Opening the Secret Shrine

Opening the Secret Shrine

I approach the hour when the stars are hidden
in the belly of the sky;
she swallows them all at the moment of this Sun-God’s descent;
and I am this Sun-God whose name has been lauded
by the nine netjeru-gods.

Listen, see; turn over on your sides you corpses of the earth,
and open your eyes to behold my luminous passing;
for I am the Great God, the Ram-Soul of brilliant flesh of gold,
and it is my countenance of peace that stills the terrors of the night!

Be still in your hearts, be comforted by my forthcoming,
and I will rise up as one of the Unwearying Stars before your eyes;
the earth in your bleary eyes removed by my golden savor.
The nine netjeru-gods proclaim my manifestation
above the dome of that western cavern,
but it is my cloud of sandalwood which precedes me,
and my turquoise light-beams which declare my potency.

Listen, see; my name causes a shudder to throw back the earth
in the presence of the Nine Gods;
their appointed guardians rise up on their haunches to salute me;
their fists beat their breasts as they do for the eastern horizon;
and they shout henu!  Henu!  Salutations!  Salutations!

Be still no longer; arise like those Unwearying Stars in the sky,
O you corpses in the earth whom the west has swallowed;
the fragrance of myrrh of my Mother is upon your flesh,
and she has suckled you at her dusky breast;
she has opened her thighs for you at dawn in her name of
Mistress of Heaven;
she has birthed you as she has birthed Ra in the hour of his renewal.
Stand up you corpses of the west, for the Great Ba-Soul abounds
with light to guide you in your hour of terror!

Listen, see; my name is Khepri in the moment of my becoming,
who shields the nascent power of the Sun when he comes forth
from the Secret Shrine;
he has his Mother’s scent upon him, and her fluid glistens his limbs
of fine gold;
behold how you glisten with him like turquoise when the earth is reborn!

Come, approach, and open the ears of your heart of lustrous carnelian.
I arrive at the Place of the Hauling with the sand of the Mound
upon my feet; this sand over which the Great Ram-Soul has tread;
thus I pass, and I cannot be hindered at any moment of the night;
and as day this sand becomes the renewal of my earth.

Homage is done to this sovereign of the west in our midst;
the Lord of the Secret Shrine is upon his sand in the nether cavern.
Are not his Unwearying Stars above his brow?
Their faces shine in the darkness for his glory.
Are not his long legs striders upon the coils of the serpent?
Its scales of many colors writhe beneath his divine and naked feet;
he needs no safeguard from their venom, for he is the Lord of Terror!

O Sokar who strides upon his sand, who throws open the doors
of the Hidden Shrine, the Lord of Dread in the West and Master
of the nether circuits; lift me up to your sand and upon your Mound;
make my ascension with me into the Henu-Ark when its power
navigates the celestial sky; take me into the confidence of your
knowledge of heavenly things; these secrets being my nourishment
forever!

See now you corpses of the earth; behold, hear, and let your hearts
breathe again; for this Sokar is upon his sand in the western cavern,
where he takes in his two fists the wings of this serpent of manifold
color; it is the life of the Sun-God when he is reunited with the corpse
of Ausir who has slumbered.
He has slumbered as you have slumbered; but there is no tarrying
in the cavern of the west forever;
for the thighs of the Sky shudder in their birth pangs for you,
and you shall become the very face of the Sun-God when he emerges.

O Ausir, kernel of the Mysterious Lord, tall of crown and dazzling
of countenance, whose turquoise is upon him in the eastern horizon;
if you are the corpse of the Sun-God, then I am the corpse of the Sun-God;
if Sokar is upon his sand to send you forth, then I am sent forth with you!
If you turn over on your right side, standing upright to behold the dawn,
then I am turned upright as a babe to suckle at the breast of my Mother
Auset!
If Ra is reunited with his nether body within the Land of Sokar,
then I too am reunited with my stellar body, and it is his hand
that lifts me up in the sky as one among the Imperishable Stars.

Listen, see; my lord is the Lord of Terror when he is upon his sand,
when he rises to his Mound in the Secret Shrine, when he stands
upright on the back of his serpent of many colors;
his stride long over the sandbanks, and his tall crown piercing the nether sky.
His cavern is hoisted above his head, and his savor of myrrh uplifts
the vault below the sleeping earth.

Come Sokar, Lord of the Secret Shrine, you dweller upon the Mound,
you who are upon your sand in that Nether Land;
behold how I arrive in your presence clad in the mantle of the eastern horizon!
My savor is that of sandalwood when it rises to the Nine Gods as a cloud;
and they acclaim my rebirth as a follower in your stellar retinue.
I have bathed in your sweat of myrrh when your tread empowered the Mound;
I have risen upon that Mound as you have risen, with my face turned
toward the east.

All you netjeru-gods standing on the sandbanks with your eyes wide open,
behold me when I approach the doors of your cavern in the west!
See me as a body of venerable light coming to announce the dawn;
indeed, suckled by the breast of the eastern sky and nourished upon
her fragrance!

You who have yet to see the Sun in his moment of becoming,
come now and see me rise as the master of the sky.
Shed your night terrors, your sleep, and your hibernation.
Receive the shimmering turquoise of my divine body,
opened again from that Secret Shrine whose doors appear
before the mansion of all spirits.

All text copyright © 2016 Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa

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