I was watching a film about Muhammad (The Message) and one of the Prophet's followers said,"He couldn't even help itself" after he'd knocked over a statue of a deity. This reminded me of the film The Ten Commandments. I would watch as the King knelt before a statue to bring his son back to life (after all the first borns were killed) and I remember thinking, He should've asked Aset (Isis) to help him instead. Idolator is used today as a disparaging descritpitoin of Primitive Ancient Cultures or used as a slang word with negative connotations.
I am Kemetic. I have statues of my Goddesses and Gods in my home. Do I worship the statues themselves? No. An ancient sage of Egypt named Ani said: "The god of this land is in the sun which is on the horizon, and only his images are upon earth." It is interesting to note that the afterlife for the Egyptians (before later periods) was in the sky and the akhu, "shining ones" or the ancestors are the stars.
Seigfried Morenz states that an ancient Egyptian would say: "We believe that in what appear to be statues not endowed with life we do in fact worship the power of the gods present in them; who are endowed with life". There is a ritual that was done every sunrise to revitalize the statues in the temples.
The statue is said to be "alive", that is with the deity's energy. This is not to say that the entirety of the deity is in the statue. Only a portion of the deity's energy is in the statue. In other words, the statue is a vehicle for the divine energy of that Goddess or God to inhabit for a short period of time during ritual. The statue only holds a portion of that divine energy; the Divine is larger than just a statue. The Opening of the Mouth ceremony was done once a year and a similar ritual to feed the open statue was done every morning; the awakening of the statue was analogous to the sun awakening at dawn. Thus the image is only "alive" after the ceremony is performed and it is not permanent.
Creeps across the sand
Glimmer of Light
On the Horizon
A woman clothed in white
Offers Henu to Your Shrine
Food is given to Your Image
Water is poured on Your Holy Ground
People rejoice in Your House
A new day Becomes
And You Awaken
Morenz, Siegfried. [translated from German] Egyptian Religion. Cornell Paperbacks, 1996.
The poem is by SatAsetNebetHet.
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