Category Archives: Kemet
The hieroglyphic sign for “mountain” depicted to peaks with a valley running between them. This image approximated the hills that rose up on either side of the Nile valley.
Although the djew hieroglyph did portray the mountain ranges the Egyptians saw in their everyday lives, it also was a visualization of their cosmic beliefs. Symbolically, the “mountain” was an image of the universal mountain whose two peaks were imagined to hold up the sky. The eastern peak was called Bakhu, to the west was Manu. The ends of this great mountain were guarded by two lions who were called Aker. Aker was a protector of the the sun as it rose and set each day. Continue reading
Merit Ptah (“Beloved of the god Ptah”; c. 2700 BCE) was an early physician in ancient Egypt. She is most notable for being the first woman known by name in the history of the field of medicine. Her picture can be seen on a tomb in the necropolis near the step pyramid of Saqqara. Her son, who was a High Priest, described her as “the Chief Physician.”
The physician Merit Ptah should not be confused with Merit-Ptah, the wife of Ramose, the Governor of Thebes and Vizier under Akhenaten, who is depicted with her husband in TT55 in Sheikh Abd el-Qurna.
The International Astronomical Union named the impact crater Merit Ptah on Venus after her
The Egyptian Shen-Ring,
symbol of all symbols,
represents the coming together
of the linear ordinary way of being
and the global plenary one
– in two words: time and eternity.
The art of passing from the one to the other,
and linking them at will,
is the secret of all dynamism and freedom.
The shen ring is at first glance a circle with a horizontal line in a tangent along its bottom edge. However the shen is more than meets the eye. The Shen is a symbol which represents eternity. The more elongated version is known as a “Shenu”. It is used to house the name of someone in Mtu Ntr or hieroglyphics. Once a name was placed within it, it was thought to protect that person from negativity.
Deriving its name from the root shenu (to encircle), it was almost always a symbol of eternity. However, the shen ring also held the idea of “protection.” It most often carried this connotation when seen in its elongated variation, the cartouche; which surrounded the birth and throne names of the Pharaohs. Continue reading
From The Ancient Kemetic Roots of Library and Information Science
By Itibari M. Zulu
A Library: A Literature
An obvious axiom in any discussion of libraries is that one must first have a literature in order to have a library. In this regard, Kemet was rich: (1) the Egyptian language is the oldest written (via hieroglyphics) language in existence (McWhirter, 1982, 166); (2) evidence of a literature is present in the library of Akhenaton (Amenhotep/Amenophis, IV) which contains numerous clay tablets/books in cuneiform writing representing diplomatic correspondence between Amenhotep III, Akhenaton’s father, and nation‑states subject to Egypt (Metzger, 1980, 211); (3) the Palermo Stone, a book of annals of Kemet mentioning Seshait (Seshat/Sesheta) as the goddess of libraries, writing, and letters (Richardson, 1914, 58‑60); and (4) the text of the Precepts of Ptah‑hotep, one of the first (c. 4000 B.C.) philosophical compositions (composed 2,000 years before the Ten Commandments of Moses and 2,500 years before the Proverbs of Solomon), engraved in stone (Nichols, 1964, 33‑34).
Hence literature in ancient Kemet was common and varied in its form. Sometimes it was on papyrus and at other times it was carved/engraved in stone (c. 2700 B.C.) on the walls of temples (library‑universities), pyramids, and other monuments (Nichols, 1964, 32). Fortunately, works written in stone have survived, to provide unequivocal evidence of an extensive Kemetic tradition.7 Continue reading
THE RELIGION OF ANCIENT EGYPT
By W. M. FLINDERS PETRIE, 1906
Part 1 See here
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
THE RELIGION OF ANCIENT EGYPT
By W. M. FLINDERS PETRIE, 1906
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