By J. Hill, 2010
Apep (Apophis) was the ancient Egyptian spirit of evil, darkness and destruction who threatened to destroy the sun god Ra as he travelled though the underworld (or sky) at night.
Originally Set and Mehen (the serpent headed man) were given the job of defending Ra and his solar barge. They would cut a hole in the belly of the snake to allow Ra to escape his clutches. If they failed, the world would be plunged into darkness. However, in later periods Apep was sometimes equated with Set who was after all a god of chaos. In this case a variety of major and minor gods and goddesses (including [Auset] (Isis), Neith, Serket (Selket), Geb, Aker and the followers of [Heru] (Horus) protected Ra from this all consuming evil. The dead themselves (in the form of the god Shu) could also fight Apep to help maintain ma’at (order). Continue reading
LEARN ALL ABOUT READING HIEROGLYPHICS: AN INTRODUCTION
Special thanks to Neferkiki for this wonderful introduction
So you want to write like an Egyptian, huh? Well it took several years for aspiring scribes to learn how to do it, so for the sake of time we’ll just cover the basics.
Hieroglyphic writing is phonetic…
That means symbols stand for certain sounds (unlike the English alphabet where some letters have many sounds or can be silent). Let’s start out with an example, the word freight. While the F, R, and T sound the “normal” way, the G and H are silent and the E and I make one sound (long A). There are 7 letters in the word, but only 4 sounds (F, R, long A, and T) are heard. So to spell freight with hieroglyphs, you’d use the symbols for those 4 sounds: Continue reading
Learning Egyptian Hieroglyphs – Lesson 1
By Caroline Seawright, 2000
I’m going to go through the book, “Egyptian Grammar” by A.H. Gardiner, and try to learn Middle Egyptian hieroglyphs. In this column, I will attempt to share what I learn as I go along!
Note that the Egyptians, when writing hieroglyphs, generally drew each hieroglyph in a square (or rectangular) area. Sometimes there might be one, two or more hieroglyphs in the one area. The secondary hieroglyphs were usually smaller than the main one, though a number of small hieroglyphs could be used instead.
Direction of Writing Continue reading
Loki’s brood; Hel, Fenrir and Jörmungandr. By Emil Doepler, 1905
Tracing the origins of the Serpent Cult
By Katrina Sisowath, 2014
In mythology, the serpent symbolises fertility and procreation, wisdom, death, and resurrection (due to the shedding of its skin, which is not akin to rebirth), and in the earliest schools of mysticism, the symbol of ‘The Word’ was the serpent. The ‘light’ that appeared was metaphorically defined as a serpent called ‘Kundalini’, coiled at the base of the spine to remain dormant in an unawakened person. Divinity or awakening one’s Godhood and latent abilities came with the rituals and teachings brought by the serpent people.
To understand them, we must look at the original ‘serpents’. In China, it was a male and female pair Continue reading
Queen Sobeknefru (Sobekkare)
1785 – 1782
Married to Amenemhet IV, who was possibly also her brother and on his death she became ruler of Egypt. Like Amenemhet IV there are very little records of her reign now remaining. Statues of her were found in the Faiyum and she added to the Labyrinth of Amenemhet III.
Sobeknefru had a very brief reign of 4 years (she may have actually been co-regent with Amenemhet IV), she has been identified with a pyramid near Dahshur (with similar problems about truly identifying the pyramid with her as with identifying Amenemhet IV and his pyramid). Continue reading
O Osiris the king,
who goes forth by night !
by Wim van den Dungen
The legend of Osiris is told in various ways, but we possess no complete tale. The Egyptians themselves only alluded to the assassination and probably conceived the sequence of events as a form of sacred history.
Most narratives go back to De Iside et Osiride of Mestrius Plutarch (ca. 45 – 120 CE), an initiate of the mysteries of Apollo. He stressed the connection between the myth of Osiris and the inundation of the Nile and its fertility (cf. agriculture), a reading confirmed by Egyptology, connecting Osiris with popular Predynastic (Lunar) vegetations rituals (the “Bull” as consort of the great cow goddess of the Moon ?). The “Golden Age” or “age of the gods” could therefore reflect some of the events of the period of the formation of the two kingdom (the Late Predynastic Period, ca. 3600 – 3300 BCE, or the Gerzean culture of Naqada II and the Terminal Predynastic Period, ca. 3300 – 3000 BCE). In these last 600 years of prehistory, the role of the male chief, important from the start of agriculture in Lunar-based, nomadic and semi-nomadic societies, increased, and the “good king” became an emblem of power and unity. Continue reading
OVERVIEW OF EGYPTIAN HISTORY
PRE-DYNASTIC (late neolithic culture) 6,000 to 3,000 BC
Nagada I – 5,000 BC – Upper Egypt, spread from Abydos over all of Upper Egypt; reached Red Sea, first cataract and Libyan oasis. Nagada II – 4,000 BC to 3,500 BC – Trade and conflict with Lower Egypt; Hierakonopolis, in middle Egypt, tombs, murals and inscriptions. Nagada III – @ 3,000 BC – The Two Kingdoms, Upper and Lower Egypt, emerge. Upper Egypt: Nekhab (El Kab, near Edfu) central location. Lower Egypt: Buto (Tell el Farain, near Desouq) in the Delta. Period of struggle between North and South in which south claimed the victory; Narmer palette commemorates victory and unification.
EARLY DYNASTIC ERA 3,000 to 2705 BC Continue reading
The Pyramid Texts
Translation by Samuel A. B. Mercer, 1952
6. MOSTLY SERPENT CHARMS, UTTERANCES 226-243.
225a. To say: One serpent is encircled by another serpent,
225b. when a toothless (?) calf born on pasture-land is encircled.
225c. Earth, devour that which has come forth from thee. Monster (beast), lie down, glide away.
226a. A servant (holy person) who belongs to the Ennead (pelican) is fallen in water.
226b. Serpent, turn over that Rē‘ may see thee.
Utterance 227. Continue reading
God of warfare and hunting
In late Egyptian mythology, Wepwawet (hieroglyphic wp-w3w.t; also rendered Upuaut, Wep-wawet, Wepawet, and Ophois) was originally a war deity, whose cult centre was Asyut in Upper Egypt (Lycopolis in the Greco-Roman period).
His name means, opener of the ways and he is often depicted as a wolf standing at the prow of a solar-boat. Some interpret that Wepwawet was seen as a scout, going out to clear routes for the army to proceed forward. One inscription from the Sinai states that Wepwawet “opens Continue reading