Category Archives: Writings

A firm heart on the right path

Gracious is the face of the well-doer.
Let the beneficent one find great company too.
To seek without finding equals waste of time.
A firm heart on the right path can work
like gold and jewels.
~Papyrus of Ani

A pathway

A Hymn to the Nile

This hymn was written around 2100 bce by a man named Khety and little is known about the author, although it has been suggested he was of low status. The hymn refers to Egyptian religion and the Egyptians’ relationship to the Nile. This also provides some clues as to the economy and Egyptian society as well as the Egyptians’ attitudes towards Nature.

A Nile

Hail to thee, O Nile! Who manifests thyself over this land, and comes to give life to Egypt! Mysterious is thy issuing forth from the darkness, on this day whereon it is celebrated! Watering the orchards created by Re, to cause all the cattle to live, you give the earth to drink, inexhaustible one! Path that descends from the sky, loving the bread of Seb and the first-fruits of Nepera, You cause the workshops of Ptah to prosper!

Lord of the fish, during the inundation, no bird alights on the crops. You create the grain, you bring forth the barley, assuring perpetuity to the temples. If you cease your toil and your work, then all that exists is in anguish. If the gods suffer in heaven, then the faces of men waste away.

Then He torments the flocks of Egypt, and great and small are in agony. But all is changed for mankind when He comes; He is endowed with the qualities of Nun. If He shines, the earth is joyous, every stomach is full of rejoicing, every spine is happy, every jaw-bone crushes (its food).

He brings the offerings, as chief of provisioning; He is the creator of all good things, as master of energy, full of sweetness in his choice. If offerings are made it is thanks to Him. He brings forth the herbage for the flocks, and sees that each god receives his sacrifices. All that depends on Him is a precious incense. He spreads himself over Egypt, filling the granaries, renewing the marts, watching over the goods of the unhappy.

He is prosperous to the height of all desires, without fatiguing Himself therefor. He brings again his lordly bark; He is not sculptured in stone, in the statutes crowned with the uraeus serpent, He cannot be contemplated. No servitors has He, no bearers of offerings! He is not enticed by incantations! None knows the place where He dwells, none discovers his retreat by the power of a written spell.

No dwelling (is there) which may contain you! None penetrates within your heart! Your young men, your children applaud you and render unto you royal homage. Stable are your decrees for Egypt before your servants of the North! He stanches the water from all eyes and watches over the increase of his good things.

Where misery existed, joy manifests itself; all beasts rejoice. The children of Sobek, the sons of Neith, the cycle of the gods which dwells in him, are prosperous. No more reservoirs for watering the fields! He makes mankind valiant, enriching some, bestowing his love on others. None commands at the same time as himself. He creates the offerings without the aid of Neith, making mankind for himself with multiform care.

He shines when He issues forth from the darkness, to cause his flocks to prosper. It is his force that gives existence to all things; nothing remains hidden for him. Let men clothe themselves to fill his gardens. He watches over his works, producing the inundation during the night. He causes all his servants to exist, all writings and divine words, and that which He needs in the North.

It is with the words that He penetrates into his dwelling; He issues forth at his pleasure through the magic spells. Your unkindness brings destruction to the fish; it is then that prayer is made for the (annual) water of the season; Southern Egypt is seen in the same state as the North. Each one is with his instruments of labor. None remains behind his companions. None clothes himself with garments, The children of the noble put aside their ornaments.

He night remains silent, but al1 is changed by the inundation; it is a healing-balm for all mankind. Establisher of justice! Mankind desires you, supplicating you to answer their prayers; You answer them by the inundation! Men offer the first-fruits of corn; all the gods adore you! The birds descend not on the soil. It is believed that with your hand of gold you make bricks of silver! But we are not nourished on lapis-lazuli; wheat alone gives vigor.

A festal song is raised for you on the harp, with the accompaniment of the hand. Your young men and your children acclaim you and prepare their (long) exercises. You are the august ornament of the earth, letting your bark advance before men, lifting up the heart of women in labor, and loving the multitude of the flocks.

When you shine in the royal city, the rich man is sated with good things, the poor man even disdains the lotus; all that is produced is of the choicest; all the plants exist for your children. If you have refused (to grant) nourishment, the dwelling is silent, devoid of all that is good, the country falls exhausted.

O inundation of the Nile, offerings are made unto you, men are immolated to you, great festivals are instituted for you. Birds are sacrificed to you, gazelles are taken for you in the mountain, pure flames are prepared for you. Sacrifice is made to every god as it is made to the Nile. The Nile has made its retreats in Southern Egypt, its name is not known beyond the Tuau. The god manifests not his forms, He baffles all conception.

Men exalt him like the cycle of the gods, they dread him who creates the heat, even him who has made his son the universal master in order to give prosperity to Egypt. Come prosper! Come prosper! O Nile, come prosper! O you who make men to live through his flocks and his flocks through his orchards! Come prosper, come, O Nile, come and prosper!

Luxor-Temple-at-Night

Source: Oliver J. Thatcher, ed., The Library of Original Sources (Milwaukee: University Research Extension Co., 1907), Vol. I: The Ancient World, pp. 79-83.

Community of Kindred Spirits

IseumSanctuaryCommunity

Let the Spirit Move you!

The Iseum Sanctuary is a performance space, art gallery, meditation retreat, health information center, animal sanctuary, and a forum for ideas and exchanges. We embrace counterculture, alternative lifestyle, and spiritual practices of all beliefs. The Iseum is Universal in scope, perhaps not “mainstream,” but who truly wants to be mainstream?  Do you?

My Mau Cat licks my hand as I write this as if to say, “YES, I am with you, I am yours and you are mine.” Perhaps this is an example of acceptance, love, between creatures and humans – why should one be above the other?

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Re and the Deer

We wish to welcome YOU!  Join our community and Sanctuary. We welcome your artistic, eclectic, spiritual, physical, and any other contribution – since you are part of the whole, and part of this preternatural reality.

ALL are welcome.

San Aset

A field of stones shaped like hearts…

“I cross an open field of stones shaped all like hearts and say to the rocks: This one shall break, and this hold the rain, and this one be still, And this other crumble and its grains of sand shall mark my passage. Beat. Beat. Beat. The power of my Self is moving. My heart. My birth. My passions. My coming into existence. The sun within warms me, my Self, my heart, my ka (spirit), the fire of god. I am my Self coming forth, a creature bearing light. My heart is a lyre that hums. I stand in the midst of celestial fire until my heart is molten gold. I dance and spin, my face flushed with heat, a circle of flesh aflame. I return to the heart afire, center of the universe, peace, unto god. I am a being of light.”

Normandi Ellis Awakening Osiris: A New Translation of the Egyptian Book of the Dead (page xxviii)

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Sir Derp Derbyshire
Guardian of the sanctuary

 

Goddesses of Destruction and Creation

The Goddess of Destruction and Creation, Mother Nature, Aset, the 10,000 faces of the Goddess; it has been said (over and over again) “don’t mess with Mother Nature.” The Divine Feminine, Mother Nature, is stronger than man/humans. Throughout history She is honored, feared, worshiped, and, discussed here.

With Goddess Pele now creating fear and tremors in Hawaii, I see her in the Egyptian image of the Goddess of Destruction, Sekhmet. The Goddess is worshiped throughout the world with different words and images, however in the end they are all related, if not the same.

In Egypt, the lion represented the ferocious destructive aspect of the heat of the sun. Sekhmet, the Lion Goddess, is the Goddess of destruction and known as the power that protects the good and annihilates the wicked. She is the bringer of justice, a guardian and the Goddess of the sun, war, destruction, plagues and healing. She was created by Fire as a weapon of vengeance to destroy men for their wicked ways. Having once unleashed her powers for the destruction of mankind (it was a bloodbath!) the Egyptians feared a repeat performance by Sekhmet. The Egyptian people developed elaborate rituals in hopes she could be appeased. This ritual revolved around more than 700 statues of the goddess.The Egyptian priests were required to perform a ritual before a different one of these statues each morning and each afternoon of every single day of every single year. Only by the strictest adherence to this never-ending ritual could the ancient Egyptians be assured of their ability to placate Sekhmet.

Sekhmet
Sekhmet – “The Powerful One”

Tutu Pele the Fire Goddess is one of the most well known and revered Goddess in Ancient Hawaiian religion. She is the Goddess of Fire, lightning, dance, wind, volcanoes and violence. One of her names is Ka wahine `ai honua – the woman who devours the land; and like Sekhmet, she is both a creator and destroyer. She throws molten fountains into the air and governs the great flows of lava. With her power over the volcanoes, she created the Hawaiian Islands, and to this day, Pele has been known to reveal herself in the lava that is still continuing to grow and change the Hawaiian Islands.

The Face of Pele
The Face of Pele

Pele is known as the “Destroyer,” yet she is also considered a Mother Goddess. She contains within her both the destructive and creative powers of life. These powers are still very evident in Hawaii where Kilauea has been erupting. The creative force in Pele’s nature is shown in the synchronization of the elements during the eruption process. All four elements work together. Earth and fire mix creating lava; lava possesses water characteristics in the liquidity of its form, while air is represented by the billowing clouds of smoke during eruption. Air and water are also present in steam when the lava reaches the ocean forming new landmass. It is in this way that the Hawaiian archipelago was formed, and Pele is credited with its creation.

Face of Pele in Steam
Face of Pele in Steam

 

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.

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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.

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.

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

Invoking Hathor for the Long Night Moon

Visualize the goddess Hathor standing before you holding Her mirror, reflective side out. Go outside imagine Her in a sacred natural space (or a deck, patio, etc.). She is protecting your space with Her sacred mirror.

Be sure that your intentions are compassionate, true and just. You must always seek to serve and bring about the highest good, and wish for the best possible outcome for all concerned.

O my Lady, come and protect me,
give me abundant life.
Make me healthy
on the east side of the sky,
So that I will be established
in the horizon.

O my Lady, come and restore me,
O Come! Lady of the Sun Disk!
Keep me safely
on the east side of the sky,
So that I will be protected
in the horizon.
O, Come, Lady of the Mirror, O Come!
For millions of years you
have sailed in the Sun Barque of your Father without ceasing.
As you ride in the boat of your Father, so,
I pray for happiness!
I pray for prosperity!
I pray for health!
I pray for protection!
May they flow from you
without ceasing!

~ Based on a hymn to Hathor found in the private tomb of Kheruef, Royal Scribe and First Herald of Amenhotep III, West Bank at Luxor, 18th Dynasty.

After asking Hathor for guidance and protection it is always good and right to thank Her.

 

Orion’s Belt, Sothis, and the Pyramids of Giza

As we look to the sky during this time of year, we see the constellation Orion directly above at midnight.

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Orion was to the ancient Egyptians (and to many of us) the most distinctive of all the constellations in the night sky. It rises directly before the adjacent star Sirius. Orion was imagined as being swallowed at dawn by the Underworld but had the power to emerge again into the night sky.

The three Pyramids of Giza are a perfect reproduction of the three stars of Orion’s belt. Like the pyramids, the three stars of Orion are not perfectly aligned, the smallest of them is slightly offset to the east. All three are slanted in a southwesterly direction. Their orientation to the Nile recreates Orion’s orientation to the Milky Way. The layout of the pyramids, and their relative sizes were a deliberate design plan. The pyramids were a replica of Heaven on Earth (The constellation of Orion).

The god Sah and his consort, Sopdet, better known by her Greek name, Sothis, personified the constellation of Orion and the bright, first magnitude star Sirius. Their son was Horus Spd, another astral deity. They came to be viewed as manifestations of Osiris and Isis.

In the Pyramid Texts, Sah/Osiris is called “father of the gods.” The deceased king is said to enter the sky “In the name of the Dweller in Orion, with a season in the sky and a season on earth.” In these early texts the king is told, “You shall reach the sky as Orion, your soul shall be as effective as Sothis.” Orion (Sah/Osiris) is said to row towards the stars in a boat, where he is surrounded by stars as he sails across the sky in a papyrus skiff.

With great astronomical precision, the pyramids were created to serve as the pharaoh’s gateway to the stars.

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“O King, you are this great star, the companion of Orion, who traverses the sky with Orion, who navigates the Duat with Osiris; you ascend from the East of the sky, being renewed at your due season…….”
~ Pyramid Texts Utterance 466