Category Archives: Egypt

Envy of Seth – 2

THE RELIGION OF ANCIENT EGYPT
By W. M. FLINDERS PETRIE, 1906

Part 1 See here

CONTENTS
VII. THE COSMIC GODS
VIII. THE ABSTRACT GODS
IX. THE FOREIGN GODS
X. THE COSMOGONY
XI. THE RITUAL AND PRIESTHOOD
XII. THE SACRED BOOKS
XIII. PRIVATE WORSHIP
XIV. EGYPTIAN ETHICS
XV. THE INFLUENCE OF EGYPT

 

CHAPTER VII THE COSMIC GODS

The gods which personify the sun and sky stand apart in their essential idea from those already described, although they were largely mixed and combined with other classes of gods. So much did this mixture pervade all the later views that some writers have seen nothing but varying forms of sun-worship in Egyptian religion. It will have been noticed however in the previous chapters what a large body of theology was entirely apart from the sun-worship, while here we treat the latter as separate from the other elements with which it was more or less combined.

_Ra_ was the great sun-god, to whom every king pledged himself, by adopting on his accession a motto-title embodying the god’s name, such as _Ra-men-kau_, ‘Ra established the kas,’ Continue reading

Envy of Seth – 1

THE RELIGION OF ANCIENT EGYPT
By W. M. FLINDERS PETRIE, 1906

CONTENTS
I. THE NATURE OF GODS1
II. THE NATURE OF MAN
III. THE FUTURE LIFE
IV. ANIMAL WORSHIP
V. THE GROUPS OF GODS. ANIMAL-HEADED GODS
VI. THE HUMAN GODS

 

CHAPTER I THE NATURE OF GODS

Before dealing with the special varieties of the Egyptians’ belief in gods, it is best to try to avoid a misunderstanding of their whole conception of the supernatural. The term god has come to tacitly imply to our minds such a highly specialised group of attributes, that we can hardly throw our ideas back into the more remote conceptions to which we also attach the same name. It is unfortunate that every other word for supernatural intelligences has become debased, so that we cannot well speak of demons, devils, ghosts, or fairies without implying a noxious or a trifling meaning, quite unsuited to the ancient deities that were so beneficent and powerful. If then we use the word god for such conceptions, it must always be with the reservation that the word has now a very different meaning from what it had to ancient minds. Continue reading

Djed Symbol

Two ivory Djed pillars found in a
First Dynasty tomb at Helwan.
(photograph taken by J.D.Degreef)

The Concept of the Djed Symbol
By Vincent Brown, 2012

One of the most enigmatic symbols of Ancient Egypt is the Tet, or  Djed. Although it was widely used as a religious icon throughout much of the history and geography of Ancient Egypt, it is still not clearly understood what the Djed was originally conceived to represent. Determining its meaning from its appearance alone is not an easy task so we shall take some of the suggested definitions and analyse each individually. But first of all lets look at the key elements that make up the symbol.

Typical Distinctive Features:

  • Four horizontal bars surmounting a vertical shaft
  • Vertical striations between each bar
  • These striations are shown in profile on the sides of the Djed creating a curved appearance
  • Four bands around neck of the shaft
  • Sometimes a small capital can be seen surmounting the Djed
  • The Djed often stands on a rectangular base

Continue reading

Djed Pillar

The Djed-pillar
From Reshafim

The Djed-pillar, Egyptian Dd ,[1] is an ancient symbol for stability and endurance. It is mentioned in the Pyramid Texts of the Old Kingdom:

You shall emerge as Horus-of-the-Underworld at the head of those who never set and sit on your metal throne above the your canal belonging to the watery region (of the heavens), living like an ankh-beetle, enduring like a djed-pillar.

Pyramid Texts of Pepi I, PT 537 [2]

    The djed‘s magic could enhance endurance and stability of persons, institutions like the kingship, and of physical structures. One assumes that the djed-signs engraved on columns were hoped to improve the stability of the building.[3] Continue reading

Papyrus of Nas-Khem – 2

DESCRIPTION OF THE PAPYRUS OF NAS-KHEM, PRIEST OF AMEN-RA
BY S. BIRCH, ESQ.; LLD.; F.S.A.

See Part 1

[p.14] ‘They live in its joy, turning him from the Nu or Firmament; he has made their food, he has gone round in the waters, making the transformations of his existence and soul; the Osirian prophet of Amen-Ra, Nas-khem.’(?)

2. The upper division of this page is divided into sections; to the left a seated goddess called Hesi Tat; two eyes, a lion called the ‘roaring monster;’ three crooks, having uraei above them, called ‘suspenders of heads’ or ‘hours;’ three other crooks, three crooks with lower crowns and with upper crown, called ‘Peace of the gods;’ two seated gods, and a goddess wearing the crown of the upper world or heaven, entitled Hanbi, ‘Fountain,’ ‘Water;’ an ape-headed god called Mat-mat, a hawk-headed deity named Bataenratf, a hawk-headed called Har khent matf, a goddess called Ra am hat nefen, a goddess in the lower crown, called Hesi mehi, all seated, and a deity seated on a throne called Hetp khent hat, ‘the peace indwelling in the heart.’ This section is divided from the other half by a couple of perpendicular lines which refer to it, reading—’the roaring bull in the Empyreal gate …. peace, the gods are in peace. Continue reading

Papyrus of Nas-Khem

DESCRIPTION OF THE PAPYRUS OF NAS-KHEM, PRIEST OF AMEN-RA
BY S. BIRCH, ESQ.; LLD.; F.S.A.

PRINTED FOR PRIVATE CIRCULATION
BY DESIRE OF H.R.H. THE PRINCE OF WALES

[LONDON, 1863]

THE Papyrus of which the following pages give some description and analysis was discovered in an excavation which His Highness Said Pasha, the late Viceroy of Egypt, had allowed as a mark of his particular favour, as all excavations had been prohibited by the Egyptian Government, to be made by His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, in the Gournah quarter of Thebes, in 1862. This excavation was conducted by Mustafa Aga, English Consular Agent, and from information sent by him to Mr Colquhoun, H.M. Consul-General for Egypt; the papyrus was found upon a mummy in a tomb at a locality called Bowab in the Necropolis of Thebes at Gournah side, the western or left bank of the Nile. The spot called Bowab lies on the slope of the hill, half-way down the places called El Drah Abou Neggeh, and El Dahree. Continue reading

Book of Am-Tuat – Chapter 8

Book of Am-Tuat
From Sacred Texts

CHAPTER VIII.
THE EIGHTH DIVISION OF THE TUAT, WHICH IS CALLED TEBAT-NETERU-S.

THE scene that illustrates the EIGHTH DIVISION Of the Tuat, which is passed through by the Sun-god during the EIGHTH HOUR of the night, is introduced by four lines of text which read:–

“The Majesty of this great god taketh up its place in the Circles of the hidden gods who are on their sand, and he addresseth to them words in his boat whilst the gods tow him along through this City by means of the magical powers of the serpent MEHEN. The name of the gate of this City is AHA-AN-URT-NEF. The name of this City is TEBAT-NETERU-S. The name of the Hour of the night which guideth this great god is NEBT-USHA.”

The Circles of this Division are thus described:–

“The hidden Circles of Ament which are passed through by the great god, his boat being towed along by the gods who dwell in the Tuat; let them be made according to the figures [which are depicted] on the north of the hidden palace in the Tuat. Whosoever knoweth them by their names shall be the possessor of swathings upon earth, and he shall not be repulsed at the hidden gates, and he shall have offerings in very great abundance regularly and perpetually.” Continue reading

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