Potters’ day

As mentioned in this post, I planned a feast day for Khnum for this month, either on the 22nd or the 29th. Having chosen the latter, yesterday was largely dedicated to Him. I laid part of my breakfast in His shrine as an offering to Khnum and later consumed it entirely, as prescribed by Egyptian tradition. The thing about being a Roman polytheist is that not only do you recognize divinity outside your native pantheon, but you also assume the need to respect each god’s orthopraxy.

Once the first meal of the day was over, I started doing clay figures. I made two rams with the traditional horizontal horns, one for Khnum and another one to be shared with Him. The former was eventually left by a river bank, so as to “melt” back into the waver and river bed. It’s a symbolic sacrifice to Khnum: He’s a divine potter, so making a clay statue is in itself an act that honours Him; but because He’s also a water god, there’s added devotional value in giving that statue to a river for it to absorb it. There’s a sense of going full circle: clay is taken from the limes of the aquatic realm, worked, and then given back as an offering to a deity that presides over the origin and working process of the raw material. As for the second ram statue, I’ll keep it in Khnum’s shrine.

Once I was back home, I made further offerings of food and some bead work, part of which also as an offering to Khnum, and placed the second ram close to His statue, where it will dry until I can paint it. It was a fulfilling day and hopefully pleasing to the god. At least the “khnumness” has subsided and the 29th of October has made it into my religious calendar.

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