A note from Witchy Words: At the beginning of the year, I asked the circle I coordinate, Circle of Fountains, if they'd each like to do a guest article based on a topic that I might not be able to cover. This is a great effort by my amazing circle to give you information that you might not otherwise encounter here at Witchy Words. The following article is written not by me but another member of Circle of Fountains, with credit and notes about its author below. Enjoy!
Finally, it came to me why I was having hard time writing about something I loved since I was a little girl; I don't know how to write about myself and my passions. So for a few weeks when my brain was able to function, I would just sit for a moment or two to ask Thoth, the god of knowledge, for advice on how to go about this project. All I got out was “be myself." Once I figured out that I wanted to write about my personal experiences, Witchy Words herself gave me questions to answer to make it easier on me.
What gods and goddeses do I follow? I honor Bastet mostly for her affiliation with cats. As a human slave to five cats and I have really only ever had cats when I was growing up, I was fascinated with her. Bastet has more associations than just cats though. She was also warrior goddess for the sun and battled the evil snake Apep. She also has an association with perfumes, protection against contagious diseases and evil spirits (this is why we seen the cat hiss at Imotep in the “Mummy” movie). She was also associated with child birth, since female cats are protective of their young.
The god Seth (also known as Seti, Set, Setesh) is the god of the desert, storms, disorder, violence and is another god I honor. He had a major part in Egyptian mythology. On a good side of him, he was employed by Ra on his boat to repel the serpent of chaos Apep. He was also the lord of the red (desert) land, to balance out Horus who was the lord o the black (soil) land. He was also known as a murderer who killed his brother Osiris. Seth is depicted with a male body and the head of an unknown animal. Some Egyptologists think he is composed of an aardvark, a donkey, a jackal, or a fennec fox. I honor Seth because, as humans, we will always have what he stood for. The storms could mean really anything if we think about it, but as human beings we are known for disorder, violence and chaos. Even when there is peace somewhere in the world, it will always know those aspects of Seth. So for me, its just understanding my own nature and those around me. I will never be shocked by someones need for disorder, violence and chaos as it is part of us. Not all of us show that side often or keep it buried, but knowing it can be there and understand it gives me the knowledge of how to handle it.
I don't know what drew me to Egyptian gods and not any others, like Norse or Greek. I didn't really know about Norse mythology till early 2000s when I found a mentor in my area who worshiped Norse gods. As for Greek mythology, I never connected with the gods and goddesses based on their lore. In my personal view, they like to mess with humans. To me, Egyptian gods cared about humans, looked out and protected them. Sure there are stories where they toy with humans, but I know I would if I was a higher being. Obviously, I respect everyone's decision to worship whatever pantheon they choose, but this is why I chose mine.
I know that Egyptian gods and beliefs are culturally significant. The thing is that Egyptian culture was open. They spread their beliefs around and anyone could come in and believe in Egyptian gods and that was fine. I still don't want to hurt anyone with my beliefs and I try to be aware of the culture behind the gods that I believe in and worship.
I can't actually tell you how long I have been practicing as a pagan. I wasn't raised to be any one religion. My mother was Catholic and my father was an atheist. Religion was never pushed on me unless my parents needed a free babysitter for after school. I know I started to read about witchcraft when I was about eight years old. Around my late teens is when I found out about Wicca. The balance between the idea of a god and goddess and of nature itself made more sense to me than having one God who created everything. The thing that bothered me about some popular religions is that they tell you that God is everywhere, but you have to go to a church and talk to a priest or person of God to be able to talk to him or ask for forgiveness. I didn't see why I had to ask for forgiveness when it was my mistake, which made it mine to fix and forgive myself for that mistake. And I didn't see why I needed to go to a church to talk to my gods or be in good standing with them when I could speak to them and find their favor in my own home. I always respect people who believe what they believe, but it just didn't work for me.
While I focused on Wicca a lot when I was younger, as I matured, I realized it wasn't for me. While there are many different beliefs for Wicca, common ones involving spell work and worshiping deity, calling them down for ritual, just didn't suit me. I don't call upon Bastet and Seth for protection and strength, and I rarely call them into ritual. I make it a point to rarely ask for the gods' attention, something I picked up from a friend. Why bring attention to yourself from a higher being? When in stories and lore they just really toy with humans. Instead, the goddess Bastet and the god Seth have a home on my altar (when I am able to set it). I look to them and remember I have a fighting spirit and protect those I love, but I am still human. I will always be in a state of chaos but I will have knowledge and strength to go to battle.
This path that I have chosen is still unclear to me for I am not much of a planner. I'm more of a “let's see where this goes” person. I can say I never really knew what I was seeking, but I was willing to learn. Joining Circle of Fountains changed my life because it gave me direction.
I do hope to see you, readers and followers of Witchy Words, around for some more of the wonderful posts from the creator and some guest writers. I would also like to hear about some of how you guys found the path you are on, or what you're still searching for.
Andrea is a self-proclaimed lazy pagan and the Archivist for Circle of Fountains. If she isn't hanging with the circlemates, she is at home surrounded by her husband and five cats playing games or reading. She loves to make greeting cards and is skilled in paper crafting. You will always find her with her nook no matter where she goes.