“Khnumness” returns

Khnumness is what I call the feeling you get when Khnum is tapping on your shoulder, namely when He wants you to do something. It’s not an ominous sensation or an imposing one, though it will stick to you until you get things done. At a Kemetic forum, someone once described Khnum as a sort of ancient and deep lake, serene but very present, and that’s a bit what “khnumness” is: it kind of peacefully occupies mental space, but in a way that makes you know that it’s there. There’s a certain humming quality to it.

The first time I felt it was several months ago, after I finished a clay statue of Saturn and started having memories of an Egyptian god I’d read about online some years before. The feeling only stopped when I did another statue, that of Khnum, which now stands at a small shelf I turned into a basic shrine to Him. After I finished it, did my first offerings, and gave my clay working tools to Khnum, keeping them by His statue, the khnumness ended. I got the impression that the god had stepped back, probably because I’d done something He wanted or at least something He enjoyed. At the time, part of the experience was recorded in this blog post.

Almost a year since I first felt it, the feeling is back. Again, it may be just me, of course, which is what I thought at first. I’ve been having a need to make a beads’ necklace, partly because I tend to think better if I’m working something with my hands. A rock or a coin have been the usual objects, but I once had a string of amber stones that did the trick. At some point, I took the opportunity to buy a few ceramic beads and do a necklace to which I could attach the metal ankh that now stands at Khnum’s lap (or rather my statue of Him). It was one of my original ideas, but then the clay statue seemed to have done the trick. The whole thing may have triggered back a sense of closeness to the god. Or it may have drawn His attention again and He may be telling me something.

The answer may have come last night, when the khnumness led me to yet again research on Him online. I came across Sannion’s Live Journal, namely this post on the festivals of Neos Alexandria. It’s from 2007, so I’m not sure how updated or accurate it is. It includes a Feast of Khnum that’s also called “The Potter’s Wheel”, celebrating His work as a potter. The date is the 18th of the Phaophi, which would correspond to different days in the modern Gregorian calendar, since the ancient Egyptian one was apparently determined by the rising of the Sirius star and the flooding of the Nile. In other words, from our perspective, months tended to move around, but the calendar was eventually reformed and, under Emperor Octavian, correspondence with Roman time-reckoning made easier. Modern Coptic Christians still use a reformed version of the ancient Egyptian calendar, which is what I found here. And, according to it, the 18th of the Phaophi/Paopi falls on the 29th of October. The Neos Alexandria calendar has a slightly different equivalence, with the day falling on the 22nd of October. In any case, it’s about a month from now.

So maybe Khnum is telling me He wants to me to do something for Him on the Feast of the Potter’s Wheel, which seems appropriate, since pottery is what brought us together. I’ll add one of the two possible dates to my calendar and keep it has an annual festival in His honour. And, in about a month, I’ll be adorning Khnum’s statue with a beads’ necklace and do small clay images to offer Him, as suggested by Sannion in the aforementioned link. We’ll see if the khnumness stops then.

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