Many Isis blessings to all the beautiful priestesses and priests of Isis and the other Divine Ones they serve who I had the privilege to play and pray with this past weekend at the Fellowship of Isis Convocation.
The Convocation is held annually at the Isis Oasis in Geyserville, California in early October. If you have never been to the Isis Oasis, you must go. It is quite simply amazing. It was so wonderful to see so many of my old friends and acquaintances, as well as meeting new ones.
Each year, the Convocation is dedicated to a specific Goddess; this year, She was Heqet, the Egyptian Frog Goddess. I led an offering ritual to Heqet and I thought I would post notes from my brief talk (really more of an introduction to the ritual) and the script from the ritual. Please feel free to share and enjoy!
Talking with the Frog Goddess
I admit that I didn’t feel much of a connection with Heqet at first blush. There really isn’t much about Her in the historical record—so there’s not much to go on and I knew Linda would dig out everything there is to find. So I decided to make my explorations of Her more of a more magical nature.
To learn about Her, I invoked Her.
The first thing that surprised me was that instead of the weak response I expected, I had a very strong response from Her. She came to me in vision in anthropomorphic form, as a woman with huge green eyes and pouty lips. Her strong thighs were prominent and She was slightly bow-legged. All Her features were froglike and individually strange, but they came together beautifully. She did have completely froggy feet and even that was working for Her.
I asked Her what She could tell me of Her Mysteries and here is what She said:
My Mystery is My ancientness.
I am the Star Frog. I am Moist Flesh Moving.
I am the Multiple One and My children are many.
I am the Flower of the Desert, for flower and frog are one.
And women are frogs in birth and in sex.
I am as quick as Light.
I am the Mystery of Swallowing and I eat Magic.
What first emerged from the Waters? My children—and they walked upright. You are the Children of the Frog
On another occasion, I asked Heqet what offerings were appropriate for Her and She said this:
I would receive song at night.
I would receive rain.
I would receive seeds and grains, even grains of sand.
I would receive cool water.
I would receive offerings of stars.
I would receive small morsels of meat.
I would receive mudcakes, wet and slapped by the hands of women.
There are several other associations with the Frog Goddess that you will see in the ritual we are about to do. One is transformation; the frog, growing from tadpole to mature frog in a series of very-different-looking stages, may be seen as a symbol of metamorphic change.
As Linda mentioned, since frogs came forth—seemingly reborn—from mud left on the earth when the waters of the Nile flood receded, they were also connected with rebirth as well as fertility. As a symbol of rebirth, both on earth and in the afterlife, the hieroglyph of the frog could be used to write the ritual phrase, “repeating life” or “living again,” which was written after the name of deceased persons: the “Osiris-So-and-So, Repeating Life.”
And finally, since many frogs are nocturnal, we may also associate frogs with the moon, itself a symbol of transformation.
The Rite of Heqet Hena I’ah (The Rite of the Frog Goddess & the Moon)
Introduction to the Rite: This afternoon, rather than listening to a talk, I suggest that we all do the talking—to the Goddess Heqet—in the form of an offering ritual for Her. I’ve put together an opening and a closing for our rite, but all of us will create the main body of the ritual—the offerings.
Here’s how this will work: we’ll break into four groups, one for Dark Moon, one for Waxing Moon, one for Full Moon, and one for Waning Moon. So let’s do this now.
Have people count off: Dark, Waxing, Full, Waning.
So let’s move the chairs to the side and make a circle. Waxing in the east, Full in the south, Waning in the west, and Dark in the north.
Our offerings will focus on rebirth, change, fertility—any of the associations with Heqet and the frog. But here’s the interesting part. Each offering should also be about transformation, as represented by the changes in the moon.
So those in the Dark Moon group will create an offering having to do with the transformation from Dark to Waxing. So their offering might be about emergence from the dark or the mud like the frogs, or other first beginnings. The Waxing group will work with the idea of change from Waxing to Full. So their offering might be about coming to fruition or growth. The Full Moon group will work with the transformation from Full to Waning; so the beginnings of dissolution or harvest. And the Waning group will work the change from Waning to Dark; perhaps death, perhaps some other like mystery. Everybody understand?
After we do the opening of the ritual, each group will have 20 minutes to create a 1 to 2 minute offering to Heqet. Then we’ll present those offerings and close the ritual.
Any questions? Then let’s get started.
All form large circle around the room; chairs placed as needed for those who prefer to sit. Altar placed in center of space, vessel for water placed upon altar. Vessel with water and water lilies placed on the east side of the altar. Card with speech for lunar representatives placed on four sides of the altar.
Priest/ess: We have come to make offering unto the Goddess Heqet, Ancient One, Deep One, She Who is the Mysterious Star Frog of Eternal Rebirth and Renewal, Whose moist-fleshed children sing each night to the silver moon.
Let us close our eyes and breathe together, in and out. Imagine yourself standing on the banks of the river Nile. It is evening and the moon is just rising on the belly of Nuet, the Sky Goddess, Full of Stars. The night is warm and comfortable. Our bare toes curl in the wet mud of the riverbank. The children of Heqet sing in the darkness. Their croaking is high-pitched and low, sweet and sad. Listen…
As you hear the night song of the frog chlldren, open yourself to the night. If you are in the Full Moon group, see the moon full above you. If you are in the Dark Moon group, see the black sphere of the moon, present but unilluminated. If you are in the Waxing or Waning group, see the Half Moon and know that the half moon was a very important time to the ancient Egyptians.
Breathe in the light and the darkness of the changing, transforming moon. Let it fill your heart…and fill your heart…and fill your heart, until it overflows, spilling into your entire body and when you can hold no more, let it flow out into our circle of offering.
And so have we cast our circle.
With the moon in our hearts and the song of the night in our ears, let us open our eyes. Endeavor to see that silvery moonlight shining in this temple as we purify and consecrate ourselves for this rite.
Let each moon group send one representative to the altar to aid in this purification and consecration. Confer with each other to select your priestess or priest.
Done. Each representative comes to the side of the altar nearest them. Priest/ess comes to altar to make sure all have what they need.
Purification & Consecration
Waxing Moon takes up the vessel of water, elevates it.
Waxing Moon: By the waters of Nile, let us be purified.
S/he passes it to Full Moon, who elevates it.
Full Moon: By the powers of the Moon, let us be purified.
S/he passes it to Waning Moon, who elevates it.
Waning Moon: By the song of the Night, let us be purified.
S/he passes it to Dark Moon, who elevates it.
Dark Moon: By the light of the Stars, let us be purified.
All touch the vessel as Dark Moon pours the water into the vessel on the altar. S/he puts empty vessel aside when done. Waxing Moon takes up lilies, gives one to each priest/ess, then elevates her or his lily.
Waxing Moon: By the breath of the sacred lily, let us be consecrated.
Full Moon elevates lily.
Full Moon: By the power that transforms bud to flower, let us be consecrated.
Waning Moon elevates lily.
Waning Moon: By the sweet-scented fire in the heart of the Goddess, let us be consecrated.
Dark Moon elevates lily.
Dark Moon: By the hidden root of all things, let us be consecrated.
They all place their lilies in the water. Full Moon takes up water vessel with lilies and brings it to each person. Other lunar priest/esses accompany her or him. All assist in the purification and consecration as desired as each person purifies and consecrates self.
All: (Chanting) Star Frog, Moon Mother prepare us for Your rites.
Invocation of Heqet
Priest/ess: Let the priest/esses replace the water and lilies upon the altar and return to their groups.
Priest/ess: Make yourselves comfortable for our invocation of Heqet. Be seated if you like. Perhaps imagine yourself seated on a lily pad floating in the Nile, the waters from which the Ancient Goddess Heqet first and always emerges and reemerges…
We invoke Her with Her holy name, for Her name itself is a croaking call: (demonstrating) He-ket, He-ket, He-ket.
Recall to mind how your heart is filled with the light of the moon and song of the night—and let the Waxing Moon call Heqet by croaking Her name four times!
Waxing: (Croaking) He-ket, He-ket, He-ket, He-ket!
Priest/ess: Let the Full Moon call Heqet!
Full: (Croaking) He-ket, He-ket, He-ket, He-ket!
Priest/ess: Let the Waning Moon call Heqet!
Waning: (Croaking) He-ket, He-ket, He-ket, He-ket!
Priest/ess: Let the Dark Moon call Heqet!
Dark: (Croaking) He-ket, He-ket, He-ket, He-ket!
Priest/ess: Let us together call Heqet by now vibrating Her name four times!
All: (Vibrating) HEQET. HEQET. HEQET. HEQET!
Priest/ess: (Invoking) Lady of the Moisture of Life, Heqet, we sing to you. Hear our voices, the voices of Your children and come to us. We hold in our heart the egg, the bud of our love for You. We let it open and blossom as we call Your name: HEQET!
Goddess of Emergence, come to us! All things are born in Your moisture, Goddess, and nothing is born dry! The dead call to You to bring Your cool water and to kiss them with Your moist tongue.
Yours is the stardust-mud that holds the seeds of life. Yours is the wet magic that binds all things together. You are the swallower of heka and You move between the worlds, quick as Light. The universe is held in the bottom of Your belly, O Mother of the Primordial, O Queen of Repeating Life.
As the flower blossoms, You are there!
As the creature is born, You are there!
As the Ka sees its twin, You are there!
As the heart opens, You are there!
As the mind expands, You are there!
As the soul knows its mother, You are there!
Heqet, Goddess! Be with us now and receive the offerings that we shall create for You. In the moonlight, in the night, we ask You, Heqet—to come and receive!
The Creation of Offerings
All break into groups to create a 1-2 minute ritual offering for Heqet. Allow 20 minutes for this.
The Presentation of Offerings
When all are ready, reform the circle as before. Present offerings starting with Dark, then Waxing, Full, and Waning. When this is complete, Priest/ess moves to center, takes up water vessel with lilies.
Priest/ess: As our final offering to Heqet, we offer cool water, which came from rain. We offer the moisture that the Goddess holds so dear.
Priest/ess moves to center of circle and motions for group to gather around.
Priest/ess: By the Magic of Heqet and by the magic of all the Deities we hold in our hearts, and by the magic of our own ability to bless and offer thanks, let us turn this cool water into even more sacred water, the sacred moisture that feeds the land and feeds us.
Gather close and bring your sistra if you have them.
Priest/ess: As we raise energy by the rattling of the sistra and the sound of our own voices, let us each speak blessings into the water. Let us speak what we will offer to Heqet in addition to the offerings we have already given. Touch the water, let your love flow into it—whatever seems the right way to add your blessings and thanks to Heqet.
All with sistra begin rattling them and begin to speak blessings into the vessel of water. This comes to a natural close. Priest/ess asks Loreon as Lady of the Land to choose where to pour out these blessings.
Priest/ess: As the steward of this holy land, Lady Loreon, will you lead us to the place where these blessings may be poured out upon the ground in the name of Heqet.
Loreon: I will.
All follow Loreon to wherever she leads. As the water is poured out, all vibrate softly.
All: (Vibrating softly) Ahhhhhh.
Priest/ess: O Heqet, accept our offerings of love and thankfulness. Be in peace, Heqet, be in peace. Let us all say together, “be in peace, Heqet, be in peace.”
All: Be in peace, Heqet, be in peace.
Priest/ess: Our offerings have been given and received. Our thanks have been poured out on the earth. Our blessings and farewells we give to You, Heqet, Beautiful Star Frog, Queen of Repeating Life, Whose children sing to the beautiful moon, be You blessed in peace.