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.
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)
We welcome Re Sekhmet to the Iseum Sanctuary Refuge. Re is from the Mohave Desert area of Southern California. Being found in a desert seems appropriate for an Egyptian/Arabian Mau. Re was in a shelter which “euthanizes” cats and other animals that are unclaimed and unwanted. Fortunately, he came to us, as he had come to the Chief Priest and Priestess in dreams and drawings.
Re was rescued, as was always intended by the Goddess. Re immediately became one of the Iseum Sanctuary Temple cats, enjoying the sound of the large gong and singing bowls as we perform our daily rituals.
The following is one of our prayers of blessing, as we give thanks for Re; invoking the Goddess:
In the Names of Aset and Osiris,
May all beings be Blessed:
Spirits and humans,
animals, birds, reptiles,
fishes, insects, plants,
rainforests, the Earth
and all Her sacred elements.
~ Honorable Olivia Robertson, FOI
According to ancient Egyptian myth, bees grew from the tears of the sun god Ra when they fell to earth and landed in the desert. The bee was seen as the messenger of the gods coming to earth to provide a secret message.
The honeybee was one of the key royal symbols used for over five thousand years.
The Udjat represents the right eye of the Sun God Ra. This eye is where the tears/bees came from.