Staying in Touch

I talk to Sekhmet daily.  I talk to Her several times a day even.  I often ask for Her help, sing Her praises, or desperately entreat Her help for a loved one or friend who needs healing.  The thing is, She doesn’t always talk back.  She often doesn’t talk back.  How do I know She is listening?  Is it possible that She may not be?

These are things I ponder when I read of some folk’s interactions with Netjer.  I wonder at those who have a best friends kind of relationship with the Divine.  What are they doing that I am not?  Am I listening hard enough for my Mother?  Maybe She doesn’t have an opinion about the things I eat and do on a daily basis.  Perhaps the things on TV don’t interest Her.  I am not sure.

The thing I do know is that Sekhmet does listen to me.  When She has something to say, She says it in Her own way and time.  It may not be immediately obvious, but if it is something I need to know, need to see, eventually it will be revealed.  And when I am actively listening, at the right time, and in the right space, I will hear that voice in my head that I know is not me.

Healing and the Healer

We have heard the phrase “Physician, heal thyself.”  It comes from a passage in the Bible, and though I am not a Christian, the phrase has meaning for me and all the other healers out there.  When I speak of healers, I am not just speaking of doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers, I am addressing all of us who care for others and work to heal them in small ways and big.  Be it a bowl a chicken soup from a mother to her son with kisses, or a man bringing roses to the sweetheart he inadvertently hurt, we all have a role in healing.  The most important part of healing though is self healing.

Often we as modern people work tirelessly at our careers, homes, schools, and churches.  We give and give of ourselves, and in this giving, we both gain and lose.  We gain housing, food, our bills paid, and more.  But we lose sleep, we worry, we stress, and sometimes we lose a bit of our energy and souls.  More frequently we lose a lot of energy and our health suffers.  But we can’t let go of those responsibilities that drive our daily activities.  Our husbands, wives, sons, daughters, and other family depend on us.  We cannot let them down.  How do we do the things that need to be done and still save some energy for ourselves?  That is the thing I am personally trying to figure out.

The last six months have been tough for me.  I have suffered from depression and anxiety for over ten years, and for the most part it has been manageable.  There are times though that one or the other, sometimes both, get the best of me.  It is then that I withdraw into myself.  I go into that protected place where the outside world has less effect, and I can rest a bit.  But during that time, things I have enjoyed pass me by.  I watch others interact and have a connection that I am unable to maintain because of my difficulties.  I am just coming out of one of these periods of withdrawal and reaching out to reconnect with my brothers and sisters of the faith.  I hate it when I am withdrawn.  My kids and husband get what they need from me, but all those extra things that make life fun have been too challenging for me to manage.  My son Gavin is in kindergarten.  At the start of the school year, I told myself I was going to volunteer in his class whenever I could, go the extra mile to get to all the birthday parties and events.  I haven’t though, and now that the school year is almost over I regret it.  What can I do to make it up to myself and to him?  I don’t know yet, but I will.

Everyone needs healing, and the healers most of all.  As an RN I give my time and energy to the tiny patients I care for in my capacity as a NICU nurse.  I don’t only care for them though, I care for their families.  I offer comfort and guidance in times of turmoil and stress, often masking my own feelings, and sometimes letting them show depending on the situation and the needs of the family.  It is hard.  I have been doing it for seventeen years of my life.  This past December I lost a primary.  In primary care nursing, one nurse is responsible for the total care of a certain patient.  That patient is the one we have every time we come to work.  We form bonds with the family and try to educate and guide them through the process of growing a premie and getting them out of the NICU.  There are so many complications that can happen though, some are preventable, and some are not.  In December, one of those complications claimed the life of the little boy I took care of and loved.  Though I have seen death, and cleaned up after him before, this death affected me badly.  It was so unfair! Many doctors and specialists had tried to find ways to heal him, but it was for naught.  It was my very last night of working night shift, and I was the one who had to be there when the life support was removed.  I was the one who cried alongside his parents and watched his little life slip away.  I was the one who gave him morphine to ease his dying pain.  It took a while.  Death is not always quick, and during the last hours and minutes of his life, something inside me broke.  I bawled and cried and suffered.  When it was done, I took his little body, cleaned him up, dressed him, and took pictures to make memories for his family.  I was a nurse doing my job.  I got through the night and went home.  I still haven’t quite gotten over him.

It is now time for self healing.  I know I cannot give anymore without being healed myself.  I have started the process of professional counselling.  It isn’t only for this heartache, but for all the stress and issues in my life, past and present.  I need to get back to being me, being whole and happy.  I know it may take some time to get there, but I am well on my way.

Healing ourselves is a topic I will continue to explore and write about.  I encourage you all out there to look at yourselves and realize that you too need healing, especially if you have the responsibility of caring for others.  When you are whole and strong mentally, physically, and emotionally you will be better able to give others what they need, and they in turn will give you what you need.  May Mother Sekhmet guide us all in our healing process.  Dua Sekhmet!

The healing shrine

In my personal devotion to Sekhmet, I keep a healing shrine.  It has a few items such as candles, statues, and incense.  It also has a small book that I keep to write the names of those who request prayers either on the HON boards or privately.  I regularly pray to Sekhmet and the Netjeru for healing for all those who need it.

The healing shrine will be updated soon.  I continue to research magic, medicine, and the Faith and how the spiritual aspects of medicine contribute to our healing.  I am a member of the American Holistic Nurses Association and the mind-body-spirit connection is a keen interest of mine.  I hope to find more ways to strengthen faith and healing, especially in conjunction with the Greatest Healer, Sekhmet.

http://www.ahna.org/

 

Absolution

Absolution.  Dictionary.com provides this definition:  a freeing from blame or guilt; release from consequences, obligations, or penalties.

What does it mean for us?  Part of healing spiritually and emotionally is self-forgiveness.  Forgiving oneself of any perceived shortcomings, promises broken, or mistakes made is an integral part of the healing journey.  Many of us spend untold hours of grief agonizing over what could have been, things that should have been said or done, even knowing that unforeseen circumstances may have been at play.  Anxiety, distorted perceptions, and anguish hold us back from forgiving ourselves and others.

In Her healing ceremony this year, Sekhmet gave us absolution.  She said we are free from blame, but we are not absolved if we do not forgive ourselves.  Sekhmet, the embodiment of Divine Justice and Vengeance, freed us and remitted punishment from those things we’ve done wrong.  For Catholics that receive absolution from a priest (and they only receive it from priests) forgiveness is inherent.  Forgiveness does not automatically mean punishment will be canceled, but with absolution, forgiveness is given and punishment is gone.  It makes no sense to beat up on yourself (thereby furthering punishment) if you don’t forgive yourself.  Netjer, in the form of Sekhmet, has pardoned us.  Isn’t it time we pardon ourselves?

Two of the Declarations of Innocence can be meditated upon with regard to this topic.  Per The Ancient Egyptian Prayerbook by Tamara Siuda, our Nisut (AUS):

10. Hail Bright-Flame, coming forth from Ptah’s temple in Mennefer, I do not dislike myself.  13.  Hail Bast, coming forth from the shrine, I do not eat my heart.

 It is time to let go of those negative thoughts and feelings that hurt us and hold us back from advancing on our healing journey.  I know it’s hard.  We all do it.  But this is the year of Ptah, the builder.  How can we build something wondrous and grand when our foundation is cracked?  Let us all begin this Zep Tepi with acceptance of Sekhmet’s absolution, let us restore our foundations beginning with ourselves.  I pray we can all find peace and healing.

Lady of Red Linen

Sekhmet-Hethert is my Mother, and the great Lady of Healing.  This is my first blog entry dedicated to her in all her various guises.  My focus for now is on her power to heal and renew the people.  I am by no means an expert on Sekhmet.  This is a learning and growth phase for me, a time of building.  Ptah, God of the Year in Kemetic Orthodoxy, is Sekhmet’s husband.  I think it is a fitting time to explore and learn about the Mennefer Triad (Sekhmet, Ptah, and Nefertem).  I have heard that this year will be a good one, and I look forward to seeing what will become.
 
Red is my Mother’s color.  It is the color of blood.  Red symbolizes power, strength and life.  It also symbolizes death, as in the loss of blood.  Red is the color of the deshret, the Red Land, the desert that surrounded Kemet, the Black Land.  The rising and setting sun appear to be red.  As the Eye of Ra, Sekhmet emerges victorious over her foes, her dress stained red with their blood.  Life, victory, anger and fire… my Mother has it all.
 
Sekhmet is the Lady of Terror, and also the Lady of Life.  Priests of Sekhmet were physicians and healers.  Magic, medicine, and prayers were interwoven.  We know so much more today about medicine and healing than did the ancients.  But there is still that spiritual component to medicine, the belief and the hope of healing, that helps us get through the times when we are desperate and scared.  It is my duty as daughter of Sekhmet to help and to heal wherever I can.  Three of Sekhmet’s children were given a gift this year.  We were given healing power to help our people.  I pray that I can use this gift in the best manner possible to aid my brothers and sisters in the faith.  I am here if you need me.  I am here to listen and help if I can.  May Netjer guide and bless us all.  Dua Sekhmet!