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Author Topic: Shrine of the Blessed Dead.  (Read 3680 times)
Satsekhem
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« Topic Start: September 24, 2010, 05:56:41 pm »

I found an awesome cabinet on the side of the road today that said, "I am your akh shine. Get me!" So, of course, I did. I have it! Now, where do I start?
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« Reply #1: September 24, 2010, 07:27:30 pm »

I found an awesome cabinet on the side of the road today that said, "I am your akh shine. Get me!" So, of course, I did. I have it! Now, where do I start?
First, I'd recommend using pure spring water mixed with some natron and wash the cabinet inside and out. While doing this say, "I cleanse from every impurity and from every unworthiness this house for the akhu." Dry it thoroughly and place it on a mound of pure sand. Then light some pure frankincense and pass the cabinet, inside and out, thru the smoke. I am not aware of any surviving text that is specifically for cleansing and dedicating a shrine-house for the akhu or the netjeru.
But there is a spell titled "A Protection of the House" in Ancient Egyptian Magical Texts, translated by J. F. Borghouts, a noted Egyptologist (1978). Here is the text. You can tweek it to fit the specific  circumstance:
   NN born of NN has conjured the window. He is a male cat.
NN born of NN has conjured the chink. He is a female falcon.
NN born of NN has conjured the bolts. He is Ptah.
NN born of NN has conjured the hole. He is Nehebkau.
NN born of NN has conjured the hiding place. He is the one whose name is hidden.
NN born of NN has conjured the cross-timbers. He is the Master of mysteries.
He has conjured his own place, his room, his resting place. He has conjured the four Noble Ladies in whose mouth is their flame and whose fire goes behind them to chase away any male enemy, any female enemy, any male dead, and any female dead that is in the body of NN born of NN. They will not come for him in the night, by day, or at any time. They will not fall upon the four Noble Ladies [.....] their flame in their mouth[......] rushes, colocynths (?) [......]. pages 10 & 11 in Borghouts.

If I were doing it, I would edit it starting like this,
"I, so-and-so, son of (mother's name) do conjure the doors of this shrine-house. I am a male cat.
(Likely this is a reference to Ra in his male cat form in myth.)
"I, so-and-so, son of (mother's name) do conjure the walls of this shrine-house. I am a female falcon......and so forth. Just make it fit the actual cabinet--floor, ceiling, hinges, etc."
  This is pretty much a classic example of an ancient Egyptian magical spell: you are you as a person, but you can instantly claim to be a god or goddess. No contradiction for the ancient magicians. If you say it's so, then it's so.
  Okay, so I would think it's a good idea to dedicate this shrine-house to your akhu, by name.
Then make offerings to them before the open doors of the shrine-house.

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« Reply #2: September 25, 2010, 03:26:04 pm »

First, I'd recommend using pure spring water mixed with some natron and wash the cabinet inside and out. While doing this say, "I cleanse from every impurity and from every unworthiness this house for the akhu." Dry it thoroughly and place it on a mound of pure sand. Then light some pure frankincense and pass the cabinet, inside and out, thru the smoke. I am not aware of any surviving text that is specifically for cleansing and dedicating a shrine-house for the akhu or the netjeru.
But there is a spell titled "A Protection of the House" in Ancient Egyptian Magical Texts, translated by J. F. Borghouts, a noted Egyptologist (1978). Here is the text. You can tweek it to fit the specific  circumstance:
   NN born of NN has conjured the window. He is a male cat.
NN born of NN has conjured the chink. He is a female falcon.
NN born of NN has conjured the bolts. He is Ptah.
NN born of NN has conjured the hole. He is Nehebkau.
NN born of NN has conjured the hiding place. He is the one whose name is hidden.
NN born of NN has conjured the cross-timbers. He is the Master of mysteries.
He has conjured his own place, his room, his resting place. He has conjured the four Noble Ladies in whose mouth is their flame and whose fire goes behind them to chase away any male enemy, any female enemy, any male dead, and any female dead that is in the body of NN born of NN. They will not come for him in the night, by day, or at any time. They will not fall upon the four Noble Ladies [.....] their flame in their mouth[......] rushes, colocynths (?) [......]. pages 10 & 11 in Borghouts.

If I were doing it, I would edit it starting like this,
"I, so-and-so, son of (mother's name) do conjure the doors of this shrine-house. I am a male cat.
(Likely this is a reference to Ra in his male cat form in myth.)
"I, so-and-so, son of (mother's name) do conjure the walls of this shrine-house. I am a female falcon......and so forth. Just make it fit the actual cabinet--floor, ceiling, hinges, etc."
  This is pretty much a classic example of an ancient Egyptian magical spell: you are you as a person, but you can instantly claim to be a god or goddess. No contradiction for the ancient magicians. If you say it's so, then it's so.
  Okay, so I would think it's a good idea to dedicate this shrine-house to your akhu, by name.
Then make offerings to them before the open doors of the shrine-house.
Since posting the response above, I remembered that there is a beautiful concluding recitation after the Opening of the Mouth ceremony. It occurs when the newly vivified image is about to be placed for the first time in it's shrine-house. With just a little editing, you'll be able to use it for the time when you bring the photos of your beloved dead, and/or their personal items. By using an ancient text such as this I think you'll be creating a spiritual link with the ancient ceremony.
Here is the text. It comes from the book Eternal Egypt, by Richard Reidy (2010), page 320.
      "The doors of heaven are opened. The doors of the house of the Netjer/Netjeret are thrtown back wide. The House is open for its Lord/Mistress. Let me come forth as he/she shall come forth. Let me enter in as he/she shall enter in. May the Netjer/Netjeret enter therein! I am Djehuty. Let the door be thrust open for the Netjer/Netjeret."
      I think you could substitute the words 'akhu' or 'effective spirits' and their actual names as well.
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« Reply #3: September 27, 2010, 12:12:05 am »

NN born of NN has conjured the chink. He is a female falcon.

Just curious, but is there a particular entity that is being envoked when one says "female falcon"? I'm trying to think of a Kemetic deity linked to that identity, but I can't. Then again, I'm not all that brushed up on my Kemetic god-lore lately. Smiley
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« Reply #4: September 27, 2010, 01:20:41 pm »

Just curious, but is there a particular entity that is being envoked when one says "female falcon"? I'm trying to think of a Kemetic deity linked to that identity, but I can't. Then again, I'm not all that brushed up on my Kemetic god-lore lately. Smiley
After researching this, I was not able to discover any goddess in falcon form. They all were males such as Heru (Horus), Montu, Sopedu, and Sokar. I wonder if the given translation "falcon" is actually "falcon" or perhaps "kite"--both are raptors and look similar. Without the hieroglyphs we can only guess at this. BUT if it actually was "kite," then we could connect it with the Netjeret Aset (Isis), mother of the falcon-god Heru. This might be a stretch, but I think it is "within the Tradition" if we were to do a little creative editing here, and use the word "kite" instead of "falcon" and thus identify it with the goddess Aset. That would be a good balance with the preceding reference to the male cat (Ra). Aset is a solar Netjeret and the connection is apt. The Egyptians did this sort of thing pretty regularly--that is, taking one venerable text and modifying it a bit in order to create a new text to fit a certain situation, but still solidly based on Tradition. Unlike many sects of Christianity or Judaism or Islam, we are not forbidden to revise or change sacred writings when necessary. That makes sense for pagans who see creation as continually occuring and renewing itself, and that means that the sacred writings are not closed and fixed for all time.
    Back to the subject: I hope others will investigate the term "female falcon" and perhaps discover a goddess in falcon form.
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« Reply #5: September 27, 2010, 02:34:54 pm »

Just curious, but is there a particular entity that is being envoked when one says "female falcon"? I'm trying to think of a Kemetic deity linked to that identity, but I can't. Then again, I'm not all that brushed up on my Kemetic god-lore lately. Smiley

Some goddesses such as Aset or Hethert were called the Female Falcon which was like saying the Female Ra or the Female Heru depending on the context.  I think maybe in this context it may be Ra. 
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« Reply #6: September 27, 2010, 03:00:35 pm »

Some goddesses such as Aset or Hethert were called the Female Falcon which was like saying the Female Ra or the Female Heru depending on the context.  I think maybe in this context it may be Ra. 
Thank you, SatAset. You're absolutely right. I do recall coming across that term in ritual texts in reference to either of those goddesses. I just can't recall exactly where.
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« Reply #7: September 27, 2010, 06:16:34 pm »

Just curious, but is there a particular entity that is being envoked when one says "female falcon"? I'm trying to think of a Kemetic deity linked to that identity, but I can't. Then again, I'm not all that brushed up on my Kemetic god-lore lately. Smiley
I've finally been able to track down a reference to Hwt-Hwr (Hathor) as the female falcon. It comes from Kerry Wisner's Song of Hathor (available in PDF format on the website
http://www.hwt-hrw.com/
click on Courses, Books & Services), page 103, 2002 ed.
Here is the full recitation:

"Homage to Hwt-Hrw, Mistress of the Two Lands,
Hwt-Hrw who resides in Iunet [Dendara]. Your headdress is of shining gold,
It is radiant with electrum. When You shine, the people rejoice in Your Light.
Every living being, and every Neter are in awe of You when You burst open the
double doors, for You are queen of all souls. All do dance, and all do sing,
Nebet-Hetepet, She who draws the hearts of the Company of the Neteru.
Advance, O female falcon, far-striding Mistress of the Neteru.
May Your beautiful face be gracious to me this day."

Wisner footnotes this as adapted from Budge 1909 and "Daily Ritual Episodes from the Chapel of
Ra-Horakhty, temple of Seti I at Abydos. He does not give page numbers unfortunately.

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« Reply #8: June 30, 2011, 04:50:31 pm »


Thank you for looking this up, Setnakht. I really appreciate it. Smiley
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« Reply #9: July 01, 2011, 09:24:38 am »

I've finally been able to track down a reference to Hwt-Hwr (Hathor)

And of course, her name is "House of Horus".
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« Reply #10: July 01, 2011, 12:07:51 pm »

I've finally been able to track down a reference to Hwt-Hwr (Hathor) as the female falcon. It comes from Kerry Wisner's Song of Hathor (available in PDF format on the website
http://www.hwt-hrw.com/
click on Courses, Books & Services), page 103, 2002 ed.
Here is the full recitation:

"Homage to Hwt-Hrw, Mistress of the Two Lands,
Hwt-Hrw who resides in Iunet [Dendara]. Your headdress is of shining gold,
It is radiant with electrum. When You shine, the people rejoice in Your Light.
Every living being, and every Neter are in awe of You when You burst open the
double doors, for You are queen of all souls. All do dance, and all do sing,
Nebet-Hetepet, She who draws the hearts of the Company of the Neteru.
Advance, O female falcon, far-striding Mistress of the Neteru.
May Your beautiful face be gracious to me this day."

Wisner footnotes this as adapted from Budge 1909 and "Daily Ritual Episodes from the Chapel of
Ra-Horakhty, temple of Seti I at Abydos. He does not give page numbers unfortunately.



Thanks for looking this up, Setnakht! 

That's a beautiful ritual, by the way.  I did it with my temple last week.  Interestingly enough, we were all laughing after the ritual was finished.  I have no clue why.  Nothing funny happened.  I think we were just reacting to Het-Heru's presence as a Goddess of celebration and joy  Smiley

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« Reply #11: July 01, 2011, 02:46:38 pm »


"He has conjured his own place, his room, his resting place. He has conjured the four Noble Ladies in whose mouth is their flame and whose fire goes behind them to chase away any male enemy, any female enemy, any male dead, and any female dead that is in the body of NN born of NN. They will not come for him in the night, by day, or at any time. They will not fall upon the four Noble Ladies [.....] their flame in their mouth[......] rushes, colocynths (?) [......]. pages 10 & 11 in Borghouts.

According to Geraldine Pinch in Magic in Ancient Egypt the four Noble Ladies are likely the same four goddesses who are shown protecting the sarcophagus: Aset, Nebet Het, Neit, and Selket. (page 149)
Following the words of the spell itself, we see the words 'rushes,' and 'colocynths.' Colocynth is a viny plant native to the Mediteranean Basin and Asia. It was a very violent purgative drug (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citrullus_colocynthis )
Perhaps it was used together with some of the rush plant as an incense which was to be burned as a person recited the
spell and walked around his/her house, wafting the incense smoke in order to drive out every evil influence. Or perhaps it
was pulverized, mixed with an oil, and used to anoint the doorway, windows, etc. Unfortunately the manuscript has lacunae
or gaps in the text due to the ravages of time so we do not know exactly how the rushes & colocynths were used in this ritual.
Not having access to the native plant, perhaps today we can substitue similar plants to concoct an oil or incense for this spell.
My vote tentatively goes for an ointment since the colocynth has a high oil content in the seeds.
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