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Three Faces of the Goddess

Originally printed in a slightly different version in the Samhain, 2000 edition of “ROAR!”

I wish I could remember the poem of praise I wrote for Nepthys. This would’ve been back in 1990, when the Fifth Way group was being introduced to Egyptian Magick. Nepthys was the second Neter we invoked, the first Goddess. She was our Yesod; she was the Mother Moon.

I wrote the poem and memorized it in a tiny little room that I rented in the back of a big house. My landlord, a little guy with a bad case of nerves, had pointedly made it clear that I was not a roommate. I was not to feel free to roam through the house. Other than the room I rented, I was only to have access to the bath and kitchen. So I sat, cross legged on a mattress on the floor, and poured my heart into writing and memorizing a beautiful invocation. It’s lost now. All I can remember is that the first line of each verse was the same.

“Neb-tet, let me praise you!”

Nepthys’s name means, “lady of the house.” Indeed, her symbol is a stylized house and bowl, which she wears as a headdress. The house is represented by a rectangle, with an area squared-off in one corner, representing the kitchen, about the only room in my own home I was allowed to access. As I sat on the mattress, I practiced her posture, left-hand up with the palm out, right hand palm facing up. As I held this body mudra, I memorized the Ode to the Goddess, the prayer that had come-out of my heart with a sincerity that was new to me.

“Neb-tet, let me praise you!”

The Goddess Nepthys possessed me and for the first time since childhood I felt a connection with the divine. She was the moon, bringing light to the collective darkness for the good of all. From the kitchen, my kitchen, where I prepared my brown rice concoctions and experimented with black eyed peas, she gathered the bounty of the harvest into her bowl to nourish me, her family.

I wasn’t a priestess then, although I’d taken a minister’s oath. I was more like a novice nun, and the entire spiritual group agreed that I should go into Nepthys’ service. She was, of course, just what I needed; just when I needed it. Nepthys told me that she was my mother, just when I needed to understand what my own mother would’ve been like if she were not struggling with her own issues. Perhaps, too, I’ve become something of a nurturer because of her, though I think I could still use help in that department.

“Neb-tet, let me praise you!”