Appeal To A Higher Court

(Apparently the way my life goes I pull these from whatever book is handy because the baby’s asleep on me, more often than anything organised. Oh well!)

Egyptians saw death not as an end but as a transition. Physical death would place them in the immediate neighborhood of the gods, who are only indirectly present on earth. Thus in a text from the same period, one judge concludes: “Behold, I address myself to you with a legal plaint and you will not hear me. I shall go hence and complain to Anubis about you.” The litigant is not saying that he will offer a prayer at the nearest temple of Anubis; rather, he is threatening to commit suicide so as to cross the threshold between indirect and direct access to the gods and thus appeal to divine justice.

– Jan Assmann, The Mind of Egypt

Nature of the Eye

Everything about the Golden Shrine’s imagery is designed to identify the royal couple with this instrumental ‘dread’ and ‘attraction’, this ‘sympathy’ and ‘antipathy’ that flows through the whole of Egypt–and through the royal marriage. For, on the left side (as viewed from the front), where aggressive themes predominate, Ankhesenamun incarnates as the raging Sekhmet, while on the right side she radiates Hathor’s power and sexual attraction. This contrasting royal love and dread, this manifestation of what the Egyptians called Ba-power, is palpably present on the sides of the Golden Shrine.

Golden Shrine, Goddess Queen: Egypt’s Anointing Mysteries, Alison Roberts

Happy New Year

Opening of the year, causing the appearance of Horus Lord of Ombos; until the 2nd day, resting in the broad hall of Horus and Thoth; offering all good things; offering to Re in his presence; appearing and resting in his temple.

– from the Kom Ombo Temple Calendar, as recorded in Temple Festival Calendars of Ancient Egypt, Sherif El-Sabban

Nothing New Under The Sun

Oh, I’m bound downstream on the Memphis ferry
like a runaway, snapping all ties,
With my bundle of old clothes over my shoulder.

I’m going down there where the living is,
going down there to that big city,
And there I’ll tell Ptah (Lord who loves justice):
“Give me a girl tonight!”


– from Ancient Egyptian Literature, John L. Foster, trans.

No, seriously, be meta-clean

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.

Trying a new thing

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.