Monday, July 11, 2011

severing my member

Here's a topic I keep forgetting to write about - remembering. With childlike curiosity I have asked myself: what is a member and related to that why do we need to re-member things?

Let's start with the word member. According to the dictionary a member can be an individual person, animal, plant, etc., that is part of a group. As well a member can be a part or organ of the body. Likewise anatomically a membrane is tissue that connects the members within the body. Remember means to to become aware again of something you had previously forgotten. In medical terms the act of remembering would return something to an original shape after it had been altered or deformed.

As I have detailed in previous blog entries, the ancient Egyptian myth of Osiris and Isis is about Osiris getting hacked up into pieces (dismembered) and then Isis figuratively and literally remembering him. A central motif of this myth involves Osiris' phallus and the magic Isis uses to to make Osiris' phallus erect again so that he can procreate. This photo I took in Abydos describes exactly this; the kite bird hovering over Osiris is Isis.

The symbolic act of mummification is the reconstitution of previous form and from this remembering Isis is impregnated by Osiris' 'member' and gives birth to the baby Horus.

Linked to Osiris is an ancient Egyptian falcon god Sokar who is depicted as mummified.

Sokar was worshipped as the patron god of the necropolis being known as "he who is on his sand." This is referring to the waters, that contain the potentiality of new life, receding and allowing this life to get a foothold on land which allows for (re)birth. He is sometimes shown on his sacred barque sailing through the necropolis and the necropolis of Sakkara was so named after this aspect of Osiris. Sokar is usually paired with Osiris in tombs, which symbolizes Osiris becoming reconstituted, the ba being re-awakened from its sleep of death, resurrected and remembered.

The hieroglyphics directly above Osiris' erect phallus in this photo read skr-asar (Sokar-Osiris) who is on his sacred barque. The hieroglyph here transliterated as an 's' from the name skr can also be transliterated as a 'z'.

'Member' is of course in today's world slang for the phallus which makes the connection to Osiris even more interesting and I'm always amazed at how the ancient Egyptian gods have managed to remain embedded in our modern world. I figured I could dig even deeper into these mysteries and establish more connections to this theme of remembering. I'm fully aware my views are in the minority but that doesn't mean I'm going to stop sharing them :)

Anyway with my upbringing in the western tradition I'm of course familiar with biblical stories and names. Zachariah kept popping into my head because of the Zachar part and I bet myself it would have something to do with remembering. I checked first with the Online Etymological Dictionary:

masculine proper name, Late Latin 
Zacharias, from Greek Zakharias, from Hebrew Zekharyahu, literally "the Lord has remembered," from zakhar "he remembered."

Bingo! That was pretty easy to establish the connection between remembering, Sokar and Zachariah. It gets better though because we know Osiris became a martyr at the hands of Set and I got this from

a man referred to as a martyr by Jesus. Matt. 23:35; Luke 11:51.

This name sure has generated some strange coincidences as even Jesus is chiming in about this guy being a martyr. Let's check out those biblical passages:

Matthew 23:35 from the King James Bible
That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.

Luke 11:51 from the King James Bible
From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, which perished between the altar and the temple: verily I say unto you, It shall be required of this generation.

So in these two passages Jesus is referring to both the martyrdoms of Zacharias as well as Abel. That these two are connected in these two separate passages is surely not a coincidence. I have been planning to write about the biblical story of Cain and Abel and this tie in will make it all the more worthwhile.


i've invested in thought,
paid me back immeasurably.
action follows thought;
now I must act.

the world is a diversion,
I must overcome.
the strength I need
is also my weakness.

my reflection is deceitful;
I perpetrate this fraud.
purify me oh great fire,
forge my transformation.