With New Year’s fast approaching I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the Kemetic New Year, which takes place right around the beginning of August by secular calendar. It’s called Wep Ronpet, and we celebrate the birthdays of Wesir, Set, Heru-wer, Aset, and Nebt-het. They are the children of Nut and Geb, who were born on the five days that exist outside of the year because Ra decreed that She could never have children on any day of the year because he did not want his earthly throne to be usurped.
Because Djehuty loved Nut, he promised to help Her and He subsequently made a bet with Khonsu, a moon god, and won. His prize was enough light to create five days that didn’t exist within the regular year (which is why the moon disappears each month!) and it is during those days that Nut was able to bear Her children.
Wep Ronpet is a celebration of new beginnings, what we call Zep Tepi, and a restoration of cosmic balance. It is the biggest event within Kemetic Orthodox, and as such there is a Retreat where the children of Netjer gather for the five days and perform heka and rituals for the gods to bring in the new year.
Last year I was too new, and too shy to even contemplate going. This year, I want to go. After much deliberation on the money issue, and battling with myself I’ve decided that not only do I want to go, but that I will go. I don’t have an actual job, just an allowance really, for being my niece’s caretaker, and for keeping my parents’ house because they’re both ill, but I think with the seven/eight months of time that I have to save, I can manage to set aside enough for the costs. Because I want to be serious about this, I’ve already created a separate bank account to stash money in.
There haven’t been any specific announcements yet on the event (last year they were posted up on January 10, so I’m expecting them any day now), but I’m basing my estimate of costs on last year’s postings and the things that I want to do. Most of the events are part of the general admission, but there are a few things that are optional and cost extra because of supplies needed, etc.
Admission for the event: $275
Sekhmet baths: $75
Fedw divination class: $50
Guesstimated airfare: $400
Guesstimated hotel cost (sharing with a second person, hopefully Meket): $160
Food/gas/general spending money: ~150 (I’d like to have more just in case, but this I think is the bare minimum)
Current total estimate of needed cash: $1,110
It’s a lot of money. Definitely nothing to sneeze at. The Sekhmet baths and Fedw class are optional things I want to do, so if it really comes down to it, I can leave that cost out, but I’d really like to have the whole experience if I’m already shelling out this kind of cash in the first place.
I’m really hoping that Meket will join me. I know she’s wanted to go as well, but in the past has decided not to because of her anxiety with traveling and meeting new people. With her, I will definitely have a roommate I’m comfortable with, but otherwise I’ll have to find someone who doesn’t already have a partner in mind, because I definitely don’t think I can afford a hotel room for four nights, even with the reduced group pricing. The other consideration is the Shemsu-Ankh ceremony. As of today, I’m not ready for that next step, but it’s something to keep in mind over the next few months as a possibility, and it would be an additional 50 dollars.
Mm. Putting this out here and seeing the numbers so concretely is a bit daunting. I’m trying to remain positive about it though, and determined. I’m really pretty sure that if I asked my grandmother for a birthday gift (my birthday is in May) of money towards a spiritual retreat, she would happily oblige. She’s always commenting that my generation isn’t religious enough, and I know she’d want to fund something that meant I was being spiritual. As long as she doesn’t ask me what religion I practice (which she won’t, she’ll just assume Christianity) I’m set!