Posts Tagged With: Ancient Egyptian religion

Deity of the Day for July 3rd is Khepri, The Egyptian God

Deity of the Day

Khepri

 

Khepri (also spelled Khepera, Kheper, Khepra, Chepri) is a god in the ancient Egyptian religion.

Khepri was connected with the scarab beetle (kheprer), because the scarab rolls balls of dung across the ground, an act that the Egyptians saw as a symbol of the forces that move the sun across the sky. Khepri was thus a solar deity. Young dung beetles, having been laid as eggs within the dung ball, emerge from it fully formed. Therefore, Khepri also represented creation and rebirth, and he was specifically connected with the rising sun and the mythical creation of the world. The Egyptians connected his name with the Egyptian language verb kheper, meaning “develop” or “come into being”. Kheper, (or Xeper) is a transcription of an ancient Egyptian word meaning to come into being, to change, to occur, to happen, to exist, to bring about, to create, etc. Egyptologists typically transliterate the word as ?pr. Both Kheper and Xeper possess the same phonetic value and are pronounced as “kheffer”.

There was no cult devoted to Khepri, and he was largely subordinate to the greater sun god Ra. Often, Khepri and another solar deity, Atum, were seen as aspects of Ra: Khepri was the morning sun, Ra was the midday sun, and Atum was the sun in the evening.

Khepri was principally depicted as a scarab beetle, though in some tomb paintings and funerary papyri he is represented as a human male with a scarab as a head. He is also depicted as a scarab in a solar barque held aloft by Nun. The scarab amulets that the Egyptians used as jewelry and as seals represent Khepri.

 

Source:
Wikipedia

Categories: Articles, Daily Posts, Deities, The Gods | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Deity of the Day for March 2 is Bastet

Deity of the Day

Bastet

 

Bastet was a goddess in ancient Egyptian religion, worshiped as early as the Second Dynasty (2890 BC). As Bast, she was the goddess of warfare in Lower Egypt, the Nile River delta region, before the unification of the cultures of ancient Egypt. Her name is also spelled Baast, Ubaste, and Baset.

The two uniting cultures had deities that shared similar roles and usually the same imagery. In Upper Egypt, Sekhmet was the parallel warrior lioness deity to Bast. Often similar deities merged into one with the unification, but that did not occur with these deities with such strong roots in their cultures. Instead, these goddesses began to diverge. During the Twenty-Second Dynasty (c. 945–715 BC), Bast had changed from a lioness warrior deity into a major protector deity represented as a cat. Bastet, the name associated with this later identity, is the name commonly used by scholars today to refer to this deity.

 

Name

Bastet, the form of the name which is most commonly adopted by Egyptologists today because of its use in later dynasties, is a modern convention offering one possible reconstruction. In early Egyptian, her name appears to have been 𓃀ꜣ𓊃𓏏𓏏. In Egyptian writing, the second 𓏏 marks a feminine ending, but was not usually pronounced, and the aleph may have moved to a position before the accented syllable, ꜣ𓃀𓊃𓏏. By the first millennium, then, 𓃀ꜣ𓊃𓏏𓏏 would have been something like *Ubaste (< *Ubastat) in Egyptian speech, later becoming Coptic Oubaste.

During later dynasties, Bast was assigned a lesser role in the pantheon bearing the name Bastet, but retained. Thebes became the capital of Ancient Egypt during the 18th Dynasty. As they rose to great power the priests of the temple of Amun, dedicated to the primary local deity, advanced the stature of their titular deity to national prominence and shifted the relative stature of others in the Egyptian pantheon. Diminishing her status, they began referring to Bast with the added suffix, as “Bastet” and their use of the new name was well-documented, becoming very familiar to researchers. by the 22nd dynasty the transition had occurred in all regions.

The town of Bast’s cult (see below) was known in Greek as Boubastis (Βούβαστις). The Hebrew rendering of the name for this town is Pî-beset (“House of Bastet”), spelled without Vortonsilbe.

What the name of the goddess means remains uncertain. One recent suggestion by Stephen Quirke (Ancient Egyptian Religion) explains it as meaning “She of the ointment jar”. This ties in with the observation that her name was written with the hieroglyph “ointment jar” (𓃀ꜣ𓊃) and that she was associated with protective ointments, among other things.[3] Also compare the name alabaster which might, through Greek, come from the name of the goddess.

She was the goddess of protection against contagious diseases and evil spirits.

She is also known as The Eye of Ra.

From lioness-goddess to cat-goddess

Bastet first appears in the 3rd millennium BC, where she is depicted as either a fierce lioness or a woman with the head of a lioness. Images of Bast were often created from a local stone, named alabaster today. The lioness was the fiercest hunter among the animals in Africa, hunting in co-operative groups of related females.

Originally she was viewed as the protector goddess of Lower Egypt. As protector, she was seen as defender of the pharaoh, and consequently of the later chief male deity, Ra, who was also a solar deity, gaining her the titles Lady of Flame and Eye of Ra.

Her role in the Egyptian pantheon became diminished as Sekhmet, a similar lioness war deity, became more dominant in the unified culture of Lower and Upper Egypt known as the Two Lands.

In the first millennium BC, when domesticated cats were popularly kept as pets, Bastet began to be represented as a woman with the head of a cat and ultimately, by the 22nd dynasty emerged as the quintessential Egyptian cat-goddess. In the Middle Kingdom, the domestic cat appeared as Bast’s sacred animal and after the New Kingdom she was depicted as a woman with the head of a cat or a lioness, carrying a sacred rattle and a box or basket.

 

Source:
Wikipedia

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Deity of the Day for January 13th is Horus, Egyptian God

Deity of the Day

Horus

Alternate titles: Har; Her; Heru; Hor
Horus, Egyptian Hor, Har, Her, or Heru,  in ancient Egyptian religion, a god in the form of a falcon whose right eye was the sun or morning star, representing power and quintessence, and whose left eye was the moon or evening star, representing healing. Falcon cults, which were in evidence from late predynastic times, were widespread in Egypt.

Horus appeared as a local god in many places and under different names and epithets—for instance, as Harmakhis (Har-em-akhet, “Horus in the Horizon”), Harpocrates (Har-pe-khrad, “Horus the Child”), Harsiesis (Har-si-Ese, “Horus, Son of Isis”), Harakhte (“Horus of the Horizon,” closely associated with the sun god Re), and, at Kawm Umbū (Kom Ombo), as Haroeris (Harwer, “Horus the Elder”).

At Nekhen (Greek: Hierakonpolis), however, the conception arose that the reigning king was a manifestation of Horus, and, after Lower Egypt and Upper Egypt had been united by the kings from Nekhen, this notion became a generally accepted dogma. The most important of an Egyptian king’s names (the number of which grew from three in early dynastic times to five later) was his Horus name—i.e., the name that identified him with Horus. This name appeared on monuments and tombs in a rectangular frame called a serekh.

In addition to being characterized by a Horus name, the king was typically depicted with a hovering form of Horus above his head. Sometimes Horus is shown as a winged sun disk, representing the Horus of Behdet, a town in the Nile River delta where the falcon-god enjoyed a cult.

From the 1st dynasty (c. 2925–2775 bce) onward, Horus and the god Seth were presented as perpetual antagonists who were reconciled in the harmony of Upper and Lower Egypt. In the myth of Osiris, who became prominent about 2350 bce, Horus was the son of Osiris and Isis and was the nephew of Seth, Osiris’s brother. When Seth murdered Osiris and contested Horus’s heritage (the royal throne of Egypt), Horus became Seth’s enemy. Horus eventually defeated Seth, thus avenging his father and assuming the rule. In the fight, Horus’s left eye (i.e., the moon) was damaged—this being a mythical explanation of the moon’s phases—and was healed by the god Thoth. The figure of the restored eye (the wedjat eye) became a powerful amulet. Horus is also associated (sometimes as son, sometimes as partner) with the ancient cow-goddess Hathor, who is often depicted with cow’s horns, sometimes with cow’s ears.

In the Ptolemaic period the vanquishing of Seth became a symbol of Egypt triumphing over its occupiers. At Idfū, where rebellions frequently interrupted work on the temple, a ritual drama depicting Horus as pharaoh spearing Seth in the guise of a hippopotamus was periodically enacted.

Horus was later identified by the Greeks with Apollo, and the town of Idfū was called Apollinopolis (“Apollo’s Town”) during the Greco-Roman period.

 

Source:
Encyclopedia Britannica

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Your Charm for Wednesday, October 23 is The Heart

Your Charm for Today

Today’s Meaning:    

A course of events that cannot be altered has been set in motion within this aspect. Accept whatever happens in the near future and do not waste your time fretting about it–you can do nothing.

General Description:  

This was a favorite charm in Egypt, worn in order to frustrate magicians, sorcerers and evil wishers from bewitching the wearer and stealing the soul from the heart; for it was the general belief that if the soul left the heart, the body would soon fade away and perish. The ancient Egyptians also believed that, after death, the heart was taken, in the underworld, and weighed against the symbols of the law; if found perfect, it was restored to the body, which at once came to life again and enjoyed everlasting felicity

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Finding Serendipity

Finding Serendipity

Author:   Mirage 

When I was first drawn to Paganism and Wicca, I had some high expectations. I thought that I could summon dragons and fairies and they would appear whenever I wanted. I expected sparks to fly out of the end of my wand and every love spell I cast would bring the man of my dreams right to my door. As we all know, those events never came to be. One thing I didn’t expect, or even consider for that matter, was the relationship I would develop with the Divine. The ironic thing is, the one expectation I didn’t have became the most profound part of my spiritual journey.

I was brought up hardcore Catholic. I only knew of ONE God and His fury if you did something that He disapproved. Not a very fulfilling spiritual experience if you ask me… I was dragged to mass on a weekly basis and I also had to suffer through religion classes as well. I was forced to receive Holy Communion and become a Confirmed Catholic. This was a very angering experience for me- it never felt quite right and it left me feeling empty. I am by no means bashing the Catholic religion; I am just sharing my experience with it.

I was spiritually lost and confused and I had nobody to turn to with my questions and doubts. For a while, I did not believe in anything at all and considered myself Agnostic. I questioned the existence of the Divine and wondered why I should waste my time praying and worshipping something that never responded.

On top of that, I was going through a rough time at school and at home- I didn’t fit in and everybody knew it. The worst part of the whole thing was that people always had to express their feelings of disapproval toward me and that just made things even more difficult and awkward.

When I hit rock bottom and pretty much didn’t care if I lived another day, the Egyptian Goddess Isis called to me. I can’t recall the exact moment that it happened, but I was strangely drawn to Her. I researched Her online and at libraries and also bought everything I could that related to Her (jewelry, statues, books, etc.)

At first I thought the fascination was just something to distract me from all of my emotional issues, but now that I look back on the situation, I think She saved me from myself and my situation. She gave me a new focus and a reason to live.

Unfortunately, I had to hide my beliefs because I was still living with my parents and they considered anything other than what they believed to be “devil worship”. I still continued learning and worshiping, trying to avoid their “blasphemy radar”- I know they knew what I was doing, but they had no proof since I would do most of it after they went to sleep.

I hate to say it, but even after Isis had called to me, I was still skeptical about the existence of the Divine, so I decided to conduct a little “test”. I made several requests to Isis and if they came to be, I told myself that I would never doubt the existence of the Divine again.

Sure enough, my requests were met- not always in ways that I expected, but Isis definitely got Her point across. In the midst of all this, I ended up leaving my parents house-for two reasons to be exact. First of all, I couldn’t stand them continually bashing my spiritual beliefs and trying to impose their beliefs on me again. They never made an effort to learn about my beliefs or ask me why I didn’t want to be a part of their faith any more, and I found that disrespectful. They just assumed I was trying to be rebellious and if they kept threatening me with the fires of hell I would come back to their church and their beliefs. Second, they disapproved the greatest gift that Isis had given to me- my husband (at the time we had just been engaged) .

Once I was out of my parent’s house, I was able to worship and learn freely. No more hiding books and statues… Isis was my fortress. With Her I felt like nothing could harm me- She would let me stumble to learn my lessons, but She would never let me fail completely. I continued my studies pertaining to Wicca and Egyptian Paganism, but I felt something was missing…

Isis was wonderful and She was everything I could possibly want in a Deity, but Wicca emphasized both a Mother and Father God and there were also several Egyptian Gods I read about in my studies as well. As you can well imagine, every time I thought about the idea of a male Deity, I would cringe because of my experiences (or lack thereof) with the Christian God who so happens to be male. I suppose my past had caused me to develop a negative view of the Male Divine. The thought would cross my mind every now and then, but I would brush it aside because it would bring back those uncomfortable feelings I had as a Catholic.

Several years passed and I met a man who was a coven leader. I was a solitary practitioner and still am, but I am always interested in the viewpoints of others. His coven was Ecclectic, so they dealt with various Pantheons and Deities. I refused to budge from the Egyptian Pantheon when it came to worship and working magick, but I was willing to listen and learn about other Pantheons and Deities. I was having some personal issues at the time, and I needed a way to effectively let go of issues in my life that were holding me back.

The coven leader and I held a small private ritual in which we asked the Egyptian God Set for help to clear away my issues. I was both skeptical and uncomfortable for a few reasons. First of all, in Egyptian mythology, Set murdered the husband of Isis so he could be ruler of Egypt. Basically people have viewed him as being evil. I was afraid that by dealing with Set, this would irritate Isis and I would lose everything I had with Her. Second, my issue with the Male Divine came to mind as well.

I decided to let things take their course and go from there.

Months passed, and things gradually got better for me. I moved to a better apartment, got a promotion at work, and improved my relationship with my husband. I also strengthened my relationship with Isis and began a relationship with Set. I began to look past the gender of a Deity and focused on their aspects and how to develop a relationship with them.

I have several personality characteristics in common with both Isis and Set and I think this is why I am so close to both of them. I know it is an odd combination of Deities to work with (for those of you who follow the Egyptian Pantheon, I’m sure you can see why) , but they have both shown me that faith doesn’t have to be a blind and empty ordeal- the Divine is out there and if you know how to connect with it in a way that is personally moving to you, you will feel it and experience it!

I guess you can say that Set allowed me to let go of my negative preconceptions of the Male Divine and also helped me balance my spiritual life with guidance and protection from both a God and Goddess.

What I’m trying to say here is not to take religion or spirituality at face value. You can get caught up in all the glitz and glamour of magic and such, but our path has so much more to offer us! Expect the unexpected and view it as a gift from the Divine. I hope my story has inspired you to take a look at your spiritual life and count your blessings as well :-)

Brightest Blessings,

Mirage

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Calendar of the Sun for October 28th

Calendar of the Sun

28 Winterfyllith

Day I of the Mysteries of Isis and Osiris

Colors: Green and black
Elements: Earth and Air
Altar: Upon cloth of green and black set a figure of Isis, a figure of Osiris, a box carved like a sarcophagus, and two large ivory candles.
Offerings: Undertake a long-term difficult project.
Daily Meal: Beer. Barley. Figs. Dates. Nuts. Flatbread.

Osiris Invocation

Hail O Osiris
Wake O Osiris
Arise O Osiris
Thy Mother Nuit gives thee birth
The great company of gods would converse with thee
Take thy seat, Osiris,
For none shall offend thee,
Thine enemies are beneath thee,
All honor is given
To Osiris, Lord of the Dead.
For Osiris, the eldest son of Nut,
Was feasting at his table
When forth came Set, his Adversary
With a coffin inlaid much with gold and gems,
Saying that whosoever the coffin fit,
Might have it for his own.
Osiris lay down in the coffin,
Only to find that it had been made for his measure,
And that Set’s henchmen had been laying in wait
To spring the lid closed,
Nail down the box,
And cast it into the Nile.
So it was done, and it floated into the great Sea,
Where it was borne up by the waves
To the foot of a tamarisk tree
Which enclosed it in a cradle of bark.
And there lay Osiris,
Great King of the Gods of Egypt,
Locked in stillness and one with the trees.
Weep for him, Lord of the Earth!
(All weep and wail, the lights are cast out, and the wailing continues as all exit.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]

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The Wicca Book of Days for July 21 – Adoring Aten

The Wicca Book of Days for July 21

Adoring Aten

 

In ancient Egyptian belief, July 21 marked the birthday of Aten, the divine disk of the sun, and was also considered the date on which the universe came into being, for it was told that after the Sun God – who was worshiped in various places and periods as Re, or Ra, Atum, Amun, and Amun-Re – had manifested himself, he went on to create the other Gods. Aten was once regarded as an aspect of Re (specifically, as the Sun God’s body), but gained temporary absolute primacy when he was elevated by Pharaoh Amenhotep IV (1372 – 54 BC.) to the unique position of sole divinity.

 

A Golden Egg

To celebrate the Sun, look out for a translation of the ancient Egyptian text called The Hymn to Aten, which Pharaoh Amenhotep is reputed to have composed. Alternatively, boil an egg and savor the sight of its golden yolk, a solar symbol.

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The Wicca Book of Days for April 2nd – The Egyptian Ennead

The Wicca Book of Days for April 2nd

The Egyptian Ennead

The Day of Joy of the Ennead was commemorated on April 2 in ancient Egypt, the Ennead being the collective name of the nine gods that were worshipped in Heliopolis. Chief among the Ennead was Re, or Ra, the Sun God, who brought Shu (the God of Air) and Tefnut (the Goddess of Moisture) into being. Shu and Tefnut were the parents of Geb (the God of the Earth) and Nut (the Sky Goddess), who in turn gave birth to Osiris (who eventually became the ruler of the underworld), the great Goddess Isis, their sister, Nepthys, and their evil brother, Set.

Ambiguous April

Some believe that April derives its name from the Roman verb aprire, to open, as buds do at this time of year. Others say that “April” is rooted in aphrilis, or “the month of Aphrodite,” Venus’s Greek equivalent. Either way, give thanks to the Goddess today for April’s blossoms.

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