Sekhmet & My Personal Healing Journey

This is a blog post that I wrote some months ago, but never got around to getting past the draft stage. While it is late, it is certainly better than never posting it at all.  My only hope is that someone might draw some hope and encouragement from my own story.

There comes a time in every healer’s life when we have to face challenges for our own health. While this is not something that I tend to discuss publicly on social media very much, it is something that I thought was important to discuss in relation to my work with Sekhmet as Her Priestess.  Facing a health challenge or crisis should never be seen as a “failure”.  Even  though some part of us, something within us will want to lay blame or say, “Well, if you were worth a damn as a healer, as a priestess, or whatever, you wouldn’t be going through this now!”

That notion is wholly and blatantly false. While life expectancies have certainly increased over time, we are now living in a toxic stew to the degree that we are now facing another mass extinction on the planet.  There are plenty of things out there to be paranoid about, lots of ways we really need to pay attention because there are those people and corporations who don’t give one bloody damn about the rest of us. The result is and has been more people – both children and adults suffering from a wide range of chronic diseases or illnesses that range from asthma to various forms of cancer.  It has gotten to the point that if you are someone who has no health issues whatsoever or an insurance company cannot say that you have “a pre-existing condition”, then you are a rare individual indeed.  It should come as no surprise that the insurance companies and the politicians on one side of the aisle would like to eliminate protections for those of us with one or more of those conditions so that the investor class makes more in profits than they have to pay out in health care costs.

A little more than a decade and a half ago, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer.  At the time of her diagnosis, she didn’t or rather wouldn’t accept it. I personally believe that she wasted a lot of precious time by being in denial about the seriousness of what was going on.  Nevermind that my maternal grandmother was also diagnosed with breast cancer and was able to beat it because they caught it very early and Grandma had an attitude to addressing things head-on.  My mother, on the other hand, got stuck between the first in a set of choices that  Susun Weed outlines in her book, “Breast Cancer? Breast Health!”  which was to “do nothing” and the second choice, which is to “gather information.”  My mother felt that if she both kept doing nothing and gathering as much information as possible, the reality of her disease would go away on its own.

Of course, it didn’t. In the fall of 2001, despite chemotherapy and radiation, she lost her battle with breast cancer after it had metastasized into her bones.

Now, almost a full 15  years after her passing,  I found a lump in my own breast.  I tried to make an appointment to get in as soon as possible with my physician as soon as I noticed it, but was put off by the scheduler as I had my regular physical coming up in four weeks.  Fast forward through those four weeks to the actual appointment, I was asked why I didn’t come in sooner.  I told my doctor that the receptionist had put me off.  She was not pleased, to say the very least.  For something like this, she told me, she would have made the time. Not once since her regular scheduler had been on vacation, had anyone been fit into her schedule.  My doctor wanted me to go straight to radiology which was in the same medical complex and have a mammogram done immediately.

To make a long story less painful to read, the mammography, an ultrasound, a biopsy, and MRI showed was that I had what is called DCIS or Ductal Carcinoma in Situ.  What it meant was that there were cells that were considered pre-cancerous and limited to one milk duct in my breast. The mass, however, was of considerable size and had been obscured by dense breast tissue, something that had been ongoing for me, and there was probably no way to just do a lumpectomy. I would probably end up losing at least my entire left breast.

The initial diagnosis, believe it or not, was the only time I allowed myself to cry about it. Why me? I have so much to do!  That emotion probably lasted a few hours. Next, I was damned determined I was going to beat this thing. I was not going to be like the woman who gave birth to me. So what if I lost a breast? They could do reconstruction right then and there in the same surgery.  Through the consultation processes, my doctors and I decided that because both my mother and grandmother had breast cancer, chances were I was probably someone who had a genetic mutation such as the BRCA gene that would put me at risk for other invasive cancers later in life much higher, that I would do a bilateral or double mastectomy with reconstruction.

I am happy to report that the final outcome was a good one. I got through breast cancer during the Covid-19 pandemic, and now, nearly five years later, I am cancer-free. I am grateful to the doctors and all who supported me in that journey, and especially for all the leaning that I had to do on the Netjeru, and Sekhmet in particular. She was always there for me. Even when I felt like I couldn’t make it through the process.  During that journey, I met other women who were going through the same thing as I had.  Some were older, and one, a very good friend, was going through the process in her mid-twenties! One thing that the experience and Sekhmet taught me was that even in adversity, we are all here to help each other as much as possible. We can be the vessel to bring the compassionate support each of us needs.



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Post-Eclipse Update

Sekhmet at the Museo Egizio, Torino, IT. Photo by Dr. Robinson Yost.

Now we are officially post-eclipse and life, for most of us, has begun to return to normal.

I know it has been a long time since I posted to this blog.  A lot of things have been happening since I posted last.  I’ve moved web hosting services, started a new business, Alchemia Magic,  and another current blog project, at RealWorldHomesteading. I have also begun teaching classes again at ReAlive Metaphysical Shop. This Saturday’s upcoming class is on Ancient Egyptian Religion and Magic, and you can bet that Sekhmet will be a big part of that. When showing an example of what a naos shrine is, I have a traveling statue of her that gives attendees just one of many ways

Among my additional projects is the Sekhmet book. I did a major overhaul of not merely spewing all that I know about her along with my research, but outlining some of the things that are in practice here at the homestead, Nekhen Iunen Sekhmet.

One of the things my editor reminded me of is that I need to keep the information, and especially Sekhmet Herself, accessible to those who may not have any clue who she is and maybe just getting started on their journey after feeling called by her. In my experience, Sekhmet comes to those who she chooses, and everyone’s story is different. However, no matter how someone comes to know Sekhmet, it is appropriate for that person and no judgment can ever be given.

Lioness Mother
Great Lady of Flame
Eye of Ra and Renewing Fire
Divine One we are jubilant at your return!
– NiankhSekhmet, 2024





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Di Nofret Wep Ronpet! Happy Kemetic New Year!

Depending on which day you celebrate the Helical Rising of Sirius – it is what we Kemetics note as Wep Ronpet, or our New Year.  Admittedly, I have waited a couple of days to write this, not because I needed to recover from a wild bout of celebrations but to contemplate what I want this new year to be.

Each of our years has a god of the year. For us, this god or Name of Netjer is Nefertem or Nefertum. Nefertum’s Name literally means The Perfected One.  After the trials and tribulations that we have been through in the last several years, we could use some of what Nefertum stands for in our lives!  Perhaps the idea of Nefertum being the ‘Perfected One’ is because of His parentage. He is born of Sekhmet and Ptah.  He represents the first sunlight or the First Time and is depicted of having risen from the lotus flower or blue water lily known as Nymphaea caerulea. This particular flower also referred to as seshen, was central to ancient Egyptian beliefs and held great cultural significance. The scent of a true lotus flower is said to be rejuvenating and restorative to the senses and sexuality. Sometimes Nefertum is shown in leonine form.

One myth involving Nefertum is that when the Great God Ra was growing older, it was Nefertum who would bring him a lotus flower to cheer Him and to ease His suffering.  Because of His connection to the Goddess Bast, Who is sometimes depicted as His mother, Nevertum is often referred to as the God of Perfume. As the Son of Sekhmet, Nefertum is considered a god of healing, and as the Son of Ptah, who is one of the Creator deities, He is connected to each new day.

May Nefertum help us to see the beauty of each day. Dua Nefertum! Di nofret wep ronpet! Nekhtet!



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The Fifth Epagomenal Day of Wep Ronpet: Nebt-Het’s Day

We have now come to the last of the Epigomenal Days of Wep Ronpet and the celebration of the birth of the youngest child born of Nut and Geb – Nebt-Het or Nephthys . Her Name literally means ‘Lady of the House’, and She, like Her sister, Aset, is a Lady of Great Magic. Since about the Fifth Dynasty, Nebt-Het was called the Helpful Lady or Most Excellent Goddess. In some cosmologies, Nebtj-Het was paired with Set, while in others She was the wife of Yinepu (Anpu)  or Anubis. Nebt-Het and Aset are perhaps best known for proceeding over funerary rite, such as when Wasir (Osiris) died and became the Lord of the Field of Reeds.. Because of this association, this Goddess is known to be of particular comfort to the deceased and those who survive them.

Let us celebrate Great Nebt-Het on this Her Birthday! Dua Nebt-Het! Nekhtet!

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The Fourth Epigomenal Day of Wep Ronpet: Aset’s Day

Today marks the day that we celebrate the birth of the Goddess Aset (Isis, Ast, or Iset). Of all the Egyptian gods and goddesses, Aset, the Mistress of Magic, or She of the 10,000  Names, is probably the best known throughout the world. Although Her worship began in ancient Egypt, it spread throughout the Greek and Roman world and traveled throughout the empire. Aspects of Aset’s worship can be seen even in Christianity.

May the magic and protection of Aset be with us on this Her birthday. Dua Aset! Nekhtet!

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The Third Epigomenal Day of Wep Ronpet: Set’s Day

We have now entered the third Epigomenal Day of the Kemetic calendar leading up to Wep Ronpet, or Egyptian New Year. Also known as Seth or Sutekh, Set is the god of Storms and of the Red Lands or desert regions of Egypt.

Set is often erroneously confused with the Christian ‘Devil’ and the Greek god, Typhon. Both of these notions sell Him quite short in terms of His importance to the continuation of the protection and security of Kemet and its kingship.

Make no mistake, Set is one of the most powerful of the Netjeru; in fact, He is credited with being the only Name of Netjer strong enough to stand in the prow of the Barque of Ra and slay the Uncreated One with His spear so that Ra may continue to rise and Creation can continue.  Some Kemetics, like myself, will pause seeing the red in a sunrise, appearing like blood upon the watery Nun and thank him for slaying the Apep serpent.

May Set ever lend us His strength and protection in the coming year! Dua Set! Nekhtet!



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The Second of the Epagomenal Days of Wep Ronpet: Heru-Wer

Today marks the Second Epagomenal Day in the Kemetic Calendar, the birthday of the Egyptian deity known as Heru-Wer,, Horus the Elder or Horus the Great. (Not to be confused with Heru Sa Aset, otherwise known as Horus the son of Isis, or Horus the younger.)

There are several different Herus or Horuses, because the Egyptian word for ‘falcon’ is literally Hrw. The Ptolemaic Greeks later transformed His name into Haroeris, which later evolved into the current name of Horus, whenever they see a falcon-headed god.  Suffice it to say there are many, many falcon gods in Kemetic belief; however, we celebrate the birthday of Heru-Wer every year at this time.

So without further ado, we say, Dua Heru-Wer (Horus the Elder) on this His Birthday!

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First of the Epagomenal Days of Wep Ronpet: Wasir’s Day

We are now entering Wep Ronpet (Kemetic New Year) celebrations with the first of the epagomenal days. Today marks the first day leading up to what we Kemetics call Wep Ronpet or the Ancient Egyptian New Year. This is the day, according to the Egyptian faith, that is the birthday of the first of the Netjeru, Wasir, or Osiris.

What is Wep Ronpet?

It’s the time of the year we often refer to as the Epagomenal or Non-Days, when the people anxiously await each god to be born of Nut. There are five days altogether that mark the helical rising of Sirius, which is referred to as Sopdet in Egyptian.

Osiris, who is mostly known as the Lord of the Dead,  is also believed to have lived among mankind. After Wasir is killed by His Brother, Set, He descended into the Underworld.  When we pass from this realm of existence into the Duat, the Field of Reeds, Aaru, otherwise known as the Underworld, we hope that we will be reunited with Wasir and our akhu or ancestors in the Beautiful West.

In the meantime, during this path we tread in order to get to Wep Ronpet, we offer grateful praise on this day that belongs to Him!

Dua Wasir! Nekhtet!!

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Renovations and Record High Temps

This is the kind of post that I would normally put on, but I decided to crosspost it here.

2023 has turned out to be one of the hottest and driest here in Eastern Iowa. In what we refer to as The Enchanted Forest, everything looks healthy, but I can tell by what’s going on in my garden that this year has not been normal. Admittedly, I was late getting my garden in this year, and things are more slow and steady as a result.

Before the latest heat wave that took us into the 90s, this past week, I moved a 10-foot-tall cabinet in my garage from one corner to the other corner diagonal to it so we could install an extension to our garage entry door stoop. Demolition of the cabinet took me a couple of days, and I had to label each piece and its position so it could be reassembled later.

Once the cabinet and its frame were out of there, with the help of our friend Mark, we built the extension. It really is all about having the right materials and tools; we were able to do that portion of the renovation in about two hours. The results so far have been amazing.

I think we are going to lie low for the next few days. The temperatures are set to go even higher, and there will be humidity to boot. The next project will be to tile the kitchen table in Mexican Talavera tile. We already did that to our counters, and really love the feel of the tile. It was altogether fun to do.

In the spring, we stripped off the Formica on our kitchen countertops and replaced them with Mexican Talavera tile. Admittedly, I had bought a huge box of Mexican Talavera Tile from Direct From Mexico via Amazon during the winter months and I can tell you, my spouse and I were chomping at the bit to get started on it!

Initially, I had wanted to do wood countertops, using some beautiful old 12″ wide boards that were 15 feet long and came out of an old hardware store built in the 1860s. The patina on those boards is absolutely beautiful; there is no doubt about that!  Unfortunately, however, after doing a whole lot of research, I found that wood countertops are not easy to execute, nor are they easy to keep clean, sanitary, or in shape because of their constant exposure to the rigors of kitchen use. It would have been a whole lot of work, so when I saw the Talavera tile on offer, I knew that was the way to go. Needless to say, my spouse enthusiastically agreed.

We had stripped off Formica before in our two bathrooms so we could tile those as well.  That process was much easier because the glue on those counters was not nearly as heavy.  For the kitchen counter, we needed not only a hammer and a chisel but also a heat gun to soften up the glue beneath the Formica.  The kitchen counters took a couple of days to strip off entirely.

After the Formica was gone, the counter was sanded, and we added a sealant to the top we spent DAYS  belaboring  potential tile arrangements.  After we decided on a pattern, we applied the thin-set mortar and carefully arranged the tiles according to the reference numbers we taped on each one.

The first section was the small two-foot-wide cabinet on the right side of the stove and against the wall. It was a way to test the strength of the countertop under the weight of the tile, grout, and the bullnose tile that served as the outer edge of the counters.  We were pleasantly surprised at how well it looked. There was no buckling, and it had an energy to it that almost begged to be fondled!

The next two phases were a little trickier. One was a length of counter space that ran from the refrigerator to one corner along the west wall. It was wider than the short piece by the stove and the length along the north wall to and around the sink. We pretty much had it mapped out as to what tiles were going to go where. The blue bullnose tile that serves as the edging around the countertop was a given, as was the single row of assorted tiles that served as a backsplash. How to finish the back edge we hadn’t figured out yet.

In the end, we went with a rounded 2″ x 4″ tile and put them in place. It still didn’t look quite right until we found some color-matched caulk and ran it along the upper edge of the backsplash and edging.

It looked so gorgeous; it was almost excruciating to have to wait to start using the kitchen as a kitchen again!  We had been relying on takeout sushi, burgers, and whatever we could put in the microwave or air fryer for our meals. Thankfully, we have a second sink in the basement that serves as the apothecary, which we can wash dishes in.

Once it was completely set and dry, we were able to move the regular fixtures in the kitchen back in place. We now had so much more work space because we really just did not want to clutter up our new counter! Anytime there is a spill or even a water spot, there is an intense desire to wipe it down immediately so you can see all that beauty. Admittedly, the solid tiles, especially the cobalt blue, show spots the most. The patterned tiles are less likely to show them.

The Table / Kitchen Island

About 10 years ago, I purchased a counter-height table for our kitchen for around $100. Even then, that was definitely a steal. It was made of blonde wood and had a pull-out leaf on either side. I did it for a few reasons. When making bread or prepping meals, nothing beats having a surface that is the same height as a kitchen counter rather than having to lean over a conventional height kitchen table. Trust me, the latter can be a real killer for your back. One of the other reasons is that we have had a series of dogs, some of which are rambunxious enough to have climbed on past tables that were of traditional height. I really was not fond of having to order our canine family members to get off the table! The counter height table, along with no chairs around it, seemed to have solved that issue.

Above is an initial layout pattern and by no means final. We still have to attach a sheet of concrete backer board to protect it from moisture and to better adhere the tile. That will add a bit of weight, but it is steel-reinforced underneath, so I think it can take it.

We don’t have AC or central air in our house, so we are just waiting on the current heat wave to break so we can start up working on it again.

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New Host, Renewed Blogging

Thanks to the help of my dear friend and web developer, Shayne at CatchThis! I have moved my blog from WordPress dot com to a new place on the interwebs that lets me avoid the dreaded block editor that they have inflicted on everyone. If you don’t want to do the same, you can, of course, go back to the Classic editor that we all know and love for just $321 per year.

Not being one of the wealthy “business” bloggers out there who have successfully monetized all of their content, I decided to spend a little bit less, get the classic editor back, and regain my sense of sanity.

I used the block editor with a local metaphysical store that I was blogging for when they were hosted on Wix. Needless to say, I hated it, and it gave me fits.  The good part is that Shayne also helped the metaphysical shop and my own business website,  and no one has to deal with crappy, dumbed-down website editors anymore. It has been a win all the way around.

I had several reasons for dusting off this blog. One of those reasons is that I am going to be publishing a book that a certain metaphysical publisher had expressed initial interest in, but they have been sitting on the chapters and proposal for more than a year now. In all honesty,  I just don’t have the time to play the publisher’s waiting game.  I have published enough stuff on my own for clients for the past ten years that I am going to give it a go without being strung along.  Many have done it before me. I am not so vain as to think I need an advance and a big publisher behind me. The world has changed quite a bit over the last few years.

As with anything, I am still working the kinks out and tweaking the site for the best performance.  Would you believe that I have had to delete 70+ spam comments from my ‘About’ section already? Thankfully I manually moderate all comments, but that much spam in 24 hours seems a bit over the top.

There will be more coming as I get back on the blogging horse once again.

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