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Some comments on the Neteru and the Ankh

I considered posting something on YouTube to a video I watched, but YT's comments do not seem the place for serious discussion.  They also have a character limit to postings, which further contributes to the degeneration of almost any discussion there into flame wars.  But, since I had thought about this for some time, I decided to write it up and put it out there for anyone who finds this subject of interest.

A poster in her video had made some comments about the Neteru as being immortal, and offered some information on the symbolism of the Ankh.  Since she seemed both well informed sincere, and I have no wish to diss anyone just because I feel I understand certain things in a different light, she shall remain nameless.  I do however want to use that as a starting point for my posting today.

I think it is important for us not to confuse eternal with immortal.  This could occur just through sloppy translation from the source texts, but it is a common enough concern even when translation is not the problem.  Part of the problem is that in these matters, we must use the philosophical definition of eternal, which is not quite the same as the word's usage in common language.  In this senses, eternal means: "outside or beyond time or time relationships; timeless."  (Webster's New World Dictionary, 1986 edition)  Immortal has no special meaning, and in fact is rarely used, in mystical literature.  The common usage of something that never dies, lives or lasts forever, is almost certainly how the YT poster and many other writers on these subjects use the word immortal.  At first glance, this difference seems subtle or trivial, but it is not.

If we see the Neteru (often translated as 'Gods') as immortal beings, we are inclined to think of them as some sort special organically living beings in this material world.  And from there it is only a short jump to looking for extraterrestrials, a la Sitchen et al, to explain them.  Remember, however, that the world of our day-to-day conscious experience is called the temporal world in mystical literature, and we have a clue.  Eternal beings live outside of time, and therefore outside of this world.  They live in a realm outside of our normal consciousness of time, in an eternal realm.  To those of ancient Khem, called Egypt by the Greeks, that realm was the Duat ( or Tuat), a 'starry' realm, from which our modern term Astral derives.

Which brings us to the Ankh.  It is often said that the Ankh symbolizes eternal life, and if we remember the meaning of the word eternal in the proper context, then this is correct.  It does not mean immortal life in a flesh and blood body however.  One meaning of the Ankh is the union of the female and the male, of Yin and Yang, and this was the principal meaning mentioned by the YT poster.  This is a perfectly acceptable interpretation, but that can be said of any cross, and a plethora of other mystical and religious symbols.  The cross (again, among other symbols) is also a symbol of the sun.  Now that must be understood in a mystical sense, but remembering the axiom "As above, so below" it would not be incorrect to also understand this in the sense of the sun, our star, in the sky.  Just don't take that in too literal a sense.

I'm going to offer another interpretation of the Ankh.  It symbolizes the womb of Ast (Aset, Auset, or, to the Greeks, Isis) giving birth to the sun.  In the hand of a Neter, it represents the power 'to go,' as in 'to go forth as the sun.' ie. to travel in the Duat in the body of light.  Note that the Neteru are always depicted holding the Ankh by the upper loop, not unlike holding a key.  It represents their mastery of the realm above the temporal, and thus their 'eternal' nature and their ability 'to go.'  They grasp the loop, the 'womb' that gives birth to temporal experience, because they understand the process of creation, and are 'grounded' in the Duat - hence are 'Gods.'

On the temple of Isis at Sais this inscription was written (Not in English, of course, this being a translation.):
I, Isis, am all that has been, that is or shall be; no mortal Man hath ever me unveiled. The fruit which I have brought forth is the 'Sun'" 

If this suggests to you a connection between adepts and Gods, then good, think further on that.  I concede that some reading this will wrestle meaning from it, and others will be shaking their heads wondering what the fuck I have been writing about.  All I can say is that verbal language is not well suited to these things, which is the whole reason there is symbolic language to attempt to convey understanding.

Some preliminary thoughts on Parzival

I was able to obtain an English translation of Wolfram von Eschenbach's grail romance Parzival via inter library loan, a work I have wanted to read for a very long time.  This particular edition was translated by A. T. Hatto, and has a 1980 e.v. copyright.  As happens with many of the books I borrow to read, I end up wanting to own a copy of it!  I'm not quite a quarter of the way through Parzival and I already know that I very much want this book in my own library.

The first thing that strikes me about this work is the extraordinary beauty of the language.  Professor Hatto has certainly captured the poetic soul of this work.  Some examples should suffice to give a sense of this.  Here we find Parzival's mother, Herzeloyde, lamenting the death of her husband, Gahmuret:

'The lady of the land besprinkled herself with the dew of her sorrowing heart, her eyes rained down upon her body.  All a woman's affection was hers.  She lent her lips to both sighs and laughter.  She rejoiced in the birth of her son, yet her gay spirit was drowned at sorrows ford.'

Some passages are openly erotic, which should really be no surprise in a work that is typed as a romance.  Prudery came to the Christian world at a much later date, well after Parzival was written.  Here the first lady Parzival meets, the Duchess Jeschute of Lalander, is described as she appears to his eyes:

'The lady had fallen asleep.  She wore Love's blazon - a mouth of translucent red, torment to the hearts of amorous knights.  She slept with parted lips that wore the flames of Love's hot fire.  Thus lay the loveliest challenge to adventure imaginable!  Her gleaming close-set teeth lay in neat rows of snow-white ivory.  (I fancy none will accustom me to kissing so well praised a mouth!  Such things never come my way.)  Her sable coverlet barely reached her hips, for on her lord's departure the heat had caused her to push it down.  Her figure was neat and trim: no art was lacking there, since God Himself had fashioned her sweet body.  Nor was that all.  The adorable woman was slender of arm and white of hand.'

Wolfram's self effacing interjection may be an example of his "quirky humour," mentioned in the introduction.  Hatto also states there: 'Writing in a dense, sententious and a times consciously gnomic style, Wolfram makes heavy demands on his audiences.  As a faithful translator I have in the main passed his demands on to my readers.'  No question about that!  This is one of those books where I find it necessary to have a dictionary at hand as I read.  I am not only enjoying a classic work of literature, but getting an education in Medieval fashion, customs and history of a sort.

One of the surprising things is that the world described by Wolfram is hardly an insular Europe.  Silk is found everywhere, seemingly a commonplace, albeit expensive, luxury.  Gahmuret sometimes uses lances made from bamboo.  Gahmuret in his wanderings travels through such places as Persia, Morocco, Damascus, Aleppo and Arabia. It is somewhere in this part of the world that he takes as his first wife the "heathen" queen of the city Patelamunt, Belacane.  He arrives there by ship, but other than that clue, we are never told exactly where this city lies, although it's implied proximity to Arabia and the presence of many Christian knights as well as those from Islamic lands would suggest somewhere along the Eastern Mediterranean.

Wolfram calls the inhabitants of Patelamunt Moors, and describes them as dusky or black skinned.  This is a fair description of the Moors of Spain and Northern Africa, who may have been the only Muslims Wolfram was familiar with.  The Arabs of the Middle East are not particularly dark skinned though, and he most likely extrapolated his knowledge of the Moors to all Muslims when he wrote of what seems to have been an imaginary "Kingdom of Zazamanc."

A few final thoughts for now: We don't even meet Parzival until after 85 pages of the exploits of his father Gahmuret, which presumably sets up some of the back-story.  The events of "Parzival" appear to take place in an already distant past from the author's time, a fact he laments occasionally when noting that the honour and chivalry of that time seems lacking in his own.

The Idiot's Guide to Christianity

Although the Gospels can hardly be trusted, let's just assume for the sake of argument that they are authoritative.  Given then this source for our elucidation, a couple of passages stand out in shining light.  I'll use the KJV here.

In Mathew 22:36-40, we read:

36  "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?"
37  Jesus said to him, "'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind'
38  "This is the first and great commandment.
39  "And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbour as yourself.'
40  "On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets."
(A parallel is found in Mark 12: 28-33)

Interestingly, none of this actually appears explicitly in the commandments that were handed down to Moses.  It seems that 'Jesus' is extemporizing from the established theology of the time.  It is quite clear that 'he' means these two 'commandments' are to take precedence over any rigid code of behaviour that may have been established by past theology.

The other passage is quite well known, Luke 20-21:

20  Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them and said, "The kingdom of God does not come with observation;
21  "nor will they say 'See here!' or 'See there!'  For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you."

This is also often written as "The kingdom of Heaven is within you."  I can't offer which is a better translation of the source texts, which likely vary anyway, but simply offer both.

Much further wisdom on this can be gained from examining the texts of the so-called Nag Hammadi Library.

These two pronouncements by 'Jesus' ought to form the core of Christianity.  All the rest is dross or fluff at best, and outright propaganda at worst by an unenlightened priesthood seeking only temporal power.  The only place to seek Christ is in your heart.

May those who have eyes to see and ears to hear find wisdom in this.

Chapter CLVI of the Pert Em Hru

In a book I'm reading, Egyptian Magick: Enter the Body of Light & Travel the Magickal Universe by Gerald and Betty Schueler,  a mention is made concerning chapter CLVI of the Pert Em Hru.  Naturally my attention was ratcheted up a few notches when I noted not only that number, but that the chapter in the above book (EM, not the PEH) was The Amulet of Isis.  Most curious!  The Schuelers provide their own translations of many of the texts of the Pert Em Hru.  For comparisons sake, let's first give Budge's translation of this very short chapter:

The Osiris Ani, whose word is truth, saith:-
The blood of Isis, the spells of Isis, the magical powers of Isis,
shall make this one strong, and shall be an amulet of protection [against him] that would do to him the things which he abominateth.

The Schuellers skip the first line:

May the Blood of Isis;
May the hekau, the magickal power, of Isis;
May the khutu, the spiritual power, of Isis;
Enter into this noble amulet
And grant the ability to preserve me.

So, if what we're really talking about  here are the kalas of Isis, then the method for charging such an amulet takes on a whole new light doesn't it?  There may be other ways to interpret this, of course, but I suspect I'm onto something here. 

It is also worth noting that the Schuellers translate the amulet's purpose as the ability to "preserve" the user, as opposed to "protect" that person.  The difference may seem insignificant, but especially considering Budge's simplistic notion of such rituals as mere superstition, the difference seems of major importance.

The amulet was often hidden in the mummy wrappings of the deceased, and the "preservation" was of the souls consciousness from dispersion/disassociation.

Most curious, of course, is that this little tidbit is found in chapter CLVI!

If this seeming rambling makes sense to you, and you understand what I'm writing here, please by all means find a way to contact me.

OK, that's enough for today.

Another aha! moment

I just read the following a short while ago:

In Liber AL vel Legis, the Book of the Law (I: 21–23) , NUIT the goddess of space affirms her identity with ISIS:

With the God & the Adorer I am nothing: they do not see me. They are as upon the earth; I am Heaven, and there is no other God than me, and my lord Hadit.

Now, therefore, I am known to ye by my name Nuit, and to him by a secret name which I will give him when at last he knoweth me. Since I am Infinite Space, and the Infinite Stars thereof, do ye also thus. Bind nothing! Let there be no difference made among you between any one thing & any other thing; for thereby there cometh hurt.

But whoso availeth in this, let him be the chief of all!

And in one of those "aha!" moments, I saw this!  I must have read this passage dozens of times, but somehow I missed this until it was pointed out here:  http://www.ordoastri.org/OA/Isis_Tablet.html

I will let you discover this for yourself.  It couldn't be plainer though, and like so many of these things, sometimes it is hidden in plain sight.  A clue if you're stumped:  Francis Bacon would likely not have missed this.