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Monday, December 31, 2012

slow burn


middle age restoration
interrupting nothingness.
verdant realization,
a stair-stepped ramble.

harvest moons,
incandescent understanding.
discovering a rune
to my future self.

heart of stone,
in a house of light.
Jesus had his Mary's,
i have the same.

cluttered landscape,
monuments to desire.
raging goddess
excites nature's cauldron.

lioness invite,
unfolding celestial dance.
material disappearance,
consigned to oblivion.

crystal spheres
conduct the piper.
playing a tune
for the quiescent one.

nighttime hoarfrost,
returning light!
maxim harvest
of universal expression.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

who is this lady?


And as we wind on down the road,
Our shadows taller than our soul.
There walks a lady we all know,
Who shines white light and wants to show,
How everything still turns to gold.
And if you listen very hard,
The tune will come to you at last.
When all is one and one is all.
To be a rock and not to roll.

Led Zeppelin concludes their magical song, Stairway to Heaven, with this verse. There is a reference to this lady we all know. Patriarchal western religions for centuries have tried to eliminate this lady but she won't go away. Reasons for this include that try as they might to exclude a feminine presence from the godhead, such as the Christian trinity of father, son, and holy spirit or in Judaism the idea of a male figure running the show by himself, it defies the natural order of things to exclude the presence of the divine female and the wondrous power of birth that she contains. To move through and into different states of being through birth and death, thinking of death as rebirth, requires the assistance of this lady. It is documented that in altered states of consciousness a commonality of this phenomenon is this beautiful lady.

There is the recent story of Dr. Eben Alexander, a neurosurgeon who contracted a rare form of bacterial meningitis that shut down his cerebral cortex. Now I'm not interested in debating whether consciousness exists outside of the brain in this post but I do want to reference the article for a vision that he describes:

It gets stranger still. For most of my journey, someone else was with me. A woman. She was young, and I remember what she looked like in complete detail. She had high cheekbones and deep-blue eyes. Golden brown tresses framed her lovely face. When first I saw her, we were riding along together on an intricately patterned surface, which after a moment I recognized as the wing of a butterfly. In fact, millions of butterflies were all around us—vast fluttering waves of them, dipping down into the woods and coming back up around us again. It was a river of life and color, moving through the air. The woman’s outfit was simple, like a peasant’s, but its colors—powder blue, indigo, and pastel orange-peach—had the same overwhelming, super-vivid aliveness that everything else had. She looked at me with a look that, if you saw it for five seconds, would make your whole life up to that point worth living, no matter what had happened in it so far. It was not a romantic look. It was not a look of friendship. It was a look that was somehow beyond all these, beyond all the different compartments of love we have down here on earth. It was something higher, holding all those other kinds of love within itself while at the same time being much bigger than all of them.

Without using any words, she spoke to me. The message went through me like a wind, and I instantly understood that it was true. I knew so in the same way that I knew that the world around us was real—was not some fantasy, passing and insubstantial.

The message had three parts, and if I had to translate them into earthly language, I’d say they ran something like this:

“You are loved and cherished, dearly, forever.”
“You have nothing to fear.”
“There is nothing you can do wrong.”

The message flooded me with a vast and crazy sensation of relief. It was like being handed the rules to a game I’d been playing all my life without ever fully understanding it.

From an article about the psychotropic brew Ayahuasca used by shamans in the Peruvian Amazon jungle written by Kim Kristensen, this story is related:

During one of my ayahuasca experiences, I "saw" a voluptuous, nude Indian female. I mentioned the vision to the other participants on the day after the ceremony, and they were able to describe the woman before I finished! Apparently, we all saw the same woman, who the shamans later told us was the female spirit known as ayahuasca.

There is the Green Fairy of Absinthe/Wormwood lore. Wormwood has psychotropic qualities due to the presence of an ingredient called thujone. Wormwood was known in the ancient world with it being used in ancient Egyptian medicine as well as an additive to the beer and wine they drank. The role of the Mistress of Intoxication, Hathor, starts to come a little bit clearer now.

The Green Fairy

The lady of gold in ancient Egypt, Hathor, is the lady we all know. One epithet of the goddess was the Mistress of Intoxication with, as it appears, the help of some psychotropic additives such as wormwood, mandrake, dried blue lotus, and even cannabis to help this along. She is the lady of turquoise and in statues of her she is depicted with the bright blue eyes and golden brown tresses of Dr. Alexander's vision:

The bronze mask of Hathor from the Saint Louis Art Museum depicts the goddess's face in a manner similar to that on the faience sistrum. Here the Hathoric wig, with the ends of the hair wound in tight curls, is held in place by bindings radiating outward from the face. The bovine ears and broad collar are indicated in the usual manner. The eyebrows and the corneas of the eyes are blue glass inlays. The central inlays that formed the iris and pupil were probably also made of glass but have been lost.
Mistress of the House, Mistress of Heaven: Women in Ancient Egypt, Anne K. Capel, Glenn E. Markoe, page 124


Bronze mask of Hathor

In cultures near and far the mother goddess has many different names and manifestations and it is something that however hard we try we will never get rid of. You can suppress and deny it but eventually it will present itself again. Just ask Yahweh about his Asherah.

Clay figurine of Yahweh's Asherah

The ceremonies held in honour of the great lady and her son Ihy were shamanistic in nature. At her temple in Denderah, intoxication was required in order for the participants to come in contact with her. At the jubilee celebration of the kingship of Amenhotep III we get this description of the ceremony from Kheruef, a courtier of Amenhotep's Queen:

Much later in his life Amunhotep celebrated a jubilee marking the thirtieth year of his reign.  It also seems to have been the occasion for his official, public declaration of his transformation into a deity, the sun disk itself.  He is shown in the sun bark with Hathor, and his artists rendered him far more youthfully during his last eight years, as if to stress that the king had been reborn.
This event had its origins in prehistory, and originally marked the ritualistic or symbolic death and resurrection of the ruler.  There are only fragments of inscriptional material that illustrate this event before Amunhotep's reign, but even those from the Old Kingdom share significant features of Hathoric ceremonies.  After the fall of the Old Kingdom these were taken over and imitated in the tomb scenes of private persons, who hoped thereby to be reborn after death, just like the kings.  Apparently Hathor's presence and her magical power were necessary to ensure this rejuvenation.  Lioness-masked priestesses using the curved ivory wands that were ritual objects of Hathor are depicted in Middle Kingdom private tombs and in the representations of these significant and memorable royal event in the tomb of Kheruef, a courtier of Amunhotep's queen, Tiy.  He had been present at the royal jubilee and recorded in his tomb the prescence of the goddess Hathor, about whom it was sung: "Make jubilation for The Gold and good pleasure for the Lady of the Two Lands that she may cause Nebmaatre (Amunhotep), who is given life, to be enduring…Adoration of The Gold when she shines forth in the sky…[T]here is no god who does what you dislike when you appear in glory…[I}f [you] desire that he (Amunhotep) live, cause him to live during millions of years unceasingly."
Amunhotep III also seems to have claimed divinity for his wife, Queen Tiy.  Artists altered existing statues of the queen to give her the blue hair and diadem of Hathor; others portrayed her from the start as this goddess, suggested she was the earthly manifestation of Hathor.
The Great Goddesses of Egypt, Barbara S. Lesko, pages 118 to 119

The goddess had to be called upon through merriment, intoxication, and music making in order to rejuvenate the aging Pharaoh. This was a tradition in ancient Egypt whose roots probably stretch back into its prehistory. The rituals seem to be describing a ceremony where you will see a vision of the goddess through this behavior. It has all the ingredients used by practitioners throughout the ages that allow the acolyte to enter into an altered state such as chanting, intoxication, rhythmic drumming, the shaking of a rattling device - which in this case would be the sistrum that would call upon Hathor. 

Ihy the Sistrum player

Furthermore these celebrations and invocations of the great goddess would occur during celebrations designed to renew the life force. These were not funeral performances but wild celebrations of intoxication with the intent being to come into contact with Hathor. It is as Hathor's son who has come forth, Ihy the sistrum player, that contact with Hathor is made:

But as musician, seated though he is, King Amenhotep is continuing a long tradition of royal music-making  at Thebes.  In inscriptions on a stela which Herbert Winlock found among the rubble at Deir el-Bahri, the Middle Kingdom ruler, King Antef, describes how he too, some 700 years before Amenhotep, was a night-time music-maker for Hathor, accompanying Re on his journey through the Netherworld:

My body speaks, my lips repeat
pure Ihy-music for Hathor.
Music, millions
and hundreds and thousands of it,
Because you love music,
a million of music for your ka,
In all your places.

Through such music-making, both Antef and Amenhotep become open to renewal through the shining, beautiful goddess.
Hathor Rising, The Power of the Goddess in Ancient Egypt, Alison Roberts, page 29

I'm interested in finding this lady in the tradition that has been passed down to us through the Judeo-Christian folklore. If it is hard to suppress this woman then there should be polemics against her and her celebrations in the bible. Let's look at the introduction of Eve in Genesis chapters 2 and 3. Our introduction is less than complimentary as Eve and the serpent are burdened with the blame for the suffering of mankind due to Eve eating of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. In the patriarchal Old Testament religion, Adam is depicted as the innocent obedient man whose downfall is his cunning wife and her serpent confederate. The overbearing god, Yahweh, is quick to judgment and condemnation due to the behaviour and tempting of this woman. In Genesis 3:20 Adam names the woman Eve:

Genesis 3:20 And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.

The meaning of the Hebrew word, chay, for living in this case is describing the material life form. The mother of all living in ancient Egypt is Hathor:

One of her names was 'mistress of the vagina', and Hathor was associated with all aspects of motherhood and believed to assist women in conception, labour and childbirth.
The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt, Richard H. Wilkinson, page 141

Temple of Hathor at Denderah

And Hathor had a connection to the serpent as she could be represented on the Pharaoh's brow as Wadjet, the Uraeus snake that wards off the enemies of the king. As well, her son Ihy the sistrum player who comes forth at dawn in the sun disk, could be represented as the Sata serpent that arises out of the primordial lotus such as this image taken from a crypt in her temple at Denderah.

Ihy as Sata coming from the lotus

Let's see if there is any connection here between the name Eve and the idea of a great goddess that has her origins in ancient Egypt. In Hebrew the name we translate as Eve comes from Chavvah which has the meaning of "life".

The Online Etymology Dictionary gives us this information:

Eve 
feminine proper name, from Biblical first woman, Late Latin, from Heb. Hawwah, literally "a living being," from base hawa "he lived" (confer Arabic hayya, Aramaic hay yin).
Like most of the explanations of names in Genesis, this is probably based on folk etymology or an imaginative playing with sound. ... In the Hebrew here, the phonetic similarity is between hawah, "Eve," and the verbal root hayah, "to live." It has been proposed that Eve's name conceals very different origins, for it sounds suspiciously like the Aramaic word for "serpent." [Robert Alter, "The Five Books of Moses," 2004, commentary on Gen. iii:20]
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=Eve&allowed_in_frame=0

Let's follow this one down the well travelled rabbit's hole. The Aramaic word for serpent being referred to here by Alter is hiwyah:

The story of the Fall (Gen 3:1-24) is the occasion for giving to the woman the proper name that has remained with her for all generations. After the sentence of punishment (3:14-19), the woman receives a personal name (3:20) that expresses her positive nature and destiny in relation to her primary role-motherhood: "The man named his wife Eve (hawwah), because she was the mother of all living (mol-hay)." The first naming is unambiguous in its etymological explanation and meaning, while the second one retains a certain syntactic ambiguity, inasmuch as it could include non-human creatures. The Aramaic word hiwyah means "serpent," and this meaning was adopted in one of the rabbinic interpretations of the passage (cf. Genesis Rabbah 20:11; 22:2). The creation of the name of Eve in Gen 3:20 seems to take into account the fact that Eve stands at the beginning of a genealogy, followed by a line of descendants. The explanation that the woman was "the mother of al living" manifests the magnificent theological perspective of the narrator: in spite of sin and hardship result from the penalty, the woman remains the symbol of the great miracle and mystery of life. The Hebrew text points to the linguistic association between the name hawwah and the word hayyah "living" (adj. fem. sing.), or an archaic noun form meaning "living thing." 
The Transformation of Biblical Proper Names, Joze Krasovec, page 10

With this knowledge it could be plausibly argued that the serpent in Genesis 3 is an aspect of the woman or perhaps Adam gave the woman a name that had a connection to serpents as a constant reminder of her betrayal. Probably not a good way to start off a relationship but hey let's not judge.

Okay the great semitic mother goddess Asherah had as one of her titles Rabat Chawat 'Elat, the Phoenician "Chawat" corresponding to the Hebrew "Chavvah". Another of her titles was Dat ba'thani which means "Lady of the Serpent". So we have a connection here that we could argue until we tire of arguing over it. In any case, I wanted to establish this connection because this Asherah shows up in ancient Egypt in the 18th dynasty as a Phoenician goddess named Qudshu, which was an epithet of Asherah, and this Qudshu is equated with the Egyptian Hathor.


The idea of a great mother was an idea that was certainly was prevalent in the ancient world and has been subject to a suppression at the hands of the patriarchal crafters of the Old Testament. The great mother goddess of the Levant that is suppressed in the bible, after we are treated to a story that casts her in a light where she causes all of our sufferings, had her origins along the Nile. It is her miraculous mystery of birth and rebirth plus her association with the wisdom of the serpent that is to be acknowledged, celebrated, and witnessed in altered states of consciousness. Misogynist pedlars of male dominated religion may try as hard as they can but they will never succeed in ridding the subconscious of the wondrous mother goddess and therefore thankfully she will live on birthing light into this world of darkness.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

dark secrets

Hail Min
who fecundates his Mother,
How secret is that
which you have done to her
In the darkness,
O Divine One, Sole One…
Hathor Rising, The Power of the Goddess in Ancient Egypt, Alison Roberts, page 84.

Who is this lady that is impregnated by her son? This idea is awfully strange in our modern day culture as it references ideas of incest and Sigmund Freud oedipal fantasies. At first glance it seems that libido was a driving force in this ancient Egyptian idea. This idea was known as Kamutef, bull of his mother, and it is the idea that in the cyclical legitimacy of kingship, the Pharaoh must continually impregnate the great goddess in order to engender the next incarnation of the Pharaoh. Ramesses II makes the claim that he has had many kas (life forces/incarnations) and king lists were celebrated on temple walls as a way to ensure their legitimacy.

Pharaoh Seti I with son Ramesses II at the Abydos King List

There are two great goddesses of ancient Egypt that got involved with this Kamutef. They would be Aset, in greek Isis and Het-Har which in greek is Hathor.

The sacred animals of Min were a falcon and a white bull, and one of Min's most important titles was Ka-mut-ef (the Bull of his Mother). Min was said to secretly unite with his mother under cover of darkness to beget himself.
Egyptian Mythology, Geraldine Pinch, page 165

The sacred animals of Min are presenting a clue as to his role as the bull of the heavens. Min is the virile aspect of the constellation of Orion. His right arm is raised in the classic striking pose of Orion warriors and his erect phallus a symbol of the three stars in the belt of Orion. This association with the constellation of Orion led at times to Min's association with Osiris as the consort of Isis and also his association with Horus, who as I have detailed in this blog post, can also be an aspect of the Orion constellation.

He is also found in the Coffin Texts where the deceased associates himself with the 'woman-hunting' Min in order to possess the god's sexual powers. During the Middle Kingdom Min became associated with the god Horus and Min-Hor and as a result he was sometimes described as the son of Isis, though the association also led to Min being worshipped as the consort of Isis and father of Horus.
The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt, Richard H. Wilkinson, page 115.

Min on stela with goddess and child

An aspect of the great hidden light of the sun from the New Kingdom onwards, Amen-Re, was in ithyphallic form known as Min-Amen or Amen-Kamutef.

Ithyphallic Amen-Kamutef at Luxor Temple

The unusual epithet 'Bull-of-his-Mother' (Kamutef), already associated with the ithyphallic Amun by the Middle Kingdom, also needs to be considered here, since it both encapsulates the generative fertile power of the bull god and provides a veiled hint of his incestuous relationship with the mother goddess, who, at Thebes, more often than not was Isis. Much more explicit is an epithet of Min-Amun naming him as 'the fecundator of his mother'. For contained in the strange name Kamutef is the paradoxical truth that the god is both Father and Son, the agent of his own rebirth, brought about by the fertilization of his own mother.  And she is the matrix, the vessel of renewal, supporting and containing his fecund seed, though she herself is not to be understood as the active power engendering life. This lies in the male seed of the bull god, which she contains in her womb, seed which not only preserves the ever-recurring cycles of nature but also safeguards the generations of Egyptian Kings.
Hathor Rising, The Power of the Goddess in Ancient Egypt, Alison Roberts, page 82.

In this role, the fecundating light of Min-Amen comes to the metaphorical womb inside us - Isis, that houses Osiris as the Ba soul and will give birth to Horus. The hidden light of the sun combining with the great celestial light allows Osiris to wake up and impregnate Isis. Now is probably as good a time as ever to riff on the intricacies of the light of the sun in ancient Egyptian thought:

You see, the light of the sun is the ultimate provider. It gives life to all when it rises in the eastern horizon at daybreak. It is majestic in its glory and this newborn child that is birthed a new every morning by the goddess is a sight to behold a million times over. This child is the golden calf, the calf denoting its relationship to the ka. It is the beneficent giver and sustainer of material life. In this respect it is ka power that is on an unmatched scale. In previous blogs I have connected the power of Set to the ka, this ka power being relegated to the beastly animal life force that makes up our material self. Our ba soul is felled by this power at first but at some point in our lives it is realized that this power is necessary to give you healing wisdom in order to birth your greater self. However the ka power contained in the light of the sun is a different sort of power; it is a power that sustains all life on earth. With this realization the next step in thought is if the light of the sun is a majestic ka force then it must have a twin, another aspect of it that would be a beneficent majestic ba force. In New Kingdom ancient Egypt we see the rise of this all powerful state god named Amen who when combined with Re is given the designation Amen-Re. At some point there seems to be a progression of religious thought that allowed them to make this leap in faith. The simple meaning of Amen means 'hidden' so in this respect the Egyptians were recognizing another aspect of the light of the sun. Amen-Re could be represented as a man with two feathers in his crown or as a ram. When the Egyptians represented gods and goddesses as being manifest in human form it was expressing the belief that these gods are active in not only our material plane of existence but also having influence over us here on earth. In this respect you see Horus as a baby being represented as human and the celestial Horus as a hawk because he has taken to the skies and is not operating exclusively in the earthly realm. Amen-Re's iconography as a ram is telling us that he is a ba force, and this ba force is a twin to the ka force I have previously attributed to Re as the manifest light of the sun. However this ba force is hidden much like Osiris is hidden to us.  his great world soul comes to our world to enliven our individual souls. That is the great power of Amen-Re and why he rose to prominence in the New Kingdom and became the king of the gods in a very short period of time. He was the great liberating figure for all, a personal god who promised all encompassing salvation. You will not read about this anywhere else.

So why then did the Egyptians have to combine this Amen with Min? Well because in essence a ba can't enliven another ba. There has to be some kind of ka, a virile bull represented as Min, to give the life necessary for Osiris to wake up and do his thing. Min, the seed bull god known for his virility, presided over the Pharaoh's Heb Sed festival of renewal where the king had to demonstrate his vitality and virility to prove he was capable of impregnating the mother goddess Hathor and in essence continuing the cyclical legitimacy of kingship over the two lands, Upper and Lower Egypt, which contained within them the idea that a Pharaoh will rule over both the heavenly (spiritual) realm and the earthly (material) realm.

Much later in his life Amunhotep (III) celebrated a jubilee marking the thirtieth year of his reign.  It also seems to have been the occasion for his official, public declaration of his transformation into a deity, the sun disk itself.  He is shown in the sun bark with Hathor, and his artists rendered him far more youthfully during his last eight years, as if to stress that the king had been reborn.
This event had its origins in prehistory, and originally marked the ritualistic or symbolic death and resurrection of the ruler.  There are only fragments of inscriptional material that illustrate this event before Amunhotep's reign., but even those from the Old Kingdom share significant features of Hathoric ceremonies.  After the fall of the Old Kingdom these were taken over and imitated in the tomb scenes of private persons, who hoped thereby to be reborn after death, just like the kings.  Apparently Hathor's presence and her magical power were necessary to ensure this rejuvenation.  Lioness-masked priestesses using the curved ivory wands that were ritual objects of Hathor are depicted in Middle Kingdom private tombs and in the representations of these significant and memorable royal event in the tomb of Kheruef, a courtier of Amunhotep's queen, Tiy.  He had been present at the royal jubilee and recorded in his tomb the prescence of the goddess Hathor, about whom it was sung: "Make jubilation for The Gold and good pleasure for the Lady of the Two Lands that she may cause Nebmaatre (Amunhotep), who is given life, to be enduring…Adoration of The Gold when she shines forth in the sky…[T]here is no god who does what you dislike when you appear in glory…[I}f [you] desire that he (Amunhotep) live, cause him to live during millions of years unceasingly."
Amunhotep III also seems to have claimed divinity for his wife, Queen Tiy.  Artists altered existing statues of the queen to give her the blue hair and diadem of Hathor; others portrayed her from the start as this goddess, suggested she was the earthly manifestation of Hathor.
The Great Goddesses of Egypt, Barbara S. Lesko, pages 118-119.

The ritual meaning of the dances, however, is very much in the spirit of New Kingdom Egypt, as can be gleaned from the songs inscribed above the young performers, who are accompanied by women musicians, playing flutes or clapping their hands in rhythm.  Over the dancers and musicians in the lower register is a powerful invocation to the starry snake goddess of the night, Hathor 'Gold', whom they call on to rise and be propitiated through the dances they perform in her honour.
But they dance not only for this beneficent queen of the night, shining in her fiery brilliance, but also for Amenhotep (III) who has great need of her power.  In their chant to the goddess they implore her to take him to the east of the sky, to the place where at dawn, 'the doors of the sky open and a god goes forth pure'.  And this is what they sing:

Make jubilation for Gold
and sweet pleasure for
The Lady of the Two Lands,
that she may cause
Nebmaatre [Amenhotep], given life,
to be enduring…
Hathor Rising, The Power of the Goddess in Ancient Egypt, Alison Roberts, pages 26-27.

It is in this aspect that the Pharaoh, the living Horus, becomes Min-Horus. He fecundates the mother goddess Hathor, who originally brought his material essence, ka, into the material world, and who is now his consort.  

The king of Egypt was identified with the god Horus, as texts in Hatshepsut's temple recall when Hathor says,: "I have wandered through the northern marshes, when I stopped at Khebt, protecting my Horus… I am thy mother who formed thy limbs and created thy perfection."  The vignette illustrating Spell 186 in the New Kingdom's Book of the Dead also shows the Hathoric cow emerging from a mountainside and parting clumps of papyrus plants.
The Great Goddesses of Egypt, Barbara S. Lesko, page 109.

He will impregnate Hathor in this aspect to complete his becoming when she births his spiritual ka in the morning dawn, which the ancient Egyptians called akhet, and the child born is the great leaping golden calf Ihy. 

yep that Golden Calf

Ihy being nursed by Hathor in the birth house at Denderah

In a sun-hymn dating to Haremheb's reign, Hathor is specifically named as the mother in the eastern horizon bearing the young Re within her. He is 'vital and young in the sun-disk within your mother Hathor' (Book of Day in the tomb of Ramesses VI at Thebes)
My Heart My Mother, Death and Rebirth in Ancient Egypt, Alison Roberts, page 182.

As i have previously mentioned in this blog space, please note the above passage is also describing the essence of Re is encapsulated within the sun-disk and that Re is not the sun-disk. Digging deeper into this declaration, it becomes clear that Hathor is the dawn, the akhet. This passage below is also a confirmation of the understanding that the Pharaoh must become the bull of his mother Hathor if he wishes to continue in the Pharaonic cycle of rebirth.

But as musician, seated though he is, King Amenhotep (III) is continuing a long tradition of royal music-making  at Thebes.  In inscriptions on a stela which Herbert Winlock found among the rubble at Deir el-Bahri, the Middle Kingdom ruler, King Antef, describes how he too, some 700 years before Amenhotep, was a night-time music-maker for Hathor, accompanying Re on his journey through the Netherworld:

My body speaks, my lips repeat
pure Ihy-music for Hathor.
Music, millions
and hundreds and thousands of it,
Because you love music,
a million of music for your ka,
In all your places.

Through such music-making, both Antef and Amenhotep become open to renewal through the shining, beautiful goddess.
Hathor Rising, The Power of the Goddess in Ancient Egypt, Alison Roberts, page 29.

So Amen-Re has to impregnate the mother Isis who will birth the baby Horus who becomes Pharaoh and eventually cyclically becomes Re again as he is reborn in the akhet as Ihy and Ihy becomes Re. On the other hand the mature Horus has to impregnate his consort Hathor to allow for the birth of this bull calf Ihy. Hathor is the great mother goddess of the Ennead of which Horus is the ultimate expression of, hence the meaning of Hathor's name, the house of Horus. This is the reason behind the ancient Egyptian concept of these gods being kamutef, bull of his mother.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

potent stuff


I have touched on previously the connection of physical potency, especially in terms of male gods, to rebirth. The remembering of Osiris by his sister-wife Isis probably being the one that I tend to reference. The idea of remembering has a dual meaning, in that you need to know about the divine that is resident within your heart and awaken it but also Osiris' torn and scattered parts must be gathered up by Isis and re-assembled. The primary goal of this remembering is to make Osiris' 'member' erect so that Isis can be impregnated with his seed and birth our enlightened self, which was called Horus. Osiris was no doubt considered very potent and a giver of life which we can see in his role as a vegetation god, with the vegetation cycle being recognized as one of the natural power latent within him. To this point he would appear on temple walls with his skin green to denote his potency.

Osiris with green skin

Green and sexual potency has made it into our modern languages. Green in French is vert and undoubtedly influenced our English words such as vernal - springtime, verdant - nature all lush and green, and virile. Virile also gives us a big clue to its ancient origins:

virile (adj.)
late 15th century, from Old French viril, from Latin virilis "of a man, manly," from vir "a man, a hero," from Proto Indo-European *uiHro "freeman" (confer Sanskrit virah, Avestan vira-, Lithuanian vyras, Old Irish fer, Welsh gwr, Gothic wair, Old English wer "man"). Virile member for "penis" is recorded from 1540s.
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=virile&searchmode=none

That one jumps right out at me. Virile coming from a Latin word virilis that is derived from vir, which is a man who is a hero. This hero, Heru-Ur/Heruwer/Haoeris/Horus the Elder was well known in ancient Egypt, the great light whose eyes were the sun and moon. The 'u' or 'w' being interchangeable in the transliteration of Egyptian hieroglyphics and filtering down through time and cultures as a 'v'.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V

As an aside, did you know that the word hero supposedly has no connection to the greatest hero in the greatest hero journey of them all, the ancient Egyptian Heru, known in greek as Horus? Instead it is said by institutional linguists to come from a Proto Indo-European root word 'ser'.

hero (n)
late 14th century, "man of superhuman strength or physical courage," from Latin heros "hero," from Greek heros "demi-god" (a variant singular of which was heroe), originally "defender, protector," from Proto Indo-European root *ser- "to watch over, protect" (confer Latin servare "to save, deliver, preserve, protect;" see observe).

So the virile hero in ancient Egypt is the Osiris/Horus story which is in reality the story of our soul and its journey into and out of matter. This is symbolized in the night sky as the journey of the great giant in the sky, Orion. This Orion at times can be quite the fighter as two of the stars that make up his constellation have direct associations with the concept of battle and war. Those would be the left shoulder known as Bellatrix "warlike, skilled in war" and the right leg Saiph "sword". I went further into this topic in my blog post called War, what is it good for?

So the great man of the sky, Wer, has an association with the concept of war.

war
late Old English (c. 1050), wyrre, werre, from Old North French werre "war" (French guerre), from Frankish *werra, from Proto Germanic *werso (confer Old Saxon werran, Old High German werran, German verwirren "to confuse, perplex"). Cognates suggest the original sense was "to bring into confusion." There was no common Germanic word for "war" at the dawn of historical times. Old English had many poetic words for "war" (guð, heaðo, hild, wig, all common in personal names), but the usual one to translate Latin bellum was gewin "struggle, strife" (related to win). Spanish, Portugeuse, Italian guerra are from the same source; Romanic peoples turned to Germanic for a word to avoid Latin bellum because its form tended to merge with bello- "beautiful." The verb meaning "to make war on" is recorded from mid-12th century.
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=war&searchmode=none

The Latin bellum is interesting in its connection to the concept of a struggle or a battle. Ultimately that word can be traced to a Semitic origin, Bel or Ba'al. This deity having the connotation of lord or father. It is a fascinating topic to trace the topic of Ba'al and its condemnation in Jewish literature. I'll have to leave it alone for now though it is tempting to establish the identity of this god and why it has a relationship to battling.

The word urine also retains a connection to war and the constellation of Orion. I commented on it in my previous blog post that I referred to earlier and I'm going to copy and paste the relevant passage here:

The name for Orion relates to urine in greek. Greek mythology describes the origin of Orion as the result of a meeting between Hyrieus of Boeotia and the gods Zeus, Poseidon, and Hermes. Hyrieus at the time did not know they were gods but entertained them with great hospitality anyway. When the gods revealed themselves and thanked Hyrieus they granted him a wish. Hyrieus wished for a son which the three gods engendered by either urinating or ejaculating into a bull's hide and burying it into the ground. The child Ourion was born nine months later. Clouding (ha ha) this story a bit is I'm unsure if two thousand years ago urine referred to the waste product from the kidneys or seminal fluid or both. It seems to be a term used for fluid that is secreted. Here's the history of the word:

urine
early 14th century., from Old French urine (12th century), from Latin urina "urine," from Proto-Indo-European *ur- (confer Greek ouron "urine"), variant of base *awer- "to moisten, flow" (confer Sanskrit var "water," Avestan var "rain," Lithuanian jures "sea," Old English wær, Old Norse ver "sea," Old Norse ur "drizzling rain." Urinate is a 1590s back-formation from urination (early 15th century).
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=urine&searchmode=none

It makes a great deal more sense if urine is referring to the seminal fluid that engenders life as opposed to waste secretion. The word urine, with its suffix ur- leads me to believe it would have more of a connection to light. So what then of the word semen? Where does this come from? Its known etymology leads to a dead end:

semen
late 14th century, from Latin semen "seed," from Proto Indo-European *si-so-, reduplication of root *se- "to sow" (confer Latin serere "to sow," Old Prussian semen "seed," Old Church Slavonic seme, Old High German samo; see sow (v.)).
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=semen&searchmode=none

However since I'm very familiar with the constellation of Orion and the biblical allusions to it, let me be so bold as to suggest a different path for the origin of the word semen. There are these giants in the bible called nephilim that I wrote about extensively in this blog post called Let the sleeping giant lie.  

Their leader was a chap called Semjaza and the story is quite plausible an allusion to the constellation of Orion. I'd connect the sem in Semjaza to the word semen based on the name of one of the three sons of Noah in the bible. This son's name is Shem and it has a connection to a Hebrew word for the heavens, Shamayim. Genesis chapter 11 goes to great lengths to establish the ancestry of Abraham to Shem. It is because of this relationship that the people who trace their lineage back to Abraham are known today as semites (we drop the h in the Sh when anglicizing the name). In my blog post Light my way, I made notes of the relationship between the story of Abraham and Sarah to the journey of light and specifically how that journey parallels the story Osiris and his wife Isis.

One of the prominent features of Osiris is his crown, the Atef.

Osiris with Atef Crown

The Atef is a white heliacal shaped crown surmounted by two ram's horns. The symbol for the ba soul is the ram and the ram is known for its sexual proclivity. In this aspect Osiris belongs to a class of old world virile gods who often sprouted horns such as Dionysos, Bacchus, and Pan and these gods had connections to the ram or goat. Dionysos was turned into a goat by his father Zeus, Bacchus comes from a word for he-goat, and Pan has the horns of a goat which is why the ancient Greeks equated him with the city of Mendes, the Greek name for the ancient Egyptian city Djedet which was also known as Per-Banebdjedet.  The Lord of the ba in Djedet.

Dionysos sitting on a goat

The words horn and corn are synonymous, with the mythical unicorn giving away this connection. Furthermore the words corn, horn, and grain are all related:

corn (n)
"grain," Old English corn, from Proto Germanic *kurnam "small seed" (confer Old Frisian, Old Saxon korn "grain," Middle Dutch coren, German Korn, Old Norse korn, Gothic kaurn), from Proto Indo-European root *gre-no- "grain" (confer Old Church Slavonic zruno "grain," Latin granum "seed," Lithuanian Žirnis "pea"). The sense of the Old English word was "grain with the seed still in" (e.g. barleycorn) rather than a particular plant. 
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=corn&allowed_in_frame=0

Why this is interesting is because of the connection between these grain and fertility gods and lust. If you have ever wondered where the word 'horny' gets its roots from you probably have to look not much further than these deities.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

rhythm and blues


dance of the moon,
pulse of the star.
Ma'at's sacred rhythm
distilled inside me.

birds dance in heaven
to plumb the earth.
my soul has wings
and lives in a sycamore.

sleeper soul,
bounded drift,
temptuous seas,
hetaera lighthouse.

death's allusion
buried in sand.
modern palliative dogma
unable to hear heresy.

sacred fire
is a feeling aflame.
seminary science
can't dissect emotion.

sometimes i get lost
on this lonely climb.
empty spectacle beckons
desire's undertow.

tumultous battle
rages inside me.
coiled vicissitude 
augurs evanescence.

translucent dreams
etching visual poetry.
morning star,
sustaining harmony.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

light my way

Light illuminates my mind. My thoughts swim around freestyle in my mind, planting seeds in my subconscious that light quickens to allow further insights and discoveries, eventually blossoming into this fruit that I have a desire to share.

Genesis 11 tells us Abram, whose name means high father, comes from Ur of the Chaldees. His wife, Sarai, is barren. His father, Terah, leads them on a journey to Canaan. In Hebrew Ur means a place of light so if we are interpreting Abram's birth symbolically then he comes from the region of light as opposed to the literal place called Ur. Canaan is from Kenaan, the son of one of Noah's sons called Ham, who was disgraced when he witnessed the nakedness of his drunken father in Genesis 9:22-26. Canaan was cursed to be a servant of Shem and Japheth. The meaning of the name Shem has a connection to the heavens while Canaan is of the earth, symbolically designating matter to serve spirit.  This story of Abram leaving Ur for Canaan is creative storytelling encoding the descent of the spirit into matter. To further corroborate this interpretation it should be noted that the Chaldees can refer to an astrologer much in the way Abram's direct ancestor's name, Shem, is derived from a Hebrew word shamayin that has a meaning of an astrologer as well.

The word Ur or Ar in many ancient lexicons would refer to light or spirit. The ancient Egyptians, being the preeminent observers of the natural world, ascertained that the eye was the vessel that acted as the sacred conduit to allow light to manifest in this world. Much like the sun and moon gather light that allows them to shine, it could be said that our eyes gather light and symbolically allow us to shine due to this light containing the wisdom of the gods. The ancient Egyptian word for eye would be transliterated as ir.t, with the t denoting its feminine property; the feminine being something that belongs to the material rather than spiritual plane. We find this concept and specific symbol making up part of the name for the great Osiris, as the hieroglyphs representing his name consist of a throne chair, from which we get 'As' and the complete eye glyph from which we get 'ar'', which combine to give us the name Asar.  


The light of the sun, referred to by the ancient Egyptians as Re or Ra, consists of the hieroglyphs of the mouth shape and the arm that is reaching out.


It is instructive to once again remind the reader that although you will read monotonously that Re is the ancient Egyptian sun god and the Egyptians worshipped the sun, Re is in fact the light of the sun. Re was represented as a falcon with a sun disk on his head. The falcon giving away the idea that Re is a free spirit and not tethered to the sun disk, but rather emanates from that disk.

Re with his offspring Shu and Tefenet

Today we might be tempted to call what Re represented a light ray. Of course there is no connection here right? Move along...  The ancient world seemed to have connections and shared ideas especially among the Mediterranean based civilizations due to extensive trading between the nations and a shared synchronistic outlook on the gods. The rise of monotheism and development of Christianity plunged the world into an ever increasing enmity, polarity and darkness. The advent of the Internet and free flow of ideas and cultures is something that has been lacking for two millennium though we still tend to carry our monotheistic inspired attitudes and hatred of those who are different, and who we perceive to worship what we perceive to be false gods, around with us. It is telling that Christianity cannot even agree on worship with many different 'denominations' competing for the loyalty of the flock.

The great body of light in ancient Egypt, Wer, has two great eyes. Depending on whether this light is referred to as Re or Horus, light would have an 'eye', commonly referred to as the Eye of Re or the Eye of Horus. Re is the daytime light encapsulated within the sun while Horus is the nighttime celestial light that would gather and be housed within the moon with the Eye of Horus represented symbolically by the moon. As is such, it would mean Re is the light that has reawakened those who have come forth by day while Horus is the light that comes forth and is accessible to those resident in the night darkness which symbolizes material existence. The Eye of Horus was known as Wadjet, with Wadjet taking its meaning from the green papyrus plant of Lower Egypt, once again pointing to this Eye having a connection with the material plane, i.e. Lower Egypt. This eye was feminine and commonly associated with goddesses such as Hathor, Sekhmet, Tefenet, and Mut. The goddess would be pictorially represented as an uraeus snake that encircled the sun disk or moon, in essence encapsulating the light that was present within the disk.


The abode of the god is the Eye, explaining why these goddesses would contain the potentiality to be an ancestor of, or give birth to a great god of light, whether that be Horus, Nefertum, Ihy, and Khonsu to name a few. Uraeus is the Greek translation of the Egyptian word iaret. In both cases you can see once again the connection of the word for light in ancient cultures sharing a common pronunciation, Ur and Ar in this case. The uraeus cobra worn on the crown of the ruling Pharaoh denoted sovereignty. In essence it symbolized the idea that the light god was resident in the Pharaoh and as such was protected by his mother in snake form.

Pharaoh Psusennes I with uraeus

Now I'm of the belief that the wise and cunning priests of ancient Egypt had through observation and thought, deduced that light is the eternal spirit of the universe, however they used this knowledge to curry political favour and made it the exclusive domain of royalty. It was during the collapse of the Old Kingdom and subsequent First Intermediate period that this knowledge did make it into the hands of the commoner which is described by some Egyptologists as the "democratization of the afterlife", although it wasn't until about 2000 years later when the Greeks actually put democracy in vogue. Anyway in light of this development it is possible to construct a case that the reign of the "heretic" Pharaoh Akhenaten can be construed as reactionary, with a desire to return to the exclusiveness of kingship that was the case in Old Kingdom Egypt. However Akhenaten and his religion of light is a topic I will have to leave for the moment due to the enormity of verbiage needed to tackle it.

So to return to the topic of light, I would like to bring up the etymology of the constellation of Orion, the giant in the sky:

Orion 
late 14th century, from Greek Oarion, of unknown origin, though some speculate on Akkadian Uru-anna "the Light of Heaven." Another Greek name for the constellation was Kandaon, a title of Ares, god of war, and it is represented in most cultures as a giant (e.g. Old Irish Caomai "the Armed King," Old Norse Orwandil, Old Saxon Ebuðrung).


The Light of Heaven is an apt name for the giant who encompasses such a large and bright region in the sky. When Orion descends into matter for a seventy day period in late spring it is metaphorically demonstrating the descent of the soul into its material chains. The ancient Egyptian story of Osiris is the story of this descent into matter, its remembering and resurrection that allows the soul to be born again as the son of Osiris. I have written many posts in this blog that go further into this story. In some of the temples throughout Egypt you will see this story depicted on the walls of the temple such as at Abydos, Denderah, and Philae. In these scenes of Osiris' remembering and resurrection that allows him to impregnate Isis, he is shown lying asleep on a bier that at the head has a lion's head and at the other end has a lion's tail.

Temple of Seti I, Abydos

Temple of Philae, Aswan

It's curious symbolism as the connection to lions and Osiris is unclear. Personally I believe the connection is that Osiris lying on a lion bed is representing the light spirit at rest. How so you ask? Well glad you asked.

This light is a lion and should be represented properly as the seventh sign in the zodiac. That the ancient Egyptians had formulated names for stars and constellations is not in dispute but the evidence is pretty flimsy as to whether they had a defined zodiac of their own. The evidence for zodiacs in ancient Egypt are mainly from Ptolemaic temples built near the close of the first millennium and were influenced by Babylonian astrology. However there is plenty of evidence of astronomical ceilings from the time of Seti I in his tomb in the Valley of the Kings and the Ramesseum temple ceiling and even more star ceilings in tombs and coffins that date much further back in time. Both these structures date to the time of construction of Seti's temple at Abydos around 1200 BC that contains this poignant scene of Osiris lying on a lion bed. At any rate there are connections of light with lions such as the name Ariel which means lion of god giving us a connection to the Ar - light and a lion. In the same vane we can see that the name Uriel means angel of Light or flame of God. Western astrology treats Libra as the seventh sign but if we properly take Aquarius, the pouring out of light energy, as the first sign then the lion as Leo is the seventh sign. Aries has been fixed as the first sign due to it rising at the vernal equinox during the Hellenistic age when the tropical system of astrology was established however if properly you start from Aquarius it will start to make sense as the story of the spirit's descent into matter. Here is the Coles notes version:

Aquarius pours light energy out into the universe, Pisces represents the two main components of this light energy which are wisdom and consciousness. Wisdom is the soul, represented in ancient Egypt as the ba while consciousness is the energy that allows this soul to come alive which is the ka in ancient Egypt. Wisdom needs this consciousness but as we know it is also its downfall that leads to its death. Aries is the Ram, its bleating of ba giving away what it represents. It is prolific in its creation activities much like a ram.  Next is Taurus the bull, the untamed charging bull being the ka symbol in ancient Egypt. They are shown again in the next sign, Gemini, as twins that are forever linked. The next sign, the crab, is originally the beetle, which is the symbol for becoming that gives us an idea of the potentiality of us all in this journey of becoming. This leads us to the seventh sign Leo the lion. Leo is royal light and the King however in the ancient world it was believed the journey of the soul into matter was an arduous journey and once completed you would rest on the seventh leg of the journey. Hence why you would see Osiris, the symbol of the ba in its journey, resting on a lion's bed. Check out the sign for Leo and its similarity to the hair of Hathor.



Also you'll find Astarte/Ishtar/Inanna/Asherah/Qadesh, all forms of Hathor, depicted with lions or standing on lions.




Here is Wadjet pictorially represented with Horus as the lion king wearing the double crown to denote his kingship.


As I have mentioned in previous posts, Osiris, when encapsulated in matter, is the husband of Isis however when he is reborn in the constellation of Orion as Horus the Elder his celestial wife is Hathor. Fittingly Horus the Elder's Egyptian name is Heru-Ur, once again giving us the connection to Ur and light in the ancient world.

Heru-Ur

Here is my blog entry that makes clear the relationship of Osiris and Horus within the constellation of Orion. So the great light father is at rest in matter after being given birth by the great mother goddess Hathor in the west.  n order to enable rebirth into different planes of existence it was understood that Horus must become kamutef, the "bull of his mother".  Today we would hurl the epithet "motherfucker" at such a person :) The sacred mother that gives birth into different manifestations is Hathor. After being at rest in the sign of Leo the light moves on to be born again of a Virgin in the sign of Virgo. I'll leave the journey of light through the zodiac for now.

Is this story still relevant today or can we find echoes of it? In the animated movie by Disney "The Lion King" you can see the pieces of the great Osiris and Horus story. The lion cub Simba is born to great fanfare as the heir of the throne. His uncle, representing Set in the story, tricks him into believing he is responsible for the death of his father the King who is representing Osiris. Simba flees the pride, grows up and avenges his father's death just like Horus and then takes his rightful place on the throne. Light once again becomes unmistakably a lion.


So what then of my connection of Abram to this region of light? If this story is just another iteration of this ancient motif then it should not be difficult then to find echoes of it within this biblical story. Well let's go find them. I'll use the King James Version of the bible.

   12 Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, This is his wife: and they will kill me, but they will save thee alive.

Abram fears he will be killed upon his descent into Egypt (matter). He also knows they will lust after his beautiful, old, barren wife.

   13 Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee.

Sarai is described as Abram's sister much like Isis is Osiris' sister-wife. Furthermore Isis is the house of conception for the eternal soul in the material world and it is through her that the ba soul is reborn as Horus.

From Karnak there is an inscription calling Osiris 'he who resides in the house of conception' alluding to the impregnation of Isis and the consequent birth of Horus.
-The Routledge Dictionary of Egyptian Gods and Goddesses, by George Hart, pg. 120

Abram is saying that his soul will survive because of Sarai.

   17 And the LORD plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai Abram's wife.
   18 And Pharaoh called Abram, and said, What is this that thou hast done unto me? why didst thou not tell me that she was thy wife?
   19 Why saidst thou, She is my sister? so I might have taken her to me to wife: now therefore behold thy wife, take her, and go thy way.
   20 And Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him: and they sent him away, and his wife, and all that he had.

The descent into matter, symbolized by Egypt, is ruled by the beastly Set. Pharaoh plays the role of Set who lusts after Isis and wishes to take her as his own but cannot.

He (Set) experiences heterosexual desire towards the goddess Isis.  His feelings are not returned.  He is so badly deceived by Isis, that he complains in tears to Re.  (Author cites Beatty papyrus 1, 6, 2 sqq. for this claim)
Seth, God of Confusion, by H. Te Velde, page 55.

   1 Now Sarai Abram's wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar.
   2 And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai.

In the story of Isis and Osiris, Isis' sister Nephthys disguises herself as her sister in order to seduce the virile Osiris. Being true to that motif, Hagar, who is Sarai's handmaid from Egypt/matter, plays this role in accepting the abundance of Abram's life creating ability.

   5 Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.

Abram is given a name change as is Sarai to Sarah later on in verse 15 that have connections to being a father of a great multitude and nobility. This foreshadows a great miraculous prince to be born to the previously barren Sarah.

   10 This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised.
   11 And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you.
   12 And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed.

God requires the act of circumcision as a token between him and his people. This occurs on the eighth day in the case of newborns. As I explained in the Coles Notes version of light's journey through the zodiac, on the seventh leg in the sign of Leo, light rests while on the eighth leg in the house of the Virgin it is born anew. This is the symbolism of the eighth day circumcision. Feel free to use this to impress at parties.

   2 And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground,

Three men of importance show up to tell Abraham and Sarah they are going to have an important kid. Seems a common motif of three wise men showing up to presage some great birth.

   7 And Abraham ran unto the herd, and fetcht a calf tender and good, and gave it unto a young man; and he hasted to dress it.
   8 And he took butter, and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat.

The symbolism here is the sacrificing of the life force, ka, of the young calf that will allow the newborn ba soul to be born into the material plane of existence.

   1 And Abraham journeyed from thence toward the south country, and dwelled between Kadesh and Shur, and sojourned in Gerar.
   2 And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister: and Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah.
   3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she is a man's wife.

After Abraham and Sarah journey to Gerar the King of Gerar takes possession of Sarah much like Pharaoh, as Set, had tried. Isis is wanted by all the Kings of the material world but the attraction always remains unrequited.

   28 And Abraham set seven ewe lambs of the flock by themselves.
   29 And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What mean these seven ewe lambs which thou hast set by themselves?
   30 And he said, For these seven ewe lambs shalt thou take of my hand, that they may be a witness unto me, that I have digged this well.
   31 Wherefore he called that place Beersheba; because there they sware both of them.

Abraham digs a well at Beersheba and gives seven lambs to Abimelech to commemorate it. Here we have the connection to seven and incarnation into matter. The flock of lambs are representing the young ba soul on its journey into matter. Beer means a well and Sheba is seven or swearing an oath. The swearing of an oath can be referred to as to seven oneself. Beersheba is then the place where the soul incarnates into matter.

   33 And Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba, and called there on the name of the LORD, the everlasting God.

Abraham plants a bunch of trees at this place that figuratively the spirit has entered into matter and then he calls on his god. The trees are tamarisk. The tamarisk is the tree that encapsulated Osiris' coffin when it floated to the shores of Byblos after his death at the hands of Set, symbolizing Osiris as the soul being at rest in the hard tree trunk which is representing matter.

    6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together.
   7 And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?
   8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.
   9 And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.
   10 And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.

After God tells Abraham to make a burnt offering out of his son, Abraham dutifully obeys.  Abraham goes to sacrifice Isaac, his first born.  Symbolic of the ba soul having to "die" in matter in order to be born again. 

   13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.

Right on cue, a ram shows up as the symbolic substitute for the first born son of Abraham and Sarah.  A Ram (ba) becomes the substitute sacrifice for Isaac.

These are just some of the connections that tie the story of Abraham and Sarah to the greater ancient motif of the incarnation of the soul and its arduous journey that eventually will lead to our greater self. If what I have expounded on in the above is correct then it should be a recurring meme that continues throughout the Old Testament, especially in the stories of the patriarchs. The names may change but the stories will all share a common thread, the thread being the great light spirit and its journey into and out of material existence.