Category Archives: 30 Day Talisman Challenge

Sekhem Talisman: Day 4 – 7

I shall not surrender me to any bad misfortune this year.
For I am Ra, who appears in his Eye!
I have arisen as Sekhmet, I have arisen as Wadjet.
For I am Atum behind his heads.
I am Atum who sojourns in the Two Lands
I am Sekhmet in the temple, the Lord of Mankind who made the gods, the Lord of Slaughtering who created respect for Ra.
For I am that Powerful One , lofty and high!

A portion of an amulet ritual, which comes from “Ancient Egyptian Magical Texts” by J.F. Borghouts, p. 13, E.J. Brill, 1978

These past few days we have been gripped by what meteorologists have termed a polar vortex. With windchill factors of more than 5-50 degrees below zero, it is easy to imagine why! This incredible cold has made it rather difficult to continue to work in the usual household shrine space simply because that part of the house is just so cold. I am working more in my bedroom now because it is currently the warmest room of the house.

The Sekhem amulet on the altar with The Chariot Card from the Voyager Tarot

The Sekhem amulet on the altar with The Chariot Card from the Voyager Tarot

One of the things I wanted to do with this rite is to connect to the numerology of this particular year overall, not just for my own personal birthdate. The focus is on overall sekhem and Ma’at and not just necessarily for me as an individual. There is a greater thought toward a collective goal that I am working on and I wanted to put that intent into my amulet as well.

If you take the Julian number of the year, 2014, it becomes a 7 when reduced in numerlogical terms. For me, that corresponds to the Chariot Card VII, in the Tarot. My personal favourite deck, and the one that I work with almost exclusively, is the Voyager Tarot, created by Dr. James Wanless as seen in my photograph.

The Seven and the Chariot have been rather appropriate for this exercise and this talisman in that seven comes up continually in Egyptian rtual and especially with Sekhmet. Sekhmet has Seven Arrows, which were often blamed for various illnesses or misfortunes sent by Her. Of course, this is not my focus for this project, it does bear some contemplation as to how the Seven Arrows tie in to illness, health and of course, Ma’at.

Personal Note:

Because I tend to be extremely private as far as my own personal religious and magical practices, this entire 30 Day Challenge has been a real stretch for me. Perhaps it comes back to the Kemetic ideal that other than State Rites, your religous, daily practices are your own and between you and the gods that you serve. No one can dicatate that; it has to come from within. there is a certain point that you reach in your life where religious devotion, magic, and focus become very much something that is personal and by necessity, it can be extremely private. 30 day challenges to stretch yourself and your focus are wonderful, however, I find myself asking if this would hold up to what we writers called the WIBBOW test: Wouldn’t I Be Better Off Writing? At this point, with a book nearing completion, I am beginning to lean toward, “Yes.”

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Sekhem Talisman Day #3

My Sekhem pendant is about about the size of a set of dog tags; which makes it only slightly smaller than a license plate! Don’t get me wrong; I absolutely love it! Aidan made a beautiful piece that I wear daily, and happily so. It is the one that he made that I have posted pictures of in earlier entries rather than the one that I am working with for this 30 day challenge project. The current sekhem pendant is the second one that I have commissioned from a silversmith that was made to my own specifications.

The first pendant, by contrast, is very delicate and is a 3D miniature of the actual object rather than the glyph inside a cartouche.

sekhem pendant #1

Sekhem Pendant made by Michael Holland

The problem is, right now, that particular piece has got a very distinct stress point where the baton portion of the scepter meets the lutus-shaped base of the sekhem flabellum and the slightest pressure on it will cause it to bend. I know that it would break if I were to dare to wear it before it is fixed. Ultimately, it was damaged because I very stupidly slept with it on for the entire summer. Most jewelry isn’t meant for that kind of abuse – especially not fine, highly pure silver that has very slender parts to begin with! So, now I have to send it to a place that specializes in a sort of laser repair. There is one “locally.” eg. somewhere here in Iowa, but I am more inclined to send it back to the silversmith in Montana, Michael Holland, whom I originally commissioned it from to see what he can do.

This little dilemma between the two Sekhem’s actually got me to thinking about subtle power and not so subtle power and the comfort levels of each. Subtle power is not so noticible whereas, overt power tends to be out there and often get attention. As such, it can make the wielder of that more overt type of power at times feel a bit self-conscious about it. Learning how to deal with that difference can be a bit of a task. Sometimes, speaking from experience, being the less overt bit of power behind something has its advantages because there is great power, great sekhem in being underestimated. Either one has its place and it’s that which was my focus on this day.

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Sekhem Talisman – Day #2

Nefertari making offerings

Nefertari from her tomb in the Valley of the Queens, Egypt

Yesterday marked the second day of rituals that I will be performing around the Sekhem amulet / talisman created by Aidan Watcher for the 30 Day Talisman Challenge as posted by Andrieh Vitimus.

The daily rite was performed with the usual purifications and invocations. Because I had an intensely busy day, after the purifications and invocations, I began to set the focus on being what Sekhem means. I spent most of the day meditating on this idea and what the symbol and the actual concept means for me as an individual in my own life and what it means on a larger, global scale. There are far too many ways in which power, both personal and on a larger scale is misused. With power or sekhem comes a great deal of responsibility. Each choice we make, each action we choose has within it the idea of sekhem. Those of us who are Kemetic often know that the cornerstone, indeed the foundation of all of this is the idea of ma’at.

Perhaps the largest focus for me is overcoming the element of fear. That may be something that one would believe that a daughter of Sekhmet would not have but I can assure you, at times we do; just like everyone else!During the meditation it became quite apparent to me that even a seeming weakness, however, can ultimately lead to strength in that area or another one that compensates. Sometimes fear can be a phantom and what is perceived is not real at all. The power or the sekhem in this is knowing what is real, or what is Ma’at and not. Since Sekhmet, the personification of what Sekhem actually is, upholds Ma’at or rightness – order, it seemed more than a little appropriate that differentiation and discernment would be a part of that process.

Later today I will post for Day 3 of the rites in this challenge.

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30 Day Talisman Challenge – Sekhem Talisman – Day 1

Since my practices are Kemetic (Ancient Egyptian), we tend to do our rituals a little differently. I decided to actually start the consecration of the amulet today, as the year turns from 2013 to 2014 and when the Moon is New. For this specific ritual as I do most times, I am working with Sekhmet, who is my Spiritual Mother, and also the God Amun.

My entry into the 30 Day Talisman Challenge is working with a pendant that I did not create, but rather worked with jewelry smith and magician, Aidan Watcher. I helped design the piece and my friend who is an extraordinary craftsman made the pendant is of solid silver. The symbol at the centre of the cartouche is Gardiner Sign S42 and represents a baton or scepter that was in use since the Third Dynasty in Egypt known as the Sekhem. Sekhem is the root word for the Goddess Sekhmet, which literally means ‘Power’ or ‘Might’. Sekhmet is known as ‘She of Might’ or ‘The Powerful One’.

The first part of the ritual consecration begins as all Kemetic rituals do – first with purification of the body and of the mouth with water and natron so that the words of power or heka when spoken are also true coming from a mouth and a person who has been suitably and ritually purified. Then is added light, incense and sound.

Each day that I do the rite, there will be heka spoken over the Sekhem pendant will underscore the authority that it as a symbol confers. The amulet is worn during that day, meditating on each point during the course of the day, At night the amulet is removed and left in the shrine with icons of the Goddess Sekhmet, an icon of the God Amun, and a third icon of the Goddess Ma’at. Each have specific significance to the rite and are instrumental in the consecration rites. A 7 day candle burns before the shrine at night, while during the day wen the amulet is worn and the sun is shining, the shrine doors are closed.naos1a

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