I am in awe of Aset.
She is a force to be reckoned with. She is determined, calculating, clever, eloquent, strong, persevering. She can be completely accessible as a Name while remaining aloof and subtle. Disciplined and courageous, She is unafraid to steal the Name of Re. She is a force of life, attending the birthing the sun each morn. She is the power behind succession, the throne, and the crops. She is a force of death, a Goddess of mourning. She is one of the Tree Goddesses who offers the souls of the dead sustenance in their travels. She is Great of Heka, and pitiful as a victim. Her eloquence will elicit sympathy from other Netjeru. She is a slayer of Apep and an Eye of Ra.
What isn’t to love?? When She came, I wanted Her. I saw myself in Her. I needed Her. Her lessons were ones I readily accepted: courage, discipline, determination, becoming a strong woman who could contribute to/change the world positively. Even still, I knew She was there for at least 2 years before I took any action at all (research or otherwise).
It is also easy to honor deities like Heru or Amun-Re. As just and courageous leaders, They emphasize duty. They do not sit idly on Their thrones; They are active and confrontational. These are things I would readily embrace.
Not all the lessons we need are the ones we embrace. Some Netjeru come when we NEED Them.
Het-Heru has been lingering for about 36 months. Aset has suggested bluntly to build a relationship with Her, but I was averse to it. Het-Heru was a Name of femininity to me. “Girlie stuff”. My understanding of Her was extraordinarily shallow. I even went so far as to worship/honor Aset in a more “pure” form: looking at Her before She “took on” traits from Het Heru. I didn’t want to “contaminate” my view of Aset with any Hathorian influences. How silly.
I knew Het-Heru was a Name of sexuality, and my sexuality is something with which I have grappled and struggled for years and years. I had grown exhausted numerous times and given up, only to find that exacerbated the problem. For a good while, gender was also a bother. And here’s this Netjeret who is a Name of sexuality and femininity. Not only did She poke at my personal problems, but when I was more comfortable with my gender, She then offended my “feminist sensibilities”. NATURALLY a female deity would be a Name of sex. As if that was all “we” could ever be. (I ignored Min; He didn’t help my argument). I wanted to be seen as strong and capable; I wanted to make a difference and a splash in the world! Being joyously sexual was not as powerful as using one’s appeal as a tool. In my eyes, She was a Name of sex…of weakness. A Name of pain.
And fertility. And music. And cosmetics. And beauty. This was all I knew. I didn’t feel very beautiful. I never want children. Cosmetics mean little to me, beyond a show of femininity. I had no interest whatsoever.
Ironically, I never though, “This Name could be the best one to help me with X.” I didn’t see deities as entities that helped you. They were lenses through which we better learned about humanity and the world. Knowledge of Them helped you, but They didn’t directly help you.
In the past year, I have come to accept and understand these parts of myself better than I had before. Once I felt more comfortable with these shadows, I came to Her with an open mind. I am finally candidly connecting to Her. She is so much more than an Name of sexuality! And even as such, She is more a Name of “attraction”; She is what makes you feel enamored with anything.
However, I still need Her lessons, and not just in the area of sexual orientation. I like control (of my self and situation). She is a Goddess of abandonment. To know Her is to “give in to drunkeness” or to become the blood thirsty Sekhmet. That is not my nature: I was something of a workaholic; I feel logic is more valid than my feelings; When things stray from The Plan, my proverbial fecal projectile impacts a revolving apparatus of circulation. I need help realizing I can assert myself and ask for/accept ONLY what I want. I need confidence in my abilities. These are things She can teach as an Eye Goddess and as “the snake which coils about the Pharoh’s brow.” (Roberts, My Heart, My Mother).
The more I learn about Her, the more I come to understand how my approaches to “solving” these issues are/were misguided. The more I learn about Her, the more I realize I knew nothing of Her; She can truly perplex me.
Did She come because I needed Her, or was I calling to Her in my anguish?
Am I finally opening up to Her because I am overcoming these issues, or am I overcoming them because She has influenced me without my knowing?
She is not the only example. I have only experienced Wesir 3 times in 4 years. I’ve felt a “pull” to include Him in my practice, but have not. Each time He was gentle and quiet, but very profound. I knew He had work for me, but He never spoke of it. Except for the last time He came to me.
I have lost three very important and influential people in my life at the times I needed them most and was just beginning to accept the help they would offer. I did not share my grief (or any other part of myself at this time), and I felt alone. These people shaped my life with their lives and deaths.
But I’m ok now! I had a normal and healthy mourning period, and I am no longer mourning! I take their lives and lessons to heart. I love them still, but I live on!
But the last time He came, He said, “You still have much to learn about death. You don’t deal with death properly. This is something you must reconsider.”
I’m a prideful woman. Ouch.
I thought I was all good in this department. Yet, according to Wesir, I’m either (a) in denial or (b) not realizing something about my emotional self. Crap.
I’m not sure what He meant or what I need to do. He didn’t say anything more. I know the first step is developing a regular devotional practice for Him.
This is a lot of self help all at once, guys.
But is He offering His lesson at this time because I have learned to cope well enough on my own, and so I’m ready to touch up this area of my life?
This seems like the case with Het-Heru: She has been there, its only that now, when I have dealt with it in my own way and said, there I fixed it, that I am ready to accept her help.
The ravens that come to my chamber door are those carrying my own shadows. But if I can let them in, they will illuminate the darkness and obliterate my fear. Some authors (like Naydler and Roberts) see our travels through the Duat in this way: at each gate we confront our inner demons/values. Depending on whether or not we have wrestled with and assimilated them into ourselves, our travels can be a transformative journey or a torturous ferry ride.
Have any of you noticed this trend with your Deities?