The Fundamental Principles of Old and New World Civilizations Part 32
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The permanent image of the disk and serpent, a form of the Ra sign, in the doorway of the sculptured house, would thus convey the idea of the eternal presence of Amen-Ra, the pole-star G.o.d. The accentuation of the cross lines on the neck of the ara indicates, moreover, the intentional allusion to four-fold and two-fold force, the latter being expressed by the eyes of the serpent. The door=ptah, which is open, expresses the name Ptah=the Opener, well known as that of the "father of the G.o.ds" and a form of Amen-Ra.
The positions a.s.signed to Osiris and Isis, at either side of the "hidden G.o.d," sufficiently shows that they were intended to represent separate incorporations of the male and female principles which were united in Amen-Ra, the "divine Twain." The a.s.sociation of both deities with the throne, the eternal seat of repose, identifies both alike with Polaris. A monument in the Berlin Museum (no. 261) which was found in the temple of Isis at Ben-naga, in Nubia, and was a votive offering made by the Ethiopian king Netek-Amen and his consort Amen-Tari, contains the following formula, translated by Lepsius, which a.s.sociates Isis with eternal enthronement. "Thou remainest, thou remainest, on thy great throne, O Isis, queen of Au-ker, like the sun (Ra) that lives in the horizon ... and thou lettest thy son Netek-Amen flourish on his throne...."
The fact I am about to demonstrate, that the king and queen of Egypt were the respective, "the living images" of Osiris and Isis, proves that, as in ancient Peru and China, the sovereigns, who were at the same time high priest and priestess, were considered as the sacred embodiments of the dual principles of nature. As elsewhere also, a chain of a.s.sociations became attached to each of the dualities; but in Egypt, as may be clearly discerned, during the lapse of centuries great transformations of thought took place and alternately the male and female elements seem to have been a.s.sociated with the cults of heaven and earth, light and darkness, sun or moon, morning or evening stars, the southeast and the northwest.
In the sacred writings the sun is usually termed "the right eye" and the moon "the left eye" of Ra (_cf._ hra=the (divine) face). Brugsch points out that, in certain inscriptions at Denderah translated by Mariette, "the Sothis star of Hathor-Isis is designated as 'the right eye of Ra' while the sun is termed the left eye."
Brugsch states, moreover, that, according to s.e.xtus Empiricus, "the Egyptians compared the king to the 'right eye' or the sun; while the queen was compared to the 'left eye' or the moon." The two eyes, often with the designation of "right" or "left," const.i.tute a favorite decoration on funeral stelae. In some instances the image of the solar disk, with one wing and one serpent only, is figured as a subst.i.tute for the right eye (_op. cit._ II, 436, see fig. 62, 6). The established fact that the eyes of Ra were the equivalents of the uraei usually accompanying the circle of Ra, the so-called "solar disk," is further explained by the following data.
It is well known that the two uraei on the royal diadem denote sovereignty over Upper and Lower Egypt. In the bas-relief published by Brugsch, the circle or Ra-sign is represented with two uraei, which respectively wear the crowns of Upper and Lower Egypt (fig. 70, 7). The crowned uraei recur in the emblems of Upper and Lower Egypt published by Mr. Goodyear, the first accompanied by the lotus flower and the second by what Egyptologists usually identify as the papyrus, but which appears to be the ripened pod of the lotus (fig. 70, 9 and 10). While the two uraei thus emblematized the two divisions of the land of Egypt they are found as distinctly a.s.sociated with Osiris and Isis, and their living images the king and queen, or the high priest and high priestess of Amen-Ra. The Berlin Museum contains several representations of Isis under the form of a serpent with a woman's head (see official catalogue, nos. 7740, 870 and 2529). Osiris is also represented as a serpent with the head of a bearded man.
A small shrine in the form of a temple, and decorated with royal serpents, is preserved at the Berlin Museum (catalogue no. 8164) and contains the effigies of two uraei, one of which, to the left of the spectator, exhibits the head of Isis, the second, to the right, the features of Osiris.
Between them stands the vase or bowl which was a constant feature of Isis cult.
In connection with this monument it is interesting to examine an inscription published by Brugsch (I, p. 108) in which occur two serpents who are pouring liquid into a bowl placed between them and the divided halves of the sky-sign (fig. 70, 8). The text connects this with the New Year festival when the Nile began to rise "from its two sources" and the "union of heaven and earth" took place, which will be discussed later. The following temporary list briefly presents a summary of the preceding data which is rendered more complete by the addition of the signs and emblems of the festivals, when the "conjunction of sun and moon took place,"
figured by the picture of two persons united by their respective right and left hands (fig. 70, 5) or by the tet column placed between two horns (fig. 70, 4). As may be seen by numerous examples in Brugsch (vol. II), the great Sed festival is figured by the image of the small sanctuary which existed on the flat roof of the great temple at Denderah, and resembled an open pavilion with four columns which is usually represented as containing two seats placed back to back (fig. 70, 2, 3). A small picture in Mr. Wallis Budge's Nile exhibits the king and queen occupying such a double throne, respectively, wearing the insignia and crowns of Osiris and Isis and holding their sceptres, as in the representations of the ceremony of laying the foundation of a temple, in their right and left hands (fig. 70, 6). The resume of the preceding material produces the following list:
Right eye of Ra: Left eye of Ra.
High priest: High priestess.
Right hand sceptre: Left hand sceptre.
Red crown: White crown.
The following data, gleaned from the valuable works of Prof. A. H. Sayce and the serial History of Egypt, written by Prof. Flinders Petrie, J. P.
Mahaffy and J. G. Milne, furnish strong indications that, in the remotest past, the two divisions of the land of Egypt were respectively governed by a male and female sovereign; a proof that, before the time of Menes, the ancient empire had become disintegrated, and undergone a long period of intense strife and warfare. We learn from Professor Sayce of the probability that "the city of Nek-hen was once the capital of the south and that the vulture, the symbol of the south, was also the emblem of Nekheb, the G.o.ddess of the great fortress, the ruins of which lie opposite to Nekhen on the eastern bank of the Nile" (Sayce, _op. cit._ pp. 152, 191).
While the capital and the emblem of southern or Upper Egypt are thus directly a.s.sociated with a "G.o.ddess," further data show us that the ancient queens of Egypt were termed "G.o.d-women or G.o.ddesses." When the New Empire was founded (1600-1100 B.C.) with its capital at Thebes, King Ahmes a.s.sumed the sovereignty of the whole of Egypt, but seems to have shared supreme authority with his consort Ah-mes-nefretere=divine- or G.o.d-woman, also termed "the high priestess of Amen." From the honors accorded to her and to her son Amen-hetep or Amenophis I, it must indeed be inferred that she possessed some inherited sovereign right to one of the ancient divisions of the empire.
During the period of the 26th dynasty, of Sas, we find Upper Egypt governed by a "G.o.d-woman," Shep-en-upet, who remained in power, even after the land had been conquered by Psammetichus I. The latter obtained, however, that his daughter Nitocris was adopted as the successor to the "divine-woman" ruler of Thebes, and she in turn adopted the daughter of Psammetichus II (B.C. 594-589), whose name was Anches-nefer-eb-re. A tablet from the temple of Karnak, preserved at the Berlin Museum (catalogue no. 2112) represents this female sovereign of Thebes accompanied by her prime minister, and standing in the presence of the G.o.ds Amen and Chon.
Another remarkable monument at the Berlin Museum (no. 7972) figures the "G.o.d-woman" Shep-en-upet, under the form of a sphinx holding a vase, and records that she had inherited the sovereignty of Thebes from her aunt, the consort of an Ethiopian king. An extremely interesting proof that the beard, _per se_, const.i.tuted an emblem of sovereignty, is furnished by a beautiful portrait statue of the "divine woman," Hat-shepset (Berlin Museum, no. 2299). She is figured as a sphinx and wears a beard suspended from her head-dress.(116) The serpent decorates her diadem. On other monuments this remarkable queen, who built the temple of Der-el-Bahari, is figured with the crown of Upper Egypt (_cf._ no. 2279, Berlin Museum). By good fortune the personal gold ornaments of a "divine woman," an Ethiopian princess, were discovered by Ferlini in the pyramid of Begerauie, enclosed in a plain bronze vase. These precious objects are now exhibited in the Berlin Museum, where I have examined them and noted with interest that the central ornament of two finely worked, broad gold bracelets, is a female figure with the royal diadem and four outstretched arms, to which wings are attached. This furnishes us with an instance of a queen being represented with four wings, in exactly the same manner as the a.s.syrian king Sargon, on the seal from the time of Sennacherib (fig. 65, 6), namely, as a "ruler of the four quarters," which indicates that she held the position of a "central ruler." As might be expected in the case of a queen who personified Isis, frequently represented under the form of a "woman-serpent," the uraeus is a favorite motif on other gold ornaments belonging to the Ethiopian queen.
Certain pa.s.sages in Prof. Flinders Petrie's History of Egypt afford a curious insight into the prerogatives of Egyptian queens as far back as about B.C. 2684. The consort of Usertesen II, the fourth king of the twelfth dynasty was named Nefert,of whom a grey granite statue is preserved at the Ghizeh Museum and represents her as seated on a throne.
On this are the t.i.tles "The hereditary princess, the great favorite, the greatly praised, the beloved consort of the king, _the ruler of all women_, the king's daughter of his body, Nefert." Prof. Flinders Petrie adds: "The t.i.tle ruler or princess of all women is peculiar, and suggests that the queen had some prerogatives of government as regards the female half of the population." The t.i.tle in question reappears four centuries later in connection with Nubkhas, the queen of Sebek=Emsaup, of the 13th dynasty and her stele in the Louvre ent.i.tles her the "great heiress, the greatly favored, _the ruler of all women_, the great royal wife, united to the crown Nub-kha-s" (_op. cit._, vol. I, pp. 175 and 225).
Between B.C. 1423-1414 queen Mutemua-arat appears as "the G.o.ddess queen"
and "great royal wife" (Flinders Petrie _op. cit._, II, p. 174). The consort of Amenhotep III (B.C. 1414-1379) the celebrated Tyi, the daughter of Yuaa and Thuaa, is ent.i.tled "princess of both lands," and "chief heiress, princess of all lands." Her successor Nefert.i.ti is called "princess of south and north, lady of both lands," which t.i.tles, as Prof.
Flinders Petrie comments, "like the t.i.tles of Tyi, imply a hereditary right to rule Egypt." They undoubtedly place her on a footing of equality with the king, which is, however, comprehensible when it is explained that she was the ruler of all women, while he was the ruler of all men. The position of the Egyptian queen would thus prove to have been a.n.a.logous to that of the ancient Mexican Quilaztli (see pp. 61-67).
The a.n.a.logy is all the more striking when it is realized that the t.i.tles of the Mexican chieftainess were: "the Woman warrior, the Woman of the Underworld or Below, the Woman serpent or female twin and the Eagle woman," while the emblem of the Egyptian G.o.ddess-queen of the south was the vulture and she was the personification of Isis, represented under the form of a serpent, the twin of the male serpent, Osiris.
Much food for thought is furnished by a Syrian relief sculpture from Amrit (published by Spamer, see fig. 71, 2), which exhibits a vulture or eagle with outstretched wings, in juxtaposition to a winged disk which appears to combine features of the a.s.syrian winged disk (the bird's tail and two appendages, see fig. 71,1) with the two uraei of the Egyptian form (fig.
71, 3). It is striking how clear the symbolism of the latter becomes when interpreted (1) as the symbol of the hidden G.o.d and his male and female form, Osiris and Isis, accompanied by the wings symbolizing air and the idea that the deity was invisible and immaterial; (2) as the symbol of Egypt itself-an ent.i.ty, a complete circle, divided into two parts, under two rulers. The pair of antelope horns above emphasize the fact that the twain were as a single pair. The combined crowns of Upper and Lower Egypt, the latter exhibiting a serpent's head and the first, what appears to be its tail, const.i.tute the symbol of joint rulers.h.i.+p which, in this case, is accompanied by the feather, the rebus expressing the words "truth and justice."
While the Syrian bas-relief conveys the idea of two separate kingdoms, one conveying the idea of single rulers.h.i.+p, by the form of an eagle; the other of dual rulers.h.i.+p, by the two uraei, each of which is crowned by a small disk; the Egyptian symbol distinctly conveys the idea of a close union of two distinct parts. The historical fact that Menes succeeded in uniting both lands under a single crown, indicates clearly enough that the ancient empire had become disintegrated and that by marrying the female ruler of the south he had reinstated the dual government on its original primitive basis. That, during the period of separation and independence, a powerful gynocracy had been formed seems more than probable. Just as evidences are met with in ancient Mexico of the existence of female communities, so the Old World furnishes accounts, deemed fabulous, of powerful gynocracies.
Thus we have heard of the Amazons, the fabulous race of women warriors who are supposed to have founded a powerful empire on the coast of the Euxine.
A searching a.n.a.lysis of the texts translated by Brugsch, relating to the ceremonies performed at the New Year and famous Sed festivals, as well as historical facts gleaned from the works of living authorities, throw a light upon the position and sacred duties of the Egyptian queens during many centuries. The critical examination of a number of inscriptions, translated by Brugsch, is found to show that the queen was the high priestess and living image of Hathor-Isis and the personification of the female principle of nature, a.s.sociated in Egypt with the nocturnal Heaven and the Above, and their symbols, the bird or vulture, the cow, the female serpent, the moon, the stars, and in particular Sirius-Sothis. In remotest historical times the G.o.ddess-queen seems to have resided in her own capital, a fortress. The universal necessity to insure the safety of women and children in times of warfare may well have originally led to the a.s.signment of a separate, permanent place of residence, to the female portion of the population. The New Year festival, which coincided with the heliacal rising of Sirius (20th July, Jul. Cal.) and the overflow of the Nile, which suspended outdoor activity, was generally celebrated throughout the land as the "union of heaven and earth," or the conjunction of "the sun and the moon, or Sirius."
It was customary that, at this period, the queen, personifying the Sothis star, should come forth from her retirement and, surrounded by pomp and majesty, meet the king in solemn state, publicly occupy her place on the double throne, and share in the performance of sacred religious rites. It is easy to see that the idea underlying the entire ceremonial was the harmonizing of the actions of the sacred personifications of the dual principles of nature with the natural phenomena, from which arose a strange confusion of ideas concerning the relations.h.i.+p between these consecrated individuals and the powers of nature, which culminated in the artificial belief that they were divinely appointed mediators between humanity and the supreme power.
There are clear indications that the consecrated nuptials of king and queen marked the Sed festival which was celebrated, at the beginning of every fourth year, at Denderah. Brugsch tells us that the place on the roof of the Hathor temple, where the celebration of the Sed festival took place, is specially designated as "the place of the first feast" and in many cases this is shown to have been the small open temple, whose roof is supported by four columns (fig. 70, 2 and 3). In one pa.s.sage it is expressly stated that "she, Isis-Sothis, consorts with her father, the sun, at 'the place of the first feast,' " represented by a picture of the said temple (fig. 70, 6).
It is interesting to compare the following pa.s.sage with the successive one, as they exhibit different phases of religious cult. "In solemn procession statues of the G.o.d Ra and of Hathor-Isis (Sothis-Sirius) were carried up the stairs from the interior of the temple to its roof (the tep-hat or head of the house) where, under the open sky or in the small open temple on the roof designated as Hait at Denderah, the idols were unveiled at a given time...." "On the morn of the New Year Isis-Sothis 'beheld her father on the beautiful day of the birth of the disk'
(mas-aten) or 'the birth of the sun' (mas-ra)." It is described how "the G.o.ddess was led upon the roof so that she might behold the rays of her father on his rising.... She is sometimes addressed directly, being told 'that thou shouldst see thy father on the day of the New Year.' " In other texts allusion is made to the approach of Sirius to the sun on New Year's day: "her rays join (heter) with those of the radiant G.o.d on that beautiful day of the birth of the sun's disk in the morning of New Year's day:" or "thou consortest with thy father Ra in thy open temple, thy beautiful face being turned towards the south;" and elsewhere, "she comes on her beautiful festival of the New Year, to unite her greatness in heaven with that of her father; the G.o.ds are festive and the G.o.ddesses are full of joy when the right eye (Sirius) unites itself with the left eye (the sun). She rests upon her throne in the place where the disk of the sun can be seen and the radiant one (Isis-Sothis) combines herself with the radiant one (the sun)."
On one of the columns of the roof-temple at Denderah, the following text is inscribed: "This temple of Rekhit flourishes in possession of a lion (mahes) and of his daughter ... of the Horus of the east and of the G.o.ddess Khont-abut. They a.s.sume her heavenly form on New Year's day and each one consorts with his neighbor." Preceding inscriptions are made more clear by the following detached pa.s.sages translated by Brugsch, which merit careful study. "An inscription at Abydos makes the G.o.ddess Safkhet say to the king: 'thou didst appear as king upon thy throne on the feast hib-seb; like the G.o.d Ra at the beginning of the year.' " "The high-priest of Ptah at Memphis was charged with the celebration of the Sed festival, which was a general festival throughout the land." "The annual going of the Hathor of Denderah to Edfu took place in the month Epiphi." "The G.o.ddess Hathor-Isis of Denderah is frequently called the second female sun next to the sun's disk, the many colored, feathered G.o.ddess, and is identified with Isis-Sothis."
According to an extremely ancient belief it was the G.o.ddess Hathor Isis-Sothis who caused the inundation of the Nile which, according to the inscriptions, coincided with the heliacal rising of Sirius. Owing to this circ.u.mstance she is called, "Isis the great, the mother of G.o.d, who causes the Nile to overflow when she s.h.i.+nes at the commencement of the year," or "the female sun who appears at the beginning of the year in the heaven as the divine Sothis star, the queen of the decan stars, whose rays illuminate the earth like those of the sun which appears in the morning.
She is the mistress of the commencement of the year, who draws the Nile out of its source and thus confers life upon living human beings."
Elsewhere she is termed "the mistress of the commencement of the year, who makes the Nile rise at its period." It is likewise said of her "on her beautiful feast of beholding her father, the heaven unites itself with the earth and the right eye unites itself with the left eye, at the beginning of the year." She is described as Isis the great, the mother of G.o.d, the lady of Adut in Anet, the mistress of the beginning of the year, the monarch of the Sema? who appears on New Year's day to usher in the new year. (She is) the G.o.ddess Ament (the hidden one) in Thebes, Menat (the nurse) in Heliopolis, Renpit (_i. e._ the year) in Memphis, the divine star Sothis in Elephantine, the radiant one in Apollinopolis magna, etc.
In another pa.s.sage Hathor-Isis is spoken of as "the G.o.ddess Mehen-net of the light-G.o.d and his Ar-hatef=(she who acts as pilot) in the boat sektet, which eternally pa.s.ses through the heaven over the head of her father." On the north wall of the p.r.o.ndos of the Denderah temple Isis-Hathor is called "Hathor, the lady of Anet; Isis herself; the eye of Ra; the great one of Tentyra; the lady of heaven; the queen of G.o.ds and G.o.ddesses; the great Mat ... the female sun; the first in Tentyra; the true one amongst G.o.ds; the young; the daughter of a young ... [?] the beauty who appears in heaven; the truth which regulates the world at the prow of the bark of the sun; the queen and mistress of awe; the mistress of G.o.ddesses, Isis, the great, the mother of the G.o.d."
The following texts from Brugsch are explicit enough: "The temple of Tentyra is fitted up for a bride, and is occupied by a bride." "The temple of Tentyra is in bridal array and contains a bride on the beautiful festival of the birth of the sun." "The temple of Tentyra is fitted up for a bridal and is in possession of a bride on her beautiful festival of the birth of the sun (mas-ra)."
The birth of a male or female Horus, of a young sun or moon, is alluded to in other texts as the "feast of the child in its cradle," and coincided with New Year's day. According to Brugsch, the festival of the child in its ses=cradle, nest, or couch, undoubtedly coincided with New Year's day, as is proven by the following inscription: "The bringing of the band of stuff to the great Isis, the mother of the G.o.d, for the obtainment of a happy year. Receive, receive happy years on the day of the night of the child in its cradle!"... It is usual to interpret the birth of the young child, or sun of the New Year as a mere allegory of the astronomical fact and it may have been thus in later times. On the other hand, historical data prove that the actual birth of a "child," the offspring of a royal sacramental marriage, did take place in the temple and that children, thus born, afterwards became the rulers of Egypt.
"At Luqsor, ... a great temple was built by Amenhotep III (B.C. 1414-1379) to 'his father Amen,' with special reference to the divine conception of the king.... His birth is the great subject of the temple ... and his mother Mut-em-ua is the prominent figure in those scenes, pointing to her being important as queen-mother...." Of the later king Hor-em-heb (B.C.
1332-1328) it is inscribed: "Amen, king of the G.o.ds, dandled him ... when he came forth from the womb he was enveloped in reverence, the aspect of a G.o.d was upon him; the arm was bowed to him as a child and great and small did obeisance before him " (Flinders Petrie, _op. cit._ pp. 177, 190 and 248).
The small Isis temple to the east of the great temple of Hathor at Denderah is specially designated as the lying-in chamber, or sacred house of birth. An inscription dating from the Roman period, on the outer eastern wall of this building reads: "Life! the female Horus, the youthful, the daughter of a hak (regent, Brugsch), Isis, the great, the mother of the Ra=G.o.d, is born in Tentyra in the 'night of the child in its cradle,' at the west side of the temple of Hat-seses (the great temple of Hathor)." It is, moreover, stated that "Horus, in female form, is the princess, the powerful, the heiress to the throne and the daughter of an heir to the throne."
In another inscription, on the south wall of the small temple of Isis, the birth of Isis is described thus: "On this beautiful day, 'of the night of the child in its cradle,' on the great festival during which the world is re-adjusted, or balanced (sekhek en ta), the bringing forth of Isis takes place in the interior or centre of Anet (Tentyra) by the G.o.ddess Ap, the great, in the chamber of Ap, in the form of a dark red female person, the Khnum ankh, the lovely. Her mother, Nut, exclaimed at the sight of her: behold, (As is) I have become a mother. Thence the origin of the name Isis.... The south, towards the place of rising of the sun's disk, has been given over to her, and the north, towards.... She is, namely, the mistress of both sides of Egypt, with her son Horus and her brother Osiris."
On the east side of the wall of the terrace at Denderah a similar inscription reads: "Uar-kher-ta is the name of this locality. The name of the place of the cradle of Isis is named Adut, which is the house where the 'accouchement' of Nut, the G.o.ddess of heaven, takes place. It is here that, at the time of the 'night of the child in its cradle,' the G.o.d-mother is brought into the world, in the form of a dark female, named Khnum-ankhet, the lady of love and the queen of the G.o.ds and G.o.ddesses. On seeing her, her mother exclaimed: As, is _i. e._ lo, or behold, I have become a mother! Thence the origin of her name Isis.... She is the lady of the temple of Egypt with her son Horus and brother Osiris, now and forever into eternity." The most instructive account of the festival which has come under my notice is the following, contained in another inscription in the temple at Denderah.
"The fourth day, supplementary to the year (of 360 days, _i. e._ the 364th day) is the beautiful day of the 'night of the child in its cradle' and is a great festival of preparation. During the night preceding this day there takes place the procession of the G.o.ddess Hathor and the divinities with her. The circuit of her temple is made and all is duly fulfilled according to the custom. Upon this follows the return to their places (chambers in the temple). The golden one (Nubet, the ordinary appellation of Hathor-Isis as the star Sothis-Sirius, Brugsch) rises, s.h.i.+ning, above the brow of her progenitor, and her mysterious (literally, full of secrets) form is at the prow of the boat of the sun. As soon as she reaches the ak (centre) of her city in the presence of her Nomos, she beholds her dwelling with the most joyful feelings. When she enters her house her body is full of delight. When she has taken possession of her exalted dwelling, surrounded by her fellow-G.o.ds, who stand at each side of her, her soul in her body is full of rejoicings. When they join the rays of her father (the sun G.o.d) and are united to the radiance of his disk, the city Anet (Tentyra) is happy. Adoration is made in Adut (the lying-in chamber) and Pi-anet is in festive state, when it beholds the great, the powerful leader, she who creates the festival in the holy city on that beautiful day of the New Year."
Elsewhere we read: "The city of Anet is in a constant exaltation when the G.o.ddess Isis is born in it (in the small Isis temple) in the form of a dark red woman, whose name is Khnum-Ankhet, the lady of love, the queen of G.o.ddesses and women, the bride. It is beautiful to see the s.h.i.+ning appearance of the ray of light in the heaven, in the dusk, at the time when she is born in this city.... A flying beetle (?) is born in the sky in the primaeval city of Tentyra at the period of 'the night of the child in its cradle.' The sun s.h.i.+nes in the heaven at dusk when her birth has taken place. G.o.ds and G.o.ddesses praise the name of her majesty...."
"Ra-Hur of Apollinopolis magna, G.o.d Sam-ta, comes forth, or arises, in the dawn (akhekh) when the birth takes place in 'the night of the child in its cradle,' on the great festival of the entire world (or the entire land).
He s.h.i.+nes for her majesty when she has brought forth (the child). Her child is in the form of a beautiful boy, who is the lord of Tentyra. The G.o.ds and G.o.ddesses came to her carrying the symbol of life (the ankh) and the sceptre of power (the tam) so as to fulfil their desire and her wish"
The following extract from a papyrus which belonged to a priest of Amon, named Horsiesis of Thebes, of the time of Augustus, affords an extremely interesting insight of the mysterious ceremonial which had gradually developed. It is evident that the text, though apparently clear, must have been intelligible to the initiated only, who alone were able to understand the allusions to secret, sacred rites and their symbolical meaning.
"Thou raisest thyself to heaven, in the region of the city Ka ... thou goest with the king when he goes to Thebes ... thou seest the Sktt bark on its arrival in the city of Thebes and the two sisters united in Pi-ubkt ... thou seest the G.o.ddess Hathor who becomes the mother of her own mother(117) on the day ... of the Tx festival ... thy name is called amongst those of the judges on the great Hermopolis in the night of the festival of _he who remains __ in the middle or centre of his city_ ...
thou seest the immovable ones united into a quatuor, in form like a young bull ... thou seest their wives united together in the form of the G.o.ddess Anthat ... thou visitest the caves of Thebes when his majesty betakes himself to the zone of Smu.... The mistress of heaven comes to her house ... thou receivest a cloak from his hand ... the divine eye ... thou watchest at night in the chamber of birth on the day of the [lying in]
birth of the G.o.ddess Mut....[Nut?] Thou goest in with those who go in and comest out with those who come out like the great Horus in his temple ...
thou seest in her domain(?) mysterious actions performed by the Pastoph.o.r.es. No one sees, no one hears (of them) ... thou hearest the voice of the singer in the temple, in varied modulations ... thou ascendest the stairway of the eternal circle of light, thou seest the strong ram in its domain ... thou seest ... in his first form, Osiris, in the house of purification." (Brugsch, _op. cit._ II, pp. 518 and 520).
The Fundamental Principles of Old and New World Civilizations Part 32
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The Fundamental Principles of Old and New World Civilizations Part 32 summary
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