The Elixir of Life~ Part One

SALLE HYPOSTYLE DU TEMPLE DE PHILAE

Sa a’ah sa a’ah sa a’ah. My breath becomes the God. The God becomes my breath. There is warmth around me in the air, though the Sun has descended into the mouth of His Mother Nuwit, embraced by the Celestial Path beneath the mountains of the West. There is warmth in my veins, though the Earth beneath my feet darkens with purple shadows, becoming twilight, becoming night as I rise from my shelter.

Hail to You, O Sah, O Orion, glowing as a belt along the firmament’s belly! O Glorious Sah, Vanquisher of Darkness, Swallower of Demons, clothe me in Your strength and valor as I go forth upon my path to meet the Mysteries of the God. O Shetau, O Mysteries, O Path of Difficulty traversed only by the courageous! You are the guide of the heart throughout the trials of this worldly life, and though I tremble in the presence of suffering and death, You are the Eternal in the temporal, the Divine in the mortal, the unending in the transient. You do not begin, nor do You end. You are the actions of the God throughout all that He has spoken into being. Like breath, You are felt but not seen, and Your hand grasps my Ka in the hour of its need, propelling me forward onto the Way of the Divine One.

The Heavens are a gate above my head, shedding light through the portals of the stars, the mouths of illumination opening up to lead men into the Sanctuaries of the Gods. You Sanctuaries, clad in Sah’s yellow radiance, are the Seats of the Netjeru, drawing the light of the celestial domains down to Earth to be enshrined in the vessel of the heart. O Doors, O Pylons, O Gates of the Divine Heaven, open before my two feet, ushering my Ka into the sweet presence of the Great God! May I know the Mysteries, may I see the Knowledge of Heaven, may I recognize the Path through the Divine Portal when it opens! May I become aware of the body of the God through which my body shall become an Eternal Spirit! Though I walk upon the Earth as a mortal man, may You open for me the Gates of Heaven, permitting my passage into the Indestructible Spirit.

I am a Son, a Man, the Son of the Earth, the Son of the Soil, a Man of the Earth’s dust, and I call upon the Earth to lead me down the Path of Knowledge, which comes in the Divine Intelligence of the Heart, transforming ignorance into Wisdom, inertness into fruition, death into new life. I am not owned by the Earth, nor am I ensnared by it. Though my flesh shall be reunited with the Earth on that day of making union with the Earth, my Ka is everlasting, and my Spirit-Body cannot be hindered. It passes through the Portals of the Stars in the form of light, which cannot dissipate, but transforms itself from body to body. My true body is light, the Window of Heaven, the Celestial Gate, the Pylon of the God.

Homage to You, O Sa-Tat, You Who lead the beings of the Earth, You Who carry the Children of Geb and Nuwit upon Your back. You are the witness to my deeds, the Shadow of my feet, the impulses of my heart, and You carry these things to the ears of the God, the Netjer in His Shrine. May my deeds upon the Earth reflect the Knowledge of the Gods, the Truth through which the Universe came into being. May I be one of those Sons of the God Who pass into the House of their Father, Who embrace the Divine One in the sweetness of His limbs, Who kisses the Ka of the God and is filled with the satisfaction of His power.

I pray all of these things in the shadow of the God’s Portal, shining in the distance as twilight fades and night captures Earth in its dark embrace. Yonder is the House of the God, the reflection of the Sky’s greatness upon the Earth, the expanse of a road fronted by a great gate. I roll up my shelter, carrying it around my neck lest I lose it along the way. Should I be without? Should I go forth without protection from the elements for this body of mine, so fragile, so susceptible to change? What will happen to this house of my Ka if the house that keeps it is somehow misplaced? I leave the fire of my camp behind, turning from it to face the highway of the Divine Home. This is the Opening of Heaven that has been established upon the Earth. From here the God goes forth in His Earthly shelter, that His power, hosted and channeled by His Company of Priests, would be married to the masses and release them from their earthbound existence.

Come forth O God! Come forth in Your beautiful procession, emerging from Your sphere of light like the Stars in their progression through the firmament. Like a ship passing on water Your Holy Ark sails out from between pylons the size of mountains. Like the glittering face of Ra when He rises, Your countenance is manifested from the Divine Horizon of the Sacred House, projecting Your power to the eyes of Your grateful subjects. Their hearts are in peace at the sight of You, for You guide them in their journeys, meeting their every need by way of Your goodness. Hail O God of the twilight, O Lord of the dawn! My face is alight with Your fine gold, my heart in my breast soaring because of Your presence in the awesome vault of Heaven!

I now go forth to meet with the God as one drawn from the Earth to the Heavens, from the flesh to the Spirit, from the darkness to the light. I open up my eyes, I perceive, I have recognition of the things that are! I approach the Portal of the God in silence, for the God loves a silent heart, a humble heart, a heart that has been emptied like a vessel waiting to be filled. Yes, I call upon You, O Netjer, to fill my heart with Your sweet Essence, the Fluid of Your Ka, the Water of Your Eternal Spirit. I proffer unto You the vessel of my heart, poured out before this House of Yours, emptied of all ill and strife, all hindrances of this world.

It is in silence that one hears the voice of one’s Ka, which tells only the Truth, which mirrors the voice of Heaven, which bestows true knowledge of the gift of life bestowed by the Netjer. O Netjer, O Lord of my body, Master of my Ka! I beseech You to lead my heart to its Ka, to reveal the right path, the Great Way to the Gates of Eternity! You are the embodiment of the Eternal, the Presence of the Infinite, the Light from which all other lights emerge. I am a light, given birth to by Your illumination. I empty my heart of darkness by letting in the nectar of Your light, the radiance of Your Ka. I am replenished. I am satisfied. I am overflowing.

A crown of Stars shines with silver light as I draw near the bronzed doors of the Divine Portal, my feet met by cool paving stones, the flutter of pennants stirring the evening air high above. Homage to You, O noble Portal of the God, granting awe, bestowing beauty, carrying the savor of the God from His Sanctuary! My heart stirs in my breast as I gaze upwards to hail the majesty of the God’s House. What beauty! More immense than mountains, more skillfully carved than a royal jewel. Here stand the true testaments of the heart and mind joined together in a harmony beyond compare. Only Heaven could be brighter, only the sea deeper and more mysterious in its vast presence. I am filled with gratitude to the Masters who designed such perfection in the seats of their hearts. It is from this place that the procession of the God captures the eyes of His adorers on such days as He is disposed to travel. Even the Stars must exit the veil of Heaven with their luminescence.

There is a Keeper of the Divine Portal who answers my presence with his challenge, a musical voice that drifts down into my ears as my legs bend to make an obeisance to the hallowed ground.
“To enter into this pure place, what must you leave behind?”

I am humbled by the silver-washed giants of the Divine Gates, and my tongue finds speech difficult, but slowly I answer into the peaceful night. “I leave behind my mortality, and receive the body of the Eternal. I renounce my weaknesses, handing these back to the Earth from whence they came. I am not this corruptible body. I am truly in my incorruptible Ka, which moves always towards the Eternal and farther still from the corruptible. I am housed in my Ka, which leaves behind all perishable things, which travels as Spirit in the realm of the Spirit, which moves as Essence, empowered by the ceaseless Sa of Creation”.

Again the voice from the invisible Keeper drifts down to my ears, now aware of the magnitude of the massive doors closed tight before my eyes. “What of Earth corrupts, and why?”

“O Keeper of the Divine Doorway, it is hunger that corrupts, that drives men to ambition after what may be obtained upon the Earth while dwelling in a mortal body. Such hunger drives men to abandon the glory of the Ka, which feeds on Spirit, upon the Sa of the Netjer, and not upon things of this world. But Noble Keeper, is it not so that men may find the peace of the Ka in love, which, when true, wants nothing for itself but gives only for the sake of giving? Surely it is love when alive upon the Earth that releases a man to his noble Ka at the moment of death. Surely there is liberation upon the Earth, even as there is imprisonment”.

Above me there is a stir from some unseen place, and the Keeper gestures towards the heavy doors set deep between the pylons. “Ah my son, you have unbolted the doorway that leads to an even higher wisdom, for it is truly within the deeds of the selfless heart that a man finds the path to his Higher Ka, his highest intelligence. But this is indeed a precarious road, for the heart is subject to the passions of the sense-body, which lead it to hunger for immediate gratification only, instead of harboring patience for an even greater reward. But you have also given the solution, for it is the heart that hungers to give- without want of a reward- that becomes conscious of its true spirit and finds liberation from the fetters of mortality.

The heart too is a doorway, opening inward and outward, receiving and giving. It is the center through which one becomes conscious of the Eternal captured by the vessel of the corruptible flesh. A love that gives without expectation of payment is the root of true devotion, compassion and patience, which takes a man to his Spirit home, the nature of the Self not governed strictly by the passions of the flesh. However, a man who feels passion and grants love for the sake of loving, giving his Spirit and receiving the Spirit of another, is capable of receiving the Divine Ka in his Earthly body, and will know the meaning of becoming his Sahu.”

In the encroaching darkness I nod to myself, hoping that my meager effort to understand the Path would gain me admittance into the God’s courtyard. The Stars were now distant gems of golden light suspended above the black Earth in a dark lapis sky. The moon beckons my heart to empty itself of its final vestiges of doubt. I bow my head out of reverence for the Keeper’s great wisdom.

“O Keeper, the path of a Sahu should be the ambition of all men, if men were to understand the difference between selfish ambition and altruistic ambition. A Sahu is one who has mastered his Self, which is the composite of flesh and Spirit, overseen by the Ka, his hidden intelligence. A Sahu has been united with his Ka while alive upon the Earth, and knows that to govern himself he must discipline his passions to engage in the rite of Creation, to share in the act of Creation purely for the sake of giving form to what is good and beautiful. Passion in itself is not ill, nor is desire when it leads a man to give his finest qualities to another.

It is to celebrate such perfection that I have come forth to the House of the Master, the Netjer to Whom all passion and love are ascribed, to Whom Creation bows. It is to ascend to my Higher Ka that I make pilgrimage to the God’s House, in love and gratitude for all that will be given”.

Somehow I know in my heart that I have grasped the thread of the rope by which the Temple’s doors will be opened to me, and I raise my hands in homage to the Keeper of the Great Door, waiting eagerly for the doors to swing open, for the moment when I would be permitted to move my feet into the courtyard of the Divine Mansion. How did I know that the Keeper smiled indulgently in the quiet darkness stretching far above my head?

“You have a courageous heart”, he said, “but do not forget to temper it with humility, for arrogance is the downfall of all men. No matter how great we become, there is always someone, something greater than ourselves. The ego, left to roam wildly without scruples, will dictate a man’s downfall by inspiring jealousy and dislike in those who see him in competition with their own ambitions. However, a man who uses his gifts wisely while also humbling himself in the presence of greater things will never cease to be respected and admired.

First comes generosity, the fruit of an abundant heart. From this altruism develops, which gives to others out of love and not out of ambition. A man who knows altruism will achieve fulfillment no matter what his station or means in the world, and he will be able to love freely, without the need for possessing. This is the highest form of love, which is also the most difficult to practice. But this is the God’s love, and those who desire to serve the God will master this and serve it as their highest goal. The Temple awaits, but it is not the only one”.

All text copyright  ©  2006, 2015 Rev. Ptahmassu K.M. Nofra-Uaa

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The Elixir of Life~ Part Two

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I whisper a prayer of gratitude to the Keeper for his kindness and am suddenly aware that the great doors have been opened, and that the outer courtyard of the God’s House stood open to receive my feet. Be pure, be pure, be pure in the presence of the Netjer! I hear in the ears of my heart the ancient prayer recited every day in every Temple of the Netjeru. I see in my mind’s eye the Holy Lake of Purification in which Ra rises daily, in which His priests are submerged that all ill in their bodies and Souls might be purged before entering the Sacred Precincts. Why was I not conducted to the Lake? How could I enter this holiest of holies without first washing myself of the dust of the Earth? How can I be purified?

“How indeed!” I hear a voice ring out from some concealed place beyond the opaque rows of columns looming on both sides of the open courtyard. I sense that this might be the voice of one of the God’s Servants, thus I lower my head in reverence of his station. Again his voice pierces the divine stillness of the outer court.

“Why do you ask for purification when you have already been admitted into the Divine One’s precincts? Do you not know that only the pure of heart can truly come into the presence of the Divine? Those with ill intent will never experience the Ka of the God, but will instead become obsessed with only the things their senses can detect. They will see the Netjer as an image only, a source for personal benefit, thus they pray for power, money and pleasure. This is the lowest grade of worship, and yields only temporary satisfaction. Such persons cannot be purified, though they may douse their bodies one hundred times in the Sacred Lake!

Secondly come those who approach the God out of fear or obligation, knowing that the Netjer is the Creator of all things and thus of their own life. These worshipers make offerings to the God in order to placate their fears, and see the God as an authority that must be obeyed, thus worshiped and appeased. These persons observe the ritual gestures and holy days, and make offerings when directed to do so by either priests or sacred texts. These are also the grade of individuals who perform only the works required of them by others, and give out of obligation because it will keep inconvenience at bay.

When ill or suffering, such ones pray the Netjer to cure their troubles, and, when well, forget to give thanks because their desires have already been satisfied and relief bestowed. This too is a lower grade of service, and these worshipers too see the Netjer as form with their senses only, and forget to pay homage to the true Spirit of Divinity residing in all things, in all actions, at all times.

Now come the most noble grade of all; those who adore the Netjer through an altruistic heart, a heart that serves without the desire to be served. Such persons have a natural disposition to love without being requited, to give without receiving, and to serve the right things simply out of recognition of their goodness and benefit to others. These are the servants of the God whose hearts have been captured by the adoration of the Higher Ka, who recognize the Sa, the Essence of all that is, and see in It the vibrant pulse of all life and Truth. These are ones who recognize the Netjer in both form and Spirit, as both flesh and principle, who see signs and symbols as the hallmarks of deeper mysteries.

To them the Netjer Shetau, the Mysteries of the God are the experiences of the heart and mind while one walks upon the Earth and performs whatever labors one is compelled to perform. Yet such persons are cognizant of the Divine principles that infuse all characteristics and functions in Creation, and see the Netjeru in all manifest things, not only in signs, symbols or works of the Temple. For the true Temple, the true Par Netjer is the Hawat Ba, the Mansion of the Spirit, which cannot be contained in only one thing, however holy, however revered it may be.

This Spirit Temple is the true dwelling place of Netjer, and man is and can be its embodiment, if he but recognizes the perfection and wholeness that already exists within him. This wholeness, this perfection is the indestructible Spirit, the Higher Ka, which awaits beneath the flesh, within the layers of the mind, covered only by delusion, desire and ambition. If his ambition and desire are only for things of this Earth, without recognition of the Higher Ka, the Spirit within, then he cannot ascend to his Ka and remains always with his sense-body. However, if he uses his sense-body, and the desires and ambitions manifested through it, for awareness of his higher nature, then perfection is attainable and he will be united with his Spirit Temple.

What is purification, then? What is it, but the recognition of one’s perfect nature, of one’s untainted Self, absolved of greed, ambition, selfish desire and service to the ego. This was our true and original state of being as we dwelt in the womb of our mothers, and it was the state of the world as it existed in the Primordial Ocean of Nuwn, the Father-Mother, the Precursor of all that is. Nuwn is the undifferentiated quintessence of Creation, before the divisions of male and female, time and eternity, night and day, one and other. It exists beyond the manifestation of a Self, which defines itself based upon its relationship to things perceived as being separate from the Self.

Such perceptions, such differentiations are part of the ego that holds itself as unique from other things, and this is the perception that drives men to selfish ambitions and desires that negate the true and Eternal Spirit from which they were born. All things emerged from the Nuwn, and all things are composed of the Nuwn, being neither male nor female, disposition or characteristic. In this Ocean, this Sea we call Nuwn, all things exist in their original states of being, pure, luminous, untouched by time, death, impurities or conditions.

It was in this state that Ra-Atum the Sun of Creation existed before He felt the urge to awaken and pull Creation from His desire. After human beings came into being and recognized through their reasoning that they were differentiated from other forms of life, and from other human beings, thus was personal ambition and selfish service to the ego born. Thus men forgot their Divine creation from the originality of Nuwn and thus their pure nature, constructed of Spirit and undivided by the senses.

So, what is this Holy Lake of Purification resident in your thoughts? How can a man be purified by washing in mere water, whatever its name? As I have said, purity is innate to the human Soul, as it was fashioned by the Netjer from the quintessence of Nuwn. It is that which is layered over our quintessence, the veil of ignorance of our innate purity, our Higher Ka, that causes pollution and binds man to suffering and death. Strip this ignorance away, wash it away with true awareness of the Higher Ka, and his pure nature will be revealed.

Thus do the Servants of the God bathe ceremonially in the same lake upon which Ra rises and sets, embodying the Primordial Abyss of Nuwn out of which Ra in the beginning arose. Such an act serves as a reminder to those who would enter into the hallowed spaces where the ritual works of the Netjer are carried out. These must be accomplished in a state of clarity and selflessness, as tributes to the Eternal; thus the Priests of the God submerge themselves in the waters that serve as an embodiment of the Primordial Quintessence of the beginning, the state before things were tainted by time and differentiation.

To receive the anointment of the holy waters is to return one’s Self back into the Primeval Substance of the Divine Ka, resident in all life, indestructible and self-renewing. It is to shun one’s ignorance, one’s imperfections, the dirt and grime emitted by one’s ego, and stand before the Netjer as one was at the dawn of Creation. How many men have such courage as to brave the tempest of the ego, of its greed and the fire of its ambition, in order to be reborn as a Soul of eternal, divine light? To renounce personal ambition in exchange for the impersonal Soul. This is a passage through fire, death and the burning thirst of the desert. It is to question, to repudiate knowledge for its own sake, to turn one’s back on power and glory that in the end are a service to the selfish ego only. It is a task that only the bravest of men can undertake, those who would empty out their hearts and endure the loneliness of the road solely for the sake of Truth.

But is not love Truth when it is given as a true gift of the Higher Ka? To give of one’s Self, to extinguish one’s desire for personal gain and gratification, and hand over the Self as a vehicle for the service of another’s gain. This is the calling of a man who has found the meaning of true love, who has discovered his Higher Ka and mastered the meaning of the Divine Creation. For the Netjer gives life without conditions. The Sun rises and sets without prejudice. A flower emits its fragrance that may be inhaled by any passerby. Thus does the altruistic heart, the heart of the Higher Ka, offer its water to all who thirst, and does not ask to be quenched itself. Its performance of Justice, of what is right, of Ma’at is enough to satisfy it. Such should be the desire of all who approach the Mansion of the God”.

I bow my head at such beautiful wisdom, and in my heart flowers the desire to be purified in such a way, to love according to such virtues, to serve the God by walking such a perfect path. Again, my mind turns to the glistening waters of the Holy Lake of Purification, shining with pristine glory, reflecting the silver light of the moon in its depths.
“Can I walk such a path by way of love while I am upon the Earth? Can I not feel love, desire and passion, and give these while also in the embrace of my Higher Ka? Can I not be a lover?”

From the still shadows came the voice once more, rising with an echo above the bulk of columns and hard stone. “Ah! This is a treacherous road indeed, for how many men follow their passions for love without thought of personal gain? How many partake of sensual delights without asking for gratification? So natural is the act of love, for it is innate to all living creatures. It is the Earth from which our flesh springs into being, and our natural impulses drive us ever towards its satisfaction. Yet how many engage in the act of love solely for its own sake, to give pleasure and bestow the fruit of the Self to another? To grant fulfillment without expectation of fulfillment. How many engage in the ecstasies of love with such a goal in mind?


Again, this is the path of a man who has risen to his Higher Ka, who seeks to serve without being served, who loves from the sheer beauty of bestowing it to others, who performs a divine task in service to the Divine Ka, the Sa of Life from which his own life was given form. Such a man brings joy to any lover he touches, for his manner is one of pleasing others unselfishly. He is tender and generous with his heart, asking for nothing in return, yet giving the full contents of his heart in truth. In the act of love he is unmatched because his goal is to manifest the ultimate pleasure in his lover, to satisfy every longing, to leave every thirst quenched and every longing fulfilled.

Imagine the joy that could be created by two lovers who unite in the spirit of such wisdom, each infused with the desire to serve only the other! Imagine the return of two Kas simultaneously to the Quintessence of Nuwn, where there is neither one nor the other, where the Ka is unfettered by time, space and conditions. Such a union is possible through love, desire and the passions of the sense-body, but it must first be attained by the individual Ka before he can properly apply it to another. A man must first be in the possession of his Higher Ka before he can know what it is to merge it with another. No amount of selfish desire can be included in such a union or it fails, and cannot serve a higher purpose. But a man who has cultivated the heart of altruism can achieve such perfection in all he does, and this includes the pleasures of love and the passions of the senses.”

I stir and brave a remark to my unseen host. “Then my task is to master my heart, to achieve the desire of altruism, to use the divine gift of Sa for the benefit of Creation?”

“All men are the possessors of the Sa, as are beasts and all living beings. The Earth itself is composed of Sa, and the Stars of the firmament project and absorb its light. Sa is the Life-Essence, the dynamic energy of Creation, ever expanding and ever producing. The Sa is the motion of Creative energy, the propeller of the activity from which Creation expands. Within man the Sa is embodied in the fluids of sweat, blood, semen, tears and mucus, which sustain the body and assure its preservation; thus the Sa is depicted as a life preserver worn around the neck. In his seed man passes his Sa to manifest both life and energy, but it is as energy that the Sa truly thrives, and not in flesh.

Flesh is corruptible, whereas the Sa is eternal, indestructible energy, which only changes form, remaining itself the energy from which the motion of life arises. Because of this, Sa is described in the action of a man drawing his own seed, which manifests the energy through which he himself was created. It is said that Ra-Atum expressed His creative desire by uniting His penis with His tight fist, spilling His seed as the Primordial Substance out of which emerged the Netjeru of air and moisture. The meaning of this is one of creative action, the action of Sa urging the dynamics of Creation.

All men are inheritors of this creative instinct, whether it be used for the production of offspring or the release of sexual energy. The sex act by itself is a creative act from which energy is transmitted and expanded. This energy is the Sa, the Force of Life, passed from the Universe to man, from man to the Earth, and from man to man. It may be expanded, but never exhausted. In men the Sa is focused in the sex organs and generated during the sex act, through which it is transmitted in the ejection of seed. The production of seed in man cannot be suspended, even by its constant emission, thus man is the carrier of the Sa an Ankh, the Essence, the Seed of Life, the force of perpetual renewal.

As for the heart, let it be poured out in gratitude before the Netjer, that it may be filled with the devotion from which selfless service arises naturally. Let your heart be washed of its personal ambition, to become the repository of divine service that benefits the Spirit, the Higher Ka of Creation. In performing such a work as this, the Self is benefited far more than it would be through selfish desires that are the playthings of the ego’s ambition. Such glory as that attained through the ambition of the personal ego is short-lived, while the glory manifested by the Higher Ka, exemplified through unselfish love, altruism and generosity, is eternal. It becomes the beacon through which other men are inspired and uplifted”.

I nod, thinking yes, this is the path of love to be admired and sought after! Now, to move forward on the path…

“Then I wish to wash my heart in the presence of the God. I wish to bestow a love worthy of my Higher Ka, to become a lover whose Sa is transmitted through divine works of an unselfish heart, who uplifts men, who loves them and embraces them as aspects of the Self. To create! To create through the Sa of the God, perceiving Truth and bestowing it to other men by way of the path of Wisdom. This should be my goal, and I am ready to be immersed in it!”

All text copyright  ©  2006, 2015 Rev. Ptahmassu K.M. Nofra-Uaa

The Elixir of Life~ Part Three

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All at once I feel a soft hand brush the nape of my neck, and a sweet voice enters my ears, stirring awe and admiration in my heart.

Be pure by knowing your heart,
Thus shall your Ka be present in all
Your deeds.

Be pure by speaking your heart,
Thus shall the voice of your Ka
Be heard in all your deeds.

Be pure by working through a
True heart,
Thus shall the wisdom of your Ka
Be manifest in your deeds.

Now in my mind’s eye I behold the Lake of Creation beyond the walls of the pylons and courtyards, dazzling in the light of the early dawn, shimmering like molten gold beneath the cascading rays of the Netjer Ra upon His horizon. I stand as I was born, naked, without hindrances, fresh to the air of life, renewed by the cool grace of the pure waters surrounding my lower body. I behold my flesh, shiny in the cascade of silver water splashing over my limbs, charging my flesh with revitalization and life.

Sa ankh sa ankh sa ankh. I am given the protection of life. I am given the essence of life as protection for my Ka. I bathe in the living stream from which Ra in the beginning came forth. I bathe in the living stream by which the Wedjat Eye was made whole again when it was wounded. Like the Wedjat Eye, I am brought back together, healed, made wholesome and granted divine power. My faults are washed away in the living stream. My misdeeds are cleansed, my ills absolved. The man I was has been purified. The man I am is pure! I ascend the ladder of the Netjer, entering the Celestial Mansion, becoming light-radiance, embracing the Ka of the Divine One. I have bathed in the Lake of Reeds with the flesh of the God, and I am like Him, in truth, for eternity!

I have bathed in the Lake of Reeds,
Even as Ra has bathed in the Lake of Reeds.
I have bathed in the Lake of Reeds,
Even as Heru has bathed in the Lake of Reeds.

I have bathed in the Lake of Reeds,
Even as Geb has bathed in the Lake of Reeds.
Heaven has been bathed and Earth has been bathed.
The Holy Horizon has been bathed in the
Waters of the Eternal Stream, these waters in which
I bathe!

I have bathed with Ra in the Lake of Reeds,
Thus Heru shall ordain my flesh and anoint my feet!

O Nuwit, take my hand!
O Nuwit lift me up!
O Shuw, take my hand!
O Shuw, lift me up!
O Heaven, give me Your hand and lift me up!
O Earth, give me Your hand and lift me up!
O Air, give me Your hand and lift me up!
O Spirit of the Netjer, give me Your hand
And lift me up!1

Another voice pierces the caverns of my heart, traveling through my blood and spreading warmth through my veins. A white light pierces my heart, capturing my love, washing clean my fear and my imperfections. I am swayed to lift my face to the Stars, though it is not their light that shines across my breast. The newly reborn Sun sheds its illumination upon my closed eyes, and from behind shut lids my eyes sense the color of turquoise striking the waters around my body. I am overjoyed. I am overflowing with gratitude. The ecstasy of this moment dispels all shadow and fills my heart with radiant light.

The gates of the Sky are thrown open for you!
The doors of the Firmament are thrown open at
Dawn for you, O Heru, O Son of the Gods!

The Eastern Horizon is thrown open for you.
The doors of Heaven are thrown open at
Dawn for you, O Heru-Akhuty, O Son of the God!

The gates of the Sky are thrown open for you,
For you have bathed your heart in the Lake of Reeds
Where Atum had His beginning!
The doors of Heaven are thrown open at
Dawn for you, O Bull, O Son of Menu,

Purified of all ill in the Celestial Waters where
Ra had His beginning!

The gates of the Sky are thrown open for you.
The doors of Heaven are thrown open at
Dawn for you, O Celestial Leopard, O Son of
The Great Leopard, empowered in the Stream
From which Tat the Earth had His beginning!
The gates of the Sky are thrown open for you.
The doors of Heaven are thrown open at
Dawn for you, O Sah, O Shining One in the Firmament,
Consecrated in the Flood where Pat the Heavens
Had Her beginning!2

Shall I now be ushered into the presence of the Netjer? Shall I see the countenance of the Lord Menu (Min) surrounded by a halo of flaxen light, His robust limbs and stalwart member caressed by the soft glow of torchlight? Shall I embrace my Lord in the Primordial Ocean of His own shrine, receiving His essence as the Sa of my renewed Self? Let me go forth to the God, I say to my own heart. Let me go forth to the Netjer Who awaits the vessel of my Ka to fill it with radiant light.

My desire is fulfilled almost before I am conscious of its presence in my heart. The distance between us is shortened, the halls and doors and pylons sweeping by in a flurry of gold and sparkling white stone. I breathe the intoxicating fragrance of sandalwood hanging heavy in the air, and know at once that I am in the presence of the living God. My feet fail me, my legs bend beneath the weight of my body, and my back and neck are instinctively bent as if by some unseen hand pressing slowly upon me. I am again surrounded by the Stars of the night Sky, which looms above my head as dark as lapis, speckled with glowing flecks of gold.

O Mother Nuwit, You of the Heavenly Vault, Lady of the Great Night, Whose body carries aloft the body of the Sun! May You receive me when my time comes, and pass me through the protective embrace of Your belly, until at last I am reborn as one of the Imperishables, the Stars of Your Ka burning brightly forever! And I am in the presence of Sah, here in this most intimate chamber of the Divine Mansion. He is as the brightest Star glimmering in the firmament above me, shedding His light upon walls sheathed in symbols of the Mysteries, enveloping the Shrine of the God in His glory.

May my heart be filled with Your light, I pray. May I shine like You even in times of darkness. May my heart project Your light unfailingly, guiding me through the night sky of the realm of men. May I reach Blessedness even while alive upon the Earth, turning away sorrow, cultivating joy, removing suffering from every place that I travel! O Sah, burn brightly with me, granting me the Sa of the Netjer to carry with me as I go!

“But Sah is Sia”, a gentle voice says from within the magnificence of a closed and sealed shrine. It is the voice of the Netjer my Lord, the Sun of Creation, the radiant heart from which the pulse of the Universe beats. He continues.

“Do you not know that your true guide is knowing itself? Sia is the Netjer of discernment within the Self, the quality of perceiving things as they are, not as we desire them to be in relation to other things. Sia is the parent of sa’a, which is ultimate awareness, the state of existence beyond relative existence, the fundamental Cause of all causes. This is the nature of the Cosmos, alive, an entity of causes and their effects. Each effect has a cause, and each cause is the result of another cause. All of this was urged and divided from a first cause, which had its beginning in the Void of all things. The All, the Complete, the Perfected. This was Atum in the Nuwn. This is Atum, the Netjer personifying all Netjeru, the Source of the All, the Cause of the causes of Creation.

To have Sia, sa’a, one must first recognize the truth that all things are the result of a cause and its effects, that the Self is the product of causes and their effects. All action provokes reaction. All deeds yield fruit, though their offspring may not be seen for many generations. A man having true perception, the manifestation of Wisdom, Sia, recognizes the effects that will arise from any given cause, and governs his actions accordingly. He sees that all thought gives birth to Creation, to behavior, emotion, and reaction. He sees that all action produces results that themselves may echo through eternity, thus he works skillfully to produce actions that will benefit Creation, instead of detract from it.

This is the Way of Ma’at, the Order upon which I founded this world, through which I brought about all things that are and shall be. It is in the vessel of the heart, the will from which a man accomplishes his destiny, that a man’s future is woven; for what he feels he behaves upon, whether in thought or physical action. Through this impulse of emotion he wills, however unknowingly, the causes and effects that will determine the course of his life. It is a Sahu, a skillful wielder of Sa, of Sia, who foresees the patterns of causes and their effects, and masters his emotions and impulses that he might give rise to all that is beneficial. This is what is meant in the precept sa’a-hat, “know the heart”. Only a wise man can accomplish this task, my son”.

My heart is bowed in humility. I kiss the Earth in the presence of my Netjer, emptying my heart of all selfish ambition, desiring only that it be filled with the Wisdom of the Netjer’s love. To love Netjer is to love the nature of Creation Itself, which manifests without discrimination, whole, as an entity without a separate Ka. Am I not a manifestation of that Ka? Are all Kas not children of that same Ka, the Ka of Creation that encompasses all things? Is this not the true Wisdom of the Netjer’s Sa, that Essence of Life flowing undiminished through all things that live? This is Sia, the Wisdom of wholeness that recognizes the interdependence of all beings, the causes from which the effects of the Universe emerge. Sia is the Wisdom that unites all things, the Sa pulsing through the veins of the Cosmos. I hear the song of the Netjer Sia in the chambers of my heart, and within me the music of understanding arises.

I am Sia, Bearer of the Great Wisdom
Who is seated at the right hand of Ra.
I am Sia, the Uniter of Hearts, Whose
Wisdom is greater than that of the Gods,
Whose possession is that of Creation and
Its mysteries, Who knows all the things
From which Creation comes forth into
Being!

I am Sia, Whose charge is the greatness
Of Wisdom, Who is seated at the right
Hand of Ra, Whose possession is the
Book of the God in which are inscribed
All the things that were, all the things
That are, and all the things that have yet
To come into being!3

Notes

1 Adapted from the Pyramid Texts, Utterances 253, 564 and 567.
2 Ibid, Utterance 325.
3 Adapted from the Pyramid Texts, Utterance 250.

All text copyright  ©  2006, 2015 Rev. Ptahmassu K.M. Nofra-Uaa

The Elixir of Life~ Part Four

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O Netjer, You are the Sa of Creation, the Sap, the Quintessence, the Fluid of Life from which created things draw sustenance! You are not one but the All, encompassing every form, every characteristic, every quality in the Universe, and are beyond the things dwelling in Creation. You are the Netjeru, and the Netjeru manifest Your hidden essence, though They do not reveal it to the naked eye! How can I know You, O God of the Gods? How can I draw nearer to receive Your essence?

My heart sings a praise, yet gives rise to questions, here in this womb where the God’s living image is maintained, where His Sa is channeled for the benefit of all men. I kiss the Earth before the Netjer, quieting my heart, hearing my breath as it slips softly from my lips. The Netjer rises in His shine of gold. His voice enters the ears of my heart, though no audible sound disturbs the sanctified quiet of the Holy of Holies.

“Where am I”, the Netjer says, “if not in the shrine of your heart? For where else can you receive the Wisdom of my Ka, if not in understanding, if not in awe of the gifts of life and Creation? I am the Ka from which all Kas were born, the Divine Artisan from Whose word the Spirits of the Gods came into being, from Whom life was animated and the Earth was given form. I am the Power from the Nuwn, the mysterious body of the Sa, and even the Netjeru do not know my true name or form. I am in what is seen and embody what is not seen. My Ka is Spirit, and enters the heart as Spirit, and awakens Creation as Spirit, as the Primordial Substance of Life.

This in man is transmitted in blood and seed, yet the beating of his heart contains it, and the actions of his body move on account of it. It is when the Sa departs for its transformations between the worlds that a man dies to his Earthly body and enters his Ka. He sees his Sa rejoined to the Sa of Sas from which it was drawn, and he sees that the heart is the true vessel of wisdom by which he is judged. Let his heart contain Wisdom, virtue and Ma’at. Let his heart shine with perception of what is right, and thus transform him into a Being of Illumination. Let him practice justice while he is alive upon the Earth, benefiting his peers, being a brother to all, being a just Ka whose desires have been invested with the Spirit of his Netjer.

Where is the Netjer of man? The Netjeru have come to dwell in Their bodies of Earth and stone and wood as it was ordained by my mouth in the Ocean of Nuwn, thus have the Kas of the Gods come to dwell in Their bodies upon the Earth, even as the Kas of humankind were bestowed with bodies for the use of their Kas. But it is the Ka that possesses eternal life, not the body. The Kas of the Gods are eternal as are the Kas of men, but their bodies are vivified only by the Ka and empowered by the substance of the Sa. Each Ka possesses the imprint of the Netjer Who fashioned it, and bears the sign of its Netjer within the understanding of the heart.

Sia-hat sia-hat sia-hat. Know the heart, know the heart, know the heart! It is in his heart, the reflection of his true nature, that a man carries the seal of his Netjer, the vehicle of his Ka. He may be in ignorance of it. He may betray it or choose to be blind to it, but his Netjer is the power of his Ka, the propeller of his Sa, and he will come to know it and embrace it throughout his many transformations. His body will be transformed, but his Ka will not. He will go to his Ka when his body makes union with the Earth, and he will see his Netjer and know that his Netjer is the parent of his Ka.

Fortunate are they who recognize the true nature of their heart while walking upon the Earth, and embrace their Netjer as the living power of their Ka. When a man knows his heart and embraces his Netjer he will act in harmony with the heart and Netjer resident in all things he encounters. He will not be in opposition to the Laws of Harmony hailed as Ma’at, the Foundation upon which Creation was brought into being. He will not struggle against his nature, his Netjer, nor will he find cause to struggle against the nature of Creation as it is. He will find harmony and know hotep, the peace of embracing one’s Ka, the satisfaction of perceiving the state of Creation as it truly is”.

Once again my heart is overawed and leaps with the joy of recognition. To know my heart is to know my Netjer and live in attunement with it! My Netjer is my nature, and if I choose to embrace It and live in harmony with It, then I will not rebel against the harmony of my own Ka, the satisfaction, the peace, the hotep of life. My heart has been sealed by a Netjer, and to know that Netjer and dwell in peace with it is to live in accordance with Ma’at, the Laws of Harmony out of which Creation unfolds. To live in harmony with life…to live in harmony with Creation. These should be the goals of my heart, my will and my desire. O Netjer, open up my heart for me that I might know it! May I perceive! May I see! May I obtain recognition!

Though this Holy of Holies is enveloped in the eternal stillness of stone, hidden doorways and sealed chambers, I perceive that the moment of the Sun’s ascendancy over the night has arrived. The horizon of the East opens to welcome the fiery countenance of the Netjer Ra, Whose eyes emit light beams of white-hot radiance. Earth will awaken. The river will dance on account of Him, reflecting in its cool depths the gold of His limbs as they slide to and fro over the currents. There will be life again in the fields of verdant splendor, alive with the cascade of warm yellow rays caressing palms and reeds and burgeoning vegetation. The mountains will absorb His presence in the Heavens, their rocky faces dancing wildly in the waves of heat cast off by the Sun’s burning form. It will all come alive again, and this place of silent majesty, unchanging in its mysteries and cool tranquility, will give birth to song that will perfume the air with its divine fragrance.

The Netjer has awoken in His House. But is He not always awake, stirring in the quiet heart that listens for His voice? Is not the Ka the true dwelling place of Netjer, though His Temple may house the artistic housing of His Ka? It is for me to find Him there, the Netjer of my Ka, Whose presence in me is the true life of my body, the immortality of my Soul; for I cannot cling to the things of this Earth, however beautiful they may be. One day I will move alone on my Ka towards the Divine Domain where hearts are judged and the container of all my deeds emptied out before the Scales of the Divine Law. How will I find my way along that dark river of the Duwat? How will I find my way upon the Earth before I must find my way over the Earth beyond? I must regard my heart, trust my heart, petition my heart to be good to me, to fill my actions with justice. I must petition the Netjer of my Ka to come forth and shield my heart from depravity, to open my eyes with the discernment of Wisdom. Shall I ask you, O Sia, to charge my heart with eyes to comprehend the Knowledge of the Gods, to see the Heavens and the Earth as they are, to know the true names, the Nutjers, of all things?

“First embrace me”, the voice of the Netjer rings out from the splendid home of His shrine. “Welcome the day by welcoming my Ka into the heart of this Temple. This Temple is the heart where Creation is sparked, where new life springs forth like a stalk of wheat! My flame is the Sa of action known to all men, the desire to bring light into a dark place, the will to flourish even in the midst of dissolution. Light a fire in my presence when dawn’s fragile light first breaks over the horizon. This honors me, but it truly honors the Spirit of Creation present in all that lives. It speaks of solidarity with the coming into being of beingness itself. To light a fire is to invoke the presence of life’s beginnings, as the fire of seed, born of passion, invokes life and manifests Sa.

Bring incense, the divine fragrance, for the satisfaction of my Ka, for all sweet and beautiful things are the substance upon which I feed. I breathe Ma’at like the blossom of a lotus held to my nostrils, for She is the harmony of all created things functioning in their place, evolving coherently as compliments. Waft this fragrance before me as the pure offering of your heart, inhaling Truth, inhaling goodness. Bring fresh water and place it at my feet as a symbol of your purity, for the pure heart is my dwelling place and the vessel in which my Ka is submerged. Be submerged in purity and you will be submerged in me. Begin anew every day, casting off the fetters of yesterday, renouncing any ill that may be upon your heart, and cease to transgress on this new day that has been created for you and gifted to all living things. Cease to do ill and accomplish what is excellent in the manner of a just heart, a heart filled with nobility, a heart imbued with the Spirit of the Divine Ka.

Why else would you plunge in the Lake of Purification? Why else would you pour out water before me and light a fire in my House, if not to recreate the first day when all was new and untainted and filled with promise? This I bestow to you, my son, that you will go forward from this day at peace with your heart and in the embrace of the Netjer of your Ka. Create with me by creating this Temple as the manifestation of your heart. Continue the work of Creation by lighting a flame for the work of your Ka in this world. Such works as those completed by the Ka are eternal, and never suffer the way of death or diminishment. All good and pure works are embodiments of the first creative act, the act of transmitting the Sa, the Fluid of Life, for the benefit of all beings. To push back chaos, to embrace the Order of Creation through Ma’at, through Supreme Truth, is the eternal flame of my Temple, and to keep it is to keep Creation pure and sacred, to honor the finest qualities of the heart in men. Come forth and embrace me! Receive the Sa from which your Ka will flourish forever!”

Sa a’ah! The Ka of the Netjer Menu (Min) is manifest from His Divine House, the Mansion of the Great Leopard, the Celestial House in which dwell the Gods of the Heavens and the Earth. Surrounding Him on all sides are bolts of pure white light, and the aura rising up from His head is the green of real malachite. A fragrance of sandalwood is emitted by His presence, imbuing the air around Him with peace and beauty. His skin is black, both absorbing and manifesting translucent beams of light. His countenance is more beautiful than any Earthly man, though His endowments are those of all men. Shining perpetually, His body is unclothed, garbed only by the brightness of the Sun’s light. Manifesting the ardor of Creation and desire, the Netjer’s massive organ of love is swollen with seed in the throes of perpetual ecstasy. With His left fist He tightly grasps His throbbing organ, while His right arm is raised at His side in the gesture of protection.

With His right arm He supports the standard of the nekhakha, the flail of power and victory, the scepter for sweeping away all obstacles and chaos. Gold and real lapis lazuli grace His sturdy neck, the compliment of a thick, well-muscled body from whose sinews the aura of strength and valor proceeds. His firm chin is ornamented with the long and braided beard of all father gods, the repository of creative power. Neb Menu’s brow is crowned with the golden helmet and twin plumes that are His insignia, stretching regal and erect into the illumination above Him, quivering slightly with the elegant movements of His head.

The Great Leopard moves forward to meet my trembling obeisance, yet something in the calm pools of His dark green eyes stills the fear and awe in my heart, and lifts my Ka into the raptures of love. I am captured by Him, and His fragrance moves through me. The ocean of my heart is calm around me, reflecting the luminescence of His limbs, the rays of real turquoise and lapis cascading from His firm body. The Earth halts to receive the message of Heaven, as this Temple of mine is elevated into intoxication. My breath slows, my heart beats softly in my ears, and all at once I am filled by the moment of His Ka infusing my flesh with the Essence.

Sa Netjer. Sa ankh. Sa uwdj. First I am filled with white light, the incarnation of the Divine Sa. I am embraced by the hand of the God, receiving His Essence, shinning with the shield of His illumination, safeguarded from dissolution and fear. No ill can touch me as I walk upon the path now open before my feet. I cannot be taken in by darkness, nor can death destroy my Ka! I am empowered with the Essence of the Netjer and moved forward by its light. I am as the indestructible Stars!

Now I am granted the Nectar of Life in the manifestation of golden light, pouring into my nostrils, passing through my lips and quenching my throat, anointing my Ka with the everlasting life of Truth and Wisdom. I need not fear death, nor shall death claim me forever! My Ka shall rise to take its place with the Beings of Light Who reside with the Netjer, imbued with His indestructibility. I am claimed by life and will not stray from it forever! I am watered by the light of the Netjer’s Ka, and cannot be separated from It for eternity!

What comes to me now is the green fire of rebirth, blossoming from a stalk of papyrus, growing upwards from the feet of the God to wrap its vitality around my flesh. I am infused with new life as a gift from the Netjer. I cannot be cut back by the pitfalls of the Earth, nor ensnared by the jaws of weakness, terror or sin! My vibrancy is the vibrancy of the green Wedjat Eye, wholesome against all defilements! Everything touched by my heart shall flourish as a thing good and pure in the name of Ma’at. I cannot be cut down. My growth cannot be hindered forever!

The hand of Neb Menu cradles the nape of my neck, proffering divine shelter, allaying fear and granting love. His tenderness passes into me. The chambers of my heart are expanded, prepared to receive the breath of the Divine Ka. My lips part as His breath enters my mouth and nostrils in a stream of luminescent white light, His lips touching mine, the warmth of His body enveloping me like a flame. I am at once poured into Him, like water emptied out from an overflowing river. My lungs are charged with His breath, my heart submerged and quieted, my breath revivified.

I have been transformed into the God, my heart whispers to me, and the God has been transformed into me. I am as this Spirit of Creation ascending to the celestial ladder. I have removed my Earth and joined the Company of Spirits. I have gone down through the Primordial Waters and been raised up by the hand of the Air. Shuw is with me! Tefnuwt bestows to me Her breath of fire, and I am unhindered in my progress to the Imperishable Stars! What fetters can hold me? What hand can pull me back when I am imbued with the Savor of the Netjer, Lord of the Shining Standard!

O Spiritualized One, hear me! Take me down this road of yours called Ma’at, this lotus held at the nostrils of Ra. Articulate my feet that they might walk upon the proper course, steered by the Power of the God, His Sa from His body. I am the son of the Great Leopard, Keeper of the Celestial Temple, and I have received initiation in the House of the God. His anointment was bestowed to me, His words inscribed upon my heart, and I go forward as a vessel at the direction of Ma’at, firm on my course, infused with Wisdom from the mouth of the God.

I listen in silence. I progress in peace. I repel strife, greed, hatred and destruction! What I create is Creation, being the Essence of the All, Neb-Ra-Djar, the encompassment of all that is. I do not kill, I do not dismantle Creation, and I do not renounce the Netjer of my heart, the life of my Ka. I am filled with the Waters of Life, quenched in the Pool of Creation, and fed by the tree upon which Wisdom grows. My name is inscribed in the Book of the Netjer, and His Divine House opened before me. Where my heart remains known to me, there too shall dwell the Netjer my Lord. I go forth in peace, the way made free upon the approach of my feet.

The Temple now stirs with the swift approach of a new day, while the seclusion of the Sanctuary falls as calm as it was before the presence and voice of the God threw it into sudden and vibrant life. Ra has now emerged with His full glory in the reaches beyond, possessing an azure sky, welcomed home by a joyous chorus of birdsong. Will all be as it was before? Will I trek into the open day to find all as I had left it, confused and swarming with troubles that could find no solutions? What will my life be beyond the shining majesty of the God’s House, His Temple?

Or, can I remember in the world beyond that it is the heart that serves as the true dwelling place of the Divine Ka? Whatever else may be dedicated to His name, however glorious, however beautiful, it is the vessel of the heart that carries Him as the Mansion of the Spirit. I am at a loss for words, not knowing how to think or feel, and my calm body yearns for the welcome relief of sleep. But it is time for you to wake up, yells my heart. It is time for you to walk with both your eyes wide open! There is no time for sleep when the path of knowledge awaits, and a lifetime is piteously short! Remember to know me. Remember to keep me open, always. Remember to embrace your Netjer as the Sa of your own heart, and all your deeds will be worthy of your Higher Ka!

I bow my head to the Netjer in my heart, letting my breath settle, my heart grow silent again. What need have I of this thing around my neck, I ask myself as I am suddenly aware of the rolled and bound shelter hanging about me. Why should I put faith in such things, when my true shelter, my true protector is the unseen shield beating within my flesh? There lies my protection or my downfall, and all other things I should gratefully give back to the Netjer Who lights my way; for only in knowing gratitude can I truly give gratitude.

First I must feel it within my Self, and use its luminosity as a torch of generosity for others. I should give the contents of my heart to others through the act of giving itself, without expectation of a thing in return. Is this not the perfection of love, of all Truth, of the path of initiation woven by the Mysteries of the Netjeru? Are not the Netjeru manifest in the Kas of all living things, fed by the Sa from which Creation is conceived. In this I have found my purpose, and thankfully pour my heart out in the presence of my own Wisdom.

Bending down before the shrine of the Netjer, I lay my shelter as a token of my heart for all that has been so generously given. This is my Sa, my Essence, the life in my Spirit, and to that which fashioned it, I give it back without attachment. Such is the greatest gift I could give. Such is the greatest gift I could receive.

All text copyright  ©  2006, 2015 Rev. Ptahmassu K.M. Nofra-Uaa

In the Noblest of Cities: Antinous is Received in the House of Ptah

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Antinous had thus far beheld the wonders of various sanctuaries and monuments- colossal statues hewn from blood-red stone that were the equal of any in Roma, the sprawling urban centers choked with imports from every corner of the earth, a harvest of gold and goldsmiths, whose crafts became the ornaments of the affluent from Roma to far more distant, barbaric lands- yet he had seen nothing that made him gasp in astonishment as did “the noblest of cities”, Memphis, and its very ancient grandeur.

Hadrian’s ship had landed at the water steps of the great southern portal of one of the several imposing palaces that fronted the Nile, scintillating in the fierce heat of the sun that seemed to shatter over everything and everyone in this most hallowed of cities. As their craft had entered the famous port of Memphis, his local guides had enticed Antinous with stories of the renowned shipyards of the God Ptah, the workshops of the goldsmith’s guilds whose handicrafts were well known in Roma, and the elephantine, fortress-like walls of the Temple of Ptah. Here were obelisks piercing the liquid azure of the afternoon sky, with their pyramidions sheathed in glowing electrum. Beyond them rose mountainous pylons, gates and royal statues that seemed to dwarf all else for miles around. It was all very enthralling. And yet Antinous had come to receive the counsel of the High Priest of Ptah, the God for whom all of these marvels had been consecrated.

What perfection was to be seen in the craft of man’s hand…enormous and yet sensual alabaster colossi, sphinxes, divine images, and every other splendid and costly thing the mind could fathom…yet it was the ancient Mysteries of Memphis that had caused mighty Hadrian to make inquiries on behalf of Antinous, whose thirst for high learning knew no bounds.

A retinue stood waiting for Antinous beneath the blessed shelter of the palace portico. Antinous approached, bowing his head, not knowing which of these distinguished foreigners was the High Priest of the God Ptah. A tall, shaven headed and linen draped man came forward, and raised his hands in the gesture of reverence.

“Welcome and blessing to you, Antinous, heart-friend of our Lord Hadrianus Caesar, who is the Lord of Crowns and ruler of the Two Lands! I am Neferkaptah, and I am the Chief of Priests of the God Ptah in the Soul-Mansion of Ptah. Is the noblest city in Egypt fulfilling your expectations and satisfying your heart?”

Antinous relaxed and smiled, noticing the kindness and curiosity evident in the faces of the other priests. “Satisfy?…why no, much more than satisfy! I am stunned by all I have seen of this city of marvels. Our guides today pointed out the endless outdoor market as we approached, which I am told is the largest in Egypt…perhaps in the whole world! There are the giant sphinxes that look like marble, but I am told they are alabaster…and the high walls of the city itself, which our guide told us are the oldest and tallest in the entire land. Alexandria is a wonder of the mind, it is true, but this, Memphis, is a wonder of the eyes!”

The High Priest smiled knowingly, waving Antinous to follow him beneath the bulk of the portico and through an imposing gate in the high wall. Everywhere he looked were to be seen sculpted and painted reliefs of the highest quality, delicately carved statues of glittering stone, columns and tiles that shined a glossy sky blue. Everything around him seemed to focus one’s attention upon the crafts of the hands…that of stone masons, goldsmiths, jewelers. Antinous was taken aback almost to the point of speechlessness, however, he was here to receive the initiations of Ptah, and to take back with him a portion of their wisdom.

“I have seen at a distance the Pyramid that our guides told us was built by Imhotep-“
“Oh, but of course, you want to hear about Imhotep!”

Antinous blushed, but Neferkaptah smiled enthusiastically. “The Holy Pyramid was constructed by an army of the finest craftsmen in Egypt in the service of King Netjerykhet, but it was Imhotep the Son of Ptah who imagined how it could be accomplished, and it was his genius that made what you have seen possible.

“Homage to You Imhotep, Son of Ptah, the Good Physician, the Kindhearted God!

“Imhotep was born to a woman named Khreduankh, whose beauty caught the eye of the God Ptah Himself, and it was from His seed that Imhotep came forth, having even at his birth the powers of a Seer together with all the knowledge of a priest of Ra. He knew the stars in their courses, and the measurements of creation, and he had the knowledge and blessedness to heal the sick and cure the diseases of the flesh. Did they point out to you the temple where the God Imhotep, as the Son of Ptah, reveals cures to the sick as they dream? Well, then perhaps you know already the fame of Imhotep throughout the known world, for not only do the people of this city and Egypt come to be healed in His shrine, but also people from across the Great Green Sea….”

“I know that the Hellenes associate Imhotep with Asklepius“, Antinous said, “and that they believe He cures barrenness and impotence, and even fatal conditions. Aren’t there miracles attributed to Imhotep during His life?”

Neferkaptah nodded. “And you saw it!…the Holy Pyramid, from which King Netjerykhet was sent aloft to the Imperishable Stars, to be the divine leader and guide of Egypt for all eternity. My son, Imhotep was an innovator, not merely an architect who followed in the footsteps of others. Memphis, Alexandria and Egypt entire is filled with scholars and architects…so many trained monkeys who mimic what they read and see in the genius of others. What Imhotep did was excel beyond the great works of his predecessors, taking the original design for the tombs of hallowed persons, and shaping it into something truly sublime. His is a miracle of the mind, the imagination, which is one of the greatest testaments to his divinity.

“Your own Hadrianus Caesar is said to be such an architect and visionary…one who takes what he has inherited and pushes it beyond what others thought possible. To exceed the limitations imposed by the lower mind, the mundane intellect…that is the course of one who has received the direct blessing of the Gods. It is that way in your Roma, and so it is that way here in my Egypt, which is the House of the God Ptah, Architect of the World!”

Antinous recalled some of the things his tutors had told him about the origins of Egypt and the Great God Ptah. “Speaking of the House of Ptah, is it not true that the Hellenes gave Egypt its name, or rather, that the name Egypt is taken from the language of the Hellenes, when they beheld the wonders of the Temple of Ptah at Memphis and recognized its universal importance?”

“That is so, my son. The Hellenes knew that the most ancient city of Memphis- which was hailed as Men-Nefer by the Ancients- was the first capital of the Egyptian state, and that it was here, in our very own Temple of Ptah, where every king that has sat upon the throne of Egypt has received the Double Crown. Aleksandras, whom they call Great, the Son of Zeus-Ammon, was crowned as Pharaoh of Egypt in the Temple of Ptah, as was your beloved Hadrianus Caesar, Lord of the Two Lands. For Ptah is the King-Maker, the Establisher of Laws, who founded the first temple in the first city of Egypt, and that city, this city, was known as Ibebu-hedj, the ‘White Walls’, where at its heart rose Hawt-ka-Ptah, ‘The Soul-Mansion of Ptah’.

“The Hellenes pronounced the name of Ptah’s holiest temple Aigyptos, and it was from their speech that the name of our Egypt came forth. And Ptah is the King of the Gods in His temple here, because it is recognized in Memphis that Ptah is the Genius from Whom speech, intellect and thought came into being. Without Him, the Hellenes, Romans, the Egyptians, and indeed the peoples of all the world would not have intellect or speech or even existence itself, for Ptah is the Great God Who gave birth to the Cosmos and all the things dwelling in it!”

Antinous and his hosts had finally arrived at the Great Temple of Ptah, which was just south of the primary enclosure of the ancient capital of Egypt. Its great white walls (from which the oldest district of ‘White Walls’ received its name) were crenelated like some military fortress, and Antinous recognized that its massive corners gave way to high watch towers that were likewise crenelated. Tall flagstaffs sheathed in gold stood proudly before soaring pylons into which were carved, in exquisite relief, images of the God Ptah receiving abundant offerings. The heady fragrance of myrrh incense rose in a palpable cloud above the entourage, and then the sound of chanting, which echoed off lofty stone ceilings.

“Hail to Ptah Who is South of His Wall, who created in the beginning in His loneliness, when there was no one beside Him. Who came into existence by Himself and fashioned in the beginning, in that neither father nor mother had made His body. The truly lone one. He who made the gods and who created, but who indeed was not created”.

Antinous braved a remark as they approached the entrance proper, the hallowed Soul-Mansion of the God Ptah. “The Hellenes know Ptah as Hephaestus, I have been told by my tutors, while my people know Him as Vulcan, and we see Him as the Wielder of the blacksmith’s hammer and fire. We know Vulcan as the creator of the blacksmith’s arts”.

“It is certainly true that the God Ptah is the divine patron of all handicrafts”, Neferkaptah answered, “…which include the arts of the forgers, goldsmiths, metal-smiths and jewelers. All of these are the products of the heart and tongue of Ptah, Who spoke them into existence, but so too are all the labors of the hands…stone masonry, sculpting, painting, architecture, mining and ship building. You have seen the famous ship yards of Memphis, which equal any in the known world, including Alexandria. Here too are the ateliers of the Temple, whose divine images in gold, precious stones and electrum are found in every temple in Egypt, and in the Royal Court.

It is known that the Servants of Ptah, that is to say His craftsmen, are among the finest in the world. They certainly have no equal in all of Egypt; for the God Ptah is not solely the patron of artisanship or craftsmanship, but rather the Progenitor of the finest quality work of which men are capable. It is excellence itself…this quality of having perfected a thing to the point where it cannot be improved upon…that is the hallmark of the God Ptah throughout creation. The very activity or attitude of striving for excellence in one’s work is the very nature of the God Ptah, Who has selected the perfect forms of all creatures and plants, given them birth through the speech of His tongue, and bestowed upon them the breath of life”.

Just then the entourage entered the sanctified outer courtyard of the Temple of Ptah, where grandiose and more humble stone images of the God Ptah stood in the presence of flaming braziers and tables choked with delicious offerings. Priests and acolytes moved to and fro with diligence, trimming wicks and lighting lamps, and dropping pellets of myrrh over the hot coals of the braziers. A presence of devotion and solitude pervaded the atmosphere, which spoke to the heart of Antinous of the first-fruits of the human heart.

“Is love part of the creation offered by the Great Ptah to His servants upon the earth?”, Antinous queried, his heart fluttering with admiration for the beauty and harmony of the images surrounding him.

Neferkaptah placed a warm hand on Antinous’ bare shoulder. “In our ancient teaching- which comes from the time when the Holy Pyramid was envisioned by Imhotep- it is said that the God Ptah thought the names of every thing to be created within His heart, which was then repeated by His tongue, and that it was through this divine miracle that all created things came into being.

“The heart and the tongue are the two instruments by which Ptah the very Great God brought out His vision for the created world, thus making it a reality. It is the heart that is the mind of all creatures in the world, for the heart speaks and the limbs obey. And when the tongue repeats what the heart has engendered, then life proceeds…activity shapes progress, and events unfold. This is the handiwork of Ptah, Who gave form to the heart that it might direct the limbs and the passions.

“But know too that Ptah is called the King of the Gods not merely because of His creative power, which makes kings in the world of men, but because He created the Gods. It was the desire, the passion…the love of Ptah that made the Souls of all the Gods, and determined that they should come to rest in their statues of stone and wood and metal, and it was Ptah Who ordained the cults of all the Gods, Their temples and worship, so that the Gods could receive the first-fruits of the earth from humankind. But also, it was through the love of Ptah that the Gods should receive the offerings of humankind, and intervene on their behalf, for men and women, together with all the creeping creatures of the earth, are the handiwork of Ptah’s heart and tongue. We, Antinous…you and I and revered Hadrianus Caesar, are the thoughts of Ptah’s passion, and the desires of His heart, and the fruit of His tongue…and so it shall always be!”

Antinous was filled with awe and humility in the presence of such a teaching, which inspired within his own heart the desire to receive the Mysteries of Ptah more fully and deeply. And so Antinous followed Neferkaptah into the dim inner court of the Temple of Ptah, and there received an answer from the very Great God Ptah.

All text copyright © 2015 Rev. 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!


Pedj-shes

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!

Ba-Ta
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.

Sekht-Debet
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