Sunday, February 23, 2014

mup Ritual

The weekday is:
dies Solis
Ravi vāsara
Yak sham

The day is:
Chaos 54, 3180 YOLD
Ab-ba-e 24
Moon of Stellar Clarity 2
ante diem IV Idi Februarii MMDCCLXVII A.U.C.
Anno IVxxi æræ legis: ☉ in 5° ♓, ☾ in 19° ♐
4-Atl 1-Miquiztli  2-Tochtli
Anthesteria/Dustros 24 in the 1st year of the 698th Olumpiad
Parmouthi 4, 1412 years after the last Pharaoh
Mīna 24 of Vijaya, 5123 years since Śrī Kṛṣṇa returned to his eternal abode
22 Rabīʿ ath-Thānī, Year 6763 in the Yezidi calendar

So, the personal book of days is almost complete for the months of February and March.  I'm filling it out month by month, maybe two by two, so that I don't get bogged down in that kind of spiritual busywork (a common problem of mine; see my Antinoan Spiritual Exercises of a couple years ago).

The only thing left is to add in the Nahua/Aztec festivals.  Unfortunately, all I've been able to find so far are calendars that match the festivals to Gregorian dates, which feels unsatisfying to me.  I'd much rather have a calendar listing the festivals in accordance with their timing in the tonalpohualli (the "count of days", the 260-day sacred period) or the xiuhpohualli (the "count of years"; the 365-day calendar), because I worry that the ones tagged to the Gregorian calendar are going to miss something that I (as a white person) am not going to see.

Today, it turns out, is a day without any festivals to remember!  I had thought, for a second, as I was adding the festivals from my good friend PSVL's ritual calendar for eir worship of Antinous and related divine beings that the Terminalia would be celebrated today.  Looking it up on Wikipedia, however, informed me that it was celebrated on ante diem VII Kalendae Martii.  PSVL has tied eir celebration to the commonplace Gregorian calendar -- a highly reasonable proposition that certainly makes things earlier! -- and 7 days before the first day of March in that reckoning is, in fact, today (as the Romans counted inclusively).  However, today is actually ante diem IV Idi Februarii, which is quite some time BEFORE the Terminalia, so no festivals for me to celebrate today!


That leaves me two things to write about today.

One will, I expect, be a regular feature of this blog.  The Nahua tonalpohualli is not merely a calendar, but it also functions as a divinatory system.  Each of the day-signs has its particular energy, in resonance with one of the teteo, and each of the trecenas (13-day "months") has its own particular energy, in resonance with one of the teteo.  The combination of the two gives an almost unique character to each day.  Accordingly, I will post the details of the day's energies in the tonalpohualli on those days when I have no festivals to celebrate.  I am certain that other systems, such as the Thelemic system which reckons everything by the signs in which the sun and moon stand, have something similar.  Anyone wanna help me learn that, as I am (slowly) learning the tonalpohualli?

Today's energy is as follows:

"Day Atl (Water) is governed by Xiuhtecuhtli, God of Fire, as its provider of tonalli (Shadow Soul) life energy. Atl is a day for purification by subjecting oneself to the ordeal of conflict. It is a good day for battle, a bad day for rest. Water brings out the scorpion, who must sting its enemies or else sting itself. Atl is the day of the holy war, which is always a battle with one's own enemies within.

The thirteen day period (trecena) that starts with day 1-Miquiztli (Death) is ruled by Tonatiuh. This trecena signifies the vast cosmological forces at play in the lives of human beings. These 13 days are all influenced by transformative powers of unknown dimension, origin and intent. The days of this trecena often pass by unnoticed since they are not remarkable until the elementals turn their attention to this place, the first of the thirteen skies; when this occurs, though, the whole of the world changes. It is during these days that the song of the Old Ones may best be heard. These are good days to fulfill old obligations; bad days to go back on one's word."

So, cosmic shifts and changes that sneak up on you and then change everything, keeping to all one's old obligations in the midst of an ordeal of conflict?  And I'm holding a heart circle for my former employers, Planting Justice, today.   Well, woot.


The other thing I thought I might talk about today is mup ritual.

This is actually somewhat shockingly difficult to talk about for three reasons.  First, mup is most certainly not Wiccanate, but like many pagans, I had the Wiccanate ritual structure imprinted on me pretty early on.  Resisting the gravitational pull of that early training has made constructing ritual structures difficult, to say the least.  The second is that I consider mup to be "my undertaking perpetually" but also to be a sort of post-graduate degree.  I have not the experience in these numerous traditions I want to draw from.  I am honor-bound to draw from them in full knowledge of their context and meaning; else I am just another white girl willfully misunderstanding the ways of another culture.  Without that knowledge, I always feel very nervous about presenting any kind of ritual structure for mup.  The last is the very nature of mup magick.

I did a spell recently, to increase my self-reliance, self-sustainability, and self-sufficiency,  It ended itself a little bit earlier than I had planned to end it, but it was still very effective.  And it didn't involve one bit of chanting or calling directions or asperging and charging or meditation or any of it.  I attached a bowl, a mug, and some silverware to my belt and for a month, those were the only things I used to eat and drink.

I cast another spell a little earlier.  I determined that I had not fully developed a yollotl, a heart, the part of you that moves and wants in Nahua thought (as discussed by Miguel León-Portilla).  So, I took a new name, my tenth: Gandalfina Ixtliyollotl Face-and-Heart.

This blog is a kind of spell as well.

If we are to take to heart the immanence of divinity, if we are to truly and deeply view everything as sacred and holy, then magick is like breathing, it's like seeing.  To the Beast with Flowered Horns, every action and sight sparkles with the tzaddikim shel haShem dancing their fairy dances and doing their fairy work.  Most mup magick, most mup worship and devotion and prayer, is nigh indistinguishable from daily life.

That being said, there is a place for "high church" rituals and I do have a love for them.  I haven't quite worked out all the specifics of mup ritual, though; it's very much a work in progress.  And as I write this, I can feel the desire growing in me to maybe start a mup group in the East Bay.  Anyone wanna join?  Maybe help me work out the details?


What I do know is that there are two very important ritual roles in mup that I have yet to see anywahere else in the neo-pagan world: the Waldorf and the Statler.  These two ritual roles have the job of heckling the ritual.  I used to say that they mocked the ritual, but I think heckling is the better description, as the purpose of heckling is to increase the energy and the power of the situation.  The one time I led a mup ritual, my friend Rameen (now Ghagiel and in between Tanuki and all three of those at once) was amazing at this work!

I mention the Waldorf and the Statler first to make it really clear that all of this structure that I'm about to describe can (and should) change at any moment, including in the middle of the ritual.   The following is just one vision, one imagination of how to do it.  It doesn't even incorporate all the influences I would like it to!

Before any other rituals can be undertaken, the first step is to reset the clock, as it were, to call in the Zep Tepy, the very first moment of the world, the Big Bang.  One practitioner steps forth, ideally standing before a full-size black mirror or some other representation of the obsidian void of space.  E is greeted with a chant of "Aue, Aue, Antinoe," repeated three times or as many as is necessary.  E then reaches out to the mirror or whatever and two practitioners, one holding a bowl of salt water and the other a bowl of fresh, say together, "In the beginning."  And then the respective practitioners: "Tiamat, the salt water," "and Apsu, the fresh water," and then together again, "mixed their waters, and the Universe was created." 

That brackish water, the in-between queer reed-marsh water, is sprinkled in part upon those assembled and then remains available for use during the work.

Some sort of pole is then stuck or stood in the center of the space.  Copal is lit in the copal burners.  The huehue drums begin.  The Obelisk is invoked, according to the custom of the ἐκκλησία Αντινοου, east then west then south then north, maintaining rotational symmetry the whole time.  Those who hold the copal trace quartered circles at each direction while the text chanted and the vowels intoned.

Instead of reading the capstone of the Obelisk, however, comes the Sumerian chant: "Zi dingir ana kanpa.  Zi dingir kia kanpa.  Ina abzu.  Ina niiru.  Ina zumru.  Atamë petababka.  Kakama!" (transl.: "Spirit-god of sky, remember.  Spirit-god of earth, remember.  Through the darkness.  Through the light.  Through the body.  Gatekeeper, open the way.  So mote it be!")

And then whatever work needs to happen happens.  This will, necessarily, vary for the rite at hand.  One important aspect of mup magick, however, is that some element of the purpose of the rite should be determined randomly in the midst of doing it.  This is vital to achieving the necessary state of silliness.

One important element here, however, is the giving of offerings and sacrifices.  Should these be a part of the work, the "ins and outs" must be minded.  First to be invoked and first to receive offerings is Pombagira, the lady of the seven crossroads, as she it is who will deliver the axé of your offering or sacrifice.  And after the offering/sacrifice, whatever portion was given to the deities and not eaten is to be left on Tlazolteotl's offer, as she it is who gains the remains, the left-over, the shit.  She it is who is the cycle of decay and she it is who is the ugly parts.

At the end of that work, the Obelisk is devoked in a similar fashion but in reverse order, though the Sumerian (which is first now) lacks the "Atamë petababka".  And the final action is performed by every practitioner: while tracing a V in the air, they chant, "uotum soluit libens merito" and they do the same while tracing an S and while tracing an L and finally while tracing an M.

Banish with laughter and the rite ends.


  1. Great stuff here! I'd like to hear more about the Beast with Flowered Horns, and the tzaddikim shel haShem.

    1. Awesome! Tomorrow and the last day of February have no festivals, so I'll write about them on those days! Thanks so much for asking (it helps me know what to write)!