Your purification* is the purification of Horus, your purification is the purification of Seth, your purification is the purification of Thoth, your purification is the purification of Dwn-‘nwy, your purification is the purification of your double, your purification is the purification of your purification, and this purification of yours also is among your brethren the gods.
– The Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts, trans. R. O. Faulkner, Utterance 36 (partial)
* translator notes that “censing” is also acceptable as a translation as the associated offering is a pellet of incense
Apparently I totally failed to manage to get my attempt to queue next week’s quote of the week to post next week, which is why it posted before the quote of the week announce.
Calendar fail: the story of my life.
Snrk. Okay then.
So, in the hopes of getting myself active and doing research and posting some more, since I’m in theory trying to work on a new book, I’m going to be trying to do a weekly quotation from some of my books. Going to start with some of the classics for my line of study. Some of these will be important, some of these will be quirky, some of these will just be ‘here, have a shiny object’, I suspect.
So here is a thing:
The origin of the created world in a process of diversification, of the separation of elements that were previously united, dominates Egyptian ideas of creation. Earth and sky, which were originally united, are separated by Shu; light comes forth from darkness; land emerges from the primeval water; the creator god “divided (wpj) the nature of the one from that of the other”, thus endowing every being with its unmistakable individuality.
– Conceptions of God in Ancient Egypt: The One and the Many, Erik Hornung, pages 171-2, translated by John Baines. The internal quotation is attributed to the Cairo hymn to Amun 4,3 in a footnote.
I have not done falsehood against men, I have not impoverished my associates, I have done no wrong in the Place Of Truth, I have not learnt about that which is not, I have done no evil, I have not daily made labor in excess of what was due to be done for me, my name has not reached the offices of those who control slaves, I have not deprived the orphan of his property, I have not done what the gods detest, I have not calumniated a servant to his master, I have not caused pain, I have not made hungry, I have not made to weep, I have not killed, I have not commanded to kill, ….
From the introduction to Spell 125, the Declaration of Innocence, from the version presented in Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead, translated by Raymond O. Faulkner with an introduction by James P. Allen, published by Barnes & Noble.
Calendar again, of course.
I was looking into Rekeh-Wer and Rekeh-nedjes, the festivals of Greater and Lesser Burning, because I figure things that matter enough to get recorded at least for a while in month names should be considered as things to put on the calendar.
Which led to running http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rekeh-wer and http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rekeh-nedjes through Google translate and swearing a lot. Because not only are these festivals, as I vaguely remembered, named for “the months you really need the furnace going ‘cos it’s cold”, but which months they were celebrated in apparently changed over time! (Possibly with the precession of the calendar, even, to keep them at the same time of year.)
Which means – for one – that the concept of these festivals, no matter how significant, has a major northern/southern hemisphere split and is thus incompatible with the goal of a calendar that makes some bloody sense regardless of location and is more localisable than that. (Here, the Lesser Burning would probably fall earlier than the Greater, for example.)
So what the fuck do I do about that? I mean, aside from research to see if there were any other associations for these festivals if I can find some information about them. Even if they were month names in the Middle Kingdom (by the New they’d been replaced, more or less) and thus worth considering, they’re just. Argh. Local. Essentially by the power of their naming.
Mutter mutter kick things set things on fire LOOK I AM CELEBRATING A BURNING FESTIVAL. JUST IN TIME FOR THE NEXT BLIZZARD.
A Mantle of Stars: A Devotional for the Queen of Heaven came out, like, a year ago.
I have a piece in it.
Also I have now updated my websites accordingly to include it as a thing I contributed to. Heh.
So my last post led to an astronomer friend calculating the relevant appulse for me, which is doing wonders for my calendar revs. And I started poking around at the structural underpinnings of things as a result, and came up with something I could have come up with years ago if I’d been paying attention from the right angle.
Specifically, that if I assume the appulse of Sirius and the sun falls at the midpoint of the period of invisibility, it would be interesting to see what festivals fall around the start of it.
There is one. Which I faithfully recorded in my calendar spreadsheet when I pulled it out of the El-Sabban book, timed for the start of the disappearance of Sopdet. In my notes it is, from the Esna calendar, “Feast of the beginning of the year, revealing of the face, like 2 Peret 8″.
Me, when taking notes into the spreadsheet: “WTF is a feast of the beginning of the year doing in 2 Shomu?!” All of the other festival notes on this date refer to Nit (as to the 2 Peret 8 ones), so that’s a thing to track down.
Also? If I look up the date of the conjunction, the point when Sirius/Sopdet and the sun are closest?
That’s Aset Luminous.