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

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
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

The Heron Wears Your Mantle

The Heron Wears Your Mantle

The east is your sycamore dappled with beams of turquoise;
a shrine thrown open by the brilliant hands of the sky.
O Ra Lord of Light-rays whose pervasive cloud of myrrh heralds his feet,
the sky is your ba-soul when dawn sees your face as the mirror of heaven.

A western mountain stretches with its goddess to meet the vault;
her horns of fine gold catch your beams like a net of precious metal.
Her open thighs know you when your sandalwood incense rises;
the god-making fragrance is your ba-soul when you enter the wind as its lord.

The holy waters are your ateruw-flood bursting from earth’s cavern;
in secret your deft hand brings the river from which all life draws breath.
O Ra the Father of the First Occasion whose flood lives in every vessel,
the waters are your ba-soul as they break open the body of the earth.

A lotus has stolen the blue mantle of the sky where you bathe;
the east finds your sun-pool submerged in molten gold luster.
Your Mother the Sky extends her hands to upraise you from the torrent,
the hallowed shell of your wet body appearing as the iridescent beetle.

The lotus is your eastern throne on the tide of the morning pool;
a first beginning where flood’s loins reveal their dusky secrets.
O Ra, Khepri who divides the waters in darkness where they churn;
the lotus is your ba-soul when its gleam parts the river by dawn.

A mound emerges from the deep pushed by your feet of electrum;
how the void flees your brilliance when you glimmer as the sun-beetle.
Yours is the seed of mysteries from which the magic of the sky flowers;
in darkness your seed becomes the sun rolled through the nether waters.

The heron wears your mantle when he breaks the fragile sky;
his bill proclaims the first dawn shooting from your fist.
O Ra, Benu-bird of scintillating plumage as first light finds your feathers;
the heron is your ba-soul when your migration brightens the world.

A calf with lapis dapples strides between the sycamores at daybreak;
his eyes possess the all-seeing sun which climbs the sky as his father.
He carries the light of the earth on his back as you traverse the clouds;
two realms are yours by day and night with earth beneath your hooves.

The domains of east and west become your summit where you appear;
bright gold and malachite reveal your body kissed by cloud trappings.
O Ra, Lord of Manifestations to whom earth and sky pay homage;
creation is your ba-soul when your heart’s light opens the lonely waters.

All text copyright © 2016 Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa

Repeating the First Occasion: A Guided Meditation Through the Founding of the Divine Mansion

Ptah Votive Shrine Statue

Wehem Zep Tepy
Repeating the First Occasion

All things begin at night. All things begin in darkness; where a kernel bursts with life in its bed of black soil; where the body of Ra the Sun passes through the beautiful terror of His Mother Nuwit‘s star-clad body; where a child is conceived, nurtured, and fed; where the Soul is swallowed in the hidden west, to struggle until the moment of its triumph into light. We are born from darkness and return to darkness. A mysterious beginning, swallowed up by darkness and submerged in water. This is the Nuwn, the Abyss of Beginnings, where all life waits to enter into creation, to behold the world of the above, to rise briefly before sinking again. We travel back, under, beneath…traveling…traveling…a Soul returning into the mouth of its mother, the Mother Nuwit, She of the Sky-Waters.

What is below my feet? Not earth, not heaven…I float in a cascade of water without surface, without bottom. My heartbeat speaks to my ears: debdeb debdeb debdeb, and in a single moment my body is awakened to its own beingness. I float suddenly aware of my form, naked and without constraints, as I was in my own mother’s womb. What is this form of power in the vessel of my flesh? My Ka-Soul tells me: this is the First Occasion of your life. Without taint, tarnish, corruption or mortality. Without beginning or end…you and I are of the same matter from which Creation began. We are here, wet and renewed in the body of Atum. Atum is the Everything, the All…the Completion of created things, and we are now immersed in the Everything, like a babe floating, suspended in its mother’s liquid womb.

What is above my body? At first I see nothing, feel nothing, if not the experience of water without texture, form, temperature, surface or measurable depth. I do not sink, yet I cannot stand or find a place upon which to alight. Can it be that I am here in the waters before everything else emerges? Is this how it felt at the beginning of all things, when night was king of the un-created world? Yet in my mind’s eye I can behold a canopy of rich purple and azure blue…a body of lights shining, glinting and casting off their radiance as far as the unknown stretches. White light bathes me at long last, and I sense that night and darkness have had their full reign. I sense a flowering in my flesh. It is time to go forth into the day.

The God Atum says: I am alone in the night. I am alone in the darkness. Clad in the waters of the First Occasion, I am the Most Ancient One, conceiving myself in seclusion, bringing myself up and out of the abyss. My form is the blue-black body of the primeval waters, saturating, swimming with serpents, the un-created One, yet containing the All. We come from this dark beginning, yet find light again. We depart from this light to come back into the darkness again. Come Ra! Come Sun! Come Tatenen the Ancient Mound! Let the waters part! Let your forms emerge from the wet, un-created creation. Let the abyss divide!

The God Ra says: I was alone in the abyss when I became the King of the Dawn! I battled the serpents with my bare hands! Their bodies fell to each side of my form, and at long last the illumination of my majesty found a place upon which to stand. I became the First Lord of the Dawn! I set my feet upon the first mound of earth that became Tatenen!

The God Tatenen says: I am the Mount of Beginnings, come forth from the abyss before humankind, animals or creeping creatures. I am the beginning of the Mysteries, blue-green skinned, bearded…the Father of the Primordial Earth. I embrace the darkness of the watered earth in its infancy. I contain the kernels of souls in my hands. I touch the waters with life, I grasp the serpents and make a path for the birth of the golden Sun.

The God Khepra says: I am the blue-black beetle of iridescent wings, Whose power encircled the waters in the beginning, Whose feet pushed forth the orb of the Sun and caused Him to live beyond the stranglehold of the serpents. I created my own creation, gave birth to my own beginning, and established Tatenen as the Ancient Mound of the first Divine Mansion. Let come forth the luminescence of Stars, Moon and Sun into the darkness! Let the Divine Mansion be established upon this first mound of earth. Rise earth! Rise the Soul-Mansion of the Gods!

Now my eyes have seen this Mount of Ancient Earth appear from the fathomless darkness of the abyss. I have heard the voices of these Gods, breaking the stillness of my meditation. The pyramidal mound takes shape, growing ever larger, pushing back the primordial waters until space is pushed out and land creates division called “above” and “below”. I see now a canopy of stars emerging to take the place of utter darkness. I behold the Meshtiuw-Stars of the “Bull’s Thigh” constellation, come to guide the foundation of the Divine Mansion, and, taking His throne in the purple-blue vault of heaven’s ocean, Sah-Orion, beckoning the presence of correct measurement and establishment.

The Mound awaits the God’s House and the God’s presence. I watch and wait and listen. She must be called forth from the Stars if the measurements are to be exact, and exactness is called for in the precision of creation. She is Seshat, the “Lady of Builders”, the leopard-clad Queen of the Seven-Pointed Star Sefkhat. A god’s presence is contained within the essence of their names and formulas, each magically constructed by the mouth of Ptah, the Great Architect of Creation. Let the Goddess Seshat be summoned by Her names!

Summoning the Goddess Seshat

The God Djehuty: I summon Seshat! I summon the SevenPointed One! I summon Seshat-Foremost of Bookkeepers! I summon Seshat-the Mistress of the Book House! I summon
Seshat-Mistress of the House of Life! I summon Seshat-Mistress of Wisdom! I summon Seshat-Mistress of the Teaching of Heaven! I summon Seshat-Directress of the Sky! I summon Seshat-Directress of Time! I summon Seshat-Who is Chieftainess of the Year! I summon Seshat-Who is Foremost of Knowledge in the House of Life! I summon Seshat-Mistress of True Measures!


Stretching the Cord

The Goddess Seshat: Behold! I am come to stretch out the heavens across the earth, to
establish the earth in accordance with the sky.  Behold now the Seven-Pointed One, come to illuminate the way. Behold the uwsekht Shuw, the heavenly regions in which the Indestructible Polestars shine! Let the majesty of Ptah, Tatenen, King of this earth measure out with His hands the appointed ground. Let Him come forth to set in order this Divine House of His, and let what He establishes on the earth receive the acclaim of heaven!

The God Ptah-Tatenen: On this day of the new moon my majesty makes firm the boundaries of this Divine House, declaring for it a foundation in the star-fields of heaven. The luminescence of Sah-Orion is unfailing. The Seven-Pointed One Sefkhat-abwy affirms the perfect strides of each wall, and Djehuty the Keeper of Books records all that my majesty ordains!

  • The God Ptah-Tatenen presents the sacred cord to the company of Gods, then stretches it across the Sanctuary.

The Goddess Seshat (takes hold of the post): Twelve knots in a rope command the magic and incantations of heaven! Twelve hours by day, twelve hours by night, the Ark of Ra traverses the vault and establishes the perfect hours. Just so, the walls of this Sanctuary shall stand encircled by heaven’s perfection. Every cubit is a measure of perfect peace. The harmony of this Divine House is established for millions of millions of years!

Hacking Up the Earth

The Goddess Seshat: I come bearing heaven, the Flood of the First Occasion, to encircle these walls with the renewal of the beginning. The flood is Nuwn, and I mark its beginning! The flood is the Nile, and I mark its eternal return within the walls of this Sanctuary!

The God Ptah-Tatenen: I come bearing earth, the Ancient Mound of the First Occasion, to return this Divine House to the moment of the rising. Rise!  Rise! Rise O floodwaters of the beginning! With a hoe I hack a trench in my earth-body, to receive the celestial waters that emerge from below.

  • The God Ptah-Tatenen uses a hoe to cut a trench in the earth.
  • The Goddess Seshat pours a vessel of holy water into the trench.

Molding the Brick

The Goddess Seshat (places a brick of clay in the hand of Ptah-Tatenen): I give you the mud of the earth! I sanctify the stone hewn from mountains. I order a course of bricks to be laid in accordance with the foundation of heaven!  I have measured out the walls, I have urged the Primordial Flood, I have melded earth with the flood and given you your Divine House!

The God Ptah: I establish the foundation of heaven, I cleave the earth and bring forth the Primordial Flood! I sanctify stone to receive the life of its maker. I sanctify flesh to receive the life of its maker. I sanctify earth to receive the life of its maker. I sanctify creation to receive the life of its maker. Behold! The Ka of Ptah is in His House.

  • The God Ptah-Tatenen molds the magic brick and presents it to the company of Gods.

Wepes-Bezen/ Wepes-Hezmen

Scattering Gypsum/ Scattering Natron-Salt

The Goddess Seshat: I purify this earth with the enchantments of heaven! I purify this Sanctuary with the magic of the Imperishable Stars! I encircle these walls, I establish perfection, I uplift the Soul-House of the God Ptah!

  • The Goddess Seshat sprinkles sacred natron-salt in each of the four directions of the Sanctuary.

The God Ptah: I invoke the purifying enchantments of the Wedjat Eye, creating this Sanctuary as a mansion of whole perfection! As the Wedjat Eye is whole, so this Sanctuary is whole! As the Polestars are indestructible, so too is this Sanctuary indestructible!

  • The God Ptah sprinkles sacred natron-salt in each of the four directions of the Sanctuary.

All text copyright © 2009, 2015 Rev. Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa