ANCIENT EGYPT THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD
THE SIGN-LANGUAGE OF ASTRONOMICAL MYTHOLOGY
The ancient Apt, the first great mother who was the bringer-forth in Apta, as the womb of life, was elevated to the planisphere as bringer-forth in heaven. She was constellated in the Hippopotamus or Great Bear, and called 'the mother of the fields of heaven;' 'the mother of beginnings;' 'the mother of movement in a circle;' 'the mother of the starry revolutions,' or the cycles of time. As such, Apt was the builder of a heaven that was founded on the seven pillars of the heptanomis. Now the most primitive Egyptian type of building is a figure of turning round, as might be in making pottery. The conical pillar, pile, or mound of earth was also a type of this turning round. Thus the heptanomis was built on seven pillars, and the mother of the revolutions was the founder of the heptanomis. How this was built has yet to be explained according to 'The Mystery of the Seven Stars.' The heptanomis of the old Great Mother and her seven sons was followed by the octonary of Am-Khemen, the park or paradise of the eight great gods. This, as we reckon, is the circumpolar enclosure which was founded when Anup, the power of Polaris north, was added to the primordial rulers, or Nomarchs, and whose animal-type, the jackal, remained as guide star in the Lesser Bear. The octonary was one of the 'upliftings of Shu' which are alluded to in the Ritual. The heaven, that is also called the mansion of his stars, which was again and again renewed. Shu had been one of the sustaining powers of the firmament who were known as the seven giants. He then became the elevator of the heaven that was imaged as the cow of Nut; and lastly his was the sustaining power with Atum-Horus in the double equinox. Apparently this change from the heptanomis of the ancient mother and her seven sons to the heaven of the eight great gods upraised by Shu is indicated in the Magic Papyrus. In this the giant of seven cubits is addressed. A divine command is given to him: 'Get made for me a shrine of eight cubits! And as thou hast been (or vast) a giant of seven cubits, I have said to thee, thou canst not enter this shrine of eight cubits. And, as (or although) thou wast a giant of seven cubits, thou hast entered and reposed in it.' The 'giant of seven cubits' in the shrine of seven cubits now gives place to one who 'has the face [p.322] of a kafi-ape, with the head of hair of a monkey Aani.' The type, that is, of the moon-god, Tehuti-Aani, in the shrine of eight cubits, or the heaven of the eight great gods in the enclosure of Am-Khemen the octonary of Taht, upraised by Shu. Aani, the kafi-ape, was Taht's own especial monkey of the moon, and is a sign that the shrine of eight cubits was the octagonal heaven or octonary of Taht, the lunar god which tends to identify this with the enclosure of Am-Khemen that was upraised by Shu. In all likelihood the giant thus addressed is Shu, the lion of the uplifting force.
It is related in very old Egyptian legends that when Shu-Anhur lifted up the paradise or park of Am-Khemen he was compelled to make use of a mound or staircase with steps to it in order that he might reach the height. This mound, says Maspero, was famous throughout all Egypt. The event (as supposed history) took place at Hermopolis, the city of which Taht was lord; therefore we may look to the lunar deity for the origin of the step-mound. A figure of this mound may be seen in vignettes to the Ritual as a pyramid with seven steps called the ladder or staircase of Shu. How then did the steps or stairs of the mound originate as a lunar type of the ascent? and why should the steps be seven in number? The answer is because they were lunar. The moon fulfilled its four quarters in twenty-eight steps; fourteen up and fourteen down. For this reason, Osiris in the moon was represented by an eye at the top of fourteen steps. The moon in its first quarter took seven steps upward from the underworld to the summit, which in the annual reckoning was the equinoctial mount. In other words Shu now made ruse of a lunar reckoning previously established by the moon-god Taht, when the ark of seven cubits was superseded by Am-Khemen. There are two sets of names in the Ritual given to the seven primordial powers in two of their astronomical characters. The first seven are called (1) An-ar-ef the great. (2) Kat-Kat. (3) The Bull who lives in his fire. (4) The Red-eyed One in the House of Gauze. (5) Fiery face which turns backwards. (6) Dark face in its hour, and (7) Seer in the night. The second seven are (1) Amsta. (2) Hapi. (3) Tuamutef. (4) Kabhsenuf. (5) Maa-tef-f. (6) Karbek-f. (7) Har-Khent-an-niaa.ti. The first four of the latter seven are the gods of the four quarters, who stand on the papyrus of earth and who became the children of Horus in a later creation.
In this new heaven raised by Shu another god was born as eighth one to the seven. This was Anup (a form of Sut), as a deity of the north celestial pole. The Egyptian eight great gods consist of 7 + 1. The Phoenician Cabiri were 7 + 1. The Japanese Kami are 7 + 1. In the Vâyu-Purana the group of Rishis, who are usually reckoned as seven, are spoken of as eight in number, and are therefore another group of the 7 + 1. The company of eight British gods were seven with Arthur as the eighth. The seven powers plus one are also to be seen in the seven sleepers of Ephesus and their dog. Moreover, the dog can be identified with Anup as the golden dog or jackal at the pole. When the god of the polestar was appointed in the north it was as an eighth to the seven, and he who was the eighth became the [p.323] supreme one, the head over all, like the occiput at the top of the seven vertebral joints in the backbone of Anup, Ptah or Osiris (which was a figure of the pole). The head or headland in Egyptian is Ap (or Tep), and the same word signifies the chief, the first, and also the number eight or the eighth. Anup was distinguished from the seven earth-born powers. He is expressly called 'the son of the cow.' That is the son of Nut the cow of heaven; the heaven that was lifted up by Shu in the shape of the cow which brought forth Anup at the pole. Ap-ta-Urt, the cow of earth, had been the mother of the seven, who were reproduced by Nut as the khuti or glorious ones who are eight with Anup added as the power of Polaris. Anup the highest power at the pole, then becomes arranger of the stars in this new heaven of the eight great gods, that was upraised by Shu the giant, who had been one of the primary seven powers. Anup, the eighth, is said to fix the places of the seven glorious ones, who follow after the coffin of Osiris, on the day of 'Come thou hither;' which was the first day of some new creation in the astronomical mythology. In the solar mythos the sun-god took the place of Sut-Anup, who was the earlier maintainer of the equipoise and equilibrium in the revolving system of the heavens. The speaker in the Ritual says, 'I am the god who keepeth opposition in equipoise, as the egg which circles round.' The egg is the sun. But he continues, 'For me there dawneth the moment of the most mighty one Sut' (or Sut-Anup), who was the most mighty one as prevailer on the side of order at the pole before the equilibrium of forces was known to depend upon the power of gravitation and the revolution of the sun. What the sun is at the centre of the solar system, the polestar had been at the centre of the stellar universe in the most ancient astronomy. In place of gravitation the force that swung the system round was represented by a cord or chain attached to the pole as its symbol of controlling power. This eighth one added to the seven primary powers came at times to be designated father of the seven. Thus the eighth was raised to the headship over the seven Japanese Kami. Anup, as representative of the polar star, is lord over the seven Akhemu or non-setting stars. The Phoenician Sydik is father to the seven Cabiri, and he is the just, the righteous one. Which means that he also was a representative of the pole, identical with Anup, who is the judge. The character is the same in relation to the seven earlier powers now called the sons, as the just one, or the judge. 'King of the seven sons of earth' is a title of Anu. Reference is also made to the king of the seven Lu-Masi. This was the god who, as eighth to the seven and the highest of all, was the chief, the suten or king, that is, Sut-Anup, chief to the Kamite seven in the circumpolar heaven of the eight great gods. The Assyrian seven are likewise designated the sons of Bel as the seven Annunaki or earthly Anunnas. Anup the jackal-headed was the primordial judge, but so anciently that he had been superseded by Atum and Osiris in that character. The pictures to the Ritual show him in the judgment-hall reduced to the position of inspector of weights and measures in the presence of Osiris, who has now become the great judge in Amenta. But allusions to the earlier status still remain. As [p.324] it is said in the inscription of Khnumhetep 'all the festivals on earth terminate on the hill' or over the hill of Anup. That is in the eternal feast upon Mount Hetep, the mount of glory in the polar paradise. In the Rig-Veda the habitation of the one god is placed in the highest north 'beyond the seven Rishis.' These are often supposed to be represented by the seven stars in the Great Bear, but erroneously so. The seven Rishis, Urshi or divine watchers were grouped in the Lesser Bear, the stars of which constellation never set. These were the chief of the Akhemu under Anup, god of the polestar. The Subbas or Mandozo, the 'Ancients' of Mesopotamia, are what is called worshippers of the polestar. To this they turn their faces in prayer, and in going to sleep. The reason assigned is that when Hivel Zivo the Subban creator assumed the government of the worlds which he had formed, he placed himself at the limits of the seven Matarathos, at the extreme point of the universe where the polestar was then created to cover him. The original old man of the mountain was unquestionably the ancient deity of the polestar. Hence the group of seven stars which accompany the head of the 'Old Man' on the gnostic stones showing that he was the head over the seven glorious ones. The old man of the mountain then, is Anup, who arranged the stations of the seven on the day of 'Come thou to me.' It is just possible that we may now discover the origin of the mystical eight-rayed star in the numerical symbol of the eight great gods, who consisted of the seven, with Anup, on his mountain, as the eighth and highest in the stellar mythos. In this way: there is a gnostic gem of loadstone figured in King's book on which Anup is portrayed like Horus holding two monstrous scorpions in his hands. He is accompanied by the sun, as a winged scarab, the crescent moon and a star with eight rays. This emblem was given to the solar god in Egypt, Assyria, India and in Rome, but here it is assigned to Anup the supreme one of the eight great gods, and the first who was the eighth to the seven in the octonary of Taht or the ark of eight measures that was lifted up by Shu in the paradise of Am-Khemen.
As the pictures show, the zodiac was founded on the inundation. The mother of water figured in the southern fish, as the womb of source itself, was afterwards repeated on the ecliptic, as the wateress (later Aquarius) with all her myriad mammae streaming from the fount of liquid life, in the abyss, the Tepht, or Tuat, that was localized in the recesses of the south from whence the inundation came, and from which it was perennially renewed. When the zodiac was established, she who had been the mother of water in the south would naturally be given a foremost place. The waterer was now repeated as the multi-mammalian wet-nurse in the sign of Aquarius; the same in character, whether as the southern fish, the water-cow, or the suckler divinized. However represented, earth as the giver of water was the type, and in Egypt the water was the inundation. The first two children of the Great Mother came into existence as the twin brothers, who contended with each other in the opposite elements of [p.325] drought and water, or darkness and light, and in other phenomena. These twin powers were constellated in the sign of the Twins at the station where the two combatants were first reconciled, that was at the equinoctial level. These then, we reckon, were amongst the earliest founders of the zodiac on some old common meeting-ground of night and day, or drought and inundation which is yet visible for us in the sign of the Gemini. Moreover it is related in the ancient legends and folktales that once upon a time there was a pair of brothers who were twins, and these twin brethren were the builders of a city. A typical illustration may be cited in Romulus and Remus as the mythical twins who are the reputed founders of the city of Rome. In Egypt the brother builders are the Sut and Horus twins. The city which they built was in the heavens, not on earth, and this, the Gemini remained to show, was in the circle of the ecliptic. Thus Sut and Horus, following the Great Mother, are also founders of the zodiac. The first pair of twins were male. These were followed by a pair in Shu and Tefnut, that were male and female, called the brother and sister. These were twinned, back to back, Shu in front, Tefnut behind, to form the figure of Sagittarius on the other side of the zodiac exactly opposite the Gemini (oblong zodiac of Denderahi).
We reckon Shu, the lion of breathing force and uplifter of the firmament, to be third of the elemental powers born of the ancient genetrix. Shu upraised the heaven of day in one character and the heaven of night in the other. He is a pillar of support to the firmament as founder of the double equinox. He sustains the heaven with his two-pronged stick, his two arms, or with the two lions of force which represent himself and his sister Tefnut the lioness. It was at the equinoctial level that the quarrel of Sut and Horus was settled for the time being by Shu. Shu thus stands for the equinox as the link of connection between Sut and Horus in the north and south. The heaven in two parts, south and north, as the domains of Sut and Horus was now followed by the heaven in three divisions that was upraised by Shu as establisher of the equinox in the more northern latitudes. And this heaven in three divisions was the heaven of the Triangle which preceded the one built on the square by Ptah. Horus and Sut had been the twin builders and the founders south and north. Shu followed with the new foundation in the equinox, which was double, east and west. Sut, Horus, and Shu then, aided by his sister Tefnut, founded the heaven of the triangle based upon the twofold horizon and the crossing. Shu as the equinoctial power is the third to Sut and Horus of the south and north. With him a triad was completed and the two pillars with a line across would form the figure of the triangle s. Thus, the twins in Gemini and Shu in Sagittarius, being the three first of the seven powers, point at least to the equinoctial line being laid in those two signs of the zodiac. More particularly as his sister Tefnut, a form of the Great Mother, is joined with Shu in constituting the sign of Sagittarius. Thus the three brothers, Sut, Horus and Shu with one female (as the mother or sister) are found together in these two fundamental signs of the zodiac. A third power born of the [p.326] Great Mother in heaven was now added to the other two. Another of her seven sons was born, or the lion of force (Shu) joined the crocodile (Sebek-Horus) and the hippopotamus Sut, in a trinity of powers that sustained the firmament.
As elemental forces Sut and Horus had been ever lawless combatants and claimants, always fighting for supremacy. When Shu had lifted up the heaven of Am-Khemen as the paradise of peace upon Mount Hetep, 'he reconciled the two warrior gods with each other' and 'with those who had charge of the beautiful creation which he raiseth up.' Law and order were established by putting 'bounds to the contentions of the powers' and by dividing the whole universe from zenith to nadir into the two domains called the portion of Sut and the portion of Horus. The contention between Sut and Horus had originated ages before the satanic character of the Evil One in his anthropomorphic guise had been assigned to Sut. The twin opponents had been on a footing of equality in the stellar, lunar, and solar mythos. But there always was a question of boundaries to be settled. Shu is the arbitrator in the stellar phase. In the lunar stage Taht the moon god was the judge and reconciler of the warring twins. And in the solar mythos Seb, the god of earth, adjudicates—as shown in the mythological text from Memphis. When Ptah had built his mansion in the double earth the two horizons were united, or, as it is said, the double earth became united, 'the union is in the house of Ptah,' and 'the two pillars of the gateway in the house of Ptah are Horus and Sut. The united ones made peace; they fraternized completely. They made a treaty.' Seb says to Horus and Sut, 'there shall be an arbitration between you.' Seb said to Horus, 'come from the place where thy father was submerged,' that is in the north. Seb said to Sut, 'come from the place where thou wast born,' that was in the south. 'A mountain in the midst of the earth unites the portion of Horus to the portion of Sut, at the division of the earth.' This, in the solar mythos, was the mount of the equinox. Now Horus and Sut each stood upon a hillock; they made peace saying 'the two earths meet in Annu for it is the march (border) of the two earths.' In this legend there is a shifting of boundaries from south and north to east and west in the union that is now contracted in the house of Ptah, 'in the house of his two earths in which is the boundary of south and north' that was drawn from east to west by the equinoctial line. 'Here the united ones fraternized completely. They made a treaty'; which was sustained by Seb. And henceforth the twin powers, Sut and Horus, now called Horus and Sut, who had stood as the two pillars, south and north, for the two poles in Apta, are now 'the two pillars of the gateway to the house of Ptah;' which two pillars are afterwards portrayed as the double Tat of eternal stability in the making of Amenta.
In this phase the quarrel of Sut and Horus represents the difference between darkness and light in the length of night and day which went on round the year and was rectified at the point or on the mount of equinox. Before the solar god attained his supremacy as the [p.327] determiner of time Shu was the re-adjuster of the power of the equinox. Hence Shu is said to have kept the contention of these warring powers within bounds and brought about their reconcilement. Thus the 'reckonings of Shu' involved the readjustment of the equinoctial point and re-establishing the equilibrium of the equinoxes in the different reckonings of time. Taht the lunar timekeeper does the same thing when he 'balances the divine pair,' and puts a stop to their strife in the circuit of precession. All the year round, except at this point of place, it was one scale up and the other down in the contention of Sut and Horus for the mastery. But at the vernal equinox the scales were at the perfect level and the twins were exactly equal in power for the time, with Horus the fulfiller about to rise in the ascendant. Horus was the bringer of the golden age to earth. This in Egypt was the time of the inundation; in other lands and later days it is the spring-time of the year. The saturnalia was a mode of celebrating this equality at the time of the equinoctial level, by means of various kinds of levelling customs. Slaves were equal with their masters and mistresses. Women were equal to men, the sexes changed clothing with each other, on the natural ground of equality. This saturnalia survived as a relic of the Golden Age called Saturnian by the Greeks and Romans.
In Egypt Sut and Horus changed positions and were figured as Har-Suti, with the hawk of Horus in front and the black Neh or typhonian animal of Sut behind. This reversal represented the change of seasons in relation to the north and south. In Equatoria the desert and the drought were given to the south, which was the domain of Sut. Refreshing rain and cooling breezes came from the domain of Horus in the life-giving north. In Egypt the water and the food of life were brought by Horus of the inundation from the south. Whereas the north in winter was the realm of darkness and of drought, and therefore the domain of Sut became that of the evil elemental power of the twins. The three powers of earth, water, and breath, or Sut, Horus, and Shu, were given stations in the zodiac; the twins, Sut and Horus, in the sign of Gemini, and Shu, as the Archer, in the sign of Sagittarius. The heaven founded on the south and north by Sut and Horus, the Twin Builders, was now followed by the heaven that Shu uplifted in the equinox as the lion of sustaining power, or rather as the dual lion of Shu and Tefnut, his sister, who is seen to be conjoined with him in Sagittarius. Thus far the zodiac was founded on the Great Mother with two pairs of twins; Sut and Horus as the Rehiu lions, with Shu and Tefnut as the ruti or lions of the double horizon, one at each end of the equinoctial line or level where the lost balance of the contending Twins was periodically restored by the reconciler Shu.
In one character Horus is designated 'Horus of the Triangle,' and a theory has been put forward in Germany to the effect that the figure represents the pillar or cone of the zodiacal light. But the unexplained peculiarity of Horus of the Triangle is that his triangle is figured in a reversed position with the apex downwards and the base above, s. Whereas the pillar of zodiacal light was never seen [p.328] bottom-upwards in that way, and never could have been so represented. On the other hand, the triangle which was constellated in 'Triangula,' is, we hold, the figure of a tripartite division of the ecliptic, and the triple seasons of the Egyptian year. The water-season being represented by Horus; the season of wind, or breathing life, and of the equinoctial gales by Shu; and the season of dryness, or drought, by Sut. These were called the water season, the green season, and the dry season. The three signs of which are (1) 'water,' (2) 'growing plants,' and (3) a barn or storehouse, which showed the crops were harvested. Four months for the water season gives the correct length of the inundation. The Egyptian harvest occurred in the eighth month of the year. Then followed a season of drought and dearth, which came to be assigned to the destroyer Sut. These three seasons can be traced as a basis for the zodiac that was afterwards extended to one of four quarters and twelve signs. Horus of the inundation was given the Lion as a solar zootype. The Archer, four signs further round, was assigned to Shu, the god of breathing force, and four signs are the correct measure of one season, or a tetramene. The Lion and Archer, or Horus and Shu, represent the two seasons of the inundation and of breathing life. The name of the Archer in the Hermean zodiac is Nephtei, and neft signifies the soul or breath. Sut was continued in conflict with Horus in the constellation of the Twins, the power of drought that was opposed to the water of life. Shu was the reconciler of these two continually warring powers, and in the zodiac he represents the green season of vegetation and breathing life that came between the two seasons of water and of drought. This was fundamental, the rest is filling in. The three seasons of four months each would naturally lead to the circle of the ecliptic being measured and divided into three parts, which tripartite division was followed, at a distance, by the Babylonians in their mapping out of the sphere, and continued by them in a far later calendar of twelve signs. The Egyptian month was divided into three weeks of ten days each, which obviously corresponded to the heaven of the triangle, the tripartite ecliptic, and the three seasons in Egypt. Then followed a heaven of four quarters or sides, in which may be traced the houses of Sut, Horus, Shu and Taht; but the division of the month or moon and the ecliptic in three parts equated with the three seasons in a circle or zodiac that was measured monthly by the lunar god with his 3Í10 = 30 days. The two roads of heaven had been divided between the twin brothers Sut and Horus. The three roads were next divided between Sut, Horus, and Shu in the heaven of the triangle that stood as it were upon a tripod, three roads of the south, north, and equinox.
Type after type, the mythical Great Mother and her children passed into the legendary lore of the whole world. The mother and her twins were followed by the mother in the character of sister, who is the companion of three brothers, our Sut, Horus, and Shu in the triangular heaven or triple division, the uranographic symbol of which was constellated in 'Triangula,'i composed of three stars held in the hand of Horus. Three brothers with one female, then, as an Egyptian group, are representatives of the [p.329] Great Mother and her first three sons or elemental powers; the powers represented in her portrait by the water-cow, the crocodile, and lioness. The mother being indicated by the pregnant womb. The same group is also Japanese, consisting of the three (out of seven, or the eight) kami, with their sister Izanani. The three kami, called the 'All-alone-born Kami', our stellar trinity, were gods of the beginning, and are connected with the sister in the raising up of heaven. And when the Christian divinity of a triune nature is portrayed with a triangular aureole upon his head, that figure relates the deity once more to the phenomena in which a god of the Triangle had originated. The god of the Triangle was of a threefold nature in the trinity of Sut, Horus, and Shu, which three were one with the mother in the heaven of the Triangle, the mount with the triple peaks, the ecliptic in three divisions, the year in the three seasons, the month in three weeks. The Triangle, like the Oval, is a figure of the female, as it was on the goddess Nana in Babylonia. The trinity of three males associated with one female, who was originally the Great Mother, survives in two ways still, for whilst they are performing in church four more primitive representatives of the same dramatis personae still keep it up in the pantomime, as in the dumb show of the more ancient mysteries, in the characters of columbine, clown, harlequin, and pantaloon. Harlequin is Liar (or Horus) the transformer. We might say the double Horus, one with and one without the mask. The clown is Sut, the sly and cunning one, whose zootype was the jackal. Pantaloon and his crutch are the remains of Shu and his celestial prop of the pole. Columbine corresponds to Tefnut, the sister of Shu, which explains her peculiar relationship to Pantaloon, whom she rejects in favour of Harlequin. Now these four appear upon Mount Hetep when the later heaven is portrayed in the ten divisions that preceded the final twelve as a trinity of primeval powers united with the Great Mother, who was the abode as Triangle when the heaven was not yet built on the square. The other four brothers who make up the group of seven great gods (at least in one form) are Amsta, Hapi, Tuamutef, and Kabhsenuf who stand on the lotus or papyrus, and are the four gods, paddles or eyes of the four quarters. Thus, the seven are (1) Sebek-Horus, the crocodile; (2) Sut, the water-bull; (3) Shu, the lion; (4) Hapi, the ape; (5) Tuamutef, the jackal; (6) Kabhsenuf, the hawk; (7) Amsta, the man, who, together with the Great Mother, were the founders of the zodiac—three in the Triangle and four in the Square.
Whatsoever the seven khuti were as individual stars, they were also configurated as a group in Ursa Minor and called the followers of the coffin of Osiris, which was imaged in the Greater Bear. The seven in the stellar mythos had become the lords of rule, devoid of wrong, and living for eternity. This was as spirits perfected under the type of stars that never set. And here it may be explained that we have all been persistently wrong about the seven glorious ones, the seven Rishis, the seven Lu-Masi, the seven Elohim or the seven Cabiri, the 'Seven Sleepers' being the seven stars in the Great Bear. For this reason, in all the starry vast there is but one group of seven non-set- [p.330] ting stars, and these are in the Lesser, not in the Greater Bear. Polaris was at one time chief of all the heavenly host, on account of its being fixed at the centre as a type of stability and uprightness. The characteristics and qualities assigned to the divinity were first seen in the steadfastness of the pole. The stars in Ursa Minor were circumpolar. These showed the seven in a group who never could be drowned by the deluge of darkness. The waters did not reach them. Not so the seven in the Greater Bear, the seven that were not circumpolar stars. About 5,000 years before the present era there was but one, the star Dubhe in Ursa Major that was circumpolar or non-setting. These, therefore, could not have been the seven never-setting stars, who were the watchers and the rulers in the great year of the world; the starry type of the eternal powers. The typical seven were grouped in the Lesser Bear as an object picture of something out of sight, with Anup as El-Elyon at the pole. In all the mythologies the polestar is an emblem of stability, a seat or throne of the power who is the highest god pro tem, as was Anup in Egypt, Sydik in Phoenicia, Anu in Babylonia, Tai-Yih (the arch-first) in China, Avather, or Zivo, in Mesopotamia, and others. It was not the seat that was worshipped, but the power; the sustainer and the judge that was enthroned upon the stellar Mount of Glory as the god.
The polestar was a type of the eternal, because apparently beyond the region of time and change. It was the earliest type of a supreme intelligence which gave the law in heaven that was unerring, just and true; if only as the law of equipoise or, as we should now say, of gravitation. This was the sole point at which there seemed to be any certainty of foothold in that moving ocean of the starry infinite. And this became a standpoint in the heavens for the mind of man to rest on at the centre and radiate to the circumference. The summit was well-named the Mount of Glory. Around this island-mount the hosts of heaven appeared to wheel by night in one vast, glorious, never-ceasing march past in the presence of the 'Royal Arch' or, more religiously regarded, the Most High God. The earliest law in heaven was given on the mount because the mount was an image of the pole, was administered by the judge, whether as Anup, in the north, or Sut as jackal of the south, because the jackal in Egypt was a zootype of the judge. It is not the mount, then, that was the divinity, but the power that dwelt upon it, as the deity called by the Japanese 'the God Eternal-Stand of the heavens' (Ame-no-Foko-Tachi Kami). The power of stability fixed as the centre of the universe was the typical eternal. This was represented by the jackal, which is to be seen at the centre of the Denderah planispherei. The jackal also is a type, not a divinity, and a type may be variously applied. The jackal itself is 'Ap-Uat,' the opener or guide of roads; probably as the seer and crier in the dark and leader of the pack. But it was the dog of Sut and of Sothis as well as of Anup. Thus the type in sign-language may not always determine the nature of the deity. But, as Horapollo rightly says, the jackal denotes the judge. The governor at an early period was the judge, with the jackal as his sign. There were several kinds of judges in Egypt, and the 'totem' of each is the sab or [p.331] sapient jackal. Hence the jackal, representative of Polaris, was placed above the seven as the judge of heaven because he had imaged the judge on earth. Naturally the type was not always repeated other countries, other fauna. Besides which, the anthropomorphic succeeded the zoomorphic in an indefinitely later time; and the Semitic, Hindaic, Greek, and various other renderings are mainly anthropomorphic. But the judge qua judge thus set in heaven by the Egyptians at the polar centre, with his seat upon the summit underneath the tree, was repeated and continued in other mythologies upon the stellar mount. Anup became the great judge in heaven, and the seven are his ministers, as executioners, upon the judgment-day. They are termed the seven 'arms of the balance on the night when the eye is fixed;' that is the eye of the judge, who saw through the dark. The 'Eye of Heaven that Judges the Wicked' is the name of a Chinese constellation; and the god Anup was the judge whose eye was the polestar in the north. He was the seer in the dark, therefore the jackal was his zootype; and the jackal was followed by the later dog as a symbol of Polaris.
The lunar mythos succeeded the stellar, but the moon-god Taht was not reckoned as the ninth one. Neither was Horus. The eighth was the highest power till the time of Ptah and the put-cycle of the nine. The group of seven remained intact. Anup, as the eighth, was the highest in the stellar mythos; Taht-Khemen (later Smen) was highest in the lunar mythos; and Horus was the highest in the solar mythos, the highest being worshipped as the 'Only One.' Anup and Tehuti then became two witnesses to the supremacy of Horus, the one as the eighth, who in turn became the witness for his father, Ra-Unnefer. The deity of the polestar was known to the Chinese as the supreme god in nature, who has his abode on the Great Peak of Perfect Harmony. When Dr. Edkins asked a schoolmaster at Chapoo who was the lord of heaven and earth, the reply of the Chinaman was that he knew of none but Tien-hwang Ta-ti, god of the polestar. Shang-ti, the supreme ruler, was the highest object of worship. His heavenly abode, Tsze-wei, is 'a celestial space round the north pole' and his throne was indicated by the polar star. This is the most sacred as well as most ancient form of Chinese worship. A round hillock is the altar on which sacrifice was offered to him. It is said in the archaic Chow Ritual (Li) that when the sovereign worshipped Shang-ti he offered up on a round hillock a firstborn male, as a whole burnt sacrifice. Both the mount and the firstborn male are typical. Sut was the firstborn male, and, as Sut-Anup, he was the first male ancestor. The hillock is an image of the mount. This deity was also known to the Chinese as the divine prince of 'the Great Northern Equilibrium,' who promulgated 'the laws of the silent wheels of the heavens palace,' or the cycles of time determined by the revolutions of the stars.
HORUS OF THE DOUBLE HORIZON
One of the profoundest secrets in the Egyptian astronomical mythology was the mystery of the twofold horizon, or, more exactly the mystery of the double equinox, and one of the earliest forms of the solar god in the zodiac was Horus of the double equinox, when this had been established by the sky-uplifter Shu, with the aid of his sister Tefnut.
Until the time of Har-Makhu the fatherhood of god had not been individualised in Ra. Har-Makhu was the mother's child when she was a virgin, represented by the white vulture of Neith, or the sacred heifer of Isis. The child could be self-generated as the spirit of life in vegetation, or in light, the phenomena being prehuman from the first. Child-Horus in the solar mythos was the little autumn sun conceived upon the western mount as the calf or child. Adultship was attained upon the horizon east with what was termed the double force. The cult was that of Hathor and Horus, the mother and the child, who was the calf on one horizon and the bull of the cow upon the other. In these two characters he was the double Horus, or the 'double Harmachis,' the solar god of both horizons, and fulfiller annually in the double equinox. The power of evolution was portrayed in Khepra, the transformer. Khepra showed the old beetle changing into the young; the tadpole transfiguring into the frog; the human embryo developing in utero; the enduring spirit emanating from the mortal mummy. Kheper was a form of Har-Makhu, as we learn from the Inscription of the Sphinx. From Har-Makhu, the father-god, Ra-Har-Machis was developed in the mythology which preceded the Egyptian eschatology. Atum was Ra in his primordial sovereignty. The divine fatherhood was developed from Har-Makhu, who became the great god Ra in his primordial sovereignty. Har-Ur, the elder, firstborn Horus in the mythos, was the child of the mother when she had no husband, and he had no father; hence she was the virgin mother who conceived but did not bring forth. There was nothing human in the transaction except the terminology. Horus in the eschatology was he who died and was buried, and who rose again in spirit at his second advent. This time he was imaged in the likeness of the father as the beloved only begotten son of God, who manifested as the fulfiller of his word and doer of his will. Two types in this way were deposited and made permanent in Horus, the child of twelve years, and Amsu-Horus, the man of thirty years. Both characters were united and made one as solar in Horus of the double horizon. This character of Horus, as repa or heir-apparent, may be traced historically at a later time as that assigned to a pharaoh of the 12th dynasty, who represents the double Harmachis, the sun-god of the twofold horizon. He claims a divine origin as the virgin's child that was not begotten by God the Father. As an infant 'in the egg,' he was exalted to be 'the Lord of both parts,' or both horizons, like Har-sam-taui. Speaking of the god he says 'he anointed my forehead as Lord of men, creating me as chief of mortals. He placed me in the palace as a youth not yet come forth from my mother's womb.' He was born in the likeness of elder Horus to be king, or to become the royal Horus in the horizon of the vernal equinox, where [p.333] the two parts were united as east and west in the solar mythos, which followed the stellar Peseshti, or two halves, that were the south and north of Sut and Horus.
Without a fundamental knowledge of the mythology as framework it is impossible to comprehend the doctrines of the Egyptian religion. Horus of the double horizon, or the double equinox, was the solar prototype of the double Horus in the eschatology. As sun-god on the western horizon in the autumn equinox Har-Makhu was born, conceived or incorporated as the virgin's child. It was at this point, that Horus entered earth or the matrix of the mother in the mount, and thus became the child of Seb and Isis by adoption, though not by begettal. In the eastern equinox he rose again as Horus of the double force and master of the double feather, or the later double crown. When the sun set at night, or in the autumn season, it sank down into the waters of the abyss below the horizon, which Horus-Sebek swam as the fish. The crocodile, then, expressed the unparalleled power by which the sun-god crossed the waters and rose again. The crossing was from equinox to equinox, from the western to the eastern side of the mount, let us say from the sign of Virgo in the autumn to the sign of Pisces in the vernal equinox.
Neith, the suckler of crocodiles, was an earlier form of the Virgin Mother than Isis, and by her aid we may obtain a foothold in the zodiac, like that of Horus resting on the mystical two crocodiles, which became the two fishes in the sign of Pisces. When the autumn equinox occurred in Virgo that was the place of conception for Sebek, the fish of the inundation. Six months later the sun rose in the sign of Pisces, and in the eastern equinox, where the fish, as child and consort, or as the two crocodiles, became the two fishes with Neith as the mother on one horizon and Sekhet on the other. Thus as we read the signs, the virgin Neith conceived her child as Sebek-Horus, the fish of the inundation, which was duplicated to express the adultship, and there were two typical fishes. A well-known picture of Child-Horus shows the youthful sun-god standing on two crocodiles (see p. 317), which we take to express the power of the double, or, more exactly, the doubled Horus. In this representation Har-Ur is described as the old child who becomes young. That is the elder who transforms into the younger Horus on the Mount of Glory in the vernal equinox. Standing on the two crocodiles Har-Ur has now acquired the double power—the power, for example, to take up serpents and other poisonous reptiles in his hands without receiving any hurt. Thus, the crocodile-headed Sebek as the child attributed to Neith in Virgo, crosses the gulf of darkness or the abyss of waters to rise up in the east as Horus of the twofold horizon which he had united in the double equinox as Horus of the doubled power. The doubled power of the sun or god in symbolism was expressed by duplication of the type. For example, it was in the autumn equinox, or, as more primitively imaged, on the western mount—the mount of the cow which was covered with crosses indicating the equinox that Child-Horus was conceived in the mythology or incarnated in the eschatology. In the first he was the little suffering sun of the crossing, or the cross, who went down into the underworld to die [p.334] and be buried; to transform and to rise again. In the zodiac of Denderahi, the sign of the 'Scales' contains a portrait of Har-pi-Khart, or Horus the child, who was conceived or incorporated in that sign as Horus of the double equinox called Har-Makhu. The name identifies Child-Horus with the sign. The word for the scales or balance in Egyptian is Makhu. Further, the scales denote the equinox, as the point of equipoise. The Greek name of Harmachis is derived from the Egyptian word makhu, for the balance or scales, and thence for the level of the equinox, where the balance was erected on the day of weighing words and of reckoning the years. The Horus of the double equinox was also termed 'the double Harmakhu,' and this duality was also imaged in the twofoldness of the sphinx, with its tail to the west and its head to the east, pointing to the equinox each way. But how was the crossing from west to east effected at the time when no Amenta had as yet been opened in the underworld?
The passage of the sun-god through the mountain had been imaged as a passage through the cow of earth. We have a perfect survival of the mythos in the märchen of Tom Thumb or Little Tom, whom we claim as a British form of the solar Tum (or Nefer-Atum). In the Egyptian mythos Tum makes his passage through the mount by means of the cow, and is reborn as Little Tum = Tom Thumb, from the Khepsh of the cow Meh-ur. It is said of him in setting from the western horizon, 'Earth stretches her arms to receive thee.' He is embraced by the mother, whose womb is the meskhen of rebirth. And, again, at his going forth to the eastern horizon, it is said, 'Thou hast rested in the cow; thou hast been immerged in the cow Meh-ur.' Sebek-Horus swam the water as a crocodile. The eel of Atum made the crossing through the mud of the morass. Khepra the beetle bored his passage through the earth; Behutet rode upon the vulture's wings; Horus made the aerial voyage as a hawk, and Har-Makhu crossed from one horizon to the other through the hollow body of the sphinx. These were modes of making a passage when the nether earth had not been opened up by Ptah, and the Sekru-sledge, which preceded the boat, had not been laid upon the stocks as the abyss was named Har-Makhu, the god of the double horizon, or the means of travelling by land which was illustrated in the mysteries of Memphis. But, however represented, the Horus who crossed the double equinox. The principle of this duplication on the horizon of the East can be established by means of the two lions, which express the double glory of the double Horus, who was lord of the solar force that was double in the vernal equinox. Horus of the double horizon was also Horus of the two lions. In the Ritual Horus rises again saying, 'I am the twin lions, the heir of Ra.' He is Horus rising in the strength of the two lions as the 'lion of the luminous course.' Again, he says: 'I am the twin lions.' 'I am the double lion.' 'I go out from the dwelling of the two lions to the house of Isis the divine' (which was in Sothis), 'I complete the greatness of Shu the lion.' In a vignette to the Ritual the sun of today rises between two lions, which represent Safre the sun of yesterday and Tua the sun of tomorrow. This is the Horus [p.335] sun, and the two lions image the double strength or glory of Horus in the sign of Leo.
One title of Har-Makhu, or Horus of the double horizon, is Har-Khuti-Khepera, the Horus who made his transformation as the beetle-headed Khepra. The astronomical locality for this particular transformation would naturally be in the sign of Cancer, which the Egyptians sometimes represented by two beetles, at others times by one. Either way, the beetle was the sign of Khepra as Horus of the two horizons. Thus, two beetles mark another station in which the Horus of the double horizon manifests, as the solar deity, with reduplicated power; just as he emerges on the double horizon from between the two lions or Kherufu, in the sign of Leo, as the lion of the double force. Under one of his zootypes, Child-Horus was 'the lamb, son of a sheep;' and the lamb on the western horizon or mount attained the double power of the adult, as a ram in the opposite sign of Aries on the eastern mount. Indeed, Pisces is the first of six signs in all of which this duplication of the solar power was represented in the zodiac. In the sign of Aries, Horus was the lamb upon the western mount who became a ram upon the horizon east, as the adult figure of reduplicated power. In the sign of Taurus he was the calf which became a bull. A vignette to chapter 109 of the Ritual shows the 'Horus of the solar mount' as the calf in presence of the god, and of the morning star upon the western mount. Hathor, the divine cow, is also present with the calf upon the mount. This is the calf that is to become a bull, 'the bull of the mother' on the Mount of Glory in the double equinox, where Horus, the fulfiller, attained the double power. Now, if we suppose the autumn equinox coincide at the time with the sign of Scorpio, the vernal equinox would then occur in Taurus, and in that sign the Horus calf would become a bull as symbol of the solar power that was doubled in the vernal equinox. When the autumn equinox coincided with the sign of Virgo the place of double glory was in the sign of Pisces on the opposite horizon. The god was conceived as the child, calf, or youngling, in the rest. As Sebek, his image was the crocodile of Neith, the virgin in the sign of Virgo. The crocodile in the Ritual is the Kamite 'great fish.' Two crocodiles are therefore the two fishes. These are exactly opposite the sign of 'Virgo,' and the two fishes = two crocodiles are the dual sign of Horus in his double glory, as the expression of his double power in Pisces, like the two lions in the sign of Leo. This principle of duplication may be traced in six of the solar signs: There are two lions as supporters of the sun-god in the sign of Leo; two beetles in the sign of Cancer; two twins in the sign of Gemini. Further, Horus was the calf on the western horizon, who became the bull on the horizon east; also the lamb on one side and the ram upon the other. Thus the duplication extends from the sign of Leo to the sign of Pisces inclusive, which represents the sun-god as Horus the child and Horus the adult, whose double power or glory was expressed by two lions, two crocodiles, and other types of twinship, in addition to the twins or Gemini who were figured in the human form.
Or if we read the signs the forward way the two fishes correspond to the two crocodiles of Horus. The sun in Aries answers for the ram and lamb; in Taurus for the bull and calf. In the sign of the [p.336] Gemini there is a pair of twins. The sign of Cancer or the Crab was represented by two beetles in Egyptian planispheresi. In the lion sign two lions, called the Kherefu, supported the young solar god in his resurrection on the horizon in Leo. Thus, when Horus of the double horizon was conceived with the autumn equinox in the sign of Virgo, he was twinned and brought forth with the vernal equinox in Pisces, where two fishes = two crocodiles, mark the birthplace. The lamb and ram are twinned in Aries; the calf and bull in Taurus. If we take these six signs in the circle of precession the two lions correspond to the duality of Atum-Horus; the two beetles to Khepra-Ptah; the two Gemini to Sut and Horus; the bull and calf to Osiris and Horus; the ram and lamb to Ammon-Ra and Khunsu, and the two fishes to the twin crocodiles, as six different illustrations of the sun of the two horizons at six different landing-stages on the other side of the celestial deep. Thus, the double Harmakhis includes two characters corresponding to the two equinoxes on the double horizon. In one he is the concept of a virgin, in the other he is brought forth by the parturient mother. In one he was the calf in time, in the other he is the bull of eternity. In the one he is Horus in matter; in the other he is Horus in spirit. In the one he is the child of twelve years; in the other he is the adult of thirty years. The first was the founder, the second is the fulfiller. The first was Horus of the incarnation, the second is Horus of the resurrection. Horus of the resurrection in the solar mythos was the prototype of Amsu in the eschatology, who rose up in spirit from the inert condition of the mummy, as conqueror of death and all the banded powers of evil. In both phases of character this is Horus of the double force, the double crown, the double feather, the double uraei, the double life, or other types of duplication, including the double equinox.
Thus the doctrine of a twofold advent for an ever-coming child, born of a virgin mother, can be traced in the solar mythos to a beginning with Horus of the double horizon. Whatsoever the point in precession, the horizon of the resurrection or the mount of glory coincided with the vernal equinox. The little sun, the calf, or the child Horus entered the mount at the beautiful gate of entrance in the West, for breeding purposes, and rose again as the great sun, the bull, the lion, the adult Horus, that went forth at the beautiful gate of exit in the East to become the bull of the mother when the godhood consisted of the mother, the child, and the divine adult.
The mystery of the double horizon was indeed a riddle of the sphinx. The great Sphinx of Giza is traditionally reputed to symbolize the river Nile at its rising, when the sun coincided with the signs of Leo or Virgo in the water-season of the year. It is now known, however, to be a representative image of the god Har-Makhu. The sphinx itself has spoken once. On the Stele of Tahtmes IV it is called 'the sphinx of Khepera, the very mighty, the greatest of the spirits and the most august.' Now Khepra, the son of Ptah is, as already said, a form of Tum-Harmakhis who was not simply a solar god of the double horizon. In the eschatology he became the god in spirit, the one god living in truth, the sole power that was worshipped as eternal. This is the 'greatest of spirits' represented by the sphinx of Khepra.
There had been a sort of hollow underworld made out before Amenta was established as 'the earth of eternity' by the opener Ptah. This was the Akar, Khar, or Kar, over which the sphinx presided brooding in her mysteries of birth—the birth of light, of water, of food, of the young solar god, and, lastly, of an ever-living son. We learn from the Ritual that the mystery of the sphinx originated with the mount of earth as the place of passage, of burial, and rebirth for the solar god. An ancient Egyptian name for the sphinx is Akar. This also was a name for the hollow of the underworld. The speaker, in the character of the newly-risen solar god, exclaims, 'I am the offspring of yesterday. The tunnels of the earth have given me birth, and I am revealed at my appointed time' in the coming forth to day. It is said that the very bones of the deities quake as the stars go on their triumphant courses through the tunnels of the Akar. It is demonstrable that a passage through the mount of earth, the same that was made through the cow, was followed by the passage through Akar, the sphinx, which was built for the god Har-Makhu, the Horus-sun that was immeasurably earlier than Ra. The speaker is in Akar, which is represented by the goddess Akerit because it was the place of burial and rebirth. The tunnel through the mount of the sphinx is oblong; and it is noticeable that the oldest known pyramid in Egypt, that of Medum, is neither conical nor quadrangular, but oblong. To understand the nature of the Akar, says Renouf, we have to imagine a tunnel starting from the spot where the sun sets and extending through the earth as far as where the sun rises. Each end of the tunnel has a sphinx-like form. A human-headed lion couches at the entrance and also at the end. It is through the paws of this double sphinx that the galley of the sun-god enters on the western horizon and comes out on the eastern mount. In the picture, plate 14i, taken from the tomb of Rameses IV. 'Fair entrance' (Aka Nefer) is written at one end of the tunnel, 'Fair exit' (Par Nefer) at the other. These two gates of entrance and exit on the horizon were called the gates of Akar, and sometimes the gates of Seb, the god of earth. They were the two gates of earth for the sun in the mythology, and the two gates of Akar for the manes in the eschatology. Thus the twofold horizon was imaged for Har-Makhu in the figure of the double sphinx. The traditions lead one to think that profound secrets were buried in the building of the sphinx, as was the way with these builders, who put all they knew into all they did. We gather from the Stele of Tahtmes that the monument was built to commemorate the sacred place of creation, or, literally, 'of the first time,' an Egyptian expression generally used for the creation or 'in the beginning.' This sacred site is said to go back to the days of the masters of Kher or Kar, which as a divine locality was the Neter-Kar of the underworld or the abyss. Kher is likewise an ancient name of the Egyptian Babylon, old Cairo. Like Babylon, this was the gate or pathway of the gods—the place of exit, as we read it, for the seven elemental powers who issued from Amenta, as the uraeus-deities, or seven spirits of earth.
In the beginning was the Mother-earth as the womb of universal [p.338] life; vegetable, animal, reptile, fish, bird, and human life. The uterine figure was repeated in the making of Amenta as 'the Tuat' for the birthplace of water and for edible plants, or, more generally, the elements of life. Thirdly, this type was imaged as the abyss of the beginning in the uranographic representation of the southern heaven. Earth was the womb of life when life was born of water. The birthplace was imaged by the abyss of the Tuat, the well, the gorge, or other type of utterance, from the secret source in the sacred place of creation, the creatory of the Mother-earth. The water of life became a type of the eternal, the fabled fount of immortality that was so preciously preserved in the divine underworld; the living water that was sought for by the mother when she periodically lost her child, who was the same to her as the water of life, and who was found in the abyss, which was indeed the place of its rebirth. The generation of life by water, the birth of Horus by water and in food, was the profoundest of mysteries. This was the way that life actually came into the world, before the subject was made doctrinal. This was a life which did save the world when Horus the messu was the saviour who naturally gave fulfilment periodically to the promise that he made. In various legends the secret of this water of life that wells up in the subterranean region is jealously guarded by dragons, crocodiles, or other monsters of the deep. In the Chaldean versions the seven anunaki or spirits of earth are the guardians appointed to keep the secret of the waters of life in this underworld to which the dead descended and from which the elemental powers first ascended to the surface of the upper earth. There is warrant for assuming that the mystery of the beginning from the abyss was also one of the great secrets that was guarded by the sphinx at Giza. The final fact is that the sphinx was carved out of the rock at the exact centre of the earth to commemorate 'that sacred place of the creation' or beginning which goes back to the domain of Sut, and to 'the days of the masters of Kher.' That is the beginning in and with the primordial mundane abyss from which life emanated and from which the elemental powers or seven uraeus-deities were born of Mother-earth. The sphinx, then, like the cow of earth, or the hollow mount, was a means of crossing the abyss in which human handiwork had succeeded to the natural type as the figure of a passage. It was made as the means of crossing for Horus of the two horizons or the double equinox. Thus, the sphinx is a monument that commemorates the founding of the equinox in the double horizon, and as this was assigned to Atum Harmachis, it may account for the Hebrew traditions which associated Adam with the equinox, Adam being a Jewish form of the Egyptian Atum. Harmachis entered the sphinx at sunset in the west or hinder-part, and was reborn in the east as Horus of the forepart, lion-faced. The means of crossing the dark gulf in the solar mythos was now the bridge in death and the mode of uniting the two worlds in one, when the re-arising of the sun was succeeded by the resurrection of the soul, the lion having been adopted for the sphinx upon the horizon east as an emblem of the double power which made the passage for the sun-god or the soul. The sphinx is male in front and female in the hinder-part. It is a compound image of the Mother-earth and the young god whom she brought [p.339] forth upon the horizon of the resurrection. Without the mother there was no rebirth. Where the earth opens for the sunrise it was called the unnu or outrance of Neith. As the sphinx appears to us it has the human face. But the god Tum-Harmachis was the lion of the solar glory, and his bringer-forth as Sekhet was the lioness. The perfect type was dual as the lion and the lioness combined, only the forepart has been rendered anthropomorphically in the likeness of the pharaoh who was the lion-ruler at the time. The great sphinx as keeper of these secrets was couched in mountainous repose upon the horizon in the eastern equinox, when the gate of 'fair exit' was in the lion-sign and the gate of 'fair entrance' was in Aquarius, the water-sign that is figured over the abyss of source on the celestial globe. The sphinx then is a figure of the double horizon and the duality of Har-Makhu when the place of conjunction was at the point of precession in the lion-sign. And if, as is the Egyptian way, the fact was registered forthwith, we may date the sphinx as a monument which was reared by these great builders and thinkers, who lived so largely out of themselves, some thirteen thousand years ago.
The 'Aten' of the so-called disk-worship was an ancient form of Har-Makhu, god of the double horizon. This, however, was not a worship of the solar disk. The disk was but an emblem of the circle made by Aten as the god of both horizons. His was a compound type of godhood, in which the mother was dual with the son who was her child on one horizon and her bull or fecundator on the other. The word aten, from at, was an ancient name for the child Horus-Behutet, god of the hut or winged disk, we take to have been the earliest form of Aten. This is the solar god who crossed from the horizon west to the horizon east upon the vulture's wings, which were an emblem of the motherhood. The hut was a dual emblem of the divine infant and the mother as bearer of the child. As the bird she carried him over the intervening void of darkness where the Apap lay in wait. Thus the godhood of Aten consisted of the mother, her child, and the adult male or bull of the mother, in a cult which preceded that of the fatherhood of Atum-Ra. The glory of Aten as the power that is doubled on the horizon of the resurrection was the object of regard in this religion, not the disk.
This cult of the mother and the child who was worshipped in Egypt as Har-Makhu, the child commonly called Horus on the horizon, had an unsuspected development amongst the Mediterranean races. The Mycenean Tree and Pillar Cult is the title of a somewhat recent work by Arthur J. Evans. The title implies the common notion that trees and pillars, 'stocks and stones' were directly worshipped instead of the power that was represented by them in sign-language. But a volume of evidence might be collected showing that the supreme object of worship in this cult was the deity of the double equinox, the youthful solar god who in Egypt was called 'the double Har-Makhu.' Both tree and pillar had been figures of the pole before they were erected in the equinox. The tree was planted in the abyss as a figure of the southern pole, the 'tall sycamore of Sut' or tree of the south. The column of stone was raised in Annu, as the pillar of the northern [p.340] pole. When the equinoxes were established, tree and pillar both were continued and often blended at the point of equipoise as figures of the birthplace that was shifted to the zodiac in the solar mythos. The Mithraic monumentsi show us that the tree was a figure of the equinox, and that two trees represented the double equinox when this was resting in the signs of Scorpio and Taurus. Both tree and pillar had been types of Hathor as the abode of Horus. In the Egyptian Ritual the tree marks the place of coming forth and point of emergence from Amenta in the equinox. 'I am the babe,' says Horus four times. 'I am the god within the ash tree.' 'I am the link which connecteth the solar orb with yesterday'—and also with tomorrow, as is shown by the two lions. This connecting link is Horus of the two horizons, who is here brought forth from the ash tree. When columns could be carved, the raising of the stone pillar took the place of planting the tree, or was added to it as a co-type of station. In the twelfth dynasty the foundation of a solar temple is described. Amenemha and his son Usertsen I were on the throne conjointly as representatives of the solar god of both horizons. The king says, 'Henceforth I will make monuments and erect carved columns to the double Harmachis.' That is, to the sun-god of the two horizons or the double equinox, who was here represented by the pharaoh and his son.
The Mycenean symbolism of the two lions with the central tree or pillar can be read if followed as Egyptian, but not otherwise. The tree, the pillar, or the mount was female as a figure of the birthplace, the place of exit for the babe born from the mount, the meskhen, or its equivalent (in wood or stone). For example, a birthplace in the stellar mythos was in Sothis, the star that showed the birthplace of the babe. Both child and mother met in Sothis as Hathor and her infant Horus. She was the house of Horus. The house was imaged as a cone or a tree. This will explain why the Mycenean figure accompanying the tree-pillar is at times a woman and at other times a child. They are the goddess and her babe, identical with Hathor and Child-Horus in the place of birth. In the gold shrine found at Mycenea the figures on each side are two doves. Now the dove in Egypt was the very ancient bird of Hathor, and the two doves are a figure equivalent to the mother and the child that was born within her shrine, her house, her pillar, or her tree, as her dove of the generative spirit, or the later Holy Spirit. The cult of the mother and child is also illustrated on the impression of a gem from Knossos. A sheep represents the mother as suckler of the child beneath her—that is, her lamb, as Horus was called when this type had taken the place of the calf. In two of the Mycenean pictures the goddess in person is placed between the two lions. This is she who was the tree or pillar, shrine or birthplace, whether as Hathor-Sothis or as bringer forth of the deity of the double horizon in the vernal equinox. Hathor was continued as the Venus of the Mediterranean races. What then was the object of the supposed 'worship'? Was it the tree, the pillar, or both? or was it the goddess who was represented by the tree and pillar? or was it the child who was reborn from the birthplace in the tree or rock or shrine? The solar birthplace on the [p.341] horizon had long been represented by the tree, the mount, the cone, shrine, gate, portal, the unnu or other forms of the opening which was always female, and a figure of childbirth in the mythos, when the mother was the earth. As Egyptian the goddess herself is sometimes portrayed; sometimes the child, and sometimes both the mother and the child, are imaged inside the pillar or cone which stands for the place of birth. The cult, then, whether as Egyptian or Mycenean, was a worship of the mother and child, the divine duad that was so prevalent amongst the Mediterranean races, and not a tree-and-pillar cult, not a worship of 'stocks and stones.'
The double axe of what has been called 'the Mycenean tree-and-pillar cult' is an emblem of the doubled power, and the so-called god of the double axe is consequently a god of the double equinox, who was Har-Makhu, the Horus who passed into Atum-Ra as the Egyptian Zeus. The sun that made its way through the earth or the abyss was known as the divider, or the cleaver. This was the solar power which clove its way from west to east and from horizon to horizon as Har-Makhu, god of the double horizon or double equinox in the annual round. He was the cleaver of the earth, who was represented by the cleaver as an axe which, we take it, was a sign of Horus, the cleaver of the way. The god of the double equinox who completed the course from horizon to horizon was Horus of the double force, which doubled force was variously imaged by the double crown, the double uraei, the double feather, the two lions, the two crocodiles, and other dual types. Hence the god himself is called 'the double Harmachis.' He was cleaver of the way, whose double power was likewise imaged by the two-headed weapon which has been termed the 'divine double axe' of the Mycenean cult. The type itself may have been derived from the Egyptian nuter-sign of divinity (Â), or power divinized, which was the stone axe of the Palaeolithic age; and a double axe would be the visible symbol of the power that was doubled in the vernal equinox. On a Mycenean vase from Old Salamis the double axe is figured between two bull's heads, each of which supports a double axei. If we take the double axe as a sign of the power that was doubled in the equinox, it seems to follow that this representation indicates an equinox in the sign of Taurus; and as the bull's head and the axe are both dual, this will be the equinox that was double at the time of celebration, therefore the double equinox determined by the two bull's heads and the double axe as signs of the solar power that was doubled in the vernal equinox.
The reader has but to take up Count d'Alviella's book The Migration of Symbols to see how widely spread this equinoctial imagery became. In this we find:
Fig. 58. The tree standing between two lions (from the Cathedral of Torcello).
Fig. H, p1. 4. The tree between two lions (from a bas-relief of Bharhut).
Fig. 35. Gilgamesh flanked by two lions, which he holds at arm's length.
Fig. 65. The tree between two goats (Assyrian cylinder).
Fig. A, p1. 4. Tree between two cherubs (Chaldean art).
Tree between two winged unicorns (bas-relief of Nineveh).
Fig. B, p1. 4. Tree between two cherubs (from a Phoenician bowl).
Fig. D, p1. 4. Tree between two rams (from a bowl).
Fig. 67. Tree between two giraffes (vase from Curium).
Fig. 71. Tree or stalk and winged solar disk between two hare-headed looking animals (Khetan cylinder).
Two figures guarding the tree upon a Syrian amulet (fig. 110). The tree here is shaped like the ankh-cross, thus showing it to be the tree of life upon Egyptian ground.
The Assyrian combination of the sacred tree and winged solar disk unites the tree of dawn with the rising sun, and the symbol has the same significance no matter whether the sun-god climbs the tree or the disk is borne on wings above its branches. The tree of dawn stands in the solar birthplace. This is in the vernal equinox as birthplace of the annual sun. That which brings forth is the female, and the feminine nature of the type explains the fecundation of the tree by the two acolytes or genii who take the place of the two lions, crocodiles, dragons, beetles, cherubs, birds, and other types of the supporting pair. Amongst the co-types of the tree may be reckoned the figure of a god or child, a cone or a cross, a pillar, papyrus-reed, a lotus or a vase, the unnu or opening, the meskhen or birthplace, whence issued the youthful solar deity now fulfilled of his duplicated power. The two confronted lions are common on the Mycenean gems as two heraldic supporters of the central figure. This in one instance is the radiating solar orb itself. In another a male divinity stands between the two lions. In others the figure standing or seated between the two lions is the divine mother who brought forth in the equinox. On two different glass plaques from Mycenea the supports on either side of the tree-pillar are two lions. Amongst other figures may be seen:
Two lions with the sun rising from between them, the same as in the Egyptian representation.
Two lions supporting a tat or tree-pillar.
Two lions back to back with the tree-pillar between.
Two lions with the tree-pillar.
Two lions pouring out libations on the pillar.
Two lions with the god in person between them in place of the tree or pillar.
Two lions, with the goddess in person between them in place of the symbols. This is she who was the tree, the shrine, pillar, or birthplace.
Two lions with the goddess seated between them.
Other pictures show the mount of the equinox, the tree at the meeting point of sun and moon in the equinox, the equinox, as mount, between two bulls. In another scene two bulls support a tree-pillar. In one instance two sphinxes support the tree-pillar. The solution now to be propounded is that the moutit or pillar—the shrine or the tree—determines the point of equinox; that the dual nature of the symbol shows it to be the double equinox as place of rebirth for the god of the double horizon, and that the two lions, two sphinxes, two beetles, two bulls, rams, or goats denote the particular sign of the zodiac in which the vernal equinox and the rebirth of Har-Makhu occurred at the time that is thus visibly portrayed.
The mystery of Har-Makhu and the double equinox was known to Paul, who was a master of the secret wisdom. The doctrine concern- [p.343] ing Tum-Harmachis is well stated by him, only it has been rendered Hebraistically. The two Atums, or Atum and Nefer-Atum, are replaced by the first and second Adam as the man of earth and the man from heaven. The second Atum was 'he who is our peace' with the title of Iu-em-hetep. This, as the second Horus, was 'he who made both one' and 'broke down the middle wall of partition,' 'that he might create in himself of the twain one new man.' 'The middle wall of partition' is a figure in the eschatology of that which was a fact in the equinoctial mythos.
Whatsoever the type, the double equinox was indicated by the twofold figure. Thus, if a tree were the symbol, then two trees were the sign of the double equinox, and when Horus of the resurrection rises, let us say, as the good shepherd between two trees, it is, as now suggested, a portrait of Har-Makhu, the connecting link between the two horizons or two lives. Now, one of the commonest scenes in the Roman catacombs is this of the two trees between which rises the so-called 'Good Shepherd', who is sometimes a goatherd. There is a scene from the Roman catacombs in which the good shepherd is the central figure between the two trees, two birds, and also the lamb and ram, by which the resurrection is to be identified with the vernal equinox in the sign of Aries. In another of the pictures from the catacombs the good shepherd is accompanied by both the lamb and the ram, which are at least equivalent to the dual type of the equinox in Aries. He carries the lamb upon his shoulders, whilst the ram is resting at his feet. Horus was the lamb upon the western and the ram upon the eastern horizon, both being united in a figure of the double power. A kindred representation is portrayed upon a gnostic stone now in the British Museum. This is Horus the gnostic Jesus as Ichthus the fish. That the scene occurs in the sign of the ancient type of the crocodile on which Pisces is shown by the two fishes, one of which is over the head of Horus, the other under his feet. The latter also repeats the divine child was supported in the Cippi of Horus. There is also an altar of the Palmyrene at Rome which has the image of the solar god on one side, and on the other a conical cypress tree, the foliage of which exhibits a child carrying a ram upon its shoulder, which shows a singular reversal in the position of the child and adult. But it was the child = the lamb that issued from the maternal tree, to be followed by the adult as the ram. When Horus rises from the dead in the Egyptian tombs it is as the good shepherd. The crook and whip (or flail) of rule are the insignia of his sovereignty. According to the Ritual, he rises up between two trees called the 'two sycamores of emerald.' Thus he is the perfect prototype of the good shepherd in the Roman catacombs. The god who rises in this character is Horus of the double equinox in the mythology, and Horus in spirit in the eschatology, who by his resurrection joined the [p.344] two lives together and the two worlds in one. The good shepherd in the catacombs is self-identified by the cloak he wears, which is the cloak of royalty, as a figure of the royal Horus, the child who was born and predestined to be king.
The doctrines of the incarnation and the resurrection had already been established in the cult of Har-Makhu, the Horus of the double equinox. Horus the child in one equinox, who was Horus the adult in the other, constituted the double Harmachis, one as the founder and one as the fulfiller—one as Horus of the incarnation, the other as Horus of the resurrection. The doctrine was at first solar, and next eschatological. In both phases it was earlier than the fatherhood of Ra. The incarnation was at least as ancient as the virgin in the zodiac, who conceived in Virgo, and the mother who brought forth in Pisces, which we calculate may have been some six-and-twenty thousand years ago. The solar god who united the two horizons was the fulfiller of the annual circle, and came to reign as the king of one year, first in the inundation, then in the zodiac. He also came in the character of the great judge to see that justice should be periodically administered. In the stellar mythos Anup had been the judge, with the seat of judgment at the place of equipoise, which was then at the celestial pole. In the solar mythos this was shifted to the vernal equinox, and the mount of glory to the east. An ideal of justice, truth, and righteousness, imaged by the balance or scales, was postulated as established and eternal in the heavens as the reign of law, and there was an annual attempt to make that justice visible and veritable on earth. Har-Makhu came as the great judge, accompanied by the seven great spirits who were his executioners, called 'the seven arms of the balance.' The balance was erected as a figure of the equinoctial level, for the weighing of hearts and of words. The unjust were punished, wrongs were righted, restitution was enforced. The judgment day in the Easter equinox was similar in point of time to what we in Europe call the 'March Assizes.' This was represented as the judgment in Amenta.
THE MAKING OF AMENTA
The puzzle-picture of the astronomical mythology had to be collected from its many scattered parts and put together piecemeal, and the method of presentment is panoramic. It was not practicable to tell the story straight through with chronological sequence. For instance, in portraying the eschatology of the Ritual, in the fourth book, the existence of Amenta had to be taken for granted, before the making of this underworld had been described as the excavation made by Ptah the opener and his seven Ali or co-workers. As a group, the eight great gods of Am-Khemen were followed by the put-cycle or Ennead of the Nine. The word put, whence the name of Putah or Ptah, denotes the number nine, and the put-cycle was formed when Ptah was added to the earlier eight great gods. Neither Anup nor Taht was now the highest one. The groups of seven and eight, however, were not submerged. The group of seven survived as [p.345] the seven Khnemmu, moulders or metallurgists who assisted Ptah the divine craftsman, and the group of eight to which he was the ninth god are sometimes described as the children of Ptah. In an Inscription at Edfu they are called 'the most great of the first time; the august who were earlier than the gods, children of Ptah, who issued forth from him, engendered to take the north and the south, to create in Thebes and in Memphis; the creators of all creation,' according to the later, i.e. solar, mythology. The earliest form of a divine fatherhood was outlined though not perfected in the pygmy Ptah; hence one of his titles is 'the Father of the Fathers,' which indicates the fatherhood that was founded on the eldest brother. Ptah was a solar god who did not attain the status of Ra.
Now, until the time of Ptah, Amenta was not founded as the earth of eternity in the subterranean regions, nor excavated from one horizon to the other as a pathway for the nocturnal sun and the manes. Sebek, the crocodile-headed god, swam in the water round about the earth from west to east upon the outside of the mount. Horus crossed the waters on the wings of the hawk. Behutet or Aten of the disk rode on the wings of the vulture, Tum-Horus was the calf that issued from the cow of earth, and Har-Makhu passed from one side of the mount to the other through the body of the sphinx. The Amenta had not then been hollowed out. The passage through the mount from west to east was tunnelled now by Ptah and his co-workers, who in this character might be called his seven navvies. When Ptah, the supreme craftsman of the gods, constructed his terrestrial and subterranean house of the double earth he built it on the earlier foundations, such as the Akar and Tuat of the abyss that were previously extant, The two pillars of the south and north were likewise utilized. As it is said in the mythological text from Memphis, 'the two pillars of the gateway of the house of Ptah are Horus and Sut,' which had previously represented the two poles of Sut and Horus, the twin founders, as we show, in the beginning.
An inscription found both at Edfu and Esné mentions the 'festival of the suspension of the sky' by Ptah, which was connected with a celebration of the winter solstice. It has been suggested by Krall that this had descended from the time when 'the winter solstice marked the beginning of the year and also of the creation.' Under another figure this suspension of the sky by Ptah in Amenta was celebrated in the mysteries of Memphis by the erection of the double tat-pillar which supported the sky and was originally a twofold figure founded on the pole, but the sky now suspended in the double earth of Ptah was not the sky of day. It is the firmament of the nocturnal sun through which it passed at night when in the netherworld which is for the first time fully opened up by Ptah the great architect of the universe, who followed the earlier sky-supporters, but, Horus, and Shu.
The Kamite Amenta is 'the grave of man's lost world,' where his legendary garden of the beginning may be rediscovered. In this subterranean country can be found a copy of the primary paradise of all mythology, which can be restored from the Ritual and the imagery set in the stars of heaven, and proved to be the work of ancient [p.346] Egypt's wisdom. The most primitive imagery was sacredly preserved in Amenta, which makes the Book of the Dead an eschatological record of the beginnings in mythology that is unparalleled, and not until we have mastered the wisdom of Egypt as recorded in Amenta shall we be enabled to read it on the surface of the earth. First comes the natural fact, next the mythical representation, and lastly the eschatological application of the type, be it the mount, or tree, the deluge, the ark, the evil serpent, or the victorious young hero. All three phases have to be studied, collated, and compared; and for this purpose the Egyptian Book of the Dead, and of Amenta [i.e., Am-Duat], are worth all other sacred writings in the world. The primal paradise of universal legend was above the earth upon the summit of the mount, up which the spirits climbed to reach the region of eternal rest among the stars that never set. It was configurated round about the pole of heaven. This has yet to be depicted as the mount of glory. The later paradise was subterrestrial, the earthly paradise of legendary lore. The first was stellar, the last is solar, and it is this last that was founded on the subterranean path of the nocturnal sun first opened up by Ptah. The duplicating of paradise was partly a result of repeating the imagery of the stellar representation in the solar mythos. The mount of glory in the east was added to the mount of glory in the north, with the wide water of the heavens flowing round between the terrestrial and celestial paradise. Kosmas Indikopleustis (AD 535) tells us that beyond the ocean in every direction there exists another continent which cannot be reached by man, but of which one part was inhabited by him before the deluge. To the east, just as in other maps of the world and in later systems, he placed the terrestrial paradise and the four rivers that watered Eden which came by subterranean channels to water the post-diluvian earth. This can be followed by means of the upper paradise of Am-Khemen, that was raised by Shu, and the lower one now configurated by the opener Ptah, who suspended a sky overhead in Amenta.
In the mythology, Amenta is the subterranean country of the sun by night. The dawn and sunset were its gates of glory. It is called the beautiful Amenta, the earth of eternity. It was the passage of the sun that made the pathway of the solar circle which was completed in the eastern equinox. Hence it is said of the sun-god, 'The junction of the double earth is the head of the coffin of Osiris, the beneficent soul in Sutenkhen, who hath determined the paths of eternity,' that is in completing a circle by making the passage through Amenta. The road to heaven for the manes now began with a pathway through the nether earth, from the place of sunset to the gate of sunrise. Previously the way to heaven was up the mount which was a figure of the north celestial pole. There was no solar passage through the nether regions in the stellar mythos; the sun went round the mount of earth, not through it. Ptah the opener added earth to earth and heaven to heaven, the solar mythos to the stellar. The sky upraised by him is indicated by the figure of heaven reversed. It is called the firmament of Ptah. Hence it is said by the Osiris in Amenta, 'Mine is the radiance in which Ptah floateth over his firmament,' his firmament [p.347] being that of the nocturnal sun in the underworld. There was now a firmament above and one below the earth. The firmament uplifted first by Sut, Horus, and Shu was supplemented by a nether sky upraised and suspended by the opener Ptah. The nnu, nun, or heaven is the celestial water, and this, as sky, was both above and below the earth. Now, the account of creation in the Book of Genesis, with its waters above the firmament and its waters below the firmament, could not have been written until the division of these waters of heaven above the earth and of Amenta below the earth was effected when Ptah created the firmament of the nether-earth and raised another heaven in Amenta. In many places the name of Nut has the sign of heaven in the reversed position, thus . Renouf asks, is this one more proof that the Egyptians believed in a sky below the horizon? This, however, does not touch bottom. The Egyptian wise men did not believe in this nether sky; they created it as a figure in sign-language. Thus in the making of Amenta there was a sky above the underworld as well as over the upper, earth; this is the nether sky that was suspended overhead by Ptah and memorized in the mysteries.
When the sun-god Atum-Ra mounts into heaven from the garden of Aarru it is from the lower Aarru in the secret earth of Amenta. Hence it is said at the same time he 'goeth to the field of Aarru, approaching to the land of spirits in heaven,' i.e., to the upper Aarru, which was in the heaven of eternity, not in the netherland of the double earth, called the earth of eternity. This duality has to be completely comprehended before the Ritual can be read, or its traditions followed round the world, as for example, in the Hebrew Genesis and the Assyrian legends of creation.
Paradise in Amenta is said by the deceased to be the 'beautiful earth of eternity.' But the deceased does not stay in it as his place of repose. It is not the eternal dwelling. In passing through Amenta he is bound for the heaven of eternity above. This below is but the earthly paradise, and there is an upper paradise to be attained across the celestial waters by those who can secure a seat in the boat of Ra. The typical mount was doubled; a mountain east was added to the most ancient mount of the north, which sometimes makes it look as if the site of the primitive paradise had been shifted and slewed round from the north to the east. The mistake hitherto made regarding the mount is in supposing the mount of earth, or Amenta, to be identical with the mount of the north, whereas the two belong to two distinct systems of the mythos, stellar and solar. The mount of heaven was stellar in the north; the mount of earth is solar in the east. The mount of heaven had its summit at the north celestial pole; the mount of Amenta was level with the sky-line on the horizon. There is also a double judgment seat, and a twofold judgment. One great hall was in Amenta. The other was at the apex of the hill of heaven, the maat of the final judgment that was given on the last great day. When the two are sundered, we sometimes find the judgment seat is imaged at the north celestial pole; at others, the great judge is seated as the Rhat-Amenta or Rhadamanthus, in the maat of the nether-earth. This double maat or seat [p.348] of judgment can be explained by the Egyptian wisdom. It was the individual judgment that now took place in the maat of Amenta. This was the first judgment of two; the second is the last great judgment in the maat above. The first is beneath the tree of dawn, the second is under the tree of the pole. Those who were condemned as guilty in the primary trial of the dead suffered the second death in Amenta. They went no farther, but were extinguished in the tank of flame or annihilated on the highways of the damned. Thus the two different resurrections are differentiated the one from the other, in the gospel according to John, when it is said the dead are to come forth; they that have done evil to 'the resurrection of judgment,' and they that have done good unto 'the resurrection of life.' Both resurrections occur in the Ritual; one for the judgment in Amenta, the other on the mount for the last judgment and the resurrection to eternal life.
The garden of Aarru or paradise of the eight great gods, whom we identify as a group with the seven in the Lesser Bear, plus the deity of the polestar, was in the north. Not on the horizon north, but at the celestial pole that was figured as the summit of a very lofty mount, the mythical mountain of the north, diamond-pointed at the apex with the polar star, whereas the Semitic Eden is the garden eastward. This is relatively late, because it belongs to the solar and not to the stellar mythos. It is not the circumpolar paradise of earlier tradition. That may be the reason why the mount is omitted from the Book of Genesis. It is not Am-Khemen, the paradise of the eight great gods. It is the enclosure of the pair who in the solar mythos were Atum = Adam and the Great Mother Kefa = Chavah.
The earth itself was figured as a mount; its highest point was in Apta, at the equator. When tunnelled for a passage through it, this became the mountain of Amenta, also the funeral mount. The place of entrance for the sun or the manes of the dead was in the west, or, as it was termed, the western hill. The mount of earth is the mount of birth for Horus in the solar mythology. The mount of heaven is the mount of rebirth for souls in the eschatology. Both have been linked together but not blended in the Egyptian representation, when the Osiris makes his journey from the base of the mount in Amenta to the summit of the heavenly bill, the topmost peak of which is at the pole. In this ascent from the root-land of the mount of earth, or of Amenta, to the summit of Mount Hetep it may look as if the mount were all in one, but it is not so. There was a double mount; the mount of earth which was solar, and the mount of heaven which was stellar. In the Ritual the mount of earth is said to be 'the hill on which heaven resteth.' This is called the hill Bakhu, the solar mount. Its dimensions in length and breadth are given in some of the early papyri. In the Papyrus of Nebseni the hill is 300 cubits in breadth. In the Turin Ritual it is 140 cubits in breadth. Now it happens that in the Mexican mythology there is a 'mountain of the locust' or the mount of Capultepec, and the ideographic signs of this mountain include the following numerical figures:
These figures are Egyptian. The sign ∩ is a figure of ten, which goes [p.349] back to the origin in digital reckoning, as it is derived from the two hands clasped and cut off at the wrists. The Mexican figures therefore repeat the Egyptian at the value of 10 Í 14 = 140, whatsoever the numbers may mean.
The Japanese also have the double Mount Kagu; one is on the earth, or rather it is the earth, the other is in Arne or heaven, the divine mount, that is the heaven, which had the North Pole for its highest peak. The Japanese likewise have the eight great gods of the mount, who are said to have been produced by Kagutsuchi, which we take to be a form of the original eight kami that correspond to the Kamite Khemenu, the eight great gods in Am-Khemen, the heaven upraised by Shu. The same duality of the mount is illustrated in the two Chinese Kwenluns. Here the terrestrial paradise is described as being at the centre of the earth. The Queen-Mother dwells there alone in its midst. At the summit there is a resplendent azure hall, with lakes enclosed by precious gems. Above the clear ether rules the ever-fixed, the polar star. This is the Egyptian mount of Amenta in which Hathor was queen. The 'azure hall' is the empyrean over the summit of the mundane mount, which is here identified as the mother-mount. The other mount is celestial on its summit at the north star is the heavenly palace of Shang-ti at the centre of the circumpolar paradise, with its circle of thirty-six gods or rulers, which answer to the thirty-six decans of the zodiac.
The Todas also have the twofold mount. Their mountain of the world is the Makurti, or navel of the earth, the pillar of the firmament. It is a towering rock, upon the table-land of which the souls of the dead assemble for the leap into the abyss of waters that lies between them and the mount of heaven. Either they, in common with some other races, have lost, or never had, the solar boat of the Egyptian eschatology, by which the base of one mount was reached from the summit of the other. But, sink or swim, the journey is the same. So is the celestial chart. Hence the Todas can see the cows that graze the fields of heaven in the nebula of the Milky Way. These correspond to the Kamite cows, the givers of plenty in the meadows of Aarru, that rest by the still waters at the head of the river of light and the twin lakes in the region of the north celestial pole.
This stellar mountain in the northern heaven and solar mountain in the east will likewise account for the twofold mount of the Babylonians. Lenormant describes the two somewhat confusingly, but no explanation of their duality has ever been given. He says, 'Above the earth extended the sky, and revolving round the mountain of the east, the column which joined the heavens and the earth and served as an axis to the celestial vault. The culminating point of the heavens, the zenith (nuzku) was not this axis or pole. On the contrary, that was situated immediately above the country of Akkadia (in the north), and was regarded as the centre of the inhabited lands, whilst the mountain which acted as a pivot to the starry system was to the north-east of this country. Beyond the mountain, and also the north-east, extended the land of Aralli, which was rich in gold, and was inhabited by the gods and blessed spirits.' [p.350] The mount of earth and mount of heaven become the double mount in the Babylonian version. As it is said of Gilgamesh, 'To the mountains whose name is double, to the twin mountains in his course he came.' The mount of earth or Amenta below was entered in the west. The upper mount was also entered at the west in the heaven of the setting stars. There is probably an astronomical datum in the Babylonian legend. The scorpion-men are said to keep the gate and guard the sun. 'Over them rising was the threshold of heaven. Below them the tomb sank down.' The tomb is Arali (or Amenta) in the mount. The threshold of heaven was at the summit of the mount. We take the scorpion-men to denote the western equinox in the sign of Scorpio when that was the gate to the twin mountains, otherwise the mount of earth and heaven, the mount whose summit was the rise in Hetep at the pole. In Pahlavi the two mountains of heaven and earth are known as Mount Taêra, the centre of the universe, and Kakad-i-Dâîtîk, the centre of the earth. Here the earth centre is distinct from the centre of the universe or mount of heaven which preceded the mount of earth, and the two different centres correspond to the two different forms of the mount of earth and the mount of heaven.
The heaven of the beatified had been apparently shifted from the north to the east when certain chapters of the Ritual were written, which is the same as saying the solar had then succeeded and to a great extent superseded the stellar mythos. The sun in its supremacy obscured the stars. Anup was merged in Osiris; the seven glorious ones became the servants of Horus and subsidiary souls of Ra. The place of sunrise in the east was figured as the mount of glory in relation to Amenta instead of the mount in the celestial north otherwise said, it was interpolated in the solar mythos. Paradise now was both terrestrial (or subterrestrial) and celestial; in the east as well as on the northern summit, because it was solar as well as stellar. Not that the upper paradise was obliterated or really lost. That only happened in the absence of the gnosis. Am-Khemen remained aloft, and the upper paradise of two was still led up to by the mount, the tree, the way of souls, or the river of the Milky Way.
One form of this duality was represented in the Ritual by the mythical two houses, the great house and the house of flame. The speaker says, 'Let my name be given to me in the great house. Let me remember my name in the house of flame on the night when the years are counted and the months are reckoned one by one.' The great house was stellar in the heaven at the celestial north; the house of flame (Pa-Nasrut) was solar in the east. Egyptian temples were built upon this dual plan, and each had its great house and its house of flame. The great house was central, like the lady-chapel in European churches, and the house of flame was on one side of it. The great house in a central position corresponds to the mount of heaven with its spire at the celestial pole. The house of flame was a kind of side entrance to the mount in the east, which is equivalent to the gate of sunrise. The church today remains a dual figure of this double house when both are blended together in one building. The nave with its doorway to the east corresponds to the mount of earths and the [p.351] spire is a figure of the pole or mount of heaven. One of the most perfect ways of illustrating this duality is shown by the mode of burying the dead in the pyramid of Medum. Prof. Petrie says the bodies were laid on their left side with the head to the north and the face turned to the east. This position of the dead is also indicated by the prayer of the manes that he may 'feed on the food of Osiris, on the eastern side of the mead of amaranthine flowers' (the kaiu of the oasis). The face is here turned after death to the eastward side of the paradise that was primarily figured in the northern heaven.
When it was discovered that the earth rotated on its axis and was afloat in space, it was known to revolve on the double poles, and what we call the two poles of the earth were signified by the twofold tat-pillar of Ptah. The tat is a type of stability. The double tat is the sign of tattu as the place of establishing for eternity, and tattu, like other mythical localities, was doubled when Amenta was founded. It is noticeable that when Queen Hatshepsut had erected her two pillars she says she has made two obelisks for him who is the lord of the thrones of the two worlds, or, as we should say, of earth and heaven. This touches the origin of the well-known double pillar, the significance of which is not known. The double obelisk is a co-type with the twofold mount, and the two pillars of Tattu, the place where it was shown that earth was fixed and heaven made stable for ever, on the two pillars of Sut and Horus, which had been the two poles in Equatoria. The two obelisks, then, imaged the thrones of two worlds, the double earth, or earth and heaven; and in Amenta the two pillars form the doorway from the one world to the other. So in the Japanese mythology the divine pillar of earth, Kuni-no-mi-Hashira, was added to the divine pillar of the heavens, Ame no-mi-Hashira. How it was added can be explained by the Egyptian wisdom. The pillar of heaven was first erected. Shu-Anhur lifted up the heaven from the earth with that which constituted the divine support as prop, pillar, or lion-like strength in sustaining the paradise above.
The pillar of heaven naturally stood upon the earth to support the heavens; but when the earth was hollowed out by Ptah, the excavator, there was another earth below in which the pillar had to be reerected, and this pillar of the double mount was represented by the double tat of Ptah as the backbone of that god, or later of Osiris. The Japanese also have the two pillars called the awful pillar of heaven, the pillar being a co-type with the mount. 'Heaven's one pillar' was an ancient name for the Japanese island of Ski. The Japanese have also a pillar whose foundation is at the centre of the world, where stands the tat or pole of Ptah supporting the nether sky. In Chinese legendary lore there is a pillar that sustains the earth. They also have a pillar which sustains the heaven. These two correspond to the pillar of Shu that supports the firmament above and the tat-pillar of Ptah which supports the earth in Amenta below. These are distinct from each other; they belong to two entirely different mythical creations and cannot be resolved into one single pillar derived from the mount of earth as axis- [p.352] pillar of the heavens. Heaven had rested on the pillar of the earth or the pillars raised upon the mundane mount by Shu. But the tat-pillar of Ptah was erected in the nether earth of two. Consequently our earth was then supported on the pillar of Ptah. This will explain the tradition of the Chinese, the Tlinkeet Indians, and others, that the earth rests upon a pillar. Thus, as Egyptian, there are two divine pillars answering to the double mount, which we call the pillar of Shu and the tat-pillar of Ptah. One is the sustainer of the firmament above the earth, the other is the support of the firmament below the earth. The two together are the double pillars of earth and heaven. This will enable us to read one of the many Greek märchen, which reflect and refract the Egyptian mythos.
There is a legend of Herakles relieving Atlas as sustainer of the heavens, or, in the original, the ceilings of the double earth. Atlas is the Egyptian Shu-Anhur, the elevator of the sky. And the relief of Atlas by Herakles is equivalent to the relief of Shu by the sun-god Ptah as sustainer of all things in Amenta, when the pillar of earth or tat of Amenta was added to the pillar of heaven. When the earth was doubled and the nocturnal sun god passed through Amenta as Ptah or Sekari with his tat, he was the sustainer in the nether earth who might be said to relieve Shu of his burden in the upper earth. Horus is the prototype of Herakles, and Horus or Ptah in Amenta is the mighty Herakles of this Greek fancy which so often takes the place of fundamental fact. There is no trusting the märchen in their Greek or Hindu, Hebrew or Christian guise, without comparing them with the originals. Greek legends also assert that Herakles separated two mountains to form the two columns or pillars which were a dual figure of the twofold mundane and celestial mount. This helps to identify the double columns with the mount of earth and the mount of heaven. Many illustrations could be cited of these, two pillars erected at the entrance to the temple or house of a god. Herakles, says Herodotus, was worshipped in a temple at Tyre, and in the temple 'were two pillars, one of fine gold the other of emerald stone, both shining exceedingly at night.' These are, to say the least, somewhat suggestive of the green mount of earth, the Egyptian mount of emerald, and the golden mount of heaven, which survive as the 'green hill' far away and 'Jerusalem the golden' in the Christian hymns.
The backbone was a figure of the pole: it is at one time the backbone of Sut, at another the backbone of Anup, at another of Ptah or Osiris—the backbone being a natural type of sustaining power. This at first was single as a figure of the pole. It was duplicated in Amenta, the same as was the pillar of support and other figures of sustaining power. The power of Ptah in Amenta is not simply that of the pillar or backbone. These are doubled in the earth of eternity to express his power as sustainer of the universe. The figure is referred to in the magic papyrus as the long backbone of Ptah, the Nemma. 'O Nemma of the great face, of the long backbone, of the deformed legs! O long column which commences in (both) the upper and the lower heaven. O lord of the great body which reposes in Annu,' the place of the column or pole, now doubled in Amenta. There was a tendency to blend the twofold mount in one as in the double Mount [p.353] Meru, which is sometimes denominated the North Pole, but was primarily a figure on earth of the pole in heaven, like the mound of earth and the cone or pillar. But Meru was doubled or divided into upper and lower, called Su-Meru and Ku-Meru, when it imaged the mount that was opened for the passage of the heavenly bodies through the nether earth. One mountain standing in the east and one in the north were not vertically blended in one. They were symbolical of the double mount of earth and heaven as a figure, but this was in the end, not at the starting-point.
The Kamite teachers also imaged the two poles as the two trees called the two sycamores of the south and north. The later tree in Erich, as well as the Norse tree Yggdrasil, was compounded of the two as the tree which had its roots down south or in the underworld, and its branches high up in the northern heaven; a twofold tree that corresponded to the double mount. Again, the rock is a co-type with the mount, and the double rock is equivalent to the twofold mount. These two were also blended in one as in the rock that 'begat' the Israelites. The rock and the double rock are both mentioned in the Ritual. Taht the moon-god is said to be the 'son of the rock proceeding from the place of the two rocks' in Anruti. The name of Anruti identifies the double rock with the double horizon, which was also called the double mount. The son of the rock who proceeds from the two rocks is the moon-god as the son of earth and heaven, or son of the double mount of earth and heaven, the two rocks having been blended in one as a typical figure of Osiris, the rock of eternity, imaged as the pole of heaven. The twofold origin of the mythical mount is now sufficiently established in relation to identifiable natural facts which alone can furnish the proof that the mount, the pole, the tree, the paradise, pillar, column, or backbone were single in the stellar and are duplicated in the solar mythos, and that this duplication followed on the making of Amenta.
The Rig-Veda speaks of 'him who, as the collective pillar of heaven, sustains the sky.' This collective pillar was the dual type of the twofold mount of earth and of heaven imaged in one figure of support. The Hebrew pillar of the lower and upper paradise that is called 'the strength of the hill Zion' was another form of the collective pillar. As Egyptian, this collective pillar was the double tat of Ptah erected in Amenta. The tat-pillar of Ptah and Osiris was continued in the ancient Germanic Irmin-pillars, which were mostly made of wood. The mythical pillar Irminsul was that which joined together earth and heaven, like the mount of Amenta and the tat-support of the gods. The Irmin-pillars were a form of the Hermae in Greece that were set up as boundary signs at crossroads and street corners to mark the extent of certain lands. This points to an origin for their name. In Egyptian the word remen or ermen denotes the extent as far as the limit or boundary. Rema or erma is a measure of land. The deity Irmin, like Hermes of the pillar, was a god of boundaries.
If the mount or the pillar had been single and not double, there would have been no voyage across the water that flowed between the mount of earth and the mount of heaven; no need of boat or bridge [p.354] or place of 'jumping off' from one side to the other. If the mythical mount had simply been a single figure of the universe axis (as O'Neill describes it), the climbers would have gone straight up to heaven, whereas the solar mount of glory in the east did not and could not blend vertically with the stellar mount of glory in the north. The mount was dual; the water ran between the two, and that necessitated the means of crossing from one to the other. Nothing could make the universe axis twofold, in keeping with the double mount of earth and heaven. And this duality alone will explain why one type should be considered female, the other male. The mount or pillar of earth was an image of the Great Mother as bringer-forth, and the mount or pillar of heaven was typical of the fatherhood, the 'rock that begat,' or rather of two sexes in one nature as they were blended in the deity Ptah, Atum, Osiris, Ihuh, and Brahma. The type of this duality is to be seen in the navel, the umbilicus, and the nabhi-yoni united and imaged in one as a figure of the birthplace and prototype of the navel mounds; the pit below and the pile of stones above, the well and pyramid, the church and steeple, the grave and monument.
When the solar mythos had been added to the stellar, the pathway to paradise was through the netherworld. The road of the sun in the mythos now became the road of souls in the eschatology. The entrance to the underworld was consequently in the west. The maker of the road was the nocturnal sun as the bull or god of the west. One name of the western hill is Manu. It is said to Ra when setting, 'Wake up from thy rest; thine abode is in Manu.' This apparently survives in the Samoan Mane. At death, the soul went to a paradise in the western horizon called Mane = Manu. 'The dying,' says the missionary Turner, 'were urgent in begging those around them to see and make the tapunea or pessomancy go all right, and so secure an entrance to the Mane paradise.' If the pebbles used for divination turned out odd instead of even it was thought that the soul would be caught and crushed between two great stones at the entrance to the mount. The 'hollow pit' was a name of the Samoan Hades. At the bottom there was a running stream which floated the spirits away to the Hades of Polotu. They were but little more than alive and only half conscious until they reached Polotu, where there was a bathing-place called Vaiola or 'the water of life.' In this water all infirmities were washed away and the aged recovered their lost youth. Their new bodies were singularly volatile, like the Egyptian sahu. They could ascend to earth at night, become luminous sparks or vapour, revisit their old homes and retire at early dawn to the bush or to Polotu. The subterranean world of the Lapps is identical with the Amenta of the Egyptians. Jabma-Aimo is the house of the dead in the nether-earth, which is a place of transition for those who have their bodies renewed, who pass on and are taken up to heaven. Their home of the gods, Taivo Aimo, also answers to the upper Aarru-paradise of the Ritual. The jackal or dog is the guide of the dead through the paths of darkness in the nether-earth, and the Inuit dead are said to descend by the 'dog's path' into their underworld. This is a most obscure road, answering to the path of darkness in Amenta. The subterranean region described at times as being [p.355] submarine is the common subterrestrial paradise of the Inuit people generally.
When the netherworld had been completely excavated by Ptah, Amenta was established as the lower storey of two in the mount of earth which henceforth becomes the mount of Amenta. The name denotes the hidden or secret (Amen) earth (ta). It is also called the earth of eternity, the land of the living; for the Egyptians call those the living whom the less spiritualistic moderns designate the dead. The mount of earth became the mount of Amenta because Amenta had been tunnelled through the lower earth. It became the funereal mount because Amenta was the earth of the manes. In the Egyptian chart the west is the beautiful gate of entrance to this divine netherworld, otherwise called the land of life. It is not paradise itself, but the way to it through purgatory. The beautiful gate of exit was at the place of sunrise, not sunset, in the garden eastward, and this was the locality of the terrestrial paradise, which was a copy of the garden of Aarru first configurated in the circumpolar heaven of the stellar mythology. The dead in Egypt were called 'the westerners.' On the way to the place of burial the mourners sang the funeral song 'To the west, to the west, to the west!' The mummy was ferried over the water to the western mount, where Hathor-Isis or the cow waited to receive the solar god, and in his track the souls of the departed. The entrance to the mount was shown as the mouth of the cow, or cleft in the rock, such as was see it in the immediate neighbourhood of Abydos, which was reached through a narrow gorge in the Libyan range, whose 'mouth' opened in front of the temple of Osiris-Khentamenta a little to the north-west of the city. Here the souls of the departed were supposed to enter and descend into the netherworld. The sun-god is described in his passage to the western horizon (or mount), whilst earth, as the mother, stretches her arms out to receive him. 'In rapture is thy mother, the goddess Meru, as thou dost emit the irradiation of light till thou reachest that mountain which is in Akar,' i.e., till sunset, when he will enter the female receptacle for his new birth. Taking this to be imaged by Isis as the sacred heifer, the place of entrance is her mouth, and the place of exit was uterine, to the east of the mount.
The entrance into the mount of earth which was personified as the old first mother is one of the exploits of Maui in the märchen of the Maori. Maui, at the end of his victorious career, that is at sunset, comes back to the country of his father and the land of his great ancestress Hine-neu-te-Po, the great woman of the underworld, who is to be seen in the horizon, 'flashing, and, as it were, opening and shutting.' So Apt the hippopotamus and Hathor the cow may be seen in the cleft of the mount that opened at sunset for the passage of the solar god, the mouth of the, cow being equivalent to the cleft in the mount. Maui came to where the ancient giantess lay sleeping, with the object of passing through her without waking her. He entered her body, but when he was half in and half out, a little bird, the Tiwakawaka, laughed aloud to see the sight, and woke the sleeper, who closed her thighs on Maui and crushed him so [p.356] that he died, and thus brought death into the world. Otherwise, it was fabled that the solar hero died to rise again in passing through the netherworld of darkness, and this was a primitive mode of portrayal. In the Kamite mythos he passes through the female hippopotamus or cow, or the sphinx, all of which were figures of the mother in the mount, otherwise the ancient Mother-earth. It is common for a cavern or entrance in the west to be pointed out as the way into spirit-world that leads to the fields of paradise. This is found in the Aztec Mictlan or land of the dead. The Fijian descent into the underworld is exactly the same as the Egyptian. The dead go down in the west on their way to the judgment seat of Ndengei, just as the Egyptian dead embark in the west for the judgment seat of Osiris. The nether-earth, Ngamat, of the Australian Woiworun also corresponds to the Kamite Amenta. It is the receptacle of the sun beyond the western edge of the earth, and likewise an abode for the departed, who do not remain there permanently, but come back to our earth at times as the ngamaget, like the manes in the Ritual.
In various märchen and other irresponsible legends derived from mythology we hear of heaven being situated in the west—that is, as the place of sunset. The Buddhists have their western paradise. The paradise of the Ottomacks of Guiana and of the Araucanians is in the west. The heaven of the Todas, the Kalmucks, the Samoans, and others was localized in the west. The Iroquois and Ojibwas describe the souls of their dead as travelling westward till they come to the plains of paradise. The sekhet-hetep or the fields of rest in Aarru are represented in the noble island of Flath Innis, the place of rest from storm and strife to which the Celtic heroes went in death, as a paradise in the western ocean. The elysian fields and golden isles of the Greeks were in the west. But that is only because the entrance to the earthly paradise was in the west, according to the solar mythos. At Samoa, says Gill, a spirit leaving the dead body at the most easterly island of the group would be compelled to traverse the entire series of islands, passing the channels between at given points, ere it could descend to the subterranean spirit-world at the most westerly point of Savaiki, which rightly identifies the west with the gate of entrance to the earth of eternity.
In the wisdom of 'Manihiki' it is related as another of the exploits of Maui that he found out the way to the netherworld. He had watched and seen his father go according to his wont to the main pillar of his dwelling and say 'O pillar! open, open up, that Manuahifare may enter and descend to the netherworld,' which was the heptanomis or seven sunken islands of Avaiki. The pillar immediately opened, and Manuahifare descended. Maui repeated the magic words of his father, and to his great joy the pillar obediently opened, and he boldly made his descent into the lower regions. Whilst exploring this subterranean spirit-world, Maui fell in with a blind old woman, who turned out to be his own grandmother. Here also was the paradise in which the tree of healing grew, and with the fruit of which Maui restored sight to the eyes of Ina-the-blind. The incident of a rock or door that [p.357] opens when the magic formula is uttered, and in no other way, is well-nigh universal. It may be termed the 'open sesame' legend. In a Chinese version Chang discovers the entrance to the underworld by finding out the secret of the stone door in the cave of Kwang-siu-fu in Kiang-si. 'One day he overheard a genie saying, "Stone door, open! Mr. Kwei-ku is coming."' Thereupon the door opened and the genie went in. When he came out he said, 'Stone door, shut! Mr. Kwei-ku is going.' Chang tried the charm, and found a vast paradise within, and there he lost his old grandmother. In a Zulu tale the word is 'Rock of two holes, open for me, that I may enter.' In a Samoan rendering it is 'Rock, divide! I am Talanga: I have come to work.' The sacred hole-stone, the needle's eye, the chimney, or the cow, and other apertures through which the twice-born was passed as an initiate in the mysteries derive their symbolical significance from this passage through the rock or mount of earth. It was the same with the human soul in the eschatology as it had been with the soul of the sun in the mythology. Sometimes the hole in the dolmen or other stone that people wriggled through was very small. This increased the difficulty, and was a practical illustration of the trials in the passage of Amenta. There was one near the summit of a rocky mountain island in Ireland called the 'eye of the needle,' which is described as 'a narrow opening like a chimney.' To understand the custom we must read the Ritual.
The sun-god made his passage through the mount of earth, or the sphinx, for his rebirth and resurrection on the eastern side, and the opening in the rock was at the end or at the summit, in the Tser hill, the rock of the horizon. In the Russian märchen Prince Ivan = Horus the prince, climbs up the magical ladder to get into the 'great house' of the 'tremendously high steep mountain.' His sister = the princess, or lunar lady, calls to him from the balcony. 'See, there is a chink in the enclosure. Touch it with your little finger and it will become a door!' This he does, and obtains entrance into the mountain of Amenta.
The cleft or opening in the mount was also termed the grotto. And it is possible that this survives in the 'grotto' that is exhibited in England, and is made of oyster-shells at the time when oysters are supposed to be first opened on one particular day of the year. This illustrates an ancient custom but not a legal enactment respecting oysters. The opening of the oyster = the annual opening of the earth in the equinox. The grotto is an interior or shrine, and the light which is kindled within it points rather to the sun than to the lamp in any Christian sanctuary. The day and the ceremony have been assigned to St. James, but that is only one more item in the total system of falsification designated Christian. Osiris also had his shrine 'which standeth in the centre of the earth.' The underworld of the Karens of Burma is the Egyptian Amenta. They also have the double mount into which the sun enters at sunset (or in the equinox). The mount consists of two great strata of rock, one lower and one upper, which continually open and shut as with an upper and a lower jaw, but the [p.358] Karens have no idea how the upper stratum is supported. At their departure from earth the manes are thus addressed: 'Thou goest unto Thama. Thou goest through the crevices of rocks. At the opening and shutting of the western gates of rock, thou goest in between. Thou goest below the earth where the sun travels.' The dead descend to Khuthe and appear before Thama the great judge in Hades, who may be identified with the Egyptian Tumu or Atum, the great judge in the Kamite Amenta, who is the representative of the setting sun as Atum-Ra and of the rising sun as Atum-Horus (Nefer-Atum).
The difficulty of obtaining entrance to the mount was insuperable to mortals. Hence the need of divine assistance. The sun-god as opener in the mythology led up to the god as opener for souls in the eschatology. In this character Horus became the door and the way of life to the manes, who followed in his wake of glory through the dark of death. The principal subject of the inscriptions written on the sarcophagus of Seti I, now in the Soane Museum, is the nocturnal passage of the sun or the sun-god through the nether-earth by night, having the blessed on his right hand, the damned upon his left. There are twelve divisions to the passage which correspond to the twelve hours of the night. But the first of these divisions, that of entrance, is without a door, whereas the last of the twelve, that of exit, has a double door. Here the entrance to Amenta consists of a blind doorway or a door which neither mortal nor manes could know the secret of, and none but the god, primarily solar, could open. Hence the need of a deity as the opener, or a god who is the door and the way on grounds as tangible as those of the door in the mythology of Amenta. When the god comes to illuminate the valley of darkness the doors open one after the other and he enters with his followers, those who were equipped or, as the Legend of the Ten Virgins has it, whose lamps were already trimmed. The door then closes, 'and they who are left behind in their porch cry out when they hear it shut.' Thus we attain a natural origin for the mythos, the eschatology, and the folktales told concerning the hidden door that was sometimes represented by a revolving stone, and the secret password or 'open sesame!' that was communicated to the initiates in the mysteries. If properly equipped, the Osiris is in possession of the magical words of power that secure the opening of every gate, including this hidden entrance to Amenta. These words he carries in his hand, in death, as his papyrus roll; or, better still, he knows them by heart, and has made them truth in his own life and death. He exclaims, 'I am accoutred and equipped with thy words of power, O Ra,' the god, that is, who says of himself, 'I am he who closeth and he who openeth, and I am but one.'
In the lower paradise was the land of gold, not as metal, but as the glory of the sun by night. The sun god rising from this land that was yellow with gold is thus addressed, 'Adoration to thee, who arisest out of the golden and givest light to the earth.' Still, mining for metals had commenced when Ptah and [p.359] his pygmy workers hollowed out the underworld. Amenta was based upon the mine. It was the secret earth in which the treasures were concealed. These were guarded by the dragon, but they were likewise known to the dwarfs, the wee folk, the fairies, the Tuatha de Danan. Amenta was the land of precious metals and the furnace of the solar fire. Hence Ptah, the miner, became the blacksmith of the gods, the Kamite Vulcan. Some missing details respecting the work of Ptah the metallurgist may be found in the Greek rendering of this god as Hephaistos. Ptah, working in concert with the goddess Mati, built the great double hall of truth and justice, which was gilded and glorified with his precious metal. Hephaistos is the architect of the house of the gods. As a proof that his place and work are in the nether earth, Hephaistos does not know what occurs until he learns it from the coming sun.
Following the burial on earth, deceased enters as a manes into Amenta, the land of the living. He seeks to get on board the boat of souls. The priest says, 'O ye seamen of Ra, at the closing of day let the Osiris live after death as Ra does daily.' Here the helmsman: 'As Ra is born from yesterday, so he too is born from yesterday, and as every god exults in life so shall the Osiris exult even as they exult in life.'
A subterranean pleasaunce opened to the eastward of the mount of earth called now, the earth of eternity. This is a paradise to which the manes look forward on their path of progress. It was the field in which they had to till and grow the divine harvest as the food of the gods. For Aarru was apportioned on the small allotment system. Each one had a share of arable land to cultivate, and by the fruit was known and judged at the great harvest-home as a true worker or a lazy one; and by their labour in this spirit-world Egyptians earned their living for the life hereafter. The lower Aarru, the garden eastward in Amenta, is that earthly paradise of legendary lore in search of which so many heroes sailed. In the Erik Saga Erik sets out in search of Odainsakr, a form of the Norse paradise, which is said to be encircled by a wall of fire. He enters a dark forest-land in which the stars are seen by day. A dragon bars his way across the river—the Apap of darkness in the valley of darkness. He rushes into the monster's mouth and passes through its body—a common way with the solar hero. Erik emerges with his companions in the land of light, the lower paradise of the mythos. After awhile they come to a tower that is suspended in the air without any visible supports; access to it was obtained by means of a ladder that enabled the seekers to reach the top of the tower, which had neither foundations nor pillars. They had now attained Odainsakr, the earth of living men, the Egyptian land of the living, but not the upper paradise, the place of spirits perfected; which is said to be so glorious that Odainsakr in comparison was but a desert. Erik's is but the journey of the nocturnal sun or the annual sun in the inferior hemisphere represented in the primitive form of a passage through the nether-earth.
The aim and end of the Osiris on the journey by water or by land is to reach the circumpolar paradise and secure a place among the stars that never set, the glorious ones that 'beacon from the abodes [p.360] where the eternals are.' The mount of earth was the point of emergence in the mythology. It was the place of birth for the sun upon the mount to the east where the temple of Sebek-Horus stood. In the eschatology it was the place of rebirth for the souls or manes who ascended by the mount or by the tree of dawn to the summit from which they entered the bark of the sun to make the voyage over the waters round to Manu in the region of the west. This underworld, with its mount of birth as a point of departure for the sun and manes in the east, became the traditional birthplace and point of departure in the legends of various supposed ethnical migrations of a similar nature to that of the Jews in the exodus from Egypt.
The passage from the mount or island of earth to the mount of the upper paradise across the water was already mapped out in the time of Pepi I, as the following extract from his pyramid shows: 'Hail thou who (at thy will) makest to pass over to the field Aarru the soul that is right and true, or dost make shipwreck of it (if wrong). Pepi is right and true in respect of the island of the earth, whither he swimmeth and where he ariseth.'
This is not very clear, but the island of the earth is the mount on the eastern summit of which the manes joined the solar bark to make the voyage from Mount Bakhu east to Mount Manu in the west on their way to the mount of glory at the north celestial pole. Thus the pathway for the dead from this life to the upper paradise was laid down by the Egyptians. It was they who tunnelled the mount of earth and hollowed out Amenta with its places of purgatory, its hells, its paradise of plenty in the Aarru meadows; its means of ascent for the manes by the mount or up the tree; its solar bark and boat of souls that voyaged over the waters of the Nun from east to west; its steps or ladder that was raised at the landing-place by night for the ascent to heaven in the upper Aarru paradise. This pathway of the dead is well-nigh universal in mythology, and it can be traced from beginning to end by means of the Egyptian mythology and the eschatology. Led by the jackal Anup as guide through all the ways of darkness, and lighted by Taht, the lunar god, who carries in his hand the lamp of light and eye of Horus as the moon of Amenta shining through the night, we emerge at length from underneath the upper earth. We are now outside the mount of earth, which stands upon a vast illimitable plain of the netherworld. We thus retain our foothold in the Nun where upper earth comes to an end. We follow the track of the sun and therefore issue on the eastern side of the mountain, which the solar god ascends at sunrise when seen by the dwellers on the upper earth. Now we are facing the solar east and the garden eastward, which originated in the oasis of inner Africa.
The Book of the Dead is primarily based on the Amenta and the journey through its underworld. The track of the all-conquering sun is followed by the soul of the deceased. He enters the mount in the west by the opening in the rock, or at a later stage is carried on the boat. He is accompanied by those who have gone before as guides. He does battle with the adversary, and is victorious in the character of Horus. He opens all the paths and gates with his words of magic power and spells of might. He cleaves open the earth for [p.361] the resurrection. He is delivered from the devouring demon who lurks invisibly in the lake of fire and feeds upon the damned. The caverns of Putrata, where the dead fall into darkness, are opened for him. He is supported by the eye of Horus or lighted by the moon. Apuat, the opener of roads, raises him up and acts the part of the giant Christopher in carrying him across the waters. He wanders in the wilderness where nothing grows. He obtains command of the water in the netherworld and prevails over the deluge. He escapes the second death. The double doors of heaven are opened for his coming forth. Still following the course of the sun, the passage of Amenta ends with the garden eastward and the ascent by which the manes enter the bark of Ra. 'O great one in thy bark,' says the suppliant, 'let me be lifted into the bark,' 'let me make head for thy staircase.' Deceased has here attained the summit of the solar mount of glory on his way to the circumpolar heaven and the stars that do not set. There is a voyage now in heaven from east to west, and as the sun was lifted up to enter the maatit bark at dawn, so is it in the eschatological rendering. The souls of the departed who were pure enough in the presence of the sun now entered the maatit bark to continue the voyage round the mountain to the region of Manu. They were now the westerners in another sense which was eschatological. All day the manes make their voyage in the solar bark, and come at sunset to the land of the west about which the song was sung in the funeral procession, 'To the west! To the west!' At this landing-stage they leave the maatit for the sektit bark. The sun goes down to Amenta in the west each night, but their sun sets no more. They have done with the mount of earth in the mythology, and some to the mount belonging to the heavens. But there is a great gulf fixed between the mount of Amenta and the stellar mount of glory. This is the lake of darkness and the lair of the Apap-dragon. The void is spoken of as the cavern of Putrata, where the dead fall into darkness. It is also called the void of Apap. In strict accordance with natural phenomena, the gulf or void of Putrata lay between the place of sunset on the western side of the mount of earth and the heaven of the setting stars. It is the prototype of the abyss or lake of outer darkness, the pit, in the Christian version of the legend; the great gulf that was fixed between those who remained in the lower Amenta and those who had attained the bosom of Ra, an Egyptian expression for the boat. On the other side of the water 'Shu standeth erect, and the non-setting stars are instantly active in raising the ladder' by which the sinking souls or setting stars are saved from destruction in the lake of outer darkness. These steps are carried round from east to west for that purpose on board the solar bark.
With the change of boat another voyage begins by night, along the great stream of the Milky Way. This is described as 'that most conspicuous but inaccessible stream' when contemplated from the earth. When the departed reach the starry shore, the seven steps or ladder for ascending the mount of heaven is now erected in the boat. This ladder, as Egyptian, was double in the time of King Pepi. It is called the ladder of Sut for the ascent from [p.362] Amenta, and the ladder of Horus for the ascent to heaven. A bark that can ascend the stream awaits the voyagers. This picture of the bark that made its glorious journey upward to the circumpolar paradise was obviously constellated as the Argo Navis, which is figured in the position of ascending backwards on the white waters of the Milky Way. The cavern and gulf of Putrata no doubt existed when there was as yet no boat or bridge extant. Hence in various legends the manes have to spring from one side of the chasm to the other. The 'jumping-off place' for departed spirits is known in several legends of the aboriginal races, and this was the rock on the western side of the mount. There is a stone at the west end of Upolu called 'the leaping-stone,' from which departed spirits in their course leaped into the sea, swam to Manono, sprang from another stone on that island, crossed to Savaii and went overland to the Fafā, at Falealupo, as the western entrance to their other world is called. With the Greeks, 'to leap from the Leucadian Rock' was a proverbial equivalent for death. In the Khond representation, the souls of the dead 'have to jump across the black unfathomable gulf to gain a footing on the slippery leaping rock, where Dinga Pennu, the judge of the dead, sits writing his register of all men's daily lives and actions.' The Guinea negroes tell of a divine judge whose judgment seat was on the other side of the water that spirits crossed in death, analogous to the Egyptian maat in the circumpolar region. Those who had religiously kept the laws of tabu were conducted into paradise, whereas those who had hot were sunk headlong in the waters like the damned that went down headlong in the waters of Putrata.
The souls that ascended from the mount of Amenta by the Milky Way, the path of spirits, were hawk-headed like the Horus-soul, and with the Lithuanians this way of souls was called the 'road of birds,' along which the departed went like birds, or as birds in the Kamite representation, to the regions of eternal rest. As Egyptian, this road was a great stream, because with them the water was their earliest way. Another Egyptian name for the heaven as water is urnas or uranus. This we claim to be the Kamite original of the Greek uranus. Dr. Birch renders it in his dictionary 'Urnas, Ouranos, the celestial water.' The Egyptians did not personalize it under that name; still, the urnas is the celestial water, and urnas = uranos. The okeanus that flows around the world was neither a fabulous sea nor a stream of water, but the firmament itself, that was figured as the celestial water surrounding the mount of earth. Through this ocean ran the great stream of the white water or the Milky Way. Thus we have the okeanos and the ocean stream of Homer for the first time separately identified. Again, the water appeared divided into two lakes at the head of the celestial river united to form one stream in the Via Lactea. The system of the waters in the Bundahish is identical with the Egyptian. It is said that all the waters in heaven and earth had their origin in the heavenly mount of Ardvi Sura at the summit of Alborz upon which the red cow rested. There is but one source and only place of discharge for all the rivers in the world. This was the river of the Milky Way, which the Egyptians figured as [p.363] descending from the celestial lakes to be continued in the lakes and in the Nile below. In China the Yellow River is looked upon as a continuation of the Tien Ho, or Milky Way, the river of heaven continued as the river of earth.
The Osirian looking heavenward in death exclaims, 'O very high mountain! I hold myself in thy enclosure.' He also says, 'A divine domain hath been constructed for me. I know the name of it; the name of it is the garden of Aarru.' But the enclosure at the summit of the mount was not only figured as a paradise of plenty. It was a dwelling-place which had expanded to a city; the city of the blessed, the holy city, the city of the great king, the heavenly city, the eternal city, that was the model of Memphis and Annu, Thebes and Abydos, Eridu and Babylon, Rome, Jerusalem, and other sacred cities of the world. On approaching this, the Osirian says, 'I stand erect in the bark which the god is piloting, at the head of Aarru, and the non-setting stars open to receive me, and my fellow-citizens present to me the sacred cakes with flesh.' In an earlier chapter he had said, 'I arrive at my own city.' On the Stele of Beka the speaker says, 'I reach the city of those who are in eternity.' That is the eternal city. When the Osiris has attained the land of eternity he says his future is in Annu. That is Annu as a celestial locality, Annu as the eternal city, not Heliopolis in Egypt. Annu, like Tattu, was a form of the celestial city at the pole. An is a name of the mount and the column, the pole, and in Annu was the pillar, fortress, or rock of eternity.
In one form the polar mount was called the white mountain. It was Mont Blanc in heaven. The Koreans term it 'mount everwhite.' As a house it was the white house. As a city it was the city of the white wall. As the seat it was the great white throne of the eternal. As a country it is the land of the silver sky. It is also known as the mountain of white limestone, the stone of Sut. The house constructed by Ptah was double-storied, a house of the lower and upper paradise combined in one. Finally, the heaven of astronomical mythology was figured as the great house of Osiris. This included all the previous formations: the circle of the Bear the heaven of Sut and Horus, south and north; the triangular heaven of the ecliptic; the heaven built on the square; the double house of Amenta below the earth, and the eternal dwelling-place above, whence the house of Osiris at Abydos, called the mansion of Seb and Nu, or earth and heaven, was built in two stories. 'In the year 22 of the reign of King Aahmes, his majesty gave the order to open the rock-chambers anew, and to cut out thence the best white stone (limestone) of the hill-country (called) Annu, for the houses of the gods,' including the house of Ptah at Memphis. The mountain of white limestone was an actual fact on earth to the Egyptians. It was in a spur of the Arabian range which projected in a straight line towards the Nile as far as the village of Troiu, and contained an inexhaustible supply of the finest and whitest limestone. The Egyptians had quarried the white limestone mountain from the earliest ages to obtain materials [p.364] for their pyramids. It furnished the limestone for building the city of the white wall, which represented the celestial city on the summit of the mount in heaven. The name of Troiu, modern Turah, is suggestive of the Greek city of Troy, which in its mythical aspect was another form of the city on the mount. The deceased are lifted up in the white house or within the circle of the white wall by Sekhet the lioness-consort of Ptah, which was an astronomical foundation that followed the heaven of the eight great gods. The Osiris says, 'May Sekhet the divine one lift me up, so that I may arise in heaven and deliver my behest in Memphis.' With the Chinese Taoists the city on the summit of the mount is 'the metropolis of pearl mountain.' This corresponds to the Kamite city of the white wall, the celestial Ha-Ptah-Ka. To the dweller in Annu the eternal city was Annu on the summit of the celestial mount. To the dweller in Thebes the eternal city was Thebes on high. To the dweller in Jerusalem the eternal city was Jerusalem above. Only once was there a mundane original for the paradise or later city set in heaven at the pole. That is demonstrably derived from the land, the river, the Annu, the Troy or Teriu of Egypt. The Egyptians set 'the pattern in the mount,' and from this the later builders of the sacred cities, the ark cities, on the mount of heaven, derived the plan. The city of Troy on earth was a type of the eternal Troy upon the summit of the mount. Both city and name are demonstrably Egyptian, as Troy = Terui. Terui denotes the circumference or enclosure, and this was a name of Sesennu, and consequently of Am-Khemen—the paradise of the eight, the enclosure on the mount of heaven which afterwards supplied a name for the city of Troy in Greece. The 'Tale of Troy' is based on the downfall of the great city on the summit, which was the lofty dwelling-place of those whom we may term the people of the pole. The Greeks are solarites, with the sun-god Achilles as their leader. This fall occurred when the stellar representation was followed by the luni-solar mythos. The fall of Babylon in the Book of Revelation is another form of the tale of Troy; and both were representations of the one great original in the astronomical mythos. The Semites would have had no heaven on the summit of the mount to go to if the Egyptians had not enclosed it and planted it, and showed the way in their astronomy. They would have had no Sheol if the Egyptians had not excavated the Amenta for the passage of the sun in their mythology and for the souls in the eschatology. And it is by means of the Egyptian imagery that we shall be able to restore something of the lapsed sense to the Hebrew writings.
Entrance into the eternal city was preceded by baptism, with Anup, father of the inundation, as the baptiser and sprinkler both in one. On approaching the two lakes the speaker says, 'Lo, I come that I may purify this soul of mine in the most high degree. Let me be purified in the lake of propitiation and equipoise. Let me plunge into the divine pool beneath the two divine sycamores of heaven and earth.' This precedes the sacrament or eating of the sacrifice consisting of head, beer, and meat. He also [p.365] says, 'Give me bread and beer. Let me be made pure by the sacrificial joint, together with the white bread,' that is, by partaking of the sacrament.
Heaven as a house had been founded by Sesheta or Sefekh, a form of the old first mother as co-worker with Taht in the lunar mythos. Atum-Ra was also a builder of the house in the solar mythos. His son Iu-em-hetep, the Egyptian Solomon, was the builder or designer of the temple to whom The Book of the Model of the Temple is ascribed. It was the temple in heaven that was built without the sound of workmen's tools; 'there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the house while it was building.' This only applies to the mythical building, which was astronomical, and which is still continued in esoteric Masonry. When such language is applied to building on earth it has no direct meaning. The eternal city was preceded by the place of assembly. Before the time of building on the mount there was a gathering-place under the tree that represented the roof of heaven. This was the Egyptian maat or judgment seat when it consisted of a stone beneath a tree. The seat of assembly, the seat of judgment on the summit of the mount, was continued as a sacred tradition by races who never saw the pole star of the northern heaven. The Australian blacks have no north pole to look to for their paradise. It sank out of sight for them long ages since, when they were emigrants from the old world, nor have they replaced it with the southern pole. But they still turn to a mount of the north as the gathering place for the souls of the departed. The Tundi, a judicial assembly of the tribe, is there—an equivalent in its way for the Egyptian maat. When an old Australian aborigine was dying he pointed upward and said, 'My Tundi is up there!' The great pyramid was built as a replica of this eternal home. One name of this is khut, a word which does not merely signify 'light,' or the 'horizon.' It was the mount of glory permanently fixed in stone; a type of heaven perfected which included all the mansions in the great house of Osiris. Earth being figured as a mount or island in the abyssal water, it seems probable that the island in the water mentioned by Herodotus, where they say 'the body of Cheops is laid,' was imaged in the subterranean chamber of the Great Pyramid. And if so, it follows that the pyramid itself is a figure of the mount that stood amidst the water of surrounding space. For example, the 'Queen's Chamber' is seven-sided, and therefore a figure of the Heptanomis. Of the 'King's Chamber' Sandys says: 'The stones are so great that eight floor it, eight flag each end, and sixteen the sides.' It is therefore a figure of the lunar octonary, or the heaven of Am-Khemen. The Amenta of Ptah was imaged below as the abyss or well of the netherworld. The steps or pathway to heaven were figured in the passage looking upward to the pole. In such monuments the architecture of the heavens found its supreme expression on the earth. He whom Herodotus calls 'the priest of Vulcan' is obviously the deity Ptah. The Greek writer speaks of the temple of Vulcan at Memphis, when he means the temple of Ptah. Thus the reign of the priest of Vulcan refers to the dynasty [p.366] of Ptah. Herodotus says, 'The Egyptians having become free, after the reign of the priest of Vulcan—for they were at no time able to live without a king—established twelve kings, having divided all Egypt into twelve parts.' This was in the Egypt of the heavens. The divisions were zodiacal. The twelve kings are those that rowed the solar bark around the twelve signs now established in the circle of the ecliptic. 'The twelve kings,' continues Herodotus, 'determined to leave in common a memorial of themselves, and having so determined, they built a labyrinth, a little above the lake of Moeris.' This labyrinth 'surpasses even the pyramid.' It has twelve courts enclosed with walls, with doors opposite each other, 'six facing the north and six the south,' which points to a building that represented the heaven of the twelve kings and twelve zodiacal signs that is, the heaven of Atum-Ra the son of Ptah. The starry roof was taken, so to say, indoors, to glorify the temples of the gods, and was reproduced more or less as in the ceiling of Denderahi. This has been shallowly described as Greek, because Greek artists were employed in the workmanship when the chart was last repeated, 'as it had been before,' according to the text. But the types in this planisphere are Egyptian, not Greek. To mention only a few: At the centre is the old first mother of all, the pregnant hippopotamus, Apt or Khebt, with the jackal Ap-Uat, the guide of ways in heaven; and the haunch or leg of Nut the celestial cow. Anup and Tehuti are figured back to back on the equinoctial colure; Shu and his sister Tefnut, back to back, constitute the sign of Sagittarius. Child-Horus is enthroned on his papyrus plant; he is also portrayed as HarMakhu in the sign of the Scales. Khunsu-Horus offers up the black boar of Sut as a sacrifice in the disk of the full moon. Enough remains intact to show the origin of the constellation figures and to prove their derivation from the astronomical mythology of the Egyptians, by means of which they can be read today and for ever, but not as Greek or Euphratean.
THE IRISH AMENTA
Anyone who cares to become familiarly acquainted with the Kamite mythology and the scenery of Amenta can have little difficulty in recognizing the source of the ancient British and Irish legendary lore. Arthur, who owes his birth to what has been termed the shape-shifting of his father, is identical with Horus, who owes his birth to the transformation of Osiris, his father. Finn the posthumous child, who is reared in the woods to become the avenger of his father, is one with Horus born in the reeds to become the avenger of Osiris. Gawain as the child 'born to be king' is brought up in the forest to which his mother had fled for concealment, as Isis fled to hide herself and bring forth Horus the heir-apparent in the marshes of Amenta. The battle of the brothers Sut and Horus is paralleled in the fight between Gawain and his brother Gareth. The 'loathly lady' who transforms from a reptile at Gawain's kiss answers to the frog-headed Hekat, who represents the moon that changes into Sati at the sun-god's kiss.
In an Irish legend the heroes Diarmait and Finn Mac-Camail set out on a voyage in search of the men that had been carried off by a wizard chief or a giant called the Gruagach. The Gruagach is a Celtic ogre, or giant, who disappears at dusk into the well. The fight is the same as the conflict long continued between Horus, lord of light, and the Apap-dragon of darkness in the land where the dead have 'gone to the dragon.' Also when the conflict ceases for a time the beaten Gruagach sinks down into the well, just as Apap sinks into the gulf or void and is drowned in the lake of darkness. Assuredly the dragon of drought survived as British in the dragon of Wantley, who is reputed to have been 'a formidable drinker.' He was slain by 'More, of More Hall,' who hid himself in the well of the underworld where the dragon came to drink. Entrance to Amenta was opposed by the giant lurking in the 'gulf of Apap.' Immediately after entering the valley of darkness Horus, the solar conqueror in the mythology or the soul that followed him in the eschatology, had to contend with the black monster and pass through him one way or the other. The hero is depicted in the act of piercing the Apap's head. This monster of drought and darkness becomes the huge black giant in the legends which are related of Kynon and of Cuchulain the victorious invader of the black fellow's domain.
The lady of the tree that stands in the pool of the persea-tree of life, who is Hathor in Egyptian mythos and Nut in eschatology, is one with the lady of the fountain in the Welsh Mabinogion, who was won by Owen when he slew the black knight of the fountain and performed the same deed as Horus who rescued Hathor from her devourer, the dragon of darkness, otherwise the black giant. Horus enters Amenta by the blind door of death and darkness as the deliverer of the manes who are held captive by the powers of evil, Apap the giant, Sut the black man, and their confederates. To effect the rescue he, like Diarmait, goes down to the 'land beneath the billow' in the lower parts of the Nun. This liberation of the captives in Amenta is common in the British legends. The Aarru-paradise is the land of promise in a lake-country. This lakeland is Lochlan of the Welsh version, 'a mysterious country in the lochs' or waters beneath the earth. In this realm of faerie Finn and Diarmait found their lost friends all safe upon the island that was known as the Promised Land, which is identical with the Land of Promise that was sought for by the Jews, and by all who ever set out for the terrestrial or subterrestrial paradise, which never was and never could be found outside the Egyptian earth of eternity; and finally in the upper paradise or heaven of eternity on the other side of the celestial water. There is also a numerical note in the statement that those who succeed in snatching some of the fruit from the tree of life in the underworld returned forthwith to the typical age of thirty years, even though they had completed their hundredth year: and in the Egyptian representation Amsu the victor of Amenta, the conqueror of the black fellow, is the Horus of thirty years, the divine homme fait, that anointed son of god who is always thirty years of age. [p.368] When going over the ground previously the present writer was not sufficiently versed in the mysteries of Amenta, and Akar had not yielded up its secret treasures.
Application of the comparative method to the voyages of Maelduin and Bran will show that one of the most satisfactory survivals of the Kamite wisdom is to be met with in the Irish mythology and märchen. The voyage of Horus and his companions in the solar bark that makes a circle is repeated in the Imram or 'rowing about' of the Irish heroes and their associates in the boat, or of British Arthur with the seven in the ark. The voyage of Maelduin is undertaken by him in search of his father's murderers. This is the object of Horus or the deceased in the Egyptian Ritual. They sailed together over the waters to the west until they came to a cliff so steep and high it seemed to touch the clouds. Diarmait undertook to climb the cliff and search for the missing men. He looked inland and saw a lovely country. He sets out to walk across the plain; he sees a great tree laden with fruit. This is surrounded by a stone enclosure, a circle of pillar-stones, with a large round pool of water clear as crystal in the midst which bubbled up at the centre and flowed away to nourish all the land. The story need not be followed any farther as a story, but now for the interpretation. The missing men who were spirited away denote the manes. The way across the water to the west was the road of souls along the solar track. The steep and very lofty cliff was the mountain of Amenta, which is said to reach the sky. The lovely country or the plain was the field of Aarru in the Egyptian lower paradise, with the enclosure that protected it from Apap; its well of water as the living source of all supply; its tree of life that bore the unforbidden fruit, and other features of the mythos are all identifiably Egyptian.
In the opening of the Ritual the hero enters the vessel of the Kamite Charon and addresses the helmsman and sailors. He is in search of his father, Osiris, who has been murdered by Sut, and says: 'I am the beloved son. I have come to see my father, Osiris, to pierce the heart of Sut,' and to slay the conspirators, Horus being, like Maelduin, the avenger of his father. Amenta is the land of life; the sun sets into the land of life; it is the land of the tree of life and the water of life, in which the dead become the living, resting in the land of life. The mount in the west is called Mount Ankhu, the mountain of life. One name for the mount (otherwise the horizon) in Egyptian is sut or set, sÛ? or sÛ;, the rock, hill, or mount, which agrees with the Irish sid for the hillock and the mound of the unseen world. The mounds were made as dwellings for the dead, and in the Irish legends the people of the other earth, the Tuatha de Danan, the wee folk and fairies, are dwellers in a world that is represented by the hillock or mound. 'Tis a large Síd in which the Aes Síde dwell,' therefore equivalent to the mount, and their hollow in the mount is one with the Kamite Amenta. There is no consciousness of time in this happy otherworld. Those who have dwelt there for centuries seem to have been there no time. This is one way of identifying the land with the earth of eternity. The Irish [p.369] netherworld is the land of the ever-living ones; as an irresistible lure to men it is set forth as the land of ever-living, ever-lovely women.
In the Egyptian Ritual Anup, the jackal-god, the swift runner, who as the earliest form of Mercury preceded Taht-Hermes, is the guide of ways in the astral mythology and the conductor of souls in the eschatology. Anup was not only the guide through Amenta; he is also god of the polestar and therefore lord of the polar paradise, before he fell from heaven and his station was assigned to Asar in the later solar cult. In our British and Irish mythology, Manannan, the son of Lir, is a form of Mercury. And in the legend of 'Cormac and Faery' he is lord of the promised land. He also acts as guide to Cormac, and says to him, 'I am Manannan, son of Lir, lord of the land of promise, and I brought you here that you might see the fashion of the land.' This is the guide of ways, Ap-Uat, whom Caesar calls the 'patron of roads and journeys,' who was worshipped by the Gauls above all other gods.
The great adversary of the solar god whom Horus went forth to slay is the Apap-serpent or dragon of darkness, a huge water reptile lying at the bottom of the abyss. We get a glimpse of this monster in the following description. In the Tale of Laegaire the land of heart's delight is described as being under the waters instead of across them, or in the hollow of the mount. This, however, involves no discrepancy. The netherworld of Ptah-Tanen was below the waves. When the sun entered the mount it descended into the hollow earth toward the bottom of the mount, which stood on its own fixed base in the abyss or surrounding waters of the Nun. The title of Ptah-Tanen indicates the land (ta) in the Nun or Nnu which engirdled the earth outside. Thus the outer world was below the level of the waters at the same time that it was in the nethermost parts of the mount of Amenta. This necessitated the rampart that was erected by the builder Ptah against the deluge and other incursions of Apap the destroyer. The mythical water round about the earth is described with exquisite delicacy of touch in the Voyage of Maelduin: 'It seemed like a clear thin cloud, and it was so transparent, and appeared so light, that they thought at first it would not bear up the weight of the curragh.' Looking down through this water of aerial tenuity, they saw a beautiful country, and in one place 'a single tree,' and on its branches 'they beheld an animal fierce and terrible to look upon,' and whilst they looked they saw the monster stretch forth his neck, and, darting his head downward, he plunged his fangs into the back of the largest ox of a whole herd. This he lifted off the ground into the tree, where he 'swallowed him down in the twinkling of an eye.' When Maelduin and his people saw this from the boat they were in fear lest they 'should not be able to cross the sea over the monster on account of the extreme mist-like thinness of the water; but after much difficulty and danger they got across it safely.' This lovely country seen beneath the waters, the sunken city of so many märchen, is the 'beautiful Amenta' of the Ritual. The tree is the tree of life in Amenta, and the monster is the Apap-reptile. The ox as victim represents the bull of Amenta, a title of Osiris. The herd here answers to the herd of cows to which the bull [p.370] is lord. There is also a man on guard at the tree with shield and spear and sword, who corresponds to Ra, the guardian who defends the persea tree against the devouring monster Apap. The passage over the pellucid water with the monster lurking darkly clown below is described in the Ritual. 'O thou who sailest the ship of heaven over the gulf which is void, let me come to see my father, Osiris.' Horus and his companions had to cross the abyss of Apap, and the insubstantial element of the Irish version answers to the hollow void of the original.
When the deceased is making his way through Amenta, Hathor the goddess of love and loveliness = the amorous queen, emerges from the tree and offers him a dish of the fruit which she has gathered to woo him with. By accepting this he is bound to remain the guest of the goddess and return no more to the world of the living, unless by her permission. Hathor is identical with the amorous queen of the Celtic legends. Seventeen grown-up girls attend, on her and prepare her bath. These in the original mythos are the seven Hathors, and it looks as if the seven had been changed to seventeen, which is a number otherwise unknown to the original mythos. Hathor is the goddess in the tree who furnishes the fruit on which the souls are fed. The amorous queen gives the magical fruit from her apple-tree to visitors from the human world. The Queen of Love was called the Golden Hathor, and in the Tale of Teague the gracious queen is 'draped in vesture of a golden colour.' Hathor was the goddess of music, and the approach of the amorous queen of faerie is announced by music magically sweet. Hathor was the goddess who drew men with the golden cords of a love that was irresistible. This is naively rendered in the Irish märchen. When Maelduin and his men have stayed for three months with the amorous queen and enter their boat to sail away, she rides after them and 'flings a clew' which the hero catches. It clings to his hand, and he is drawn back again to the land he was leaving. Three times over he is drawn back to the queen by the magical clew that represents the cord of love. Hathor the queen of love is the provider of food and drink for the manes in Amenta, who have, or who pray to have, whatsoever heart can wish. So the amorous queen provides food and drink for the wanderers. which has every savour that each one may desire. Hathor was the goddess of beauty, to whom the mafkat and other precious stones were sacred. The necklace was her typical ornament, the predecessor of the cestus of Venus. And it is noticeable that the treasure snatched at by the foster-brother of Maelduin, which cost him his life, was the magical necklace that was in every sense irresistible. The lower paradise in which the tree of Hathor grows is in Amen-Ta. Ta is the earth or land. Amen signifies the secret or hidden. May not this be represented by Emain the nomen regionis in the voyage of Bran? From Emain comes the branch of the apple-tree, or fruit-tree that may have been a fig-tree, which would correspond more closely to the sycamore-fig of Hathor.
There is unlimited love-making in the land of the amorous queen, who is the Irish Aphrodite. She is a direct survival from the time when the divine female was the ruler of men and the object of their kneeling adoration. She is the queen of faerie, who was once the [p.371] queen of love. Hathor in the Ritual is especially the sovereign. The speaker says, 'Let me eat under the sycamore of Hathor the sovereign, among those who rest there.' It is promised to the mortal who attains the Elysium with the amorous queen that he shall enjoy the delights of love 'without labour.' Even in the Egyptian Ritual the speaker pleads that he may have the investiture of the garden, that he may be glorified there, eat and drink, and have his fill of sexual intercourse. The text in the Nebseni Papyrus reads 'nahap am,' not mere love 'in the abstract,' for nahap signifies coition. This is in agreement with the unlimited love-making in the land of women which was the primal paradise. The Celt remains today a true child of the matriarchate that was piously transferred from earth to heaven. In this religion the mother with the child is the object of supreme desire, the religion that began as and still continues to be uterine. This divine ideal has fired the imagination of the Celt as whisky fires the blood and brain. It was this that ultimately made him so devout a Roman Catholic with Mary for a portrait of the earlier amorous fairy queen. The Celtic land of promise is a land in which deep-bosomed, ever-living, glorious women dwell and make it worth while for men to strive and reach that heaven in the land of heart's desire.
In the Ritual, the nocturnal sun is represented as a cat, the seer in the dark who keeps the watch by night in Amenta. The cat especially protects the tree of life and its food and drink from the assaults of the serpent Apap and the encroachments of those prowling thieves the sebau. The cat is said to 'govern the Sebau, and regulate that which they do.' The tree, be it remembered, is Hathor's in the Ritual, and she is the queen of love who reappears in Irish legends as the amorous queen. Now in the Voyage of Maelduin they come to the 'island of the amorous queen.' They also come to a fort which is encompassed by 'a great white rampart' wherein there is nothing to be seen but a cat that keeps on leaping from one to another of 'four stone pillars.' The fort itself is full of food and drink and shining raiment. As the voyagers are leaving, one of them tries to steal a necklace, whereupon the protecting cat 'leaps through him like a fiery arrow, burns him up so that he becomes ashes,' and then the cat 'goes back to its pillar.' This description indicates the nature of the type. As in the Ritual, the cat represents the protecting solar god. The cat in Amenta is going round the nightside of the solar circle. The four pillars were the supports at the four corners called the four pillars of Shu. The solar god as watchful cat consumes the thief (one of the Sebau) to ashes, and 'goes back to his pillar' or goes on his way.
It is the zootypes that tell the nature of the origins in sign-language and identify them as Egyptian. Two or three of these may be dwelt on for a moment. The cat as a protector of the 'property' in Amenta; the ancient bird that renews its youth, not as the phoenix of fire, but by bathing in the lake of the water of life; the seven cows that give their milk in sufficient abundance to feed the whole inhabitants of the land of promise; the Apap-monster, the youthful solar hero, the mount of Amenta, and lastly the tree of life in the garden eastward of the mount. 'When Maelduin was on his [p.372] voyage he came to an island on which there stood at the centre of it—a single apple tree, very tall and slender. Its branches were likewise slender and exceeding long, so long that they grew up over the circular high hill and down to the sea that bounded the island.' So long were the branches that for three days and nights, whilst the ship was coasting the island, Maelduin held a branch all the time, letting it slide through his fingers, till, on the third clay, he came to a cluster of apples at the very end. This was the fruit of the tree of life.
Alfred Nutt remarks on the gigantic stature of the people who are met with by Finn and his men in the land of marvels, but does not think the trait has any traditional significance. But the giants of the promised land are identical with those in the Hebrew märchen, and the prototypes of both are to be found in the Kamite mythos. One origin will account for all. There are two classes of giants in the Ritual, the glorified and the wretched giant shades. The glorified ones are those who reap the fields of divine harvest in the lower Aarru and in presence of the powers of the east. These are said to be each nine cubits in height, i.e., fifteen or sixteen feet. The giants of the foreworld were not magnified men, but representatives of the elemental powers, like the gigantic Apap of darkness, the hippopotamus of Sut, the crocodile of Horus, the giant ape of Hapi, the lion of Shu, in the pre-anthropomorphic phase. This was the race of giants that preceded the pygmies of Ptah in the Egyptian mythology. So in the Irish legends the Brobdingnagian race of the Fena, the mighty heroes of enormous stature, passed away and were followed by the little men who were Lilliputians in comparison; there are also dwarfs as denizens of the land beneath the waters.
Africa, the home of the pygmies, is presumably the birthplace of the dwarf races now represented by the diminutive wee folk of the Dark Continent. The earliest emigrants who made their way out of that land and wandered over Europe would be akin to these in stature, like the Lapps who follow them at a short distance. These were the wee folk in human form. But there is another factor to be taken into account before we can ascertain the origin of the wee folk as spirits in a tiny fairy shape. These do not simply represent the pygmy race of human beings, but are the same primitive people translated into spirit-world, from the time when the race was of the pygmy stature. We gather from the secret wisdom that the earliest beings who entered the nether earth were dwarfs or dwarfish people. The god Ptah, who opened the underworld by tunnelling the mount of Amenta, is himself a dwarf. The seven khnemtnu that assisted him were pygmies. First come the African pygmies. Second, the mythical pygmies of Ptah. Third, the human souls that are the same in stature. Fourth, the wee folk of the legends, who inhabit the mounds, who work the mines, who dwell beneath the sea, the natural, the mythical, and spiritualistic dwarfs being somewhat mixed up together. The märchen or folktales of the Asiatic and European races are the debris of Egyptian mythos. Fairyland is no conception of the Celt, nor original product of the Aryan imagination; it is the Kamite earth of eternity in the lower world of the mount of earth [p.373] which was excavated by the pygmies of the opener Ptah. From no other land or literature than the Egyptian can we explain the wee folk in the fairy mound or síd. (Síd, pronounced shee. Compare the Egyptian she or shu, for the hollow, the void, and sheta, the sarcophagus.)
Various episodes of the passage through the nether earth and over the waters to the upper paradise that were represented in the drama of the mysteries and detailed in the mythos have been reduced to mere allusions in the Ritual. For example, there is a land of weeping, a dwelling-place of the god Rem-Rem, or Remi the Weeper. The manes on his way to Annu says, 'I have come out of the Tuat. I am come from the ends of the earth. I pass through the noble dwellings of those who are coffined. I open the dwelling of Rem-Rem,' that is the place of weeping. In the Irish legendary 'yarn' the voyagers come to the Island of Weeping. This island is large and 'full of human beings black in body and raiment, and resting not from wailing and weeping. Whosoever lands in this place falls a-weeping.' This lot happens to one of Maelduin's foster-brothers and others of the wanderers who are sent to bring him off. The coffined ones in the Ritual, chief of whom was Osiris in his coffin, offer a raison d'être for the weeping in Rem-Rem (as a place).
In their thirty-first adventure Maelduin and his companions come to an island of which it is said, 'Around the island was a fiery rampart, and it was wont ever to turn around and about it.' This was evidently the revolving sphere. 'Now, in the side of that rampart was an open door, and as it came opposite them in its turning course, they beheld through it the island and all therein, and its indwellers, even human beings, beautiful, numerous, wearing garments richly dight, and feasting with golden vessels in their hands. The marvel, delightful as it seemed to them.' This is a glimpse of the wanderers heard their ale-music, and for long did they gaze upon the pleasant plain, the promised land, the land of heart's delight and ever-living women, with their lure of love—in short, the Aarruparadise. There was a protecting rampart reared around this garden, the lower paradise in the earth of eternity. 'A divine domain hath been constructed for me; the name of it is the garden of Aarru. I know the garden of Aarru; the wall of it is steel' or the bright shining ba-metal. Inside the rampart were the glorified ones, 'each of whom is nine cubits in height.' Also the manes were there as workers in the human form, who cultivated each their field of corn and fed upon the food and drank the beer that were made from it and divinized as sustenance for souls.
The twofold paradise, terrestrial and celestial, is also extant in Irish legendary lore. Not as an Irish conception, pagan or Christian, not as a 'vision of the great young godland-haunted Irish imagination,' but as a survival from the Kamite source that once supplied the world with a system of representation, mythical and eschatological, which remains almost intact as Egyptian, whilst it has gone to wreck and sea-drift elsewhere on other shores. The typical mount of earth with its hollow of the underworld has its representative in the Irish mound of the síd, and the Elysium across the sea is one with the paradise of Hetep over the celestial water.
Alfred Nutt points out the difference between the Irish paradise in the hollow hill and their paradise that is over-sea. 'In the hollow hill type (The Wooing of Etain) the wonderland is not figured as lying across the sea, but rather ... within the Síd or fairy hills. No special insistence is laid upon the immortality of its inhabitants,' nor is there any portion of this land in which the amorous women dwell alone, as in the Elysium over sea. This is exactly as it would be if derived from the Kamite original. The lower paradise of two is in the mount of earth, also called the funeral mount of Amenta. The departed are not born immortals in that land; immortality is conditional. They have to fight and strive and wrestle with the powers of evil to compass it. These, like the Irish manes dwelling in the sid or hollow hill, were the 'folk of the goddess,' who was Hathor in the mount; whereas the spirits made perfect in the upper paradise are more expressly children of the supreme god, who was Horus, or Ra, or Osiris, according to the cult. We can trace the voyagers of the water way to this upper paradise. When Horus, or Ra, and his companions have conquered Apap, the sebau, and other monstrous progeny of darkness, the solar bark emerges from the underworld upon the horizon of the orient heaven, and enters the water of dawn which is designated the 'lake of emerald.' The speaker says, 'O ye gods in your divine cycles who travel round the lake of emerald, come and defend the great one who is in the shrine from which all the divine cycle proceedeth'—that is, the god on board the solar bark. So in the Voyage of Maelduin, after passing the islands of monstrous animals, the giants and devourers, the companions come to a sea of green crystal sparkling in the sunlight, and so transparent that they could see the sand quite clearly at the bottom. In this water they saw neither monsters nor any ugly animals. In like manner the crystal water is described in the Ritual as having neither fishes nor snakes in it.
The 'Isle of Truth' is a name of the divine land across the waters, 'Whosoever set foot on it was unable to tell a lie.' A naive way of indicating its truth-compelling influence. Surely this must be the Egyptian Maat, the land of truth. In starting on his voyage over sea it is the desire of the speaker to 'attain the region of Maat,' which may be the region of truth, law, or righteousness. The celestial bridge between the two is described in the Voyage of Maelduin as a bridge of crystal leading to a palace. It also appears in the form of a solid arch of water which spans the elysian island from side to side. Under this the travellers walked without ever getting wet. This in heaven is the archway of the galaxy that was represented as the river overhead. It is related that when the voyagers came at last in sight of land it was a little island with a large palace on it, around the palace was a wall white all over without stain or flaw, as if it had been carved out of one unbroken rock of chalk, and it was so lofty that it seemed almost to reach the clouds. 'A number of fine houses, all snowy white, were ranged round the inside, enclosing a level court in the middle on which all the houses opened.' This in the Egyptian is the city of the white wall of the [p.375] celestial Memphis that was seen in the northern heaven at the summit of the mount. The Osiris looking up to this, his journey's end, exclaims 'May Sekhet the divine one (consort of Ptah) uplift me so that I may arise in heaven and issue my behests in Memphis, the city of the white wall.'
The mount or rock of Anup, also called his cliff, survives as the rock or fortress of Manannan in the land of promise. One title of the Irish mount is 'the hill of two wheels in the pleasant plain of the Land of Promise.' This promises to shed light on a crux in the Ritual. In the description of the mount and the two portions of Sut and Horus the sign ¡ is employed ambiguously. But if the halves of night and day were figured as two cycles or circles of time the reading would be perfected, and the mount of Hetep would also be the hill of two wheels in the pleasant plain. It is said in the Rig-Veda, 'the two adorable Krishnas successively revolve.' It is also said, 'the dark day and the light day revolve alternate.' The table-land which is called the plain of joy, the great plain, is one with Hetep, the table of the mount, in the Kamite paradise. The bathing on the great table-land in the island of the amorous queen is particularly noticeable. All who reach that summit bathe. Cormac was bathed, 'though there were none to bathe him.' This answers to the place of final baptism in the lake of propitiation and of equipoise, where souls are purified 'in the most high degree.' The tree of food in the midst of the garden of Hetep grows the fruit on which the gods and the assembled multitude of the manes feed and live. This, as aforementioned, is repeated in the Tale of Teigue as a 'thickly-spreading apple-tree bearing fruit and ripe blossom alike.' This tree is to 'serve the congregation that is to be in the mansion.' It also bore a fruit for the gods and spirits. Beer is the divine drink of the beatified, not only in Amenta, but also in the upper paradise. Osiris in the mythical Memphis, Hat-Ptah-Ka, says, 'O thou God of nutriment, O Great One who presidest over the mansions on high, give me bread and beer.' And beer was supplied in overflowing abundance. In the Wooing of Etain, Mider the lover sings of beer as the divine drink in the earthly paradise. 'Heady to you the ale of Erin, but headier is the ale of the Great Land.' 'When thou comest, Woman, to my strong folk, fresh swine's flesh and beer shall be given thee by me, O white-skinned Woman.' It is also said of this wonderland, 'When it rains, 'tis beer that falls.' Now, the beer that rained in the Irish paradise is identical with that which came down from the Egyptian heaven.
Notwithstanding the difference between the number of attendants on the amorous queen and the number of Hathors, the seven have been correctly preserved in their primitive shape and character as the seven cows in the Irish paradise, the same as in the meadows of the Egyptian Aarru. In the adventures of Cormac in faery, the old wife tells the true tale of her seven cows, the milk of which is plentiful enough to supply all the inhabitants of the land of promise with nutriment. These are the cows of the elysian fields in the Ritual who are called the seven cows, providers of plenty. They are por- [p.376] trayed along with the bull who is personified as the hero in the folktales, and are invoked by the spirit of the Osiris to give him food and drink and sustenance for ever. Thus the 'Irish version of the happy otherworld' becomes a dim-eyed memory of the old Egyptian astronomical mythology and eschatology. And as it is in Ireland so was it in Babylonia, India, China, Greece, Britain, and other lands that were lighted by the rays of Egypt's wisdom that went down as the sunset of an ancient world, and rose again unrecognized by name as dayspring of the new. And thus the nearness to nature in its tenderest traits, the nobility of manners, the serene placidity, to be found in the Welsh and Irish fragments of the antique lore, were not necessarily native to the soil, but may have belonged to the higher civilization that was elsewhere developed, as now we know it to have flourished in the valley of the Nile. Neither was the painted Pict or woad-stained Briton the source of all this gentilesse and chivalry imported in the mythos and replanted in the islands by the 'men of peace.' Such characters as Arthur and his twelve knights were not the products of men who dwelt in caves and wore the skins of animals. His mother Arth was goddess of the Great Bear—she who was Ta-urt, the oldest form of the Great Mother in the astronomical mythology of Egypt. And as the characters were imported in the mythology, so likewise were the traits of character, and therefore these would not be indigenous to the islands of the north.
THE UPPER MOUNT OF GLORY
Whatsoever shape was taken by the eternal dwelling-place on high, it was only attainable at the summit of the mount that reached up to the never-setting stars. And there is a consensus of widely-scattered evidence to show that the paradise of peace and plenty, of reunion and rejoicing, which is the object in view of 'the Osiris' all through his journey outlined in the Ritual, is the upper paradise of a legend that is universal, the origin of which can be discovered in the astronomical mythology of Egypt. The general tradition is that this paradise was a primeval place of birth, and that it was in the north, upon the summit of a mount now inaccessible to the living anywhere on earth. This circumpolar paradise is known to the oldest races in the world as an initial starting-point for gods and men.
We have sought to trace an origin for the primitive paradise of this universal legend to the human birthplace on the mount of earth, or Apta, with the beginning in the time and the domain of Sut, which was commemorated as a secret of the sphinx. This place of birth, as we suggest, was thus repeated as a place of rebirth by the Egyptian mystery-teachers in the astronomical mythology, from which the universal legend spread around the world.
The Namoi, Barwan, and other tribes on the Darling River, in Australia, point out a paradise up the Milky Way to which the spirits of the righteous are welcomed by Baiame, who corresponds to the Kamite god of the polar paradise. He is called 'the great master' [p.377] and is the maker. It is he who sends the rain; and it was he who initiated the black-fellows into their mysteries. The aborigines of New Holland describe the dwelling-place of 'Bayma' as a paradise to the north-east in a beautiful heaven. His throne is a crystal mountain of vast magnitude, the base of which is fixed in the great water, and its stupendous summit rises to the stars. In addition to this upper paradise upon the mount they also have an earthly paradise below. Moodgeegally, the first man, who lives in this nether paradise, is alone immortal; the same as human Horus in the lower paradise of Amenta. He has the power and privilege of visiting the upper heaven of Ballima, which is a three days' journey from the happy land below. He climbs up to the heaven north-east by a lofty and precipitous mountain covered with beautiful trees. His ascent on foot is made easier by a path winding round the mountain which he ascends. A ladder or flight of steps erected at top of this mountain, leads up to heaven itself. Ballima, where the sun shines by night beneath our earth, is the Egyptian Hades. The exceeding high mountain is the mount of Amenta, and the great water out of which it rises with the steps up to heaven is the Egyptian Nun. But neither the aborigines of New Holland, nor the missionaries, nor Mr. Manning knew anything of the Egyptian Book of the Dead, or of the Nun, or the mount of Amenta, or the Aarru-fields, the double paradise, or the steps that led up to the solar boat. Yet these and other features of the Kamite mythos are all identifiable in the version here recovered from the aborigines of New Holland.
The mount of the gods and the glorified is common in Africa, where, as we hold, the foundations of Egyptian mythology were laid; and there, as in other lands, it is a point of departure in the beginning for the race. Duff Macdonald says of the Yao tribes: 'Some distinctly localize Mtanga as the god of Mangochi, the great hill that the Yao people left. I regret much that I did not see this hill before leaving Africa, as I have heard so much of it. To these people it is all that the many-ridged Olympus was to the Greek. The voice of Mtanga, some hold, is still audible on Mangochi. Others say that Mtanga never was a man, and that Mtanga is another word for Mulungu (god or spirit). He was concerned in the first introduction of men into the world, and he is intimately associated with a year of plenty.' Thus we find the main features of the mythical mount extant in inner Africa, which culminated in Mount Hetep as Egyptian. It is the seat of the gods and the glorified. It is the primeval birthplace. It is the land of promise, of peace and rest, of water and eternal plenty, the scene of the Golden Age. It is the primitive paradise of the aborigines. The god whose seat or station was the pole is the power that gives the water of heaven to our world. Anup in Egypt is the master of the inundation. The pole was imaged by the mount, the cone, the round hillock, the artificial mound. Now the Gold Coast Africans worship a deity or nature-power named Bobowissi, whose seat or stool is the conical hill near Winnebah known as the Devil's Hill, a title given by the Portuguese. He is the maker and sender of rain, which [p.378] descends in a devastating deluge when he is provoked to anger by those who break his law. Bobowissi also appoints the local deities, even as Anup assigned their places to the seven on the opening day of creation in the Egyptian solar mythos.
The heaven of the western Inuit, in which good spirits dwell, is a paradise above the firmament. This revolves about a mountain of prodigious magnitude and majesty, a Meru that is situated in the remotest part of the polar regions. Here, as in the Egyptian circumpolar paradise, the spirits whose innate excellence has been proved by an extraordinary activity for good go to mingle with the never-setting stars. Various other features of this heaven are Egyptian. Mount Hetep as the land that is blest with water and the breezes of the north is an African, but not an Eskimo, ideal. The god, as Num, is the breath of those who are in the firmament. The Inuit supreme being Torngarsuk, the Great Spirit, is the 'lord of the breezes.' Still more remarkable is the fact that the souls of the Inuit are drawn from an atmospheric reservoir of soul, to which in death the spirits of the just return. This is identical with the Egyptian lake of Sa, one of the two lakes in the polar paradise, which is the source of spirit-life and of life to the gods and the glorified. They also have the earthly and celestial paradise, one at the root of the mount, the other at the summit; the same as the Egyptian Aarru in Amnenta below, and Aarru in the polar paradise of the northern heaven. This upper world of the Eskimo, says Dr. Rink, may be considered identical with the mountain about the summit of which the vaulted sky for ever circled round. This is the celestial mountain as a figure of the pole. It was their mount of glory lighted with the aurora borealis.
The Egyptian Ta-Nuter or divine land of the gods is usually described as being in the Orient. But there was also a Ta-Nuter Meh-ti, which is rendered by Brugsch, 'das nördliche Gottesland.' This was the land of the gods in the north—that is, the polar paradise in heaven, not an elevated part of our earth. The breeze of the north was the breath of life to the Egyptians. It is synonymous with blessedness. The paradise of Hetep is the garden blessed with breezes. The breeze of the north, however, would not represent heaven to the dwellers in the northern quarter of the world. But the paradise was figured in the north originally, and there it remained in every land to which the wisdom of Old Egypt went. This will explain the paradise of Airyana Vaêjô described in the Avesta. Ahura-Mazda tells Zarathushtra that he has created a delectable spot which was previously unapproachable or nowhere habitable. But in this first of regions and best of countries there was winter during ten months of the year. 'Ten months of winter are there, two of summer, and these (latter) are cold as to water, cold as to earth, cold as to plants; then as the snow falls around there is the direst disaster.' The good god made the good creation, and Angro-Mainyus, the dark and deadly, is said to have formed a mighty serpent and brought on the frost that was created by the Devas, who correspond to the sebau in the Ritual as agents of evil in physical phenomena. It is also said in [p.379] the Minokhird the Dev of winter is most vehement in Airyana Vaêjô. Which does not mean that the primal paradise was created at the northern pole of the earth, to be overtaken by the glacial period. The true interpretation is that the legendary paradise was astronomical, and that it was an enclosure at the north celestial pole, and not in the northern regions of the earth. In the Vendidad version it has been made geographical and rendered according to climate in some northern region of the earth; the evils of a winter world being then attributed to the devil, or the opposition of the black mind, Angro-Mainyus. There was no frost or winter in the circumpolar paradise, nor in the African birthplace of the legend in the oasis, whereas frost and winter were both met with in the highlands of the north, whether in Asia or in Europe, and this leads to a paradise in which there are ten months of bitter winter weather, which is the result of rendering the celestial by the terrestrial north. In a supplement to the first Fargard of the Vendidad the time has been changed to suit a milder climate: 'Seven months of summer are there; five months of winter were there,' which is in direct contradiction to the original text, and also opposed to the prototypal paradise with the life-giving breeze of the north in Africa, but is suitable to a milder climate, although one that is still in the cold north. The Chinese paradise, like the Egyptian, is at the north pole, the apex of the celestial mount. The summit is the seat of the gods. Heaven divided into the ten regions of space is identical with the Kamite heaven at the summit of Mount Hetep, that was divided into ten divine domains which followed the celestial heptanomis and the enclosure of Am-Khemen, and preceded the zodiac with twelve signs. In no country is the mount of the north more sacred than in China. For thousands of years the Chinese emperors have ascended the holy mountain T'ai to offer sacrifice to heaven. This mount is designated 'Lord of the World.' To the north there is nothing but hills upon hills. It has 6,000 steps of hewn stone, each fifteen feet in length, leading upward like a staircase to the skies, exactly the same as the throne of Osiris, who 'sits at the head of the staircase.'
The polestar determined the one visible fixed centre of the starry universe, and the name of the Ainu as Ai-no-Ko is said to signify the 'offspring of the centre.' That centre was the circumpolar paradise. The Japanese god of the polestar, Ame-no-mi-naka-nushi-no-Kami, is likewise 'the lord of the centre of heaven.' The tradition of the Ainu is that they came from the northern summit of the world. So high and inaccessible are those lofty tablelands that none of the living can attain them now. But the ancestral spirits go back to them after death. This, of course, identifies the circumpolar paradise of all the legends that had but one and the same origin—in the astronomical mythology. The region is identified still further by the bears. The ancestors of the Ainu are said to have married the bears of the mountains in this high homeland of the north. We have the bears today, seven in the lesser and seven in the larger constellation, still revolving round the stellar mount of glory.
The Koreans possess the same tradition of the human birthplace in the circumpolar paradise. Their first man, as ruler of Korea, [p.380] descended from the great white mountain Tê Pek San. This also was the point of migration or beginning for the race, as it is in various other versions of the primeval tradition. The Badagas say that in the north arises Mount Kaylasa, their Meru. In the north infinity opens on the kingdom of the shades. If four men be dispatched to the four cardinal points, three will return, but never will he who has walked beneath the rays of the polar star. He makes the ascent of the north, which is not a quarter, but the summit to a mountain, as in Egypt. All that is great and powerful comes from the north. The mother of the cow-goddesses dwelt on the Amnor, and the ancestors of the Badagas followed the cow. They came from the paradise of the north. Between the invisible mountains of Kaylasa and Kanagiri flows the dread river that divides the world of the living from the world of the dead. That is the celestial water, the river of souls, which runs between Mount Manu and Mount Hetep on the Egyptian map of heaven. This is not the north of the geographers. At the top of Mount Kaylasa is the palace of souls, the home of the blessed, in which their efforts are crowned with final success. This palace of souls answers to the royal palace referred to in the Ritual, where the speaker says, 'I have made my way into the royal palace, and it was the bird-fly (or abait) who brought me hither.'
Montezuma the elder, in repeating an ancient tradition to Cortez, said, 'Our fathers dwelt in that happy and prosperous place which they called Atzlan (a word that signifies whiteness). In this place there is a great mountain in the middle of the water which is called Culhuacan, because it has the peak turned somewhat over toward the bottom; and for this cause it is called Culhuacan, which means "crooked mountain."' The rest of the description of this delightful country shows that it was the circumpolar paradise upon the summit of the mount. And when it is identified with the mount of Hetep we may surmise that it became the mountain with its apex leaning over because it imaged the pole; so that when the polestar changed, the bent posture of the summit would become the curved figure by which Culhuacan was portrayed. In an Assyrian prayer this celestial mount is called the silver mountain. It is said, 'Grant ye to the king, my lord, who has given such gifts to his gods, that he may attain to grey hairs and old age! And after the life of these days, in the feasts of the silver mountain (at the white summit of the pole), the heavenly courts, the abode of blessedness; and in the light of the happy fields may he dwell and live a life eternal, in the presence of the gods.' Gwynnwesi, the blissful white abode of the Welsh, is another form of the paradise on the summit of the celestial mount in the north, which answers to the white mountain of the Koreans, the city of the white wall, the peak of pearl, and the Assyrian land of the silver sky. Another form is Gwasgwyn, the white mansion, which is the happy abode of the beatified dead. The imagery survives in the legends of Merlin, where we meet with the glass house, the bower of crystal; the tower without any wall, or without any 'closure;' the transparent prison that was aerial as 'a smoke of mist in the air.' Also the typical tree appears as a noble whitethorn, all in bloom—a figure, as we take it, of the starry pole.
When Merlin died he is said to have taken with him the thirteen treasures of Britain, as he passed into the house of glass. The ancient British Avalon was represented as an island in the north on which the 'Loadstone Castle' stood. This identifies the island with the celestial mount and the magnetic pole of the north. Another local figure of the same significance is the Monte Calamitico, a magnetic mountain in the sea to the north of Greenland. In the Apocalypse of Zosimas the Hermit there is a description of the paradise in which the blessed dwell. The seer was conveyed across the water that divides our earth from heaven by means of two trees which bent down and lifted him over in their arms. The two trees are Egyptian, but as usual in Christian documents, the miracle has been added. 'Lo, I come,' says the seer in the Ritual. 'Let me plunge into the divine pool beneath the two divine sycamores of heaven and earth,' when he is about to ascend that 'most conspicuous but inaccessible stream,' the Milky Way.
One ideograph of Hetep, the mount of glory, is a table heaped with provisions as the sign of plenty. In the mythical rendering it is a table-mountain. This will explain the round table of King Arthur and that table of the sun which was said to exist among the Ethiopians as described by Herodotus. 'There is a meadow in the suburbs,' he says, furnished with the cooked flesh of all sorts of quadrupeds. It is filled with meat at night, 'and in the day time whosoever chooses comes and feasts upon it. The inhabitants say that the earth itself from time to time produces these things.' Such is the description given of what is called the table of the sun. This table of the sun is referred to in the Ritual. If the deceased has kept the commandments, it is said that there shall be given to him bread and beer and flesh upon the table of Ra—that is, the table of the solar god, which was the table-land upon the summit of Mount Hetep, the mount of peace and plenty, where the followers of Horus as the spirits of the just made perfect gathered together at the table of the Lord for their eternal feast. When the beatified spirit attains the meadow of Aarru and the 'table of the sun,' he says, 'I rest at the table of my father Osiris.' The deceased asks that he may be made strong with the 'thousands of loaves, beer, beef and fowl, and the flesh of the oxen and various kinds of birds upon the table of his father.' Thus, as the Egyptian Ritual of the resurrection shows, 'the Lord's table' was an institution in the Osirian mysteries which did not wait to be founded at the beginning of the present era. It has, of course, been remarked that the fellowship of Jesus with the twelve in the gospels is a table-fellowship, and that he uses the image of a supper to symbolize the meeting in his father's kingdom. The gorging in a paradise of plenty described by later legends is indicated in the Pyramid Texts. When the deceased is on his way to the mount of glory, he is borne to a region where he is filled with food by being fed from evening until daybreak, and then he is said to seize upon the god Hu, the god of aliment, of corn, of food—in short, the [p.382] bread of life in a spiritual sense. The gorging and guzzling which are customary accompaniments of the Christmas festival in the north are a survival from the time when the primitive paradise was portrayed as a place of the grossest plenty. Even the more refined Egyptian gloried in the prospect of the earthly abundance being repeated for ever in heaven. This is what he says on sitting down at the table of the Lord: 'I sit down in the midst of all the great gods of heaven. The fields lie before me; the produce is before me; I eat of it. I wax radiant upon it, I am saturated with it to my heart's content.'
The mount or altar in Hetep which is imaged as a pile of plenty, a table of offerings, a mountainous heap of food, is the prototype of those artificial mountains exhibited, for example, in Naples at the public festivals, from which all kinds of eatables are distributed in the wildest profusion among the people, whilst the goddess Tait, who is the cook of divine dainties in that land of Brobdingnagian abundance will account for the paradise of cooks and cookery which survives in various versions of Le Pays de Cocagne, where the most delicious food already cooked is spontaneously produced like fruit upon the tree of life. A version of this promised land is current in the Southern States of America, amongst the negroes, who preserve the tradition of a tree of life, on the branches of which hot buckwheat cakes hang over a lake of molasses that takes the place of the Kamite lake of the waters of life. This land of the goddess Tait, the cook of the cakes and joints of meat already cooked, is the Kamite original of Cockaigne, the land of laziness and luxury, in which the streets were paved with pastry. The name is probably derived from the cookery: coquo, in Latin, to cook; kuchou, in German, for a cake and cocaigne in Old French, signifying abundance. The witches' Sabbath, however degraded, was a mode of celebrating this great festival according to the most primitive ideal of a paradise which overflowed with food and drink, and the glory of the sex was celebrated with Titanic women, fierce as Sekhet, in evoking and matching the animal passion of primitive men. Even in the Rig Veda it is said of the man who wins this heaven of blessedness, 'Non urit ignis membrum virile nec arripit deus Yama semen ejus' (much womankind shall be his in heaven). The witches' festival was held on the hill-top or high place, which is Mount Hetep in miniature. Each one brought an offering of food and drink to the feast, and Mount Hetep is an altar, heaped with oblations and offerings for a feast that was to last for ever. The food was brought in raw for this celestial banquet. The speaker says, 'I net the ducks and I eat the dainties. I take care to catch the reptiles.' With these we may compare the reptiles in the witches' cauldron. There is also a gruesome witch-like Kamite goddess Tseret, with long, flowing red hair, who is armed with horns. The divine drink that was brewed in Hetep as beer is imitated by the witches as a product of the magic cauldron, the cauldron of Keridwen in the ancient British mysteries, which survived to some extent in the witches' Sabbath.
The milk of seven rich-uddered cows was typical of eternal plenty in the green pastures of this African paradise; or, in the later anthropo- [p.383] morphic imagery, seven women, young and beautiful as Hathor the goddess of love and loveliness, of music and dancing and sexual delight, were the figure of infinite felicity in this heaven which Mohammed so successfully adopted for the Turks. In both phases the seven were seen as the seven great stars of Ursa Major that were in attendance on 'the bull of the seven cows,' or the spirit of the glorified deceased who had risen to heaven in the image of Amsu-Horus. The Hebrew paradise upon the summit of the mount in the promised land is the same ideal of primitive blessedness. 'In this mountain,' says the prophet Isaiah, 'shall the Lord of Hosts make unto the people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow; of wines on the lees well refined.' Papias, that ignoramus of a primitive Christian, also recounts how 'the elders who saw John, the disciple of the Lord, related that they had heard from him how the Lord used to teach in regard to these times, and say: The days will come, in which vines shall grow, each having ten thousand branches, and in each branch ten thousand twigs and in each true twig ten thousand shoots, and in each one of the shoots ten thousand clusters, and on every one of the clusters ten thousand grapes, and every grape when pressed will give five and twenty metretes of wine. And when any one of the saints shall lay hold of a cluster another shall cry out, "I am a better cluster; take me: bless the Lord through me." In like manner (the Lord declared) "a grain of wheat would produce ten thousand ears, and that every ear should have ten thousand grains, and every grain would yield ten pounds (quinque bilibres) of clear, pure, fine flour; and that all other fruit-bearing trees, and seeds and grass, would produce in similar proportions (secundum congruentiam us consequentem)." And these things are borne witness to in writing by Papias, the hearer of John, and a companion of Polycarp, in his forth book, for there were five books compiled (syntetagmena) by him. And he says in addition, "Now these things are credible to believers."'
The Kamite paradise was the place of plenty and of strong drink. The Indian's idea of future felicity, which consisted in being eternally intoxicated, is but an extension from this primary basis. The 'cauldron of regeneration for spirits' was derived from the brewing-vat. Also it is noticeable that the Egyptian garden of Aarru or Allu, in the Ritual, has the same name as the grape, the vine-branch, and the wine. Hetep was the land that flowed with milk and honey, and the imagery is demonstrably Egyptian. It flowed with honey because the flowers were always in bloom. A curious illustration of this land of honey and its Egyptian origin may be drawn from the Ritual. There is a typical conductor that leads the spirits to their home in the Egyptian fields, called the abait or bird-fly, which in one form is the praying-mantis and in another the honey-bee. This divine guide is called in ancient texts the tiller of the rudder of the neshemit ship of Osiris in which the spirits made their voyage across the waters to the land of honey, guided by the bee. The land flowing with milk is indicated by the seven cows of plenty, whilst the heavenly Nile would represent the honey, as it was the water that was likened to honey for sweetness. Indeed, there is a tradition that [p.384] in the time of Nefer-Ka-Ra the Nile ran with honey or the taste of it for eleven days. The Egyptian paradise of Hetep is mapped out in ten divine domains which correspond to a heaven in ten divisions. These ten divisions were lost, or superseded, like the ten islands of the lost Atalantis, when the zodiac of twelve signs was finally established. And naturally there would be ten populations lost, as in the Assyrian deluge. It follows that the ten tribes of Israel, who preceded the twelve, were lost at the same time and in the same way, the legend being one as astronomical, wheresoever met with in the märchen. There is a tradition that they will be found again in the Aarru-Hetep or Jerusalem above, the promised land which they attained at last. In the Ethiopic Conflict of Matthew it is said that the ten tribes 'feed on honey and drink of the dew.' 'The water we drink is not from springs, but from the leaves of trees growing in the gardens.' These were they who passed in death like all the rest across the waters 'into a farther country where mankind never dwelt,' because it was in the spirit-world.
The 110th chapter of the Ritual suffices of itself to prove the Kamite origin of the mount of glory and the circumpolar paradise. This is the chapter of coming forth from the netherworld by day, or with the sun, and arriving in the garden of Aarru, on the mount of resurrection in Hetep, and at 'the grand domain, blest with the breezes.' This was the heaven lifted up by Shu of old as the summit of attainment. It is called 'the beautiful creation which he raiseth up,' the mansion of his stars which had been again and again renewed in the heaven of astronomy. In the eschatology it was the heaven of reconciliation, reunion, and of rest. It had been the heaven of Abydos, of Annu, Thebes, Memphis, Hermopolis, and other cities on earth, and now it was the heaven of eternity, the heaven of spirits perfected; also the heaven of Chaldean, Hebrew, Hindu, Japanese, Greek, and all the others who repeated the astronomical imagery and founded their religious reaching on the wisdom of ancient Egypt. The summit of Hetep was the seat of Hathor, queen of heaven and mother of fair love on earth. She who had drawn the world in offering her full breast as nurse to Horus now offered it upon the mount of glory to the weary spirits whom she gathered in her motherly embrace. She was also represented by those seven cows or meris, as the giver of plenty in the meadows of Aarru, so abundantly that the river called the Milky Way was as the overflowing plenitude from this perpetual source. On a tablet in the Louvre this divine mother of gods and men is asked for 'the white liquor that the glorified ones love.' This is distinctly called milk upon a Florentine tablet (2567), and vases of her milk are mentioned in the Inscriptions of Denderah. Hesit the cow is identified with Hathor the divine mother, the fair nurse, the mistress of heaven and sovereign of the gods. She was the cow-mother, and her child was the calf who became her bull as fertilizer. Hence the deceased as Horus in Hetep exclaims, 'I am the bull, raised on high in the blue, lord of the bull's field,' whose cow or nourisher is Hesit. [p.385] In this way the cow of heaven supplied not only milk for the infant Horus, but for all who were reborn as babes in the new life, and the heaven of plenty and of rest was tenderly pictured in the welling bosom of the motherhood, thus divinized upon the mount. When the departed have reached the summit of life upon the mount of spirits perfected, they emerge in the garden of Hetep or paradise of Aarru. Here they attain the land of promise in the highest sense of spiritual fulfilment. They eat of the fruit of the tree and drink the water of life, or the milk of the old first Great Mother, who yields it in the form of Hesit the cow: the ancient mother of gods and men to whom the Egyptians assigned a foremost station in the starry heavens. Here the beatified spirits who sat upon their thrones of ba-metal, 'raised on high in the blue,' among the never-setting stars, extended the hand of welcome to the coming generations of human beings. Three classes of human beings are recognized in the past, present, and future of existence: the Pait are those of the past, the Rekhit are the living, and the Hamemet are the future generations. In one of her inscriptions Queen Hatshepsut appeals to these latter as future witnesses to the glory of her present work. She says, 'I make this known to the Hamemet, who will live in times to come.' The name denotes the unembodied, or, more literally, the un-mummied, from ha, before, and mem or mum, the mummy. These are the future beings to whom the glorified spirits extend their welcome in the garden of beginning and rebirth; and it is in this enclosure or paradise that we shall at last discover the garden on the summit of the mount in the north that has become a traditional cradle and creatory of life itself as the rebirth place of the glorified. It is said to Ra, who had become the highest god, 'Glory to thee upon the mount of glory. Hail to thee who purifiest and preparest the generations yet unborn, and to whom this great quarter of heaven offereth homage.' This great quarter was the northern summit in the region of the two lakes of Sa and of Purification. The divine rebirth place of the soul constellated in the meskhen was converted by the later races, Asiatic, European, American, Polynesian, into the primeval place of human birth, from whence the successive migrations were supposed to have issued forth, because the localities and the scenery of earth had been substituted for those of the divine or mythical world of the Egyptian eschatology. The 'original Aryan home,' the Iranian paradise, the Semitic garden of Eden, the Greek elysian fields are each derived from the Egyptian Sekhet-hetep, the fields of peace and plenty, or the Sekhet Aarru, where amid the still waters are portrayed the islands of the blessed, the amaranthine meads and pastures ever green. When Assyriologists speak of Urdu the mountain of the world as the primitive cradle of the human race, they are oblivious of the fact that there are fifty or a hundred such cradles of the race. Hence over eighty different sites have been assigned to the garden of the beginning, called Edin or Eden by the Semites. The Akkadian urdhu is one with or corresponds to the Egyptian urtu, a name both for the ascent or mount and the thigh or haunch, as a figure of the birthplace, human or divine. The [p.386] emigrants from Urdhu, like the Meropes, were the people of the thigh. The Hyperboreans were reputed to dwell above the north wind, as Festus says, 'supra aquilonis flatum,' which gives us an astronomical hint. Apparently the bird aquila represents the Egyptian vulture mut, which is described in the Ritual as being on or above the leg constellation; 'I am the divine vulture who is on the uarit.' But whether it does or does not, the Hyperboreans are localized above Aquila in the northern heaven in the celestial pole-land, where dwelt the ancestors of the Ainu, and the Hamemet of the Egyptian theology. Again, the constellation of the thigh, as sign of the meskhen, womb, or birthplace, will show us the origin of the Meropes. The word μέροες (or people of the thigh) was a sacred expression used by the Greeks to denote mankind. It is said of the Hyperboreans by Hellanicus that they dwelt beyond the Ripaian mountains, and were the teachers of justice, and ate the fruit of trees. This identifies them with the glorified spirits in the polar paradise by two unmistakable determinatives of locality. One is the tree, or wood, of life, on the fruit of which the gods and glorified were fed; the other is the maat or judgment seat upon the summit of the mount, where sat the great judge as Anup, or Atum, or Osiris, in succession according to the reigning dynasty of gods, that were stellar, lunar, or solar.
Mythical monsters like the Cyclops have descended from this birthplace of the beginning. According to Hesiod, the Cyclops were Titans, and the Titans are the giants who were properly a group of seven in later tradition. They were the assistants of Hephstus, the worker in fire, who was the Greek Vulcan. This tends to identify them with the seven Khnemmu, who were the assistants of Ptah, the metallurgist; the seven who were the giants of an earlier time as turners of the sphere in huge and monstrous form. Homer calls Mycenae, the ark-city on the summit, the altar of the Cyclops; and the altar is a final form of the mount which was figured in the constellation 'Ara.' In one character the seven powers that were grouped in the Lesser Bear were the giants, and the giants as Cyclops had but one eye between them. Naturally Polaris as the one eye to the seven was said to be the one eye of the seven, and the giants were then said to have been one-eyed. This would account for the Arimaspoi and other one-eyed people as dwellers in the uttermost vertical north. All was golden in the primal paradise, and according to Hesiod there was a 'golden race of men.' These were they who came the first. This race was stellar, like the gold that made the circumpolar heaven golden. They were the glorious ones, the never-setting ones, the born immortals in the everlasting 'golden-hued region whose food never fails,' described in the Vendidad .
Now, the question for those who looked up longingly to this paradise of peace and plenty as the summit of attainment for another life was how to reach that landing-place of souls and haven of supreme desire. There was heaven, but by what means could the height be climbed or the water crossed when as yet there were no boats or bridges built? Clearly there was nothing for it, from the first, but to leap or swim the waters flowing between the mount that was [p.387] mundane and the mount of glory. Hence the Great Mother Apt and Sut her son were figured as totemic hippopotami, and Sebek as the crocodile, for the passage of the water. This was in a mythical representation of natural phenomena, the same mode of progression being continued in the eschatology. When the deceased is about to cross the water between the two worlds he says, 'It is I who traverse the heavens. May I have command of the water.' But, previous to being self-invested with the necessary power, he prayed to be carried across by the Great Mother, who was imaged as the pregnant hippopotamus in the constellation of the bear, or as the milch-cow in the meskhen, or the moon. For this reason the Great Bear was also called the coffin of Osiris, as the typical place of rebirth. She is the ark of souls who saved them from the waters in the cabin which was uterine. The mother of life as Apt the water-cow was followed by Hesit the milch-cow, and in a later though very ancient representation it is the domesticated cow that carries the dead across the waters to the summit of the mount. But the earliest carrier of souls across the waters in death is Apt, the most ancient mother of life. In the astronomical phase she is the goddess of the seven stars in Ursa Major and mother of the seven typical eternals who were safe for ever from the deluge in the never-setting stars. In lands of lower latitude than ours the Great Bear, i.e., the female hippopotamus, set at times beneath the horizon or was hidden behind the mount of earth, to rise again as the bringer-forth of life from the waters, because the reproducer of souls for a future life. It is as the bringer of human souls to their rebirth that she, the hippopotamus, is portrayed as human in her abundant breasts and procreant womb. In that guise she was the womb of life, great with the souls she carried across the waters on their way to the upper paradise, when there was neither boat nor bridge extant. This is generally represented by the mummy being borne upon the back of the cow that carries it off full speed by land or water till the islands of the blessed are in view. In these scenes the dead are carried outside the cow, whereas with Apt the souls were carried in the uterus or meskhen. In the mysteries of the Ritual when the Osiris (deceased) is crossing the waters that have burst forth in a deluge, he exclaims, 'Anup is my hearer.' In this instance the jackal is the carrier, the psychopompus, because it represents the power of the pole as the support of the soul in death. In consequence of being raised up by Anup, the guide of roads (Ap-Uat), deceased also exclaims, 'I hide myself among you, O ye stars that never set.' Which shows that he was raised to the region of the eternals, the Akhemu-Seku, or non-setting stars whose position was fixed for ever as the most ancient lords of eternity, with Anup at their head. When the concept of an atmosphere succeeded the likeness of water, the birds of air could be employed as types. The sun was represented by the golden hawk, the moon by the black and white ibis; the stars, that did not set, as beautiful white birds a-floating on the lake in the paradise of Aarru on the summit of the mount. Deceased also exclaims, 'I am the swallow! I am the swallow!' as one particular form of a bird of passage, on his way to the celestial country. Or he assumes the power of the bennu-bird, or the [p.388] shen-shen, both of which ascend the air to a great height in spiral whirls. Deceased in this character prays that he may 'wheel round in whirls' and circle heavenward with the spiral motion of the bennu, i.e., the typical phoenix. It was in this guise the soul of Osiris rose again to ascend the tree of life or of dawn, hence the soul of the Osiris does the same. The moon was imaged also as the ibis on whose wings the orb made its celestial ascent. The Osiris pleads that he may ascend to heaven in the disc of the moon, or in the power of Taht, the lunar god who showed the way by night. The ibis now bears off the deceased across the water on its wings, and does battle with Sut, the power of darkness, for a passage.
The natives of Torres Straits Islands have a tradition that at death the spirits of their departed wing their northward way in the shape of flying-foxes to the polar paradise of all the aboriginal races. The power of wings is thus added to the spirit as the superhuman mode of flight. Swimming and flying are the two modes of locomotion here illustrated, until we come to the tree as means of climbing. The natural human way of ascent is climbing. But by no direct means could the helpless watchers climb the heavens with their hands and feet, and they had no wings of their own. As they were frugivorous, they could climb the tree, and the tree supplied a mental means of ascent for those who climbed the heavens as the souls of the departed. Dawn on the summit was imaged as a great green tree upon the mount. Thus the ascent was represented by both the mountain and the tree. Both were means of the ascent at the coming forth by climbing from the dark land of Amenta. It may be premised that the papyrus-reed which rose from out the water was an earlier type of climbing heavenward than the tree. Child-Horus on his papyrus was a figure of this ascent by means of the plant or stalk. When the Messu came by water it was by climbing up the stalk like little Jack. The pedestal of Horus, made of stone, was based on the papyrus-plant emerging from the water, and when this was buried with the mummy it was a type of the ascent to heaven. The ascent emerging from the deep, as Mount Meru in India, was called 'the lotus (= papyrus) of immensity,' which also shows the water-plant to be a co-type with the mount or tree as the figure of the ascent. The tree is portrayed as a means of salvation amid the overwhelming waters which had to be crossed by the manes in the Ritual. The tree, then, like the mount and steps, was a typical means of ascent to heaven by which spirits attained the polar paradise. It was a natural ladder. There is no race so primitive but has a tree-type of the ascent to heaven. With the Mbocobis of Paraguay the souls of the dead ascend the Ilagdigua tree, which is a connecting link between their earth and heaven. The same water and tree occur in the Rig-Veda, when Bhuggu, son of Tugra, has to cross the great waters and is 'cast headlong into the deep and plunged into inextricable darkness.' He likewise clings for support to the tree 'stationed in the midst of the ocean.' The Australian natives make use of the tree as a mode of ascent to heaven for the spirits of the departed. The wizards also profess that they go up to consult the spirits of the dead by ascending a tree. Some of them make a pathway for the spirits to ascend and descend the tree of earth and [p.389] heaven by cutting out a strip of bark, taken spirally from the top of a large tree down to the ground. The tree or pole as means of climbing is variously illustrated. The Yao-Miao people bind their dead with withies to a tree for the soul to make the ascent. At other times the branch of a tree or bamboo pole is stuck in the grave for the soul of deceased to climb by. The Guarinis of Brazil were the worshippers of the god Tamoi who ascended the tree of dawn, like Tum his Egyptian prototype. Up this the spirits were to follow in his wake, and he would welcome them to paradise when they attained the summit of the tree. The Polynesians tell of the tree that reached up to the moon. When the deluge of Raitea occurred and the world of the seven divisions was submerged the survivors were saved by the tree that reached up to the moon or on an island (the mount) named Toa-marama, the moon-tree or the tree reaching to the moon. So that both the mount and tree are here described together under one name. The Samoans have various legends of the way to heaven. One of these describes it as a mount, the summit of which reached up to the skies. Another tells of the tree that measured sixty miles in height. According to one account, when the topmost branches of the tree were reached the climbers had to wait for a high wind which swayed them to and fro for a while and all of a sudden slung them into paradise. The Samoans also had a tree with steps that formed a sort of ladder up to heaven. Thus the mount, tree, and ladder were all extant in one group amongst the people of the Pacific islands. Both the mount and tree were modes of ascent in thought, and physical means of reaching a little higher towards heaven in making offerings to the powers. In Africa the prayer-tree is a common institution. The Yao people lay their offering of first-fruits at the root of the prayer-tree before they themselves begin to eat the new crop of maize or pumpkins. In another widespread custom the offerings were hung upon the branches of the tree. The Molucca Islanders have the typical tree of ascent to heaven. This tree stood at the place of sacrifice where the offerings were made. Thus with them, as with various other primitive races, the tree was the first natural altar and stairs that figured the way and means of ascent to heaven. The Kasia of Bengal hold the opinion that the stars are souls which once were men who climbed up to heaven by means of the tree, and were left aloft in the branches when the trunk was severed below. In the Huron version given by Brebeuf, the tree of ascent to the upper world has passed into the trunk of a tree that enables the departed to cross the water of death. Here, too, we find the guide of roads for the spirits as the dog that is both the guardian and the guide of souls. In the Choctaw rendering the tree has become a log of pine stripped of its bark—that is, a kind of slippery pole by which men cross or climb to paradise or else fall off into the chasm that awaits the wicked down below.
Then the tree type passes into the pole and staff. But the most tangible figure for mental foothold in climbing based on natural fact was the mount. In almost every land there is a mountain known as the mount by which the souls of the dead ascend to the paradise first [p.390] mapped out astronomically at the celestial pole. This in mythology is the mount of the north, the mount of the cow, of the haunch, the navel, the womb, the leg, the meskhen and other images of the birthplace on earth applied to the place of rebirth in heaven. In Borneo the native guides pointed to the summit of Mount Kina-Balu as the landing-place of the ancestral souls. They showed the meat on which the spirits fed, but did not dare to pass the night in this abode of the re-arisen dead, or rather the local likeness of the celestial mount. In the Rocky Mountains, near Denver, is the 'garden of the gods' and the mount of ascent up which the manes climb to attain the summit of life and happiness. So is it in West Java, where the mountain Gunung Danka is described as being the site of paradise, which means, here as elsewhere, that the paradisiacal mountain was the earthly local representative of the celestial mount of glory.
'The Path of the Shades,' by Basil Thomson, contains an account of the Fijian sacred mountain Nakauvandra, together with the motive for rearing it. According to local tradition, the ghosts of the dead were great disturbers of the living. They were willing to leave this earth if they could but make their way to the sacred mountain by which the heaven of rest was reached. The tribes then banded together to make a road for the ghosts to travel over on their last journey, so that they might trouble the living no more. In the year 1892 a surveyor employed to traverse the boundaries of native lands in Fiji rediscovered this most ancient Via Sacra, or pathway of the shades. He was taken by his guides along the crest of a high ridge, the watershed between the Rewa river and the eastern coast of the island of Vitilevu. Cutting a way through the undergrowth, he found that the path on which he walked was level, and was seldom more than two feet wide; that hill top was joined to hill top by a razor-edged embankment. He reflected that nature never works in straight lines with so soft a material as earth that natural banks of earth are always washed into deep depressions by the rains until they become mere rounded uneven slopes. And when his guides had cleared away a patch of the undergrowth, he came upon unmistakable proof that the embankment on which he stood was artificial. The little glens had been bridged with causeways, thirty or forty feet in height in the deepest parts, tapering to a feather-edge at the top, so as to form a winding path along the line of the hill tops that extended, so the natives said, clear to Nakauvandra, the sacred mountain, forty miles away. For a people without spades or picks, the piling of this embankment must have been a gigantic task. Every pound of earth must have been carried up laboriously in little cocoanut-leaf baskets, and paid for in daily feasts to the workers. And all to represent the road to heaven.
Whatsoever the means of ascent, the toil of climbing up to heaven was stupendous. The Mexican Mount Culhuacan, for instance, is a Hill Difficulty indeed. The upper part is formed of sand so fine that it offers no foothold for any mortal tread. This is a mode of showing, not merely saying, how hard it is to climb, and none but righteous spirits could attain the paradise upon the summit.
Naturally the staircase, as the work of human hands, is comparatively late. But it follows, as the pathway from the tomb. At [p.391] Abydos, the seat of Osiris as god in the highest is at the head of the staircase, when he was the power presiding over the pole of heaven. Thebes was another city in which the celestial staircase was imaged. As it is said in the Inscription of Queen Hatshepsut, 'Thebes is a heaven upon earth. It is the august staircase of the beginning of time. It is the Utat of the universal Lord, his heart's throne, which sustains his glories and holds within it all who accompany him,' in the circle of Osiris, who presided at the top of the steps above the pole of heaven. The mound or stairway with the seven steps was permanently figured in the seven-stepped pyramid of Saqqara as an image of the mount with steps that showed the way to heaven in the astronomical mythology. The ambition of the Babel-builders, described in the Book of Genesis, is to erect 'a tower whose top may reach to heaven.' Here the tower with seven tiers takes the place of the mount with seven steps or tree of seven branches, or the ladder, as a mode of reaching the summit of attainment.
The pillar follows the mount as a co-type of the pole, first as a pillar of wood, then as a pillar of stone, or metal, or of glass. In various legends the celestial pole is imaged as a pillar of glass or other slippery substance, which also indicates the difficulty of getting to heaven. This is the pillar by which the manes make their ascent every Sabbath day from the lower to the upper paradise; and having got a glimpse of all the glory, they slide down again into the subterranean world.
It is related in a Taoist work that once upon a time a Chinese king endeavoured to climb up to heaven by a pillar of enormous height, but it was so slippery that he always slid back again to the ground. And without doubt this slippery pillar still survives as the greasy pole of the British pastimes, which are not continued for their grossness, but because they once had a sacred significance. In this, the heaven of eternal plenty on the mount is represented by the leg of mutton at the top of the pole.
The slippery pole or pillar of glass can be paralleled in The Odyssey. 'One rock reaches with sharp peak up to the wide heaven, and a dark cloud encompasses it. No mortal man may scale it or set foot thereon, for the rock is sheer and smooth as if it were polished.'
This is not the mundane mount where mortals find their foothold, but the celestial mount, which none but spirits ever scaled in any form of the mythology. When glass began to be manufactured it would supply the material for a very perfect likeness to the aerial mount of heaven. The tower of glass would succeed the tower of brick and the mound of earth. There is a story told by Nennius in his Historia Britannium of 'Nimeth the second who came to Erin,' and who, in sailing the ocean with his thirty vessels (luni-solar month), sees a glass tower in the midst of the waters, with men on it who give no answer when they are addressed. This seems to have been because of its height. So in Taliesin's account of the glass fort of Arthur, 'three score hundreds stood upon the wall; it was hard to converse with the watchmen.' Nimeth attacks the tower, and all his thirty vessels are sunk or wrecked. [p.392] Taliesin the Bard professes to have been in the tower of glass as well as in Amenta or Hades. This juxtaposition of the tower with the netherworld shows that the dome of glass was a form of the celestial summit. There is a glass hill in the Norse folktales. The princess is only to be won by the youth who can ride up the hill of glass. The ash-lad, a male counterpart of Cinderella, is the only one who at all succeeds. At the first trial he rides a third of the way up, and the king's daughter rolls a golden apple down to him. On the second day he rides two-thirds of the way up, and wins a second golden apple. On the third day he ascends to the top of the hill, and takes the third apple from the lap of the princess. Of course he wins the daughter of the king and half the kingdom besides. In this version the glass hill is the mount of the pole. The king in these märchen is Ra in the Egyptian mythos. The princess was Hathor, goddess of love. The kingdom in two halves was the double earth. Horus wins the second half, and unites the two into one kingdom by climbing the hill of glass and winning the princess as his wife. The tree on which the golden apples grew is the tree of dawn, the tree of Hathor the princess. The hero, who is the king's son, sometimes lives as a kitchen-lad beneath the stairs; and in the mythos the staircase is a co-type with the mount or hill of glass. This shows that the stairs stand in the lower world, where the fire of old suns and moons will explain the ashes in which the cinder-girl or ash-lad proverbially sit in their poor and lowly estate when the moon and sun are in the nether earth.
One typical mode of rising to heaven was by means of a dense column of smoke! This was acted by kindling a fire on the grave of the deceased, so that the spirit might ascend as it were in a chariot of cloud. The Samoans explained that this was done to save the soul from sinking into the pit. The same type was obviously continued in the smoke of incense rising from the altar. Other illustrations might be cited to show that the ladder by which the wizard, witch, or conjurer sought to reach the land of spirits was imaged by means of something drawn out of or in some way emitted from his mouth, a mere thread, a film, a substance like gossamer, which probably represents the spirit in a filamental form, when the soul was identified with the breath or under the same name as it is in the Egyptian word nef for breath and spirit. Thus the substance drawn from the mouth of the wonderworker represented a kind of ladder as the visible mode of ascent for the soul exhibited in primitive mysteries. The mystery is still extant and still performed to a gaping crowd in the English market-place, when the conjurer, who is now an acrobat, draws from his mouth a ladder or spiral pole made of shavings, or shall we call it the cone of the pole, which was once a figure of the ascent to heaven, that was followed by the ladder and the steps, the pyramid, the Babel-tower, the minaret and spire, until its final form upon the lowermost line of descent became the pinnacle made in spiral coils of shavings proceeding upward from the conjurer's mouth by dexterous sleight of hand, as the great mount of god, the staircase of Osiris, the figure of the pole at its final vanishing point. Thus the conjurer's twist of shavings drawn from his mouth may illustrate a mode of the mysteries when it [p.393] was taught that the soul of breath came forth from the mouth as its own ladder or means of ascent to the upper world.
Another illustration of the difficulty in climbing up to heaven may be seen in the ladder formed of knives which is made use of by the Taoist jugglers in China. This is constructed of two upright bamboos, with knives or sword-blades set between, edge uppermost, for steps. The ladder was a co-type with the mount and steps of ascent. The Japanese have a mythical mountain called Kurahashi, the dark ladder. The speaker, in a passage quoted by O'Neill, says he climbs this vertical ladder by the aid of his sister. 'Steep though Kurahashi be, steep it is not when I climb it with my sister.' The sister is a goddess whom we look upon as lunar. There was also a ladder-mount near Ptolemais which is mentioned by Josephus. Certain sacred hills in England, called the 'Step Hills,' repeat the ladder of ascent to heaven. There is one near Ivinghoe (Buckinghamshire) which is evidently an artificial formation. Cader Idris is reputed to have had 365 steps from bottom to summit. The Egyptians solemnized a feast of the dead or festival of the steps, by which they celebrated the ascent of the manes from the valley of Amenta to the summit of the mount.
When bridges were built, a bridge supplied the typical means of crossing the celestial waters. The earliest figure of a bridge in heaven was probably the rainbow. This was the Norse bridge made by the gods that reached from earth to the height of heaven and down again to the earth, and was therefore a visualized way for the coming and going of souls. In the Prose Edda, Gangler asks, 'Which is the path leading from earth to heaven?' The answer of Har is, 'Hast thou not been told that the gods made a bridge from earth to heaven and called it Bifrost? But perhaps thou callest it the rainbow.' The name of Bifrost denotes the evanescent aerial bridge. The rainbow is certainly a form of the celestial bridge, though possibly the type may not have been Egyptian. It is a pathway for spirits to the Brahmanic Svarga. It is the snake-bridge that crosses the river of the dead to the dwelling beyond in a North American Indian version of the mythos. Also, the souls of Maori chieftains are supposed to mount heavenward by means of the rainbow. The Samoans called the rainbow Laa Maomao, the great step or the long step of the god. Wang-hang, or the king's bridge, is a constellation in the Chinese planisphere which is described as the bridge that spans the moat of the ruler's castle. This is crossed by kings and chieftains when they go to pay their homage to the monarch. The moat was also crossed by boat. This moat corresponds to the waterway of the Egyptians, and to the 'way which is above the earth;' in short, the galaxy on which the souls of the dead were carried in the bark of Ra. The bridge, boat, and water, together with the tree of life, and other symbols of the garden of peace, including the kissing doves, may be seen portrayed upon the ordinary willow-pattern china plate. The bridge survives in some old British ballads as the 'Brig o' Dread.' One of these is called 'a lyke-wake dirge,' in which the journey of the dead is described. In 'Lady Culross's Dream' it is 'a narrow bridge of tree' suspended over an unfathomable gulf. But, as Scott [p.394] points out, the most minute description of 'the Brig o' Dread' occurs in the legend of Sir Owain, who, after many frightful adventures in St. Patrick's purgatory Amenta, arrives at the bridge which, in the legend, is placed between purgatory and paradise.
'Lo Sir Knight, see'st thou this?
This is the Brigge of paradis.
Here over thou must go.
Whoso falleth off the Brigge adown,
For him is no redemption.'
He falls into the void of Apap, or the lake of outer darkness. The moral of the dirge is that whatsoever good works have been done on earth will be waiting at the bridge and help the deceased to cross the gulf.
The pyramid is an artificial figure of the mount as means of the ascent to heaven. And now, if we place ourselves with the mummy at the bottom of the Well, we shall see that the tubular shaft of the Great Pyramid at Giza represented the way to heaven as it was imaged to Egyptian thought. The pharaoh resting at the foot might scan not merely the starry vast, but could fix his gaze in death upon the heaven of spirits at the summit of the mount, the paradise of peace, the enclosure that was finally configurated in the circle of the seven polestars that crossed his telescope (the passage pointing northward) one by one in the circuit of precession, or the heaven of eternity. The polestar, a Draconis, was not the only one that would come within range of that great tube. The great pyramid was founded on the Egyptian astronomy, but was not built simply to register the fact that a Draconis was the fixed point and polar pivot of all the stellar motion during some 3,700 years in the vast circuit of precession. The ceilings of the pyramid chambers were sprinkled over with stars to resemble the face of the sky by night. Astronomical tables gave the aspect of the heavens tenat by tenat throughout the year. So that the manes 'had but to lift their eyes' and see in what part of the firmament the course lay night after night. Thus, lying in his sarcophagus, the dead man found his future destinies depicted thereon, and learned to understand the blessedness of the gods. The chief course was mapped out along the river of the Milky Way, as is shown in the Ritual, by the boat of souls ascending to the polar paradise. The deceased, who is about to rise again and set his legs in motion, prays that he may, 'go up to Sekhet-Aarru, and arrive in Sekhethetep.' Lying as the mummy in Amenta, he says, 'I shine above the leg as I come forth in heaven, but (here, meantime) I lie helpless with a corpse-like face. I faint. I faint before the teeth of those whose mouth raveneth in the netherworld.' The cynosure of the watcher is a point above the constellation called 'the leg' by the Egyptian astronomers. This was a constellation in the northern sky which has been identified by Renouf with the group of Cassiopeia, and which the Egyptians named the meskhen or creatory of the cow. The earliest figure of an ark in heaven, or on the waters of the Nun, was that of Horus on his papyrus-reed, who issued as the soul of life in vegetation from the abyss. As the sacred bark borne heavenward in the mysteries shows, this was a figure of the papyrus- [p.395] flower which had been the cradle of Child-Horus previous to its being imaged in the eschatology or astronomy. When the boat was built the souls of the deceased were ferried over the waters in the mythical bark which was at first stellar, next lunar, and lastly solar. There is a bark that voyaged round the pole as Ursa Minor, with seven souls or glorious ones on board, seen in the seven stars that never set, a primary type of the eternals. In another text we find a prayer for the deceased, 'that he may reach the horizon with his father the sun, in the solar bark; that his soul may rise to heaven in the disc of the moon; that his sahu (or celestial body) may shine in the stars of Orion, on the bosom of heaven.' Here are three forms of the boat of souls, one in the stellar, one in the lunar, and one in the solar representation, at three different stages of the mythos. Modern astronomy speaks of the starry vast as a revolving sphere, where the ancient wisdom called it the ship of heaven or the bark of eternity. At first the superhuman force that hauled the system round was thought of as a mighty monster swimming the celestial lake—a hippopotamus or a crocodile, or a compound of both. This was the Great Mother of the revolutions, who was constellated as the primum mobile, the goddess Apt depicted in the Great Bear as the procreant womb of life, the mother and nurse of universal life. Seven powers were born of her, and represented under different types as hippopotami, crocodiles, jackals, apes or uas-eared animals. Seven such were figured as the pullers round the pivot of the pole. When the boat was launched the seven were grouped as seven kabbirs or sailors in the Lesser Bear that made the voyage nightly, annually, and for ever round the mount. They were likewise portrayed as seven tow-men of the starry vast, and haulers of the solar boat, the bark of millions of years, the vessel that was rowed by the twelve kings or twelve great gods around the final zodiac. We learn from the solar mythos that the rope of the towers was made fast to the star Ak, which is to be identified with the pole. The tow-men say, 'The rope is with Ak.' 'Ra calls it, and the rope puts itself in its place.' Ra is then in Amenta, and the rope of the towers is fastened at the upper end to the pole. Ra says, 'Power to you, towers. Tow me to the dwelling of stable things. Free yourselves on this mysterious mountain of the horizon.' This towing upward of the solar bark is one of the great mysteries of Amenta. The 'navigators for this great god' who tow the boat are also said to take their oars and row for Ra. Ra says to them, 'Take your oars, unite yourselves to your stars.' 'O my pilots, you shall not perish, gods of the never-setting stars' (Akhemu-Seku). Thus the solar boat or ship of heaven was navigated by the gods of the non-setting stars who voyaged round about the pole; who did not sink below the horizon, but became the lords of eternity.
A Chinese constellation in the Milky Way is called 'the ship of heaven,' and the 'ship of Nu' as Egyptian is the ship of heaven by name. It is sailed over the void of the Apap-reptile or dragon of darkness, also called the lake of Putrata, into which the souls fall headlong who do not secure salvation on board the bark, and have no other means of attaining the 'tip of heaven' in the Aarru-paradise. [p.396] The ship Argo Navis, as a constellation, is a reduced form of 'the ark of heaven' which is described in the Ritual. Four parts of the ship of Nu remain in the Arabic figure of Argo Navis, viz., the 'poop,' the 'keel,' the 'mast,' and the 'sail.' In the Ritual the 'ship of Nu' is described in all its parts. 'Backbone of Apuat' is the name of the keel. Akar (in Amenta) is the name of the hold. 'Leg of Hathor' is the name of the hull. The 'two columns of the netherworld' is the name of the stem and stern posts, or masts. 'Amsta, Hapi, Tuamutef and Kabhsenuf' are the names of the ribs; 'Nut' is the name of the sail. 'Bearer of the great one whilst she passeth' is the name of the mast. 'Lord of the double earth in the shrine' is the name of the mooring-post. The foundation was laid on, or in, the backbone of Anup, which was once the type of stability as a figure of the pole, the earliest fixed foundation laid in the building of the heavens. Akar is another name for Amenta, the hollow netherworld of three, this ship being a three-decker. Amsta, Hapi, Tuamutef, and Kabhsenuf are the supports of the sky at the four corners or sides of the vessel. They are also the four oars of the vessel. The mooring-post was an image of the pole, to which the stellar ark or solar bark was fastened by the cable, as it made the voyage round the starry mount. The ship of heaven, then, is a figure of the netherworld in its hold and of the four quarters in its ribs, which are also represented as the four paddles, one at each of the cardinal points. This was constellated in the heavens as an ark that made the voyage up the Milky Way to the tip of heaven and the place of coming forth upon the mount of glory. The ship of heaven was an ark of salvation for souls. Those who did not find safety on board are described as falling headlong into the gulf of Putrata where the dragon Apap lurked to devour them. Now, in the planisphere the constellation Hydra is next to the ship Argo, and Hydra the water-snake is identical in character and position with the Apap-reptile who devoured those that fell into the void, otherwise the bottomless pit of the abyss. A knowledge of this ship and its constituent parts, together with the course of its journey through the heavens, was necessary to the initiate in making his passage to the paradise of the pole. The Osiris was not allowed to pass on board unless he could answer every question put and tell the name of every part of the vessel. The names given show that the different parts of the vessel were configurated in the stars according to the mythical types, and that the mystery was astronomical. Finally, the great bark of salvation was solar, with Horus at the outlook. The deceased prays to the god who is on board, 'O Ra, in that thy name of Ra, since thou passest through those who perish headlong: do thou keep me standing on my feet.' 'Are you coming into the bark?' says the great god Atum-Ra, with a naive familiar invitation that reminds us somewhat of the invitation 'come with us' of more recent salvationists. 'The bark advanceth. Acclamation cometh from the mount of glory and greeting from the lines of measurement.' These are the cheers with which the boat is hailed and welcomed by the inhabitants of the upper paradise. 'Lo, the lamp is lifted up in Annu' as a light by night to lead them on the way when they come to the heaven of the stars that set, and [p.397] they have to steer by the polestar as their guide of ways. While the Osiris passes over the waters to the west the khabsu gods get ready for lighting up the heavens with their starry lamps, to greet the passengers approaching in the bark with acclamations of great joy. 'All right is the Osiris; his future is in Annu,' the eternal city at the pole. The glorified deceased sails in the great bark on the stream of the god Hetep, the White Way, until he comes to the ten divisions of the circumpolar paradise. These he enters to take possession of them one by one. As an astronomical foundation, the upper paradise of all mythology upon the mount of glory was dependent on establishing the celestial pole for a fixture in the waters of surrounding space, or, as the Ritual phrases it, 'a mooring-post' for the ship of souls. Here was the rock of safety and the tree to which the sinking spirits clung for their salvation. Here the mariner says, 'I make myself fast to the block of moorage on the heavenly stream.' That is, to the pole which was figured as the final mooring-post upon the landing-stage of an eternal shore.
The Kamite paradise, as an enclosure of the water and the tree of life upon the summit of the mount, is traceable in four different forms. At first it was the primitive paradise of the Oasis in the south. Next it is the circumpolar paradise of Am-Khemen, upraised by Anhur in the north. The third one is the paradise of Atum in the garden of Amenta. The final paradise was founded on the mount of glory for the spirits of the just made perfect in the heaven of eternity. Thus there are four types of paradise. And these apparently are enumerated and described in Irish legendary lore when Cesair, 'the first woman who landed in Ireland before the Flood,' says of her great knowledge, 'Truly I am well versed in the world's history, for Inis Patmos is precisely the earth's fourth paradise, the others being (1) Inis Daleb in the world's southern, (2) Inis Escandra in its boreal part, and (3) Adam's paradise.' The fourth paradise is that in which the righteous dwell who have attained to everlasting life. In such ways relics of the astronomical mythology remain unrecognized in many scattered fragments of the ancient wisdom.
This page last updated: 26/01/2014