No, this blog is not going away. No, I am not going away.
I sat for some ‘scorched earth’ divination last weekend, which was the first time in a long time—something like four years—that I have had extensive divination done on just about every aspect of my life, both mundane and spiritual. Over two days, my two fantastic and beloved diviners sat down for eight hours of divination for me and it was, by and large, pretty damn lovely. There was some hard stuff, as there always is, but it was surprisingly positive and cheery. This is notable, as these diviners have been reading for me for the last eight years and have had to deliver some really awful, horrid, and life-shattering news to me. It’s very nice when I don’t end up crying halfway through or walk away feeling like the Wyrd and the Gods have flushed me down a toilet to swim with the sewage.
Notably, this was the first time I had extensive divination on my relationship to and with Sekhmet. There are many reasons why I haven’t had anything more than a cursory look at how She and I relate, with the chiefest among them being that I have always, ALWAYS had something more intrusive to deal with and, frankly, She and I have not always seen eye to eye and, though I was certainly the one to maintain the hostility there, it certainly kept things terse for many, many years.
She tapped me maybe two years ago to give her a shrine, and I flat out told Her to go away because I was quite focused on the Mister and He was my priority in the moment. She did go away for maybe four months and then returned to demand that I build Her a shrine and I get started on it NOW.
So, I did. She has a small, very simple shrine in my home that has marginally satisfied Her. She would like bigger and would like some specific additions that I am considering, but it serves Her purposes, it seems, and mine, as it both honors Her and allows me to utilize Her shrine space as needed for Work…and, almost as soon as the shrine was built to Her satisfaction, the Work came. She downloaded a massive puja-style public ritual that She would like performed and noted that I should be doing a monthly shrine service for Her as Her priest since, you know, I was Her priest and all.
It was easier to just do the Work than to dig my heels in and spend valuable time and energy arguing with Her and detailing just how much I didn’t want to do shrine work. I began shrine services quietly and, while I advertised them a bit in the beginning, they became a private function for Her in a way that supported what I believe priestwork to be—focusing on bring a divinity more fully into this world and serving the communities near and dear to Them. As Her priest, Sekhmet came to me as the Protector of those who could not protect themselves. Specifically, She came as the Protector of women who had been abused, maligned, trafficked, and otherwise mistreated.
In this, She asked me for time given to Her people and this involved me going out and volunteering at a women’s shelter in my city and engaging homeless women who weren’t aware of the resources available to them. I’m grateful that She saw fit to send me to people with whom I already had experience professionally, as I would have fumbled around a lot more if I had not. This sounds like a fairly easy mission, but it was a significant act of sacrifice for me, as the only volunteer shifts open when I started doing Her work were the same shifts I work at my paycheck job. This meant that at least once a month I was either giving up a paying shift or turning down delectable overtime. Either way, it was money I could have really used, but sometimes the Work takes precedence.
As I went forward in these tasks for Her, She stepped back quite a bit and became very hands off. This bothered me a bit, as it was quite unusual for how we related to each other, but my plate has been very, very full and something occasionally slides off. My natural worry was that I had screwed something up, but I pointedly didn’t feed into that, as I didn’t have the time or energy to go on a truth-seeking mission.
However, when I went for divination, my relationship with Her was on the list of things that I needed my diviners to read on for me. I was incredibly nervous for them to do so because I was quite sure that I was going to get a face full of ‘priest, you done fucked up and it’s time to get with the program’. Fittingly, She was the last divinity that was read on, which is amusing given what I heard back.
Happily, She does not appear to be displeased with me nor did it come through that I have failed Her in some ways. In fact, I have done passably well by Her to the point where our arrangement in largely over with and She is now a part of my past as a spirit-worker and God-owned individual.
I had a jaw-drop moment when the diviner pronounced this, but it was like puzzle pieces fitting into place in that it made perfect goddamn sense. She is the divinity with Whom I have had the longest relationship with—She showed up first, put Her hand on my head, and said ‘time to learn to swim’ before throwing me in the pool eight years ago or so. She was the One Who tore my life apart to rebuild me into something and someone useful, Who opened my head, Who put me back together when I broke, Who taught me how to obey and be obedient even when I was absolutely furious with Her, Who gave me tools and structure in moving among the divinities, Who taught me grace under fire, and Who demanded that I stand up to Her and show my spine. She taught me how to be owned by a God and how to be a servant who, at the very least, did not offend or embarrass their betters by their very presence. Basically, She, as an implacable Task Mistress/Drill Sergeant/Overseer, took a formless lump of metal, hammered into into a vague shape, beat in some discipline, and handed it off to be made into whatever tool it’s Owner saw fit to shape it into.
And here I am.
The divination concerning Her ended at about 2AM and we all went to bed in some variance of exhausted. I spent quite a bit of time that night staring at the ceiling while the ‘holy shit’ carousel spun in my head. I’m glad I didn’t know any of this earlier or before She deemed us some sort of complete [my training and refinement will never, ever be finished] because it likely would have unfolded everything. I might have understood more of what was going on, but I don’t think Her lessons, guidance, and ass-kicking would have been internalized so well.
It seems that the last year of active priestwork has been part of working towards discharging my debt to Her. It will never be totally cleared, but doing something for Her certainly chips away at the interest incurred towards Her investment in me. She’s not disappearing at all—She very much wants Her shrine maintained as a way for me to remember Her and honor Her efforts in shaping me into something that could be molded further. I am happy to do this and will be futzing with the shrine when I can to make it a true reflection of the years we have spent together. I will remain Her priest, though the shrine services will be shelved for now and I won’t be actively seeking out opportunities to do Her work unless She asks for them or someone who is marked as one of Her people crosses my path. She isn’t going away and has, to the contrary, said that She will always be available to me when and if I need help of instruction but with the caveat that there is always a price and that I must be willing to pay it if I would have Her assistance. I’m okay with that—Her instruction and training has proven to be worth it’s weight in gold in the past eight years.
This is such a joyful thing for me in ways that are hard to describe. It puts a [permeable] cap on the last eight years and gives me a foundation to build on that is pretty earthquake-proof. It’s also nice to be regarded as somewhat useful, rather than a child with dirty hands who can’t be left alone for a moment, lest they break the good dishes and leave fingerprints on the wall. It also takes a lot of the nebulousness away, which is good for my head and my general sanity. If I have at least an idea of what Someone wants from me, I am much more likely to actually get it done, versus having Them just stare at me while I shrug my shoulders in Their general direction.
It also marks a cycle that has basically spread it’s tendrils among all my divine relationships, and it’s pretty exciting. Given that She was the first to throw me in the pool, it’s fitting that She is also the first to say ‘well, since you’ve learned to kick your feet in an acceptable manner, you don’t need this particular lifejacket anymore’.
Every time They see fit to talk to me or touch my life in any manner, I come away totally floored with how blessed I am, how lucky I have been, and how I don’t know how I can ever repay any of Them for Their care, oversight, and instruction. I truly live a life beyond what I ever had dreamed possible and, via Their poking, nudging, and outright shoves off the diving board, my feet have carried me here. Of course, I never would have known my feet could do that if She hadn’t demanded that I walk and carry my own weight.
Dua Sekhmet, Implacable Teacher!
Dua Sekhmet, Holy Devourer!
Dua Sekhmet, Protector of Those Who Cannot Protect Themselves!
Dua Sekhmet, Lady of Productive Plague!
Dua Sekhmet, She of Blind Justice!
Dua Sekhmet, Lady of Potential!
Dua Sekhmet, From Whose Muzzle Drips Blood of the Righteously Slaughtered!
May Your name reach the ears of every mortal. May You live forever in the shine of the brightest sun on the longest day during the hottest month. May You be always remembered and always praised.