Saturday, April 28, 2007

may the ancestors be pleased

de eternal triad: Ancestors-Amani Ra, Mut & KHENSU (image by ankhkara)

“ Amon is represented in various forms: (1) As an ape; (2) as a lion resting with head erect, like the primitive earth lion Aker; (3) as a frog-headed man accompanied by Ament, his serpent-headed female counterpart; (4) as a serpent-headed man, while his consort is cat-headed; (5) as a man god with the royal sceptre in one hand and the symbol of life (ankh) in the other; (6) as a ram-headed man.

In the Twelfth Dynasty a small temple was erected to Amon in the northern part of the city which was called Apet, after the mother goddess of that name who ultimately was fused with Hathor. "Thebes" is believed to have been derived from her name, the female article "T", being placed before "Ape"; Tap or Tape was pronounced Thebai by the Greeks, who had a town of that name. The sacred name of the city was Nu or Nu-Amon. "Art thou better than populous No?" cried the Hebrew prophet, denouncing Nineveh; "Ethiopia and Egypt were her strength and it was infinite."

Amon, the ram god, was the most famous oracle in Egypt. Other oracles included the Apis bull; Sebek, the crocodile; Uazit, the serpent goddess of Buto; and Bes, the grotesque god who comes into prominence later. Revelations were made by oracles in dreams, and when Thutmose IV slept in the shadow of the Sphinx it expressed its desire to him that the sand should be cleared from about its body. Worshippers in a state of religious ecstasy were also given power to prophesy.

The oracle of Amon achieved great renown. The god was consulted by warriors, who were duly promised victory and great spoils. Wrongdoers were identified by the god, and he was even consulted regarding the affairs of State. Ultimately his priests achieved great influence owing to their reputation as foretellers of future events, who made known the will of the god. A good deal of trickery was evidently indulged in, for we gather that the god signified his assent to an expressed wish by nodding his head, or selected a suitable leader of men by extending his arm.

Amon was fused with several deities as his various animal forms indicate. The ram's head comes, of course, from Min, and it is possible that the frog's head was from Hekt. His cult also appropriated the war god Mentu, who is depicted as a bull. Mentu, however, continued to have a separate existence, owing to his fusion with Horus. He appears in human form wearing a bull's tall with the head of a hawk, which is surmounted by a sun disk between Amon's double plumes; he is also depicted as a hawk-headed sphinx. As a bull-headed man he carries bow and arrows, a club, and a knife.

In his Horus form Mentu stands on the prow of the sun bark on the nightly journey through Duat, and slays the demons with his lance. He was appropriated, of course, by the priests of Heliopolis, and became the "soul of Ra" and "Bull of Heaven". A temple was erected to him near Karnak, and in late times he overshadowed Amon as Mentu-ra.

Amon was linked with the great sun god in the Eleventh Dynasty, and as Amon-ra he ultimately rose to the supreme position of national god, while his cult became the most powerful in Egypt. In this form he will be dealt with in a later chapter.

Amon's wife was Mut, whose name signifies "the mother", and she may be identical with Apet. She was "queen of the gods" and "lady of the sky". Like Nut, Isis, Neith, and others, she was the "Great Mother" who gave birth to all that exists. She is represented as a vulture and also as a lioness. The vulture is Nekhebet, "the mother", and the lioness, like the cat, symbolizes maternity. Mut wears the double crown of Egypt, which indicates that she absorbed all the "Great Mother" goddesses in the land. Her name, in fact, is linked with Isis, with the female Tum, with Hathor, the Buto serpent, &c. In the Book of the Dead she is associated with a pair of dwarfs who have each the face of a hawk and the face of a man. It was to Mut that Amenhotep III, the father of Akenaton, erected the magnificent temple at Karnak with its great avenue of ram-headed sphinxes. Queen Tiy's lake in its vicinity was associated with the worship of this "Great Mother".

The moon god Khonsu was at Thebes regarded as the son of Amon and Mut. At Hermopolis and Edfu he was linked with Thoth. In the Unas hymn he is sent forth by Orion to drive in and slaughter the souls of gods and men--a myth which explains why stars vanish before the moon. His name means "the traveller".

As a lunar deity Khonsu caused the crops to spring up and ripen. He was also the Egyptian Cupid, who touched the hearts of lads and girls with love. The Oracle of Khonsu was consulted by those who prayed for offspring. Agriculturists lauded the deity for increasing their flocks and herds.

This popular god also gave "the air of life" to the newly born, arid was thus a wind god like Her-shef and Khnûmû. As ward of the atmosphere he exercised control over the evil spirits which caused the various diseases and took possession of human beings, rendering them epileptic or insane. Patients were cured by Khonsu, "giver of oracles", whose fame extended beyond the bounds of Egypt. “

Excerpt from

"EGYPTIAN MYTH AND LEGEND" by Donald Mackenzie [1907 A.D.)

With Historical Narrative, Notes on Race Problems, Comparative Beliefs, etc.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

protector and source of pharonic power.

may the ancestors be pleased

Monday, April 23, 2007

Garifuna Lecture & Dinner

Dr Andoni Castillo speaking last weekend on the Garifuna Peoples and Afrikan Latin American experience.