KMT – Tehuti (2)

Tehuti HieroglyphTehuti

TEHUTI – THOTH (- HERMES): god of scribes, science, magic, time medicine, reckoning, cults, wisdom and the peace of the gods. The companion of MA’AT.

The meaning of Tehuti’s name (“DHwtii” or “Djehuti”), represented by the hieroglyph of the Ibis, is unknown. European Egyptologists propose “he of Djehout” (an unknown location), “he of the castle of speech”, “he who speaks in the temple”, “he who selects”, “he who chooses”. He has an accumulation of titular names.

Egyptologist Hopfner (1914) thinks that “DHw” could have been the oldest name of the Ibis, implying that Tehuti would mean “he who has the nature of the Ibis”. This bird appeared perched on a standard on slate palettes of the Terminal Predynastic Period. The sacred Ibis had a long curved beak, suggestive of the crescent New Moon, and black & white feathering reminiscent of the Lunar phases of waxing & waning. In the Old Kingdom, the association between the Ibis and Tehuti had already been made, for in the afterlife, the wings of Tehuti carried Pharaoh over the celestial river.

Tehuti was the ‘secretary’ of Ra, the “scribe of the gods”, and promulgated Atum-Ra’s laws. He was the great conciliator among the deities, because the “peace of the gods” is in him. He was a traveller and an international deity, for his name can be found in many ancient languages.

Tehuti represented the embodiment of all knowledge and literature. He had invented writing and was at the command of all the divine books in the House of Life attached to all major temples of Egypt. The wisdom of Tehuti was revered and considered too secret for profane eyes.

In the story of the magician Djedi, a man of a hundred and ten, we read that he knew the number of the secret chambers of the sanctuary of Tehuti, the “word of the god Re”. He is called the “son of Ra” and “Lord of the eight gods” (the Ogdoad of Hermopolis). In the funerary rituals, Tehuti acted the part of the recorder, and his decision was accepted by all deities. Tehuti observed whether the heart (mind) of the deceased was light enough to balance the feather of truth & justice. This by “weighing the words”, for the heaviness of heart was the result of unwholesome speech (cf. the insistence on silence also served magical purposes). Tehuti was also the ultimate teacher of magic, ritualism & the words of power which opened the secret pylons of the underworld.

His original home was Khemenu, or “eight-town”, referring to the four pairs of mythical chaos-gods existing before creation, of which Tehuti became the leader and head. The Greeks called it Hermopolis (“city of Hermes”).

In Hermopolitan theology, the Nun was personified by the Ogdoad, showing that this theology was intimately linked with the “mind of Ra” speaking its Great Word (the sacred Ibis dropping the Great Word in the limitless ocean of inert possibilities), which transformed the pre-creational, chaotic Ogdoad (cf. the four female snake-goddesses & four male frog-gods with Predynastic roots) into the Ennead of Hermopolis headed by the “first of the eight”, the Great Word of Ra. The Hermopolitan scheme is cognitive, conceptual and promotes the idea that speech has creative & magical power.

As in Memphite theology of Ptah, the original great god creates it all with divine words in his mind and on his tongue, a prefiguration of the Greek logos-philosophy. The Heliopolitan scheme added the self-generative aspect of the deity (the great “he/she” being “causa sui”), as well as the eternal participation (from the first moment) between the One and his children (Shu and Tefnut), i.e. the triadic conceptualization of the godhead, a trinity of divine persons (expanding into “millions”), the principle of intra-divine participationism.

Source: http://www.sofiatopia. org/maat/hermes.htm (Wim van den Dungen)

 

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