In Ancient Egypt, the New Year was celebrated according to the heliacal rising of the star Sopdet or Sothis, known to us in modern times as Sirius, a major star in the constellation Canis Major. It is also known as the “Dog Star” or “Morning Star” as it can be seen on the horizon right before sunrise at Wep Ronpet. It is the brightest star in the sky at that time, showing up visible to the naked eye as a dazzling white star with a blue “aura”. In actuality, it is two stars as a binary system, Sirius A and Sirius B. One is a red star and the other blue, but they appear as only one star. Sirius A is the brighter of the two and Sirius B is a white dwarf star only one ten-thousandths the brightness of Sirius A, thus they appear as one star to us with the naked eye!
This time of year marked the inundation of the Nile River, a time of rebirth in Nature for the Ancient Egyptians. Being close to the equator, and with only three seasons divided into four months each season, the calendar of this ancient civilization that flourished for over 3,000 years, differed from our modern Gregorian calendar. New Years to the ancient Egyptian was almost completely during the opposite time of year, than the time we celebrate today. The term “helical” means in relation to the Sun with the word itself derived from the Greek ” helios” meaning “sun”. Therefore this alludes to the position of the star Sirius in relation to the Sun in our solar system. The name “Sirius” has its origins in Ancient Greece, from the word Σειριος. This name translates in English as “Seirios”, which means “glowing”. The star Sopdet figured prominently in multiple cultures throughout the world that relied on astronomical placements of stars. For instance, in ancient Chaldea, Sirius was known as the “Dog Star that leads”.
The star itself is associated with the Greek Goddess Maera, a daughter of the famous Titan Atlas, the Ancient Egyptian Goddess Sopdet (Sothis), Aset ( also known as Isis) and the Greek Goddess Hekate. Both of the latter Goddesses are associated with canines as well as other animals. The “Dog Days of summer” traditionally run from July 3rd to August 11th and are called Dog Days thanks to Sirius. It was also a prominent star in Ancient Mesopotamia where a lunar calendar was observed. The rising of Sirius was posited at the 15th of Du’ zu ( meaning 4th month) in the 13th century B.C. Both the Mesopotamians and Ancient Egyptians followed the astronomical cycles of the stars. The Ancient Egyptians, Mesopotamians, and Greco-Romans were considered to be the founders of modern astronomy and astrotheology. The mesoamerican people of North Central America and South America, such as the Aztecs, Mayans, Toltecs and the Incas also had sophisticated astronomy and astrotheology apparent by studying their hieroglyphs.
Sirius/Sopdet is also regarded in occult circles as the “Sun behind the Sun”, which is also a reference to the Goddess Aset as the “Throne of the Gods” which can be interpreted as “foundation” or “power” of the gods and there was no greater power to the ancients in Nature than the Sun . Aset was revered in Ancient Egypt prior to the Greco-Romanization of Ancient Egypt as a solar Deity rather than a lunar Goddess. The lunar attributions, along with the Greco-Roman interpretation of the name “Isis” that is popular to the general public today, but we Kemetics know better and refer to her in the name that She was known by for thousands of years before the conquest of the Greeks and Romans of Ancient Egypt. Some may argue that Isis and Aset are two completely different deities, owing to some hundreds of years unaccounted for that passed between her cult worship in Ancient Egypt as “Aset” and when she became “Isis”. Personally, I do not see them, nor have experience them as different, but being an esoteric Magician who sees same deities as having names attributed by different cultures at different points in time, I raise the question of “Which came first, the Forces/Gods or the names we call them?” Also “Is is possible to have thousands and thousands of purely unique deities represented on the Earth at the same time without crossing over into cultural areas of deity jurisdiction? That seems like too many boxes and putting gods into those boxes, figuratively. As a feasible argument, it may be believed that many deities across different cultures were indeed the same, just called by different names depending on the culture as different areas of the world had different languages, traditions and types of natural landscapes. In these ways, we can delineate that the actual Forces of Nature and Gods were not invented by humans, but named by humans. To say otherwise, may infer that we have made up names off the tops of our heads in order to birth the gods into existence. Nature existed millions of years before humans did. On the other hand, some may argue that “Aset”, the Sun behind the Sun, fell into non-existence after the arrival and synchronization of Greek and Roman deities with the Ancient Egyptian ones to appease the locals they had conquered and integrated with. Thus Isis, could be considered a different deity of Greco-Roman invention. But this brings us back to humans creating gods and is an entire subject of interest and study that goes way beyond this article about Wep Ronpet.
As woman close to her Kemetic faith, and being multi-faith at, as well as an occultist, I hesitate to buy into an argument that seems unreasonably limiting and is partially, not wholly fortified, by facts and simultaneously defies gnosis. Whenever I wrap my head around the argument of “All deities in the world are completely different argument”, I get visions of divinities in the multitude all dancing around at once in different cultures, at the same time, and fighting with each other over “Who has the right gods?” They ALL were right, depending on culture imposed by humanity. My take on this is that the forces of Nature and the Cosmos, and thus the Gods, were in existence first and we humans named them later on according to societies and locations in which humankind lived in the ancient world. But, both arguments are valid, depending on how we look at history and our own beliefs. The rising of the star Sirius represents an especially auspicious time both from a religious standpoint and an occult standpoint!
Kemetics all over the world today, celebrate the heliacal rising of Sirius and what is known as the Epagomenal Days. These are the five days preceding Wep Ronpet and were considered to the Ancient Egyptians to be the birthdays of the Gods and Goddesses who were the Children of the Ancient Egyptian Star Goddess Nut and the Earth-God Geb. According to myth, the Sun God Ra was angry with Nut and Geb for their procreation, so he separated the two of them, never to be able to touch each other again. And thus the Heavens and the Earth were separated as two different dominions. The five Children of Nut and Geb are as follows in order of birth. A day in order of the Epagomenal Days, are assigned to each deity:
Day #1 Wesir (also known as Osiris/ Osir/Asar/ Ausar)
Day #2 Heru-Wer (also known as Horus the Elder)
Day #3 Set (also known as Sutekh or Seth)
Day #4 Aset (also known as “Ast” (the actual letters translated from Kemetic hieroglyphs), Isis, Ese and Isa)
Day #5 Nebt-Het ( also known as Nebthet, Nephthys)
Day #6 “Di Wep Ronpet Nofet!” (Happy New Year in Kemetic language) Wep Ronpet Day (honoring all the Deities, especially the sun God, Ra)
These five deities are some of the most popular today in lore and worship. The day of Wep Ronpet is in celebration of the Sun and all the deities, especially the prime sun Deity Ra. The rituals used to celebrate differ between devotees and Temples. Here are some example of heka ( magical) prayers I wrote, but I also do more elaborate rites in Temple that are secret.* These prayers are here on my blog for everyone’s use, but re-posting or printing and distribution without credits is not permissible. Prayers Copyright 2013, 2018. Leigh-Ann Rose Grace. All Rights Reserved
Invocatory Prayer for Wesir
“Dua Wesir ! Dua to the King of the Duat , King of the Akhu, He Who is Preserved in Fine Condition,
Oh, Beautiful One, Bull of His Mother, Lord of Life and Lord of Death,
Master Initiator, Master Alchemist and Immortal King!
Oh, Sun at Night, Master & Possessor of Love !
Blessed art thou Lord of Eternity, Beloved Wesir ( Osiris) on Your auspicious Day between Time!”
Invocatory Prayer for Heru-Wer
“Dua Heru-Wer! Fierce Bone-Breaker, Great One of Flame, He Who is Ra’s Dignity !
Great divine herald and Preserver of Strength, Lord of Terror and Golden One Whose Body is Sky and Whose Eyes are Moon and Sun, we honor You on this Your sacred day!
Oh Illustrious Son of Geb and Nut ! Bring forth victory in Ma’at and help us to over come all obstacles!”
Invocatory Prayer for Set
“Dua to He Before Whom the Sky Shakes ! Lord of Storms , Lord of the Northern Skies Who Slays Apep and Secures the Barque of Ra.
Oh, Lord Set, give us your Great Strength to reveal that which is shrouded in Darkness, hiding in the liminal spaces and defeat all adversarial forces that would attempt to assail us in this coming New Year!
Hail to the Red Lord, Set, He of necessary Chaos ! Assist us to defeat Isfet in all forms!”
Invocatory Prayer for Aset
“Nehes, nehes, nehes ! “Awake in peace, Oh, Great Mother Aset, may You awake in Peace! Oh Illustrious Mother, Queen of Heaven, Throne of the Gods, She Who Makes Kings, come bless us with Your Light of the Dawn, Oh Sun behind the Sun !
Your Sons and Daughters call out to you in rapture on the Auspicious Day of your birth, blessed Daughter of Nut and Geb.
The stars sing Your praises, Oh Lady of Philae ! The seas rise up to kiss Your sweetness, Oh Lady of Punt, as your Tears rain down dew from heaven to nourish the Earth !
Oh, Lady of Giza, Great Mistress of Magic, Possessor of Rolls and Words of Power, You enter our hearts and uplift us on this Your Day with Love, Healing, Power and Dominion ! Dua Weret-Hekau !”
Invocatory Prayer for Nebt-Het
“Dua Nebt-Het ! Oh homage to You, Gracious Lady Who Guide and Akhu into the Netherworld ,Great Revealer of Secrets Hidden in the Liminal Spaces !
Dua Lady of Heaven and Body of the Gods ! Dua Queen of the Twilight and Mistress of Renewal that comforts our Beloved Dead upon the Threshold into the Duat !
May you be blessed and honored on this, Your sacred Day of Your Birth, Oh, Divine Sister, Daughter of Nut and Geb , Beautiful Eye of Ra !”
When exactly are Wep Ronpet and the Epagomenal Days actually celebrated?
Usually, it is during late July to early August in modern days times, according to the helical rising of Sirius. The days can be different however, depending primarily on where a person or Temple is located as well to a lesser degree, the visibility conditions of the star. In order to figure out the when, there are astronomical calculators we can use to figure this out. There are a few of these on-line. The one I like to use can be found following the link below. You need to know the latitude and the elevation of the area you reside in or are visiting at the time of Wep Ronpet in order to calculate the correct days. Some people prefer to celebrate at the time of a particular Temple in another part of the world. The choice is ultimately up to each individual. Being aware of energetic currents that occur during such times as an occultist as well as a Priestess, I tend to calculate the times according to my own Temple location at this stage in my spiritual journey unless celebrating specifically at another organization. There are on-line calculators for reference. The one I am using is presented by Karine Gadre, who has a Ph.D in Astronomy from the University of Toulouse, France. An eternal skeptic and stickler for details, I would trust that a Ph. D in Astronomy has accurate information regarding the star Sirius! Or, alternately, there is another link provided for by the U.S. Naval oceanographic services.
To use the first link is below, there is a cost for the service, but the beta version is free. I tried this one and the only field I left static in the calculator is the Snellen ratio, which is the relative humidity effecting visibility of the star. Once I become more astronomically savvy, in regards to the star Sirius, I will work more with this and may opt to hand calculate for even more fine-tuning just as I have done for astrological charts as these rely on astronomical data regarding placements and declinations of stellar bodies. However, I do not fully trust the beta version, so I paid the 15 Euros ( $17.53 USD conversion) to gain complete access, but so far I have waited almost 3 days and no response yet from the site administrator (s). Time is of the essence with Wep Ronpet and I wanted complete, verifiable accuracy, so I found a second set of calculators. The second link I have found to be more accurate and fool-proof, but there are two ways to get the calculations. With method #1, there are a couple of extra steps toggling back and forth comparing spreadsheets between the positions of the Sun and Sirius. I like method #2 better, where we can input the latitude, and elevation of our locations directly, thereby eliminating the need to toggle back and forth. Here are the sites with the calculators.
According to the US naval data, my Temple and those in my local area in SE, Michigan, USA, Wep Ronpet is on August 11th this year of 2018. The star of Sirius rises at 4:27 Am before sunrise at 6:04 Am .
The days can differ for Wep Ronpet each year, but tend to always be between the last week of July and full first couple of weeks of August on most years since I have been celebrating. When to celebrate depends on which model of location you wish to use.
To get the exact time in your area, just input the correct information in the fields of the astronomical calculators and the calculations are done for you automatically or you can used a toggle method between outputs. Knowing this information way in advance is also very helpful for those of us needing to do extensive planning before-hand. For those of us who are more esoterically inclined, all sorts of correspondences can be drawn from the mythologies and scholarly cosmology of Ancient Egypt and the Star of Sirius, for those with the “eyes to see”. Di Wep Ronpet Nofet!
Copyright © 2018 Leigh-Ann Rose Grace. All Rights Reserved.