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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

My heart is with me, it shall not be carried off.
I am the ruler of my heart.
I live in maat.
I am Horus, pure of heart.
My heart, my mother, my heart, my mother,
. . . my existence on earth.

Ab-a ma-a, an un tjetet-f
Nuk neb abu
Ank-a em maat
Nuk Heru, ami-ab
Ab-a en mut-a sep sen
. . . una tep ta

(adapted from The Papyrus of Ani, trans. Wallis Budge)

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Last night I dreamed that someone handed me a premature baby. The roughly two-pound creature was disturbing to see, though I felt great love for it. I held it against my body to keep it warm. Then it began to speak aloud to me, expressing its concerns about me and encouraging me not to fear death, but to think, rather, about life and eternal things. One time I set it down for a moment, and it told me, I will die if you let me grow cold. When I woke, I could not shake the feeling of the baby’s presence, and then it came to me that the premature infant was my inner self. I don’t know how I know this, but I do.

For the ancient Egyptian, the heart was the center of life in the body, intrinsic to personal identity, essential to ankh, or eternal life. The writer of The Papyrus of Ani calls out to his heart to stand in witness to his integrity and worth. The heart knows its own better than any other entity, be it ba, ka or neter (deity).

Ab-a en mut-a! My heart, my mother! When all other layers of defense and separation to protect us from the world fall away, there is only our heart, the mother of our existence. Stripped of all else, we cry out to our heart as to a mother to shield us, to assure we are able to walk safely through the world.

b2ap3_thumbnail_red-tailed-hawk-i.jpgWhen we learn to let our heart lead, then we are strong like the shining golden hawk-god who soars above the earth on wings of maat, with the vision of Ra’s burning eye. Then we may say, Nuk Heru, ami-ab, I am Horus, pure of heart.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

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Most of us who find spiritual roots and sources in ancient Egypt are sorely aggrieved by the damage being done to ancient sites, relics and museums during this time of political turmoil.  Osireion joined groups around the country (world?) a few weeks ago to magically cool the region down.  We drew a map of Egypt on papyrus and embellished it with hieroglyphs for peace and other related ideas.  We poured over it cool rose-scented water and it now resides in a block of ice in my freezer.

But so much damage has already been done.  Recently, I dared to think that perhaps some good did come, after all, out of the 19th and early 20th centuries pillaging of Egyptian artifacts for European and American museums and private collections.  And yet, now those collections may be the safest place for this priceless cultural heritage.  So many people who invested heavily in -name-inscribed sarcophagi, stelae, and tombs, were forgotten for hundreds of years until Egyptology descended in a frenzy of Egyptophilia.  Now every good amateur Egyptologist knows the names of Khaemwaset or Tuya or even Tutankhamen (a king most didn't believe existed until Howard Carter's discovery).  Perhaps this is how their magic is working itself out in our time.

Meanwhile, I'm relieved that things are actually quieter in modern Egypt for the moment. The focus has turned to Syria, another cradle of our spiritual traditions.  May Maat soon return balance to the good people of every land, and may Set thwart the isfet, the chaos, being sown by those whose minds are clouded by anger and fear.

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  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    So Mote It Be.

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_unasbc2_20130906-021346_1.pngThe oldest religious texts in the world, the Pyramid Texts, are found in the Old Kingdom Pyramid of Unas; they are dated to perhaps 2400 BCE, though they surely were in use for long before that.  The sophisticated cosmology and deeply-layered poetry must have been in development and then use for many generations before it was recorded in the tomb of the 5th Dynasty king.

Though I have read two different English translations several times, I still feel that I've wandered into a magical cave when I read PT passages.  Ritual voices seem to whisper all around me.  I can almost smell the incense, smell the roasted bull and guttering oil lamps and floral garlands that are being laid on the sarcophagus before it is sealed for eternity. 

The Book of Going Forth By Day (Book of the Dead) and Coffin Texts gained great popularity in later centuries, but the Pyramid Texts were solely for the use of the king upon his or her death (yes, there were at least two other female rulers, in addition to Hatshepsut).  In new Egyptian spirituality, we identify with the ruler's journey of transformation, taking on the role of the pharaoh as s/he becomes first an Osiris, then Ra, then an imperishable star.

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