Ancient Egypt: The Light of the World
THE MAKING OF AMENTA
The puzzle-picture of the astronomical mythology had to be collected from its many scattered parts and put together piecemeal, and the method of presentment is panoramic. It was not practicable to tell the story straight through with chronological sequence. For instance, in portraying the eschatology of the Ritual, in the fourth book, the existence of Amenta had to be taken for granted, before the making of this under-world had been described as the excavation made by Ptah the opener and his seven Ali or coworkers.
As a group, the eight great gods of Am-Khemen were followed by the Put-cycle or Ennead of the Nine. The word Put, whence the name of Putah or Ptah, denotes the number nine, and the Put-cycle was formed when Ptah was added to the earlier eight great gods. Neither Anup nor Taht was now the highest one. The groups of seven and eight, however, were not submerged. The group of seven survived as [Page 345] the seven Khnemmu, moulders or metallurgists who assisted Ptah the divine craftsman, and the group of eight to which he was the ninth god are sometimes described as the children of Ptah. In an inscription at Edfu they are called “the most great of the first time; the august who were earlier than the gods, children of Ptah, who issued forth from him, engendered to take the north and the south, to create in Thebes and in Memphis; the creators of all creation”, according to the later, i.e. solar, mythology. The earliest form of a divine father-hood was outlined though not perfected in the pygmy Ptah; hence one of his titles is “the Father of the Fathers”, which indicates the father-hood that was founded on the eldest brother. Ptah was a solar god who did not attain the status of Ra.
Now, until the time of Ptah, Amenta was not founded as the earth of eternity in the subterranean regions, nor excavated from one horizon to the other as a pathway for the nocturnal sun and the Manes. Sebek, the crocodile-headed god, swam in the water round about the earth from west to east upon the outside of the mount. Horus crossed the waters on the wings of the hawk. Behutet or Aten of the disk rode on the wings of the vulture, Tum-Horus was the calf that issued from the cow of earth, and Har-Makhu passed from one side of the mount to the other through the body of the Sphinx. The Amenta had not then been hollowed out. The passage through the mount from west to east was tunnelled now by Ptah and his coworkers, who in this character might be called his seven navvies. When Ptah, the supreme craftsman of
the gods, constructed his terrestrial and subterranean house of the double earth he built it on the earlier foundations, such as the Akar and Tuat of the abyss that were previously extant. The two pillars of the south and north were likewise utilized. As it is said in. the mythological text from Memphis, “the two pillars of the gateway of the house of Ptah are Horus and Sut”, which had previously represented the two poles of Sut and Horus, the twin founders, as we show, in the beginning.
An inscription found both at Edfu and Esne mentions the “festival of the suspension of the sky” by Ptah, which was connected with a celebration of the winter solstice. It has been suggested by Krall that this had descended from the time when “the winter solstice marked the beginning of the year and also of the creation” (cited by Lockyer, Dawn of Astronomy, p. 284). Under another figure this suspension of the sky by Ptah in Amenta was celebrated in the mysteries of Memphis by the erection of the double Tat-pillar which supported the sky and was originally a twofold figure founded on the pole, but the sky now suspended in the double earth of Ptah was not the sky of day. It is the firmament of the nocturnal sun through which it passed at night when in the nether world which is for the first time fully opened up by
Ptah the great architect of the universe, who followed the earlier sky-supporters, Sut, Horus, and Shu.
The Kamite Amenta is “the grave of man's lost world”, where his legendary garden of the beginning may be rediscovered. In this subterranean country will be found a copy of the primary paradise of all mythology, which can be restored from the Ritual and the imagery set in the stars of heaven, and proved to be the work of ancient [Page 346] Egypt's wisdom. The most primitive imagery was sacredly preserved in Amenta, which makes the Book of the Dead an eschatological record of the beginnings in mythology that is unparalleled, and not until we have mastered the wisdom of Egypt as recorded in Amenta shall we be enabled to read it on the surface of the earth. First comes the natural fact, next the mythical representation, and lastly the eschatological application of the type, be it the mount, or tree, the Deluge, the ark, the evil serpent, or the victorious young hero. All three phases have to be studied, collated, and compared; and for this purpose the Egyptian Books of the Dead and of Amenta are worth all other sacred writings in the world. The primal paradise of universal legend was above the earth upon the summit of the mount, up which the spirits climbed to reach the region of eternal rest among the stars that never set.
It was configurated round about the pole of heaven. This has yet to be depicted as the mount of glory.
The later paradise was sub-terrestrial, the earthly paradise of legendary lore. The first was stellar, the last is solar, and it is this last that was founded on the subterranean path of the nocturnal sun first opened up by Ptah. The duplicating of paradise was partly a result of repeating the imagery of the stellar representation in the solar mythos. The mount of glory in the east was added to the mount of glory in the north, with the wide water of the heavens flowing round between the terrestrial and celestial paradise Kosmas Indikopleustis (A.D. 535) tells us that beyond the ocean in every direction there exists another continent which cannot be reached by man, but of which one part was inhabited by him before the
Deluge. To the east, just as in other maps of the world and in later systems, he placed the terrestrial paradise and the four rivers that watered Eden which came by subterranean channels to water the postdiluvian earth (Blake, Astronomical Myths, pages 266-7). This can be followed by means of the upper paradise of Am-Khemen, that was raised by Shu, and the lower one now configurated by the opener Ptah, who suspended a sky overhead in Amenta.
In the mythology, Amenta is the subterranean country of the sun by night. The dawn and sunset were its gates of glory. It is called the beautiful Amenta, the earth of eternity. It was the passage of the sun that made the pathway of the solar circle which was completed in the eastern equinox. Hence it is said of the sun-god, “The junction of the double earth is the head of the coffin of Osiris, the beneficent soul in Sutenkhen, who hath determined the paths of eternity”, that is in completing a circle by making the passage through Amenta (Rit., ch. 17, Renouf). The road to heaven for the manes now began with a pathway through the nether earth, from the place of sunset to the gate of sunrise. Previously the way to heaven was up the mount which was a figure of the north celestial pole. There was no solar passage through the nether regions in the stellar mythos; the sun went round the mount of earth, not through it.
Ptah the opener added earth to earth and heaven to heaven, the solar mythos to the stellar. The sky upraised by him is indicated by the figure of heaven reversed. It is called the firmament of Ptah. Hence it is said by the Osiris in Amenta, “Mine is the radiance in which Ptah floateth over his firmament” (Rit., ch. 64), his firmament [Page 347] being that of the nocturnal sun in the under-world. There was now a firmament above and one below the earth. The firmament uplifted first by Sut, Horus, and Shu was supplemented by a nether sky up-raised and suspended by the opener Ptah. The nnu, nun, or heaven is the celestial water, and this, as sky, was both above and below the earth. Now, the account of creation in the book of Genesis, with its waters above the firmament and its waters below the firmament, could not have been written until the division of these waters of heaven above the earth and of Amenta below the earth was effected when Ptah created the firmament of the nether-earth and raised another heaven in Amenta. In many places the name of Nut has the sign of heaven in the reversed position, thus Renouf asks, is this one more proof that the Egyptians believed in a sky below the horizon?
(Book of the Dead, ch. 15, note 7). This, however, does not touch bottom. The Egyptian wise men did not
believe in this nether sky; they created it as a figure in sign-language. Thus in the making of Amenta
there was a sky above the under-world as well as over the upper earth; this is the nether sky that was suspended overhead by Ptah and memorized in the mysteries.
When the sun-god Atum-Ra mounts into heaven from the garden of Aarru it is from the lower Aarru in the secret earth of Amenta. Hence it is said at the same time he “goeth to the field of Aarru, approaching to the land of spirits in heaven” (Rit., ch. 17, Renouf), i.e., to the upper Aarru, which was in the heaven of eternity, not in the nether-land of the double earth, called the earth of eternity. This duality has to be completely comprehended before the Ritual can be read, or its traditions followed round the world, as for example, in the Hebrew Genesis and the Assyrian legends of creation.
Paradise in Amenta is said by the deceased to be the “beautiful earth of eternity”. But the deceased does not stay in it as his place of repose. It is not the eternal dwelling. In passing through Amenta he is bound for the heaven of eternity above. This below is but the earthly paradise, and there is an upper paradise to be attained across the celestial waters by those who can secure a seat in the boat of Ra. The typical mount was doubled; a mountain east was added to the most ancient mount of the north, which sometimes makes it look as if the site of the primitive paradise had been shifted and slewed round from the north to the east. The mistake hitherto made regarding the mount is in supposing the mount of earth, or Amenta, to be identical with the mount of the north, whereas the two belong to two distinct systems of the mythos, stellar and solar. The mount of heaven was stellar in the north; the mount of earth is solar in the east. The mount of heaven had its summit at the north celestial pole; the mount of Amenta was level with the sky-line on the horizon. There is also a double judgment seat, and a twofold judgment. One great hall was in Amenta. The other was at the apex of the hill of heaven, the maat of the final judgment that was given on the last great day. When the two are sundered, we sometimes find the judgment seat is imaged at the north celestial pole; at others, the great judge is seated as the Rhat-Amenta or Rhadamanthus, in the maat of the nether-earth. This double maat or seat [Page 348] of judgment can be explained by the Egyptian wisdom. It was the individual judgment that now took place in the maat of
Amenta. This was the first judgment of two; the second is the last great judgment in the maat above. The first is beneath the tree of dawn, the second is under the tree of the pole. Those who were condemned as guilty in the primary trial of the dead suffered the second death in Amenta. They went no farther, but were extinguished in the tank of flame or annihilated on the highways of the damned.Thus the two different resurrections are differentiated the one from the other, in the Gospel according to John, when it is said the dead are to come forth; they that have done evil to “the resurrection of judgment”, and they that have done good unto “the resurrection of life”. Both resurrections occur in the Ritual; one for the judgment in Amenta, the other on the mount for the last judgment. and the resurrection to eternal life.
The garden of Aarru or paradise of the eight great gods, whom we identify as a group with the seven in the Lesser Bear, plus the deity of the pole-star, was in the north. Not on the horizon north, but at the celestial pole that was figured as the summit of a very lofty mount, the mythical mountain of the north, diamond-pointed at the apex with the polar star, whereas the Semitic Eden is the garden eastward. This is relatively late, because it belongs to the solar and not to the stellar mythos. It is not the circumpolar paradise of earlier tradition. That may be the reason why the mount is omitted from the book of Genesis.
It is not Am-Khemen, the paradise of the eight great gods. It is the enclosure of the pair who in the solar mythos were Atum = Adam and the Great Mother Kefa = Chavah.
The earth itself was figured as a mount; its highest point was in Apta, at the equator. When tunnelled for a passage through it, this became the mountain of Amenta, also the funeral mount. The place of entrance for the sun or the manes of the dead was in the west, or, as it was termed, the western hill. The mount of earth is the mount of birth for Horus in the solar mythology. The mount of heaven is the mount of rebirth for souls in the eschatology. Both have been linked together but not blended in the Egyptian representation, when the Osiris makes his journey from the base of the mount in Amenta to the summit of the heavenly hill, the topmost peak of which is at the pole. In this ascent from the root-Iand of the mount of earth, or of Amenta, to the summit of Mount Hetep it may look as if the mount were all in one, but it is
not so. There was a double mount; the mount of earth which was solar, and the mount of heaven which was stellar. In the Ritual (ch. 108) the mount of earth is said to be “the hill on which heaven resteth”. This is called the hill Bakhu, the solar mount. Its dimensions in length and breadth are given in some of the early papyri. In the Papyrus of Nebseni the hill is 300 cubits in breadth. In the Turin Ritual it is 140 cubits in breadth. Now it happens that in the Mexican mythology there is a “mountain of the locust” or the mount of Capultepec, and the ideographic signs of this mountain include the following numerical figures:
These figures are Egyptian. The sign is a figure of ten, which goes [Page 349] back to the origin in digital reckoning, as it is derived from the two hands clasped and cut off at the wrists. The Mexican figures therefore repeat the Egyptian at the value of 10 X 14 = 140, whatsoever the numbers may mean (Kingsborough, I, part 3, page 10, figure 218).
The Japanese also have the double Mount Kagu; one is on the earth, or rather it is the earth, the other is in Ame or heaven, the divine mount, that is the heaven, which had the North Pole for its highest peak ( Trans. As. Soc. Jap., vii., p. 431). The Japanese likewise have the eight great gods of the mount, who are said to have been produced by Kagutsuchi, which we take to be a form of the original eight Kami that correspond to the Kamite Khemenu, the eight great gods in Am-Khemen, the heaven upraised by Shu.
The same duality of the mount is illustrated in the two Chinese Kwenluns. Here the terrestrial paradise is described as being at the centre of the earth. The Queen-Mother dwells there alone in its midst. At the summit there is a resplendent azure hall, with lakes enclosed by precious gems. Above the clear ether rules the ever-fixed, the polar star (Chinese Recorder, vol. iv., P.95). This is the Egyptian mount of Amenta in which Hathor was queen. The “azure hall” is the empyrean over the summit of the mundane mount, which is here identified as the mother-mount The other mount is celestial; on its summit at the north star is the heavenly palace of Shang-ti at the centre of the circumpolar paradise, with its circle of thirty-six gods or rulers, which answer to the thirty-six decans of the zodiac.
The Todas also have the twofold mount. Their mountain of the world is the Makurti, or navel of the earth, the pillar of the firmament. It is a towering rock, upon the table-land of which the souls of the dead
assemble for the leap into the abyss of waters that lies betwixt them and the mount of heaven. Either they, in common with some other races, have lost, or never had, the solar boat of the Egyptian eschatology, by which the base of one mount was reached from the summit of the other. But, sink or swim, the journey is the same. So is the celestial chart. Hence the Todas can see the cows that graze the fields of heaven in the nebulae of the Milky Way. These correspond to the Kamite cows, the givers of plenty in the meadows of Aarru, that rest by the still waters at the head of the river of light and the twin lakes in the region of the north celestial pole.
This stellar mountain in the northern heaven and solar mountain in the east will likewise account for the twofold mount of the Babylonians. Lenormant describes the two somewhat confusingly, but no explanation of their duality has ever been given. He says, “Above the earth extended the sky, and revolving round the mountain of the east, the column which joined the heavens and the earth and served as an axis to the celestial vault. The culminating point of the heavens, the zenith (Nuzku) was not this axis or pole. On the contrary , that was situated immediately above the country of Akkadia (in the north), and was regarded as the centre of the inhabited lands, whilst the mountain which acted as a pivot to the starry system was to the north-east of this country. Beyond the mountain, and also the north-east, extended the land of Aralli, which was rich in gold, and was inhabited by the gods and blessed spirits”.
(Lenormant, Chaldean [Page 350] Magic and Sorcery, Eng. Tr., pp. 151,152.) The mount of earth and mount of heaven become the double mount in the Babylonian version. . As it is said of Gilgames, “To the mountains whose name is double, to the twin mountains in his course he came”. The mount of earth or Amenta below was entered in the west. The upper mount was also, entered at the west in the heaven of the setting stars. There is probably an astronomical datum in the Babylonian legend. The scorpion-men are said to keep the gate and guard the sun. “Over them rising was the threshold of heaven. Below them the tomb sank down”. The tomb is Arali (or Amenta) in the mount. The threshold of heaven was at the summit of the mount. We take the scorpion-men to denote the western equinox in the sign of Scorpio
when that was the gate to the twin mountains, otherwise the mount of earth and heaven, the mount whose summit was the rise in Hetep at the pole. In Pahlavi the two mountains of heaven and earth are known as Mount Taêra, the centre of the universe, and Kakad-i-Dâîtîk, the centre of the earth (West. Pahlavi Texts i. pp. 22, 36). Here the earth centre is distinct from the centre of the universe or mount of heaven which preceded the mount of earth, and the two different centres correspond to the two different forms of the mount of earth and the mount of heaven.
The heaven of the beatified had been apparently shifted from the north to the east when certain chapters of the Ritual were written, which is the same as saying the solar had then succeeded and to a great extent superseded the stellar mythos. The sun in its supremacy obscured the stars. Anup was merged in Osiris; the seven glorious ones became the servants of Horus and subsidiary souls of Ra. The place of sunrise in the east was figured as the mount of glory in relation to Amenta instead of the mount in the celestial north; otherwise said, it was interpolated in the solar mythos. Paradise now was both terrestrial (or sub-terrestrial) and celestial; in the east as well as on the northern summit, because it was solar as well as stellar. Not that the upper paradise was obliterated or really lost. That only happened in the absence of the gnosis. Am-Khemen remained aloft, and the upper paradise of two was still led up to by the mount, the tree, the way of souls, or the river of the Milky Way.
One form of this duality was represented in the Ritual by the mythical two houses, the great house and the house of flame. The speaker says, “Let my name be given to me in the great house. Let me remember my name in the house of flame on the night when the years are counted and the months are reckoned one by one” (ch. 25). The great house was stellar in the heaven at the celestial north; the house or flame (Pa-Nasrut) was solar in the east. Egyptian temples were built upon this dual plan, and each had its great house and its house of flame. The great house was central, like the lady-chapel in European churches, and the house of flame was on one side of it. The great house in a central position corresponds to the mount of heaven with its spire at the celestial pole. The house of flame was a kind of side entrance to the mount in the east, which is equivalent to the gate of sunrise. The church to-day remains a dual figure of this double house when both are blended together in one building. The nave with its doorway to the east corresponds to the mount of earth, and the [Page 351] spire is a figure of the pole or mount of heaven. One of the most perfect ways of illustrating this duality is shown by the mode of burying the dead in the Pyramid of Medum. Prof. Petrie says the bodies were laid on their left side with the head to the north and the face turned to the east (Medum, pp. 17, 21). This position of the dead is also indicated by the prayer of the manes that he may feed on the food of Osiris, on the eastern side of
the mead of amaranthine flowers” (the kaiu of the oasis) (Rit., ch. 26, Renouf). The face is here turned after death to the eastward side of the paradise that was primarily figured in the northern heaven.
When it was discovered that the earth rotated on its axis and was afloat in space, it was known to revolve on the double poles, and what we call the two poles of the earth were signified by the twofold tat-pillar of Ptah. The tat is a type of stability. The double tat is the sign of tattu as the place of establishing for eternity, and tattu, like other mythical localities, was doubled when Amenta was founded. It is noticeable that when Queen Hatshepsu had erected her two pillars she says she has made two obelisks for him who is the lord of the thrones of the two worlds, or, as we should say, of earth and heaven (Records, vol. ii. p. 132; 2, Pap. of Ani, PI.). This touches the origin of the well-known double pillar, the significance of which is not known. The double obelisk is a co-type with the twofold mount, and the two pillars of Tattu, the place where it was shown that earth was fixed and heaven made stable for ever, on the two pillars of Sut and Horus, which had been the two poles in Equatoria. The two obelisks then imaged the thrones of two worlds. the double earth, or earth and heaven; and in Amenta the two pillars form the doorway from the one world to the other. So in the Japanese mythology the divine pillar of earth, Kuni-no-mi-Hashira, was added to the divine pillar of the heavens. Arne no-mi-Hashira (Kojiki, Chamberlain's Version, p. 19).
How it was added can be explained by the Egyptian wisdom. The pillar of heaven was first erected. Shu- Anhur lifted up the heaven from the earth with that which constituted the divine support as prop, pillar, or lion-like strength in sustaining the paradise above.
The pillar of heaven naturally stood upon the earth to support the heavens; but when the earth was hollowed out by Ptah, the excavator, there was another earth below in which the pillar had to be reerected, and this pillar of the double mount was represented by the double Tat of Ptah as the backbone of that god, or later of Osiris. The Japanese also have the two pillars called the awful pillar of heaven, the pillar being a co-type with the mount. “Heaven's one pillar” was an ancient name for the Japanese island of Ski (Chamberlain, Kojiki, page 23). The Japanese have also a pillar whose foundation is at the centre of the world, where stands the tat or pole of Ptah supporting the nether sky. In Chinese legendary lore there is a pillar that sustains the earth. They also have a pillar which sustains the heaven. These two correspond to the pillar of Shu that supports the firmament above and the tat-pillar of Ptah which supports the earth in Amenta below. These are distinct from each other; they belong to two entirely different mythical creations and cannot be resolved into one single pillar derived from the mount of earth as axis - [Page 352] pillar of the heavens. Heaven had rested on the pillar of the earth or the pillars raised upon the mundane mount by Shu. But the tat-pillar of Ptah was erected in the nether earth of two.
Consequently our earth was then supported on the pillar of Ptah. This will explain the tradition of the Chinese, the Tlinkeet Indians, and others, that the earth rests upon a pillar. Thus, as Egyptian, there are two divine pillars answering to the double mount, which we call the pillar of Shu and the tat-pillar of Ptah.
One is the sustainer of the firmament above the earth, the other is the support of the firmament below the earth. The two together are the double pillars of earth and heaven. This will enable us to read one of the many Greek märchen, which reflect and refract the Egyptian mythos.
There is a legend of Herakles relieving Atlas as sustainer of the heavens, or, in the original, the ceilings of the double earth. Atlas is the Egyptian Shu-Anhur, the elevator of the sky. And the relief of Atlas by Herakles is equivalent to the relief of Shu by the sun-god Ptah as sustainer of all things in Amenta, when the pillar of earth or tat of Amenta was added to the pillar of heaven. When the earth was doubled and the nocturnal sun god passed through Amenta as Ptah or Sekari with his tat, he was the sustainer in the nether earth who might be said to relieve Shu of his burden in the upper earth. Horus is the prototype of Herakles, and Horus or Ptah in Amenta is the mighty Herakles of this Greek fancy which so often takes the place of fundamental fact. There is no trusting the märchen in their Greek or Hindu, Hebrew or
Christian guise, without comparing them with the originals. Greek legends also assert that Herakles separated two mountains to form the two columns or pillars which were a dual figure of the twofold mundane and celestial mount. This helps to identify the double columns with the mount of earth and the mount of heaven. Many illustrations could be cited of these two pillars erected at the entrance to the temple or house of a god. Herakles, says Herodotus, was worshipped in a temple at Tyre, and in the temple “were two pillars, one of fine gold, the other of emerald stone, both shining exceedingly at night” (Bk. ii., 44). These are, to say the least, somewhat suggestive of the green mount of earth, the Egyptian mount of emerald, and the golden mount of heaven, which survive as the “green hill” far away and “Jerusalem the golden” in the Christian hymns.
The backbone was a figure of the pole: it is at one time the backbone of Sut, at another the backbone of Anup, at another of Ptah or Osiris - the backbone being a natural type of sustaining power. This at first was single as a figure of the pole. It was duplicated in Amenta, the same as was the pillar of support and other figures of sustaining power. The power of Ptah in Amenta is not simply that of the pillar or backbone. These are doubled in the earth of eternity to express his power as sustainer of the universe.
The figure is referred to in the magic papyrus as the long backbone of Ptah, the Nemma. “O Nemma of the great face, of the long backbone, of the deformed legs! O long column which commences in (both) the upper and the lower heaven. O lord of the great body which reposes in Annu”, the place of the column or pole, now doubled in Amenta (Magic Papyrus, Records, vol. x., p. 152). There was a tendency to blend the twofold mount in one as in the double Mount [Page 353] Meru, which is sometimes denominated the North Pole, but was primarily a figure on earth of the pole in heaven, like the mound of earth and the cone or pillar. But Meru was doubled or divided into upper and lower, called Su-Meru and Ku-Meru, when it imaged the mount that was opened for the passage of the heavenly bodies through the
nether earth. One mountain standing in the east and one in the north were not vertically blended in one.
They were symbolical of the double mount of earth and heaven as a figure, but this was in the end, not at the starting-point.
The Kamite teachers also imaged the two poles as the two trees called the two sycamores of the south and north. The later tree in Eridu, as well as the Norse tree Yggdrasil, was compounded of the two as the tree which had its roots down south or in the under-world, and its branches high up in the northern heaven; a two-fold tree that corresponded to the double mount. Again, the rock is a co-type with the mount, and the double rock is equivalent to the two-fold mount. These two were also blended in one as in the rock that “begat” the Israelites. The rock and the double rock are both mentioned in the Ritual (ch. 134). Taht the moon-god is said to be the “son of the rock proceeding from the place of the two rocks” in Anruti (Renouf, ch. 134). The name of Anruti identifies the double rock with the double horizon, which
was also called the double mount, The son of the rock who proceeds from the two rocks is the moon-god as the son of earth and heaven, or son of the double mount of earth and heaven, the two rocks having been blended in one as a typical figure of Osiris, the rock of eternity, imaged as the pole of heaven. The two-fold origin of the mythical mount is now sufficiently established in relation to identifiable natural facts which alone can furnish the proof that the mount, the pole, the tree, the paradise, pillar, column, or backbone were single in the stellar and are duplicated in the solar mythos, and that this duplication followed on the making of Amenta. The Rig-Veda speaks of “him who, as the collective pillar
of heaven, sustains the sky” (Wilson, 3. 143, 144). This collective pillar was the dual type of the two-fold mount of earth and of heaven imaged in one figure of support. The Hebrew pillar of the lower and upper paradise that is called “the strength of the hill Zion“ was another form of the collective pillar. As Egyptian, this collective pillar was the double tat of Ptah erected in Amenta. The tat-pillar of Ptah and Osiris was continued in the ancient Germanic Irmin pillars, which were mostly made of wood. The mythical pillar Irminsul was that which joined together earth arid heaven, like the mount of Amenta and the tat-support of the gods. The Irmin-pillars were a form of the Hermae in Greece that were set up as boundary signs at cross roads and street corners to mark the extent of certain lands. This points to an origin for their name.
In Egyptian the word remen or ermen denotes the extent as far as the limit or boundary. Rema or erma is a measure of land. The deity Irmin, like Hermes of the pillar, was a god of boundaries.
If the mount or the pillar had been single and not double, there would have been no voyage across the water that flowed between the mount of earth and the mount of heaven; no need of boat or bridge [Page 354] or place of “jumping off” from one side to the other. If the mythical mount had simply been a single figure of the universe axis (as O'Neil describes it), the climbers would have gone straight up to heaven, whereas the solar mount of glory in the east did not and could not blend vertically with the stellar mount of glory in the north. The mount was dual; the water ran betwixt the two, and that necessitated the means of crossing from one to the other. Nothing could make the universe axis twofold, in keeping with the double mount of earth and heaven. And this duality alone will explain why one type should be considered female, the other male. The mount or pillar of earth was an image of the Great Mother as bringer-forth, and the mount or pillar of heaven was typical of the fatherhood, the “rock that begat”, or rather of two sexes in one nature as they were blended in the deity Ptah, Atum, Osiris, Ihuh, and Brahma. The type of this duality is to be seen in the navel, the umbilicus, and the nabhiyoni united and imaged in one as a figure of the birthplace and prototype of the navel mounds; the pit below and the pile of stones above, the well and pyramid, the church and steeple, the grave and monument.
When the solar mythos had been added to the stellar, the pathway to paradise was through the netherworld.
The road of the sun in the mythos now became the road of souls in the eschatology. The entrance to the under-world was consequently in the west. The maker of the road was the nocturnal sun as the bull or god of the west. One name of the western hill is Manu. It is said to Ra when setting, “Wake up from thy rest; thine abode is in Manu” (Rit., ch. 15). This apparently survives in the Samoan Mane. At death, the soul went to a paradise in the western horizon called Mane= Manu. “The dying”, says the missionary Turner, “were urgent in begging those around them to see and make the tapunea or pessomancy go all right, and so secure an entrance to the Mane paradise” ( Samoa, p.294). If the pebbles used for divination turned out odd instead of even it was thought that the soul would be caught and crushed between two great stones at the entrance to the mount. The “hollow pit” was a name of the Samoan Hades. At the bottom there was a running stream which floated the spirits away to the Hades of Polotu. They were but little more than alive and only half conscious until they reached Polotu, where there was a bathing-place called Vaiola or “the water of life”. In this water all infirmities were washed away and the aged recovered their lost youth. Their new bodies were singularly volatile, like the Egyptian sahu. They could ascend to earth at night, become luminous sparks or vapour, revisit their old homes and retire -at early dawn to the bush or to Polotu (Turner, Samoa, pp. 258, 259). The subterranean world of the Lapps is identical with the Amenta of the Egyptians. Jabma-Aimo is the house of the dead in the nether-earth, which is a place of transition for those who have their bodies renewed, who pass on and are taken up to heaven. Their home of the gods, Taivo Aimo, also answers to the upper Aarru-paradise of the Ritual. The jackal or dog is the guide of the dead through the paths of darkness in the nether-earth, and the Inoit dead are said to descend by the “dog's path” into their underworld. This is a most obscure road, answering to the path of darkness in Amenta. The subterranean region described at times as being [Page 355] submarine is the common sub-terrestrial paradise of the Inoit people generally.
When the nether-world had been completely excavated by Ptah, Amenta was established as the lower storey of two in the mount of earth which henceforth becomes the mount of Amenta. The name denotes the hidden or secret (Amen) earth (ta). It is also called the earth of eternity, the land of the living; for the Egyptians call those the living whom the less spiritualistic moderns designate the dead. The mount of earth became the mount of Amenta because Amenta had been tunnelled through the lower earth. It became the funereal mount because Amenta was the earth of the manes. In the Egyptian chart the west is the beautiful gate of entrance to this divine nether-world, otherwise called the land of life. It is not paradise itself, but the way to it through purgatory. The beautiful gate of exit was at the place of sunrise, not sunset, in the garden eastward, and this was the locality of the terrestrial paradise, which was a copy of the garden of Aarru first configurated in the circumpolar heaven of the stellar mythology. The dead in Egypt were called “the westerners”. On the way to the place of burial the mourners sang the funeral song “To the west, to the west, to the west!” The mummy was ferried over the water to the western mount, where Hathor-lsis or the cow waited to receive the solar god, and in his track the souls of the departed.
The entrance to the mount was shown as the mouth of the cow, or cleft in the rock, such as was seen in the immediate neighbourhood of Abydos, which was reached through a narrow gorge in the Libyan range, whose “mouth” opened in front of the temple of Osiris-Khentamenta a little to the north-west of the city (Maspero, Dawn of Civilization, English translation, page 197). Here the souls of the departed were supposed to enter and descend into the nether-world. The sun-god is described in his passage to the western horizon (or mount), whilst earth, as the mother, stretches her arms out to receive him. “In rapture is thy mother, the goddess Meru, as thou dost emit the irradiation of light till thou reachest that mountain which is in Akar”, i.e., till sunset, when he will enter the female receptacle for his new birth. Taking this to be imaged by Isis as the sacred heifer, the place of entrance is her mouth, and the place of exit was
uterine, to the east of the mount (Magic Papyrus, p. 5, Records, vol. x. 145.)
The entrance into the mount of earth which was personified as the old first mother is one of the exploits of Maui in the märchen of the Maori. Maui, at the end of his victorious career, that is at sunset, comes back to the country of his father and the land of his great ancestress Hine-neu-te-Po, the great woman of the under-world, who is to be seen in the horizon, “flashing, and, as it were, opening and shutting”. So Apt the hippopotamus and Hathor the cow may be seen in the cleft of the mount that opened at sunset for the passage of the solar god, the mouth of the cow being equivalent to the cleft in the mount. Maui came to where the ancient giantess lay sleeping, with the object of passing through her without waking her. He entered her body, but when he was half in and half out, a little bird, the Tiwakawaka, laughed
aloud to see the sight, and woke the sleeper, who closed her thighs on Maui and crushed him so [Page 356] that he died, and thus brought death into the world; otherwise it was fabled that the solar hero died to rise again in passing through the nether-world of darkness, and this was a primitive mode of portrayal. In the Kamite mythos he passes through the female hippopotamus or cow, or the sphinx, all of which were figures of the mother in the mount, otherwise the ancient Mother-earth. It is common for a cavern or entrance in the west to be pointed out as the way into spirit-world that leads to the fields of paradise. This is found in the Aztec Mictlan or land of the dead. The Fijian descent into the under-world is exactly the same as the Egyptian. The dead go down in the west on their way to the judgment seat of Ndengei (Williams, Fiji,.vol. i. p. 239), just as the Egyptian dead embark in the west for the judgment seat of Osiris.
The nether-earth, Ngamat, of the Australian Woiworun also corresponds. to the Kamite Amenta. It is the receptacle of the sun beyond the western edge of the earth, and likewise an abode for the departed, who do not remain there permanently, but come back to our earth at times as the ngamaget, like the manes in the Ritual. (Howitt on Australian medicine-men.)
In various märchen and other irresponsible legends derived from mythology we hear of heaven being situated in the west - that is, as the place of sunset. The Buddhists have their western paradise. The paradise of the Ottomacks of Guiana and of the Araucanians is in the west. The heaven of the Todas, the Kalmucks, the Samoans, and others was localized in the west. The Iroquois and Ojibwas describe the souls of their dead as travelling westward till they come to the plains of paradise. The sekhet-hetep or the fields of rest in Aarru are represented in the noble island of Flath Innis, the place of rest from storm and strife to which the Keltic heroes went in death, as a paradise in the western ocean. The elysian fields and golden isles of the Greeks were in the west. But that is only because the entrance to the earthly paradise was in the west, according to the solar mythos. At Samoa, says Gill, a spirit leaving the dead body at the most easterly island of the group would be compelled to traverse the entire series of islands, passing the channels between at given points, ere it could descend to the subterranean spirit-world at the most westerly point of Savaiki (p. 160), which rightly identifies the west with the gate of entrance to the earth or eternity.
In the wisdom of “Manihiki” it is related as another of the exploits of Maui that he found out the way to the nether-world. He had watched and seen his father go according to his wont to the main pillar of his dwelling and say “O pillar! open, open up, that Manuahifare may enter and descend to the nether-world”, which was the heptanomis or seven sunken islands of Avaiki. The pillar immediately opened, and Manuahifare descended. Maui repeated the magic words of his father, and to his great joy the pillar obediently opened, and he boldly made his descent into the lower regions. Whilst exploring this subterranean spirit-world, Maui fell in with a blind old woman, who turned out to be his own grandmother.
Here also was the paradise in which the tree of healing grew, and with the fruit of which Maui restored sight to the eyes of Ina-the-blind. (Gill .Myths and Songs, pp. 64-66.) The incident of a rock or door that [Page 357] opens when the magic formula is uttered, and in no other way, is well-nigh universal. It may be termed the “open sesame” legend. In a Chinese version Chang discovers the entrance to the underworld by finding out the secret of the stone door in the cave of Kwang-siu-fu in Kiang-si. “One day he overheard a genie saying, “Stone door, open ! Mr. Kwei-ku is coming”. Thereupon the door opened and the genie went in, When he came out he said, “Stone door, shut! Mr. Kwei-ku is going”. Chang tried the charm, and found a vast paradise within, and there he lost his old grandmother. (Denny's Folk Lore of
China, p. 134-) In a Zulu tale the word is “Rock of two holes, open for me, that I may enter” (Callaway, Tales, pp. 140-142), In a Samoan rendering it is “Rock, divide! I am Talanga: I have come to work” (Turner, Nineteen Years In Polynesia, p. 252). The sacred hole-stone, the needle's eye, the chimney, or the cow, and other apertures through which the twice-born was passed as an initiate in the mysteries derive their symbolical significance from this passage through the rock or mount of earth. It was the same with the human soul in the eschatology as it had been with the soul of the sun in the mythology.
Sometimes the hole in the dolmen or other stone that people wriggled through was very small. This increased the difficulty, and was a practical illustration of the trials in the passage of Amenta. There was one near the summit of a rocky mountain island in Ireland called the “eye of the needle”, which is described as “a narrow opening like a chimney”. To understand the custom we must read the Ritual.
The sun-god made his passage through the mount of earth, or the sphinx, for his rebirth and resurrection on the eastern side, and the opening- in the rock was at the end or at the summit, in the Tser hill, the rock of the horizon. In the Russian märchen Prince Ivan = Horus the prince, climbs up the magical ladder to get into the “great house” of the “tremendously high steep mountain”. His sister = the princess, or lunar lady, calls to him from the balcony. “See, there is a chink in the enclosure. Touch it with your little finger and it will become a door! ” This he does, and obtains entrance into the mountain of Amenta. (Ralston, Russian Folk-tales, 102.)
The cleft or opening in the mount was also termed the grotto. And it is possible that this survives in the “grotto” that is exhibited in England, and is made of oyster-shells at the time when oysters are supposed to be first opened on one particular day of the year. This illustrates an ancient custom but not a legal enactment respecting oysters. The opening of the oyster= the annual opening of the earth in the equinox.
The grotto is an interior or shrine, and the light, which is kindled within it points rather to the sun than to the lamp in any Christian sanctuary. The day and the ceremony have been assigned to St. James, but that is only one more item in the total system of falsification designated Christian. Osiris also had his shrine “which standeth in the centre of the earth”. (Rit., ch. 64, Renouf, and Book of Hades.) The underworld of the Karens of Burmah is the Egyptian Amenta. They also have the double mount into which the sun enters at sunset (or in the equinox). The mount consists of two great strata of rock, one lower and one upper, which continually open and shut as with an upper and a lower jaw, but the [Page 358] Karens have no idea how the upper stratum is supported. At their departure from earth the Manes are thus addressed: “Thou goest unto Thama. Thou goest through the crevices of rocks. At the opening and shutting of the western gates of rock, thou goest in between. Thou goest below the earth where the sun travels”. (Mason, “Karens”, Journal of the Asiatic Soc., Bengal, pt. 2, pp. 233-4, 1865.) The dead descend to Khu-the and appear before Thama the great judge in Hades, who may be identified with the Egyptian Tumu or Atum, the great judge in the Kamite Amenta, who is the representative of the setting sun as Atum-Ra and of the rising sun as Atum-Horus (Nefer-Atum).
The difficulty of obtaining entrance to the mount was insuperable to mortals. Hence the need of divine assistance. The sun-god as opener in the mythology led up to the god as opener for souls in the eschatology. In this character Horus became the door and the way of life to the manes, who followed in his wake of glory through the dark of death. The principal subject of the inscriptions written on the sarcophagus of Seti I., now in the Soane Museum, is the nocturnal passage of the sun or the sun-god through the nether-earth by night, having the blessed on his right hand, the damned upon his left. There are twelve divisions to the passage, which correspond to the twelve hours of the night. But the first of these divisions, that of entrance, is without a door, whereas the last of the twelve, that of exit, has a double door. Here the entrance to Amenta consists of a blind doorway or a door which neither mortal nor manes could know the secret of, and no one but the god, primarily solar, could open. Hence the need of a deity as the opener, or a god who is the door and the way on grounds as tangible as those of the door in the mythology of Amenta. (The Book of Hades, Records of the Past, vol. x. p. 81.) When the god comes to illuminate the valley of darkness the doors open one after the other and he enters with his followers, those who were equipped or, as the legend of the Ten Virgins has it, whose lamps were already trimmed. The door then closes, “and they who are left behind in their porch cry out when they hear it shut”. Thus we attain a natural origin for the mythos, the eschatology, and the folk-tales told concerning the hidden door that was sometimes represented by a revolving stone, and the secret password or “Open sesame! ” that was communicated to the initiates in the mysteries. If properly equipped, the Osiris is in possession of the magical words of power that secure the opening of every gate, including this hidden entrance to Amenta. These words he carries in his hand, in death, as his papyrus roll; or, better still, he knows them by heart, and has made them truth in his own life and death.
He exclaims, “I am accoutred and equipped with thy words of power, O Ra”, the god, that is, who says of himself, “I am he who closeth and he who openeth, and I am but one” (Rit., ch. 17, Renouf).
In the lower paradise was the land of gold, not as metal, but as the glory of the sun by night. The sun god rising from this land that was yellow with gold is thus addressed, “Adoration to thee, who arisest out of the golden and givest light to the earth” (Rit., ch. 15, Renouf). Still, mining for metals had commenced when Ptah and [Page 359] his pygmy workers hollowed out the under-world. Amenta was based upon the mine. It was the secret earth in which the treasures were concealed. These were guarded by the dragon, but they were likewise known to the dwarfs, the wee folk, the fairies, the Tuatha de Danan. Amenta was the land of precious metals and the furnace of the solar fire. Hence Ptah, the miner, became the blacksmith of the gods, the Kamite Vulcan. Some missing details respecting the work of Ptah the
metallurgist may be found in the Greek rendering of this god as Hephaistos. Ptah, working in concert with the goddess Mati, built the great double hall of Truth and Justice, which was gilded and glorified with his precious metal. Hephaistos is the architect of the house of the gods. As a proof that his place and work are in the nether earth, Hephaistos does not know what occurs until he learns it from the coming sun.
Following the burial on earth, deceased enters as a manes into Amenta, the land of the living. He seeks to get on board the boat of souls. The priest says, “O ye seamen of Ra, at the closing of day let the Osiris live after death as Ra does daily”. Here the helmsman: “As Ra is born from yesterday, so he too is born from yesterday, and as every god exults in life so shall the Osiris exult even as they exult in”.(Ch. 3, Renouf)
A subterranean pleasaunce opened to the eastward of the mount of earth called now, the earth of eternity. This is a paradise to which the manes look forward on their path of progress. It was the field in which they had to till and grow the divine harvest as the food of the gods. For Aarru was apportioned on the small allotment system. Each one had a share of arable land to cultivate, and by the fruit was known and judged at the great harvest-home as a true worker or a lazy one; and by their labour in this spiritworld Egyptians earned their living for the life hereafter. The lower Aarru, the garden eastward in Amenta, is that earthly paradise of legendary lore in search of which so many heroes sailed. In the Erik Saga, Erik sets out in search of Odainsakr, a form of the Norse paradise, which is said to be encircled by a wall of
fire. He enters a dark forest-land in which the stars are seen by day. A dragon bars his way across the river - the Apap of darkness in the valley of darkness (Rit., ch. 7). He rushes into the monster's mouth and passes through its body - a common way with the solar hero. Erik emerges with his companions in the land of light, the lower paradise of the mythos. After awhile they come to a tower that is suspended in the air without any visible supports; access to it was obtained by means of a ladder that enabled the seekers to reach the top of the tower, which had neither foundations nor pillars. They had now attained Odainsakr, the earth of living men, the Egyptian land of the living, but not the upper paradise, the place of spirits perfected, which is said to be so glorious that Odainsakr in comparison was but a desert. Erik's is but the journey of the nocturnal sun or the annual sun in the inferior hemisphere represented in the primitive form of a passage through the nether-earth.
The aim and end of the Osiris on the journey by water or by land is to reach the circumpolar paradise and secure a place among the stars that never set, the glorious ones that “beacon from the abodes [Page 360] where the eternals are”. The mount of earth was the point of emergence in the mythology. It was the place of birth for the sun upon the mount to the east where the temple of Sebek-Horus stood. In the eschatology it was the place of rebirth for the souls or manes who ascended by the mount or by the tree of dawn to the summit from which they entered the bark of the sun to make the voyage over the waters round to Manu in the region of the west. This under-world, with its mount of birth as a point of departure for the sun and manes in the east, became the traditional birthplace and point of departure in the legends of various supposed ethnical migrations of a similar nature to that of the Jews in the exodus from Egypt.
The passage from the mount or island of earth to the mount of the upper paradise across the water was already mapped out in the time of Pepi I., as the following extract from his pyramid shows: “Hail thou who (at thy will) makest to pass over to the field Aarru the soul that is right and true, or dost make shipwreck of it (if wrong).Pepi is right and true in respect of the island of the earth, whither he swimmeth and where he ariseth”. (Budge.)
This is not very clear, but the island of the earth is the mount on the eastern summit of which the manes joined the solar bark to make the voyage from Mount Bakhu east to Mount Manu in the west on their way to the mount of glory at the north celestial pole. Thus the pathway for the dead from this life to the upper paradise was laid down by the Egyptians. It was they who tunnelled the mount of earth and hollowed out Amenta with its places of purgatory, its hells, its paradise of plenty in the Aarru meadows; its means of ascent for the Manes by the mount or up the tree; its solar bark and boat of souls that voyaged over the waters of the Nun from east to west; its steps or ladder that was raised at the landing-place by night for the ascent to heaven in the upper Aarru paradise. This pathway of the dead is well-nigh universal in
mythology, and it can be traced from beginning to end by means of the Egyptian mythology and the eschatology. Led by the jackal Anup as guide through all the ways of darkness, and lighted by Taht, the lunar god, who carries in his hand the lamp of light and eye of Horus as the moon of Amenta shining through the night, we emerge at length from underneath the upper earth. We are now outside the mount of earth, which stands upon a vast illimitable plain of the nether-world. We thus retain our foothold in the Nun where upper earth comes to an end. We follow the track of the sun and therefore issue on the eastern side of the mountain, which the solar god ascends at sunrise when seen by the dwellers on the upper earth. Now we are facing the solar east and the garden eastward, which originated in the oasis of
The Book of the Dead is primarily based on the Amenta and the journey through its under-world. The track of the all-conquering sun is followed by the soul of the deceased. He enters the mount in the west by the opening in the rock, or at a later stage is carried on the boat. He is accompanied by those who have gone before as guides. He does battle with the adversary, and is victorious in the character of Horus. He opens all the paths and gates with his words of magic power and spells of might. He cleaves open the earth for [Page 361] the resurrection. He is delivered from the devouring demon who lurks invisibly in the lake of fire and feeds upon the damned (ch. 17). The caverns of Putrata, where the dead fall into darkness, are opened for him. He is supported by the eye of Horus or lighted by the moon. Apuat, the opener of roads, raises him up and acts the part of the giant Christopher in carrying him across the waters
(ch. 44). He wanders in the wilderness where nothing grows. He obtains command of the water in the nether-world and prevails over the deluge. He escapes the second death (ch. 58). The double doors of heaven are opened for his coming forth ( ch. 68). Still following the course of the sun, the passage of Amenta endeth with the garden eastward and the ascent by which the Manes enter the bark of Ra. “O great one in thy bark”, says the suppliant, “let me be lifted into the bark”, “ let me make head for thy staircase” (ch. 102). Deceased has here attained the summit of the solar mount of glory on his way to the circumpolar heaven and the stars that do not set. There is a voyage now in heaven from east to west, and as the sun was lifted up to enter the maatit bark at dawn, so is it in the eschatological rendering. The
souls of the departed who were pure enough in the presence of the sun now entered the maatit bark to continue the voyage round the mountain to the region of Manu. They were now the westerners in another sense which was eschatological. All day the manes make their voyage in the solar bark, and come at sunset to the land of the west about which the song was sung in the funeral procession, “To the west! To the west I” At this landing-stage they leave the maatit for the sektit bark. The sun goes down to Amenta in the west each night, but their sun sets no more. They have done with the mount of earth in the mythology, and come to the mount belonging to the heavens. But there is a great gulf fixed between the mount of Amenta and the stellar mount of glory. This is the lake of darkness and the lair of the Apapdragon.
The void is spoken of as the cavern of Putrata, where the dead fall into darkness. It is also called the void of Apap. In strict accordance with natural phenomena, the gulf or void of Putrata lay betwixt the place of sunset on the western side of the mount of earth and the heaven of the setting stars. It is the prototype of the abyss or lake of outer darkness, the pit, in the Christian version of the legend; the great gulf that was fixed betwixt those who remained in the lower Amenta and those who had attained the bosom of Ra, an Egyptian expression for the boat. On the other side of the water “Shu standeth erect, and the non-setting stars are instantly active in raising the ladder” by which the sinking souls or setting
stars are saved from destruction in the lake of outer darkness. These steps are carried round from east to west for that purpose on board the solar bark. (Vignettes to Ritual.)
With the change of boat another voyage begins by night, along the great stream of the Milky Way. This is described as “that most conspicuous but inaccessible stream” when contemplated from the earth. (Rit., ch. 98.) When the departed reach the starry shore, the seven steps or ladder for ascending the mount of heaven is now erected in the boat. This ladder, as Egyptian, was double in the time of King Pepi. It is called the ladder of Sut for the ascent from [Page 362] Amenta, and the ladder of Horus for the ascent to heaven. A bark that can ascend the stream awaits the voyagers. This picture of the bark that made its glorious journey upward to the circumpolar paradise was obviously constellated as the Argo Navis, which is figured in the position of ascending backwards on the white waters of the Milky Way. The cavern and gulf of Putrata no doubt existed when there was as yet no boat or bridge extant. Hence in various legends the manes have to spring from one side of the chasm to the other . The “jumping-off place” for departed spirits is known in several legends of the aboriginal races, and this was the rock on the western side of the mount. There is a stone at the west end of Upolu called “the leaping-stone”, from which departed spirits in their course leaped into the sea, swam to Manono, sprang from another stone on that island, crossed to Savaii and went overland to the Fafâ, at Falealupo, as the western entrance to their other world is called. (Turner, Samoa, p. 257.) With the Greeks, “to leap from the Leucadian Rock “was a proverbial equivalent for death. In the Khond representation, the souls of the dead “have to jump across
the black unfathomable gulf to gain a footing on the slippery leaping rock, where. Dinga Pennu, the judge of the dead, sits writing his register of all men's daily lives and actions”. The Guinea negroes tell of a divine judge whose judgment seat was on the other side of the water that spirits crossed in death, analogous to the Egyptian maat in the circumpolar region. Those who had religiously kept the laws of tabu were conducted into paradise, whereas those who had not were sunk headlong in the waters like the damned that went down headlong in the waters of Putrata. (Bosman, Pinkerton, vol. xvi.p.401;Rit., ch. 44)
The souls that ascended from the mount of Amenta by the Milky Way , the path of spirits, were hawkheaded like the Horus-soul, and with the Lithuanians this way of souls was called the “road of birds”, along which the departed went like birds, or AS birds in the Kamite representation, to the regions of eternal rest. As Egyptian, this road was a great stream, because with them the water was their earliest way ( ch. 86). Another Egyptian name for the heaven as water is urnas or uranus. This we claim to be the Kamite original of the Greek uranus. Dr. Birch renders it in his dictionary “Urnas, Ouranos, the celestial water”. The Egyptians did not personalize it under that name; still, the urnas is the celestial water, and urnas=uranos. The okeanus that flows around the world was neither a fabulous sea nor a stream of
water, but the firmament itself, that was figured as the celestial water surrounding the mount of earth.
Through this ocean ran the great stream of the white water or the Milky Way. Thus we have the okeanos and the ocean stream of Homer for the first time separately identified. Again, the water appeared divided into two lakes at the head of the celestial river united to form one stream in the Via Lactea. The system of the waters in the Bundahish is identical with the Egyptian. It is said that all the waters in heaven and earth had their origin in the heavenly mount of Ardvi Sura at the summit of Alborz upon which the red cow rested. There is but one source and only place of discharge for all the rivers in the world. This was the river of the Milky Way, which the Egyptians figured as [Page 363] descending from the celestial lakes to be continued in the lakes and in the Nile below. In China the Yellow River is looked upon as a continuation of the Tien Ho, or Milky Way, the river of heaven continued as the river of earth (Mayers' Manual, page 98).
The Osirian looking heavenward in death exclaims, “O very high mountain! I hold myself in thy enclosure” (Rit., 149, 14). He also says, “A divine domain hath been constructed for me. I know the name of it; the name of it is the garden of Aarru”. (Rit., ch. 109, Renouf.) But the enclosure at the summit of the mount was not only figured as a paradise of plenty. It was a dwelling-place which had expanded to a city; the city of the blessed, the holy city, the city of the great king, the heavenly city, the eternal city, that was the model of Memphis and Annu, Thebes and Abydos, Eridu and Babylon, Rome, Jerusalem, and other sacred cities of the world. On approaching this, the Osirian says, “I stand erect in the bark which the god is piloting, at the head of Aarru, and the non-setting stars open to receive me and my fellow-citizens present to me the sacred cakes with flesh” ( ch. 98, Renouf). In an earlier chapter he had said, “I arrive at my own city” ( ch. 17). On the Stele of Beka the speaker says, “I reach the city of those who are in eternity”. That is the eternal city. When the Osiris has attained the land of eternity he says his future is in Annu. That is Annu as a celestial locality, Annu as the eternal city, not Heliopolis in Egypt. (Rit., ch. 133.) Annu, like Tattu, was a form of the celestial city at the pole. An is a name of the mount and the column, the pole, and in Annu was the pillar, fortress, or rock of eternity.
In one form the polar mount was called the white mountain. It was Mont Blanc in heaven. The Koreans term it “mount ever white”. As a house it was the white house. As a city it was the city of the white wall.
As the seat it was the great white throne of the eternal. As a country' it is the land of the silver sky. It is also known as the mountain of white limestone, the stone of Sut. The house constructed by Ptah was double-storied, a house of the lower and upper paradise combined in one. Finally, the heaven of astronomical mythology was figured as the great house of Osiris. This included all the previous formations: the circle of the Bear; the heaven of Sut and Horus, south and north; the triangular heaven of the ecliptic; the heaven built on the square; the double house of Amenta below the earth, and the eternal dwelling-place above, whence the house of Osiris at Abydos, called the mansion of Seb and Nu, or earth and heaven, was built in two stories. (Magical Texts, page 6; Records, vol. vi. page 118) In the year 22 of the reign of King Aahmes, his majesty gave the order to open the rock-chambers anew, and to cut out thence the best white stone (limestone) of the hill country (called) Annu, for the houses of the gods, “including the house of Ptah at Memphis” (Brugsch, Egypt under the Pharaohs, Eng. trans. in one vol., p. 130). The mountain of white limestone was an actual fact on earth to the Egyptians. It was in a spur of the Arabian range which projected in a straight line towards the Nile as far as the village of Troiu, and contained an inexhaustible supply of the finest and whitest limestone. The Egyptians had quarried the white limestone mountain from the earliest ages to obtain materials [Page 364] for their pyramids.
(Maspero, Dawn of Civilization, Eng. trans., p. 383.) It furnished the limestone for building the city of the white wall, which represented the celestial city on the summit of the mount in heaven. The name of Troiu, modern Turah, is suggestive of the Greek city of Troy, which in its mythical aspect was another form of the city on the mount. The deceased are lifted up in the white house or within the circle of the white wall by Sekhet the lioness-consort of Ptah (Rit., chs. 42 and 106), which was an astronomical foundation that followed the heaven of the eight great gods. The Osiris says, “May Sekhet the divine one lift me up, so that I may arise in heaven and deliver my behest in Memphis” (Rit., ch. 26, Renouf). With the Chinese Taoists the city on the summit of the mount is “the metropolis of pearl mountain”. (Edkins, Religion in China, p. 15 I, 2nd. ed.) This corresponds to the Kamite city of the white wall, the celestial Ha-Ptah-Ka.
To the dweller in Annu the eternal city was Annu on the summit of the celestial mount. To the dweller in Thebes the eternal city was Thebes on high. To the dweller in Jerusalem the eternal city was Jerusalem above. Only once was there a mundane original for the paradise or later city set in heaven at the pole.
That is demonstrably derived from the land, the river, the Annu, the Troy or Teriu of Egypt. The Egyptians set “the pattern in the mount”, and from this the later builders of the sacred cities, the ark cities, on the mount of heaven, derived the plan. The city of Troy on earth was a type of the eternal Troy upon the summit of the mount. Both city and name are demonstrably Egyptian, as Troy= Terui. Terui denotes the circumference or enclosure, and this was a name of Sesennu, and consequently of Am-Khemen - the paradise of the eight, the enclosure on the mount of heaven which afterwards supplied a name for the city of Troy in Greece. The “Tale of Troy” is based on the downfall of the great city on the summit, which was the lofty dwelling-place of those whom we may term the people of the pole. The Greeks are
solarites, with the sun-god Achilles as their leader. This fall occurred when the stellar representation was followed by the luni-solar mythos. The fall of Babylon in the book of Revelation is another form of the tale of Troy; and both were representations of the one great original in the astronomical mythos. The Semites would have had no heaven on the summit of the mount to go to if the Egyptians had not enclosed it and planted it, and showed the way in their astronomy. They would have had no Sheol if the Egyptians had not excavated the Amenta for the passage of the sun in their mythology and for the souls in the eschatology. And it is by means of the Egyptian imagery that we shall be able to restore something of the lapsed sense to the Hebrew writings.
Entrance into the eternal city was preceded by baptism, with Anup, father of the inundation, as the baptiser and sprinkler both in one. On approaching the two lakes the speaker says, “Lo, I come that I may purify this soul of mine in the most high degree. Let me be purified in the lake of propitiation and equipoise. Let me plunge into the divine pool beneath the two divine sycamores of heaven and earth”.
(Rit., ch. 97, Renouf.) This precedes the sacrament or eating of the sacrifice consisting of bread, beer, and meat. He also [Page 365] says, “Give me bread and beer. Let me be made pure by the sacrificial joint, together with the white bread”, that is, by partaking of the sacrament. (Rit., ch. 106, Renouf) Heaven as a house had been founded by Sesheta or Sefekh, a form of the old First Mother as co-worker with Taht in the lunar mythos. Atum-Ra was also a builder of the house in the solar mythos.His son luem-hetep, the Egyptian Solomon, was the builder or designer of the temple to whom The Book of the Model of the Temple is ascribed (Dümichen, Temple Inschriften, vol. i., pi. 97). It was the temple in
heaven that was built without the sound of workmen's tools; “there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the house while it was building” ( I Kings, vi. 7). This only applies to the mythical building, which was astronomical, and which is still continued in esoteric Masonry. When such language is applied to building on earth it has no direct meaning. The eternal city was preceded by the place of assembly. Before the time of building on the mount there was a gathering-place under the tree that represented the roof of heaven. This was the Egyptian maat or judgment seat when it consisted of a stone beneath a tree. The seat of assembly, the seat of judgment on the summit of the mount, was continued as a sacred tradition by races who never saw the pole star of the northern heaven. The
Australian blacks have no north pole to look to for their paradise. It sank out of sight for them long ages since, when they were emigrants from the old world, nor have they replaced it with the southern pole. But they still turn to a mount of the north as the gathering place for the souls of the departed. The Tundi, a judicial assembly of the tribe, is there - an equivalent in its way for the Egyptian maat. When an old Australian aborigine was dying he pointed upward and said, “My Tundi is up there!” (Taplin, Native Races of South Australia, p. 36). The great pyramid was built as a replica of this eternal home. One name of this is khut, a word which does not merely signify “light”, or the horizon. It was the mount of glory permanently fixed in stone; a type of heaven perfected which included all the mansions in the great house of Osiris.
Earth being figured as a mount or island in the abyssal water, it seems probable that the island in the water mentioned by Herodotus (B. ii. 127), where they say “the body of Cheops is laid”, was imaged in the subterranean chamber of the great pyramid. And if so, it follows that the pyramid itself is a figure of the mount that stood amidst the water of surrounding space. For example, the “Queen's Chamber” is seven-sided, and therefore a figure of the Heptanomis. Of the “King's Chamber” Sandys says, “The stones are so great that eight floor it, eight flag each end, and sixteen the sides”. It is therefore a figure of the lunar octonary, or the heaven of Am-Khemen. The Amenta of Ptah was imaged below as the abyss or well of the nether world. The steps or pathway to heaven were figured in the passage looking upward to the pole. In such monuments the architecture of the heavens found its supreme expression on the earth.
He whom Herodotus calls “the priest of Vulcan” is obviously the deity Ptah. The Greek writer speaks or the temple of Vulcan at Memphis (ii. 153) when he means the temple of Ptah. Thus the reign of the priest of Vulcan refers to the dynasty [Page 366] of Ptah. Herodotus says, “The Egyptians having become free, after the reign of the priest of Vulcan - for they were at no time able to live without a king - established twelve kings, having divided all Egypt into twelve parts” (B. ii. 147). This was in the Egypt of the heavens.
The divisions were zodiacal. The twelve kings are those that rowed the solar bark around the twelve signs now established in the circle of the ecliptic. “The twelve kings”, continues Herodotus, “determined to leave in common a memorial of themselves, and having so determined, they built a labyrinth, a little above the lake of Moeris”. This labyrinth “surpasses even the pyramid”. It has twelve courts enclosed with walls, with doors opposite each other, six facing the north and six the south, “which points to a building that represented the heaven of the twelve kings and twelve zodiacal signs, that is, the heaven of Atum-Ra the son of Ptah. The starry roof was taken, so to say, indoors, to glorify the temples of the gods, and was reproduced more or less as in the ceiling of Denderah. This has been shallowly described as Greek, because Greek artists were employed in the workmanship when the chart was last repeated, “as it had been before”, according to the text. But the types in this planisphere are Egyptian, not Greek. To mention only a few: At the centre is the old first mother of all, the pregnant hippopotamus, Apt or Khebt, with the jackal Ap-Uat, the guide of ways in heaven; and the haunch or leg of Nut the celestial cow. Anup and Tehuti are figured back to back on the equinoctial colure; Shu and his sister Tefnut, back to back, constitute the sign of Sagittarius. Child-Horus is enthroned on his papyrus plant; he is also portrayed as Har-Makhu in the sign of the Scales. Khunsu-Horus offers up the black boar of Sut as a sacrifice in the disk of the full moon. Enough remains intact to show the origin of the constellation figures and to prove their derivation from the astronomical mythology of the Egyptians, by means of which they can be read to-day and forever, but not as Greek or Euphratean (Book of the Beginnings, Planisphere).