This month, one of the Gods of the Month in Neos Alexandria has been Neith.
Often syncretized to Athena in Graeco-Egyptian contexts, and considered the mother of Sobek and sometimes a wife or consort of Set, Neith is a very fascinating goddess.
During Hadrian’s reign, she appears on the reverses of some of his coins when he was in Egypt. Indeed, I suspect she would have appealed to Hadrian greatly, not only because of her syncretism to Athena, but also because she was a huntress and creatrix.
I’ve mentioned previously that Brandy Williams’ book, The Woman Magician: Revisioning Western Metaphysics from a Woman’s Perspective and Experience, has a very interesting cosmology when it comes to Egyptian goddesses, and Neith plays a really essential role in that. I’d highly recommend that book in general for all sorts of reasons…
But, more to the point for the moment: Neith is also one of the parents of the Tetrad, and she does appear a few times in All-Soul, All-Body, All-Love, All-Power. As a result, for all sorts of reasons (and for others besides!), she’s becoming increasingly important to me. She isn’t a “transgendered” deity by any stretch of the imagination, but she is what she is, which isn’t “entirely female,” at least in certain perceptions of her…
For some insight into a bit of this, I’d highly recommend a podcast I just heard by Lee Harrington in a series called Erotic Awakening, from this last March. Very interestingly, the podcast was on March 17th, which is the dies natalis of Pancrates, the final member of the Tetrad.
So, I’d like to share the poem I’ve written for Neith this month (just under the wire!). I hope you enjoy it, and I hope that Neith as well is honored by it!
The Men of the Arts of Thoth
in the House of Life in the city of Hermopolis
have said that I am two-thirds male.
No half-man am I, like so many
of those men on earth who are said to be lacking
and yet, my own third they neither know nor respect.
What is two-thirds of a man?
A missing testicle?–no, for that is Set.
A woman whose two breasts have been taken from her?
I am, in their eyes, forever a fraction
an endless string of sixes, a host of hexads
with an odd triad of another sort, whole, that produces all.
But if it is fractions they wish to play,
may I still then be two-thirds male
and only one-third female in a form I choose:
may there be two men’s strength in my arms
and may I have two phalluses, four testicles, two scrota
and yet two breasts, a womb, two ovaries, a clitoris, a vagina, a vulva…
And those who still insist on thinking
in fractions rather than in wholes will yet have to conclude
that I, twice a man and all-woman, am still only two-thirds.
Neith is my name, great goddess
who produces worlds and gods solely
from my own self, whole and undivided, and unique.