Hearer of Prayers

Hearer of Prayers

O Ptah Who Hears Prayers,
Benevolent of Countenance
Whose ears remain open;
You are the Great Eye
Seeing my heart’s vessel,
And it is to You that I call out
When my heart is in sorrow.
Yours is a shrine ever open;
Yours are ears ever merciful
To those who are oppressed;
Yours is the living flame
Rending the veil of darkness,
The Sun passing through the Underworld.
O King of Gods, Lord of the Great Throne,
Tatenen of millions of names,
Hear my prayers and shine Your mercy
On my sufferings;
Be the light of my dark hours,
And may my heart be Your shrine.
Homage to You O Ptah in the Soul-Mansion,
The Hearer of Prayers Who is Lord of the Sky!

Who Comes For Me

Who Comes For Me

Who comes for me when I am alone in the sand of the west?
When my eyes have beheld the Two Banks departing,
the florid sky in the company of that mouth of descending;
who comes to lift up my two feet from the hungry desert?
Those Nine Gods come from the mouth of the horizon
to lead me by the hand;
as they do for that Great Ram-Soul when he approaches
with skin of gold and hair of lapis lazuli.

I am complete within the keeping of the earth,
and my sacred sky cannot be removed from my long stride of millions.
My unbound feet have found their magical direction;
my toes, the hallowed ground upon which spirits shift;
my legs, the west wind which carries swallows where the sun dies;
my loins, where the south keeps its secret flood of my beginning;
my upright member, of my Father and through which I am renewed;
my navel, of my Mother and through which her magic fed me;
my heart, the mound of the Benu-bird upon which his flame alights;
my throat, dilated with the fresh northern breath of the Serpent-Goddess;
my lips, the seat of the God Ptah, whose arm of heavenly metal
opens up the mouths of the Gods;
my tongue, the mount to which the God Djehuty ascends in his time,
the place where the members of the Eight Primordials are assembled;
my nostrils, the Twin Lions who open yesterday and know tomorrow;
my right eye, the Ark of the Day whose forthcoming predicts Ra
on his eastern horizon;
my left eye, the Ark of Twilight in whose cabin is carried the golden
Ram-Soul of the west;
my two eyebrows, the eastern and western horizons from which
the Lord to the Limits goes forth;
my brow, the vertex of the Sun-God whose Cobra-Goddess abounds
in her breath for him;
my arms, lifting up the four quarters of the sky, becoming the very
pillars of the sky through whose vigor the Unwearying Stars climb;
my two hands, the mountains called Bakhu and Manu, where rise
and set the two mirrors of Ra who governs the horizons.

Hear me all you spirits in the company of the west,
for my edicts are the commands of the Nine Gods and their overlord;
that Great Soul whose flesh traverses the twelve hours and reckons
all their powers.
I too am the skin, blood, bones, and members of the Great Ram-Soul;
my passage of light through the twilight hours becomes a second life
for those spirits in the shadows.

Where is my shade when I traverse the secret pathways in the west?
It follows in my footsteps as the shades of the Nether Sky
raise their hands in homage;
my light becoming their guide through the terrors,
my face gleaming as a mirror of burnished electrum in the dark.
Follow in the tread of my sunlit feet you souls of the western earth,
and I will guide you to that holy sycamore where the sky springs forth
with verdant life.

Who comes for me when I approach those Twin Sycamores
whose faces meet the turquoise veil of the sky;
whose leaves of starry malachite reckon the years of souls,
as they reckon the entourage of the Imperishable Stars.
I see the Sun-Calf making long strides between the two sycamores;
his spotty flank is a map of the northern sky, and my eyes may read its secrets.
His speech is the tongue of that Sycamore-Goddess,
pouring out between her rosy-gold breasts a ladder to the eternal sky.
I hear his words and know their magic;
I drink from those celestial breasts, and ascend as one of those
Imperishable Stars.

Who comes for me when the Imperishable Stars lift me up,
when my two lips become the crescent shrines of Khonsu-Neferhotep?
I behold the Henu-Ark in its moment of ascension;
when its sparrowhawk of gold alights upon its Mound;
when its strong runners glide upon its sand;
when its sledge is firmly placed in its stellar courses;
when its towrope of gold shines through the dusky hours;
when its cabin becomes the soil-black Mound of its lord;
when the God Sokar appears upon his sand wearing his lofty crown;
and I become a follower in his entourage of spirits,
triumphant when the hours of shade are traversed by the risen sun.

Who comes for me when twilight falls and lips grow silent?
Is there a stirring in the west as my countenance passes,
even as the west stirs at the approach of Ra in his ruddy mantle.
I see with my two eyes the emergence of Ra from his Mound of the shade;
his body appearing in shadow as the iridescent beetle claiming the dawn.
He pushes his dawn before him, as eventide follows on his glittering heels.
I become the Shade of Ra projected from his light beams;
and turquoise becomes me, gold foretold by my brow of celestial metal.

Is my fragrance known to the spirits and shades of the sacred west?
I say it is; and my breath comes over the whole of this land
as a cloud of fine myrrh becoming of a god.
You spirits and shades imbibe it with your flared nostrils,
this scent of mine cast from the presence of my golden skin;
you relish it as the sky acclaims the lamps of its stars,
as the holy sycamore drinks her flood from the secret cavern of the earth.

Who comes for me when I am alone in the sand of the west?
Is my right hand taken and my fingers cradled like those of a naked child?
I say they are; and I see my passage in the west made by the hands
of my Sky-Goddess, whose starry body becomes my second home,
whose breasts find my lips in my moment of unquenchable thirst.
My thirst is quenched, and my two feet are doused with the sacred flood.
Loneliness, I do not know you; not in the presence of my Father of the earth.
Death, I do not become you; not as I pass through the thighs of my Mother
of the sky.

Who comes for me?
You come for me, and your name is Ra of the heights,
the Lord to the Limits of the Sky, whose reflection is the mirror of heaven,
whose body ornaments the Two Lands with turquoise.
I am that shade, that light, that lamp, that mirror, that turquoise;
and I grow from the earth unencumbered by nightfall and unknown to sleep.
I am a star on your crest of the sacred sky,
and it is you as the keeper of stars who comes for me.

All text copyright © 2016 Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa

House of Deities / Bringers of the Sky

House of Deities

Bringers of the sky, open your hands for me;
I receive the Unwearying Stars from your grasp,
and the bolts of the eastern horizon slide back at my command.
I enter your portals with the savor of a god on my skin;
thus the bolts flee before my hand and the doors before my feet.

May your celestial eyes be in the company of my holdings;
your magic of the vault with its Imperishable Stars;
your speech which divides the abyss and upraises the earth;
your fragrance of myrrh which surrounds you in your forthcoming;
your terror on the western horizon which devours souls;
your standards of pure gold flashing in the east, higher than clouds;
your diadem of the Cobra-Goddess whose venom strikes the adversaries;
your Ram-Soul in the west, entering in as flesh and returning as spirit;
your radiant sycamore in whose boughs the Sky uplifts her son to his zenith;
your cavern beneath the waters of the sky, from which the earth flood rises;
your bau-souls traversing the two worlds, alighting on their terrestrial forms;
your two horizons of yesterday and tomorrow,
those Twin Lions who encompass time;
your mound of your beginning from which the Benu-bird of the sky took flight;
and all the secret things held to the breast of the waters on that First Occasion.

Bringers of the sky, open your eyes for me;
I receive the clear vision of the Wedjat Eye from your vertex,
and the door leaves of the sky give up their secrets for me.
My eyebrows are the Two Combatants, reconciled in their two powers;
the north and the south entwined before my feet of black and red.
I take up the undiminished sight of the two papyrus wands,
their Cobra-Goddesses taking residence in my hand of enchantments.
My seat is in the filling of the Wedjat Eye,
whose shade governs heaven in its undefeated time.
I enter your portals with the essence of lotus on my skin;
indistinguishable from a god, I suckle from your breast in the sky.

May your bodies within the hallows of the earth be in my sight line;
O Ptah, Tatenen, Lord to the Limits,
rising from the sky in possession of the flood;
I receive the lotus at your nostrils and its fragrance becomes me.
O Sokar, Lord of the Hidden Shrine, you who are upon your sand,
rising in the Henu-Ark as master of the subterranean cavern;
I receive the ascension of your lofty crown whose sun-disk becomes me.
O Ausir, Wennefer, the goodly ruler of the Two Banks,
rising from your lands as the eternal and everlasting;
I receive the green kernel of your body whose immutability becomes me.
O Wepwawet, Opener of the Ways, whose heavenly strides are immeasurable,
rising high upon your standard in the sky, the sacred portals at your feet;
I receive passage from your two ears through all the doors that become me.
O Anpu, He Who is Upon His Mountain, Lord of the Sacred Land,
rising from your mount as the forerunner of those in the west;
I receive the flame of the secret things from your flank which becomes me.
O Djehuty, Lord of the Divine Speech,
Master of Time whose eye encompasses the sky,
rising from the radiance of your silver disk as governor of what its light encircles;
I receive the whole portion of your time which becomes me.

Bringers of the sky, open your ways before me;
I receive the pathways of the Unwearying Stars from your brow,
and the Two Eyes of the Sun-God grant their cognizance to me.
I have traversed the Two Ways in the entourage of the Sun-folk,
whose shouts of acclamation rend the sky at Ra’s coming.
I am acclaimed together with Ra as the mirror of my countenance
shines over the starry vault;
the proclamations of those Imperishable Stars deafen the ears of time.
Time does not know me nor death hear mention of my name;
for I go up in the eastern sky as the light-body of a star,
and I rise up from the mouth of the west as a ba-soul of lofty reflection.

Bringers of the sky, I have entered your open mansion of millions of years;
I have received unconquerable life from your apex,
delivered by your hands called the Imperishable Stars.
The House of Deities has been opened for me;
the Secret Shrine has been opened for me;
the Sacred Mount has been opened for me;
the eastern horizon has been opened for me;
the western sky has been opened for me;
the Unwearying Stars have been opened for me;
the Wedjat Eye at its moment of filling has been opened for me;
the Entourage of Ra has been opened for me;
the Day-Ark in its rising has been opened for me;
the Night-Ark in its setting has been opened for me;
the Henu-Ark on its sledge has been opened for me;
the very circuits traversed by the eternally coursing sun
have been opened for me.

Bringers of the sky, look, see,
and behold my reflection in the mirror of the heavens!
I have received the Never-setting Stars from your grasp,
and my countenance is now indistinguishable from that of an eternal god.
I ascend, I glimmer, and I rise up to take my place in your House of Deities.

All text copyright © 2016 Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa

He Prays to Set By Night

Set Stela

My beloved is pious when the river floods;
a trail of myrrh following in his footsteps.
Am I a god’s servant then, adhering to those tamarisk feet?
I wait for his boons to rise high on the sacred waters.

My beloved embraces the Gods at the three seasons of the day.
He prays to Amun in the morning; his heart becomes hidden.
He prays to Ptah in the afternoon; his hands absorbed in their labors;
but he prays to Set by night, when his exploits provoke the blazing of stars.

Come with your lamplight to a shrine made ready by the six-day moon;
its myrrh is succor to desert-wearied skin.
This is the royal body of Khensu-Neferhotep, cradled in the lap of stars;
his essence of lotus drawing out prayers from fervent lips.

In the morning your prayers summon the ardor of the Sun-God;
when high noon comes the ears of Ptah imbibe your supplications;
at eventide Set whose passions are roused makes of your tongue His arrow.
My heart becomes the footstool of the Gods, uplifting your unclad toes.

Let the Gods who process the gilt constellations open oracular mouths.
Lord Amun completes His moment when He rises on His mound;
Ptah who is south of His wall encircles the sky as its sunlit master;
Set the raging rules the Red Land with His mighty hand.

Is it your Amun who by morning’s light draws back the dusky veil?
Is it Ptah who opens the lotus on the waters revealing the naked sun?
Is it Set’s fist that governs the bow by which the northern sky is rent?
You answer these with a priest’s devotion as you draw back the bedclothes.

Amun-Ra young bull with sharp horns whose brow knows heaven’s light;
your right eye illumines the earth by day, your left to shine by night.
Adoration of Amun whose skin of gold alights upon His mound;
where darkness clothes the empty waters your hidden light is found.

O Ptah Lord of the Sky whose hearing ear opens south of His walls;
yours are the ears of the midday sun, and those when eventide calls.
May acclaim be yours O beautiful of face who knows the ancient earth;
your two hands move the waters in darkness to give their lotus birth.

Praise of Setesh Lord of Might by whose hand the bow is drawn;
by night who smites the rebel-serpent and with red fist raises dawn.
The Red Land drinks your fury when by storm your voice is known;
the Ark of Ra declares your prowess by twilight where it is shown.

O Gods your footfall knows the shrine of my heart left open to the sky;
whose lapis veil finds me enveloped in myrrh to await the flood.
He comes with full lips immersed in prayer to honor the six-day feast;
whose prophecy declares the filling of the eye high in the lapis vault.

How date palms ride the hot breath of flood season looming at my door;
held open for the passage of gods carried by your devoted mouth.
Stir a breeze for me with praying lips sweet with tamarisk honey;
a flood of their own upon which gods sail during every holy season.

My beloved is pious when his river floods;
he brings three gods with devoted hands.
His body carries the mark of their favors;
boons which multiply as he sheds his royal linen.

My beloved embraces the Gods as the Two Lands know their seasons.
He prays to Amun in the morning; his hidden heart is flooded.
He prays to Ptah in the afternoon; his hands are the leaders of craftsmen;
but he prays to Set by night, when his lover’s deeds fill the Gods with wonder.

All text copyright © 2016 Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa

Adoration of Ptah-Sokar-Ausir on the day of the Six Day Festival

Ptah-Sokar

Homage to You O Ptah-Sokar-Ausir
in your might, your terror, your victory
over your adversaries!

Dazzling of plumage whose two eyes
are triumphant; You are raised high
upon your standard in the east.
In the west You are eternal in your
millions of cycles in the Henu Ark,
which is as your own Ba, hailed by
the Sun-Folk as Lord of Appearances!

O Ausir who is Ptah who is Sokar,
the blood of your enemies has watered
the earth before you; their bones have
been broken, their limbs disassembled.
Your presence has filled them with
terror, as those upon the earth are
overcome with awe of You.

Homage to You Ptah-Sokar-Ausir;
the shadows have fled with the
appearance of your shining face on
the day of the Six Day Feast!

Homage to You Ptah-Sokar-Ausir;
You are the filling of the Wedjat Eye
at the moment of its becoming
the Great Netjer, Sovereign of the
Barque!

Homage to You Ptah-Sokar-Ausir;
upright in the Henu Ark, who receives
acclamation and bestows boons,
hearer of prayers as the God Ptah
in Life of the Two Lands!

Homage to You Ptah-Sokar-Ausir;
He who creates the giving of life
in the Henu Ark, He who goes round
about His circuit in millions of moments,
who possesses the heavens and is
Lord of the Vault!

Homage to You Ptah-Sokar-Ausir;
You maker of hundreds of thousands
of offerings which the king gives,
the dazzling countenance of Ptah
who is beautiful of face, the ear
which hears and is master of the
sacred west!

Homage to You O Ptah-Sokar-Ausir!
may I remain in your temple, may I
enter the Henu Ark, may I traverse
circuits of millions with You in the
heavens, and may I be received at
the table of offerings where Kas are
fed for millions upon millions of years!

All text copyright © 2015 Rev. Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa

The Heart-Prayer of Ptah

Lapis Ptah

Homage to You, Ptah,
And hail to the Gods Who came forth from Your members!

O Ptah of life,
O Ptah of light,
O Ptah of mercy,
Hear my prayer.

O Ear that hears,
O Eyes that see,
O Hands that bless,
Receive my offering.

O Father Ptah,
I give You my heart.
O Father Ptah,
I give You my hands.
O Father Ptah,
I give You my breath,
O Father Ptah,
I give You my ka.
O Father Ptah,
I give You my name.
O Father Ptah,
I receive Yours in return.
O Father Ptah,
I give You my sorrow.
O Father Ptah,
I receive Your power in return.
O Father Ptah,
I become Your own flesh.
O Father Ptah,
You become the Lord of my life.

O Ptah of life,
May Your life be my life.
O Ptah of light,
May Your light be my light.
O Ptah of mercy,
May Your compassion
Liberate me; I who came forth
From Your body!

All text copyright © 1997-2015 Rev. Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa

Liturgy For Honoring the Ka of Richard Reidy

Richard Reidy Retouched
The Ausir-One Richard J. Reidy

Liturgy For Honoring the Ka of
Richard Reidy
In the House of Ptah(1)

Copyright 2015 ©Rev. Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa
Hwt-Ka-Ptah/ Temple of Ptah Nevada (West Wendover, Nevada)

Honoring the God Ptah
in the name of Richard Reidy

Prior to engaging in this rite, the celebrant or celebrants should observe the standards for ritual purity, both physical and spiritual. Physical cleansing is necessary, and a mental, emotional focus that permits engagement with the Netjeru (Gods) in Sacred Space. It is preferable to wear simple pure white linen (cotton is perfectly acceptable), a robe or garment that has been reserved exclusively for ritual work.

There should be at least one altar table given over to the adoration of the Netjeru. This ceremony honors the Blessed Dead (Akhu) in the company of the Netjer Ptah, the Netjeret (Goddess) Sekhmet, Their divine Son Nefertum, and the Bau-Souls of the ancient Sanctuary of Ptah called Hwt-Ka-Ptah, the “Soul-Mansion of Ptah”. A simple altar is workable for this ceremony, consisting of a white linen altar cloth upon which have been set cult images (statues) or pictures of the God Ptah, His spouse the Goddess Sekhmet, Son Nefertum, and a photograph of the Blessed Dead. A framed photograph will work much easier with this ceremony, but in lieu of this, a photograph may be propped up on the altar so that it will be stable during the ceremony. This may be draped with a scarf or covered to facilitate “opening” or “unveiling” during the ceremony.

You will also need at least one candle taper, oil lamp or tea light, a brazier or holder for the burning of incense, incense, a jar or cup of wine, a jar or cup of milk, and a tray for the presentation of offerings. It is important that your offerings are of the freshest and highest quality possible. Traditional offerings would consist of bread, beer, onions, dates, figs, pomegranates, roast fowl and beef. However, in contemporary times we may also choose to honor our Blessed Dead with food offerings (favorite dishes) personal to them, which may, of course, include ingredients not found in ancient times. The rule of thumb is always strive for the best quality offerings you can find, whether they be food or floral, or goods such as cloth, stones or ritual objects. An abundance of fresh flowers would also be highly appropriate for this offering ritual. A sistrum or ritual rattle is optional here, but strongly recommended.

Striking the Sacred Fire

We begin with the solemn rite of light offering, the most potent and significant act in the cultic service of the Netjeru. A dripless candle taper is preferable for this ceremony, but a small oil lamp, tea light or votive candle will achieve the same ritual aim. Light the taper/ oil lamp/ candle, and then, using your right hand, hold the candle out in front of you towards the sacred images on your altar. Raise your left hand with the palm facing outward towards the Gods (this is called the dua or “adoration” gesture), and then in a strong and clear voice recite the offering formula:

Irit teka en hruw neb en netjer pen Ptah neb Ma’at en Richard Reidy
(pronounced ear-eet tee-ka een hee-roo neb een netcher pen Puh-tah neb Ma-aat een Richard Reidy)

Repeat in English:
“Making the torch of every day for this God Ptah the Lord of Truth for Richard Reidy”(2)

The candle is now placed in the front, center position of the altar so that its light can fall upon the sacred images. Both hands are now raised before you in the dua posture, the palms facing outward towards the altar. Recite the offering prayer clearly and with complete conviction:

“Come You, come You in peace, O glorious Eye of Heru! Be strong and rejuvenated in peace! It shines like Ra in the double horizon, and the power of Your enemy hides itself straightaway before the Eye of Heru, which seizes it and brings it, and sets it before the seat of Heru. The voice of Heru is Truth by reason of His Eye! The Eye of Heru destroys the enemies of Ptah, the Lord upon the Great Throne(3), in all their places. I am pure!”(4)

Bestowal of Incense

It is preferable to use resin incense burnt upon disk charcoal for this ceremony, as our aim is to try, as much as possible, to link our ritual actions with those of the Ancestral temples of our tradition. Each of these gestures is a direct correlation with those that were performed for thousands of years, every single day, in the temples of the Netjeru in Kemet. Resin incense was the only kind of incense used by the Ancestors for cultic service, and it is readily available today. Temple of Ptah Nevada uses pure frankincense resin incense for our Daily Ritual, and this is what I suggest for use here.

However, if resin incense is not being used, then use the purest, highest quality stick or cone incense you can find. The emphasis in all ceremonial actions is on quality and intention. Traditional and organic ingredients are always preferable to modern synthetic ones, but we must also be prepared to use the tools we have at hand, and to use them with our best intentions. If true devotion and respect are present, then the materials will be infused with this, and will naturally be more acceptable to the Gods.

If you are using resin incense over disk charcoal, light your charcoal before your ritual starts so that there are no awkward pauses during the ceremony. If you light your charcoal prior to lighting your candle taper, the charcoal will be perfectly ready by the time you reach this second stage of the rite. Place a pellet of incense in the center of the charcoal, and, using a clockwise circular motion, wave the brazier of incense slowly in front of the sacred images. If you are using stick or cone incense, light it now, wafting the scented smoke over the altar before setting it to the right side of the lit candle. The offering formula is now recited, very slowly and with conviction:

Irit sa-netjer en Ptah neb Ma’at iri-ef di ankh en Richard Reidy
(pronounced ear-eet saa-netcher een Puh-tah neb Ma-aat ear-ee-eff dee onkh een Richard Reidy)

Repeat in English:
“Censing to Ptah the Lord of Truth that He may make the giving of life for Richard Reidy”(5)

Presentation of incense to the Family of Ptah
and to the Netjeru of the Soul-Mansion of Ptah

The Family of the God Ptah is now honored as the primary Netjeru of the Sacred House and the Custodians of the Blessed Dead (Akhu). The incense may remain at its resting position on the right side of the altar. Hold both hands, palms down, over the rising smoke of the incense, and, in a slow, clear voice, recite the offering formula:

Irit sa-netjer Ptah Sekhmet Nefertum pesedjet nebu Hwt-Ka-Ptah en Richard Reidy
(pronounced ear-eet saa-netcher Puh-tah Sekh-met Ne-fur-toom pe-see-jet nee-boo Ha-oot-Ka-Puh-tah een Richard Reidy)

Repeat in English:
“Censing to Ptah, Sekhmet, and Nefertum, and to the Company of Nine Gods, the Lords of the Soul-Mansion of Ptah, for Richard Reidy”(6)

Presentation of incense to the Ka of Richard Reidy

The photograph of the Blessed Dead is now unveiled or uncovered for all to see. Hands are raised in the dua adoration gesture while the offering formula is recited:

Irit sa-netjer en her-ek nefer en ka-ek djet a Richard Reidy
(pronounced ear-eet saa-netcher een hair-eek ne-fur een kaa-eek jet aa Richard Reidy)

Repeat in English:
“Censing to your beautiful face and to your ka eternally, O Richard Reidy!”(7)

Litany for Honoring Ptah as the Lord of Life
and Progenitor of the Netjeru for Richard Reidy

A sistrum (sacred rattle) is used to punctuate the recitation of the Litany. After each formula/ phrase/ name is recited, slowly and with conviction, the sistrum is shaken as loudly and vigorously as possible.

Anedj her-ek a Ptah-Sokar-Ausir netjer-aah neb ta-djoser hery-ab Amentet
(pronounced on-edge hair-eek aa Puh-tah-So-car-Aa-oo-seer netcher-aah neb taa-jo-zair hairee-aab aa-men-tet)

A sistrum is now shaken.

Repeat in English:
“Homage to You O Ptah-Sokar-Ausir the Great God, the Lord of the Holy Land in the midst of the West!”(8)

A sistrum is now shaken.

Anedj her-ek a Ptah en Richard Reidy Ptah-Sokar-Ausir hery-ab Shetit netjer-aah heka Amentet nefer meri
(pronounced on-edge hair-eek aa Puh-tah een Richard Reidy Puh-tah-So-car-Aa-oo-seer hairee-aab shet-eet netcher-aah he-kaa aa-men-tet ne-fur mare-ee)

A sistrum is now shaken.

Repeat in English:
“Homage to You O Ptah, for Richard Reidy (who is) loved by Ptah-Sokar-Ausir in the Shetit Shrine, the Great God, the Lord of the Beautiful West!”(9)

A sistrum is now shaken.

The formal Litany or Wehem of nine of the God Ptah’s names/ epithets should be presented as slowly as possible. Take your time. Draw out each syllable for as long as possible, and if chanting or singing comes naturally, then chant or sing these sacred names of Netjer. It is not necessary to repeat the names of the God in English, unless it feels right or necessary to do so. The recitation of the names of the Netjer forms the primary element in the Daily Ritual, which invigorates and activates the temple/ shrine/ Sacred Space. This rite especially calls upon the Netjer to manifest directly as the preserver of life and restorer of the Dead. Punctuate each name with a vigorous shake of the sistrum. These too should be drawn out as long as possible.

Ptah at hatu
(Puh-tah aat haa-too)

Ptah the Father of beginnings(10).

Ptah iru-netjeru
(Puh-tah ear-oo-netcheroo)

Ptah who created the gods(11).

Ptah neb-er-djer
(Puh-tah neb-air-jair)

Ptah the Lord to the limit(12).

Ptah neb ankh
(Puh-tah neb onkh)

Ptah the Lord of life(13).

Ptah nisut neheh djet neb ankh
(Puh-tah nee-soot nay-ha jet neb onkh)

Ptah the king of eternity and everlastingness, the lord of life(14).

Ptah iri ankh
(Puh-tah ear-ee onkh)

Ptah the Maker of life(15).

Ptah netjer aah wer shaa kheper
(Puh-tah netjer aa wear shaa khe-pair)

Ptah the very great god who in the first beginning came into being(16).

Ptah at-atu uwser-uwseru
(Puh-tah aat-aatoo oo-sear-oo-searoo)

Ptah the Father of fathers and Power of powers(17).

Ptah nen tjenuw iru
(Puh-tah nen chenoo ear-oo)

Ptah of innumerable forms(18).

Honoring the Bau-Souls in the Mansion of Ptah
When Advancing to the Holy Place for Richard Reidy(19)

The Ancestral Spirits that link the contemporary temple/ shrine/ Sacred Space with the Netjeru of the most ancient sanctuaries are now honored prior to the central rite of this ceremony. Two offering jars (or bowls) are now presented to the sacred images; one containing milk and the other containing wine. These are placed to the right side of the altar beside the brazier/ burner of incense. A sistrum may be sounded at length prior to reciting the formal prayer, loudly and slowly:

Words to be spoken:
“O You Souls of Mennefer, Souls of Hwt-Ka-Ptah!(20) If You are strong then I am strong; if I am strong, then You are strong. If Your Kas are strong, then my Ka is strong at the head of the living; as they are living, so too shall I live! The Two Jars of Atum contain the preserving essence of my flesh. Give to me, O Sekhmet the Great Goddess, the Beloved of Ptah, life, stability, and increase round about my members, which Djehuty has assembled for life! I am the God Heru of the heavenly heights, the beautiful one of terror, the Lord of Victory, the Great One of awe, the exalted one of the double plumes, the Great One in Abedju! An offering the King gives, I am pure!

Hotep di nisut wab-kuwa (spoken four times)
(pronounced ho-tep dee nee-soot oo-waab-coo-waa)

A sistrum is now shaken.

Repeat in English:
“An offering the King gives, I am pure!” (spoken four times)

A sistrum is now shaken.

Hotep di nisut hery-ab Hwt-Ka-Ptah en ka en Richard Reidy wab-kuwa
(pronounced ho-tep dee nee-soot hairee-aab Haa-oot-Kaa-Puh-tah een kaa eek Richard Reidy oo-waab-coo-waa)

A sistrum is now shaken.

Repeat in English:
“An offering the King gives in the midst of the Soul-Mansion of Ptah, for the Ka of Richard Reidy, I am pure!”

A sistrum is now shaken.

Performing the Rite of ‘An Offering which the King Gives’ For the Ka of Richard Reidy

The htp di niswt or hotep di nisut, “an offering which the king gives” is one of the most significant and prevalent versions of offering prayer that exists from ancient Egypt. Technically speaking, the King of Kemet was the highest priest of each netjer/ netjeret (god or goddess), and was the one person who could directly intercede with the Gods on behalf of humankind. Thus all offerings were said to be the boon of the King, acting as the chief priest of every deity in the land.

Today we are given the opportunity to link our ceremonial actions and Sacred Spaces with the Ancestors through the use of these most powerful words. These are words that have been spoken and written by countless souls, each invoking the divine and kingly presence through which all sacred offerings flow. The recitation of this prayer gives us an immediate connection with all those who spoke it before us. It invokes the Blessed Dead (Akhu) and invites Them to participate in this exchange of the vital spiritual essence of our offerings. This is what brings our Blessed Dead back to us in the present moment.

The tray of offerings is brought out and set reverently to the left side of the altar. The celebrant faces the image of the Blessed Dead, extending her/ his right arm- hand stretched out with fingers together- towards the face of the image (this action is known as nis, “invoking” or “summoning”). A sistrum may be sounded, loudly and at length, before the offering formula is recited:

Hotep di nisut Ausir neb Abedju
Anpu tepy-dju-ef
Ptah-Sokar res-ineb-ef
pesedjet am Abedju di sen
khet nebet nefret wabet ankhet netjer im
en ka en imakhy Richard Reidy ma’a-kheru
(pronounced
Ho-tep dee nee-soot Aa-oo-seer neb Aa-bed-joo
On-poo tep-ee-joo-eff
Puh-tah-So-car res-ee-neb-eff
pe-see-jet aam Aa-bed-joo dee sen
khet nebet nefret waa-bet onkhet netcher eem
een kaa een im-aa-kee Richard Reidy ma-aa-kheeroo)

Repeat in English:
“An offering the King gives. An offering Ausir, Lord of Abedju, and Anpu on His Mountain, and Ptah-Sokar, He Who is South of His Wall, and the Nine Gods at Abedju give!(21) May They give all things good and pure on which a god lives, to the spirit of the revered Richard Reidy, the true-of-voice (justified)!”(22)

A sistrum is now shaken.

“An offering which the King gives to Ptah-Sokar and to Anpu Who is upon His Mountain, that They may grant to go forth on earth to see the sun in the heavens every day, for the Ka of the revered Richard Reidy, the true-of-voice (justified)!”(23)

A sistrum is now shaken.

The offering tray is now raised high before the image of the Blessed Dead, and then lowered and placed gently before him.

Now say:
“May you, O Richard Reidy, wake up pleasantly and remain eternally. Every illness that comes before you will be driven away. Your mouth is opened by Ptah! Your mouth is opened by Sokar, with this copper instrument of his.(24)  Your mouth is opened by Ptah. Your mouth is opened by Sokar, and Djehuty puts your heart in your body.”(25)

Using the extended index and middle fingers of your right hand, touch the mouth of the photograph of the Blessed Dead. The offering formula is now recited:

Djed medu en Ptah-Sokar radi imakh nefer en Richard Reidy
(pronounced jed medoo een Puh-tah-So-car raa-dee im-aak ne-fur een Richard Reidy)

Repeat in English:
“Ptah-Sokar says: I have conferred a beauteous veneration upon Richard Reidy!”(26)

A sistrum is now shaken.

Now say:
“Homage to you, O Richard Reidy, you of the beautiful face, the Lord of Vision, whom Anpu has put together and Ptah-Sokar has lifted up!”27

Once again the offering formula is recited:

Djed medu en Ptah-Sokar hery-ab Hwt-Ka-Ptah a Richard Reidy men en-ek ankh djed was neb seneb
(pronounced jed medoo een Puh-tah-So-car hairee-aab Ha-oot-kaa-Puh-tah aah Richard Reidy men en-eek onkh jed waaz neb sen-eb)

Repeat in English:
“The words spoken by Ptah-Sokar in the midst of the Soul-Mansion of Ptah: O Richard Reidy! Take unto yourself all life, stability and strength, all health and happiness!”(28)

A sistrum is now shaken.

“O Richard Reidy, may your ba follow the Great God Ausir, and may your memory remain in this temple, and may you be allowed to join Ptah in the Duat!”(29)

The Presentation of Offerings to the God Ptah
For Richard Reidy(30)

The offering tray is now raised and lowered four times, very slowly, before the sacred images of the Netjeru Ptah, Sekhmet, and Nefertum. This part of the ritual may be done as slowly as possible, and, if there are multiple celebrants, the sistrum may be sounded very reverently by one celebrant as the other performs the ritual action. After the fourth elevation of the offering tray, the tray is returned to the altar before the sacred images of the Divine Family. The following prayer is now recited:

“Homage to you Ptah upon the Great Throne, the ruler in White-Walls!(31) Come, O attendants, and elevate offerings before the face of the God! Elevate offerings to Ptah upon the Great Throne, the Lord foremost in the Soul-Mansion of Ptah!(32) All life emanates from Him! All health emanates from Him! All stability emanates from Him! All good fortune emanates from him, like Ra, forever!”

A sistrum is now shaken.

The recitation of the offering formula:

Ankh neb kher ef seneb neb kher ef djed neb kher ef was neb kher ef mi Ra djet en ka en imakhy Richard Reidy ma’a-kheru
(pronounced onkh neb care eff seneb neb care eff jed neb care eff ooh-aaz neb care eff mee jet een kaa een im-aa-kee Richard Reidy ma-aa-kheeroo)

Repeat in English:
“All life emanates from Him! All health emanates from Him! All stability emanates from Him! All good fortune emanates from him, like Ra, forever, for the spirit of the revered Richard Reidy, the true-of-voice (justified)!”(33)

“O Richard Reidy, the revered, the true of voice (justified)! You are welcomed by Ptah-Sokar with His artistic arms. You are embraced, and He Who is South of His Wall praises you, and those who are in the Duat make you blessed, their hands being filled with food!”(34)

A sistrum is now shaken.

For the bestowal of the final offering formula, the right arm is stretched out over the offering tray with the palm of the hand facing down. The ritual offerings are consecrated with the ancient invocation offering formula:

Peret er kheru (spoken four times)
(pronounced pair-eet air khee-roo)

Repeat in English:
“Sending forth the voice!” (spoken four times)

The final prayer is now spoken:
“An offering the King gives to Ptah-Sokar and to Ptah, Lord of what exists, remaining in everything, that They may give invocation offerings (peret er kheru) of all things good and pure, upon which a god lives, to the Ka of the revered Richard Reidy, the true-of-voice (justified)!”(35)

A sistrum is now shaken.

The Reversion of Offerings

At the conclusion of the Daily Ritual and all offering rites, it is customary for the ritual offerings to revert back to the priesthood, or in this case to all celebrants present. The offering tray is removed from the altar respectfully, and the consecrated offerings are distributed to those present. In recognition of the Blessed Dead, use this time as an opportunity to share not only the offerings just consecrated, but also memories from the life of the “revered” and “true-of-voice”. Speak his name out loud, and let his life be shared, out loud, so that our Sacred Space becomes a repository of the fruits of his Blessed Ka.

Notes

  1. It is imperative for me to acknowledge the immense debt I owe to the work of my dear friend, mentor and peer Richard J. Reidy, author of Eternal Egypt: Ancient Rituals for the Modern World (iUniverse, Inc., New York, Bloomington, 2010), whose labor of love through the Temple of Ra in San Francisco has been a much needed touchstone for my efforts to restore an authentic devotional practice for the God Ptah in my own Temple of Ptah Nevada. His passing in late November of 2015 came as a devastating shock to myself and others, for whom Richard and his work in Kemetic Reconstructionism have become such a guiding force.This ritual and liturgy for honoring the ka was designed via necessity for use at the time of Richard’s passing into the Duat, and what is seen here is largely informed by the guidance and mentoring he so richly showered on me. I have, as a general rule, used a form of pronounceable transliteration- and a suggested pronunciation beneath each phrase in the ancient Egyptian- instructed through my many and often animated conversations with Richard Reidy. I have done my level best to remain faithful to Richard’s style of transcribing ancient Egyptian texts, though I also owe another debt of gratitude to my Kemetic brother in the Temple of Ra San Francisco, Matt Whealton, KhonsuMes, who has been very generous to me in the providing of advice based upon his vast experience with the study of ancient Egyptian phonology.
  2. Here I have taken the recitation of “making the torch of every day” (which in the unabridged Daily Temple Ritual occurs after the offerings and reversion of offerings) and placed it together with the recitation for “striking the fire”, which I have adapted from the text of the Daily Ritual given to Amun-Ra in His temple at Ipet-isut . See “Certain Reliefs at Karnak and Medinet Habu and the Ritual of Amenophis I- Concluded,” Journal of Near Eastern Studies 8 (1949): 320 (Fig 30), 321-323.
  3. Here I have given the name-epithet for Lord Ptah that corresponds to the name and appellation of Amun-Ra given in the original text (Amun-Ra neb nezet tawy, “Amun-Ra the Lord of the Throne of the Two Lands”).
  4. Adapted for Ptah from the Daily Ritual of Amun-Ra of Ipet-isut (modern Karnak). See MORET, ALEXANDRE. 1902. Le Rituel du Culte Divin Journalier. Paris: Annales du Musee guimet, Bibliotheque d’Etudes 14, Ernest Leroux, Editeur, pages 9-10. Also BUDGE, E.A. WALLIS. The Book of Opening the Mouth: The Egyptian Texts with English Translations. First published in London, 1909. Reissued in 1972 by Benjamin Blom, New York. Reissued in 1980 by Arno Press, New York, page 197.
  5. This phrase behaves as an announcement to the deity of the intentions behind the ritual action(s) to be performed in the God’s House. It also serves to define the symbiotic relationship that exists between the deity and the officiant(s) of the rite. Here I have adapted a censing formula originally presented to Amun-Ra in His temple at Ipet-resyt (modern Luxor).The epithet for Lord Ptah inserted here- neb Ma’at, “Lord of Truth”- is used for the Netjer in His chapel at Abedju (modern Abydos), in the scene depicting King Sety thurifying the ark-shrine of Ptah (north wall, western section). See THE EPIGRAPHIC SURVEY. 1998. Reliefs and Inscriptions at Luxor TempleVolume 2 (University of Chicago Oriental Institute Publications Volume 116, Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago), 9, Plate 147. See also CALVERLEY, A.M. and BROOME, M.F. The Temple of King Sethos I at Abydos- Volume 2 (London and Chicago: Egypt Exploration Society), Plate 23.
  6. Adapted from Papyrus Harris I, 44, 2. See M, SANDMAN HOLMBERG. 1964. The God Ptah (Denmark: Lund), 201.
  7. Adapted for this ritual from the thurification text for the God Amun-Ra in His temple at Ipet-resyt (modern Luxor). See THE EPIGRAPHIC SURVEY, Ibid, 9, Plate 145.
  8. Adapted from an inscription found in the tomb of Pennut at Anibe in Nubia, time of Ramses VI. See HOLMBERG, Ibid, page 143, 35*.
  9. Adapted from an inscription from a tomb in Bibān-el-Mulūk from the time of Ramses III. Ibid, page 142, *35.
  10. Adapted from BUDGE, E.A. WALLIS. 1904. The Gods of the Egyptians: Studies in Egyptian Mythology. Vol I (London: Methuen & Company), 501. Wherever I have referred to Budge during my gathering of ancient textual sources for Ptah, I have not adopted Budge’s transliterations or translations. It is now universally acknowledged by scholars that Budge’s transliteration and/ or pronunciation of ancient Egyptian (together with his translation of Egyptian texts) is much outdated. Many significant advances have been made in the study of ancient Egyptian language since Budge’s time, thus I have opted in my (pronounceable) transliterations and translations to follow these current advances.
  11. Adapted for Ptah from a hymn to Amun. HORNUNG, E. 1982. Conceptions of God in Ancient Egypt (Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press), 149.
  12. I have here attributed to Ptah the epithet given to the Creator God, and to other gods as a description of the extent to which their authority and/ or powers extend. See HORNUNG, Ibid, 169.
  13. BUDGE, Ibid, 500.
  14. BUDGE, Ibid, 510.
  15. BUDGE, Ibid, 511.
  16. Adapted and transcribed from BUDGE, Ibid, 501.
  17. Ibid.
  18. Adapted from BUDGE, Ibid, 510. Budge does not give a transliteration for this epithet of Ptah, citing only the hieroglyphic text together with his translation of them. Here I have given my own (pronounceable) transliteration and translation.
  19. Adapted from the text of the Daily Ritual of Amun-Ra of Ipet-Sut (modern Karnak). See MORET, Ibid, pages 20-21.
  20. The original text presented to the God Amun-Ra calls on the Bau-Souls of Annu (or Heliopolis), but I have adapted this text for use in the House of Ptah, linking our contemporary sanctuary of Ptah with the Bau-Souls of ancient Mennefer (present day Memphis), also adding the ancient venerated sanctuary of Ptah, the Soul-Mansion of Ptah, Hwt-Ka-Ptah.
  21. Adapted from a sacrificial formula found on a Middle Kingdom stela from Abydos. HOLMBERG, Ibid, 130, 33*.
  22. This section of the htp di niswt formula presents the standard phrases that can be most commonly found in examples of this important offering text. Concerning their use in texts relating to the God Ptah in one or more of His aspects, I have relied entirely upon the examples cited in Maj Sandman Holberg’s volume on Ptah, though I have adapted them to suit the aims of the ritual format used here. See HOLMBERG, Ibid. See also DAVIES, NINA DE GARIS and GARDINER, ALAN H. The Tomb of Amenemhet (London: The Theban Tomb Series, 1915), pages 42-43. Also SMITHER, PAUL C. “The Writing of Ḥtp-d’i-nsw in the Middle and New Kingdoms”. The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 25.1 (1939): 34–37. For a comparison between elements, reference GARDINER, ALAN H. Egyptian Grammar: Being An Introduction To the Study of Hieroglyphs, Third Edition, Revised. (Griffith Institute, Ashmolean Museum, Oxoford, 1999), pages 170-173, and ALLEN, JAMES P. Middle Egyptian: An Introduction to the Language and Culture of Hieroglyphs. (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1010), pages 365-367.
  23. Adapted from a htp di niswt formula from the eighteenth dynasty tomb of Amenemhet in the Theban Necropolis. See DAVIES and GARDINER, Ibid, page 42.
  24. Adapted from the medical Papyrus Berlin 3038. See HOLMBERG, Ibid, pages 96-97, 24*.
  25. From a funerary inscription in the Cairo Museum. See HOLMBERG, Ibid, page 96, 24*.
  26. Adapted from an inscription on a Middle Kingdom coffin from Deir el-Bahri. HOLMBERG, Ibid, page 129, 33*.
  27. Text from a twelfth dynasty funerary mask from Meir. See HOLMBERG, Ibid, page 27, 7*.
  28. Adapted from a text in the Hall of Sokar in the Temple of Sety I at Abedju (modern Abydos). HOLMBERG, Ibid, pages 131-132, 33*.
  29. Adapted from a text on an eighteenth dynasty stela in Vienna. HOLMBERG, Ibid, pages 100-101, 26*.
  30. Adapted from the “spell for elevating offerings” in the inscription of King Sety I at Ipet-isut. See NELSON, HAROLD H. “Certain Reliefs at Karnak and Medinet Habu and the Ritual of Amenophis I,” Journal of Near Eastern Studies 8 (1949): 201-232 and 310-345. See Fig. 34, pg. 329.
  31. Here I have added the common praise form anedj her-ek, “praise to you”, or “homage to you”, whereas in the original inscription we begin immediately with the title of the recitation, or “spell” as given by Nelson. Also, the original is consecrated to Amun-Ra (of His temple at Ipet-isut or modern Karnak), and is preceded by his name and the epithet heqa Waset, “ruler in Waset (Greek Thebes)”; thus I have given the appropriate name-epithet for Ptah as a substitution, citing him as ruler in his sanctuary in White-Walls or Mennefer. See NELSON, Ibid.
  32. Again I have adapted an inscription of Amun-Ra for Ptah. Sety’s inscription at Ipet-isut gives Amun-Ra neb nezwt tawy,“Amun-Ra Lord of the thrones of the Two Lands”. See NELSON, Ibid.
  33. Adapted from the “spell for elevating offerings” in the inscription of King Sety I at Ipet-isut. See NELSON, Ibid.
  34. Adapted from an inscription in the eighteenth dynasty tomb of Ahmes at Thebes. See HOLMBERG, Ibid, page 99, 25*.
  35. Adapted from a htp di niswt formula from the eighteenth dynasty tomb of Amenemhet in the Theban Necropolis. See DAVIES and GARDINER, Ibid, page 42.

Striking the Sacred Torch For Ptah: Rites & Rituals of Hwt-Ka-Ptah

Offering Light to Ptah

Fire is the quintessential offering to the Netjer (Deity), and in the Daily Ritual forms one of the most significant episodes of the cult service. In ancient times the kar-shrine (or naos ) containing the living cult image was sealed and maintained in darkness, until that moment when the God’s servants broke the seal and initiated the complex series of ritual actions known as the Daily Ritual. An oil lamp or taper had been lit at the entrance to the God’s sanctuary, and it was this action that magically dispelled any vestige of chaos, signaling the creation of the world from the Netjer’s hand.

Today we may seem to be separated from the very ancient rites of the Daily Ritual and their ultimate meaning. We cannot seem to be able to wake gently, ease into our day with devotion as did the ancient priests, nor can we seem to find even a few moments of mental stillness in the jolt to move our bodies to work, school or pressing responsibilities. Mornings are usually spoken for, not a proper time, it would seem, for elaborate prayers and rituals.

However, my own experience is that when we can set aside a little time even once a day, be it morning or not, and we clear a space to celebrate a brief but powerful rite, we will find our life being energized, bit by bit, through the activity of invoking the Sacred.

One of the ways I achieve this is through the striking of the sacred fire, or striking of the torch for Lord Ptah. He is my primary Netjer, my namesake and my first Father, and it is to His shrine that I go when first I wake, or whenever I am in need of a mental or spiritual awakening. Following in the footsteps of the Ancients, I light an oil lamp before our awakened cult statue of Lord Ptah, and I offer to Him a prayer that invokes the beginning of light for all created things.

If you cannot set aside time in the morning, then make time where you can, and clear a space that will be used exclusively for devotion. This really is essential, to give over one space to the Netjer, where prayer, thoughtfulness, and the activities of cultic service may be performed. A small table fitted with clean white altar cloth will serve well enough. If one does not have an icon or cult statue of Ptah, then find a photograph of a statue or painting of Ptah, and use this by propping it up in the center of your altar space. When all else fails, use a mental picture, and you may even use a mental flame, if a live one is impossible to produce because of external limitations.

Keep in mind that it is always one’s attitude, mindfulness, and concentration of purpose that is vital. We cannot always control our immediate environment; we can, however, control our mind and our intentions. When you enter that space of sacred service, physically and mentally, be prepared to offer the very best you are capable of. The Gods always understand our very human limitations. What They do not excuse is laziness, carelessness or irreverence. Any ritual act, be it ever so grand or humble, requires a mind prepared to serve with respect and integrity. One’s heart cannot be brought unyielding into the presence of the Divine. Our heart must be ready to give.

The Rite

Previous to engaging in any ritual act, the celebrant needs to be as physically and mentally pure as possible. Try to offer this and any other rite after taking a shower, and taking at least a few moments to stop and adjust one’s mind and intentions. This is a rite of rejuvenation and creation. It awakens the presence of the Netjer within our material world, and this certainly includes the human condition. This is an act where a meeting between the Sacred and human occurs, where mortal life is invigorated by the direct presence of the Immortal.

Enter your shrine or altar area in an attitude of respect, with a mental focus on honoring the Netjer. Although the ritual text has been composed for the God Ptah, it may certainly be adapted for any other Netjer (God) or Netjeret (Goddess). Ritual prostration- going down on one’s knees and then bending forward until one’s forehead touches the floor- is the traditional way to show reverence to the Gods, however, it is also acceptable to bow one’s head, raising both arms in front of the body with palms of the hands facing outward (towards the deity). This is known as duwa, the gesture of adoration.

Have a candle taper, tea light or oil lamp ready. Since I serve in a traditional or Reconstructionist Temple, we prefer to use a replica of an ancient Mediterranean ceramic oil lamp, which has a natural fiber wick and uses olive oil. This is much closer to what the Ancients had; but, times being what they are, I say make use of the tools you have, and use them to the best of your abilities.

Hold the taper, tea light (in a glass or ceramic holder) or oil lamp in your right hand, and your fire source in the other. Take a moment to focus your eyes, heart and mind on your image of the Lord Ptah (or any other Netjer you choose). The candle/ oil lamp is now lighted. Immediately after doing this, recite the following prayer:

Striking the Torch Before the God Ptah(1)

“Come You, come You in peace, O glorious Eye of Heru! Be strong and rejuvenated in peace! It shines like Ra in the double horizon, and the power of Your enemy hides itself straightaway before the Eye of Heru, which seizes it and brings it, and sets it before the seat of Heru. The voice of Heru is Truth by reason of His Eye! The Eye of Heru destroys the enemies of Ptah, the Lord upon the Great Throne(2), in all their places. I am pure!”

The candle/ oil lamp is now presented to the divine image by very slowly moving it back and forth, in a right to left motion, in the presence of the deity. The sacred fire is now set before the Netjer so that its light illuminates the deity image. The following prayer is now offered:

“O Ptah, Tatenen, O Ptah-Ra, You shining one, Who does keep the Gods alive! You radiant one, Who does rise on His sun-mountain, Who lights up the Two Countries with His luster! O Lord of light, shining in brilliancy, when He arises before every eye. Living, when He opens the darkness, glowing sun disk, which moves over the sky and passes through the Netherworld(3).

Your entourage, they praise You. The Company of Nine Gods, of Your first primeval time, it rejoices at Your rising, and it rejoices at Your setting in the West. They say to You, ‘Praise, praise!’

You open up the ways of the sky and the earth. You pass by in Your own boat, when You rise elevated over the Gods, after You have driven away the clouds, to provide for the Netherworld, to visit the souls of the West when You descend in the Western mountains.

You have joined with the people in the Kingdom of death and roused those who are in front of their caverns(4)”.

Making the torch of every day for this God Ptah the Lord of Truth(5)

Your arms should again be raised in the duwa-adoration gesture as you recite the offering formula for bestowal of the sacred fire, which is followed by a formal prayer:

Irit teka en hruw neb en netjer pen Ptah neb Ma’at
(pronounced: Ear-eet tee-ka een hee-roo neb een netcher pen Puh-tah neb Ma-aat)

“Making the torch of every day for this God Ptah the Lord of Truth!”

“O Ptah of light, the torch comes to Your ka, O Ptah the Lord of Truth!(6) There comes that which predicts night after day. The Eye of Ra appears gloriously in White-Walls(7). I come to You, and I cause that it come, the Eye of Heru, arisen upon Your forehead, established upon Your brow! To Your ka, O Ptah, the Eye of Heru is Your protection! Hail to You, Ptah the risen land! You are awake and in peace, You awaken peacefully. The Wedjat Eye awakens in peace. The great Wedjat Eye, Who has created offerings, awakens peacefully!”(8)

If possible, it is preferable to leave the sacred fire burning for as long as possible, and until it burns out completely, if it is a small taper or tea light. If you must extinguish the flame after the conclusion of the rite, do so after a few moments of respectful silence and contemplation on the presence of the Netjer, offering the God your gratitude for His (or Her) presence.

All text copyright © 2015 Rev. Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa


Notes

  1.  Adapted for Ptah from the Daily Ritual of Amun-Ra of Ipet-isut (modern Karnak). See MORET, ALEXANDRE. 1902. Le Rituel du Culte Divin Journalier. Paris: Annales du Musee guimet, Bibliotheque d’Etudes 14, Ernest Leroux, Editeur, pages 9-10. Also BUDGE, E.A. WALLIS. The Book of Opening the Mouth: The Egyptian Texts with English Translations. First published in London, 1909. Reissued in 1972 by Benjamin Blom, New York. Reissued in 1980 by Arno Press, New York, page 197.  Wherever I have referred to Budge during my gathering of ancient textual sources for Ptah, I have not adopted Budge’s transliterations or translations. It is now universally acknowledged by scholars that Budge’s transliteration and/ or pronunciation of ancient Egyptian (together with his translation of Egyptian texts) is much outdated. Many significant advances have been made in the study of ancient Egyptian language since Budge’s time, thus I have opted in my (pronounceable) transliterations and translations to follow these current advances.
  2. Here I have given the name-epithet for Lord Ptah that corresponds to the name and appellation of Amun-Ra given in the original text (Amun-Ra neb nezet tawy, “Amun-Ra the Lord of the Throne of the Two Lands”).
  3. Adapted from Papyrus Berlin 3048. See M, SANDMAN HOLMBERG. 1964. The God Ptah (Denmark: Lund), page 151.
  4. Adapted from Papyrus Berlin 3048. Ibid, page 152.
  5. Here I have taken the recitation of “making the torch of every day” (which in the unabridged Daily Temple Ritual occurs after the offerings and reversion of offerings) and placed it together with the recitation for “striking the fire”, which I have adapted from the text of the Daily Ritual given to Amun-Ra in His temple at Ipet-isut . See “Certain Reliefs at Karnak and Medinet Habu and the Ritual of Amenophis I- Concluded,” Journal of Near Eastern Studies 8 (1949): 320 (Fig 30), 321-323.
  6. Adapted for Ptah by placing His name and common epithet here in the place of Amun-Ra.
  7. The “White-Walls”, Mennufer, the primary cult center of Ptah. This has been adapted for Ptah by replacing the Ipet-isut of Amun-Ra.
  8. Adapted from Papyrus Berlin 3048. See HOLMBERG, Ibid, page 118, 30*. As the purpose of these rites is to awaken and renew the power of the Netjer in sacred space, the awakening or restoration of the god is linked to the awakening and restoration of the Wedjat Eye, the whole and indestructible power of the Netjer.

Honoring Imhotep

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Imhotep is something of a phenomenon in the course of Egyptian history. His deification- as a mortal elevated to godhood- is certainly a rarity, however, Imhotep presents us with one of the very rare examples of a mortal man being given a divine parentage and pedigree. “Imhotep the Great, son of Ptah”, as he is hailed in a text from Philae(1), is said to have been born from a human woman named Kherdankh, who somehow managed to catch the attention of the God Ptah, who became the child’s biological father(2). Imhotep was cited as having a mortal father named Kanefer(3), but this small detail seems not to have made its way into the official cult of Imhotep, which was formal and constant from the time of the sixth century B.C. onward(4).

Imhotep the man was the architect, chief builder and vizier of King Netjerykhet (Djoser/ circa 2687-2668), a priest of the God Ptah, and high priest at Annu (Gr. Heliopolis)(5). His most renowned accomplishment is, of course, the monumental Step Pyramid of King Djoser and its imposing surrounding cult complex. It must have been on account of these architectual wonders that Imhotep was recognized as something quite special, quite on a par with the Divine Craftsman Ptah, Whose ancient cult center was always Mennefer (Gr. Memphis), near the vicinity of Imhotep’s brainchild.

Some time prior to the New Kingdom, Imhotep had begun to be titled “the son of Ptah”,(6) which one might be forgiven for thinking was simply an honorary epithet granted to a priest of Ptah who authored a tremendous piece of sacred architecture for his King. But the status of Imhotep is a thing quite unique, even for a priest of Ptah and vizier. Imhotep was given his own sanctuary at Philae, where, on the western facade, he is called not only “Imhotep, the great, son of Ptah”, but is also said to be “…glorious, god whom Tatenen created and his beloved sister bore”(7). Tatenen, “the risen land”, is perhaps the oldest name of the God Ptah as the Creator God par excellence, embodied in the primeval pyramidal mound of earth from which the Gods and creation were given birth.

It is certain that Imhotep was honored during the reign of King Djoser(8) as the architect of the king’s Step Pyramid, and it is also certain that that pyramid embodied in its shape the symbolism and power of the hillock of creation, the ben-ben. So, it would have been quite natural for the Egyptians to have made a theological correlation between the creation of the Step Pyramid and the hallowed parentage of the man who brought it into being. As a son of Ptah, Imhotep would have embodied the creative power of Ptah-Tatenen, Who, as the primeval mound, gave form and shape to the artistic endeavor of creation.

Imhotep’s power as an architect and innovator, an artist and a priest of Ptah seems to have bolstered his credibility to the community of artisans, who especially revered him as a divine patron of the arts, and academics are not shy in calling him a “patron saint” of the arts(9). However, it was as a healer of the sick, physician and a worker of miracles that Imhotep came to be renowned during the Ptolemaic era, where it appears to have been a common practice for the afflicted to seek healing dreams from Imhotep in special sanatoriums that had been reserved for such purposes(10).

It should be self-evident why Imhotep is of some special significance to me. Yes, the brilliant architect of a great and innovative monument. Yes, a wise counselor, vizier and overseer of works. But of course, the prodigious scholar and scribe, author and designer. But it is as a compassionate hearer of prayers, an answerer of the aches of hearts and bodies, that I seek Imhotep and always find Him attentive. There is a reason why, many centuries after his death, couples unable to conceive, the seriously ill, and those desiring answers, signs, and miracles came to the shrines of Imhotep. They appealed to a demigod who was not only the son of a god known as the Hearer of Prayers, but, more significantly, had been a living and breathing man who knew the suffering and challenges of being in a mortal body, and yet possessed a link with the immortal Gods. It is precisely because Imhotep had been in a body like ours, had walked in the human community, and had risen to greatness based upon his own unique merits, that Imhotep embodies a deity we can readily relate to, and rely upon for human compassion.

If you look at the lap of every single statuette of Imhotep (the famous bronzes that are scattered throughout museums of the world), you will see his ever-present trademark: the unrolled scroll that singles him out as the divine scholar and scribe, the patron of learning, scholarship and the arts. As a Son of Ptah, Imhotep was the inheritor of his divine father’s artistic acumen. This was well recognized by the Ancients, who recorded of him that “the Great God, Father of the Gods (Ptah) rejoices at the sight of him (Imhotep)”(11).

For me, Imhotep, as the Son of Ptah and Patron of artisans/ painters, is the iconographer par excellence, the creator of one of the largest pieces of iconography to have been envisioned by the mind of man, the Step Pyramid of King Djoser. Throughout the ages artisans, stonemasons, architects, sculptors and painters have looked to the genius of Imhotep for inspiration. His life and story are the hallmarks of one of the great artistic moments in humankind’s history. Still, Imhotep sits with his unrolled scroll, silent and ready to hear our prayers.

Before I sit down to work on an icon I have a little ritual that I always perform before any pigment or gold can be applied. I light a candle in front of our votive cult figure of Imhotep from Egypt, and I offer a few drops of my watercolor water in honor of the God Imhotep, the Son of Ptah, Who is well pleased by beauty. This is the prayer I composed in his honor:

Anedj her-ek Imhotep sa Ptah
Imhotep neb hemu nefer netjer

Homage to You Imhotep the Son of Ptah,
Imhotep the Master of Artisans, the beautiful god!
Come and shine, receive, O You beautiful offspring
Of Ptah Who is South of His Wall.
Take unto Yourself all things good and pure,
And give all things good and pure to this
Servant of the workshop of Ptah.

O Imhotep, glorious in Your sanctuaries,
Fashioner of splendors, radiant in Your
Body, make of my hands the hands of
Tatenen.
Make of my fingers the fingers of
Ptah-wer-kherep-hemu
(“Ptah the Great Director of the Artisans”).
Make of my heart the vessel of Ptah the
Beautiful Who is Himself Atum.

May I give form to what is perfect,
May I give breath to what is good,
May my endeavors manifest the sky,
May immortality stream from my earth.
For I am in Your company, O Son of Ptah,
Imhotep the Great Whom the Netjeru (Gods)
Have embraced as one among their entourage.

Bless You, O Imhotep the Beautiful,
The wise, the merciful, the hearer of prayers!
May that which lives in You live in me.
May Your boons be upon my hands,
And the works of the Netjeru come forth
From my heart!

Anedj her-ek Imhotep sa Ptah
Imhotep neb hemu nefer netjer

Homage to You Imhotep the Son of Ptah,
Imhotep the Master of Artisans, the beautiful god!

Notes

1) Holmberg, Maj Sandman. The God Ptah. Lund, 1946, pp. 195.
2) Holmberg, Ibid.
3) Ibid.
4) Holmberg, Ibid., 194.
5) Wilkinson, Richard H. The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt. London, 2003, pp. 111. Also Holmberg, Ibid., 194.
6) Redford, Donald B. The Oxford Essential Guide to Egyptian Mythology. New York, 2002, pp. 79.
7) Holmberg, Ibid., 195.
8) Wilkinson, Ibid., pp. 112.
9) Redford, Ibid.
10) Wilkinson, Ibid., pp. 113.
11) Holmberg, Ibid., pp. 196.

All text copyright © 2015 Rev. Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa

Prayers For Ausir-Antinoos: Honoring Osiris-Antinous

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Most people who are familiar with Antinous and His iconography tend to view Antinous as a Roman god, a Roman cult, and visualize Antinous in Classical/ Roman terms. We must remember that Emperor Hadrian’s contemporaries wrote that it was the NATIVE EGYPTIAN populace that first recognized the miracles and divinity of Antinous, and brought this to Hadrian’s attention.

Antinous was deified first by Egyptians, as Antinoos-Ausir/ Antinous-Osiris, and He was first worshiped as an Egyptian god…a fully fledged Egyptian god. His first cult center was Antinoopolis in Egypt, opposite Hermopolis-Magna, where the Egyptian cult of Antinous flourished for hundreds of years.

It is important for modern servants of Antinous to honor the Egyptian roots of our God, and not forget that His first miracle was the Flooding of the Nile, which He accomplished as Osiris.

Antinous may have been, as a human man, a foreigner in Egypt, but He chose Egypt and its Nile as the place where He would create His own miracle, and ascend into Godhead, thus joining the pantheon of Egypt’s ancient gods.


Bl
essed Antinoos, Beloved of every god,

Whom Egypt honors in every sanctuary, the Hearer of Prayers
Whose ear is compassionate,
Shining with the sunbeams of Herakhuty,
Anointed with the diadem of Ra,
He of shining locks Whose body dazzles the
Eyes of men! O Lord of Grace, Son of Ptah,
Nefertem the Lotus-Born, the lion of great strength in
The South, come forth in peace and glory
To receive the offerings of every heart!

O beautiful god, suckled by Auset-Sopdet (Isis-Sothis),
The darling of heaven’s queen,
For Whom the temples are filled with the god-making fragrance!
O Antinoos, may Your face be ever
Amongst us in our time of need,
For You are the conqueror of death.
You are the resurrected and the Immortal.
Homage to You, Antinoos-Ausir,
Antinous-Osiris, the beautiful of face and
Lord of the Two Lands!

Blessed Antinoos, Light of the World,
Star of the Eastern Sky,
Lord of Grace Whose love is bountiful,
Whose mercy is all encompassing,
He who hears prayers!

Blessed is the flood of your body,
Known to all men.
Hallowed is the love of your heart,
Which embraces the week
And liberates the oppressed.

O Lord, Antinoos the Good God,
Ausir the Sacred Flood, the Resurrected,
The Lord of Life!

Homage to You, Beloved of Ptah,
United with Sokar, Whose transformations
Are millions upon millions, Who has
Conquered death.

Through You we live again,
And our love is redeemed upon
The earth.
Through Your blessing are all
Prayers answered, and none are
Turned away.

Homage to You Antinoos-Aleksandras,
Savior of Egypt, the Son of Zeus-Ammon,
Chosen of the command of Ammon-Ra,
Heir of the Great Ram!

Hear our prayers, receive our gratitude,
And fill our hearts with abundant love!
Blessed Antinoos, Beloved of Hadrian,
Star of the Eastern Sky, the Lord of Beauty!
Homage to You, all praise to Your name!

Hallowed Antinoos, the Eastern Star,
Your light pierces the Veil,
And the brilliance of Your mercy guides
Your companions home!
Ship on the turbulent waters, O Lighthouse of the Vault,
True Heir of the Gods.

Those who serve You are united within Your fellowship,
And all lost souls find solace within Your tender embrace.

Be near us, O Antinoos, Usiri the Resurrected,
Sun of all suns and Light of all lights!
O Savior, I take up Your mantle, I become Your lamp of divine light,
I marry Your virtue and abundance.
O Antinoos, Lord of Love, the Blessed and Sacrificial!

All text copyright © 2015 Rev. Ptahmassu Nofra-Uaa