Lord of the Waters,
Lord of Bakhu,
Swift in vengeance and great in power!
Humbly I approach Your shrine,
And prostrate myself at Your feet in prayer.
I immerse myself in Your blesséd waters,
And submit myself to Your mercy.
Purge me of impurity and illness.
Protect me from malice unseen.
Recently, I had taken it upon myself to approach Sobek. He’s not exactly a “cuddly” God, and I had never prayed to Him before, so I felt that was a big, bold step on my part. I’m not entirely sure what prompted it — aside from His association with Sutekh — but lately I feel He is one of the only Gods beyond Sutekh Whom I can approach in any capacity at this point in time.
I have been suffering with infection after secondary infection for about four months, and after enduring horrible outcomes from visiting various doctors, enduring a myriad of vile pharmaceutical drugs with debilitating side-effects, and losing too much weight for an already-small person, I hadn’t the energy or the will to keep trying. I was losing patience and hope. I’ve felt estranged to my usual “go-to” Gods of the Norse pantheon in my time of need (I don’t mean to trivialize Them in any way; those are the only words I can articulate myself in presently). I felt alone, flailing around in the dark without much comfort or answers. I had nearly died alone in the hospital on two occasions, and gradually have been exhausting “conventional” medical avenues, as well as holistic, homeopathic medical treatments. As always, I have been doing my best to take care of myself, but wasn’t really seeing any measurable, positive progress from one month to the next. Add to that fubar situation a whole lot of familial apathy and discord, and I was ready to just make a chrysalis out of blankets, retreat, and languish.
There was a lot of “doom and gloom” thinking, a lot of anger fomenting beneath the surface. I felt very resentful toward healthy people in general, and as someone who suffers from a couple chronic conditions even in (what is for me) “good” health, that’s something I hadn’t experienced with such intensity before. I had the disposition of the living-dead. I was angry at my immediate family’s glaring lack of understanding and empathy. I was angry at my cherished one’s absence. I was angry at others still for being so lacking in compassion and demanding of me when mustering the strength to get out of bed was my greatest daily accomplishment. I was angry at Eric Clapton for being right about no one knowing me when I’m down and out. No one and no thing could make me better, and I was hateful. I was on the verge of burning myself to death with rage in terminal hibernation. To a certain extent, I still feel that way.
On one of those rancorous days, I resolved myself to put that hateful energy to some positive use. I didn’t know how, but I figured I’d take a blind stab at it. I’m not very good at meditating, which is something I need to focus on getting better at, because my mind is constantly cluttered with an overabundance of ultimately useless thoughts. Instead of meditating, I just blundered into prayer. It always started off formally enough, but it repeatedly devolved into turning my soul inside out and dumping the contents everywhere and nowhere. I suppose it was just something I needed to do.
As time wore on, when I prayed to Sutekh, I gradually, increasingly felt a mute urge to address Sobek. Since I’m a very visual and tactile person, I bought Him a large statue and made a special space for His image.
Now, I know quite a few things about Egypt and Egyptian religion, historically. By the same token, there is an abundance of things I don’t know. I wasn’t sure whether Sobek was associated with the well being and healing of the living, as He is with the restoration of eyes/sight to the justified dead. I knew that He’s a particularly fickle and ferocious God, and didn’t know if I’d experience any “blow back” from approaching Him. I generally think of myself as a decent person, but I don’t know how “righteous” or “justified” I am in Sobek’s, or any God’s, eyes.
I tried anyway. I didn’t know what to say, or how to say it. My speech was all awkward; that awkwardness is another hurdle I’ll have to overcome. But my mind felt calmer. I felt tired and less anxious. I didn’t feel angry anymore. Perhaps that has more to do with the psychology behind prayer and meditation than with Sobek Himself. Either way, as I continue to pray and offer to Him, I focus on getting better, rather than allow myself to succumb to illness-related fears and seething anger. I’m still sick, but when I go to Sobek, I feel more at peace, more open to the healing process. Purging myself of negative emotions and undoing counterproductive schemas one day at a time will undoubtedly have a positive effect on my overall health. A depressed, anxious mind and body aren’t good at fighting infection, that’s for sure. I don’t know if Sobek is in any capacity a God of healing, but I feel that He is the right God, at least for me, to focus on and confide in.
I know it’s not as simple as just offering bread and water, asking for something, and having my demands immediately met. After being sick for so long, I can’t begin to express how much I wish that were true. I would nearly sell my soul to be happy, to be healthy, to be able to sleep and eat and do things “normal” twenty-somethings are able to do with their lives. I wish my “ancestral Gods” wouldn’t cut me off and be silent when I need Them most. I’m not sure if I’m being punished, if my fortitude and resolve are being tested, or if this is something solely mundane and circumstantial. Whatever the case may be, as much as I’ve suffered, I have to do the absolute best I can within my means to get better, if only to prove a point. I have to show my Gods that I’m worth Their time, energy, and effort. I’ll make the most valiant display of it I can, unremarkable as I am. That’s my primary motivation and raison d’être at this point, because Modern medicine has thus far proven itself unreliable and destructive, and people are capricious and inconsistent at best.
Sobek is my pillar.