Thursday, 29 November 2012

X Like Hieroglyphs

Being my second “X” post for the Pagan Blog Project, I want to focus on a Kemetic glyph that looks like our letter “X”. (Not to be confused with last weeks PBP post also for X and also related to Kemetic glyphs).


Once again referencing the Gardiner list, this time from glyphs grouped under the letter Z, which represent signs that are “Strokes, Signs derived from Hieratic, and Geometrical Figures”.
 

 
Glyph Z9 looks like our modern letter X and is considered to be two crossed sticks.  Z10 is a thicker variant, but has the same meaning. That meaning is “to destroy”, which sounds achdjj. Wikipedia also mentions other sounds: swa, sdj, ichbs, schbn, wp, wr.

 
Today we use a cross in the shape of an X to convey meaning with a negative: when a building entrance is hatched up to prevent entry often an X is used across the entrance and windows. We use the same to suggest that the item being “X”ed is prohibited or not allowed. In Hong Kong when a major typhoon is announced, large X’s are placed on the windows to signal that the business / building is closed because of said typhoon.

 
I wonder if these notions of how we use X today have trickled down from Kemet into our alphabet today? As a letter, X is little used in common words and often when it is the sound is other than “X”. This gives the letter its own “separateness” that in itself echoes the ancient Kemetic meanings.

 
As a determinative, Z9 and Z10 means to break, divide, overload, cross and meet.




My second "X" post for the PBP 2012

Trancing Part 2: Reconnecting With The Power Of Essential Oils

Having being short of funds for quite a while this year, I was only recently in a position where I could afford to restock my essential oil collection.

I wrote in an earlier post how they help put me in a trance. My very first Pagan Blog Project post (with an exceptional comment from Warboar) was about aromatherapy.


And when I finally reacquainted myself earlier this week, I was assailed with the wonder and magick that is natural fragrance again.

 
I am beginning to truly believe that these smells are the smells of Netjer.

 
Neroli has been lifting my mood in a way that almost gets me high!

 

I was able to get 13 very high quality essential oils including a couple I don't normally keep like eucalyptus and lime
 

Having restocked my all time favourites and combining them in my new whizz bang diffuser has helped with mediation and focus, particularly when I contemplate Set.


The oils are frankincense, myrrh, vetiver, and West Indian sandalwood.

 
I am very interested to interact with more people about how you use essential oils in your practices, and especially when connecting with Deity. Again, checkout Warboar's reply to my aromatherapy post from earlier this year, it is worth it.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Paul Compton's Exhibition

A postcard I collected at the exhibit: "Domestic Disturbance Wallpaper (sample)"


I went to see Paul’s exhibition a few weeks ago in the heritage listed Bundoora estate, which was a treat in itself.
 
 
Stately Bundoora Estate in Melbourne's outer 'burbs

I had seen some of Paul’s work before, but was pleasantly surprised by the scope and depth of the work I saw in this exhibition, “Bygones”.

 
 
A book that Paul put together personally for the show. Only 60 were made. I got number 29.

In a world where individuality seems always to be sacrificed for the safe and mainstream, I found the quirkiness of the exhibit engaging and refreshing. The subject matter Paul covers in his work range from past stars of the screen (the exhibition is dedicated to Kenneth Williams) to sideshow freaks; it is further affirmation of why I like him!
 

The biggest treat for me was this brilliant image of Anpu!

 
I did not know this was in the exhibition and was thrilled when I saw it!

 
Particularly impressive was Paul’s fine work in miniature. A book with tiny letters that he has handwritten is testament to this skill


Paul’s blog is here.

 

A gargoyle atop Bundoora Estate

Friday, 23 November 2012

X Series List Of Hieroglyphs From The Gardiner List

The Gardiner list is a series of groupings of Kemetic glyphs that help categorise the array of hieroglyphs that form the Kemetic alphabet.


The X Series List features glyphs that represent cakes and loaves. It is interesting to note all the different types of bread shapes that the ancients enjoyed, and I am certain that each has a meaning perhaps now lost to us.
 

Table of X classified glyphs in the Gardiner list


The glyph X1 is a loaf of bread and is used to represent that word but also as a determinative for all things female. Its sound is “t”.

 
The glyph X8 is said to be a bread cone, and has the meaning “to give”.  Its sound is “di” and” imi”. I wonder at why this glyph is used in the word for “Sirius”?


The word "Sirius" in Kemetic
 
 

This is my first "X" post in the PBP 2012. I have no clue what the 2nd one is going to be!
 

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Images Of Set - New Book by Joan Lansberry

 

My internet friend Joan Lansberry has finally published her book, “Images Of Set”.


I got to preview early versions of the book when it was in PDF form, and can’t wait to own it as a book. The research, information and images included are incredible.


Joan’s artwork and poetry have inspired me. I first met her when I got permission to publish her poem on my blog, and then did a post about her as a “J” in the Pagan Blog Project.

 
Great tidings and great fortune to you Joan! You have brought wonderful things into the world!

Monday, 19 November 2012

Words


Last week I received the hieroglyphic transliterations for words that I wish to incorporate into two of my paintings. They were so skilfully and beautifully presented that I wanted to share one set of them here. I am extremely grateful to Reverend Tamara Siuda for this.

 

 
I love how I have received the glyphs themselves, how to pronounce them, and the reference to the Gardiner list so that I can find out more about them and what they are. The phrase contains glyphs I had not seen before, like the puffer fish and the bow string.


I do not like to show paintings before they are complete, but I can show you the original sketch that the painting is based on.

 

I rendered the glyphs on Friday night and they look stunning. They have made my piece. And it isn't even complete yet.


I estimate that the painting, which is called “Anger”, will be completed in December. The other painting for which glyphs were also supplied is called “Winged Set”.


My second "W" for the PBP 2012

Monday, 12 November 2012

Wenut





This little known Kemetic goddess is represented as a hare or a hare headed woman, and her name means “swift one”. She was the patron god of the 15th nome of upper Egypt originally called Wenu, then Hermopolis Magna later. Originally she appears to have been depicted as a snake deity.

 
The Goddess's name, with the determinative at the end for "Goddess"
.
Her name is sometimes spelt Unut, and this tells us that the 5th dynasty pharaoh Unas incorporated her into his name, as we see demonstrated in other examples like Amenhotep, Thuthmosis and Seti.

 
I first took notice of this deity when I came across the image below from this webpage recently. Scultpor Lena Torich has done a magnificent job of capturing the Netjer's grace and beauty in bronze.

 

This statue of Wenut is adorable. Wish I had Her in my collection!
 

Fellow Kemetic writer Helmsman of Yinepu did a post about a shrine of offerings that he made to the Goddess here. There is a beautiful statue of Wenut at the bottom of that post featuring the Goddess Hethert and the Pharaoh Menkaure (whose pyramid I got creepy vibes from and could not enter when I was there in 2010!)


I am wondering if that triad statue is the one that wiki reports as having been found depicting her?

 
Maybe the Godess blesses me? This is the first time I have kept up with the concurrent timing of posts in the PBP for about 5 months!! This post is my first W in the PBP 2012. Swift indeed!

 

Friday, 9 November 2012

Vows, Lies and Authenticity

This blog fits neatly with the second “V” that I am due for submitting in the Pagan Blog Project. It has come about as a matter of synchronicity after reading this post by Rogue Priest Drew Jacob.

It is essentially about battling the assumptions people want to make about you based on specific criteria such as age and star sign.




Vows
Drew has taken his vows as a Pagan priest. I am no such thing, but do have great regard for the concept of maat and the Goddess Maat. It would not be a lie to say that often times I feel the Great Goddess near me.


Truth is important. Whilst I have taken no official vow, I do live with a high sense of “code”. This code would have similar values to that of clergy I am sure, if were to dig deep in comparison. Not harming others, respecting people, and other concepts that make up what we would refer to as comprising a modern person that has evolved beyond savagery.

 
This eerie scene from the film "Logan's Run", has chilling echoes of how we (dis)regard age in todays society
 
Lying about age
Interestingly, I actively began lying about my age some time ago, when I found that the further away from thirty I got I felt like I was living in a real life version of Logan’s Run.


I had good reason too. For a time I was making a living from two jobs where it was considered “inappropriate” to continue in if in your thirties. By inappropriate, I mean that I would actively not get hired simply by telling the truth of my age.
 
 
Matthew M's role in "Magic Mike" pressed some buttons for me. I do think he needed to leave the g-string dancing to the other lads though, I must admit

One was teaching fitness and the other was stripping (I still do the former but rarely the latter). My employment opportunities were diminishing before my eyes by telling the truth of the number of the years I had lived on Planet Earth!
 
 
My love and fascination of / with astrology always has me dipping into this topic at work, and social settings. That won't change, but I am not telling which one I am any more.
 
Lying about star signs
I like Drew’s point about not mentioning star signs and am beginning this practice also. This will be harder as I always announce my birthday (it’s an opportunity to further lie about my age, and elicit gifts!!) and I happen to be born under a sign with well known traits that I pull off well. Damn it, we have written a song that will give it away too!

 
Stating and asking for a star sign is another opportunity for people to peg you into a box. Whilst I have turned that to my advantage many a time, I remember one time in my twenties when I was house hunting and the nutbag that interviewed me at one prospective property turned me down as our signs “weren’t compatible”. That is an extreme example but on subtle levels I think that astrology is sadly used for all kinds of discrimination a lot.
 

If you are a gay man in Australia, be sure that you have seen this film and know the story. It is expected of you. Also, you should love Babs Streisand, musicals, frocks, and explain why you are not effeminate. If you are effeminate, all good.

The other big peg you in the box assumption: sexuality
There is another. Sexuality. And this is a very interesting one. I have come more and more to the understanding these days that I no longer wish to engage with people (I am talking workaday public) about my sexuality, sexual identity and preferences. (To see or meet me off the bat you would not necessarily know either ways as I defy most stereotypes).


What I have learnt is that an open or curious sexuality is often regarded as "less than" stating you are homo – the dual otherness of bisexuality conjures prejudice in people that unless you have experienced it, you would not think it true. I am not on the make in my working life so this is not an issue, but that does get tricky if I am horny and looking for sex.

 
Authenticity
Finding which elements of ones nature to keep to oneself and which ones to share has been a theme in my life. This is why I have been compelled to share this post with you.

 
There are some things that are meant to be kept private. Being an actor from an early age, I instinctively learnt that if I did not have that private side - that side that was just for me, my beloveds and the Gods - I would perish. I think that this is what happens to artists that expire before their time, especially those that have known fame.

 
My training as an actor early in life has actually prepared me for presenting the right elements of myself for getting through my life. Do I question my own authenticity though?


No. I do not. All that I am, I am. And if in my day to day wanderings I lie about being a Scorpio, hetero, 30 year old, that changes nothing to what I am bringing to the table as a person and human being.


In many ways, it is a kind of heka.

 


This is my second "V" submission for the Pagan Blog Project 2012. I am not entirely sure anyone is actually reading these damn things, but I am having a lot of fun writing them anyway!
 

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Vetiver





Vetiver Vetiveria zizanioides is a relatively new essential oil to me. I commenced using it earlier this year when I discovered that I like rich, earthy smells that I previously abhorred. (Myrrh and frankincense are my supreme faves so vetiver is a sensible progression). It is sometimes called vetivert also.


Research on the web reveals that practitioners into essential oils use this for grounding and calming, and it has been documented to relieve shock. It is used as a topical for muscular relief. It is reported to have a sedative effect, although this is not a property I personally detect in the aroma of it.

 
The smell produced by vetiver (which comes from the root of the plant - it is a type of grass) is deep, almost pungent, and engaging. If I were to design a fragrance with my signature, vetiver would be a dominant if not the dominating note.

 
Mixing vetiver with sandalwood and patchouli produces an aroma that helps put me in a meditation state and can sometimes bring about trance (see my recent post about trances here).


Does anyone recommend a particularly good brand that distils a particularly rich version of vetiver?


This is my first "V" installation in the Pagan Blog Project 2012