Nut Cycle: Hour Three, A Month Late; The Teeth

Okay, trying to pick up threads of thought again.

Teeth. Teeth are an alarming thing. (One of the times I was discussing the Nut cycle with people, months ago, one of them commented that of all the forms of death symbolism, teeth were perhaps among the most alarming.) There is a certain brutality to being eaten, a certain visceral something, which for all I know is what some people like about zombie stories.

Nonetheless, like the Death card in the Tarot, this is not an annihilation; it is a transformation, of which death itself is simply the most complete. Like the shamanistic death, dismemberment, and rehabilitation, crossing this gateway renders the traveller into pieces so that they may be reconstituted anew. (And many, many funereal texts will explicitly say: You have your head. You have your limbs. You have your heart. You have your name. Each member is named, invoked, put into place, and re-bound from the dissociated state which is death, or maybe dream, or of course initiation.)

The gate’s name is “She who lights the fire, the quencher of embers, with sharp flames, quick in killing without hesitation. She from whom there is no protection. She by whom one cannot pass without harm. The one who rears up towards her lord.” The uraeus is here, guardian of Ra, manifestation of the Eye of Ra, whose flame (which always strikes me as a way of referring to the poison of the cobra) is turned against his enemies.

What is the enemy of Ra? That which would dissolve ma’at, that which would put the cosmos out of order and send it spinning into nothingness. That which is not in its appropriate place, and threatens to put other things out of place.

Existence demands the risk of isfet. So long as the creative potential that allows things to change – and stasis is another form of unbeing – flows through all beingness, there remains the possibility that that change will be for the worse. And that potential for change for the worse resides in all things. Nothing can pass by the uraeus without harm, because everything contains these seeds, these possibilities, and she will strike, as the name says, without hesitation.

This is why, to reach the Mysteries, one must face the teeth – one must have these seeds exposed and scorched, to keep them from sprouting. The Mysteries must be protected. The teeth separate the parts, the gate herself purifies them with fire, and then – beyond – this physical cleansing can be healed.

The long title for the traveller from the second hour – the shining bull who is with the Unwearying Stars – is now simply the Bull King. whose guide is the Bull of the Two Lands. The powerful, virile king figure seeking


5 thoughts on “Nut Cycle: Hour Three, A Month Late; The Teeth

  1. jewelofaset says:

    Cobra’s venom also causes blindness if it gets in your eyes. I always associated the cobra’s venom with the flame of the Eye of Ra. Which I think is very appropriate that the cobra is called an Eye which can cause blindness with flame. Cause light is blinding.

    Great post.

    And yeah, getting eaten creeps me out too.

  2. odeliaivy says:

    Coincidentally this morning I search for images of a god with the head of a bull. When the storm came through, I envisioned something like this and he had teeth.

  3. odeliaivy says:

    For some reason this one has stuck with me. I have read of it twice now, here and elsewhere. Is there literature you can recommend to study this cycle a bit more?

    • kiya_nicoll says:

      The primary reference for the Nut cycle posts is My Heart, My Mother, by Alison Roberts. This is supplemented by studies of the Amduat (I believe I pulled notes from The Sun-God’s Journey through the Netheworld by Schweizer and Knowledge for the Afterlife by Abt and Hornung). And, of course, all the accumulated cruft in my head. :}

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