Tuesday, November 4, 2014

son of the gold

Exodus 32:4 And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

I freely admit to an obsession with ancient Egypt and in conjunction with that exercise which keeps my mind at full throttle is my interest in the Bible, its myths, and how they relate to the Egypt of antiquity that I love. The story I'm about to write has become more personal as the last six years have unfolded. I could not have written this two years ago even though had all the information at my disposal. The reason is that I didn't know what it all meant. If these stories are just some disparate and elaborate myths then on the periphery you could make some sense of them but the myth's essence would remain forever elusive. My understanding of the myth is only because my searching for meaning led me to the Goddess and then she guided me to a place of wisdom and enchantment. This Goddess is the same Goddess that was worshiped in antiquity and she is rising again at this point in time after years of suppression at the hands of the patriarchal dominator religions and the cold calculations of alpha male society. She retreated to a lush green forest and with that now under attack she has launched her counter offensive. The story I'm about to tell is time eternal and this power is available to all should you choose to walk down this path. I owe an immense debt of gratitude for the gifts I have been given by the Goddess and I love her with all my heart.

Hathor at Kom Ombo

When the ancient Israelites were encamped in the Sinai desert after their escape from Egypt there was an incident detailed in Exodus 32 where they asked the priest Aaron to make them a calf of gold to worship. This was due to the disappearance of their intercessor Moses who had seemingly abandoned them on the mountain which he had ascended in order to talk to YHVH. Aaron dutifully complied and created the golden calf for the Israelites to worship. The idol was said to represent the gods that brought them out of Egypt. Up to that point though it seems that it was YHVH that led them out of Egypt so why would they worship another? Well back in Exodus 3:14 when Moses was first instructed to approach the Israelites with the offer to relieve them of their toil in Egypt, Moses asked YHVH who is it should he tell the Israelites that sent him and Moses is told to say: I AM hath sent me unto you. Apparently the Israelites were familiar with the idea of I AM and would be amenable to Moses' message if told it was coming from I AM. There is no reason to suspect they now think differently and what we can deduce out of the situation is that this I AM character is not YHVH and is remembered as a golden calf. So let's find out who this calf of gold is and what it represents.

Nicolas Poussin - The Adoration of the Golden Calf

The Israelites had just come out of a long sojourn in Egypt so they would have presumably been exposed to the ideas that were prevalent in the land of the pharaohs, so that's the most natural place to look for evidence of a golden calf. Identification can be narrowed down due to the idol being a calf. From this we can deduce it is a child of a god and goddess. The Hebrew word used for calf is 'egel which identifies it as male bullock frisking in a circular motion. Bull cults were quite prevalent in ancient Egypt. The main cults were Apis, Mnevis, and Bucchis. A popular story 'Anpu and Bata' is centred around the life story of the bull Bata which has drawn scholarly comparisons to the Genesis story of Joseph. The Apis was worshiped as the Ka of Osiris; Ka being the ancient Egyptian idea of the life force with its hieroglyphic representation being the icon of a bull.

Apis bull on coffin

Mnevis was the sacred bull of Heliopolis and Ka herald of Re in this locale and also the earthly representative of the god Min from Coptos. It was this bull cult of Mnevis that the iconoclastic Pharaoh Akhenaten made plans to propagate at his desert outpost in Akhetaten.

Mnevis bull being worshiped

The Bucchis was sacred to a war god called Montu. However none of these bulls represent a son of a goddess or have a connection to gold.

Bucchis bull

Looking into the annals of Egyptian mythology the main goddesses are Isis, Hathor, Sekhemet, Nephthys, Neith, and Mut, with a great deal of the other goddesses being aspects of these aforementioned ones. Isis has Horus as a son.

Isis with baby Horus

Hathor's offspring is Ihy, while the destructive side of Hathor, Sekhemet, has a child called Nefertum.

Ihy coming into the presence of Hathor and Horus

Sekhemet with Seti I at Abydos

Tutankhamen as Nefertum emerging from a Lotus 

Nephthys, the spouse of Set, is childless though in a later myth she is impregnated by Osiris and gives birth to the jackal Anubis.

Nephthys from a painted shroud
Author: Keith Schengili-Roberts

Neith has the crocodile deity Sebek as her son.


Sebek at Kom Ombo

Mut gives birth to the mummiform Khonsu who has healing and lunar associations.

Mut with Khonsu

Surveying these male progenies of the major goddesses, Ihy stands out due to the fact he can be represented as a bull and Hathor was often called 'The Gold'.

Despite Ihy's usual depiction in anthropomorphic form, there is limited evidence of the god being depicted in the form of a calf.
The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt, Richard H. Wilkinson, page 133

Ihy was a child god, whose name was interpreted by the Egyptians themselves as 'sistrum player' or 'musician' and who personified the jubilation associated with the use of the sacred instrument. Another meaning of his name could be 'calf', referring to his relation to the cow Hathor who was usually held to be his mother - as at Dendera, and at Edfu where he appears as Harsomptus.
The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt, Richard H. Wilkinson, page 132

Horus was frequently considered to be Ihy's father, but Ihy was also said to be the child of Re. Ihy is generated once the principle of the soul, called Ba in ancient Egypt, is born again from the martyred Osiris as his son Horus, with Isis being the womb that regenerates the soul in the material plane. The soul then discovers the Goddess Hathor and their union produces this golden child. Ihy being a personification of the ability of the soul to generate this power, or as the ancient Egyptians called it Ka, would be linked to the regenerative cycle of the path of the sun symbolized in the ruling Re of material creation and thus this connected to Re as Re is the male progenitor of these powers that make up the Ennead of Heliopolis.

The idea of a golden child born as the newborn sun in the east was prevalent in ancient Egyptian history and it appears in many different motifs. The scarab Khepri symbolized the sun's journey through the netherworld at nighttime only to be reborn in the morning.

Khepri the scarab at the Temple of Philae

The scarab pushes a ball of dung eastwards and in the morning newborn scarabs alight out of the dung ball giving the appearance of rebirth. At the temple of Kom Ombo the new born child was known as Harsomptus, 'Horus the uniter', and given the title Panebtawy which means 'Lord of the two lands'. He was associated with the right eye, 'the eye of Re', which further defines his essence as being cyclical and capable of entering the material plane. Harsomptus was the son of Hathor and Haroeris, this form of Horus being known as 'Horus the elder'. It is the principal that Horus represents, the soul, maturing and then being able to produce a male offspring with the great Goddess Hathor. Remember Horus' birth mother was Isis and she is the womb that rebirths the soul into the material plane that is generated from the father Osiris, who represented the soul in its latent state, a death of sorts, upon entry into matter. Hathor is the great mother of all life here in the material plane and loves the soul dearly. It is through her help that the soul is to complete this journey. The offspring produced by a union of the soul with her as symbolized by the pairing of Horus with Hathor is the generation of their son who is called Ihy/Harsomptus. This figure will be the material power the soul relies on to guide and ultimately deliver it forever from its material chains and obligation to repeat the journey. Also the Egyptians elevated this principle in the idea of the horizon deity Harakhty who embodied this principle in his role as the ruler of the two horizons of east and west where the sun sets and rises each day. This golden child contains within him the lineage of both Re and Horus as he contains the Ka power held by Re and inherited from the great Goddess and the Ba soul that comes from Horus. I should explain then the power that comes from the lineage of Re and Hathor more clearly. Re is the Mnevis bull of Heliopolis and thus the head of the Ennead worshiped at this ancient sacred site.  He is the father of the physical powers of the material world that the ancient Egyptians personified as Shu who is the air and Tefenet who is moisture.

Shu and Tefenet with Re

Their children are Geb the earth and Nut the sky.

Nut and Geb at Kom Ombo

From them we get Osiris, the soul who descends to the material plane, and Isis, who is the womb for the latent soul.

Isis with the enthroned Osiris at Abydos

The union of these two principles generates the reborn soul known as Horus.

Horus on entrance ticket for Edfu Temple

As well, from first the union and then separation of Nut and Geb by their father Shu, the air, are the powers of Set and Nephthys.

Set and Nephthys with Hatshepsut at Karnak

Set is the opposite power of the Ba soul of Osiris as he represents the untamed Ka life force power of the beast. His sister, consort, and complementary power who is Nephthys, is the mother of all the physical life here on earth. This dichotomy of Nephthys being the mother of all yet barren is explained in relationship to the soul and its physical passage through earthly incarnation. The body she provides for all creatures is temporal and perishable. In the grand scheme of things it is the soul that is immortal and lives on therefore the mythos describes her womb as barren because as a goddess it does not create the immortal. Her husband Set is the complementary gendered other half of this material temporal Ka power that animates the beasts of the world. This pair of Set and Nephthys are the incarnations of the power of the father and mother gendered energies of the physical world, called Re and Hathor, that are immediately present. So the powers contained in this golden child are derived from both the soul and the life force. Expanding on this idea comes forth the answer why the ancient Egyptians could explain that Ihy's father is both Horus and Re.

The idea of the bull calf representing the reborn sun and being the child of the goddess Hathor is evident throughout the dynastic period of ancient Egypt.

The sycamore (nehet) was a tree of particular mythical significance.  According to the Book of the Dead, twin "sycamores of turquoise" were believed to stand at the eastern gate of heaven from which the sun god Re emerged each day, and these same two trees sometimes appear in New Kingdom tomb paintings with a young bull calf emerging between them as a symbol of the sun.  While the cosmic tree could take on a male aspect as a form of the solar god Re-Horakhty, the sycamore was usually regarded as a manifestation of the goddess Nut, Isis, and especially Hathor - who was given the epithet "Lady of the Sycamore." 
Symbol & Magic in Egyptian Art, Richard H. Wilkinson, page 90

Sun rising through twin sycamores with the white cow Hesat representing Hathor

Continuing with the connection to the Ka there is evidence that the god Khnum, the fashioner of the Ka/life force and the goddess Heqet combine to make an Ihy as is shown in this picture.

Khnum and Heqet fashioning Ihy at Denderah

The goddess Heqet is the same as the Greek goddess Hecate who represents the threefold nature of the feminine divine.


From the Greek connection we get the son of Aphrodite called Eros; who is the more familiar Cupid of Roman mythology. These connections are interesting because it paints a picture of these special child deities of goddesses as embodying the creative impulse as well as love and eroticism not to mention the use of a bow and arrows to cast a spell upon lovers. As the child of the Goddess they are often depicted naked. 

Cupid naked

Eros naked

Ihy naked

This is important when examining Ihy because of these shared attributes.

The son of Hathor and Horus, Ihy is depicted as a naked boy wearing the child’s braided side-lock, with his finger to his mouth, or as a calf, in accord with Hathor’s depiction as a cow. Ihy is characteristically depicted playing the sistrum, and his name is sometimes interpreted as ‘sistrum-player’, although it seems more likely that it is a diminutive of the word ih, ‘bull’. Musicians are seen in reliefs impersonating Ihy in celebrations of Hathor, identifiable by the menit necklaces they wear and the sistra or clappers which they hold. These are perhaps among the class of priests of Hathor who bear the name of Ihy. Horus son of Osiris is said in (Coffin Texts) CT spell 51 to impersonate Ihy “in jubilation.”

The creative impulse was what Ihy was known for, especially in his role as a music maker. Ihy is called 'the lord of bread' and is said to be 'in charge of the beer'. These epithets of Ihy are referring to his role in the shamanic rituals involving coming into contact with his mother Hathor. Through the shaking of the sistrum and clapper as well as ritual intoxication, which would have included hallucinogenic admixtures to the weak beer of the ancient Egyptians, the adherent would be led to Hathor though the music making and frenetic dancing led by Ihy as the shaman. As was mentioned above there was a class of priests of Hathor who bear the name Ihy and it is in essence describing Ihy as what we would now classify as a shaman. Egyptologists have yet to concede that ancient Egyptian religious practices were shamanistic in nature but they do recognize what was going on in their worship involved acts that an anthropologist would easily recognize as the domain of the shaman.

In the Coffin Texts and the Book of the Dead Ihy is called 'the lord of bread' and said to be 'in charge of the beer' in reference to offerings, but also possibly in allusion to ritual celebrations which involved intoxication in the worship of Hathor.
The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt, Richard H. Wilkinson, page 133

This particular hymn describes Ihy in his role of creating ecstasy and bringing the adherent into the presence of the Goddess.

Behold him,
As he makes for you pure Ihy-music.
His body speaks, his lips repeat
Pure Ihy-music for Hathor.
His heart is straight,
His inmost being is open,
No darkness is in his breast,
O Lady, see the dancing,
Companion of Horus, see the dancing!

Behold Ihy, Lord of Hearts,
Behold Ihy, Son of Hathor, 
Splendid Lotus beside His Mother.

He speaks:

I am the perfume of My Mother,
I am the oil of Her Offerings.
I am the Child, flesh of my Mother.
I am the beads of the Menyat
Placed at Her Throat.
I am the Sistrum,
Played for Her Contentment.

I rise from the Secret Mansion,
Like Re, shining on the horizon.
I am a Child birthed by Light,
Rising as a Swallow,
Soaring as a Falcon.
I rise.

I rise from Darkness, a Miracle,
Like Hathor, I am shining, fragrant.
I am Renewed by Her.
Life wakes as seed and flame,
Springing up within me.
I rise.

But, as important, by making music they also become incarnations of Hathor's musical and mercurial child, Ihy, whose presence at the Sed Festival of Amenhotep III is symbolized by the leaping frisky bull-calf at the head of the dancers.
Hathor Rising, The Power of the Goddess in Ancient Egypt, Alison Roberts, page 29

So once again it is important to recognize the solar aspect of Ihy that has him taking the circuitous path of the sun and symbolized by the bull; his leading of the reborn soul to the east to meet the Goddess; his dancing; and his music making. We see in the vernacular used to describe the Exodus golden calf the same ideas and themes. The Hebrew word for the bull is 'egel which is describing a young bullock leaping and dancing in a circular fashion. The Israelites celebrate the conjuring of this idol with wild celebratory behaviour with the promise the golden calf is to lead them to the east and the promised land. In Exodus 32:25 we are told that ...Moses saw that the people were naked; (for Aaron had made them naked unto their shame among their enemies:) and this parallels with the celebration of the son of the goddess who is naked and dancing wildly. With that in mind we can speculate on a few matters. First it seems curious that Aaron, the priest who conjured the calf of gold at no time faced any repercussions for this act. After thinking long and hard about why this was, I came to the conclusion it is because he is a sorcerer. He was used earlier in Exodus by YHVH to conjure a serpent from his staff that was capable of devouring the best the magicians of ancient Egypt could summon. Now his powers were being used by the Israelites to summon the power that was to lead them on through the Sinai desert and into the promised land. Eventually Aaron and his sons, the Levite line of priests, were consecrated to YHVH to be the priests capable of acting as mediators between YHVH and the Israelites. Secondly the golden calf was the manifestation of this Ihy principle, in essence a shaman that is generated by the soul that will lead them directly to the Goddess. In ancient Egypt the Ihy class of priests are to lead the adherent to Hathor.

Renewal through Hathor only comes about by surrendering, letting go and moving to her rhythms.
Hathor Rising, The Power of the Goddess in Ancient Egypt, Alison Roberts, page 28

Continuing along in our study we should take a look at the birth of Ihy from his mother to see what that tells us about the essential nature of this golden child.

Ihy describes his birth in graphic terms in spell (CT) 334: “I am indeed the Great Seed, I have passed between her [Hathor's] thighs in this my name of Jackal of the Sunshine. I have broken out of the egg, I have floated on its white, I have glided on its yolk, I am the Lord of blood.” The special emphasis laid upon Ihy’s birth underscores his ability to help one invoking him to break out from the womblike darkness; thus in spell 563, the operator says “I will see a path with the vision of my eye like Ihy, the son of Hathor, her beloved.”

The author of this analysis is very astute in their comparison of the violent birth of Ihy to his essential attribute of being summoned to help the adherent break out from the womblike darkness. The soul has been reborn but is still ensconced in the material plane. Ihy, described as a 'Jackal of the Sunshine' will show the soul the opening and pull them to the path to exit into the heavens in the east at sunrise. The jackals in ancient Egypt, as Anpu and Wepwawet, are openers of the ways through the physical dimension and the penultimate guides through this plane.

Anpu on a plinth at Saqqarah

Wepwawet guiding Seti I at Abydos

Ihy also describes himself as the 'Lord of blood'. In this instance blood is referring to the essential life force that propels life onwards in the material plane, the rich redness of the blood connecting it to this power, and which the ancient Egyptians would call Ka. This is very interesting because this power is the domain of Re to propel him on his never ending cyclical journey; it is the essence of the bull worship of the ancient Egyptians; and also it is personified in the earthly realm by the beastly Set who as this Ka power destroys the Ba soul upon its entry into the material plane as I have detailed previously in a couple of blog posts I have written.

A note of interest is the violent birth of Set from the thigh of his mother Nut in the heavens. It is an abortive birth of Set as opposed to the breaking free of Ihy, as the language used for the birth of these powers are representational of the coursing life force they symbolize. Looking deeper into these myths at this point some ideas start to formulate in the mind concerning how this ties in with Exodus story of the Israelites leaving Egypt and then worshiping a calf of gold in the Sinai desert. It is YHVH who is the main power that leads the Israelites out of Egypt and then once in the desert forces them into a covenant to be their sole god after terrorizing them with displays of ferocity. The Israelites have no choice to accept this or perish at that point however when it appears they are free of that requirement they revert back to longing for and worship of the child of the goddess, the expected saviour, who they were originally told was to lead them out of Egypt. This is your aha moment where you start to see the historical expectations and connections of this principle to the saviour promulgated in Christianity and in addition the idea of a now needed redeemer to release the soul from its ghastly covenant that it entered into with YHVH. There is much more to this story which I will eventually get to but for now let's explore more about Ihy's birth and his role as a jackal that leads the soul to the great mother goddess. I will quote liberally from the book 'Hathor Rising' by Alison Roberts.

Tomb reliefs of the Old Kingdom depict allegorical scenes of herdsmen fording a stream with their cattle. A herdsman carries a calf, identified with Ihy, across the stream on his shoulders, enticing the other cattle to follow. Here Ihy seems to represent the call to resurrection, to cross over to a new life.

In CT spell 36, Ihy is said to bear “the living waters” in his hands. In spell 146, Ihy is said to be the protector of the deceased. In spell 271, a spell for becoming an unidentified type of bird, the operator says “I am he who saw the Unclothed One, the son of Hathor,” meaning Ihy, while in spell 326, for becoming Horus, the operator is said to have seized Ihy and thus to have gained control over Sia, ‘perception’.

Crossing the stream is symbolizing the soul traveling over the waters of incarnation always mindful of drowning in them once again. The journey is facilitated by Ihy as the calf who leads the other souls to new life. 'The living waters' of CT spell 36 is an allusion to the Goddess who is now inseparable from Ihy. In the following hymn Ihy describes how as an opener of the ways for the soul he forcefully pushed his way out of the womb in order to lead his followers on to the light as the jackal would do. He describes himself as the 'Lord of blood' which once again is Ihy saying he is the life force power to be used by the soul to progress in its journey. This is the Ka power of the ancient Egyptians which he confirms by stating 'I am a turbulent bull.' Ihy is in essence the light and the way. 

My awesomeness precedes me,
As Ihy, the Son of Hathor,
I am he who begets a begetting,
I flowed out from between her thighs,
In this my name Jackal of the Light,
I broke forth from the egg…
I escaped in her blood,
I am the Lord of blood,
I am the Lord of blood, I am a turbulent bull…
I came into being, I crept, I travelled around.
I grew, I became tall like my father.

This child then, 'the Jackal of Light', is like the animal whose tracks are followed by travellers in difficult desert terrain-indeed a guide for those in the difficult passage to new birth.
Hathor Rising, The Power of the Goddess in Ancient Egypt, Alison Roberts, page 30

The soul by nature is on a path of becoming and that accelerates once awake as it is to push on towards the east to be released into the new day's dawn. 

It is to be expected then, that this remarkable child of Gold, 'the splendid lotus flower besides his mother' is much sought after by those in quest of new life at dawn.
Hathor Rising, The Power of the Goddess in Ancient Egypt, Alison Roberts, page 30

This power that leads the soul to the Goddess and new life can be favourably compared once again to the role of the shaman in many indigenous cultures around the world. The shaman is in contact with the world of spirit and acts as the agent that can bring the adherent's soul into contact with this world through ritual methods of music, dancing, percussion, and intoxication.

In spell 334 Ihy identifies his place of birth as Punt (Somalia), perhaps in connection with this land as a source of perfumes, for he goes on to identify himself with the incense with which Hathor is censed, as well as the oils with which she rubs on her skin, the menit necklace with which she is adorned, the sistrum with which she is serenaded, her clothes and so forth. Ihy thus expresses the totality of Hathor’s pleasure and everything which pleases her. Spell 484 is for giving a dress to Hathor and then for donning it, in the process of which the operator affirms that “Ihy is in my body,” and at the end of the spell the operator is envisioned as Ihy sitting in Hathor’s lap, the ultimate worshiper of Hathor, as it were. In BD spell 47, “for not letting N’s seat and throne be taken away from him in the God’s domain,” the operator addresses the seat, saying that “it is my Father who made you for me while I was in the retinue of Hathor, for I was the priest there, Ihy … as musician of Wennofer [Osiris].” CT spell 588, a very brief spell “for being in the presence of Hathor,” consists almost entirely of the appeal, “O Ihy, Ihy, I will be in the suite of Hathor.” From all this it is clear that one of the principal, if not the principal role of Ihy is to provide access to Hathor.

When I travelled to the Amazon to participate in an ayahuasca ceremony conducted by an indigenous shaman I was intrigued by how much of their ritual contained elements that are ascribed to Ihy in order to bring the participant into the presence of the Goddess. You are ritually cleansed, perfumed, and incense is burned to create a sacred space. After drinking the ayahuasca the shaman sings his special songs called icaros while shaking a leaf bundle called a chacapa in order to guide the traveling soul that has temporarily left the body. The shaman is the master of this visionary realm and you rely on them to help you navigate these realms. The Ihy priests of ancient Egypt were then it seems to be the ones responsible for providing this access to this goddess that the Egyptians called Hathor.

(CT) Spell 334 is for becoming Ihy; the spell identifies Ihy as the son of Hathor but also of Nephthys (a reference earlier in the spell to “the womb of my mother Isis” and another similar one later perhaps refers rather to the operator of the spell, who subsequently affirms that “I desire my name to be on their lips [the living] as Ihy, son of Hathor”). Ihy is said here to be “brotherly to men and Gods” and to hear, i.e. to be responsive to prayers. Ihy’s power of hearing is mentioned more literally in the so-called Negative Confession of BD spell 125, where one affirms to “Ihy who came forth from the Nun,”—that is, from the precosmic oceanic abyss—that one has not been loud voiced (i.e., violent). Ihy is referred to as “a child in the speech of those who govern,” that is, to be important even though a child, is characterized again as a protector, to “protect the patricians from the Gods and vice versa.” Such statements indicate that Ihy is seen as an intermediary between humans and the other Gods. To this might be related CT spell 457, “for entering to the Gods to whom a man desires to enter,” in which it is said that “the fly is ushered into Ôn (Heliopolis) for Ihy,” indicating that Ihy has the power, like a fly, to penetrate the tightly sealed sanctuaries of the other Gods, gaining admittance for the operator.

Here once again is the idea of Ihy being the intermediary between the realms of the divine and of the human world. This power is something we associate with a priest however a better definition for clarity purposes is the shaman. The shaman can take you to these places while the priest acts on your behalf. These passages clearly demonstrate it is the former in which Ihy is acting.

As I transition to an examination of the Hebrew texts that are pertinent to this discussion I'd like to mention this legend of the Hebrews. The legend that grew out of that story was that a bull did lead them across the Red Sea. 

According to Hebrew tradition, the Israelites saw a vision of a bull before them as they made their perilous crossing over the Red Sea. Once they had arrived safely on the far side, they proceeded to make a golden image of the calf in joyful celebrations. For this was the Calf of Gold who had led them to safety out of Egypt, and so must be worshipped, thanked and propitiated.
Hathor Rising, The Power of the Goddess in Ancient Egypt, Alison Roberts, page 32

Okay so before I tackle the Old Testament scriptures that directly pertain to my thesis and how they tie together my connection of Ihy to the calf of gold idol, I am first going to point out the idea of the soul's helper in characters that appear in the first two books of the Bible. First of all there is the story of Lot in the book of Genesis to examine and what I'm going to do is comment on the verses that carry within them meaning that is hidden but with careful study we can get to the underlying ideas. I have taken these texts from the King James Version of the Bible.

Genesis 13:1 And Abram went up out of Egypt, he, and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the south.

Lot can mean a veil or covering but more important for our purposes here the fragrance of myrrh can also be called lot in Hebrew. Ihy is described as the perfumed effluence of his mother, the myrrh that drips off her limbs in this hymn. Here Lot is acting as a servant for Abram and just as Ham's son Canaan was to serve Shem and Japheth, Lot the son of Haran is to serve the soul Abram. 

Genesis 13:3 And he went on his journeys from the south even to Bethel, unto the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Hai;

Noted in this verse is the language used such as tent for the tabernacle of the soul; been which comes from the Hebrew hayah and which carries with it a meaning of the act of becoming on a journey. Beginning comes from the Hebrew tchillah which is describing an opening. In order to enter into this plane you need to get in through an opening and within ancient religions there would be references to an opener. In ancient Egypt it is the jackals, Wepwawet and Anpu, who are the openers of the ways and would prepare the way for the coming of something greater. This theme continues into Christianity as the coming of the saviour has to be preceded by such an opener. It is the role of John the Baptist to prepare the way for Christ and upon the return of Christ, a John the Baptist type must once again make way for him. One more thing to add about the Hebrew word tchillah: it comes from the Hebrew chalah which is a word that means to profane, defile, open, and gather the grape, play the pipe, and take inheritance. In coming into mortal existence and embarking on this journey your soul is entering a profane world that will be the cause of its suffering and defilement but is necessary to claim your rightful inheritance. The piper at the gates of dawn is the Orphic archetype, the music maker Ihy as the shaman, that leads the soul out of this mess.

Genesis 13:6 And the land was not able to bear them, that they might dwell together: for their substance was great, so that they could not dwell together.

As Abram's journey to the east completes, which is the path of the soul, he has no need of Lot anymore to carry him on this journey so the story of a separation of the two is inserted here.

Genesis 13:8 And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren.

Abram describes the relationship with Lot in the terms where they are brothers and wishes for them to separate amicably. This is in contrast to the separations of Cain and Abel or Esau and Jacob which do entail strife because they are the firstborn not of the reborn soul and the Goddess but rather the beastly firstborn that are the property of YHVH.

Genesis 13:10  And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar.

Jordan comes from the Hebrew Yarden, a river, which comes from a word meaning to descend, yarad. This language being applied here to Lot, who is a servant of Abram, is connecting him to the openers I was referencing earlier. The connection with the boundary of the river Jordan suggests he is akin to a John the Baptist type who helps those who are transitioning into different planes. The verse then foreshadows the events of Sodom and Gomorrah. Jordan is compared to the Garden of Eden and Egypt. All places that the soul does not belong but is strangely attracted to.

Genesis 13:12 Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom.

The verse is continually emphasizing that Lot is heading east to the plain of Jordan. My head is dancing with images of the circuit of the sun. Plain is from the Hebrew kikkar, which describes a circuitous path with the cities being the various stops along this path. The Ba soul Abram is staying in this physical existence for now while the Ka life force Lot is rejoining the cycle of the sun rising in the east to eventually prepare to incarnate once again to help another journeying soul.

Genesis 19:17 And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.

We jump ahead to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. The family of Lot is instructed to escape for their lives. They are told not to look behind them as that will signify heading back into matter. They are told not to stay in the plain; plain being translated from the Hebrew kikkar, which is referring to the valley of the Jordan. It is this plain that is suggestive of a circuitous journey that Lot continues on. It is the journey of re-incarnation into successive life forces to help purify souls. They are told instead to head for the mountain. The mountain leads up high that will allow Lot and his family to break through into the spiritual plane.

Genesis 19:30 And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he feared to dwell in Zoar: and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters.

Lot dwells in a cave with his two daughters; the cave being an allusion to the ancient mother goddess.

Genesis 19:32 Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.

This verse is always a tough one to justify for the pious amongst us. It carries allusions to the ancient Egyptian incestuous relationship between the goddess Hathor and the re-born soul Horus ruling as the Pharaoh. The Pharaoh must impregnate the mother goddess so that she will give birth to a child of the dawn that opens the way back into the spiritual realm and allows the cyclical kingship of Egypt to renew itself. The two daughters of Lot are representative of the two goddesses involved in the re-birth of the soul, Isis and Nephthys, and the engendering of a life force that will open the way and carry that soul to the spiritual realm. The word preserve is translated from the Hebrew chayah which has the association to the great world mother Eve and the life force. I have written about this idea in this blog post called dark secrets.

Artemisia Gentileschi - Lot and his Daughters

Switching from the story of Lot to the story of Joseph we see a connection with myrrh as Joseph is sold into slavery in Egypt at the hands of his brothers. 

Genesis 37:25 And they sat down to eat bread: and they lifted up their eyes and looked, and, behold, a company of Ishmeelites came from Gilead with their camels bearing spicery and balm and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt.

The brothers see a caravan that is journeying to Egypt. Egypt is used as a metaphor for being imprisoned in matter. The profane Ishmeelites are heading that way. The Hebrew word for myrrh is lot and it is interesting to point out that in Genesis 12:5 when Abraham descended into Egypt he took Lot, Abraham's brother Haran's son, with him and now that Joseph is about to be dragged into Egypt he is on a caravan carrying lot. 

Another character to look at is the full brother of Joseph via Rachel, who is called Benjamin. Joseph represents the enlightened soul journeying in matter and it is interesting to see how his brother Benjamin is described.

Genesis 42:4 But Benjamin, Joseph's brother, Jacob sent not with his brethren; for he said, Lest peradventure mischief befall him.

Ten of Joseph's brothers are to head down into the material plane called Egypt but Jacob does not send Benjamin. Benjamin is his last known connection to his favoured wife Rachel and after having already lost Joseph, Jacob wishes to keep Benjamin close.

Genesis 42:38 And Reuben spake unto his father, saying, Slay my two sons, if I bring him not to thee: deliver him into my hand, and I will bring him to thee again.

Jacob is insistent on Benjamin not going down into the material plane metaphorically known as Egypt. He is of course unaware that Joseph is alive, has made the passage into the material plane safely, and will see to it that nothing bad happens to Benjamin. In relation to the ancient Egyptian idea of the Ba soul in the form of Osiris and then as the reborn son Horus heading first into the material plane parallels Joseph's journey while the son of Horus and the goddess Hathor, who is the golden Ka life force as Ihy the golden calf, appears to help the soul finish its journey much like Benjamin makes the journey to Egypt just as Joseph is to return home triumphantly in his position as the chief administrator of Egypt.

Genesis 44:30 Now therefore when I come to thy servant my father, and the lad be not with us; seeing that his life is bound up in the lad's life;

The Hebrew word used for life in this verse is nephesh. This is quite illuminating as nephesh is the life force. So we can gather that the brothers are representing two important aspects of Jacob in his transformation to Israel. Re-born as Joseph is his soul and re-born as the purified life force is Benjamin. Jacob's physical life is continually tied to the well being of Benjamin.

Genesis 44:33 Now therefore, I pray thee, let thy servant abide instead of the lad a bondman to my lord; and let the lad go up with his brethren.

Joseph imprisons Benjamin by way of a ruse and Judah pleads for Joseph to take him as a bondman and let Benjamin return, go up as in the Hebrew 'alah', to his father.

Genesis 44:34 For how shall I go up to my father, and the lad be not with me? lest peradventure I see the evil that shall come on my father.

Judah pretty much says he can never return to Jacob without Benjamin.

Genesis 45:27 And they told him all the words of Joseph, which he had said unto them: and when he saw the wagons which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of Jacob their father revived:

When Jacob is convinced of the truth of their tale his spirit is revived. This is of the utmost importance to understand what is meant by spirit here. Spirit in this case is from the Hebrew ruwach which is the soul. As I have mentioned before the two brothers, Joseph and Benjamin, are the two aspects of Jacob's spiritual awakened self that makes him Israel. Without Joseph, his ruwach aspect, part of Jacob was missing and it was only through Benjamin, his purified life force, that he remained alive. With the news that Joseph was alive and prospering Jacob became once again complete. 

Genesis 49:27 Benjamin shall ravin as a wolf: in the morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he shall divide the spoil.

Benjamin, the name means son of the right. Think back to Ephraim and Manasseh where Jacob insists on blessing Ephraim with his right hand. The right hand is the blessing of the first born. You have to look again at this passage to figure out what is referred to by Benjamin being the son of the right. It is telling us that the power of the right hand here demonstrated symbolically as being invested in Jacob and representing the power to open and animate life, has a son. In ancient Egypt when the soul is re-born and enters into a relationship once again with the Goddess in a sacred marriage the result of this relationship is a son but the son has a lineage that goes back to to the power of Re that is responsible for material creation. This son will be the impetus; the cyclical movement that allows the soul to then travel ahead and make a return to the spiritual realm. This power is the son of Horus (the born again soul) and the goddess Hathor; it is derived from the right eye of Re. His name is Ihy and he comes forth at dawn like a jackal of light. Benjamin is described as a wolf. He is Orion's Canus Major, Osiris' Wepwawet, and Joshua's Caleb. Jacob was despondent without his son Joseph, in essence the aspect of himself that is his soul. When he was threatened with the loss of Benjamin he was adamant that without Benjamin he would surely die in shoal. Benjamin is the aspect of him that is his ticket out of the material plane. The jackal is a well known psychopomp that mediates between the spiritual and material planes. In this verse this is esoterically encoded in the mention of morning and night. At dawn he delivers the soul into the heavens; in the evening time he takes the soul into the depths of the material plane. He lives on the balance and divides the planes. His sign is the judgment sign of Libra. It's telling that the wolf survived as a symbol of the judge as I explain in this blog postIn the ancient Egyptian judgment scene the jackal Anubis delivers the aspirant to the scales of justice. Furthermore, an overlooked detail from the birth of Benjamin is the death of Rachel in child birth. This is signifying that generating this principle marks the end of the protection of the birth mother to the soul much like Horus cuts the head off of his mother Isis in The Contendings of Horus and Set in order forge ahead on his path and create his own destiny.

Now that we can see a theme of a force that travels with the extraordinary biblical characters of the Old Testament that embark on perilous journeys we can carry that idea through to the collective group called the Israelites who are to leave Egypt and embark on a journey east to the figurative promised land. Just as the individual soul was blessed with a helper to propel it along, the collective will be presented with the same opportunity. The first mention of this principle appears when Moses has to explain to the Israelites who exactly it is that is offering them the chance to escape their bondage in the physical world that biblically is represented as Egypt.

Exodus 3:13 And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?

Moses asks the big question. Who shall he tell the Israelites it was that has sent him? Reading between the lines we can be fairly certain that if Moses says YHVH sent him the Israelites will either not know who he is referring to or possibly they will reject this help.

Exodus 3:14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

The famous passage begins with God, in this case the plurality of gods called the Elohiym, saying I Am that I Am and it means I am becoming so that I can become as the Hebrew words used are hayah aser hayah. However this is a two parter if you examine it closely. In verse 13 Moses says he will first tell the children of Israel the God of your fathers hath sent me unto you. So the first part of verse 14 is describing this action, the impetus that sends Moses to them. Hayah means becoming and it is a verb. It is the force that propels the transfigured soul on its journey. It is the force that Benjamin was for Jacob that I described in Genesis 49. It is Abraham's Lot. Lot as this force dwells among the profane of this world, the Sodomites, and Abraham rescues him because he needs him. Lot means myrrh and it is as the effluence of myrrh that drips from him that connects him to the Goddess. This force is the child Ihy, the leaping bullock, of the Goddess Hathor and the reborn soul Horus that comes forth in the Eastern dawn as part of the journey of becoming in ancient Egypt. It is the scarab, Khepri, in ancient Egypt that struggles to orient itself and push its dung ball towards the east so it can be reborn and rise majestically in the morning's dawn. It is the unstoppable force propelling us to keep moving in the story of the journey of our souls. Then the second part of this verse answers the question about the name. All the children of Israel that are now awake in matter and desire to continue on their journey of becoming need to know that the force that propels them on this path is present and has sent Moses to deliver them.

Exodus 3:15 And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.

The Elohiym further tell Moses to tell the children of Israel that also YHVH has sent him and this is the name you shall know the Lord of creation by for ever and remembered by all generations. Moses is to tell the Israelites that dual principles of I AM and YHVH have sent him.

I'm now going to bounce around a few verses from Exodus that will tie some other biblical characters to the golden calf. Now that I have detailed the signs and symbols that can be interpreted as representative of the presence of a figure that has the power to help the soul along in its journey it will help with the connection and understanding of how these figures are part of the story of the golden son of the Goddess. First of all let's go straight to Exodus 32 where Aaron is asked to conjure up this idol.

Exodus 32:1 And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.

The Israelites grew impatient with Moses and felt the need to forge ahead in their journey. Moses had brought them into contact with YHVH and they were preparing to move on without him, therefore they ask Aaron to make them gods that will go before them and lead them out of the wilderness. The figure of Aaron as displayed before Pharaoh in Exodus is a character who is great in magic and can summon the gods. This passage ultimately refers back to Exodus 3:14 when Moses was instructed to tell the Israelites that I AM had sent him in order to get the Israelites to follow him. This I AM THAT I AM is the jackal of light that leads the soul on in its relentless journey of becoming. 

The golden calf of the ancient Egyptian Goddess Hathor is described as a 'Jackal of Light' in this declaration from the Coffin Texts, spell 334, of the First Intermediate Period in the ancient Egyptian dynastic history. Once again I present this passage.

My awesomeness precedes me,
As Ihy, the Son of Hathor,
I am he who begets a begetting,
I flowed out from between her thighs,
In this my name Jackal of the Light,
I broke forth from the egg…
I escaped in her blood,
I am the Lord of blood,
I am the Lord of blood, 
I am a turbulent bull…
I came into being,
I crept, I travelled around.
I grew, I became tall like my father.

This child then, 'the Jackal of Light', is like the animal whose tracks are followed by travellers in difficult desert terrain-indeed a guide for those in the difficult passage to new birth.
Hathor Rising, The Power of the Goddess in Ancient Egypt, Alison Roberts, page 30

Exodus 32:3 And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron.

The language used signifies that the earrings were designed to be permanent as befits a servant or property. They are to literally break off the earrings which metaphorically releases them from bondage. From this act they will craft the golden calf which they hope will lead them now to their destiny in the east since they figure Moses has abandoned them.

Exodus 32:4 And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

Moses originally told the Israelites that I AM sent him way back at the beginning of Exodus. Aaron the sorcerer whips up the idol that represents who Moses was talking about and who the Israelites remember as bringing them up out of Egypt. Aaron crafts this idol from the gold. Calf is from the Hebrew 'egel' which describes a young and frisky male calf. The idea of the frisky, leaping bullock fits in with the description of the ancient Egyptian golden calf Ihy. Investigating the Hebrew word 'egel' we find that it is derived from 'agol' which means to be circular and revolve. The idea of the golden calf is the power that enables circular rebirth of the soul out of the material plane. It is an enlightened form of the life force power that powers creation. The life force can be provided by YHVH with strings attached or it can be generated within by an enlightened soul and it leads to the place in the east where the new sun would be reborn at daybreak; the result of the enlightened soul communing with the Goddess, and the end result the generation of this golden calf. We can trace this idea in the Israelite journey. It first manifests in Exodus 15 during the song of Moses. 

Exodus 15:2 The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father's God, and I will exalt him.

This first part of the song is saying Yahh saved them from bondage with the masculine stressed. In the previous verse YHVH was referenced twice and in this verse it is as Yahh that divinity is named. Furthermore the singular word 'el is used to described Yahh as Moses' god. Moses also is saying he will prepare him a habitation; presumably a place in his heart. The verse concludes with father of the Elohiym I will exalt. In this verse Yahh has a connotation with music and salvation. Later on the musical connection with Miriam makes the meaning of this verse clearer because if we look back upon the I AM exegesis back in Exodus 3:14 we can ascertain that Moses is drawing on the inner strength provided by this power. It is a power that has connections to music making and saving strength; I will once again refer you to the child of the Goddess in ancient Egypt who is called Ihy, the y at the end of the name denotes the plural. This power is a power generated by the reborn soul in conjunction with the Goddess that is a saving power in the sense it delivers you from material incarnation. This Ihy is a night time music maker and one you would make a home for in your heart. Later on in verse 20 of Exodus 15, Miriam leads the women in song and dance. In essence the generation of this saving principle of the golden calf began in this chapter. 

Exodus 15:3 The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name.

Immediately following the declaration of Yahh as a power for salvation and music making we get reminded that YHVH is considered a war god. In ancient Egypt war gods were the mighty gods of the Ka such as Montu and Set.


These are strong, martial, and of the material world deities with the power to destroy and a power one needed to be wary of lest they get out of hand. The last line is interesting stressing that this war god's name is YHVH presumably a differentiation from Yahh of verse 2.

In Exodus 17 the Israelites come upon the Amalekites and it is the figure of Joshua who leads the Israelites to a victory over these dark forces.

Nicolas Poussin - Joshua fights the Amalekites

Exodus 17:9 And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: to morrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand.

Joshua is introduced in this verse. The name has a meaning of saviour and deliverer and the comparisons to the New Testament Jesus are valid. The Greek and Septuagint versions translate the name as Jesus. He is to be the saviour of these people. Interesting that he is introduced here following Moses striking the rock in order that it will release water to save the people from thirst. If we look at Moses as leading the people out of bondage and Joshua delivering them to the promised land then it can be shown that these two figures are intertwined. Joshua brings the sword and Moses holds the staff of the Elohiym. It is also important to look back at a previous chapter where in Exodus 15:2 we had Moses preparing a place in his heart for a god named Yahh. Moses here in this chapter strikes a divine rock and out comes saving water and a saving presence. Moses specifically calls Yahh his strength and his yeshuah. This power within him will successfully prosecute his battles.

Curiously it is because of this striking of the rock, which is in essence the generation of the saviour Joshua, that Moses is to be denied entrance to the promised land by YHVH in Numbers 20:1-12. The act has the characteristics of a grudge that YHVH holds due to Moses' generation of a principle that YHVH wants to suppress. Joshua is the side of the golden calf that fights for the deliverance of the soul. A central idea of the Old Testament is who is to provide the needed force to propel the soul onwards. Abraham had Lot, Jacob had Benjamin, and the Israelites who have left Egypt have contracted with YHVH to provide this service, though we have seen helpers in the form of the god Yahh and Joshua appear to help them. This power is referenced again in Exodus 23 which also appears to Christian commentators as a prefiguring of Christ.

Exodus 23:21 Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him.

Some commentators connect this figure to Christ and it is interesting that they would when YHVH is saying here that he will not pardon your sins. I believe we have already seen this character before. It is in the figure of Abraham's Lot who accompanied him into Egypt; it is the myrrh that was singled out in the caravan that sold Joseph into slavery in Egypt; and it is the ravenous wolf Benjamin who is the son of Jacob, which Jacob could not afford to part with lest he die as he explained in Genesis 42:36-38. The translation hides some vital clues. Provoke is from the Hebrew marar which means bitter. Bitter refers to the feminine divine and the bitter myrrh that is her essence. The name Lot means myrrh. Joseph heads to Egypt with myrrh and the canine manifests in the description of Benjamin. The declaration 'for my name is in him' refers to the god Yahh who appeared to defend the Israelites in Exodus 15:2. Immediately following his appearance Joshua came on the scene and these two figures of salvation contain elements of YHVH's name. The idea of a personal saviour is one I believe YHVH felt necessary to address as it is an opportunity afforded to all souls. YHVH wants to claim this for his own and save the Israelites from their bondage and stake a claim to their soul. This other figure opposes this plan of YHVH's. This Yahh/Joshua figure is in essence the gods of Israel that led them out of Egypt, the golden calf.

The idea and manifestation of the golden calf contains within it two parts. One is the celebration and merriment that its presence generates because of the salvation it will bring to the soul and the second principle is a martial aspect that will fight for the deliverance of the soul.

Back to the scene in Exodus 32 where we will see the wild celebration that the appearance of the golden calf engenders.

Exodus 32:5 And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow is a feast to the LORD.

A few ideas emerge out of this verse. First of all it is clear Aaron is an impartial conductor of the soul. Many view his role in this idolatrous affair as being one of complicity and then express disbelief a holy man can get away with exclaiming he was only doing what the congregation wanted. The second idea relates back to the commandments given by YHVH. The first commandment is thou shall have no other gods before me. In keeping with this Aaron fashions the golden calf and then immediately announces that the feast to be held tomorrow will of course honour YHVH because he is the number one god. Aaron has no delusions of monotheism, rather he is keeping faithful to the commandment that sets the hierarchy of the gods.

Aaron and the golden calf

Exodus 32:6 And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.

The reborn rising sun is symbolic of the golden calf and therefore the people rise early to celebrate this feast.

Exodus 32:7 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves:

YHVH sees what the Israelites are up to and informs Moses that they are in sin.

Exodus 32:8 They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

With Moses seemingly out of the pictures the Israelites may have realized the pact they made with YHVH that consecrated their souls to him was a huge mistake. They get Aaron to fashion for them a golden calf that represents the gods that got them out of Egypt and those gods would be the aforementioned Yahh and Joshua. If this situation was left to play out then the Israelites would presumably begin their trek to the east where their rebirth will take place led by these gods.

Exodus 32:9 And the LORD said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people:

YHVH has dealt will the Israelites long enough to know that they will continually let him down. It is in this passage that he seemingly has had enough of them.

Exodus 32:10 Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation.

YHVH's anger is hot and ready to destroy these Israelites who he has described before as his children. After he destroys them he mentions to Moses he will make of him a great nation. Moses is part of the Levite tribe that is to be a holy priesthood dedicated to YHVH. Reading between the lines I wonder if this is what YHVH wanted all along? He had mentioned previously in Exodus 19:6 that he wanted to make them a kingdom of priests and a holy nation, presumably to worship him. The stage is now set for YHVH to wipe out the unholy among them and by unholy what is really meant are those that have not bought into his master plan.

Exodus 32:12 Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people.

Moses appeals to YHVH to to take a deep breath and not destroy the Israelite people. Moses rightfully brings up the point that the Egyptians will correctly deduce they were dealing with a cunning destructive force if he lays waste to these people in the wilderness. Moses also calls out YHVH on his evil intent. Can a loving god be prone to fits of anger, rage, and jealousy with a propensity to lash out with murderous intent?

Exodus 32:13 Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and saidst unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it for ever.

YHVH had previously promised by an act of swearing that the ancestors of these patriarchs will be richly rewarded. YHVH had entered into a covenant and by breaking it he would be in violation of his own laws.

Exodus 32:14 And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.

YHVH thinks better of genocide.

Exodus 32:17 And when Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said unto Moses, There is a noise of war in the camp.

Joshua the martial helper of the soul in its material journey, appears in this verse in the context of hearing the noise of war in the camp.

Exodus 32:18 And he said, It is not the voice of them that shout for mastery, neither is it the voice of them that cry for being overcome: but the noise of them that sing do I hear.

Moses corrects Joshua and says he hears singing. Singing without Moses present brings into mind the song of the goddess Miriam from Exodus 15:20.

Exodus 32:19 And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses' anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount.

Though Moses had previously assuaged the anger of YHVH concerning the idolatry over a graven image now that he sees it for himself he flies into a fit of rage. The worshiping of the calf is a direct challenge to the authority of YHVH and his intercessor Moses. The breaking of the tablets is the symbolic breaking of the covenant and it's a grave foreshadowing of death and destruction to fall upon the tribe.

Moses breaks the stone tablets

The calf and the dancing are iconic to the ancient Egyptian worship of the goddess Hathor and her son Ihy. I'm reminded again of this 'Hymn of Ihy' attributed to Pharaoh Intef:

Behold him,
As he makes for you pure Ihy-music.
His body speaks, his lips repeat
Pure Ihy-music for Hathor.
His heart is straight,
His inmost being is open,
No darkness is in his breast,
O Lady, see the dancing,
Companion of Horus, see the dancing!
Behold Ihy, Lord of Hearts,
Behold Ihy, Son of Hathor,
Splendid Lotus beside His Mother.
He speaks:

I am the perfume of My Mother,
I am the oil of Her Offerings.
I am the Child, flesh of my Mother.
I am the beads of the Menyat
Placed at Her Throat.
I am the Sistrum,
Played for Her Contentment.
I rise from the Secret Mansion,
Like Re, shining on the horizon.
I am a Child birthed by Light,
Rising as a Swallow,
Soaring as a Falcon.
I rise.

I rise from Darkness, a Miracle,
Like Hathor, I am shining, fragrant.
I am Renewed by Her.
Life wakes as seed and flame,
Springing up within me.
I rise.

Exodus 32:20 And he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it in the fire, and ground it to powder, and strawed it upon the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it.

This destruction of the calf parallels the Passover lamb and its annihilation. Whatever the Israelites cannot eat of the lamb they utterly burn. In this case the calf idol is melted down, ground into powder, and consumed. The power inherent in the conjured calf is rendered impotent by the ingestion of the powder. It's the same idea used by the witch hunters in the middle ages when they burnt the accused witch at the stake completely in order to destroy their power.

Exodus 32:21 And Moses said unto Aaron, What did this people unto thee, that thou hast brought so great a sin upon them?

This is the vexing question that has puzzled many scholars. Why did Aaron condone and participate in this behaviour? The only answer is that his figure is one of an impartial figure that is accessible to the soul in its journey to the east while ensconced in the material plane. It is telling that YHVH wishes to co-opt this power by consecrating Aaron and his sons to him once the tabernacle is constructed. This consecration will ensure Aaron and his descendants steer the soul permanently towards the domineering YHVH. Until this takes place though, Aaron acts as a sorcerer in accordance to the desires of the soul.

Exodus 32:22 And Aaron said, Let not the anger of my lord wax hot: thou knowest the people, that they are set on mischief.

Aaron address Moses as his lord and sums up the people as being inclined towards behaviour of this sort and in essence is telling Moses he should have expected it.

Exodus 32:23 For they said unto me, Make us gods, which shall go before us: for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.

Aaron simply says he was asked to make them gods so he did. Moses had disappeared and was presumed dead.

Exodus 32:24 And I said unto them, Whosoever hath any gold, let them break it off. So they gave it me: then I cast it into the fire, and there came out this calf.

Aaron has no reason to lie here so this should be taken at face value. It is describing Aaron as a magician. If we go back to Exodus 7:8-12 we see that Aaron was able to transform his staff into serpents so this is hardly surprising. The connection here is that it is because of this ability that YHVH wants him to be his high priest here in this plane of existence.

James Tissot - The Rod of Aaron Devours the Other Rods

Exodus 32:25 And when Moses saw that the people were naked; (for Aaron had made them naked unto their shame among their enemies:)

Moses sees the licentiousness of the people and decides this behaviour is causing shame in front of their enemies. Why they need to worry about what their enemies think of them is not addressed. The meaning of naked comes from the Hebrew 'para' which can also be translated as running wild. It fits in with the golden calf and iconic descriptions of it in ancient Egypt of a leaping frisky bull-calf and Ihy being depicted and described as a naked boy. In CT 271 Ihy is described as "I am he who saw the Unclothed One, the son of Hathor."

Ihy naked from crypt #4 Denderah

But, as important, by making music they also become incarnations of Hathor's musical and mercurial child, Ihy, whose presence at the Sed Festival of Amenhotep III is symbolized by the leaping frisky bull-calf at the head of the dancers.
Hathor Rising, The Power of the Goddess in Ancient Egypt, Alison Roberts, page 29

Filippino Lippi - The Worship of the Golden Calf

Exodus 32:26 Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the LORD'S side? let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him.

It's time to pick sides. You are either for YHVH or against him. The tribe of the priests, Moses' clan, all came over to Moses' side.

Exodus 32:27 And he said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour.

Going back to Genesis 34 when Levi along with Simeon avenged the rape of Dinah at the hands of Shechem, the son of Hamor the Hivite, we have again Levi being used as an instrument to deliver justice by the perverse act of cold blooded murder. Even though Moses had originally talked YHVH out of this act he now condones it in his name. The language sure seems to suggest that no one was spared.

Exodus 32:28 And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men.

The number given that were slain is 3,000 which presumably includes women and children. It is a bit of a confusing number considering the command was given to slay all. Was it just the worst offenders? If we remember back to Exodus 12:37 it was said 600,000 had left Egypt however I questioned that number due to the use of the 'eleph for thousand which can also mean clan or refer to a first born. So if there were 600 clans then the 3,000 number makes sense in terms of an annihilation. The thousand from this number is from the 'eleph as well. But following this verse Moses will address the remaining people telling them they need to be absolved of their great sins. It seems possible a clan could be made up of a thousand people so the idea that 3 'eleph were killed means the equivalent of three clans were wiped out.

Exodus 32:29 For Moses had said, Consecrate yourselves to day to the LORD, even every man upon his son, and upon his brother; that he may bestow upon you a blessing this day.

The breaking of the stone tablets in verse 19 was the symbolic destruction of the covenant so the remaining Israelites were to once again consecrate themselves to YHVH. Blessing comes from the Hebrew 'brakah' which is derived from 'barak'. It is the method Jacob used in Genesis 48:20 to bestow upon Ephraim and Manasseh a blessing and set the second born Ephraim ahead of the first born Manasseh.

Exodus 32:30 And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses said unto the people, Ye have sinned a great sin: and now I will go up unto the LORD; peradventure I shall make an atonement for your sin.

Moses tells the people he will go back up the mountain and have a word with YHVH and seek forgiveness for their straying.

Exodus 32:32 Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin—; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.

YHVH is the judge and Moses appeals to him to forgive, i.e. pardon, the Israelites. Moses offers himself as a sacrifice if YHVH turns down this request. It is a clever ploy by Moses as he deduced correctly that YHVH needed him as his instrument that will lead the Israelites to the promised land. Without Moses to lead them, the Israelites will once again turn to its gods, conjured up in this chapter as the golden calf. This verse also deserves closer attention with the claim that YHVH has a book where he has written the names of those that presumably are in his 'good books'. It is a function that in ancient Egypt was the domain of the divine scribe Thoth who would record the judgment of the soul in his book.

Thoth as scribe with Ihy resting on his crook

Moses fits the profile as Thoth more realistically than YHVH as traits of Thoth/Hermes are as a psychopomp, a scribe, a messenger, a judge, a seer, and someone who moved freely between the realms of human and the divine. However because of the bias of the Old Testament that glorifies the one god, the divine attributes are transferred to the exclusivity of YHVH. Hermes in mythology leads the soul to the underworld but does not lead them out. We see that reflected in Moses' failure to make it into the promised land. 

Exodus 32:33 And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.

This seems to be a repudiation of the request of Moses. None of this generation including Moses will reach the promised land so YHVH does not let bygones be bygones.

Exodus 32:34 Therefore now go, lead the people unto the place of which I have spoken unto thee: behold, mine Angel shall go before thee: nevertheless in the day when I visit I will visit their sin upon them.

YHVH will send his approved Angel to lead the Israelites to the promised land instead of the golden calf. However he warns Moses that the day will come when he will pay a visit on these people and will punish them. No forgiveness here.

Exodus 32:35 And the LORD plagued the people, because they made the calf, which Aaron made.

Before he visits them to punish them YHVH sends a plague to ravish the Israelites. The anger of YHVH that he unleashes through his wrath, though somewhat tempered by Moses, results in murder, threats, and disease released upon the Israelites.

To sum up Exodus 32 is all about the golden calf incident. The Israelites suspected Moses had perished on Mount Sinai and so their natural inclination was to get the priest of magic, Aaron, to conjure up a replacement image that will lead them out of the wilderness and into the promised land. The golden calf is the composite of the characters of Yahh and Joshua that were introduced previously in Exodus as figures that guide and fight for the Israelites in their journey. The idea of a calf of gold harkens back to ancient Egypt and the child of the goddess Hathor called Ihy. YHVH catches wind of the celebrations in the camp and becomes very angry as he wants to be the sole provider of protection of the soul in its journey. In essence his protection comes with strings attached and is an eternal form of bondage for the soul. Conversely the idea of the golden calf is a positive force generated from within that will lead you to rebirth out of the material plane. YHVH can't have this competition so unleashed on the disobedient Israelites is the murderous rampage of the priest clan called the Levites that is followed by a plague and then an ominous warning that theses sins will further be visited upon this particular generation of Israelites.

In the following chapter Joshua is mentioned once again. 

Exodus 33:11 And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle.

Mention is made here of Joshua now in conjunction with the tabernacle. The tabernacle that Moses placed here allows for the spirit of Joshua to manifest once again among the people. Joshua is described as a servant of Moses, a young man, and Nun means something that is perpetual and an action of resprouting. The idea being conveyed here is unmistakable as Joshua being the principle that is forever coming no matter what the situation or powers that try to prevent it. It is the idea of resurrection. As I explained in Exodus 32 which was about the manifestation of the golden calf, Joshua is the martial side of the spirit that leads the soul on into its ultimate destination in the east. The joyous spirit of the calf was destroyed but the ever recurring, fierce nature of this spirit lives again in Joshua and manifests now to move the soul forwards. As well in this verse let me emphasize that Joshua is called the 'son of Nun'. In the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead, spell 125 describes 'Ihy who came forth from the Nun' as it seems both cultures had an idea of this power that was always present in the primordial waters, nun, and can manifest in the material plane. The waters that generate life is the domain of the great mother goddesses of antiquity so naturally it is her son that comes forth when the water breaks and engenders a new life.

Joshua son of Nun

The golden calf returns later on in the book 1 Kings where King Jeroboam of Judah makes two calves of gold and they are described again as plural gods that brought Israel up out of Egypt.

1 Kings 12:28 Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

King Jeroboam of Israel and the golden calves

In spite of the constant suppression of the power that was representative of the calf of gold, the worship continued into the monarchical period of Judaism despite the prohibition against it. A people that we are led to believe owe everything to YHVH kept backsliding into worship of this idol. Today we are taught to believe that they were misled into this aberrant behaviour and that this heresy needed to be on guard against. However what our modern minds do not make a connection to is that the worship of an idol is in fact the honouring of something that has brought you great favour or has the potential to do so. So instead of dismissing this particular worship instead it is more instructive to look at the root causes of why these people would return to the worship of the golden calf. There is something about this worship that is not being explained in the biblical texts and so we must go outside the scriptures to find context. So the concluding question becomes what does it mean and is it still relevant today?

Using the power of Ihy allows the soul to march onwards in its journey and avoid returning to its former state. In CT 368 the adherent uses this power to avoid eating excrement. The idea of eating excrement is symbolizing being worldly and returning to a state of impurity and decay. The soul needs to move forward and not return to its former ways that ultimately caused its death in the first place.

In spell 495, the deceased is said to have fled with Ihy from certain “slayers” and “carvers strong of arms” who would presumably have as their goal the recycling, so to speak, of the soul’s constituents. In spell 698, Ihy is said to turn back “him who comes to close a man’s mouth,” that is, to prevent the resurrection. In spell 1011, another spell against eating excrement, it is affirmed that “the statue of the shrine of Ihy is firm in front of Ihy, the arms are firm in front of Ihy, and Ihy goes round about,” referring perhaps to Ihy’s unimpaired ability to receive offerings through the medium of his statue. In BD spell 149, Ihy, “lord of hearts”, is invoked from the first of the “mounds of the house of Osiris in the Field of Rushes” and called upon to “reconstruct my bones and make fast the double crown of Atum,” the double crown being the symbol of universal sovereignty.

The slayers and carvers strong of arms are the material forces prevalent that prevent the soul from heading on its journey east. These powers come to derail the march to the east and are described as "him who comes to close a man's mouth." When Ihy is said to go round about it is describing the power to perpetually reincarnate as Ihy is a power present in cyclical time. Though adversarial powers conspire to prevent this from happening it is an universal constant to keep coming.

This lengthy dissertation has been about finding this power within the sphere of worship that the ancient Egyptians practiced. I have identified the golden calf with Ihy, the spirited son of Hathor. The power he represents is a animating creative power that propels the soul onwards in its journey of return to the great mother in the east. Ihy has the capacity as a shaman to bring the adherent into the presence of the Goddess. This power is all contingent on the soul first being reborn in the material plane. Upon entry into this plane, the soul symbolized by Osiris, is left for dead at the hands of the agent of the soul's destruction and that power is mythologized as the beast Set. The Goddess in the form of Isis, with the help of her sister Nephthys, though grief stricken desperately search for the body of Osiris in order to re-member and rejuvenate him. Once they complete the reconstitution of the soul, Isis through her magic is able to impregnate herself with Osiris' seed. From this union the soul is reborn as Horus and assaulted once again by the destroyer Set. The baby Horus is at first hidden and protected by his mother Isis and her helpers. Eventually Horus grows up and must fight this Set on his own accord though the mother is always present wanting to intervene and help. If Horus as the soul can get the upper hand on Set in this titanic and ceaseless struggle then eventually he takes the goddess Hathor as his consort and through this union is produced this child Ihy. This symbolizes a power that gives the soul the strength to move forward to the east in its journey. Ihy has a power comparable to Set but his power is used not for material aggrandizement and destruction of the soul but instead for something greater that transforms the soul into a shining source of good that transcends the material plane.

Ihy is in essence this self generated Ka power needed by the soul to get out of the material plane. It can be produced by a soul that has been resurrected after first becoming inert in the material world. The soul is helped along in its journey by the feminine divine and then ultimately can generate this power to free itself. The golden calf is a freedom of sorts for the Israelites from the onerous covenant they had entered into with YHVH. Once again I will point out the similarities to the Jesus character in the New Testament. This principle has within it the power of healing and resurrection and though pursued by the authorities in order to stamp it out, this lamb once sacrificed, returns. Jesus comes at first primarily as a way to release the Israelites from the covenant. He becomes the scape goat and sin offering that breaks the hold the domineering YHVH has over them. The presence of the golden calf caused Moses to smash the tablets that symbolized the covenant and the meaning of the symbolism of that scene now becomes self evident. Though rejected and scorned this power remains with the worst of the worst and available to all. We first saw that idea in the person of Lot who hung out with the lowest of the low in Sodom just as Jesus who hangs out with the thieves and whores

This principle of the soul's helper is an eternal and reoccurring power. In Judaism and its offshoot Christianity we see the repeated attempt at its suppression. The rituals in Judaism such as the slaughter and destruction through burning of the Passover lamb, the feast of unleavened bread, and the circumcision rite of the newborn are all designed to prevent this power from materializing in the material plane. The situation comes to a head in the Sinai desert with the golden calf incident and the subsequent wrath that is brought to bear on the Israelites because of this persistence and longing for the expected saviour. This idea continued on into Christianity as its suppression eventually gives way to the renaissance of its redeeming qualities. In Christianity the principle is allowed to come forth but then once again is corralled and just like the Passover lamb this power it put up on a cross, insulted, and murdered. To stay true to the power's ability to keep reoccurring, the Jesus myth has him resurrected but instead of continuing on in his mission he is kicked upstairs and put out of the picture. We are told he is to return again but he never does. What a ruse! In fact he is always returning and is available to all. The substitute Jesus is the one that has taken hold in mainstream Christianity. Ultimately this power cannot forever be suppressed so the latest assault on it instead acknowledges it and then removes it from the equation. This power is here and available to help. It's your ticket out of here.

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