Out of the deeps rises the mysterious lotus. Stop in for refreshment, heka, and reflections from the sacred waters of ancient Egypt.
Voice of the Pyramid
The 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.
My seat is with you, O Ra, and I will not give it to anyone else; I will ascend to the sky, for my face is that of falcons . . . Wepwawet [Opener of the Ways] has caused me to fly up to the sky among my brethren the gods . . . (302)
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