“Who is this Cat?”

The Egyptian Tree of Life, the Persea Tree, was guarded and protected by the Mau, the Great Cat. The sacred Persea Tree emerged when Ra (Re) as Atum the Sun-god first appeared at Heliopolis. The Tree played a part in the Creation Myth that explained how the nine gods who made up the Ennead of Heliopolis were created. The fruit of the Tree of Life gave eternal life and knowledge of the divine plan.

Apep was the Egyptian god of evil, chaos and destruction; depicted as a giant snake. He threatened divine order and attempted to prevent Re from bringing the sun into the sky each day. According to ancient Egyptian literature Re as the Great Cat Mau battled against Apep to prevent him from taking control of the Persea Tree of Life and the world. After many battles Mau defeated Apep and cut off the head of the serpent.

On the Book of the Dead written in the Papyrus of Ani there is this statement:

“I am the Cat which fought near the Persea tree in Anu on the night when the foes of Neb-er-Tcher (God of Creation) were destroyed.

Who is this Cat?

This male Cat is Re himself, and he was called ‘Mau’ because of the speech of the god Sa, who said concerning him: ‘He is like (Mau) unto that which he hath made; therefore, did the name of Re become ‘Mau.’ ” (Budge, 1895, p.287)

This papyrus shows Mau killing the snake with the ancient Egyptian knife, Khop.

Apep

“In the Beginning”

“In the beginning there was Isis (Aset): Oldest of the Old, She was the Goddess from whom all beginning Arose. She was the Great Lady, Mistress of the two Lands of Egypt, Mistress of Shelter, Mistress of Heaven, Mistress of the House of Life, Mistress of the word of God. She was the unique. In all Her great and wonderful works She was a wiser magician and more excellent than any other god.” ~ Ancient Egyptian texts

Egyptian_-_Wall_Painting-_Woman_Holding_a_Sistrum_-_Google_Art_Project
Egyptian Woman holding sitrum

“Come to me. Come to me, for my speech hath in it the power to protect, and it possesseth life. I am Isis the goddess, and I am the lady of words of power.

Isis, the goddess and great enchantress at the head of the gods. Heaven was satisfied with the words of the goddess Isis. The great lady, the God-mother, giver of life. The divine one, the only one, the greatest of the gods and goddesses, the queen of all gods, the female Ra, the female Horus, the eye of Ra, Lady of the New Year, maker of the sunrise, Lady of heaven, the light-giver of heaven.

Queen of the earth, most mighty one, lady of warmth and fire, the God-mother. The lady of life, lady of green crops, lady of bread, lady of abundance, lady of joy and gladness, lady of love, the maker of kings, the beautiful goddess, the lady of words of power. Wife of the lord of the abyss.

Let the blood of Isis, and the magical spirits of Isis and the words of power of Isis, be mighty to protect us all and keep safely…”

~ From the Book of the Dead, translated by E. A. Wallis Budge

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Temple of Isis at Philae

 

Sanctuary

“Every good and pure thing that the sky gives, the earth creates, the inundation brings, on which the god/desses live.”

The sanctuary was the most special and important part of the temple. It was a very dark and mysterious place. Only the high priest/ess and the pharaoh could ever enter the sanctuary.

In the middle of the sanctuary stood the shrine where the statue of the god or goddess was kept. The ancient Egyptians believed that during rituals the god or goddess would enter the statue.

Abu_Simbel_temple,_four_statues_of_divinities_in_sanctuary
Abu Simble Temple – the Divinities

Guidance: We shall gather in a sacred space to discover what the lunar and solar energies will be for the coming year. Through the process of meditation, and offerings, we will seek clarity and guidance as well as give thanks to the gifts and insights provided during the previous year. We shall create and manifest sanctuary this year. It is time to co-create a true home.

Invoking the Goddess

I offer to and invoke Aset the goddess of love, fertility and motherhood. She is the devoted wife, mother and protector of the poor and enslaved. Aset gives a voice to the voiceless and all that she represents is needed for the progression of humanity.

We offer to Aset!

We offer to Hathor!

Let us Celebrate this day and honor the Goddesses of love and righteousness!

Prayer to Thoth

This Prayer to Thoth c. 1150 BCE, from the time of the New Kingdom, is a prayer for inspiration to Thoth, God of wisdom and writing. This prayer was found in the Papyrus Anastasi V, a scroll discovered at Thebes more than 150 years ago.

According to the Cairo Ancient Egyptian calendar, today is the last day of the month, and on this day Thoth comes forth. Offerings made this day are blessed with possibilities.

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Thoth-ibis and devotee on a base inscribed for Padihorsiese

As a writer seeking inspiration, I invoke Thoth:

Come to me, Thoth, O noble Ibis. O god who longs for Khmunu, O dispatch-writer of the Ennead, the great one of Unu. Come to me that you may give advice and make me skillful in your office.

Better is your profession than all professions. It makes men great. He who is skilled in it is found fit to exercise the office of magistrate. I have seen many for whom you have acted and they are in the council of the Thirty, they being strong and powerful through what you have done. You are the one who has given advice. You are the one who has given advice to the motherless man. Shay and Renenwetet are with you. Come to me that you may advise me.

I am the servant of your house. Let me relate your prowess in whatever land I am. Then the multitude of men shall say “How great are the things that Thoth has done.” Then they shall come with their children to brand them with your profession, a calling good to the Lord of Victory. Joyful is the one who has exercised it.

Prayer to Ra

Oh RA

You God of Life, you Lord of Love,
All men live when you shine.

You are the crowned King of the Gods.
The Goddess Aset embraces you,
and enfolds you in all seasons.
Those who follow you sing to you with joy,
and they bow down their foreheads to the earth
In gratitude for your radiant blessings.

Oh RA, You the King of Truth, the Lord of Eternity,
The Prince of Everlastingness,
You Sovereign of all Gods,
You God of Life, you Creator of Eternity,
You Maker of Heaven.
All the Gods rejoice at your rising.

Oh RA, You giver of all life,
The Earth rejoices when it sees your golden rays
People who have been long dead
come forward with cries of joy
to behold your beauties every day.
You go forth each day over Heaven and Earth.

Oh RA God of Life, you Lord of Love,
All men live when you shine.

~ Prayer to Ra from the tomb of Shep-en-Mut (25th dynasty)

sunhand

Solstice, the Re-Birth of Horus

Over five thousand years ago Ancient Egyptians celebrated the re-birth of the sun at this time of year. The midwinter festival celebrated the birth of Horus, son of Aset.

The feast days were for 12 days, to reflect the 12 divisions in their zodiac sun calendar.  Ancient Egyptians decorated with greenery and especially with 12 palm shoots as a symbol of the completed year. It was believed that a palm put forth a shoot each month.

I have not kept track of the frequency of our palm shoots, but perhaps the temple cats know.

Temple cats
Blessings of the light

 

Karnak Temple was built in alignment with the Solstice in order to focus light on a shrine to the Sun god.

The Karnak Temple
Karnak Temple
Solstice in karnak
Solstice at Karnak

 

 

 

Flame of Protection

Intense, destructive fires are all around us here in California. When meditating upon these flames, I found a  protection prayer – call it spell – to protect those “kings” (and queens), who are fighting these fires; and to protect those “kings” (and queens), whose homes and animals are at risk. Furthermore,  let us send safety and healing to those whose homes and animals have perished in the flames.

Sacred Flame

“Lighting the Flame” was a daily ritual in the ancient temples. At daybreak the priests would light the sacred fire just before the sun – Ra – rose in the east. The sacred flame of Ra is warm and life-giving.  Fire has been a “savior” to human-kind, providing warmth and light, protecting us from the dark and cold.

Prayer for Protection

O Sekhmet, Eye of Ra, Great of Flame,
Lady of protection who envelops her creator,
Come towards the King, Nb-twy (Lord of the Two Lands) . . .
Protect him and preserve him from all arrows,
And every evil of this year . . .

O Sekhmet, who fills the ways with blood,
Who slaughters to the limits of all she sees,
Come towards the living image, the Living Falcon,
Protect him, and preserve him from all evil,
And every arrow of this year.

Triad of Ramesses II with Amun and Ma’at

Hymn of the Seven Hathors

In the Temple of Dendera (5th Crypt), is found the Hymn of the Seven Hathors. Today, according to the Ancient Egyptian Calendar, is a day of celebration; therefore, wishing to carry on the beauty and celebratory spirit of Hathor, I present this to you.

Hymn of the Seven Hathors

We play the tambourine for your ka,
We dance for your majesty
We exalt you – to the height of heaven.
You are the Mistress of Sekhem, the menat and the sistrum
The Mistress of Music for whose ka one lays
We praise your majesty every day
From dusk until the Earth grows light,
We rejoice in your countenance, O Mistress of Dendera.
We praise you with song.
You are the lady of Jubilation, the Mistress of the Iba dance,
The Lady of Music, the Mistress of Harp playing,
The Lady of Dancing, the Mistress of Tying on Garlands,
The Lady of Myrrh and the Mistress of Leaping.
We glorify your majesty – we give praise before your face.
We exalt your power over the Gods and Goddesses.
You are the Lady of Hymns,
The Mistress of the Library – the Great Seshat.
At the head of the Mansion of Records,
We propitiate your majesty every day.
Your heart rejoices at hearing our songs.
We rejoice when we see you, day by day.
Our hearts are jubilant when we see your majesty,
You are the Lady of Garlands, the Mistress of Dance
The Lady of Unending Drunkenness.
We rejoice before your face, we play for your ka.
Your heart rejoices over our performance.

Inside Temple of Dendara

Hathor’s Mirror Full Moon Ritual

The full moon has long been considered a symbol of wisdom and intuition. We feel its connection every month, when it lights the night sky. Water is also linked to the changing face of the moon and the tides.

The last moon phase of the year is the Long Nights Moon in December, also called Raven or Big Winter Moon, depending on where you live. This is often a time of introspection and self discovery, as you evaluate the trials and tribulations that you’ve endured over the past year. This is a time to re-evaluate where you want to go and who you want to be in the coming twelve month; this is a season of adaptation and change. Full Moon/Mirror of Hathor scrying magic can be very helpful to see the possibilities.
silu

To begin, create an outdoor altar with seasonal items like holly branches and pine cones, perhaps use a small pine, or other tree, to be the center of your altar. Burn some cinnamon, frankincense, or a winter solstice incense of your choice. Go out to your altar at night with a bowl or cauldron full of water, and do some moonlight scrying. This is particularly helpful if you know you need to make some changes, but aren’t sure how to get started. The Egyptian “Book of the Dead” contains references to Hathor’s magic mirror, used to see the future.

If you can’t perform this ritual on the night of the full moon, the night immediately before or immediately after is just as acceptable.

In addition to a clear sky and a full moon, you will need the following items:

A table or some sort of flat work space
A dark bowl
A pitcher containing enough water to fill the bowl

If you live near a natural body of water such as a pond or lake, you can perform scrying with these instead.
A journal or notepad to write in, as well as a pen

Sit or stand comfortably. Begin by closing your eyes, and attuning your mind to the energy around you. Feel the soft earth under your feet. Hear the rustling of the wind in the trees. Breathe in the scent of grass and earth that lingers in the air. Raise your arms out to your sides, palms facing up, and feel the energy of the moon above you.

Take some time to gather that energy. It’s a pull, a palpable sensation that we can feel if we just take the time to look for it. Feel that silver power above you, and recognize your connection to it, and to the Divine.

When you are ready to begin scrying, open your eyes. Notice the night all around you. You may feel an unusual sense of clarity and alertness. There is no need to be  concerned, it’s just lunar energy at work. Raise the pitcher in one hand, holding it over the bowl. As you do, visualize wisdom and guidance within the water. As you pour the water into the bowl, from the pitcher, see the energy of the moon charging that water. Recognize that this water can show you the mysteries of the moon. Remember Aset and Hathor are both Goddesses of the Moon and Stars.

When the bowl is full, position yourself so that you can see the moon’s light reflected directly into the water. Stare into the water, looking for patterns, symbols or pictures. You may see images moving, or perhaps even words forming.

Thoughts may come spontaneously into your head that seem to have nothing at all to do with anything. Write everything down. Spend as much time as you like gazing into the water,  it may be just a few minutes, or even an hour. Stop when you begin to feel restless, or if you are getting distracted by mundane thoughts.

When you are finished gazing into the water, make sure you have recorded everything you saw, thought and felt during your scrying session. Messages often come to us from other realms and we may not recognize them. If a bit of information doesn’t make sense, sit on it for a few days and let your unconscious mind process it. Chances are it will make sense eventually. It’s also possible that you could receive a message that’s meant for someone else; if something doesn’t seem to apply to you, think about friends or family whom it might be meant for.

Afterwards the ritual, you can leave your water out overnight to charge it even more, or you can pour it away into your garden as an offering.

It is good to be referent and give thanks for the Divine guidance.

fullmoon

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