Ancient Egypt: The Light of the World by Gerald Massey

BOOK 5 of 12

THE SIGN-LANGUAGE OF ASTRONOMICAL MYTHOLOGY

(THE PRIMITIVE AFRICAN PARADISE)

[Page 249] IT may be said that the dawn of African civilization came full circle in Egypt, but that the earliest glimmer of the light which turned the darkness into day for all the earth first issued from the inner land.
The veriest beginning must have been coeval with the creature that first developed a thumb to wield a weapon or to shape an implement for human use, when in the far-off past but little difference could have been detected twixt the monkey and the Pygmy race of human aborigines. It is improbable that we shall get back any nearer to a beginning for the human being among the types extant than with those forest dwarfs, of whom a recent traveller says: “They have no records or traditions of the past, no regard for time, nor any fetish rites; they do not seek to know the future by occult means, as do their neighbours; in short, they are, to my thinking, the closest link with the original Darwinian anthropoid apes extant”.
These little folk of the forest are still upon the lowest step in the ascent of man. Not because they have retrograded, but because they have never grown. So far as is known, the Pygmies have no verbal language of their own, whatsoever words they may have gathered from outsiders. Otherwise, language with them is the same as it was in the beginning,with a few animal sounds and gesture-signs. They have no totems, no signs of tattu scored upon their bodies, no rites of puberty, no eating of the parent in honour for the primitive sacrament. Judging from specimens of the Pygmies that have been brought to England from the Ituri Forest, the foundation of the negroid features, the thick lips and large, spreading nostrils, was laid in the Pygmean phase of development, but up to the present time the Pygmy has only reached the “peppercorn” stage of hair, and has not yet attained the “kinky” locks of the full-blooded negro.
A German traveller lately claimed to have discovered a people in the forests of Borneo who show some vestige of the ancestral tail. He saw the tail on a child about six years old belonging to the Poenan tribe.
There was the appendage, sure enough - not very long, but plainly visible, hairless, and about the thickness of a man's little finger (Daily Chronicle, August 10th, 1904). Also the persistent [Page 250] rumour that some remains of a semi-simian race are yet extant among the hidden secrets of the old dark land is not incredible, to the evolutionist. According to Lady Lugard, there is a tribe in Nigeria who are reputed not to have lost their tails (Daily Mail, March 2nd,1904). The African Pygmies, however, have not publicly proclaimed the tail.
The one sole race that can be traced among the aborigines all over the earth, above ground or below, is the dark race of a dwarf negrito type, and the only one possible motherland on earth for these preliminary people is Africa. No other country possesses the necessary background as a basis for the human beginnings. And so closely were the facts of nature observed and registered by the Egyptians that the earliest divine men in their mythology are portrayed as Pygmies. Following the zootypes, the primitive human form of Elder Horus was that of Bes, the dancing dwarf. Bes is a figure of Child-Horus in the likeness of a negroid Pygmy, He comes capering into Egypt along with the Great Mother, Apt, from Puanta in the far-off south, In reality, Bes-Horus is the earliest form of the Pygmy Ptah. In both the dwarf
is the type of man in his most primitive shape. The seven powers that co-operate with Ptah are also represented as seven Pygmies. Thus the anthropomorphic type comes into view as a Pygmy! Moreover, Ptah, the divine dwarf, is the imperfect progenitor of the perfect man in his son Atum. In this way the Egyptian wisdom registers the fact that the Pygmy was the earliest human figure known, and that this was brought into Egypt from the forests of Inner Africa and the record made in the mythology. In this mode of registering the natural fact the Egyptians trace their descent from the folk who were the first in human form - that is, from the Pygmies.
We have now to summarize a few of the pre-Egyptian evidences for the Inner African beginnings.
In one of the later chapters of the Book of the Dead (No. 164) - later, that is, in position-there are some ancient mystical names which are said to have been uttered in the language of the Nahsi (the negroes), the Anti, and the people of Ta-Kenset, or Nubia. Dr. Birch thought this and other chapters were modern because of the presence of Amen-Ra, But the later insertion of a divine name or title does not prove the fundamental matter of the chapter to be late. In this the Great Mother is saluted as the Supreme Being, “the Only One” , by the name of Sekhet-Bast, the goddess of sexual passion and strong drink, who is the mistress of the gods, not as wife, but as the promiscuous concubine - she who was “uncreated by the gods', and who is “mightier than the gods” . To her the eight gods offer words of adoration. Therefore they were not then merged in the Put-circle of the nine. It is noticeable too that Sekhet is not saluted as the
consort of Ptah. Sekhet was undoubtedly far more ancient than Ptah. But the point is that the outlandish names applied to her in this chapter are quoted from the language of the negroes, therefore parts of the Ritual had been composed in those languages; and if in the languages, then in the lands where these languages were spoken, including the country of the Nahsi, who were so despised by the dynastic Egyptians. This we claim as a partial recognition of the [Page 251] southern origin of the “Egyptian mythology. In agreement with this, the Great Mother may be identified in (chapter 143) as Apt of Nubia, who had a shrine at Nepata on her way to Egypt, Khept, or Khebt. In a text upon a stele among the Egyptian monuments at Dorpat it is said to the worshipper, “Make adoration to Apt of the dum-palms, to the lady of the two lands” (Proc. Sac. Bib. Arch., March 6th, 1894, p. 152). In this text the old first mother Apt appears as goddess of the mama-tree, that is the dum-palm, which in Egypt is a native of the south.
This points to the farther south as the primeval home and habitat of the most ancient hippopotamus goddess, she who thus preceded Hathor in the southern sycamore as Mother-earth or Lady of the Tree, and who in the dum-palm was the “mama” or mother of the Inner Africans.
The King of Egypt as the Suten dates from Sut. The dignity is so ancient that the insignia of the Pharaohs evidently belong to a time when the Egyptians wore nothing but the girdle of the negro, and when it was considered a special distinction that the King should complete this girdle with a piece of skin in front and adorn it with the tail of a lioness behind. The oldest and most primitive form of the sacred house in Egypt known from inscriptions of the ancient empire is a hovel dedicated to Sut for a temple. It looks like a hut of wattle-work without dab, and is a prehistoric type of building in the Nile valley, belonging to a civilization immeasurably lower than that of Egypt. (Erman, p. 280.) Sut the son of Apt was the deity of the first Egyptian nome. Sut is synonymous with the south from which he came with Horus-Behutet, who halted by the way as deity of the second nome. Milne-Edwards has shown the African origin of the ass,
and this was preserved by the Egyptians in its pristine purity of form. The serpents of equatorial Africa have their likeness in the huge reptiles portrayed in pictures of the Egyptian under-world. The sycamore fig of Hathor and the palm tree of Taht were imported into Egypt from Central Africa. The burying-places of Abydos, especially the most ancient, have furnished millions of shells, pierced and threaded as necklaces, all of which belong to the species of cowries used as money in Africa at the present day (Maspero, Dawn of Civilization, Eng. trans., p. 57). The hoes and wooden stands for head-rests used by the Egyptians have their prototypes among the East Central African tribes (Duff Macdonald). Dr. Peters found various customs among the Wakintu in Uganda which made him think the people were connected with the ancient Egyptians. One of these was the practice of embalming the dead and of excavating the rocks. Also their burial “mounds are conical, he says, and look like pyramids.
One might fill a volume with figures from Inner Africa that were developed and made permanent in the symbolism of Egypt.
“My lord the lion” is an African expression used by the Kaffirs and others in speaking of the lordly animal, also of the chief as lion-lord. So likewise in Egypt Osiris as king of the gods was, “my lord the crocodile” , and King Assa is also called “my lord the king” , as a crocodile. (Rit., ch, 142, line 17, Prisse. Pap. 41).
Again, the lion of Motoko is a totem with the Kaffirs in the neighbourhood of Fort Salisbury, Mashonaland.
They have a priest of the lion-god called the Mondoro, who is venerated as a sort of spirit in lion shape. [Page 252] Sacrifices are offered annually to the lion-god at the Zimbabwe of Mashonaland; and it is held by the natives that all true men pass into the lion form at death, precisely the same as it is with the Manes in the Egyptian Ritual, who exclaims, on living a second time, “I am the lord in lion form” ( ch. 4), and who rises again when divinized in that image of superhuman power. Such types were Inner African when totemic, and, as the lion of Motoko shows, they were also venerated as representatives of spiritual or superhuman powers which were deified in Egypt as the crocodile divinities Apt, Neith, and Sebek, and the lion-gods Shu, Tefnut, Sekhet, Horus, and Atum-Ra.
In the Egyptian judgment scenes the baboon or cynocephalus sits upon the scales as the tongue of the balance and a primitive determinative of even-handed justice. This was an Inner African type, now continued in Egypt as an image of the judge. In a Namaqualand fable the baboon sits in judgment on the other animals. The mouse had torn the tailor's clothes and laid it to the cat, the cat lays it to the dog, the dog to the wood, the wood to the fire, the fire to the water, the water to the elephant, and the elephant to the ant; whereupon the wise judge orders the ant to bite the elephant, the elephant to drink the water, the water to quench the fire, the fire to burn the wood, the wood to beat the dog, the dog to bite the cat, and the cat to bite the mouse; and thus the tailor gets satisfaction from the judgment of the wise baboon,
whose name is Yan in Namaqua, whilst that of the cynocephalus is Aan in Egyptian. This in the European folk-tales is the well-known nursery legend of “the pig that wouldn't go”. How then did this Bushman or Hottentot fable get into the lowermost stratum of the folk-tales in England ? We answer, the same way that “Tom Thumb” did, and “Jack the Giant-killer” , the “House that Jack Built” , and many more which are the poor relations reduced from the mythology of Egypt to become the märchen of the world. Again, the youthful hero who is Horus in Egypt, Heitsi Eibib among the Hottentots, and the redoubtable little Jack in Britain, is also an Inner African figure under the name of Kalikalange. The missionary Macdonald says, “We know a boy who assumed, much at his own instance, the name of Kalikalange, the hero about whom there are so many native tales, reminding one of the class of tales to which Jack the Giant-killer
belongs” (Africana, vol. i. p. I 15). This is the hero who slays the giant or dragon of drought and darkness, or cuts open the monster that swallowed him; who rescues the lunar lady from her imprisonment, and who makes the ascent to heaven by means of a tree, a stalk, or, as in the case of Child-Horus, a papyrus reed. In his Uganda Protectorate (vol. ii. p. 700) Sir H. Johnston has reproduced a local legend of creation derived from the natives, which contains certain constituent elements of the nursery tale of Jack the Giant-killer. “Kintu” was the first man. When he came from the unknown he found nothing in Uganda – no food, no water, no animals, nothing but a blank. He had a cow with him, and on this he lived. The cow represented the earth as giver of food. Kintu is a form of the universal hero, the hero to whom the tests are applied for discovering whether or no he is the real heir. Kintu eats or [Page 253] disposes of
10,000 carcases of roasted cows, and thus proves himself to be the man indeed, as does Jack who outwits the giant in a similar manner. The story includes the beanstalk (or the bean), with other fragments found in the European märchen, including the bringing of death into the world through the disobedience of Kintu, the first man, or by his violating the law of tabu. The Wakintu of Uganda or Rhodesia derive their name from Kintu, the first man of the Central African legends.
In a Zulu legend the under-world is the land of cannibals. Here dwells the devourer from whom the youthful hero makes his escape, together with his sister, by climbing up a tree into the sky country, just as Horus climbs the tree of dawn in coming forth from the under-world. We read in the Ritual of a golden dog-headed ape which is “three palms in height, without legs or arms”. The speaker in this character says, “My course is the course of the golden cynocephalus, three palms in height, without legs or arms, in the temple of Ptah” (Rit. ch. 42, Renouf). What this means no mortal knows. It is known, however, that the dog-headed ape as Ani the saluter was emblematic of the moon. Now, in the Kaffir story of
Simbukumbukwana there is a child born without legs or arms, who obviously represents the moon in its changes. He began to speak on the day of his birth. “The girl that was first born, who grew up in the valley and lived in the hole of an ant-heap” , is called his sister. She has the power to give him legs and arms by repeating his name and saying, “Have legs and arms!” and to deprive him of them by saying “Shrink, legs and arms!” This, as a figure of waning and waxing, helps us to understand the dog-headed ape of gold as an image of the moon in the waxing and waning halves of the lunation. In “the story of the glutton” the conquerors of the swallower are the mother and her twins. These, in an Egyptian form of the mythos, are Sut and Horus, the twin brethren, who war against the monster as two lions, the Rehu, on behalf of their mother, who is the lady of light in the moon (Rit. ch. 80). In this way we can trace some of the oldest of the folk-tales concerning the deluge and the lost paradise, the hero as the wonder-working child who climbs a tree or stalk and slays the monster of the dark, to Inner Africa, and follow these and others in the mythology of the Egyptians on their way to becoming the universal legends of the human race. The mythology, religious rites, totemic customs, and primitive symbolism of Egypt are crowded with survivals from identifiable Inner African origins. The Egyptian ka or image of a spiritual self was preceded by various rude but representative images of the dead. Livingstone tells us that the natives about Lake Moere make little idols of a deceased father or mother. To these they present beer, flour, and bhang; they light a fire for the spirits to sit round and smoke in concert with their living relatives. The Ewe-speaking natives of the Gold Coast also have their kra or eidolon, which existed from before the birth of a child and is exactly identical with the Egyptian ka (Ellis, A. B., Ewe-speaking-Peoples, p. 13). It is a common practice with the Bantu tribes described by the author of The Uganda Protectorate for the [Page 254] relatives of deceased persons to carve crude little images as likenesses of the dead, and set them up for worship or propitiation. Offerings are made to these in place of the later ka of the Egyptians. The earlier type of the departed was a bodily portrait. Hence the mummy. The ka is a later spirit likeness. But both imply the same recognition of the ancestral spirits that live on after death. The spirit huts provided for the honoured dead in the dense forests of Central Africa, as by the Wanyamwezi for their musimo, by the
Congo Pygmies (Geal), and by the Nilotic negroes, which the Portuguese called devil houses, are prototypes of the ka-chambers in Egyptian tombs. Erecting a little hut for the spirits is a recognized mode of propitiation. Lionel Décle, as we have seen, describes his Wanyamwezi as making little huts of grass or of green boughs even when on the march, and offering them to the musimo or spirits of their ancestors ( Three Years in Savage Africa, pages 343-6).
One of the funeral offerings found in Theban tombs is a loaf of bread in the shape of a cone (our pastille), or a model in burnt terra-cotta that images the loaf. Why the offering should be conical is admittedly unknown. This typical cone is Inner African, and in a most peculiar way. The Yao people have the custom of making an offering to the dead in a conical form. They do not know how to make bread, but their offering to the spirits consists of a little flour. This they let fall slowly from the fingers on the ground, so that it may form a pile in the shape of a sugarloaf. If the cone should shape perfectly it is an omen that the offering is acceptable to the spirits. It may be suggested in passing that the conical shape of the pile in flour and the funerary loaf was derived from that of the grave-mound of earth or stones dropped over the buried corpse as the still earlier tribute offered to the dead. British peasants give the name of “fairy loaves” to the fossil echini or sea-urchins found in Neolithic graves. Obviously these loaves were representative of funerary food that was likewise offered to the dead. The skeleton of a young woman clasping a child in her arms was discovered in a round barrow on Dunstable Downs, the burial mound being edged round with these fairy loaves.
Again, in the mysteries of the Yao people the young girls are initiated by a female who is called the “the cook of the mystery” (mtelesi wa unyago). This is the instructress who makes the mystery or is the “cook” that prepares it, and who is mistress of the ceremony. She is the wise woman who initiates the girls, and anoints their bodies with an oil containing various magical ingredients. She clothes them in their earliest garment, the primitive loin-cloth, that was first assumed at puberty with proud pleasure, and afterwards looked upon askance as the sign of civilized woman's shame. Now this primitive personage has been divinized as the Cook in the Kamite pantheon. In Egyptian, tait signifies to cook, and this is the name of a goddess Tait who is the cook in paradise and the preparer of the deceased in the greater mysteries of the Ritual, where she is the cook of the mystery more obviously than a cook as preparer of food. Deceased, in speaking of his investiture for the garden of Aarru, cries, “Let my vesture be girt on me by Tait !” [Page
255] that is, by the goddess who is the divine cook by name, and who clothes the initiate in the garment or girdle that here takes the place of the loin-cloth in the more primitive mysteries of Inner Africa (Duff Macdonald, Africana, vol. i. pp. 123-126; Rit., ch. 82, Renouf).
The Egyptian record when correctly read will tell us plainly that the human birthplace was a land of the papyrus reed, the crocodile, and hippopotamus; a land of the great lakes in Karua, the Kolôe of Ptolemy, or in Apta at the horn point of the earth - that is, in Equatoria, from whence the sacred river ran to brim the valley of the Nile with plenty. The track of civilization with cities springing in its footprints is seaward from the south, not upward from Lower Egypt, which was a swamp when Upper Egypt was already the African home of civilization. The Egyptians always gave priority to the south over the delta in the north.
Also the south was and is the natural habitat of the oldest fauna and most peculiar of the sacred zootypes. It is in vain we judge of the race by the figures and faces of the rulers portrayed in monumental times. Primary data must be sought for amongst the Fellaheen and corroborated by the skulls. Captain Burton wrote to me in 1883, saying, “You are quite right about the African origin of the Egyptians, and I have sent home a hundred skulls to prove it” . (Does anyone know what became of these skulls?)
The African legends tell us that the Egyptians, Zulus, and others looked backward to a land of the papyrus reed as the primeval country of the human race, and that on this, as we shall see, the Egyptians founded their circumpolar paradise in the astronomical mythology. There is a widespread African tradition, especially preserved by the Kaffir tribes, that the primeval birthplace was a land of reeds. The Zulus told the missionary Callaway that men originally “came out of a bed of reeds” . This birthplace in the reeds was called “Uthlanga” , named from the reed. No one knew where it was, but all insisted that the natal reed-bed of the race was still extant. It was a sign of lofty lineage for the native aristocracy to claim descent from ancient Uthlanga, the primeval land of birth. The Basutos identify Uthlanga the human birthplace with a cavern in the earth that was surrounded by a morass of reeds. They also cling so affectionately to the typical reed that when a child is born they suspend a reed above the hut to announce the birth of the babe, thus showing in the language of signs that the papyrus reed is still a type of the primitive birthplace in which Child-Horus was cradled on the flower of the papyrus plant or reed.
The Zulu birthplace in the bed of reeds was repeated and continued in the nest of reeds and the morass that were mythically represented as the birthplace of the child, which was constellated as the uranograph of Horus springing from the reed. What indeed is the typical reed of Egypt, first in the upper, next in the lower land, but a symbol of the birthplace in the African bed of reeds? Lower Egypt, called Uat in the hieroglyphics, has the same name as the papyrus reed. Also Uati is a title of the great mother Isis who brought forth Child-Horus on her lap of the papyrus flower. Uat in Egyptian is the name of Lower Egypt; Uat is the oasis, Uat is the water, Uat is wet, fresh, evergreen Uat is the reed of Egypt, the papyrus reed, and a name of the most ancient mother in the Kamite mythology. [Page 256]
Seb, the father of food, is clothed with papyrus reeds. The Mount of Earth was imaged as a papyrusplant in the water of space. Lastly, the Mount of Amenta in the Ritual rises from a bed of papyrus reeds. Hor-Apollo says of the Egyptians, “To denote ancient descent they depict a roll of papyrus, and by this they signify primeval food” (B. I, 30). This is the same as with the Zulus. The papyrus reed, Uat, was turned into a symbol of most ancient descent precisely because it had been the primeval food of the most ancient people, a totem of the most ancient mother of the race when called Uati in Egypt, and a type of the African paradise. As the symbolism shows, people were sometimes derived from and represented by the food on which they lived. Thus the papyrus reed that symbolizes ancient food and long descent
would be the sign of the people who once lived on or who ate the shoots of the water plant. The Egyptians continued to be eaters of the lotus and papyrus shoots. Theirs was the land of the reed, and they, like the Zulus or the Japanese or the Pueblos, were the reed people in accordance with the primitive mode of heraldry, just as with the Arunta tribes the witchetty-grub people are those who live on the witchetty-grub as their special totemic food. In later times the papyrus plant was eaten by the Egyptians as a delicacy. Its shoots were gathered for that purpose annually. Bread made from the roots and the seed of the lotus was the gourmand's delight. Lily loaves are mentioned in the Papyrus Anastasi.
It is said in the Hymn to the Nile that when food is abundant the poor man disdains to eat the lotus or papyrus plant, which shows that it had been his diet when other food was scarce. The lotus and the papyrus are the two water plants worn as a head-dress by the two figures that represent the Nile south and north, and who are often seen binding the flowers to the Sam symbol of Upper and Lower Egypt, as if joining the two countries together as the one land of the reed. Uthlanga is not irrecoverable. We glean from other Zulu legends that this was the African birthplace in the bed of reeds, where the two children, black and white, were born of dark and day, and where the race of the reed people broke off in the beginning. This cradle of creation is repeated mythically with Child-Horus in his nest of reeds or bed of the papyrus plant, when the field of reeds was figured in the heavens as the primitive paradise of food and drink.
In the so-called “cosmogony” of the Japanese it is set forth that the first thing in which life appeared on earth at the beginning was the reed, and the earliest land or “country-place stand” (Kunitoko tachi) was the land of the reed. Japan was named as the central land of the reed expanse from the fields of reed, whether geographical on the earth or astronomical in the fields of heaven. The “great reed” of the Japanese mythos is identical with the papyrus reed that represented the Mount of Earth in Egypt or the lotus of Meru in India. Any country figured as being atop of the reed would be the midland of the world, as Japan is said to be, and the Kamite reed will explain why the land of the Kami should be called Ashi-hara, the plain of reeds, when the reed is identified with the papyrus plant. Ashi-hara no naka tsu Kuni, “the Middle Kingdom of the Reed Plain”, which [Page 257] lies upon the summit of the globe, is an ancient name for Japan. This, if mundane, corresponds to the land of the papyrus reed in equatorial Africa, the summit of our earth; or, if only mythical, i.e., astronomical, to the reed field of the Aarru paradise upon the summit of the mount in heaven. Again, the great reed standing up out of the water is identical with the typical mount of earth in the Navajo mythology. As the mount grew higher, higher grew the reed. At the time of the deluge all that lived took refuge there, and were rescued from the drowning waters by the reed. This is the papyrus reed which cradled Horus amid the waters, like the infant Moses in the ark of bulrush, applied in a folk-tale on a larger scale (Matthews).
It is now proposed to seek for the birthplace of the beginnings in Central Africa, the land of the papyrus reed, around the equatorial lakes, by the aid of the Egyptian astronomical mythology and the legendary lore. In the first place, the Kami of Egypt, like the Kami of Japan, identify themselves by name as the reed-people. And the goddess Uati is the African great mother in the bed of reeds. For it was thence, in the region of the two lakes and in the land of the papyrus reed, that souls in the germ first emanated as the soul of life from water. The Kaffir tradition thus appears to preserve the natural fact which the Egyptians rendered mythically by means of the reed plant as a symbol of the primeval birthplace on earth with Horus issuing from the waters on the reed, which became the lap of life, the cradle and the ark of the eternal child, who is also called the shoot of the papyrus, the primitive Natzer.
A spring of water weIling from abysmal depths of earth, that furnished food in the papyrus reed and other edible plants, is the earliest form in which the source of life was figured by the Kamite mystery teachers.
This is recorded in the Ritual (ch. 172). It was in the birthplace of the reeds and of the reed people in the region of the reeds that light first broke out of darkness in the beginning in the domain of Sut, and where the twin children of darkness and of light were born. The Mother-earth as womb of universal life was the producer of food in various kinds, and the food was represented as her offspring. Horus on his papyrus imaged food in the water plant as well as in the later lentils, the branch of the tree, or in general vegetation.
The stands of the offerings presented to the gods in the Ritual are commonly crowned with papyrus plants, which commemorate the food that was primeval. Thus the doctrine of life issuing in and from the papyrus reed was Egyptian as well as Japanese. Naturally the earliest life thus emanating from the water was not human life, but this would be included sooner or later in the mythical representation. Hence the legend of the first man, or person who issued from a reed in the water of the deluge. In this American Indian version the reed is a figure of the birthplace instead of the Zulu bed of reeds, or Uthlanga, the land of reeds, but the typical origin is the same; and as Egyptian the mythos is to be explained.
The origin of a saviour in the guise of a little child is traceable to Child-Horus, who brought new life to Egypt every year as the Messu of the inundation. This was Horus in his pre-solar and pre-human characters of the fish, the shoot of the papyrus, or the branch of endless years. In a later stage the image of Horus on his papyrus [Page 258] represented the young god as solar cause in creation. But in the primitive phase it was a soul of life or of food ascending from the water in vegetation, as he who climbs the stalk, ranging from Child- Horus to the Polynesian hero, and to Jack ascending heavenward by means of his bean-stalk. Now, of all the lands on earth there is no reed land to be compared with the land of the reeds round the equatorial lakes, where the papyrus grows about the waters in jungles and forests so dense that a charging herd of hippopotami could hardly penetrate the bush, which stands out of the water full fifteen feet in height (Johnston, H. H.), and there if anywhere upon this earth Uthlanga, the original reed land or birth land in the reeds, will yet be found. That is the natural fact which underlies the mythical representation when the Egyptians show us Horus “on his papyrus” rising from his natal bed of the papyrus plant. Child-Horus on his papyrus is the reed-born in mythology who reflects the natural fact of the human birthplace in the field, the bed, or nest of reeds on earth or in heaven - that is, the African oasis of the beginning, whether the offspring represents food or other elemental force. Now the Egyptian Aarru or paradise, established by Ra, was “a field of reeds” in seven divisions, and these were papyrus
reeds which sprang up from the marshes. Thus the Kamite paradise was a land of the papyrus plant repeated on the summit of the mount in heaven at the north celestial pole (Naville, Destruction of Mankind). According to their way of registering a knowledge of the beginnings, the Egyptians were well acquainted with the equatorial regions, which they designated “Apta” , the uppermost point, the mount, or literally the “horn-point” of the earth. This was afterwards reproduced at the highest point above, when the primeval birth land was repeated as the land of rebirth for spirits in heaven.
It has now to be shown that much of tile sign-language of astronomy which still survives on the celestial globe is interpretable on the ground and for the reason that the fundamental data of the underlying mythos was Egyptian, although the commencement in Africa may have been indefinitely earlier than the fulfilment in Egypt. From the beginning certain types evolved in the Egyptian mythology have been configurated in the planisphere, many of which remain extant on the celestial globe today. As a concept of primitive thought life came into the world by water. Hence in the mysteries of Osiris water is the throne of the eternal. Earth itself was the producer or the mother of the element, the wet-nurse in mythology, and water was her child by whom an ever-renewing source was imaged as a type in Child-Horus, the eternal child. Water, we shall see, was self-delineated as very heaven. Drought was self-delineated as a
huge black reptile coiling round the mount of earth night after night and drinking up the water of light day after day. Darkness and light were self-delineated as two immense, wide-winged birds, one black and one white, which overspread the earth. The great squat-headed evil Apap in the Egyptian drawings is probably a water reptile, and possibly represents the mysterious monster of the lakes in the legends of Central Africa. But, wheresoever its habitat in nature, it supplied one of the types that were depicted in the astronomical ceiling of Kam - the types that have now to be followed [Page 259] by means of the mythography in the Sign-Ianguage of the starry sphere, amongst which Apap, the “hellish snake” of drought and dearth and darkness, still survives as our own constellation “Hydra” , the enormous reptile imaged in the celestial waters of the southern heaven. The hero of light that pierced the serpent of drought or the dragon of darkness was also represented as the golden hawk (later eagle), and at Hermopolis the Egyptians showed the figure of a hippopotamus upon which a hawk stood fighting with a serpent (Plutarch, On l and 0., p. 50). Now, as the hippopotamus was a zootype of the Mother-earth in the water of space, the hawk and serpent fighting on her back portrayed the war of light and darkness which had been fought from the beginning, the war that was a primary subject figured in the astronomical mythology. The hawk represented Horus, who was the bruiser of the serpent's head. Thus the same conflict that was portrayed at Hermopolis may be seen in the constellation of Serpentarius as a uranograph depicted in the planisphere.
The Egyptians called the equator Ap-ta, as the highest land or summit of the earth. This, the earthly Apta in the equatorial regions, was then rendered mythically as the Apta or highest point of the northern heavens in the astronomical representation. And naturally the chief facts of the earthly paradise were repeated for a purpose in the circumpolar highland. Hence the Aarru paradise, as a field of papyrus reeds oozing with the water of life that supplied the world, from the two great lakes into which the element divided at the head of the celestial river or the White Nile of the “Milky Way”. In coming down the Nile from Karua, the lake country, the migrants had to pass through parching desert sands, which made the south a synonym for Sut, as it is in Egyptian. Their future heaven was in the north, whence came the blessed breezes with the breath of healing from the very land of life. And all the time ahead of them was that fixed polar star in the north-fixed, that is, as a centre of rest and peace amidst the starry revolutions of the heavens. Emerging from the wilderness, they saw in Egypt an oasis watered by the
river Nile. Cooler breezes brought the breath of life to meet them on the way, and plenty of sweet, fresh water realized the heaven of the African. The Kami found their old lost paradise in “Uat”, the name signifying green, fresh, well-watered. Uat was literally the land of wet as water. Here then was heaven in the north, heaven as the north, heaven in the water and the breezes of the north. And on this they founded a celestial garden or enclosure, which was configurated by them in the northern heaven as the primitive paradise of edible plants and plenty of water. The river Nile was traced back by the Egyptians to a double source. This in later times was localized at Elephantine, but not originally. The Nile was known to issue from the two great lakes which were the southern source of the river according to the Ritual. A
tablet discovered at Gebel Silsileh refers to two of the ancient festivals of the Nile which had fallen into disuse in the time of Rameses II. In this it is said, “I know what is written in the book-store kept in the library, that whenever the Nile cometh forth from the two fountains, the offerings of the gods are to be plenty” (Records of the Past, vol. x, 41). The river was timed [Page 260] to come forth from its double welling-place on the 15th of Epiphi,. and the inundation to reach Gebel Silsileh, or Khennut, on the I5th of Taht. The first of these dates corresponds to our May the 31st; the second to August the 4th . This allows two months and three days for the inundation to travel from its swollen and overflowing double-breasted source, wheresoever that was localized, to Gebel Silsileh. The length of the river from the Victoria Nyanza to the sea is now estimated at 3,370 miles. It is less than 3,000 to Silsileh, and water flowing at the rate of only two miles an hour would make 3,120 miles in sixty-five days. This seems to afford good evidence that the two fountains were identified with the two lakes, and that the double source was afterwards repeated locally lower down at Elephantine. The Egyptians had tracked the river to its sources “in the recesses” , called “the Tuat of the south” , and the inundation to the bursting forth and overflowing of the southern lakes at high flood (Hymn to the Nile; also Ritual, ch. 149).
The mother of water in the northern heaven was imaged as the water-cow. Another type of the birthplace was the thigh or haunch of the cow, and one of the two lakes at the head of the Milky Way in the region of the northern pole was called the “lake of the thigh” . The Osiris (ch. 149), on attaining the divine regions of water, air, and food, or, as we say, heaven, exultingly exclaims, “I alight at the thigh of the lake” . This was the thigh of the cow that was constellated in heaven at least twice over, as a sign of the birthplace, when the birth was water, or Horus, the child of the inundation. Now the name of Tanganyika, from the African “tanga” for,”the thigh” and “nyika” for the water, signifies the lake of the thigh or haunch. But the thigh is only a symbol which in Sign-language denotes the birthplace that was imaged more completely by the Cow itself; the water-cow of Apt, in Apta, which represented earth as the great mother and giver of
the water that, according to the legend, burst forth from the abyss in the deluge of the inundation when the lake was formed at first. The lake of the thigh = Tanganyika was constellated in the northern heaven by name as a uranograph, and this lake of the thigh or haunch was the lake of the water-cow. Hence we find the cow and the haunch are blended together in one group of stars that is labelled the “Meskhen”, as the womb or birthplace at the summit of the pole. {P. 289.} And, although this lake in Africa is a little over the line to the south, it is near enough to have been reckoned on it, and therefore to have been the earthly prototype of the great lake at the horn-point of the northern pole which the Ritual denominates the “lake of equipoise” as well as the lake of the thigh. Amongst the other signs that were configurated at the summit of the northern heaven as object-pictures of the old primeval homeland were the fields of the
papyrus reed, the waters welling from unfathomable depths, the ancient mother as the water-cow of Apt, who was the living image of Apta as the birthplace in the reeds. Thus, with the aid of their uranographs the Egyptian mystery teachers showed the birthplace in the fields of the papyrus plant; the reed bed in Uthlanga, where the black and white twins of darkness and day were born ; the birthplace of the water flowing from its secret source in the land of the two lakes called “the [Page 261] lake of equipoise“ and “the lake of the thigh” , or Tanga, whence the name Tanganyika. There was the water that for ever flowed in fields for ever fresh and green, which figured now the water of life that has no limit, and the food that is eternal in the Kamite eschatology. In the astronomy Apta was the mount of earth as a figure of the equator, whereas the summit of the circumpolar paradise was the mount of heaven as a figure of the pole. In the final picture to the Ritual (ch. 186) the mount of Amenta stands in a morass of the papyrus reed. The cow that represented the great mother is portrayed in the two forms of Apt the water-cow and Hathor the milch-cow, as the typical mother amongst the reeds in the place of birth on the earth and thence of rebirth in heaven. Thus, as we interpret it, the imagery of equatoria was commemorated in the uranographic representation or Sign-language of the astronomical mythology.
Sir Harry Johnston sees traces of the Egyptian or Hamitic influence amongst the more primitive dwarfs and negroes of the equatorial regions, but this he speaks of as the result of a returning wave from the Nilotic races. Assuredly the Kamite race of migratory colonizers on the lower Nile did return in later times in search of the old home. Their voyages by water and travels by land had become the subject of popular tales. But this was as travellers, adventurers, naturalists, and miners who explored their hinterland, dug for metals or gems, imported strange animals, and transplanted precious trees to furnish incense for the goddesses and gods. It was not the grown up, civilized Ruti of Egypt, who called themselves “the men” par excellence, that went back to beget the ape-like race of negroid dwarfs in the central regions of Africa, or to people the impenetrable forests with non-civilized, ignorant, undeveloped manikins. That was not the route of evolution.
It is an ancient and world-travelling tradition that heaven and earth were close together in the beginning.
Now the heaven signified in the oldest of all mythologies, the Kamite, was the starry heaven of night upraised by Shu as he stood upon the mount of earth. This was the heaven in which the stars of our two
Bears revolved about the pole. The writer of the present work has seen in equatorial regions how the Southern Cross arises and the Bears go down for those who are going south. The northern pole-star dips and disappears, and with it sinks the primal paradise of mythology in general that was configurated in the stars about the pole. On coming north again, the old lost paradise arose once more as paradise regained. At a certain point, in regions of no latitude, the pole-star rests for ever on the horizon in the north, or, as the Egyptians figured it, upon the mount of earth in Apta. The heaven of the ancient legends and of the equatorial astronomers was close to the earth, because the pole-star rested on the summit of the mount like Anup on his mountain. Such traditions were deposited as the mythical mode of representing natural fact, however much the fact may be obscured. Now, the ordinary heaven of night and day could not supply the natural fact. Heaven is no farther off from earth than ever. Yet there is a starting point in the various mythologies that is equivalent to this beginning, at which time heaven rested on the earth, and was afterwards separated from it by the mythical uplifter of [Page 262] the sky. The name of heaven denotes the up-heaven. Nut or Nu the Egyptian name for heaven, has the meaning and the sign of up-lifted. And there was but one starting point at which the heaven could be said to rest upon the earth. This was in the regions of no latitude, where the pole-stars were to be seen upon the two horizons.
As the nomads travelled towards the north, this heaven of the pole, which touched the earth in equatoria, naturally rose up from the mount, or, as mythically rendered, it was raised by Shu, who stood upon the steps of Am-Khemen to reach the height, and push the two apart with his huge staff that was the giant's figure of the north celestial pole. There were no solstices in Apta. Time, if any, was always equinoctial there. And on this equal measure of day and dark the first division of the circle, the sep or turn-round of the sphere, was founded. When Shu upraised the sky it was equally divided between Sut and Horus, the portion of each being half of the water, half of the mount, or half of the twenty-four hours. And this was the time made permanent in Amenta, where the later register for all such simple mysteries was kept.
There are twelve hours light and twelve hours dark in this nether-world, the same as in the equatorial regions. It is the equinoctial time of Shu and Mati. The earth was not an upright pillar in Apta, with the starry sphere revolving round it on a horizontal plane. The risings and settings of the stars were vertical, and the two fixed centres of the poles were on the two horizons, or, in accordance with the Egyptian expression, on the northern and the southern sides of the mount of earth. The sky, as the celestial water, was also divided into two great lakes, one to the north and one to the south of the mount. These survive in the Ritual as the Lake of Kharu and the Lake of Ru to the south and the north of the Bakhu hill “on which heaven resteth” (chs. 108 and 109). The system of dividing the celestial water was apparently founded on the two great equatorial lakes at the head of the Nile, which were repeated in the two lakes of Amenta and in the other pictures of the double source of the great stream now figured in heaven at the head of the Milky Way as “the stream without end”.
The Egyptians also preserved traditions of Ta-nuter, the holy land that was known by the name of Punt or Puanta. Maspero spells the name Puanit. The present writer has rendered it Puanta. One meaning of anta, in Egyptian, is yellow or golden. Hence Puanta the golden. The name is applied in the Ritual (ch. 15) to the land of dawn, or anta, as the golden = the land of gold. This was the mythical or divine Anta in Amenta where the tree of golden Hathor grew. In that case, Puanta or Punt is identical with the orient in the mythos. But the land of Puanta is also geographical, and there was an Egyptian tradition that this divine country could be reached by ascending the river Nile (Maspero, Histoire Ancienne, p. 5). It was reported that in a remote region south you came to an unknown great water which bathed Puanta or the holy land, Ta-nuter. This, we suggest, was that nearest and largest of all the African lakes, now called the Victoria Nyanza, from which the river Nile debouches on its journey north. We gather from the inscriptions of Der-el-Bahari that the inhabitants of that Puanta for which the expedition of Queen Hatshepsu sailed were lake dwellers. The houses, built on piles, were [Page 263] reached by means of ladders, and pile-dwellings imply that the people of Puanta were dwellers on the lake. Further, it is recorded on the monuments that two naval expeditions were made by the Egyptians to the land of Puanta. The first occurred in the reign of Sankh-Ka-Ra, the last king of the eleventh dynasty, long before the expedition to Puanta was made in the time of Queen Hatshepsu (eighteenth dynasty). The leader of this earlier expedition was a nobleman named Hannu, who describes his passage inland through the desert and the cultivated land. On his return to Egypt from the gold land, he speaks of coming back from the land of Seba, and thus far identifies the one with the other. He says: “When I returned from Seba, or Seboea, I had executed the king's command, for I brought him back all kinds of presents which I had met with in the ports of Puanta, and I came back by the road of Uak and of Hannu” (Inscription, Rohan). In the story of the shipwrecked sailor the speaker says of his voyage: “I was going to the mines of Pharaoh, in a ship that was 150 cubits long and 40 cubits wide, with 150 of the best sailors in Egypt” . He was shipwrecked on an island, which turned out to be in the land of Puanta. The serpent ruler of the island says to the sailor: “I am prince of the land of Puanta” . It is not said that this was the land of the mines,
but he was sailing to the mines when he reached the land of Puanta (Petrie, Egyptian Tales, pp. 82, 90).
An inscription found in the tomb of Iua and Thua (of the eighteenth dynasty ), which tomb was rich in gold, informs us that the gold had been brought from “ the lands of the south” . Also the Mazai tribes are known to have had relations with the people of Puanta. Puanta, as a geographical Iocality is said to lie next to the spirit world, or the land of the shades, which is spoken of as being in the south, but as far away as sailors could go up-stream; in fact, it was where the celestial waters came from heaven at the sources of the Nile. This surely means that Puanta, the gold land, was at the summit of this world, and therefore closest to the next, where there was nothing but the firmamental water betwixt them and the islands of the blessed.
If Mashonaland should prove to be the gold land of Puanta, this would be the geographical Puanta, not Arabia, from which the golden Hathor and the hawk of gold originally came. The symbolism of the ruined cities of Mashonaland, discovered by the explorer Bent, suffices at least to show that the Egyptians of a very remote age had worked the gold mines in that country. Horus on his pedestal or papyrus is a figure not to be mistaken, whether the bird is a hawk or a vulture, for there was also a very ancient Horus of the vulture that was the bird of Neith.
The hawk or vulture on the pedestal or papyrus (Uat) was indefinitely older than the human type of Horus the child in Egypt. Horus as the hawk or vulture, standing on the column within the necklace zone or cestus, was the child of Hathor; and these two, Hathor and Horus, were the divine mother and child. The gold hawk of Horus is connected with the Egyptian mines, whilst precious metals and stones, especially the turquoise, were expressly sacred to the goddess Hathor. The Egyptian goddess Hathor, as a form of the Earth-mother, was the mistress of the mines, and of precious stones and metals, called mafkat. It was here she gave birth to the blue-eyed golden Horus as her child, her golden calf or hawk of gold. The [Page 264] Egyptian labourers who worked the mines of the turquoise country in the Sinaitic peninsula were worshippers of this golden Hathor and the golden Horus. These two are the divinities most frequently invoked in the religious worship of the Egyptian officers and miners residing in the neighbourhood of the mafkat mines. Also the name for a mine in Egyptian is ba or ba-t, and baba, or babait, is a plural for mines, likewise for caverns, grottoes, and lairs underground. Moreover, this district of the Sinaitic mines was designated Baba or Babait by the Egyptian miners. And this name of Baba or Babait, with the plural terminal for the mines, would seem to have been preserved and repeated for the Zimbabwe mines in Rhodesia, the Egyptian word being left there by the Egyptian workers. Lastly, as Mafekh or Mafkhet is a title of Hathor, as mafekh is an Egyptian name for the turquoise, for copper and other treasures of the mines, as well as of Hathor, one wonders whether the name of Mafeking was not also derived from the Egyptian word “mafekh” . The earliest Ta-Neter or holy land of the Egyptians, then, was Puanta in the south, which was sacred on account of its being the primeval home. But in the mythos the place of coming forth had been given to the sun god in the east, and this became the holy land in the solar mythology which has been too hastily identified by certain Egyptologists with Arabia as the eastern land.
At present we are more concerned with the original race and its primitive achievement than with the return wave from Egypt in the later ages of the Pharaohs. The oasis in Africa was a heaven on earth, a paradise in nature ready-made in the vast expanse of papyrus reed. Egypt from the beginning was based on the oasis, Uat. We might trace a form of the heptanomis with which Egypt began in the seven oases: the great oasis of Abydos, called Uaht, the great Theban oasis, the oasis of the Natron Lakes, the oasis of EI-Kargeh, the oasis of Sinai, the oasis of Dakhel, and the oasis of Bahnesa.
Maspero says the Great Oasis had been at first considered as a sort of mysterious paradise to which the dead went in their search of peace and happiness. It was called Uit or Uat. As late as the Persian epoch the ancient tradition found its echo in the name of the “Isles of the Blessed” (Herod. iii. 26), which was given to the Great Oasis. “So soon as the deceased was properly equipped with his amulets and formulas, he set forth to “seek the field of reeds” (D. of C., English translation, page 183). The “field of reeds” was the field of Uat, the papyrus reed, which had been repeated in the heavens, from the Uat of Egypt; the Uat of the oasis, the Uat of the reed land that was in the beginning. For those who lived on the papyrus shoots, when this was a primeval food, there was a world of plenty in the region of the lakes,
which would be looked back to as a very paradise by those who wandered forth into the waterless deserts and suffered cruelly from thirst and hunger midst the arid wastes of burning sand. In seeking “the field of reeds” Deceased was going back in spirit to Uthlanga, the cradle in the reeds, or to Karua, the land of the lakes; to Apta, .the starting-point; to Puanta, the ever-golden ; to Merta, the land of the two eyes, or some other form of the primitive paradise, where, as the Ritual has it, he would drink the waters of the [Page 265] sacred river at the sources of the Nile. This was the land where food and water had been abundant enough to furnish a type of everlasting plenty for the land of promise in the astronomical mythology and the eschatology.
It is necessary to postulate a commencement in equatorial regions, in order that we may explain certain primeval representations in the land of Egypt. We see a deluge legend originating in the woman's failing to keep the secret of. the water source, which was followed by an overwhelming, devastating flood. We see that a legend of the first man - he who brought death into the world by disobeying the law of tabu, is indigenous to the natives of Uganda. A primitive picture of “the beginning” is also presented in an African story which was told to Stanley by a native of the Bashko on the Aruwimi River, and called “The Creation of Man”. It is related that “In the old-old time all this land, and indeed the whole earth, was covered with sweet water. Then the water dried up or disappeared. No living thing was moving on the earth, until one day a large toad squatted by one of the pools. How long it had lived or how it came into existence was
not known, but it was suspected that the water must have brought it forth from some virtue of its own. On the whole earth there was but this one toad”  which in relation to water was the frog. Then follows the legend of “creation”. The toad becomes the maker of the primal human pair which came into being in the shape of twins (like Sut and Horus, or the Zulu black and white twins in the bed of reeds), and these are said to be “the first like our kind that ever trod the earth” . (Stanley, H. M., My Dark Companions and their Strange Stories, pages 5-30.) The legend we judge to be an African original relating to the primordial water in which the earth was figured as a “large toad”, or frog, at the time when no other living thing moved on the earth, and there was no human creature known. The frog floating on the water in the act of breathing out of it was an arresting object to primitive man, and this became a type of earth emerging from the water of space. The constellation of Piscis Australis was known to the Arab astronomers as the frog. Indeed, the two fish, the southern fish and the whale, were named by them as the two frogs (Higgins, W. H., Names of the Stars and Constellations). But, whichever type was first, a monstrous frog or huge fish, a turtle or the water-cow, it was a figure of the earth amidst the firmamental water, in the lower part of which was the abyss. And here the primal pair are also born as twins, like Sut and Horus. In Egypt the north celestial pole was variously imaged as a mountain-summit, an island in the deep, a mound of earth, a papyrus plant or lotus in the waters of immensity, a tree, a stake, a pole, a pillar, a
pyramid, and other types of the apex in heaven.
In Equatoria there was neither pole nor pole-star fixed on high in the celestial north. On the other hand, there were two pole-stars visible upon the two horizons, north and south. These, according to the Imagery, might be represented by two jackals, two lions, two giraffes, mountains - the mount and horizon
being synonymous - two trees, two pillars of the firmament, or by the two eyes of two watchers. “Heaven's-Eye Mountain” is a Chinese title for the Mount of the Pole (De Groot, Fêtes d'Emoui, i. 74).
This would [Page 266] apply when only one pole-star was visible, Rut in Equatoria there were two poles or mountains with the eyes of two non-setting stars upon the summits, the only two fixed stars in all the firmament. These we hold to be the “pair of eyes” or merti that were also a pair of jackals in the Kamite astronomical mythology. But first of the two poles as pillars.
Josephus has preserved a tradition concerning two pillars that were erected in the land of Siriad. He tells us that the children of Seth (Egyptian, Set) were the inventors of astronomy, and in order that their inventions might not be lost, and acting “upon Adam's prediction that the world was to be destroyed at one time by the force of fire, and at another time by the violence and quantity of waters, they made two pillars, the one of brick, the other of stone; they inscribed their discoveries upon them both, that in case the pillar of brick should be destroyed by the flood, the pillar of stone might remain and exhibit those discoveries to mankind, and also inform them that there was another pillar of brick erected by them: Now this remains in the Land of Siriad to this day”. (Ant. B., i, ch. 2.) Plato likewise speaks of these two columns in the opening of Timaeus The place where the two pillars, or one of them, traditionally stood was in the land of Siriad. Where that is no mortal knows, but Seri in Egyptian is a name for the south. Seri is also the mount that is figured as the two-fold rock which is equivalent to the pillars of the two horizons, south and north, Seri is also the name of the giraffe, a zootype of Sut, the overseer. Siriad, then, we take to be the land of the south where the pillar “remains to this day”. According to John Greaves, the old Oxford astronomer, “these pillars of Seth were in the very same place where Manetho placed the pillars of Taht, called Seiread” (English Weights and Measures). It is possible to identify the
missing pillar of the two, the pillar of Sut in the south. There was a southern Annu and a northern Annu in Egypt, and possibly a relic of the two poles may be recognized in the two Annus, viz., Hermonthes, the Annu of the south, and Heliopolis, the Annu of the north, The original meaning of Annu appears to have been the place of the pillar, or stone, that marked the foundation which preceded the sign of station or dwelling-place. There was an Egyptian tradition which connected Sut, the inventor of astronomy, with Annu, as the original founder of the pillar, which makes him the primary establisher of the pole. As an astronomical character Sut was earlier than Shu. The Arabs also have a tradition that one of the pyramids was the burial-place of Sut. The pillar of brick, being less permanent, went down as predicted in the deluge as a figure of the southern pole, whereas the pillar of stone remained for ever as an image of the north celestial pole, or of Annu, the site of the pillar, in the astronomical mythology. It is reported by Diodorus that Annu (Heliopolis in the solar mythos) was accounted by its inhabitants to be the oldest city in Egypt. Which may have been mystically meant, as Annu was also a city or station of the pole, the most ancient foundation in the northern heaven, described in the eschatology as the place of a thousand fortresses provisioned for eternity.
The two pillars of Sut and Horus were primal as pillars of the two [Page 267] poles thus figured in the equatorial regions as the two supports of heaven when it was first divided in two portions, south and north; and the pillar or mount of the south was given to Sut, the pillar or mount of the north to Horus. The typical two pillars are identified with and as Sut and Horus in the inscription of Shabaka from Memphis, in which it is said, “The two pillars of the gateway of the house of Ptah are Horus and Sut” . The present interpretation is that the typical two pillars or props originated as figures of the two poles, the single pillar being an ideograph of Sut, that these were established in the two domains of Sut and Horus to the south and north of the land in which the veriest dawn of astronomy first occurred, and that the types were
preserved and re-erected in the earth of eternity as the two supports of the heaven suspended by Ptah for the Manes in Amenta, even as the sky of earth had been uplifted and sustained by the two poles of the south and north in Equatoria. Sut and Horus, then, were the twin props of support twice over, once in Equatoria as the two poles, once in Amenta as the two tats of Ptah. Further, two brothers, Sut and Horus, as the founders of the two poles in building the heavens for the ancient mother, may explain the American story of the two brothers who planted each a cane in the house of their grandmother when they started on their perilous journey to the land of Kibalba. The old mother was to know how they fared by the flourishing or withering of the tree or cane, and whether they were alive or dead. Grimm traced the same legend in the story of the two gold children who wished to leave their home and go forth to see the world. At parting they say, “We leave you the two golden lilies: from these you can see how we fare. If they are fresh we are well; if they fade we are ill; if they fall we are dead” . Now the reason why this story is told in Central America, in India, and in Europe we hold to be because it was first told in Africa and rendered mythically in Egypt.
It appears quite possible that a form of the two typical pillars which were visible at the equator also survives in the two sacred poles of the Arunta natives in Central Australia. These people “down under” have no northern pole or pole-star of the north, but they carry two symbolic poles about with them, which they erect wherever they go as signs of locality or encampment, both of which are limited to the south and the north. One is called the nurtunja. This, so to say, is the north pole of the two, and is never met with in the south. The other, called a waninga, is always limited to the south. The nurtunja is typical of the northern and the waninga of the southern part of the Arunta tribe. Each of these, like the Egyptian tatpillar, is a sign of establishing or founding, as is shown from its use in the ceremony of young man making. In Greek myth the temple of heaven was raised on high by two brothers, who in one version are Trophonios and Agamedes, the builders of the temple of Apollo. The sinking of Trophonios into the cave also corresponds to the engulfing of Sut in his going down south with the disappearing pole.
One of the two legendary pillars of Seth disappeared, the other remained. And when the nomads of the equatorial regions had begun the movement northward on the way that led them down the [Page 268] Nile, they would gradually lose sight of the southern pole-star, and whatsoever else had been configurated with it in the nightly heaven would sink below the horizon south, like a subsidence of land in the celestial waters. Thus in astronomical mythology a fall from heaven, a sinking down in the waters called a deluge, and a lost primeval home were natural occurrences as certain stars or constellations disappeared from sight for those who travelled northward from the equatorial plain. And these celestial events would be told of as mundane in the later legends of the “Fall” and “Flood” and man's lost paradise of everlasting peace and plenty. It is enough, however, for the present purpose that a star or constellation first assigned to Sut sank down into the dark abysm south, and disappeared from the ken of the observers who were on their journey of three thousand miles down into the valley of the Nile. It is certain that Sut went down south to some sort of nether-world, and so became the power of darkness in Amenta, when our earth had been completely hollowed out by Ptah, and Amenta below became the south to the circumpolar paradise in the celestial north. The ancient Egyptians had no antipodes on the outside of the earth. Amenta in the nether-world was their antipodes. Their two poles were celestial and sub-terrestrial. The north pole was at the summit of the mount. The south pole was in the root-land of the earth below. The Ritual describes the ways of darkness in the entrance to the Tuat as the tunnels of Sut, which tends to show that a way to the nether-world was made by Sut when his star and standing-ground went under in the abyss of the
beginning in the south, where the Egyptians localized the tuat or entrance to the under-world, which was the place of egress for the life that came into the world by water from “the recesses of the south”.
Without doubt the contention of Sut and Horus began with the conflict of darkness and light or drought and water when these were elemental powers, and the birthplace of the twin brothers, one black, one white, was in the bed of reeds. This phase was continued by the twins that likewise struggled for supremacy in the dark and light halves of the moon, which imaged the light eye of Horus and the dark eye of Sut. But the war extended to the whole of nature that was divided in halves betwixt the Sut and Horus twins, were the first-born of the ancient mother in two of her several characters. In Central Africa the year is divided into two seasons of rain and drought. These are equivalent to the two opposite domains of Horus and Sut as powers of good and evil. The winds of the north and south follow suit. The wind from the north in the rainy season is warm and wet and beneficent; on the other hand, the wind that comes up from the South Pole is witheringly dry, the wind therefore of Sut, the power inimical to man and animal in physical nature. (Johnston, Brit. Centr. Africa, p. 42.) The desert drought, like darkness, was an element assigned to Sut. As this was the region of drought and sterility and typhonian sands, and Sut the tawny-complexioned was the force that dominated in the south under the same name, we may see how and where he first acquired his character in Egyptian mythology as representative of the arid desert opposed to water, fertility, and food. Thus Sut versus Horus imaged [Page 269] the south versus north. Sut was deadly as the drought; Horus was “right as rain” . This contention of the combatants and of the south versus the north was continued in the stellar mythos until their reconciliation was effected by some other god, such as Shu, Taht, or Seb. When Sut, or his star, went down from the horizon, mount or pole in the south, he gradually sank to the lowermost parts of the abyss which in the eschatology was called the secret earth of Amenta. Here his character as the opener of roads or ways in the astronomy was continued into the Egyptian eschatology by Ap-Uat or the jackal as the conductor of souls. He was the deity of the dark. In the oblong zodiac of Denderah the two jackals of the south and north, continued in the solar mythos, are figured opposite to each other. These represent the two forms of Ap-Uat, the opener of ways, who was imaged as a jackal, the seer in the dark. One jackal was known as guide of the
southern ways, the other as opener of the northern ways. No Egyptologist has gone further than to suggest that this north and south may have been in Amenta-as they also were. But no one has dared to dream of a beginning with the primitive paradise in Equatoria.



Egyptian Wisdom

The Drowning of the Dragon

Ancient Egypt - The Light of the World

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