Sia, Hu, and Heku – Intelligence, Power and Magic

Sia was the divine personification of perception and thoughtfulness, which is necessary in order to understand the truth. He represented the heart which was considered the seat of emotion, thought, and character. Sia formed a dyad with Hu, who represented the tongue, and was the personification of the authority of the spoken word.

Sia and Hu would form a triad with Heku, god of magic, medicine and the primordial force in the universe which empowered life and sustained Ma’at.  Sia represented the intellect while Hu symbolized the word of the Creator Ptah (or Atum) which brought thought into reality and Heku was the underlying force which gave them power.

Sia is depicted as a man standing at the right side of Re (or Ptah) holding his papyrus scroll. In the Valley of the Kings he is seen in paintings as a member of the crew aboard Re’s sun barge.

The ram-headed form of Ra when traveling the Duat, the hours of night and the underworld, on the barge along with Sia (left and front) and Heku (right and behind of barque)

Hu was one of the minor gods in some respects, but he was also one of the most important Egyptian deities. Hu is the power of the spoken word and personifies the authority of utterance. He is often seen as a representation of the power of Heku or Atum and is depicted in funerary texts guiding the soul to the afterlife.

Hu is mentioned in the Old Kingdom Pyramid texts (PT 251, PT 697) as companion of the deceased Pharaoh. Together with Sia, he was depicted in the retinue of Thoth, with whom he was also occasionally identified.

Hu is the 2nd figure from left of the image (with a tongue symbol above his head) along with Khepri, Thoth, and Isis

The three gods: Sia, the personification of Divine Knowledge/Omniscience, the mind of the gods; Hu the personification of Divine Utterance, the voice of authority; and Heku, the personification of Divine Magical Power, were very important to the rulers of Ancient Egypt. Along with Re, the Sun God, they rode the solar barge across the sky in order to create and sustain all life. Having traveled through the Underworld each night and making it past all the dangers, the solar barge would once again rise with each sunrise to signify that the world was created anew.

Hu was particularly important because he was the epitome of the power and command of the ruler. Even after death, Hu was of utmost importance to the Kings of Ancient Egypt. He acted as the companion to the Pharaoh as he entered the Afterlife. Through Hu, the Pharaoh maintained his royal authority in the Afterlife. Hu was depicted in human shape, as a falcon, or as a man with a ram’s head.

Some myths suggest that Hu was not just a part of creation, but that he was the creator. It is said that as Hu drew his first breath, there was in that sound “hu…” the essence of his name. In the mythology, Hu’s first breath created the Soul of Osiris and his last breathe was the creation of the Sun.

On January 9th, 10th and 11th we honor Sia, Hu and Heku; Divine Knowledge, Divine Utterance, and Magical Power.