Legends of Egypt


See Egyptian Mythology

The many national and local gods, the multitude of their names and epithets, the diversity of their roles, emblems, and animal mascots at first cast the gods of Egypt as an unfathomable crowd of actors upon a strange stage. But a closer look reveals that they were essentially no different from those of the other lands of the ancient world. Although the Egyptians counted by the decimal system, their religious affairs were governed by the Sumerian sexagesimal sixty, and celestial matters were subject to the divine number twelve. The heavens were divided into three parts, each comprising twelve celestial bodies. The afterworld was divided into twelve parts. Day and night were each divided into twelve hours. And all these divisions were paralleled by "companies" of gods, which in turn consisted of twelve gods each. (The 12th Planet)

The head of the Egyptian pantheon was Ra ("creator"), who presided over an Assembly of the Gods that numbered twelve. He performed his wondrous works of creation in primeval times, bringing forth Geb ("Earth") and Nut ("sky"). Then he caused the plants to grow on Earth, and the creeping creatures--and, finally, Man. Ra was an unseen celestial god who manifested himself only periodically. His manifestation was the Aten--the Celestial Disc, depicted as a Winged Globe. The appearance and activities of Ra on Earth were, according to Egyptian tradition, directly connected with kingship in Egypt. According to that tradition, the first rulers of Egypt were not men but gods, and the first god to rule over Egypt was Ra. He then divided the kingdom, giving Lower Egypt to his son Osiris and Upper Egypt to his son Seth. But Seth schemed to overthrow Osiris and eventually had Osiris drowned. Isis, the sister and wife of Osiris, retrieved the mutilated body of Osiris and resurrected him. Thereafter, he went through "the secret gates" and joined Ra in his celestial path; his place on the throne of Egypt was taken over by his son Horus, who was sometimes depicted as a winged and horned deity. (left) (The 12th Planet)

Though Ra was the loftiest in the heavens, upon Earth he was the son of the god Ptah ("developer," "one who fashioned things"). The Egyptians believed that Ptah actually raised the land of Egypt from under floodwaters by building dike works at the point where the Nile rises. This Great God, they said, had come to Egypt from elsewhere; he established not only Egypt but also "the mountain land and the far foreign land." Indeed, the Egyptians acknowledged, all their "olden gods" had come by boat from the south; and many prehistoric rock drawings have been found that show these olden gods... The earlier notion that civilization may have begun in Egypt has been discarded by now. There is ample evidence now showing that the Egyptian-organized society and civilization, which began half a millennium and more after the Sumerian one, drew its culture, architecture, technology, art of writing, and many other aspects of a high civilization from Sumer. The weight of evidence also shows that the gods of Egypt originated in Sumer. (The 12th Planet)

Religion is the centre and core of a civilisation. In both Egypt and America the chief gods were the sun-god, the moon-god, a subsidiary rain-god and there was a bird in association, a condor in Peru, the Quetzal in Mexico, the Horus in Egypt. In both regions the insignia of the priest-king was a serpent on the brow. (The God-Kings & the Titans)

Thoth was credited with the invention of writing, arithmetic, architecture, surveying, geometry, astronomy, medicine, and surgery. According to the Egyptian Book of the Dead, he possessed all secret knowledge on 36,535 scrolls (maybe computer disks) in a vault (maybe a spaceship) in the sky. (The God-Kings & the Titans)

When number symbolism is applied to Egyptian myth, it becomes clear that Egyptian stories and myths are based upon an understanding of number and not upon animism. It is a philosophy, but not in our sense of the term. There exists no explanatory text. Nevertheless, it is systematic, self-consistent, and organized on principles that can be expressed in a philosophical way. (Before the Pharaohs)

Some scholars believe that the texts referring to seshu hor on the walls of the Temple of Horus at Edfu, forty miles north of Aswan, refer to an advanced people who entered Khemit in prehistoric times and brought knowledge and civilization. R. A. Schwaller de Lubicz agrees with Wallis Budge in translating the term seshu hor to mean "followers of Horus" and he does interpret it as a record of prehistoric rulers. Everyone from Atlanteans to extraterrestrials have been believed to be the progenitors of the Egyptian civilization. However, the ancient tradition has a more down-to-earth interpretation. The people came into full consciousness by themselves, according to preordained cosmic cycles. Hor (or Horus) was the realized human male. Prior to the concept of kingship in Egypt, Hor was used as the term for the male who had achieved a flowering of the senses, a degree of enlightenment. This "flowering" was significant at that time because the society was organized matrilineally, with the female choosing the male who would be her consort. It can be reasonably assumed that the realized male would have been the most desirable mate, and that this played a significant part in the advancement of the Egyptian civilization. (Before the Pharaohs)

Both the Egyptians and the Maya chose a winged circle to symbolize the divine in man. In hieroglyphic inscriptions, on the royal cartouches, and on the entranceways of temples, the winged circle appears throughout Egyptian architecture. In Egypt it was originally a pair of falcon wings symbolizing the ethereal, but during the fifth dynasty two serpents and a sun disk were inserted between the wings, representing Horus of Behdet. Although the artistic depiction of the winged circle is slightly different for the ancient Maya and Egyptians, the underlying principles and meaning as well as its representation in art are nearly identical. (Before the Pharaohs)

The gods developed the first domesticated crops and livestock, i.e., domesticated them and made them available to humans. The myth states, "Vegetation that luxuriates they multiplied in the land. Four-legged animals they artfully brought into existence." The Anunnaki then taught humans the tilling of land and the keeping of sheep for the Anunnaki. (Gods, Genes, and Consciousness)

Osiris has come forth this day at the head of the full flood. Osiris is the crocodile with the flourishing green plume, with head erect, his breast lifted. …Osiris makes green and fertile the fields in both lands of the horizon…Osiris eats with his mouth, Osiris urinates; Osiris copulates with his phallus. Osiris is lord of semen which women seize from their husbands, wherever Osiris wishes, according as his heart conceives. (Gods of the Cataclysm)

According to the remarkable Edfu Building Texts, these Seven Sages and other gods came originally from an island, 'the Homeland of the Primeval Ones', said to have been destroyed suddenly in a great flood during which the majority of its 'divine inhabitants' were drowned. Arriving in Egypt, those few who survived became 'the Builder Gods, who fashioned in the primaeval time, the Lords of Light...the Ghosts, the Ancestors...who raised the seed for gods and men... (Underworld)

There exists an ancient body of writings, compiled in Greek in the Egyptian city of Alexandria in the early centuries of the Christian era, in which sky-ground dualisms form a predominant theme, linked in numerous convoluted ways to the issue of the resurrection and immortality of the soul. These writings, the 'Hermetic Texts', were believed to have been the work of the ancient Egyptian wisdom god Thoth (known to the Greeks as Hermes), who in one representative passage makes the following remarks to his disciple Asclepius: 'Do you not know, Asclepius, that Egypt is an image of heaven? Or, so to speak more exactly, in Egypt all the operations of powers which rule and work in heaven have been transferred down to earth below?' The purpose to which these powers were harnessed, in the Hermetic view, was to facilitate the initiate's quest for immortality. (Keeper of Genesis)

Curiously, precisely such a quest for precisely such a goal - 'a life of millions of years' - is spelled out in ancient Egyptian funerary texts which supposedly pre-date the Hermetic writings by thousands of years. In one of these texts, Skat Ent Am Duat - the Book of What is in the Duat - we find what appears to be an explicit instruction to the initiate to build a replica on the ground of a special area of the sky known as the 'hidden circle of the Duat': 'Whosoever shall make an exact copy of these forms...and shall know it, shall be a spirit and well equipped both in heaven and earth, unfailingly, and regularly and eternally.' (Keeper of Genesis)

...[the so-called 'Pyramid Texts' of ancient Egypt] take the form of extensive funerary and rebirth inscriptions carved on the tomb walls of certain Fifth- and Sixth-Dynasty pyramids at Saqqara, about ten miles south of Giza. Egyptologists agree that much if not all of the content of the inscriptions predates the Pyramid Age. It is thus unsettling to discover in these ancient scriptures, supposedly the work of neolithic farmers "who had hardly even begun to master copper, that there are abundant references to iron. The name given to it is B'ja - 'the divine metal' - and we always encounter it in distinctive contexts related in one way or another to astronomy, to the stars and to the gods." Iron is also mentioned in the texts as being necessary for the construction of a bizarre instrument called a Meshtyw. Very much resembling a carpenter's adze or cutting tool, this was a ceremonial device which was used to 'strike open the mouth' of the deceased Pharaoh's mummified and embalmed corpse - an indispensable ritual if the Pharaoh's soul were to be re-awakened to eternal life amidst the cycles of the stars. (Keeper of Genesis)

...the logic of all these shafts, and of the ground-plan and symbolism of the Pyramids and the Sphinx, appear to be connected to certain very powerful religious and cosmological ideas set out in ancient Egyptian funerary and rebirth texts and in the so-called 'Hermetic' writings. These express the philosophy 'as above, so below' and advocate the drawing down to earth of cosmic powers as an essential step in Mankind's quest for knowledge of the divine and immortality of the soul: 'And I, said Hermes, will make Mankind intelligent, I will confer wisdom on them, and make known to them the truth. I will never cease to benefit thereby the life of mortal men; and then will I benefit each one of them, when the force of nature working in him is in accord with the movement of the stars above.' (Keeper of Genesis)

The world view of the ancient Egyptians, which they appear to have inherited intact and fully formed at the very beginning of their historical civilization some 5000 years ago, was profoundly dualistic and cosmological. The foundation of Pharaonic theocracy, the unification of the 'Two Lands' of Upper and Lower Egypt into one kingdom, the notions that they had of their own past and ancestry, their laws and calendrical measures, the architecture of their temples and pyramid complexes, and even the land of Egypt itself and the Nile - all these were cosmological concepts to them. Indeed, they saw their cosmic environment (the sky, the Milky Way, the sun and the stars, the moon and the planets, and all their cycles) as being bound together in perfect duality with their earthly environment (their land and the Nile, their living king and his ancestors, and the cycles of the seasons and epochs). (Keeper of Genesis)

In the earliest religious writings that have survived from ancient Egypt a powerful symbolic terminology is used to describe the cosmic 'world of the dead' and its features. This world is referred to as the Duat - a concept that is routinely translated by modern Egyptologists as 'the Underworld' (or sometimes as the 'Netherworld'). In the Pyramid Texts, however, the Duat is clearly a location in the starry sky...(Keeper of Genesis)

In the epoch of 2500 BC - the 'Pyramid l' Age' - the Duat was observed and considered to be active only at the time of the summer solstice when the stars of Orion and Sirius rose heliacally. (i.e. just ahead of the sun) at dawn. The Duat, in other words, was considered by the ancient Egyptians to be active only at the time of the summer solstice when Orion and Sirius rose heliacally and not, as Hassan suggests, throughout the year. One of the most salient features of the Duat, as it is described in the ancient Egyptian texts, is its relationship to a great cosmic 'river' called the 'Winding Waterway'. Several studies have confirmed beyond any serious doubt that the 'Winding Waterway' was the magical band of light meandering across the sky that we know as the 'Milky Way'. It is also evident that the ancient priest-astronomers who compiled the Pyramid Texts identified the terrestrial counterpart of this 'Winding Waterway' in the sky as the River Nile and its yearly flood, the 'Great Inundation', which also happened to coincide with the summer solstice...(Keeper of Genesis)

In their most profound and beautiful religious texts, as we...the ancient Egyptians spoke of 'the time of the gods', Zep Tepi (literally the 'First Time') with the unshakeable conviction that there had indeed been such an epoch. In other words, they believed that Zep Tepi had been an actual, historical event. In line with their prevailing dualism they also believed that it had been projected and 'recorded' in the catalogue of the starry sky. Indeed it was a story that was reenacted endlessly in the cosmic setting by the cyclical displays of the celestial orbs and the constellations. What they had in mind, in other words, was a kind of cosmic 'passion play', expressed in the language of allegorical astronomy, in which each main character was identified with a specific celestial body. Re was the sun, Osiris was Orion, Isis was the star Sirius, Thoth was the moon - and so on and so forth. Nor was the drama only confined to the celestial realms; on the contrary, as one might expect in dualistic ancient Egypt, it was also re-enacted on the ground, amidst the cosmic ambiance of the astronomical Pyramids of Giza, where the events of the 'First Time' were commemorated for millennia in secret rituals and liturgies. (Keeper of Genesis)

Anything whose existence or authority had to be justified or explained must be referred to the 'First Time'. This was true for natural phenomena, rituals, royal insignia, the plans of temples, magical or medical formulae, the hieroglyphic system of writing, the calendar - the whole paraphernalia of the civilization... Indeed it was their emphatic belief that the huge triangular region just south of the apex of the Nile Delta encompassing Heliopolis, Memphis and Giza was the actual geographical location of the events of the 'First Time' - a real 'Garden of Eden', in short, with real geographical features and places. It was here, amidst this sacred landscape, that the gods of the 'First Time' were said in the texts to have established their earthly kingdom. (Keeper of Genesis)

And what was the cultural character of that Kingdom?...all that was good or efficacious was established on the principles laid down in the 'First Time' - which was, therefore, a golden age of absolute perfection - 'before rage or clamour or strife or uproar had come about'. No death, disease or disaster occurred in this blissful epoch, known variously as 'the time of Re', 'the time of Osiris' , or 'the time of Horus'...(Keeper of Genesis)

Osiris they remembered in particular for having been the first to sit on the throne of this divine Kingdom, which he ruled jointly with his consort Isis. The golden age of plenty over which the royal couple presided (during which agriculture and animal husbandry were taught to humans and laws and religious doctrines were set for them) was however brought to an abrupt and violent halt when Osiris was murdered by his brother, Seth. Left without child, Isis brought the dead Osiris back to life for long enough to receive his seed. As a result of this union she, in due course, gave birth to Horus whose destiny it was to wrangle back the 'kingdom of Osiris' from the clutches of his evil uncle Seth. ...after a great quarrel between Horus and Seth (in which Horus lost an eye and Seth a testicle) Geb, the earth-god (the father of Osiris and Isis), summoned the Great Council of the Gods - the nine­ member 'Ennead' of Heliopolis - and with them passed judgement between Horus and Seth: Geb, lord of the gods, commanded the Nine Gods to gather to him. He judged between Horus and Seth; he ended their quarrel. He made Seth king of Upper Egypt, up to the place in which he was born, which is Su. And Geb made Horus king of Lower Egypt, up to the place in which his father [Osiris] was drowned which is 'Division-of-the­ Two-Lands', Thus Horus stood over one region, and Seth stood over one region. They made peace over the Two Lands at Ayan. That was the division of the Two Lands...(Keeper of Genesis)

Let us note in passing that Ayan is not a mythical place but was an actual, physical location in ancient Egypt immediately to the north of Memphis, the Early Dynastic capital city. The judgement that was made here was later changed, as the Shabaka Texts go on to tell us: Then it seemed wrong to Geb that the portion of Horus was like the portion of Seth. So Geb gave to Horus his [Seth's] inheritance, for he [Horus] is the son of his first born [Osiris]... Even a casual review of the religious texts of the ancient Egyptians leaves no doubt that they regarded their earthly environment as a sacred landscape which they had inherited from the gods. It was their absolute conviction that in the remote golden age called the 'First Time' Osiris had established a sort of 'cosmic kingdom' in the Memphite region which had been passed on to his son Horus and thence through him, down the cycles of the epochs, to subsequent generations of human 'Horns-Kings' - i.e. to the living Pharaohs of Egypt. (Keeper of Genesis)

...Atum, the primordial creator god, was regarded by the ancient Egyptians as being primarily leonine or sphinx-like in form. ...one of the most enduring of the many titles by which the Sphinx was known to the ancient Egyptians was Sheshep-ankh Atum (literally 'living image of Atum')" - so we need be in little doubt about this identification. ...in prehistoric times a primordial god, Atum, whose form was the lion or the Sphinx, was worshipped by the Heliopolitan priests; then, in the Pyramid Age, Atum was 'coalesced' with Re, whose form was the sun's disc, and finally with Hawk-headed Horakhti - Horus-of-the-Horizon ­ symbolizing the Horus-King. There is one other thing about Hor-em-Akhet and Horakhti, however, that we need to take account of first. The names of these curiously composite and syncretized lion-hawk-solar deities were both frequently, directly and interchangeably applied to the Great Sphinx at Giza. (Keeper of Genesis)

So, to summarize, far from being 'mumbo-jumbo', the Pyramid Texts go to great lengths to make it clear that during the epoch of their compilation, circa 2500 BC, the rising of Horakhti at dawn coincided with the summer solstice, and with the season of the inundation, at the moment when the Duat - the celestial Kingdom of Osiris-Orion ­ occupied the eastern portion of the sky. We can also deduce from the texts that Re, i.e. the sun's disc, was seen somehow to merge or to unite - or 'coalesce' - with Horakhti at the same time. This is made amply clear by the following reading: 'Re has taken me to himself to the eastern side of the sky as this Horus, as the "Dweller in the Duat".' (Keeper of Genesis)

The whole force, the impetus and the very raison d'etre of the Pharaonic state was to provide all the required ceremonial settings that would enable the Horns-King to undertake a sort of supernatural quest - a journey back in time into the earthly and cosmic realms of his 'father' Osiris. Indeed this was the supreme quest in a Pharaoh's lifetime and at its end lay the ultimate Holy Grail in the form of the astral body of Osiris which the king could encounter only after overcoming many dangers, difficulties and ordeals and after passing through many miracles and terrors. Once in the presence of Osiris the questor would beseech him to 'rise again' and bestow immortality not only on himself, but on the whole land of Egypt. This great ritual had to be performed by each successive Horus­ King, (perhaps even each year) at a specific time preluding the 'rising of Orion'...'The king was the mediator between the community and the source of divine power, obtaining it through the ritual and regularizing it through his government. In Egypt there were two sources of power - in the sky and in the tomb with the ancestors. The first location made the king the child of the Sun God; the second location made him Horus, the son of Osiris...'(Keeper of Genesis)

The great 'journeys' of Horus thus took place both in the sky and on the ground and ran, as it were, in parallel. This is how the drama seems to have been conceived: 1 In the sky the Horus-King was the 'son of the Sun' and had to follow the path of the sun disc, cross the 'cosmic river' on the Solar-bark and reach the Gateway that lead into the sky-Duat of his 'father Osiris' in the eastern horizon. He then had to travel on one of the 'roads' to Rostau, the centre of the Duat, where (then and now) are to be found the three stars of Orion's belt. 2 On the ground the Horus-King was the bodily 'son of Osiris' and had to follow the earthly path, cross the Nile on the solar boat and reach the Gateway (the great Sphinx) that led into the earth­ Duat of his 'father Osiris' in the western 'horizon', i.e. the necropolis of Giza. He then had to travel on one of the 'roads' to Rostau, the centre of the Duat, where (then and now) are to be found the three great Pyramids of Giza. In both these 'journeys' the Horus-King somehow had to be able to pass through a sort of 'time gateway' which permitted him to enter the twofold Duat realms of Osiris - i.e. Rostau-Giza - as they were remembered from the mythical golden age of the gods... (Keeper of Genesis)

...the whole emphasis of the ancient Egyptian rebirth cult was on the seventy days of 'invisibility' which Sirius, the star of Isis, endured each year. These seventy days were seen as a cosmic preparation for astral rebirth and, not surprisingly, they were matched to the period of embalming in the mummification rituals of the dead. (Keeper of Genesis)

'The Egyptians believed that in the beginning their land was ruled by a dynasty of great gods, of whom Horus, the son of Isis and Osiris, was the last. He was succeeded by a dynasty of semi-divine beings known as the "followers of Horus", who, in turn, gave place to the historical kings of Egypt.' (Selim Hassan, The Sphinx, Cairo, 1949) (Keeper of Genesis)

We Greeks are in reality children compared with this people with traditions ten times older. And as nothing of precious remembrance of the past would long survive in our country, Egypt has recorded and kept eternally the wisdom of the old times. The walls of its temples are covered with inscriptions and the priests have always under their own eyes that divine heritage...The generations continue to transmit to successive generations these sacred things unchanged: songs, dances, rhythms, rituals, music, paintings, all coming from time immemorial when gods governed the earth in the dawn of civilization. ...our objective here, as Plato prompts, is to take a look at the 'walls of temples' - specifically at the so-called 'Building Texts' (circa 200 BC) inscribed on the walls of the Temple of Edfu that stands in Upper Egypt midway between Luxor and Aswan. These texts, which contain a series of extraordinary references to the 'First Time', are accepted by scholars as the only surviving fragments of a much more ancient, much larger, and much more coherent body of cosmogonical literature - now long lost - that once incorporated a complete 'mythical history' of Egypt, of its gods and of the temples built to honour them," In the texts, the 'Followers of Horus' are equated and merged with other 'mythical' beings, sometimes seemingly divine, sometimes human, who are always portrayed as the bringers and preservers of knowledge down the ages - as an elite brotherhood dedicated to the transmission of wisdom and to the quest for resurrection and rebirth...(Keeper of Genesis)

A closer look, however, as E. A. E Reymond of Manchester University has demonstrated, reveals a subtext which hints: at the existence of certain mythological events...where the foundation, building and bringing to life of the historical temple [of Edfu) is interpreted as happening in a mythical age. The historical temple is interpreted as the work of the gods themselves, and as an entity of a mythical nature. This...seems to indicate a belief in a historical temple that was a direct continuation, projection, and reflexion of a mythical temple that came into existence at the beginning of the world...(Keeper of Genesis)

The 'Sages' referred to in the Edfu Building Texts were seven in number. Their special role was as 'the only divine beings who knew how the temples and sacred places were to be created'. And it was they who initiated construction work at the Great Primeval Mound. This work, in which Thoth also participated, involved the setting out and erection of the original 'mythical' temple of the 'First Time'. Also constructed under the direction of the 'Seven Sages' was an edifice specified as hwt-ntr, 'the mansion of the god': '"Speedy of construction", men called it by name. The sanctuary is within it, "Great Seat" by name, and all its chapels are according to the norm.' (Keeper of Genesis)

In our opinion, however, there is something notable about the context in which the Texts describe the Sages. This context is marked by a preponderance of 'Flood' imagery in which the 'primeval waters' (out of which the Great Primeval Mound emerged) are depicted as gradually receding. We are reminded of Noah's mountain-top on which the Ark settled after the Biblical Deluge, and of the 'Seven Sages' (Apkallu) of ancient Babylonian tradition who were said to have 'lived before the Flood' and to have built the walls of the sacred city of Uruk.Likewise is it an accident that in Indian tradition 'Seven Sages' (Rishis) are remembered to have survived the Flood, their purpose being to preserve and pass down to future generations the wisdom of the antedeIuvian world? In all cases the Sages appear as the enlightened survivors of a cataclysm that wiped the earth clean, who then set about making a fresh start at the dawn of a new age - which, in ancient Egypt, was referred to as the 'First Time'. As Reymond confirms in her masterly study of the Edfu Texts: the first era known by our principal sources was a period which started from what existed in the past. The general tone of the record seems to convey the view that an ancient world, after having been constituted, was destroyed, and as a dead world it came to be the basis of a new period of creation which at first was the re-creation and resurrection of what once had existed in the past. (Keeper of Genesis)

According to the Edfu Texts the Seven Sages and the other gods came originally from an island, the 'Homeland of the Primeval Ones'...the texts are adamant that the agency that destroyed this island was a flood. They also tell us that it came to its end suddenly and that the majority of its 'divine inhabitants' were drowned. Arriving in Egypt, those few who survived then became 'the Builder Gods, who fashioned in the primeval time, the Lords of Light the Ghosts, the Ancestors...who raised the seed for gods and men, the Senior Ones who came into being at the beginning, who illumined this land when they came forth unitedly...'(Keeper of Genesis)

It was not believed that these remarkable beings were immortal. On the contrary, after they had completed their tasks they died and their children took their places and performed funerary rites on their behalf. In this way, just like the 'Followers of Horus', the generations of the 'Builder Gods', or 'Sages', or 'Ghosts' or 'Lords of Light' described in the Edfu Texts could constantly renew themselves - thus passing down to the future traditions and wisdoms stemming from a previous epoch of the earth. Indeed, the similarities between the 'Senior Ones' of Edfu and the Shemsu Hor of Heliopolitan tradition are so marked it is hard to escape the conclusion that both epithets, and the numerous others that exist, are all descriptions of the same shadowy brotherhood. (Keeper of Genesis)

This impression is strengthened by the constant references in the Edfu Texts to the 'wisdom of the Sages' (wisdom being one of the defining characteristics of the 'Followers of Horus') and the repeated emphasis that their special gift was knowledge - including, but not limited to, the knowledge of architecture. Likewise it is noteworthy that the Sages are said to have specified the plans and designs that were to be used for all future temples - a role frequently accorded in other contexts to the 'Followers of Horus'. (Keeper of Genesis)

In Heliopolitan theology, all these processes were grouped together, summarized and expressed in a single image - the Bennu bird, the legendary Phoenix which at certain widely separated intervals 'fashioned a nest of aromatic boughs and spices, set it on fire and was consumed in the flames. From the pyre miraculously sprang a new phoenix, which, after embalming its father's ashes in an egg of myrrh, flew with the ashes to Heliopolis where it deposited them in the altar of the Egyptian sun-god, Re. A variant of the story made the dying phoenix fly to Heliopolis and immolate itself in the altar fire, from which the young phoenix then rose...The Egyptians associated the phoenix with immortality.' (Keeper of Genesis)

It is generally accepted that the term 'Soul' - Ba - as used by the ancient Egyptians had stellar attributes connected to the notion of eternal life in the Duat to which all the historical Pharaohs aspired. Moreover, as Frankfort rightly points out, the Pyramid Texts do indeed define the dominant role of the 'Souls' of Pe and Nekhen - and thus the 'Souls' of Heliopolis - as being to ensure that when a Pharaoh died he would be 'equipped' to ascend to the sky and find his way into the cosmic Kingdom of Osiris.This in turn coincides with what we know of the Sages of Edfu and the 'Followers of Horus', both of whom, as we have seen, may be identified with a single and originally Heliopolitan 'brotherhood' of temple-makers whose function was to prepare and initiate the generations of the Horus-Kings in order to bring about the 'resurrection' of what was remembered as 'the former world of the gods'. (Keeper of Genesis)

Manetho wrote his now lost History of Egypt which later commentators tell us was divided up into three volumes dealing, respectively, with 'the Gods, the Demigods, the Spirits of the Dead and the mortal Kings who ruled Egypt'. The 'Gods' it seems, ruled for 13,900 years. After them 'the Demigods and Spirits of the Dead' - epithets for the 'Followers of Horus' - ruled for a further 11,025 years." Then began the reign of the mortal kings, which Manetho divided into the thirty-one dynasties still used and accepted by scholars today. And in a number of sources Manetho is said to have given the figure of 36,525 years for the entire duration of the civilization of Egypt from the time of the gods down to the end of the last dynasty of mortal kings. (Keeper of Genesis)

A rather different total of around 23,000 years has been handed down to us by the Greek historian Diodorus Siculus who visited Egypt in the first century BC and spoke there with priests and chroniclers. According to the stories he was told: 'At first Gods and Heroes ruled Egypt for a little less than 18,000 years...Mortals have been kings of their country, they say, for a little less than 5000 years.' (Keeper of Genesis)

So when we read in the Pyramid Texts that the 'Followers of Horus' are urging the Hours-King to travel from Taurus to Leo it is possible that they must have had in mind something rather complex and clever. It is possible, in other words, that as well as offering the sun's annual path through the constellations as a kind of 'treasure trail' for the initiate to follow on hi9s way to the breast of the Sphinx, they may also have offered him knowlege of his slow reverse motion at the vernal equinox - perhaps as his cue to embark on a different kind of journey, against the flow of precession and back to the 'First time'. (Keeper of Genesis)

The Utterances conventionally numbered 471, 472 and 473 in the ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts contain information of an extraordinary nature: I am the essence of a god, the son of a god, the messenger of a god, [says the Horus-King]. The Followers of Horus cleanse me, they bathe me, they dry me, they recite for me the Spell [formula] for Him who is on the Right Way, they recite for me the Spell of Him who Ascends, and I ascend to the sky. I will go aboard this Bark of Re [the Solar Bark] ... Every god will rejoice at meeting me as they rejoice at meeting Re [the sun) when he ascends from the eastern side of the sky in peace, in peace. The sky quivers, the earth quakes before me, for I am a magician, I possess magic...I have come that I may glorify Orion, that I may set Osiris at the head, that I may set the gods upon their thrones. (Keeper of Genesis)

O Mahaf, Bull of the gods [Taurus-Hyades], bring me this [solar bark] and set me on yonder side...The reed-floats of the sky are set down for me by the day-bark that I [the solar Horus-King) may go up on them to Re at the Horizon. The reed floats of the sky are brought down to me by the night bark that I may go up on them to Horakhti at the horizon. I go up on the eastern side of the sky where the gods are born, and I am born as Horus, as Him of the Horizon...I have found the Akhus with their mouths equipped... 'Who are you?' say they [the Akhus], with their mouths equipped. 'I am an Akhu with my mouth equipped.' 'How has this happened to you,' say they, the Akhus with their mouths equipped, 'that you have come to this place more noble than any place?' 'I have come to this place more noble than any place because: The reed-floats of the sky were set down for Re [the sun disc and the emblem of the Horus-King] that Re might cross [the Milky Way) on them to Horakhti at the Horizon...(Keeper of Genesis)

I am postulating the creation of specific myths to deal with distressing alterations in the sky, followed by an artificial duality, or symmetry, imposed, not just on the deities, but on geographical centres of worship, and this duality remained a constant in Egyptian affairs throughout its history. It was harking back to a wonderful Golden Age, now lost, an age when the skies had had a magnificent balance, and the religion had been fresh and new... The Golden Age to which Sellers is referring is, of course, Zep Tepi, the 'First Time'. And the 'distressing alterations in the sky' which she believes that certain myths were created to explain were caused by the phenomenon of precession - specifically the precessional drift of the great constellation of Orion away from the station that it had occupied at the 'First Time'. We suspect that the phrase to 'go down to any sky' suggests an awareness - and recording - of precessionally induced changes in the positions of the stars over long periods of time. And we also note its implication that if the chosen initiate was equipped with the correct numerical spell then he would be able to work out - and visualize - the correct positions of the stars in any epoch of his choosing, past or future. (Keeper of Genesis)

Once again Sellers stands out amongst Egyptologists for being the first to have entertained such apparently outlandish notions. 'It is possible', she writes, 'that early man encoded in his myths special numbers; numbers that seemed to reveal to initiates an amazing knowledge of the movement of the celestial spheres.' Such numbers, she argues, appear to have been derived from a sustained, scientific study of the cycle of precession and a measurement of its rate and, puzzlingly, turn out to be extremely 'close to the calculations made with today's sophisticated procedures'. Intriguingly, too, there is evidence not only 'that these calculations were made and conclusions drawn', but also that 'they were transmitted to others by secret encoding that was accessible only to an elite few': In short, Sellers concludes, 'ancient man calculated a special number that he believed would bring this threatening cycle [of precession] back to its starting point...' The 'special number' to which Sellers is referring to is 25,920 (and multiples and divisions of it) and thus represents the duration, in solar years, of a full precessional cycle or 'Great Year'. She shows how it can be derived from a variety of simple combinations of other numbers - 5,12,36,72,360,432,2160, etc., etc. - all of which are in turn derived from precise observations of precession. Most crucially of all, she shows that this peculiar sequence of numbers occurs in the ancient Egyptian myth of Osiris where, notably '72 consipirators' are said to have been involved with Seth in the murder of the God-King." (Keeper of Genesis)

In our own epoch, circa AD 2000, the vernal point is poised to enter the sign or 'Age' of Aquarius. For a little over 2000 years it has been passing through Pisces (160 BC to AD 2000) and before that it was in Aries (2320 DC to 160 DC). In the Pyramid Age the vernal point slowly swept through Taurus (4480 BC to 2320 BC). Going further back we reach the 'Ages' of Gemini (6640 BC to 4480 BC) and then Cancer (8800 BC to 6640 BC). After six 'Great Months' we reach the Age of Leo (10,960 BC to 8800 DC). (Keeper of Genesis)

'I stand before the masters who witnessed the genesis, who were the authors of their own forms, who walked the dark, circuitous passages of their own becoming...I stand before the masters who witnessed the transformation of the body of a man into the body in spirit, who were witnesses to resurrection when the corpse of Osiris entered the mountain and the soul of Osiris walked out shining...when he came forth from death, a shining thing, his face white with heat...I stand before the masters who know the histories of the dead, who decide which tales to hear again, who judge the books of lives as either full or empty, who are themselves authors of truth. And they are Isis and Osiris, the divine intelligences. And when the story is written and the end is good and the soul of a man is perfected, with a shout they lift him into heaven...' [Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead] (Keeper of Genesis)

We are therefore reminded of a Hermetic Text written in Greek but compiled in Alexandria in Egypt some 2000 years ago, that is known as the Kore Kosmu (or Virgin of the World). Like other such writings, this text speaks of Thoth, the ancient Egyptian wisdom-god, but refers to him by his Greek name, Hennes: Such was all-knowing Hennes, who saw all things, and seeing understood, and understanding had the power both to disclose and to give explanation. For what be knew, he graved on stone; yet though he graved them onto stone he hid them mostly...The sacred symbols of the cosmic elements [he] hid away hard by the secrets of Osiris...keepiug sure silence, that every younger age of cosmic time might seek for them. The text then tells us that before he 'returned to Heaven' Hennes invoked a spell on the secret writings and knowledge that he had hidden: O holy books, who have been made by my immortal hands, by incorruption's magic spells...free from decay throughout eternity remain, and incorrupt from time. Become unseeable, unfindable, for every one whose foot shall tread the plains of this land, until Old Heaven doth bring forth meet instruments for you...(Keeper of Genesis)

Osiris was reportedly born at Thebes in Upper Egypt. When he was born a mysterious voice proclaimed the coming of the universal lord. Osiris, tradition said, was a great-grandson of the sun-god Ra, and, according to Diodorus Siculus, he was a son of Kronos. Osiris, report says, was handsome, dark-skinned and taller than other men. He married Isis, his sister. He combined in his person the dual roles of St. Francis of Assisi and a first-class construction company. The Larousse Encyclopaedia of World Mythology says of him: "The first care of the new sovereign was to abolish cannibalism and to teach his still half-savage subjects the art of fashioning agricultural implements. He taught them how to produce grain and grapes for man's nourishment in the form of bread, wine and beer. The cult of the gods did not yet exist. Osiris instituted it. He built the first temples and sculptured the first divine images. He laid down the rules governing religious practice and even invented the two kinds of flute which should accompany ceremonial song." He then built towns and gave laws for the townsmen to live by. This completed, he set out to conquer Asia, accompanied by Thoth, his grand vizier, and two lieutenants. Osiris, however, was 'the enemy of all violence and it was by gentleness alone that he subjected country after country, winning and disarming their inhabitants by songs and the playing of various musical instruments. He returned to Egypt only after he had travelled the whole earth and spread civilisation everywhere.' His brother Seth, whom legend says was red-haired and white-skinned, murdered him on his return. (The God-Kings & the Titans)

Now legend says that Thoth, the grand vizier to Osiris, was also a great civiliser. He is said to have invented the arts and sciences; arithmetic, surveying, geometry, astronomy, sooth-saying, magic, medicine, surgery, drawing, music with wind instruments and strings and, above all, writing. He was also the keeper of the divine archives and the patron of history. (The God-Kings & the Titans)

Akhenaten, the celebrated religious reformer, who endeavoured to cleanse the temples of Egyptian polytheism and restore Egyptian sun-worship and monotheism to its first purity. Against his right shoulder, the flail, symolising his lordship of agriculture, against his left shoulder, the crook, symbolising his lordship over domestic animals. The crook also represents him as a shepherd king, ruling his people as lovingly and as firmly as if they were sheep. (The God-Kings & the Titans)

The Egyptians came across meteoritic iron, knew it came from heaven, and knew that this metal was not available to them on earth. They quite naturally assumed that iron was a heavenly substance. But they associated it with night - possibly because it was black - and with the night sky. More particularly, they associated it with the circumpolar region of the stars which never set - the 'deathless stars' - and which was the region of the god Set or Seth (Typhon to the Greeks). Iron was his 'bone'. And occasionally one was tossed to earth. This rare celestial material was then hammered into adzes in the shape of the constellation known to us as the Great Bear or Big Dipper ­ the ultimate circumpolar constellation - and pressed against the mouths of mummies and statues in a ritual meant to 'open their mouths' so that they could, like infants, be born and live again in the world of the dead. It all makes sense if you are an ancient Egyptian. (The Crystal Sun)

...the many sacred "Eyes" in Egyptian mythology all occur in various contexts which can only be interspersed within this schema; otherwise, they made no sense at all. Why are there so many "Eyes of Horus", "Eyes of Ra", "Eyes of Osiris", "Eyes of Isis and Nephtys" etc.? These Eyes were all to do with optics, mostly solar images, occurring in the various different calendars! There were a variety of such 'Eyes'. For one thing, each 'Eye' was double in the sense that it could appear in an inner sanctum somewhere in Egypt at both sunrise and sunset on the same day. (This is probably the origin of the legend that Pythagoras was seen in two different cities on the same day, which proved that he was a god.) But the solar 'Eyes' could be double in another sense, namely that the two extremes of Ra's position, at the two solstices, generated double sunrise 'Eyes' and double sunset 'Eyes'. And the precision of the true year involving as it does a calculation of an extra six hours (actually slightly less), this tiny portion of a day sometimes known as 'Horus' who was generated by the phallus of Osiris (which had been lost for the 364-day lunar year) and which represented Day 365, one could also speak on New Year's Day (the First Day of Thoth) of the appearance of an Eye of Horus rather than just the Eye of Ra. In fact, the same solar disc could be described as an Eye of Ra in one context and an Eye of Horus in another. The calendrical context could dictate the terminology relevant to the occasion. When the Eye of Ra became the Eye of Horus, the 'tiny gap' between the ideal and the real had been bridged, and the miracle of creation had occurred. Horus was 'the son' who was not so much born as re-born. The old had become new, the merely imagined had become real, the temporary had become eternal. (The Crystal Sun)

The next great torch-bearer of the Light of the world was Egypt, which, after many centuries of spiritual supremacy, in turn became the arid desert it now is both spiritually and materially, leaving nevertheless a mass of structural and written relics still testifying to its possession of the Doctrine in the days of its glory. From Egypt, as civilizations developed in adjoining countries, a great irradiation of them took place by the diffusion of its knowledge and the institution of minor centres for the imparting of the Divine Science in Chaldea, Persia, Greece and Asia Minor. (The Meaning of Masonry)

In all the Mystery-systems of the past will be found this degree of mystical death as an outstanding and essential feature prior to the final stage of perfection or regeneration. As an illustration one has only to refer to a sectional diagram of the Great Pyramid of Egypt, which was so constructed as to be not merely a temple of initiation, but to record in permanent form the principles upon which regeneration is attainable. Its entrance passage extends for some distance into the building as a narrow ascending channel through which the postulant who desires to reach the centre must creep in no small discomfort and restrictedness. This was to emblematise the discipline and up-hill labour of self-purification requisite in the Apprentice Degree. At a certain point this restricted passage opens out into a long and lofty gallery, still upon a steeply rising gradient, up which the postulant had to pass, but in a condition of ease and liberty. This was to symbolize the condition of illumination and expanded intellectual liberty associated with the Fellow-craft Degree. It ended at a place where the candidate once more had to force his way on hands and knees through the smallest aperture of all, one that led to the central chamber in which stood and still stands the great sarcophagus in which he was placed and underwent the last supreme ordeal, and whence he was raised from the dead, initiated and perfected. In the great Mystery­system of Egypt, which long anteceded the Hebrew system, the regenerate candidate, who had achieved the highest possible measure of self-transmutation of his lower nature, was accorded the title of Osiris. (The Meaning of Masonry)

...the pharaonic teaching shows us Man composed of three beings: the sexual being, the corporeal being, and the spiritual being. Each has its own body and organs. These three beings are interdependent, in the flux of juices and the nervous influx; the spinal marrow is the column of "fire" that connects the whole. The being properly called "corporeal" is the body - the chest and abdomen, where the organs for the assimilation of solids, liquids, and air are located. The head is the container of the spiritual being, where the blood, built up in the body, comes to be spiritualized in order to nourish the nervous flux and prepare the "ferments" of the blood and the "seed."(The Temple in Man)

In ancient Egypt, in fact, the devout made pilgrimages to a special temple at Heliopolis to view and worship the ben-ben - a pyramidion-shaped object in which the gods had arrived on Earth in times immemorial. Egyptian pharaohs, on their deaths, were subjected to a ceremony of "opening of the mouth," in which they were supposed to be transported by a similar yad or a shem to the divine Abode of Eternal Life. (The 12th Planet)

There are two creation myths in Egyptian theology. The more familiar comes from Heliopolis and is concerned with the four offspring of the gods Nut and Geb: Osiris and Seth and their respective sister-wives, Isis and Nephthys. According to the myths, Osiris and Seth engaged in the original 'Cain and Abel' struggle for power, with Seth being a symbol of evil gaining the upper hand, after murdering Osiris and casting him adrift on the Nile. There are various versions as to how Osiris met his end, but the PyramId Texts say Osiris was killed near the banks of the river Nedyet. With the devotion and magic of his wife Isis, the body of Osiris was found at Abydos, entangled in a tree. Isis, through her magic, was able to stimulate the morbid body of Osiris enough to impregnate herself; while Osiris was resurrected from death in an overtly Christian fashion to become the god of the underworld... The second creation myth was centered on the town of Hermopolis (Khemnu), the town dedicated to Thoth, and this myth was thought by the priesthood there to have predated the Osiris myth. This myth concerns the eight founding elements of the universe - the Ogdoad - represented by four gods and their sister-wives. The gods were known as Nu, Heh, Kek and Amen, and their wives Naunet, Hauhet, Kauket and Amaunet: The myth of creation involving the Ogdoad is almost scientific in its concern with the physical composition of the primaeval matter ...At some point, these entities (the Ogdoad) who comprised the primordial substance, interacted explosively and snapped whatever balanced tensions had contained their elemental powers...resulting in the Sun. (Thoth: Architect of the Universe)

...the Egyptian word for 'god', or 'gods', relates to the verb 'watch' and the noun 'watcher'. There really did appear to be some justification to link the Egyptian ntr-gods with the Watchers of Kurdistan. Yet the ancient Egyptians also spoke of something known as Zep tepi, or the First Time, a kind of Golden Age that began at the point of First Creation and was ruled over by the ntr-gods, such as Osiris and his son Horus. According to the noted Egyptian language scholar, R. T. Rundle Clark, this Golden Age was viewed by the Egyptians as a time of 'absolute perfection - "before rage or clamour or strife or uproar had come about". No death, disease or disaster occurred in this blissful epoch, known variously as "the time of Re", "the time of Osiris", or "the time of Horus". (From the Ashes of Angels)

...the Egyptian goddess Sekhmet...is described as 'the Mighty Lady, Mistress of Flame', and is depicted in Egyptian art with the head of a lion and the body of a woman. According to legend, Sekhmet is said to have had the power of the 'fierce scorching, and destroying heat of the sun's rays'. In one account she "took up her position on the head of her father Ra (or Re ), and poured out from herself the blazing fire which scorched and consumed his enemies who came near, whilst at those who were some distance away she shot forth swift fiery darts which pierced through and through the fiends whom they struck. These passages are taken from the account of how Ra the sun god attempted to destroy humanity, because it saw him as 'too old', and as a consequence turned its back on his faith. In vengeance, the sun god summoned all the gods and asked them to assemble at the place where he 'performed creations'. He also told them to bring with them his terrible 'Eye', who was the goddess Sekhmet (sometimes named as Hathor). He then addressed Nu, the leader of the assembled gods, saying: '0 thou firstborn god, from whom I came into being, 0 ye gods [my] ancestors, behold ye what mankind is doing, they who were created by thine Eye are uttering murmurs against me. Give me your attention, and seek ye out a plan for me, and I will not slay them until ye shall say [what I am to do] concerning it.' Nu had then praised Ra, suggesting that his Eye destroy those who have 'uttered blasphemies against thee'. Yet in response Ra had exclaimed that mankind had already 'taken flight into the mountain'. In due course the Eye 'went forth and slew the people on the mountain'. Yet this slaughter became so terrible that Ra himself had been forced to intervene before the goddess caused the destruction of the entire human race. Sekhmet, however, would not listen, so Ra deposited a mixture of beer, blood and crushed mandrakes all over the earth. The lioness quickly became intoxicated by this powerful brew and as a consequence was unable to complete her mass genocide. Later on in the text, Ra summons Geb, the earth god, and tells him to keep watch over the 'snakes' (or worms) who have caused him strife and are in his territory, and that Geb's 'light' should find them in their 'holes', a reference to those who have taken flight and are now seeking refuge in caves and underground caverns. Ra then 'promises that he will give the men who have knowledge of words of power, dominion over them (the snakes), and that he will furnish them with spells and charms which shall draw them from their holes'. (From the Ashes of Angels)

In both Ancient Central America and Ancient Egypt, it was believed that the deceased's voyage through the underworld was made in a boat, accompanied by 'paddler gods' who ferried him from stage to stage. Is it a coincidence that the passengers in the barque of the dead pharaoh, and in the canoe in which Double Comb makes his final journey, include (in both cases) a dog or dog-headed deity, a bird or bird-headed deity, and an ape or ape-headed deity? All this finds a strange, distorted twin in Mexico. We have seen the prevalence of human sacrifice there in pre-conquest times. Is it coincidental that the sacrificial venue was a pyramid, that the ceremony was conducted by a high priest and four assistants, that a cutting instrument, the sacrificial knife, was used to strike a hard physical blow to the body of the victim, and that the victim's soul was believed to ascend directly to the heavens, sidestepping the perils of the underworld? ...their similarities may be the remnants of a shared legacy received from a common ancestor. The peoples of Central America did one thing with that legacy and the Egyptians another, but some common symbolism and nomenclature was retained by both. ...Quetzalcoatl, in his incarnation as the creator deity, took the role of Marduk while the part of Tiamat was played by Cipactli, the 'Great Earth Monster'. Quetzalcoatl seized Cipactli's limbs 'as she swam in the primeval waters and wrenched her body in half, one part forming the sky and the other the earth. From her hair and skin he created grass, flowers and herbs; 'from her eyes, wells and springs; from her shoulders, mountains'. The notion of pyramids as devices designed (presumably in some metaphysical sense) 'to turn men into gods' was, it seemed to me, too idiosyncratic and peculiar to have been arrived at independently in both Ancient Egypt and Mexico. So, too, was the idea of using the layout of sacred sites to incorporate a celestial plan. (Fingerprints of the Gods)

...together with Giza (and the distant southern city of Abydos) Innu/Heliopolis was believed to have been part of the first land that emerged from the primeval waters at the moment of creation, the land of the 'First Time', where the gods had commenced their rule on earth. Osiris-Orion was said to have been the first to have climbed the great ladder the gods had made. And several utterances left no doubt that this ladder had not extended upwards from earth to heaven but downwards from heaven to earth. It was described as a rope-ladder and the belief was that it had hung from an 'iron plate' suspended in the sky. In Utterance 261, 'The King is a flame, moving before the wind to the end of the sky and to the end of the earth...the King travels the air and traverses the earth...there is brought to him a way of ascent to the sky...' Switching to dialogue, Utterance 310 proclaimed, 'O you whose vision is in his face and whose vision is in the back of his head, bring this to me!' 'What ferry-boat shall be brought to you?' 'Bring me: "It-flies-and-alights". Utterance 332, supposedly spoken by the King himself, confided, 'I am this one who has escaped from the coiled serpent, I have ascended in a blast of fire having turned myself about. The two skies go to me. 'The door of the sky at the horizon opens to you, the gods are glad at meeting you...May you sit on this iron throne of yours, as the Great One who is in Heliopolis.' The constant references to iron, though easy to overlook, were puzzling. Iron, I knew, had been a rare metal in Ancient Egypt, particularly in the Pyramid Age when it had supposedly only been available in meteoritic form. Yet here, in the Pyramid Texts, there seemed to be an embarrassment of iron riches: iron plates in the sky, iron thrones, and elsewhere an iron sceptre...and even iron bones for the King. In the Ancient Egyptian language the name for iron had been bja, a word that meant literally 'metal of heaven' or 'divine metal'. The knowledge of iron was thus regarded as yet another gift from the gods .. (Fingerprints of the Gods)

...Quetzalcoatl, the god-king of the Mexicans, was believed to have departed from Central America by sea, sailing away on a raft of serpents. It is therefore hard to avoid a sense of deja vu when we read in the Egyptian Book of the Dead that the abode of Osiris also 'rested on water' and had walls made of 'living serpents'. In addition to the gifts of good living he brought to his subjects, Osiris helped to wean them 'from their miserable and barbarous manners' by providing them with a code of laws and inaugurating the cult of the gods in Egypt. When he had set everything in order, he handed over the control of the kingdom to Isis, quit Egypt for many years, and roamed about the world with the sole intention, Diodorus Siculus was told, of visiting all the inhabited earth and teaching the race of men how to cultivate the vine and sow wheat and barley; for he supposed that if he made men give up their savagery and adopt a gentle manner of life he would receive immortal honours because of the magnitude of his benefactions... Osiris travelled first to Ethiopia, where he taught tillage and husbandry to the primitive hunter-gatherers he encountered. He also undertook a number of large-scale engineering and hydraulics works: 'He built canals, with flood gates and regulators...he raised the river banks and took precautions to prevent the Nile from overflowing...Later he made his way to Arabia and thence to India, where he established many cities. 'Many of his wise counsels were imparted to his listeners in hymns and songs, which were sung to the accompaniment of instruments of music.' (Fingerprints of the Gods)

...the myths always speak of a company of civilizers: Viracocha has his 'companions', as have both Quetzalcoatl and Osiris. Sometimes there are fierce internal conflicts within these groups...the civilizer is eventually plotted against and either driven out or killed. Although he was murdered by Set soon after the completion of his worldwide mission to make men 'give up their savagery', he won eternal life through his resurrection in the constellation of Orion as the all- powerful god of the dead. Thereafter, judging souls and providing an immortal example of responsible and benevolent kingship, he dominated the religion (and the culture) of Ancient Egypt for the entire span of its known history. ... Osiris wore a variety of different and elaborate crowns...Of particular interest was the Atef crown. Incorporating the uraeus, the royal serpent symbol (which in Mexico was a rattlesnake but in Egypt was a hooded cobra poised to strike), the central core of this strange contraption was recognizable as an example of the hedjet, the white skittle- shaped war helmet of upper Egypt (again known only from reliefs). Rearing up on either side of this core were what seemed to be two thin leaves of metal, and at the front was an attached device, consisting of two wavy blades, which scholars normally describe as a pair of rams' horns. (Fingerprints of the Gods)

...Thoth was remembered and revered by the Ancient Egyptians as the inventor of mathematics. astronomy and engineering. 'It was his will and power', according to Wallis Budge, 'that were believed to keep the forces of heaven and earth in equilibrium. It was his great skill in celestial mathematics which made proper use of the laws upon which the foundation and maintenance of the universe rested. Thoth was also credited with teaching the ancestral Egyptians the skills of geometry and land-surveying, medicine and botany. He was believed to have been the inventor 'of figures, of the letters of the alphabet, and of the arts of reading and writing'. He was the Great Lord of Magic' who could move objects with the power of his voice, 'the author of every work on every branch of knowledge, both human and divine'. (Fingerprints of the Gods)

Strangely enough, it was the City of the Sun in Egypt,Innu, known by the Greeks as Heliopolis - which was regarded throughout the dynastic period as the source and centre of the high wisdom handed down to mortal men from the fabled First Time of the gods. It was at Heliopolis that the the Pyramid Texts were collated, and it was the Heliopolitan priesthood - or rather the Heliopolitan cult - that had custody of the monuments of the Giza necropolis. (Fingerprints of the Gods)

According to the ancient Egyptians, Zep Tepi had been an age when gods had ruled in their country, bringing the gift of civilization. The Egyptians believed that there had been intermediaries between gods and men whom they called the Urshu, which translates as the Watchers. (Uriel's Machine)

The texts speak of the sanctuary of the historical temple at Edfu as the god's 'genuine Great Seat of the First Occasion' and refer again and again to ancient books and writings which apparently were used to guide the construction of the temple; These documents, it seems, had been handed down from the legendary epoch known to the ancient Egyptians as the 'First Occasion' (also referred to as the 'First Time' - 'Zep Tepi' - the 'early primeval age', the 'time of Osiris', the 'time of Horus', etc.). It was an epoch, very far away in the past, in which a group of divine beings known sometimes as 'the Seven Sages' and sometimes as 'the builder gods' were believed to have settled in Egypt and to have established 'sacred mounds' at various points along the Nile. These mounds were to serve as the foundations, and to define the orientation, of temples to be built in the future. More specifically, and the Edfu Texts are very clear on this, it was intended that the development of these sites should bring about nothing less than 'the resurrection of the former world of the gods - a world that had been utterly destroyed. We are told that this lost domain, the 'Homeland of the Primeval Ones', was 'an island which, in part, was covered with reeds and stood in darkness in the midst of the primeval water...' We are told that 'the creation of the world began on this island, and that it was here that 'the earliest mansions of the gods were founded.' At a certain point during the primeval age, however, this blessed 'former world' was overwhelmed, suddenly and totally, by a great flood, the majority of its 'divine inhabitants' were drowned and the 'mansions of the gods were inundated'. (Heaven's Mirror)

The story of Horus is the story of the Osirian resurrection. It is the story of the initiate's quest to pass beyond the trials of death, to 'gather his bones together' and to burst forth again triumphantly into life. It tells how the god Osiris ruled in Egypt, in the First Time, over a kingdom established according to the rules of cosmic justice. Murdered in his prime by his envious brother Set - who was said by tradition to have had 72 co-conspirators - Osiris was restored briefly to physical life by the sorcery of his sister Isis, who then took the form of a kite and hovered over his phallus, receiving his seed. In this way was conceived Horus, who grew to manhood and took his revenge upon Set, subjugating him and restoring his father's earthly kingdom. Magically his actions also served to restore his father to spiritual life in the heavens, where Osiris underwent resurrection as Lord of the Duat and would preside for all eternity over the judgement of the souls of the dead. (Heaven's Mirror)

...both Egypt and Angkor venerated the serpent. In both cases it was the hooded cobra that was selected as the archetype. in both cases it could be depicted in art as a half-human, half-serpent figure or as fully serpentine. In both cases it was usually shown rearing with its hood extended (taking this form as the uraeus worn by the Pharaoh on his crown for example). In both Egypt and Cambodia the serpent could be a denizen of either sky or ground, frequently terrestrial (or even subterranean) but also equally frequently shown navigating the celestial regions. This ambiguity is expressed in the Book if What is in the Duat and, in ancient India, the Yajurveda talks of 'snakes whichsoever move along the earth, which are in sky and in heaven' In both Egypt and ancient Cambodia, too, the serpent was frequently employed as an image of eternal life and of the cycles of the universe. (Heaven's Mirror)

According to the doctrines of the ancient Egyptians, a successful navigation of the perils of the Duat can only be achieved by 'equipped' spirits who have used the opportunity of physical life to master hidden knowledge of heavenly cycles and to cultivate self-discipline and spiritual insight. They are the ones who are said in the Pyramid Texts to 'seize the sky and take possession of the horizon'. They are the ones, after many rebirths, who may hope to attain practical immortality - the 'life of millions of years'. (Heaven's Mirror)

...what we find particularly noteworthy about the site of Nan Madol is that it is specifically said to have been 'modelled' on an earlier 'city of the gods', now under water, and to stand directly above that earlier city. We cannot see how this concept differs from that of the Egyptian temples such as the Temple of Horus at Edfu which were also 'copies' of earlier originals, built on primordial foundations, with the object of bringing about the resurrection of the 'former world of the gods'. We further note that the earlier divine world, which the Edfu Building Texts refer to as 'the Homeland of the Primeval Ones', is said to have been an island that was swallowed up in the waters of a great earth-destroying Flood. (Heaven's Mirror)

This is the tradition behind the Andean belief that Titicaca, the Island of the Sun - and in particular the 'lion-cliff' on the eastern side of the island where Viracocha had emerged from the waters of the lake - constituted the original sacred domain of creation itself. In this great scheme of spiritual geography. Tiahuanaco, 'with its ancient and strange buildings', was believed to be the first city that Viracocha had built after the creation. There is no significant difference between this concept and the ancient Egyptian idea of Heliopolis as the city at 'the place of creation' - in which the god Atum 'rose [out of the waters of the Nun] as a High Hill [and] shone as the Benben stone in the Temple of the Phoenix'. (Heaven's Mirror)

In Egypt the Nile was the terrestrial counterpart of the Milky Way. The Incas regarded the entire valley from Cuzco up to Machu Picchu as a reflection of the sky and saw the Vilcamayu river running through it as the terrestrial counterpart of the Milky Way. Rituals were conducted along the banks of both the Nile and the Vilcamayu rivers at the June solstice. In both places these rituals were led by god-kings - Inca and Pharaoh being virtually interchangeable concepts. And in both places they took place amidst precisely built megalithic structures of unknown antiquity. (Heaven's Mirror)

All of the religious ideas that we have considered in Heaven's Mirror are essentially 'gnostic' in nature: whether in Angkor, or in Mexico, or in ancient Egypt, initiates were taught to seek out knowledge of the mystery of existence through direct experience. But there was also a religion called 'Gnosis' - literally 'the knowledge', or 'secret knowledge' - that was practised widely in the Middle East during the centuries before and immediately after the beginning of the Christian era. The heart of this religion lay in Egypt, where, in the late 1940s, a large cache of Gnostic texts was unearthed at Nag Hammadi, very close to the temple of Dendera. Dating to approximately the third century AD, these papyri - now generally referred to as the 'Gnostic Gospels' or the 'Nag Hammadi Library' - make frequent allusions to the existence of a secret society, usually referred to as 'the Organization'. In a number of the texts the purpose of this 'Organization' is explicitly spelled out - to build monuments 'as a representation of the spiritual places' (i.e. the stars); and to oppose the universal forces of darkness and ignorance which are said to have: steered the people who followed them into great troubles, by leading them astray with many deceptions. They became old without having enjoyment. They died not having found truth and without knowing the God of truth. And thus the whole creation became enslaved forever from the foundations of the world until now. (Heaven's Mirror)

The ancient Egyptians were the most scientifically advanced culture on the planet until the present day, if we have indeed caught up with them; their science - in fact, their entire culture - seems to be have been revealed rather than developed. The Egyptians claimed that their knowledge was derived from the actions of divine forces in what they called the First Time, or Zep Tepi. A group known as the Heru Shemsu, or the Company of Horus - also called the Company of the Wise, the Companions of Horus, and the Followers of the Widow's Son - passed down a body of knowledge through the ages. Each pharaoh, down to Roman times, was an initiate of the Company of Horus and thus privy to this secret knowledge. (The Mysteries of the Great Cross of Hendaye)

As each soul is redeemed, it travels back to the source of the divine Light, which slowly, as more and more souls return to it, becomes whole again. Eventually, when all souls have returned, the physical universe, being now completely without Light, will end. Therefore, this "eschatology of Light" synthesized from Egyptian, Persian, and Hebrew elements can be seen as the framework supporting a variety of Gnostic traditions. These traditions included the new messianic forms of Judaism that became Christianity. (The Mysteries of the Great Cross of Hendaye)

According to the pervasive and influential teachings of the priestly guild established at the sacred city of Hermopolis in Upper Egypt, Thoth was the universal demiurge who created the world through the sound of his voice alone, bringing it into being with the utterance of a single word of power. Regarded by the Egyptians as a deity who understood the mysteries of 'all that is hidden under the heavenly vault', Thoth was also believed to have had the ability to bestow wisdom on certain specially selected individuals. It was said that he had inscribed the rudiments of his secret knowledge on 36,535 scrolls and then hidden these scrolls about the earth intending that they should be sought for by future generations but found 'only by the worthy' - who were to use their discoveries for the benefit of mankind." Later identified by the Greeks with their own god Hermes, Thoth in fact stood at the very centre of an enormous body of Egyptian traditions stretching back into the most distant and impenetrable past. Throughout the entire 3,000 or more years of the dynastic period, he was continuously revered for certain very specific qualities that he was said to possess and for his supposed contributions to human welfare. He was, for example, credited with being the inventor of drawing, of hieroglyphic writing and of all the sciences - specifically architecture, arithmetic, surveying, geometry, astronomy, medicine and surgery. He was also seen as the most powerful of sorcerers, endowed with nothing less than complete knowledge and wisdom. He was exalted as the author of the great and terrible book of magic that was regarded by the priests at Hermopolis as the source of their understanding of the occult Moreover whole chapters of the famous Book of the Dead were attributed to him, as well as almost the entire corpus of closely guarded sacred literature. He was believed, in short, to possess a virtual monopoly on esoteric learning and was therefore called 'the mysterious' and 'the unknown' The ancient Egyptians were quite convinced that their first rulers were gods. Not surprisingly, Thoth was one of these divine kings: his reign on earth - during which he passed on to mankind his greatest and most beneficial inventions - was said to have lasted 3,226 years. According to the eminent Egyptologist Sir E. A. Wallis Budge: 'The similarity between the two ... gods is too close to be accidental ... It would be wrong to say that the Egyptians borrowed from the Sumerians or the Sumerians from the Egyptians, but it may be submitted that the literati of both peoples borrowed their theological systems from some common but exceedingly ancient source.' (The Sign and the Seal)

Now let’s look at the relevant passages from the Edfu Building Texts where a snake called the nhp-wer, the “Great Leaping One,” is described as “the chief enemy of the god.” It is his “assault” that causes the Homeland of the Primeval Ones to be swallowed up by the sea, but first the feet of the deity of the island—the Ka, here explicitly described as the “Earth God”—are “pierced, and the domain was split.” This, as Reymond comments: is a clear picture of a disaster … It destroyed the sacred land with the result that its divine inhabitants died. This interpretation accords with other parts of the first Edfu record which allude to the death of the “Company” [a group of divine beings] and to the darkness that covered the primeval island. …that the cataclysm had so utterly devastated the primeval island that no amount of reclamation could restore it to its former glory. The only solution for the survivors, therefore, was to attempt to re-create it elsewhere in regions that had not been as badly affected by the catastrophe. The result saw the beginning of a great project of which the world we live in today is the result. What the Edfu texts say, explains Reymond, is:  that the gods left the original pãy-lands …  They … sailed to another part of the primeval world …  [and] journeyed through the … lands of the primeval age …  In any place in which they settled they founded new sacred domains. (Magicians of the Gods)

The Edfu texts make allusion to the smd, “wandering,” of the “company of gods” who initiated the civilizing project. Their leader was the Falcon Horus, after whom the temple at Edfu was much later dedicated, but present, also, was Thoth, the god of wisdom. Accompanying Horus and Thoth were the Shebtiw, a group of deities charged with a specific responsibility for “creation,” the “Builder Gods” who accomplished “the actual work of building,” and the “Seven Sages.” This is a matter of interest Seven Sages of the Edfu texts are described as primeval deities who were capable of assuming “the form of falcons” and of “resembling falcons.” (Magicians of the Gods)

…the Seven Sages of the Edfu texts (who are not mentioned elsewhere in Ancient Egyptian inscriptions) were the magicians among the gods. They were seers who could foretell the future, and they could swr iht ti—“endue with power the substances of the earth”—a process of creation “by the word of the creators” that, Reymond notes, “has no equivalent.” They were, in addition, believed to have the ability “to magnify things,” and thus to provide magical protection. On this point, the best sense Reymond is able to make of what she describes as an “unusually obscure” text, is that “the protection was constituted by means of symbols. The magical power of protecting was conferred by a giving of names.” (Magicians of the Gods)

The Edfu Building Texts speak of the “Homeland of the Primeval Ones”—an island, the location of which is never specified—that was destroyed by an “enemy,” described as a “serpent,” “the Great Leaping One.” The “serpent’s” assault caused a flood that inundated this “primeval world of the gods,” killing the majority of its “divine” inhabitants. A few of them, however, escaped the disaster and fled the scene in boats to wander the earth. Their purpose in so doing was to identify suitable sites where they might set in motion a sacred design to bring about: the resurrection of the former world of the gods … The re-creation of a destroyed world. (Magicians of the Gods)

The existence of such a college of initiates is signaled clearly in the Edfu texts which speak of the long-term mission of: the Builder Gods, who fashioned in the primeval time, the Lords of the Light … the Ghosts, the Ancestors … who raised the seed for gods and men … the Senior Ones who came into being at the beginning, who illumined this land when they came forth unitedly. The Edfu texts do not claim that these beings were immortal. After their deaths, we are told, the next generation “came to their graves to perform the funerary rights on their behalf” and then took their places. In this way, through an unbroken chain of initiation and transmission of knowledge, the “Builder Gods,” the “Sages,” the “Ghosts,” the “Lords of the Light,” the “Shining Ones” described in the Edfu texts were able to renew themselves constantly, like the mythical phoenix—thus passing down to the future traditions and wisdoms stemming from a previous epoch of the earth. (Magicians of the Gods)

The father of Horus and the husband of Isis, the goddess of magic, Osiris was, according to tradition, a great king of primordial times, who offered the gifts of civilization to those who were willing to receive them. After weaning the indigenous peoples of Egypt: from their miserable and barbarous manners, he taught them how to till the earth, and how to sow and reap crops, he formulated a code of laws for them, and made them worship the gods and perform service to them. He then left Egypt and traveled over the rest of the world teaching the various nations to do what his own subjects were doing. He forced no man to carry out his instructions, but by means of gentle persuasion and an appeal to their reason, he succeeded in inducing them to practice what he preached. (Magicians of the Gods)