Lady of the Mansion: The Oracle of Nebet-Hut

Nebet-Hut

The Milieu: The crown of Heaven is the luminescence of stars, which provide the only light on this, the night of the New Moon upon which the Gods attend the healing of the Wedjat Eye. The tender Eye, the bleary Eye…lost, now found, but found to be weary from its pilgrimage South, where the waters of the Flood have their tender beginnings. It is a turbulent world in which to be born, and yet the Goddess Nuit parts Her golden thighs and gives rebirth to the glittering shell of the infant Sun-God.

Before this miracle all is deathly still, the Gods and humankind hide their faces, and the silver Stars wear a cloak of timid light. The Two Banks dare not show their zeal for the Moon’s renewal, nor shout for the return of the Sun-God, the flesh of the Ram…now enshrined in the writhing body of the time-devouring serpent Mehen.

Where is Heaven, and where is Earth, when you are one of the Blessed Dead, bound in the trappings of the Goddess Tayet, Who weaves, weaves, weaves…Who brings back the lost forms of those ensnared by death, Whose delicate hands recall the bodies of the Gods and brings deification to kings. Let me be among those whose forms are renewed, whose bodies become light and join the radiance of the Imperishable Stars!

Where is the Goddess Auset (Isis) on this night of healing the Wedjat Eye? For is not the Wedjat Eye none other than the body of Her beloved Ausir, the Beautiful God, Who traversed the Duwat and returned to Her as the Awakened One? Within Her embrace He becomes the seed-bearing God, enthused with love, animated by Her passion and filled with desire. It is this desire that bursts the Two Banks in the form of the Holy River…raging from dark South to red North…bringing together the reed and the lotus-lily.

And this is the Mystery of Becoming, which fills the House of Auset and causes the Netjeru to rejoice, for the gift which She brings forth is the Sun, the Celestial Falcon, Whose light-body is the Ka of His Father and Whose Eye is the reconciliation of the Two Banks…one dark, the other vibrantly light. And this is the crucible of the Wedjat Eye, which seals darkness in light and brings the Heavenly Vault together with the fructifying Earth.

O Nebet-Hut, O Nephthys! You are the Lady of the Mansion of Heaven, wherein doth shine the majesty of the Falcon-Bodied One, wherein is bestowed the luminescence of the Sun-God, wherein is forged the Whole, perfect and unsullied Eye of the Green One. O Nebet-Hut, O Goddess, the body of the resilient Stars, upon Whose face is the veil of the Sacred West! Let me follow in Your footsteps and traverse the dark banks onto the Eastern shore. Let me know light again, and follow the path of the stars in order to rejoin the Ark of beloved Ra!

I gaze up at the sky, now spattered with stars and suspended with the silver-dark orb of the Moon, awaiting its rebirth at the time of the Six Day Feast. Lost has been the body of Ausir, Whose light had been diminished and Whose rule shattered by the ascendancy of Set. All created things perish. All forms dissipate. What is young grows old. But come again, O life, for the Ka is eternal, and its presence indestructible. When one unites with one’s Ka is immortality assured, and death but an inconvenience that falls away like the dew of early morning.

The Offering: My body is clad in pure white linen, for white is the color of the Gods, and linen is the fabric which the Goddess Tayet wove for Ausir (Osiris) when He became Wen-Nefer, the Perfect One. The weaving of Tayet has created the form of the Perfect One, the cocoon in which the Sleeping One awakes into His new life, having passed through the transformations of Ra in that dark house they call the Duwat.

My mouth has been rinsed with natron-salt, for natron is the substance of miracles, purifying the flesh, curing ills, and forming the Wedjat Eye upon which the Gods sup. The lacerations of Ausir were healed by the divine salt, putting His flesh back together again, as even the Wedjat Eye was put back together again after it had been wounded. Tonight the Wedjat Eye is darkened after its manifestation of fullness, and the Great Magician Djehuty (Thoth) waits patiently in the shadows, from where He shall coax the light of the Wedjat Eye to come forth again.

I place pellets of the finest myrrh on the fire, carrying my heart in my hand into the Presences of the Gods. The Netjeru receive all things good and pure, and give all things good and pure. I kiss the Earth in the Presences of the Gods, and I salute my Goddess, the Lady of the House, Nebet-Hut (Nephthys), Who stands at the head of the coffin of Ausir. She receives the smoke, She receives the myrrh, it’s heady fragrance cascading like a veil over Her perfect form.

I say: Homage to You, O Nebet-Hut, at the forehead of the Perfect One, Whose lips kiss the brow of Wen-Nefer, Whose shining locks weave the Magic of Becoming, Whose tears bring back the dead and grant the boon of everlasting life, Whose darkness clothes the naked, Whose light follows after the Great Goddess Auset, guiding the weary traveler to that perfect place of mooring like the hallowed Ark of Ra in the West!

How beautiful You are to see, and how satisfying You are to gaze upon! How beautiful to see Your flame. Welcome! You awake in peace, O Lady of the House, and the incense upon the flame is in peace. You awaken in peace, O Companion of the Perfect One! The flame of the incense is in peace, and You awaken in peace. The White Eye of Heru (Horus) is in peace, and Your countenance is provided with the god-making fragrance diffused therefrom. The incense-flame of the Eye of Heru is with You, O Goddess!

My Goddess comes forth from the West, where She is the companion of the Lord of Amentet. Though Her limbs are dark as the haze of incense smoke surrounding Her, She is clothed in dazzling white linen, with a white and red kerchief tied about Her hair, and the golden Goddess Wadjet flaring up from Her noble brow. Essence of lotus floats about Her, and Her swarthy face is as the countenance of the New Moon…a silver light falling away from its smooth edges, casting a magic lamp over all in its path. Soft are Her words, yet trailed by authority, for She is the Sister of Auset and the secret companion of Ausir…from Whose loins She gathered up a son in secret. He too comes, and the night air is suffused with their power.

The Oracle:  These are the words of the Goddess Nebet-Hut: I come from water, and yet the water from which I emerge is the Water of the Sky, where Ra in the East plunges His beetle feet, where Ptah the Father and Mother of the Gods awoke to find that in His heart existed everything that has come into existence. Lo! I am the dark body of the vault at midnight, where the ram-flesh of Ra has His battle with the serpent-demon, where the Stars go to rest but come again…where Shu and Tefnut are born and where Sokar resides in the Cavern of the Duwat.

I have embraced Ausir in secret in order to bring into being His first and secret Son, Who is in His Wrappings, from Whom the ways are opened and men go forth to their Kas. I followed after the Entourage of Ausir, and when my Lord was intoxicated with power I sought Him and loved Him, and from the passion of His body I drew forth seed…and it was from this seed that I created a child to be the living image of His Father.

Behold, I am the vessel of eternal life, for the Son Who came forth from my womb is the Lord of the Mysteries, Whose feet traverse all the secrets and upon Whom the God Djehuty has bestowed the secret knowledge. Thus they call Him, “Opener of Ways”, and it is known that He is my son…but He is also the Son of Ausir, Who passed away and yet came back to life as a man filled with the seed of god-making. And it was from His holy seed that a god came into being, the Lord of all the Mysteries, the Keeper of the Sacred West’s Portal.

Come now into my embrace, for, like Ausir, I shall lay upon you as the Great Kite, and cause you to join with your Ka, the carrier of the life beyond life…that life they call the Hallowed West. Thus did I lay upon the body of my Beloved, and cause Him to deliver His own eternal form into me, and they called Him “Binder”. And it is known that I am Mother of the Mysteries and Lady of the Secret House, Whose words are written in the vault of the night sky, when Ra the Lord of the Sky mounts the hidden path of the West and journeys down into the mouth of His mother.

Come, come again…all that has passed away shall return, and all that has perished shall be renewed in their Kas, which are the hidden fire of quickening to the one who has gone down into the hidden West. Awake, awaken…O you who have slumbered! Release yourself from your trappings and join the face of the Sun in its glory, Heru-Akhuty, Whose face glimmers like turquoise and Whose sunbeams shine like gold. Those in the Sacred West receive you, the thighs of Nuit welcome you. A glittering net of gold is cast upon the waters to bind your enemies, and I have removed your obstacles for you!

My daughters…all my daughters, listen to me! I was with my sister Auset on the riverbank at the place called ‘Life of the Two Lands’, where stood the Mansion of the Soul of Ptah, and this was the place where entered my beloved Ausir into the House of Sokar. In the midst of the waters the body of Ausir was drowned, the Great One upon His side…falling…fallling down into the darkness of the cavern. And Heru the Elder gave a great cry, and Auset the Great Enchantress gave a great cry…for Ausir our beloved was drowned in His waters!

Thus I said to Ausir, “We come, we come and we take You! We embrace your limbs, and shroud your body with the Magic of Tayet…She weaves for You the Heqa of Becoming…She weaves about You the shining locks of Your Twin Sisters…a net of Stars, Imperishable! A ladder to the Sky, Whose doors are thrown wide open for You! If You sleep, I am the one who will awaken You! If You are in darkness, I am the one who will become Your light! If You are thirsty, I am the one who shall offer You the milk of my breast! If You suffer…if You are wounded…if your two eyes become bleary…it is I who shall heal your wounds and bring back together the members of yours that have been divided. You come into being again! You come forth by day again! You emerge into the light again! I am your lover, and within my body shall your seed spring forth from the green Earth again!”

My sons…all my sons, listen to me! I embraced my brother Ausir in secret, His love swelling in my thighs and His seed holding fast in my womb. I set myself upon His loins like a great winged kite, and worked the secret of Becoming. I gathered together my Magic, nourished Heqa, and it was from this miracle that the ‘One Who Sits Upon His Mount’ came forth into the land of the living. Anpu (Anubis), You are the image of your Father Wen-Nefer, the Great God, the King of Eternity and Lord of Everlasting…the God who passes millions of years in His lifetime…King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Ruler of Rulers, the Lord of the Sacred Land! You are the hidden flame in the West, Whose burning sets at rest the violent ones…Whose Magic placates the wicked and forbids the demons from encroaching the Land of the Just.

Those who call upon You are saved from the trials of the Duat…they are not buried in darkness, nor do they know the second death. You have come from the Mount of the West shining like a newly born Star…falling to Earth like the iron of heaven…Your power is secreted within the Earth, yet mirrored in heaven at the time when Nuit swallows the body of Her own father!

My children…all my children…the Children of Geb and Nuit, listen to me! I am Nebet-Hut, Whose arms enfold you, Whose wings encircle you…Whose powers enliven your members with the fluid of life. I breathe the sacred breath that held the Heavens and the Earth fast in the beginning, from which the Gods came forth into being…from which all creeping creatures came into existence. I am one of the Imperishable Stars woven throughout the body of Nuit, casting my light eternally upon the living…eternally living as the light of the Blessed Dead. As I took the sleeping form of Ausir into my embrace, encircling Him with the Heqa of a God…so shall I embrace and encircle you…so shall I weave about you the power of a Netjer…the Heqa of living gods, which shall cast forever away the presence of death…which shall reawaken the sleeping and nourish the destitute. For I shall not suffer you to languish in the Land of the Dead forever…and the barren Earth shall spring forth green with His first fruits…the Magic of the First Occasion!

All text copyright © 2015 Rev. Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa

Honoring Auset the Light of the World By the Rt. Rev. Lady Zarita M. Zook, Arch Priestess of Auset/ Temple of Auset Nevada

Auset Offering Sistrum of Light

Auset, Isis, O Brilliant One!  See before You the lights of Your children, shinning in the darkness to light the way for Ausir.

Auset, take the energy of our shining lights into Your body to light the way for Ausir!

Ausir, Osiris, great of love, Lord of beautiful desire, see before You the shining lights of Auset brightening the way!

Ausir, we have given the energy of our shining lights to brighten the way for Your return!

Auset, You are the light in the midst of darkness!  Your beloved Ausir comes from Amenti to embrace You.

Auset, Light of the World, go to embrace Ausir!

Ausir, beautiful being, Auset the light of the world comes to embrace You.

No one was ever born that has not been touched by the love of Auset and Ausir.

All text copyright © 2004-2015 Rt. Rev. Zarita M. Zook

The Prayer for Walking the Path of Auset, From “Prayers and Meditations of Auset” By Rev. Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa, Pr.H/ Temple of Auset Nevada

Auset of Philae

This prayer is one of my many favorites, a prayer I wrote to Auset- our dear Mother Isis- during a time of doubt and difficulty. It was one of those moments of angst when my heart and mind were simply screaming out “Ma! Ma! Ma! Will You please answer me!” Its words reflect the all-embracing Embodiment of the Divine Mother in Her role as Savioress of humankind, the eternally vigilant Parent of each of Her devotees.

Use this prayer anywhere, and any time you feel the need to call out to Isis as your personal Savior and Goddess. Although there is no need to use it in conjunction with fancy rites or rituals, lighting a candle and making an offering of incense before or during the recitation of this prayer will certainly heighten its impact and meaning in your personal worship.

Light a red candle, the color especially sacred to the Goddess, and make an offering of frankincense or myrrh to the Mother. Take several deep, cleansing breaths and center yourself. If you have an icon or statue or image of Isis that is precious to you, use it as an object of focus and reverence as you recite this prayer. Use this as an opportunity to express your innermost desires to the Divine Mother audibly.

Of course, the Mother is omniscient and omnipotent, knowing the innermost recesses of your heart and mind even before you do! However, there is tremendous power in actually announcing our fears, wishes and desires to the Divine. Especially when combined with the force of prayer and ritual, our spoken thoughts take on new power and meaning, often helping us to further connect with our emotions and find release in the solace of prayer.

The Ancients Themselves believed firmly in the efficacy of the spoken word, knowing very well that the vibration of sound merged with the motion of Sacred Rites held within it the ability to transform the human world through the resonance of the Divine. Therefore, as you use these prayers to the Divine Mother, visualize Her Power taking an active affect in your life. If you are using this prayer in conjunction with a particular request, visualize the outcome you desire, and see the Divine Mother as the fulfillment of your wishes. See Her as the compassionate Protectress, coming swiftly to the aid of your heart’s troubles and needs.

If you feel emotional during your prayer rite, let it come forth naturally. Cry if you need to cry. Sob if you need to sob. Shake your fists if you need to shake your fists! If you find, as I often do, that silent recitation of a prayer creates a more effective emotional outcome, do not hesitate to simply read these words to yourself, all the while visualizing the Power of the Goddess coming forth from your heart in response to your devotions.

Peace to You, O Auset, Isis, the Face of Universal Truth.  Homage to You, O Divine Mother of my heart, Isis, the eternal flame of the heart.

Manifest Your Face in Peace, O Auset, You reflection of peace, You face of the truth of peace through the Creation of the heart.

O Mother, the heart of greatness, let my path of greatness be that of the greatness of the heart; a heart that gives, not only receives; a heart that yearns to bestow love, not only accept love; a heart that shields others from sorrow, not only hides from sorrow; a heart that travels far for the welfare of others, not only asking others to make the journey; a heart that endures sacrifice, not only asking for the sacrifice of others; a heart that sees all life in creation as hallowed, not only this life, my life; a heart that serves Truth, not only desiring to be served; a heart that is humble in the presence of greatness, not only craving to be great; a heart that forgives the misdeeds of others, not only desiring to be forgiven; a heart of courage, even in the face of terror; a resilient heart, even in the face of defeat; a compassionate heart, even in the face of injustice; a heart overflowing with hope, even in the midst of the storm; a heart burning with the eternal flame of divine Wisdom, even in the face of doubt, persecution or suffering.

O Mother, You radiant flower of eternal wisdom, grant unto me, the pilgrim on the way, the luminosity of Your omnipresent heart, a heart knowing no limits to the reaches of its love.

You Who uplifted the Father Ausir, uplift me, Your Heart’s servant, from the vessel of darkness.

May I realize the Light through You.

May I restore the Light through You.

May I magnify the Light through You.

May I become a true pilgrim of the Light through You.

May I travel afar only to return to the Light through You.

May I create the Light through You.

May others see the Light in me through You.

May I heal the sick with the Light through You.

May I give release to the suffering with the Light through You.

May I sever the binds of the enslaved with the Light through You.

May I pave the road for liberty with the Light through You.

May I sound the chime of equality with the Light through You.

May I open the path to the light of justice through You.

May I purify all that is polluted through this pure Light that is You.

May I strengthen the aspirations of the just through this heart of justice that is You.

May I become a receptacle for the heart of selflessness, the motivations of altruism, the causes of righteousness and the mind of Illumination- through this radiance of the heart of Divine Light that is You.

May the desires of perfect peace, unconditional love, selfless service, non-persecution, and True Justice abound in me, and may my heart be truly liberated through the Light of this eternal flame that is You.

Gracious Divine Mother, the summation of the purest love, the countenance of Truth manifest over the four great directions, the Consort of Truth, the Bestower of Life, the breath of the faithful and the sustenance upon which their hearts prosper, put down suffering and the causes of suffering, paving the road to liberation for all living things, abolishing the forms of degeneration, uniting all women and men to the Ever-Present All of the Eternally-Manifest-Ones- This Great Ladder through which all paths are absorbed in the undiminished Divine bliss of the Undivided Supreme, the Infinitely Abiding Ones, beyond all forms of name, form and doctrine.

Help me Great Mother, to be one of those who serves without question, who works for the good that exists beyond self, who labors without desire for the reward, who bestows purely through the heart of love without grasping for pleasure, satisfaction or recompense.

May my misdeeds be cleansed through sight of You.

May my passions be calmed by the Grace of You.

May my desires be transmuted into the heartfelt wish for peace through You.

O Divine Mother Auset, the form of bliss in Heaven, the form of power over the Earth, the name of Truth in the hearts of the faithful, come near me in peace! Liberate my cares and sufferings through Your tenderness, and soothe my sufferings through the ever-manifest compassion beaming from the eternal flame of Your heart.

Draw near to the hearts of all those who serve You, liberate those who do not know You, and bestow the full grace of Your divine blessings upon the totality of creation.

This in blessedness I pray, dear Mother Auset, that all burdens might be lifted, that the Illumination of Your true love may create of my heart an eternal flame, whose light may dispel the veil of sorrow from before the eyes of all living beings in Creation.

Homage to You, O Auset, in peace!

All text copyright © 2001-2015 Rev. Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa.

Getting Personal With the Gods: How I Found Grace in the Religion of Ancient Egypt By Rev. Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa, Pr.H/ Temple of Auset Nevada

Roman statue of Isis Hadrian era.jpg

How I Found Grace in the Religion of Ancient Egypt

When I was six years old I had my first powerful brush with the gods of ancient Egypt. In the pages of Encyclopedia Britannica I found photographs of statues, bas-reliefs, amulets, coffins and paintings depicting super-human beings with animal heads…jackals, snakes, cats, crocodiles and a dung beetle. A glittering golden icon of the god Ptah with his characteristic skull cap, a treasure from the tomb of Tutankhamun, enticed me to keep looking, to dig deeper for more. For most people unfamiliar with the nuances of ancient Egyptian art and religious iconography, the goddesses and gods of the Nile Valley present a bewildering and incomprehensible spectacle. A fusion of human and animal, each bearing their own set of complex crowns, regalia and signs, the netjeru or gods embody the fantastical and magical, seemingly defying the mortal realm and anything we could recognize as logical. The gods of ancient Egypt appear to defy logic, and are infinitely locked within the framework of their strange myths.

I was bitten by the bug (or should I say Scarab?) of ancient Egypt at an age when other kids were discovering cowboys and Indians and J.I. Joe. Today this would be nothing unusual, as ancient Egypt is all the rage from grade school to high school, and the Internet has created an endless place for discovery and research geared towards young people who are fascinated by this ancient world of pyramids and mummies. “King Tut” is a household name even for kindergarteners, and the recent global exhibitions of the Tutankhamun treasures (among many other collections currently circulating) have perpetuated the continued legacy of Egyptomania like never before. However, I grew up in the era before personal computers, the Internet and the iphone (I’m kidding, right?).

I grew up before Border’s and Barnes & Noble, before you could walk into any bookstore and find countless books on ancient Egypt to satisfy the voracious appetite of any Egyptophile. I had to make due with the few and far between titles available in mall bookstores or school libraries. When I did find those rare books (like E.A. Wallis Budge’s The Egyptian Book of the Dead or Mildred Mastin Pace’s Wrapped for Eternity), I devoured them greedily, taking notes and poring over the pictures for countless hours on end. Yes, it was the mummies and monuments, the fabled riches of Tutankhamun’s tomb that drew me in, but even more than those was the religion and magic of a world with which I increasingly found myself identifying. More than anything else from that culture, it was the gods of ancient Egypt that spoke to my mind and seemed to tug incessantly on the strings of my heart.

My first personal experience with an Egyptian deity happened some time after my seventh birthday. I was hospitalized for a severe concussion after falling over a tricycle, and I remember a terrifying moment when nurses were attempting to draw blood, and I squirmed around trying to prevent them from doing their job. I remember my stomach heaving, vomiting, an intense fear coupled with the fierce desire to get out of that hospital. It was then that I prayed to Imhotep- that most famous of Egyptian architects and physicians who after his death was deified as the son of the god Ptah and worshiped as a miraculous healer. I called on him and asked him to make it all better, and that’s exactly what happened. Call it a fantasy or a concussion-induced hallucination if you must, but I will never forget the vision I saw above my hospital bed: A shaven-headed and wise-looking man with a scroll of papyrus unrolled on his lap, surrounded by a scintillating golden aura. He spoke words in a language I did not know in my intellect, and yet my heart seemed to resonate with the sound and meter. All at once I felt a peace and comfort settle over me, and from that day to this I have called upon Lord Imhotep whenever in pain or in need of healing.

“Great One, Son of Ptah, the creative god, made by Thenen,
begotten by him and beloved of him, the god of divine forms in the temples,
who giveth life to all men, the mighty one of wonders,
the maker of times, who cometh unto him that calleth upon him,
wheresoever he may be, who giveth sons to the childless,
the chief Kheri-heb, the image and likeness of Thoth the wise.”

-Address to Imhotep in the temple of Imhotep at Philae
Imhotep by Jamieson B. Murry, M.A., M.D. Oxford University Press, 1926, pp. 46.

While in grade school I attended St. Alban’s Perish Day School, a private Catholic school, where every Friday we were required to attend chapel, take part in Mass, and to observe the saying of the Lord’s Prayer together with those prayers reserved for the feast days of various saints. I had been raised in the Baptist Church, which for me was appallingly sterile and devoid of mystery or passion. It was my experience with the solemnity and ritual of Catholicism that was to change the way I viewed religion. In the Baptist Church of my upbringing there was little to endear a heart already absorbed in the study of ancient rites of a pagan culture; enduring hour-long sermons in stiff pews surrounded by stark white walls and a plain wooden altar.

This is as agonizingly boring as religion gets! However, Catholicism struck a chord with me, and in it I identified with something that seemed to originate in a time and place much older than the origins of Roman Catholicism. When attending Mass- hearing the chants in Latin, being imbued with incense clouding up from swinging censors, seeing gilded icons glowing mysteriously by candle light- I connected with the temple rituals of the ancient Egyptians, for something in my heart recognized the sound of chanting, the smell of incense, and the power of golden icons.

In chapel there was an especially beautiful marble statue of the Virgin Mary, before which always burned dozens of votive candles in blue glass holders. I remember the morning I made my first prayer to Mother Auset (Isis), seeing in the smiling face and outstretched arms of Christ’s mother the spirit of a much older goddess, whose son Heru (Horus) was the savior-god of the ancient Egyptians. At this time I did not yet have my own statues of the Goddess to adore, so I used the statue of the Virgin Mary as my “stand in” to reach Isis. How can I forget the day Father Treat found me lighting a candle in front of the Virgin and said with a smile, “You are praying to Our Lady?” “No”, I answered with an even bigger smile, “I am praying to Isis”.

“Praise to you, Isis, the Great-One,
God’s Mother, Lady of Heaven, queen of the gods.
You are the First Royal Spouse of Omnophris,
The supreme overseer of the Golden-Ones in
The temples, the eldest son, first(born) of Geb.
Praise to you, Isis, the Great-One,
God’s Mother, Lady of Heaven, queen of the gods.
You are the First Royal Spouse of Omnophris,
The Bull, the Lion who overthrows all his enemies,
The Lord and ruler of Eternity.”

-Hymn to the goddess Isis from the temple of Isis at Philae
Six Hymns to Isis in the Sanctuary of Her Temple at Philae and Their Theological  Significance. Part I . By L. V. Žabkar. The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, Vol. 69 (1983), pp. 115-137

Isis was the first goddess of the Egyptian religion to answer my prayers. I came to her at first very timidly, not quite sure how to address a goddess, as I had been raised in the Baptist Church of Christianity, which recognized no goddesses and had no concept of the divine feminine. But I was enchanted by her story, because Isis is no ordinary goddess. Queen of Heaven, yes. Great of Magic, but of course. Crowned and arrayed in the trappings of royalty, to be sure. However, Isis is no loller on the clouds of divine queenship. She is a goddess who knows the sufferings of widowhood, homelessness, imprisonment, forced manual labor, single parenthood, poverty…and the list goes on and on. Something that won the hearts of millions of the ancients was the truly humble story of this powerful goddess whose husband (Ausir or Osiris) was brutally murdered, who then had to flee for her life as a widowed and pregnant mother, to give birth in the marshes of Egypt in hiding and on the run from her husband’s murderer. Isis raised her son Horus in secret, ever aware that the chaotic Set (the murderer of Osiris) would destroy not only her but also her young son. The trials of single motherhood in this day and age included near death encounters with scorpions and crocodiles, and the added humility of begging for scraps and help from rich matrons who slammed their doors in the goddess’ face.

This was the story that captivated the ancients, and, when Christianity was struggling to overtake the East, made it difficult for evangelists to convert adherents of the Goddess to the doctrine of Christ. The faith of Isis, Osiris and Horus is the story of a divine family enduring and transforming through very human circumstances. It is also the story of resurrection from death that formed the foundation of the Egyptian belief in immortality and physical resurrection from the dead. Long before Christians formed their doctrine of a divine son crucified and resurrected from the dead as the path to salvation, the very ancient Egyptian religion asserted the death and resurrection of its god Ausir (Osiris), and the guarantee of his story to all Egyptians that they could follow in his footsteps and be risen from the dead into the paradise of the Blessed. Central to this belief was the magic of the goddess Isis, who had used the insurmountable skill of her magic to revive her murdered husband from the dead. Upon achieving her aim, she conceived a holy child, the falcon-headed god Heru (Horus), who became to the Egyptians the very embodiment of divine justice, truth, and righteousness.

The story of Heru’s struggle to overcome the obstacles of his tumultuous childhood and regain the throne of Egypt from the murderer of his father had a particular meaning to me as a young boy; for the story of Horus is essentially the story of history’s first underdog turned top dog. He is a child who experiences severe tragedy and darkness, then, as a young man, enters a vicious struggle against his uncle in order to regain his stolen throne.

The trials of Heru seem to know no bounds, but he is, in the end, rewarded with justice, and himself becomes the embodiment of truth overcoming brute force and immorality. Horus, once perceived as the outcast renegade of the Egyptian marshes, proves his valor to the gods of Egypt, and wins the kingship of his father as the god of strength and honor. To a young boy who was also a runt, often an outcast amongst other children his age and the butt of many a joke, the story of Heru made me believe in the probability of noble character to surpass mere brute strength, and the significance of maintaining one’s moral and spiritual integrity even in the face of the most violent opposition. My prayers to Isis and Osiris inevitably included earnest petitions to the holy son Horus, the valiant god whose power of truth could help me defeat the schoolyard bullies, and survive the heartache of a troubled domestic life.

“I am Horus the Behdetite, great god, lord of the sky,
Lord of the Upper Egyptian crown,
Prince of the Lower Egyptian crown,
King of the Kings of Upper Egypt,
King of the Kings of Lower Egypt,
Beneficent Prince, the Prince of princes.
I receive the crook and the whip,
For I am the lord of this land.
I take possession of the Two Lands
In assuming the Double Diadem.
I overthrow the for of my father Osiris
As King of Upper and Lower Egypt for ever!”

-The speech of the god Horus from his temple at Edfu
The Triumph of Horus: An Ancient Egyptian Sacred Drama. Translated and edited
By H.W. Fairman. University of California Press, 1974, pp. 106.

I was raised in a very religious family, and I have always been a very religious person. I was even religious as a kindergartener. My problem as a child was that I was drawn to the “wrong” religion. Something about monotheism stuck in my craw and seemed to chew up my insides. And something about church made me shake me head for want of something more. Where are the statues?, I remember asking myself while daydreaming during Sunday school about being anywhere but there. Where are the flowers, the chants…the Mysteries? They had these in ancient Egypt, I told myself, so why shouldn’t they be in the houses of God now? Somehow, it all seemed wrong to me, and I never felt very right sitting in those stiff wooden pews surrounded by black-tied and suited fathers beside their starchy looking wives. I couldn’t stand church, because to my little mind it felt completely separate from the Divine. It seemed more about who was wearing what, and showing off good Christian morale than about finding and serving God. And which God?, I always asked myself. Some distant and wrathful old man flying around out there, just waiting to send irredeemable souls to the lake of fire. Even at eight-years-old I said to myself that one god was just not enough, let alone a jealous and angry god that would condemn his “chosen people” to forty years of hard time in the wilderness. So, I opted for something else.

When I was entering puberty my father told me I needed to be baptized. He was close friends with the preacher, whose son was just about my age and was going to be baptized in a group ceremony for young adults. And how would it look if I decided not to be baptized too? How would it make my father look, my family? Church was, after all, a place where one’s status in society could be firmly established. It’s where you showed off your new car, your wife’s 24 karat gold rope chain, your son’s straight A report card. It was also about showing off your Christian do-goodness. My parents were ahead of the game in that department. They volunteered for everything they could, everything from Wednesday night youth group to Sunday picnics and fund raising bake sales. My father was a pillar of the church, so his son just had to be baptized with the other boys. Period.

So I went to baptism class with the preacher’s son, memorized bible verses and evangelical prattle, and generally hated myself because I didn’t believe in any of it, and felt impure at the thought of taking part in it. Why did I feel impure? It wasn’t because I felt I was tarnishing Christian values by taking part in something so sacred without being a believer. That thought never crossed my mind. I felt overwhelmed by a sense of slandering the gods I truly believed in, the gods I kept locked away in my heart so that my Christian parents couldn’t see them. I would betray anyone, anything but them. How could I go through with it?

I stood behind the baptismal tank with all the other boys, dressed in my pure white robe, looking up behind the altar at a blue-painted sky in which clouds beckoned the mind to dwell in Christ’s kingdom. But my mind was lower than low, consumed in guilt and conflict, because I was consecrating my body (and, supposedly my soul, too) to the Christian faith in front of the whole community. But then something happened. I felt a presence leading and guiding my heart into awareness of how this moment could be transformed into something sacred for my personal religion, for my gods and my true beliefs. Looking at the four corners of the baptismal tank, I saw in my mind’s eye the four tutelary goddesses of ancient Egypt: Auset (Isis), Nebet-het (Nephthys), Selket and Neith. Their kind expressions and outstretched arms surrounded the waters in a protective embrace, just as they had the fabulous golden canopic shrine of Tutankhamun.

And I saw the baptismal tank not as the waters in which John the Baptist had baptised Christ, but rather as the waters of the sacred Nile, the holiest of rivers to the ancient Egyptians. And I called on the gods of those people, just as I was summoned to take my turn in the waters. I offered to them the vessel of my heart in sacrifice, and gave over my soul, my mind, the entirety of my being, to them and only them. With my mouth I parroted the words the minister spoke, the words he and everyone else believed would make me a true and consecrated Christian- but in my heart I prayed fervently to my gods, and gave myself over into their sacred care. When I was dipped beneath the waters I experienced them as the same waters in which the god Osiris was drowned, the waters beneath which opened up the hidden passage to the Netherworld. And I entered, and from that moment on I belonged to the living gods of ancient Egypt. Like Osiris, I died and was born again, and my life was the vehicle for the glorious gods who still spoke and moved when they were listened to and called upon.

“I come unto thee, son of Nut, Osiris, ruler of eternity. I am a follower of Thoth, rejoicing in all that he has done. He brings for thee refreshing breath to thy nose, life and dominion to thy beautiful face, and the north wind that came forth from Atum to thy nostrils, lord of the sacred land. He lets the light shine on thy breast; he illumines for thee the way of darkness”.

-Excerpt from Spell 183 of the Book of the Dead
The Book of the Dead or Going Forth By Day: Ideas of the Ancient Egyptians
Concerning the Hereafter as Expressed in their Own Terms. Translated by
Thomas George Allen. The University of Chicago Press, 1974, pp. 200.

My Kemetic (ancient Egyptian) icons are my answer and my call to the gods of the Nile Valley. However, these gods are not just fixed in space and time, belonging only to the hazy mythos of a long-dead civilization, nor are they solely the gods of ancient Egypt as a historical culture or geographical location. The netjeru or gods are manifestations of the Eternal, beings who both embody and transcend the extraordinary culture that first recognized them as the components of all life. Nor can they be boiled down to mere archetypes, the play of the human intellect as it attempts to define the undefinable and bestow meaning to what is beyond comprehension. I must ask how an archetype is worthy of worship? Do Christians, for example, worship Christ as an archetype of resurrection or salvation? Do they view his power solely as that of some abstract symbol by which the human mind can label a thing hidden deeply within the recesses of its own mind? The answer is self-evident.

The passion of Christianity lies in the physical existence of Christ, in his historical passion of birth, death and resurrection, in the redemption literally passed down to humankind through the spilling of his blood. There is no Jungian symbolism or Freudian theory that can define for Christians the solid truth of Christ’s sacrifice and promise. So too did the ancient Egyptians view their gods as historical and tangible beings, incarnate in and through the created world. Their powers were very immediate, very real to the mind of the Egyptian, who did not bother with abstract universal thinking, but opted instead to experience the Divine in the here and now, in the flesh, and in the world beyond this one that was as earthy and tangible to the Egyptians as their beloved Egypt.

There are those who, in the spirit of New Age thought, assign the gods to the Jungian realm of abstract symbols inherent to emotional states of being, or simply define them as “nature”. The true gods laugh at such egoistic folly, as human beings strive to quantify, label, and explain away through tidy language the quintessence of the Mysteries. My experience of the gods is that just when you find a convenient label to slap on them, they are sure to change and transcend logic in all its secure forms. That is why the netjeru were served by the ancient Egyptians through the cultic rites they called shetau, “the mysteries”, from a word meaning to “make secret”, “make inaccessible”, “mysterious”, “confidential” (Raymond O. Faulkner, A Concise Dictionary of Middle Egyptian, pp. 248-249). The gods so enjoy the delicious complexity of form and symbol, name, color, texture and transformation.

To the ancient Egyptians, each deity was the composite of nearly limitless qualities and manifestations of form. Each assisted in lending the power of recognition to the whole; however, ultimately the gods were mysterious and hidden, experienced truly through the magic of ritual and iconographic forms.

So, I wish not only to connect with the netjeru personally as a devotee summoning up their images within the artistic medium, but also to bring these gods to humankind once more. The mission of my creativity is to literally give birth to the gods, for we are told in the so-called Memphite Theology of the Shabaka Stone that the creator-god Ptah determined the offerings and places of worship of the gods, that he made their body as they desired, and that because of this the gods entered into their bodies of all kinds of wood, minerals, clay, and all kinds of other things that grow thereon (Holmberg, The God Ptah, pp. 22). It is through the artistic medium, then, that the gods make contact with human beings, for the artistic medium is that process by which wood, stone, minerals, clay, and the substances that have sprung from the earth are transfigured into the shapes in which it pleases the gods to dwell.

All text and image copyright © 2011, 2015 Rev. Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa

The White Lotus Liturgy of Auset & Ausir~ Part Three

Offering to Ausir

The adorer of Auset (Isis) and Ausir (Osiris) says:
I come, O my Mother Nuwit,
Into the Celestial Lake, endowed with a pure form,
Endowed with a pure heart, sailing over the Threshold
Of Light as one of the People of the Sun!

My name is ‘Becoming One’, the Egg of the Beginning,
Increasing in the Womb of Nuwit, the Swallower of the Stars!
I come as one of the stars in my name of ‘Completed One’,
The Celestial Father.

I am ‘Flesh of-Ra’ entering the mouth of evening, born anew
In the morning as ‘Flying-Sun’, exalted in His Ark as ‘Becoming One’.
May You receive me into the Secret Temple as one of the Disciples
Of Auset the Great; to live again, to flourish again, to enter
Resurrection as one of the Westerners of Ausir, the Forerunner
Of the Westerners!

The Goddess Nuwit, the Opener-of the Portal-of Heaven, says:
Come, O You Child ‘Flying-Sun’, rising in the eastern waters
Of the Celestial Lake and exalted as the ‘Babe in the Lotus’!
I birth you as the Incarnation of Ra, the First-God, the
Sovereign of the People of the Sun!
You are a child of the Black Land shining with turquoise-
Colored light!

You are as Ausir on that day of His resurrection,
When He became the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the
Sovereign of All Nations and Lord Above All Gods!

You are as Orion the Holy One, the Portal to the Sacred Mansion,
Embraced by the Goddess Auset-Sothis in the eastern heaven.

You are one of the Disciples of Ausir the Anointed-One.
You come into the Sacred Lake of the Temple of Secrets,
And you are baptized in the Divine Essence of Ausir,
The Lord of Anointing.
Your transgressions are purified like that Wedjat Eye of Ra!
Your body is purified in the presence of the Holy Ka of Ausir,
The Master of Holiness!

The adorer of Auset and Ausir says: I come! I kneel
Beneath that Holy Ished Tree flourishing in the Sacred Courtyard
Of the God’s-House of Secrets!
I receive the Essence of The God in my heart, in my flesh,
As my Ka, in this my body.

I receive the Divine Ka of Auset my Lady!
I receive the Divine Ka of Ausir my Lord
As the fresh water of the south, pouring out from the Spirit
Of Ausir the Lord of Spirits.

Come! Come! Come, O Waters of the Goddess Auset,
Bringing nigh to me the power of everlasting life!
I receive the baptism of Your Holy Spirit O Ausir my Lord!
I receive the baptism of Your Holy Spirit O Auset my Lady!

O Waters, O Auset! O Waters, O Ausir!
O Power of Life pouring out as the Eternal God;
The Life, the Goddess Auset, the Life, the God Ausir, the Life, the Divine Ka!
Auset is the Life, the Holy Way of eternal life!
Ausir is the life, the Holy Way of eternal life
For all of humankind.

O Auset, She is the Lady of Eternal Life from the Primordial Beginning,
Pouring out from the First-Occasion as the Goddess Who bestows
The gift of the Eternal Soul.

All text copyright © 2001-2015 Rev. Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa

The White Lotus Liturgy of Auset & Ausir~ Part Two

Incense Ausir.jpg

I return to the Primeval Flood of the First Occasion of the Gods,
Becoming the Image of Ra in the deep floodwaters,
Emerging from the Coils of the Beginning as the ‘Becoming One’,
Coming forth from the Egg of the Pyramidion as the Phoenix.
The Phoenix is the Spirit of Ausir (Osiris) when He ascended at the
Moment of His Resurrection, when He became ‘The Powerful One’,
The Master of Eternal Life.

I renew my body in the Eternal Flood of Auset (Isis)
I renew my body in the Eternal Flood of Ausir!
I renew my essence in the Waters of Auset in the Beginning!
I renew my essence in the Waters of Ausir in the Beginning!
I renew my Spirit in the Presence of Ausir the King, the
Bestower of the Elixir of Life.

I come! I come again! I come again!
I repeat my life for eternity in Ausir the Vanquisher of Death,
The Eternal God who lives beyond the Gods!

All text copyright © 2001-2015 Rev. Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa

The Liturgy For Taking Refuge in Auset, the Divine Mother of the Holy House of Lord Ausir, From “The Seal of Divinity”~ By Rev. Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa, Pr.H/ Temple of Auset Nevada

Adoration of the Djed

Homage to You O Seat of the Mysteries,
Auset-the Refuge, the World Tree of the
Eternal Faith!

I come to the Temple of the Mysteries
Endowed with true wisdom of the Holy Path.
My eyes are opened! My heart is opened!
My true path is opened in the presence of
The Gods in the Temple of Secrets!
I become a Light-Being in the Place of Illumination
With Truth as my witness.

Homage to You O Seat-of the Mysteries,
Auset-the Refuge, the World Tree of the
Eternal Faith!

I come to the Throne of the Great Divine Mother,
Taking refuge in Her eye of divine power,
Taking refuge in Her seat of indestructible
Perception, taking refuge in the Wisdom
Beyond Wisdom!

I am seated upon the Throne of the Great Eye
In the Holy Hall of Ausir, the Master of the
Heavenly Power of perfect sight!

Homage to You O Seat-of the Mysteries,
Auset-the Refuge, the World Tree of the
Eternal Faith!

I come to the Sanctuary for Opening-Up the
Secret Natures of the Gods, passing through
The Sacred Portals to the Place of Cognizance.

I have opened the Seven Doors of Cognizance
Whereby humankind attains true unity with
The Gods.

I have opened my two eyes!
I have opened my two ears!
I have opened my mouth!
I have opened my nostrils!
I have opened my face to the Gods Who bring
The Divine Vision of Eternity from the Sacred
Portals!

Homage to You O Seat-of the Mysteries,
Auset-the Refuge, the World Tree of the
Eternal Faith!

Homage to You O Controller of the Two Eyes,
Becoming the Incarnation of Ra in His Manifestations
Of Becoming; opening with light and receiving
The illumination of the Heavenly Lord.

Homage to You O Controller of the Two Ears,
Becoming the voice of the Master of Manifestations,
Receiving the message of the Great Teaching from
The Celestial Mouth!

Homage to You O Controller of the Mouth,
Opening-up the speech of The Deity and becoming
The breath of life for the declaration of the Sacred Power!
Homage to You O Controller of the Nostrils, receiving the
Life-breath of Shuw and supporting the Pillars of Creation,
Becoming the Becoming of Life for the People of the Sun
In the presence of Ra!

O You Mother of Heru the Master of the Heavenly Heights!
I have opened up my face like Heru the Lord of Visions
And cognizance, becoming the Wedjat Eye in the presence
Of the Throne of Ausir, the Master of the Great Awakening!

Homage to You O Seat-of the Mysteries,
Auset-the Refuge, the World Tree of the
Eternal Faith!

O Auset, O Lady of Visions coming forth
From the Sanctified Portal!
I have conquered ignorance and opened the
Holy Way of Wisdom in the ears of my heart.

I have embraced the peace of the Great Teaching
With my two eyes of Divine Sight.
I have received The Deity of my true heart,
And given birth to my Higher Ka.

Homage to You O Seat-of the Mysteries,
Auset-the Refuge, the World Tree of the
Eternal Faith!

I have withdrawn from ignorance and
Removed myself from a heart of chaos.
I have washed pure my heart in the presence
Of the undivided body of Ausir-the
Complete One, the Master of Celestial
Cognizance!

I have embraced the bosom of Auset
The Great Mother, and received the
Holy Mantle of Lightrays belonging to
Ausir the Lord of Clairvoyance.
I have passed through the Portals of
Clear-Light with my heart intact like
The indestructible Wedjat Eye of Ra!

Homage to You O Seat-of the Mysteries,
Auset-the Refuge, the World Tree of the
Eternal Faith!

O my Holy Lady Auset, Keeper of
The Sacred Portals of the Temple of
Ausir, Protectress of Your Disciples
In the Spirit-Mansion of Ausir, O
Greatest One Of Powerful Pronouncements!
I have taken refuge in Your haven of
Divine strength.

I have become an incarnation of Your Divine
Essence, pouring out from the Throne of the
Eternal Ka like Ausir-of the Floodwaters.
I embrace You as Ausir-Sah (Osiris-Orion) embraces You,
In this Your name of Auset-Sepdet (Isis-Sothis), the Great Door
Of Ausir’s eternal awakening!

Homage to You O Seat-of the Mysteries,
Auset-the Refuge, the World Tree of the
Eternal Faith!

I come to the Throne of the Great Divine Mother,
Taking refuge in Her eye of divine power,
Taking refuge in Her seat of indestructible
Perception, taking refuge in the Wisdom
Beyond Wisdom!

I am seated upon the Throne of the Great Eye
In the Holy Hall of Ausir, the Master of the
Heavenly Power of perfect sight!

Homage to You O Seat-of the Mysteries,
Auset-the Refuge, the World Tree of the
Eternal Faith!

The Sealing

I have become an Anointed One in the
Temple of the Mysteries in the presence
Of Auset the Divine Mother of all the
Gods.

She is my Divine Mother just as She is the
Mother of Heru the Lord of Light!
I have come as an incarnation of Spirit
To receive the Light-Breath of Ausir,
The Master of Everlasting Life!

I am a Disciple of the Temple of Mysteries,
Destined to become an indestructible
Body of Light in the presence of Ausir
The Lord of Eternity!

All text copyright © 2001-2015 Rev. Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa