl) is the way to go, and I’d like to share more prayers and photos of my shrine dedicated to Her with you. Continue reading