Aleister Crowley and E A Wallis Budge
Internet enquiries having drawn a relative blank, I wonder if anyone can help my research into the impact of E A Wallis Budge on Crowley's Egyptological conceptions?
I'm told that Budge was a member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn but can find little supporting evidence. I also suspect that Budge's Egyptian Guide, written for Thomas Cook, had a significant impact upon Crowley's concept of the Gods.
Finally, in The Book Of The Law, the gods are referred to in standard Budge style: Ra-Hoor-Khuit, for example, instead of Ra-Horakhty. Can anyone help with the pronunciation here? Do we yet know whether the Egyptians of the twenty-fifth/twenty-sixth dynasties would have pronounced the god names as we do now?
I suppose, what I'm asking is: Do the Egyptian pronunciations in Liber AL support the suggestion of dictation by Ankh-f-n-Khonsu?
An essay on "Thelemic Egyptology" is the intended result of this research. Any information and assistance would be gratefully received...
Owner and Editor
I was interested in Wallis- Budge too as he was an inspiration to Austin Osman Spare. I contacted the British Museum and they told me that they actively discourage their students from consulting any of Budge's books because they are hopelessly wrong in the ligjt of modern scholarship. Budge's translation of the Book of the Dead and other works are only in print because the copyright expired years ago. As for how to pronounce Egyptian , apparently it was written like Hebrew without vowel sounds so all names etc are just an informed guess. So you can pronounce or spell Egyptian words in a lot of ways,and I imagine Crowley chose the spelling of Nuit , Hadit and Ra -Hoor-Khuit for esoteric reasons of his own. Perhaps there might be a clue in one of the commentaries on Al or one of Crowleys diarys or letters.Good Luck.
(and best wishes Robert.)
Postscript to last posting.
Budge did know Gerald Massey the poet/pseudo Egyptologist and Crowley lists Massey as an honorary member of the A*A* in the black lodge booklet the A*A*.
I was under the impression the spoken Egyptian language changed somewhat over time (as languages do over hundreds of years), while the written language remained consistent (since very few could write). Then there wouldn't necessarily be a correct transliteration or pronounciation.
I suppose, what I'm asking is: Do the Egyptian pronunciations in Liber AL support the suggestion of dictation by Ankh-f-n-Khonsu?
Actually, the god names in the Book of the Law are not standard Budge spellings unless he used several variations, which seems unlikely, and unsupported by the works of Budge in my possession.
There were a couple of Budge publications that were printed a few years before the Cairo Working took place, so Crowley could have had access to them, but if so he failed to use them, which can also be weighed as an indicator that Crowley did not study up on the Egyptian god names in an effort to perpetrate a hoax.
Budge spelled Horus the child 'Heru-pa-khered', so 'Heru' could have come from his translations, but 'khered' is either spelled different intenionally in the Book of the Law, or 'kraat' and 'kraath' may possibly not mean child. The Beinlich word list is one of the most up-to-date Egyptian language word lists, and it spells child as 'khrd', which supports Budge's spelling.
The first Horus name used in TBOTL is 'Hoor-paar-kraat'--Crowley believed it meant Horus the child. The definite article is 'pa', not 'paar', with the latter term meaning 'house'. My interpretation of Hoor-paar-kraat is Horus-house-lower horizon, which equates to the 'sun of midnight' mentioned in the last chapter.
'Khut' can mean wand, rod, or fire if the form is masculine. One spelling of 'Khuit' includes a hypen between 'Khu' and 'it', which clearly indicates a feminine form. In that case Ra-Hoor-Khu and Ra-Hoor-Khu-it are male/female forms that breakdown as Ra-Horus-protector, which is relevant to the statement made in TBOTL about having trouble and danger and Ra-Hoor-Khu being present, presumably as a protector.
There was a recent article in National Geographic called Death on the Nile that mentions a princess named Khuit--their spelling.
The spelling for Horus used by Budge was 'Heru', while the spelling used by French Egyptologists was 'Hor'. It appears the spelling 'Hoor' may originate in either the Book of the Law, or Crowley's paraphrases of the Stele of Revealing.
There has been much criticism over the translation of the name of the winged disk as 'Hadit' due to the more popular translation 'Behedet'. The Egyptians actually had another name for the winged disk that was written differently than what appears on the Stele of Revealing. It was two combined terms, both of which meant 'eternity' or 'everlasting'. The consonants of the first term are 'h' or 'hh', and the second 'dt'. Together the terms sound alot like 'Hadit '.
To reiterate what others have stated, the written and spoken languages of Egypt evolved apart. To add to the confusion, the priests always seemed be be trying to modify the written language in an effort to return it to older forms, which means the written language is also inconsistent.
Prophet of L
There is a fairly large amount of information about Budge at www.thebritishmuseum.ac.uk search the department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan faqs. Wouldn't Crowley have taken some of his ideas about the Egyptian gods from The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn?
Regardies book is easy to get hold of.
Best Wishes Robert.
PS The British museum will probably tell you what you want to know if you email them.
As far as I know, the spellings of Crowley are very influenced by the Golden Dawn... except that he changed a few names by adding or substracting letters (i.e, "Nuit" instead of "Nut", etc). And Budge was an influence too, of course.
On the other hand, there's something that came to my mind right now:
maybe what Crowley did with the Enochian language could offer a clue about what he was doing with Egyptian. I mean, he has almost invented his own Enochian...
Thanks for all the comments...
I note that someone has written a biography of Budge:
BUDGIE ...The Life of Sir E A T Wallis Budge, Egyptologist, Assyriologist and Keeper of the Department of Egyptian and Assyrian Antiquities at the British Museum, 1892–1924
by Robert Morrell
Born illegitimate in Bodmin, Cornwall, in 1857 to a member of a poor, working class family, Wallis Budge overcame all the obstacles he faced to eventually go from being a warehouse clerk with no prospects to the University of Cambridge and Christ's College at a time when there was little or no provision for working-class youths to obtain higher education, to become Keeper in the Department of Egyptian and Assyrian Antiquities at the British Museum and one of the best known British Egyptologists. The author of 150 books he travelled to Egypt and Mesopotamia during which he collected some of his department's greatest treasures, often using questionable means to get these out of Egypt and Iraq (or Assyria as it was then called). Yet for all his fame many mysteries surround his life and in this work an attempt is made to find answers to some of these, not least the identity of his father. It examines his often stormy conflicts with other scholars and his relations with women. Budge's life makes fascinating reading, and this work contains much hitherto unpublished material.
Owner and Editor
one thing. The Aeon of Horus will end when Hrumachis arises. The name seems to be a form of Maat, but it isn't in any of the books I have looked through or on the net, at least not on a proper Egyptology site. If we could find a book that uses the name Hrumachis that would probably be Crowleys source. Since Hrumachis stands in the same relation to Thelema as the Beast 666 does to Christianity its odd there isn't more about her/him /it in thelemic studies.
Best Wishes Robert.
I've referred often in the past to the following useful guide to the gods from a Thelemite's perspective:
Egyptian Gods - Stuff You Should Know.
Compiled by Shawn C. Knight
Herein I have placed short summaries explaining the functions of many
of the more important gods worshiped in Ancient Egypt.
If anyone can suggest any additions, modifications, clarifications,
etc. please feel free to contact me by Email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Also, if anyone catches any typos, let me know. Typos in the names of
gods nay or may not be corrected, depending upon whether (upon
consulting my sources, grammars, dictionaries, etc.) they're actually
typos! If some fact is blatantly wrong, please contact me with a
reference, and I will see if I can find some further information on
the subject. In such cases, we may be considering two different
versions of the myth, in which case I will add the variant information
as such to the FAQ.
The bulk of this material is to be found, in a more comprehensive and
scholarly form, in Sir E. A. Wallis Budge's _The Gods of the
Egyptians; or, Studies in Egyptian Mythology_ (Dover, New Tork, 1969
ed. reprinted paperback from original London 1904 printing). However,
much of it is collected from various other sources which I have read
during the course of my nearly 15 years as an amateur Egyptologist.
If you want a bibliography, I will start by recommending all the works
of Mr. Budge; particular titles include _Egyptian Magic_, _Osiris and
the Egyptian Resurrection_, _The Egyptian Book of the Dead_, and
Those particularly interested in the language of Ancient Egypt should
be aware also of Budge's _An Egyptian Hieroglyphic Dictionary_. For
the most highly interested students (with sufficient time, interest,
and background in linguistics) I cannot overly recommend Sir Alan
Gardiner's _Egyptian Grammar_, latest reprinting 1988, contact Oxbow
Books if interested but be forewarned: my copy, the absolute prize of
my book collection, cost $80 if I recall correctly. (I keep my copy
right next to Crowley's _Magick in Theory and Practice_ and
Blavatsky's _Isis Unveiled_.)
Amen (Amon, Amun, Ammon)
Amen's name means "The Hidden One." Amen was the patron deity of the
city of Thebes from earliiest times, and was viewed (along with his
consort Amenet) as a primordial creation-deity. He is represented in
five forms: (1) a man, enthroned; (2) a frog-headed man (as a
primordial deity); (3) a cobra-headed man; (4) an ape; (5) a lion.
His sacred animals were the goose and the ram, though he was not
depicted as them.
Up to Dynasty XII Amen was unimportant except in Thebes; but when the
Thebans had established their sovereignty in Egypt, Amen became a
prominent deity, and by Dynasty XVIII was termed the King of the Gods.
His famous temple, Karnak, is the largest religious structure ever
built by man. According to E.A.Wallis Budge's _Gods of the
Egyptians_, Amen by Dynasy XIX-XX was thought of as "an invisible
creative power which was the source of all life in heaven, and on the
earth, and in the great deep, and in the Underworld, and which made
itself manifest under the form of Ra."
Amen was self-created, according to later traditions; according to the
older Theban traditions, Amen was created by Thoth as one of the eight
primordial deities of creation (Amen, Amenet, Heq, Heqet, Nun, Naunet,
During the New Kingdom, Amen's consort was Mut, "Mother," who seems to
have been the Egyptian equivalent of the "Great Mother" archetype.
The two thus formed a pair reminiscent of the God and Goddess of other
traditions such as Wicca.
SEE ALSO Amen-Ra, Mut, Thoth.
A composite deity, invented by the priests of Amen as an attempt to
link New Kingdom (Dyn. XVIII-XXI) worship of Amen with the older solar
cult of the god Ra.
SEE ALSO Amen, Ra.
Amset (Imsety, Mestha, Ameshest)
One of the Four Sons of Horus, Amset was represented as a mummified
man. He was the protector of the liver of the deceased, and was
protected by the goddess Isis.
SEE ALSO Four Sons of Horus, Isis.
Anubis (Anpu, Ano-Oobist)
Anubis (the Greek corruption of the Egyptian "Anpu") was the son of
Nephthys: by some traditions, the father was Set; by others, Osiris.
Anubis was depicted as a jackal, or as a jackal-headed man; in
primitive times he was probably simply the jackal god. Owing to the
jackal's tendency to prowl around tombs, he became associated with the
dead, and by the Old Kingdom, Anubis was worshipped as the inventor of
embalming, who had embalmed the dead Osiris, thus helping preserve him
in order to live again. Anubis was also worshipped under the title
"Wepuat" ("Opener of the Ways"), who conducted the souls of the dead
to their judgement, and who monitored the Scales of Truth to protect
the dead from deception and eternal death.
SEE ALSO Nephthys, Osiris, Set.
A cat-goddess, worshiped in the Delta city of Bubastis. A protectress
of cats and those who cared for cats. As a result, an important deity
in the home (since cats were prized pets) and also important in the
iconography (since the serpents which attack the sun god were usually
represented in papyri as being killed by cats).
She was also worshiped as the consort of Ptah-seker-ausar; and is
joined with Sekhmet and Ra (a very unusual combination of male and
female deities) to form Sekhmet-bast-ra, also worshiped as
Ptah-seker-ausar's spouse, and viewed as a deity of the destructive,
purifying power of the sun.
SEE ALSO Ptah, Ra, Sekhmet.
A deity of either African or Semitic origin; came to Egypt by Dynasty
XII. Depicted as a bearded, savage-looking yet comical dwarf, shown
full-face in images (highly unusual by Egyptian artistic conventions).
Revered as a deity of household pleasures such as music, good food,
and relaxation. Also a protector and entertainer of children.
However, many texts point to the idea that Bes was a terrible,
avenging deity, who was as swift to punish the wicked as he was to
amuse and delight the righteous.
Duamutef (Thmoomathph, Tuamutef)
One of the Four Sons of Horus, Duamutef was represented as a mummified
man with the head of a jackal. He was the protector of the stomach of
the deceased, and was protected by the goddess Neith.
SEE ALSO Four Sons of Horus, Neith.
Four Sons of Horus
The four sons of Horus were the protectors of the parts of the body of
Osiris, and from this, became the protectors of the body of the
deceased. They were: Amset, Hapi, Duamutef, and Qebhsenuef. They
were protected in turn by the goddesses Isis, Nephthys, Neith, and
SEE ALSO Amset, Duamutef, Hapi, Isis, Neith, Nephthys, Qebhsenuef, and
The god of the earth, son of Shu and Tefnut, brother and husband of
Nuit, and father of Osiris, Set, Isis, and Nephthys. In the earliest
stages of Egyptian history his name was Geb; in later forms of the
language it became Seb, but the old pronunciation has become so common
in popular works on the subject that it is used herein. His sacred
animal was the goose. He is generally represented as a man with green
or black skin - the color of living things, and the color of the
fertile Nile mud, respectively. It was said that Seb would hold
imprisoned the souls of the wicked, that they might not ascend to
Hadit: SEE Hor-behedet.
One of the Four Sons of Horus, Hapi was represented as a mummified man
with the head of a baboon. He was the protector of the lungs of the
deceased, and was protected by the goddess Nephthys.
SEE ALSO Four Sons of Horus, Nephthys.
Hathor (Het-heru, Het-Hert)
A very old goddess of Egypt, worshiped as a cow-deity from earliest
times. The name "Hathor" is the Greek corruption of the variants
Het-Hert ("the House Above") and Het-Heru ("the House of Horus").
Both terms refer to her as a sky goddess. The priests of Heliopolis
often referred to her as Ra's consort, the mother of Shu and Tefnut.
Like Isis, Hathor was considered by many to be the goddess "par
excellence" and held the attributes of most of the other goddesses at
one time or another. Like Isis and Mut, Hathor was a manifestation of
the "Great Mother" archetype; a sort of cosmic Yin.
She had so very many manifestations that eventually seven important
ones were selected and widely worshiped as the "Seven Hathors": Hathor
of Thebes, Heliopolis, Aphroditopolis, Sinai, Momemphis,
Herakleopolis, and Keset.
The Greeks identified her with Aphrodite, and this is not too far off,
as she represented, in the texts, everything true, good, and beautiful
in all forms of woman; mother, wife, sister, and daughter; also the
patron of artists of every kind, and of joyful things, festivals, and
happiness. The star Sirius (called by the Egyptians Sepd) was sacred
SEE ALSO Isis, Mut, Ra, Shu, Tefnut.
A composite deity in Crowley's quasi-Egyptian mythology; composed of
Ra-Hoor-Khuit and Hoor-par-kraat. Apparently without basis in
historical Egyptian mythology, but the name, translated into Egyptian,
means something approximating "Horus and Ra be Praised!"
SEE ALSO Ra-Hoor-Khuit, Hoor-pa-kraat.
"Horus of (or in) the Horizons," one of the most common titles of
Horus, especially when in his function as a solar deity, emphasizing
his reign stretching from one horizon to the other.
SEE ALSO Horus, Ra, Ra-Hoor-Khuit.
A form of Horus worshipped in the city of Behdet, shown in the
well-known form of a solar disk with a great pair of wings, usually
seen hovering above important scenes in Egyptian religious art. Made
popular by Aleister Crowley under the abbreviated name "HADIT", the
god appears to have been a way of depicting the omnipresence of Ra and
Horus. As Crowley says in _Magick in Theory and Practice_, "the
infinitely small and atomic yet omnipresent point is called HADIT."
This is a good expression of the god - seen almost everywhere, yet at
the same time small and out-of-the-way.
SEE ALSO Horus.
Hor-pa-kraat (Horus the Child, HOOR-PAR-KRAAT)
Horus, the son of Isis and Osiris, distinguished from Horus the Elder,
who was the old patron deity of Upper Egypt; but the worship of the
two gods became confused early in Egyptian history and the two
essentially merged. Represented as a young boy with a child's
sidelock of hair, sucking his finger.
SEE ALSO Horus.
One of the most important deities of Egypt. Horus as now conceived is
a mixture of the original deities known as "Horus the Child" and
"Horus the Elder". As the Child, Horus is the son of Osiris and Isis,
who, upon reaching adulthood, becomes known as Her-nedj-tef-ef
("Horus, Avenger of His Father") by avenging his father's death, by
defeating and casting out his evil uncle Set. He then became the
divine prototype of the Pharaoh.
As Horus the Elder, he was also the patron deity of Upper (Southern)
Egypt from the earliest times; initially, viewed as the twin brother
of Set (the patron of Lower Egypt), but he became the conqueror of Set
c. 3000 B.C.E. when Upper Egypt conquered Lower Egypt and formed the
unified kingdom of Egypt.
SEE ALSO Hor-pa-kraat, Horus the Elder, Isis, Osiris, Set.
Horus the Elder (Her-ur, Aroueris)
Horus, the patron god of Upper Egypt from time immemorial;
distinguished from Horus the Child (Hor-pa-kraat), who was the son of
Isis and Osiris; but the two gods merged early in Egyptian history and
became the one Horus, uniting the attributes of both.
SEE ALSO Hor-pa-kraat, Horus.
Perhaps the most important goddess of all Egyptian mythology, Isis
assumed, during the course of Egyptian history, the attributes and
functions of virtually every other important goddess in the land. Her
most important functions, however, were those of motherhood, marital
devotion, healing the sick, and the working of magical spells and
charms. She was believed to be the most powerful magician in the
universe, owing to the fact that she had learned the Secret Name of Ra
>from the god himself. She was the sister and wife of Osiris, sister
of Set, and twin sister of Nephthys. She was the mother of Horus the
Child (Hor-pa-kraat), and was the protective goddess of Horus's son
Amset, protector of the liver of the deceased.
Isis was responsible for protecting Horus from Set during his infancy;
for helping Osiris to return to life; and for assisting her husband to
rule in the land of the Dead.
Her cult seems to have originally centered, like her husband's, at
Abydos near the Delta in the North (Lower Egypt); she was adopted into
the family of Ra early in Egyptian history by the priests of
Heliopolis, but from the New Kingdom onwards (c. 1500 BC) her worship
no longer had any particular identifiable center, and she became more
or less universally worshiped, as her husband was.
SEE ALSO Amset, Hor-pa-kraat, Horus, Nephthys, Osiris, Ra, Set.
The creator-god, according to early Heliopolitan cosmology; considered
a form of Ra. The Egyptian root "kheper" signifies several things,
according to context, most notably the verb "to create" or "to
transform", and also the word for "scarab beetle". The scarab, or
dung beetle, was considered symbolic of the sun since it rolled a ball
of dung in which it laid its eggs around with it - this was considered
symbolic of the sun god propelling the sphere of the sun through the
sky. In later Heliopolitan belief, which named the sun variously
according to the time of the day, Khephra was the nighttime form of
SEE ALSO Ra.
The third member (with his parents Amen and Mut) of the great triad of
Thebes. Khonsu was the god of the moon. The best-known story about
him tells of him playing the ancient game "senet" ("passage") against
Thoth, and wagered a portion of his light. Thoth won, and because of
losing some of his light, Khonsu cannot show his whole glory for the
entire month, but must wax and wane.
SEE ALSO Amen, Mut, Thoth.
The wife of Thoth, Ma'at's name means "Truth", "Justice", and perhaps
even "Tao". It cannot readily be rendered into English but "truth" is
perhaps a satisfactory translation. Ma'at was represented as a tall
woman with an ostrich feather in her hair. She was present at the
judgement of the dead; her feather was balanced against the heart of
the deceased to determine whether he had led a pure and honest life.
All civil laws in Egypt were held up to the "Law of Ma'at", which
essentially was a series of old conceptions and morals dating to the
earliest times in Egypt. A law contrary to the Law of Ma'at would not
have been considered valid in Egypt.
SEE ALSO Thoth.
Min (Menu, Amsu)
A form of Amen depicted holding a flail (thought to represent a
thunderbolt in Egyptian art) and with an erect penis; his full name
was often given as Menu-ka-mut-ef ("Min, Bull of his Mother"). Min
was worshiped as the god of virility; lettuces were offered as
sacrifice to him and then eaten in hopes of procuring manhood; and he
was worshiped as the husband of the goddess Qetesh, goddess of love
SEE ALSO Amen, Qetesh.
The wife of Amen in Theban tradition; seen as the mother, the loving,
receptive, nurturing force (similar to Yin) behind all things, even as
her husband was the great energy, the creative force (similar to
Yang). The word "mut" in Ancient Egyptian means "mother". She was
also the mother of Khonsu, the moon god.
SEE ALSO Amen, Khonsu.
A very ancient goddess worshiped in the Delta; revered as a goddess of
wisdom, often identified with Ma'at; in later traditions, the sister
of Isis, Nephthys, and Serket, and protectress of Duamutef, the god of
the stomach of the deceased.
SEE ALSO Duamutef, Ma'at.
The sister and wife of Set, and sister of Isis and Osiris; also the
mother (variantly by Set or by Osiris) of Anubis. She abandoned Set
when he killed Osiris, and assisted Isis in the care of Horus and the
resurrection of Osiris. She was, along with her sister, considered
the special protectress of the dead, and she was the guardian of Hapi,
the protector of the lungs of the deceased.
SEE ALSO Hapi, Horus, Isis, Osiris, Set.
The goddess of the sky, daughter of Shu and Tefnut, sister and wife of
Geb, mother of Osiris, Set, Isis, and Nephthys. Described by Crowley
in his _Magick in Theory and Practice_ thus: "Infinite space is called
the goddess NUIT." Nut was generally depicted as a woman with blue
skin, and her body covered with stars, standing on all fours, leaning
over her husband, representing the sky arched over the earth. Her
relationship to HADIT is an invention of Crowley's with no basis in
Egyptology, save only that Hadit was often depicted underneath Nuit -
one finds Nuit forming the upper frame of a scene, and the winged disk
Hadit floating beneath, silently as always. This is an artistic
convention, and there was no marriage between the two in ancient
SEE ALSO Geb, Hor-behedet (Hadit), Shu.
The god of the dead, and the god of the resurrection into eternal
life; ruler, protector, and judge of the deceased, and his prototype
(the deceased was in historical times usually referred to as "the
Osiris"). His cult originated in Abydos, where his actual tomb was
said to be located.
Osiris was the first child of Nut and Geb, thus the brother of Set,
Nephthys, and Isis, who was also his wife. By Isis he fathered Horus,
and according to some stories, Nephthys assumed the form of Isis,
seduced him thus, and from their union was born Anubis.
Osiris ruled the world of men in the beginning, after Ra had abandoned
the world to rule the skies, but he was murdered by his brother Set.
Through the magic of Isis, he was made to live again. Being the first
living thing to die, he subsequently became lord of the dead. His
death was avenged by his son Horus, who defeated Set and cast him out
into the desert to the West of Egypt (the Sahara).
Prayers and spells were addressed to Osiris throughout Egyptian
history, in hopes of securing his blessing and entering the afterlife
which he ruled; but his popularity steadily increased through the
Middle Kingdom. By Dynasty 18 he was probably the most widely
worshiped god in Egypt. His popularity endured until the latest
phases of Egyptian history; reliefs still exist of Roman emperors,
conquerors of Egypt, dressed in the traditional garb of the Pharaohs,
making offerings to him in the temples.
SEE ALSO Anubis, Geb, Horus, Isis, Nephthys, Ra, Set.
Pharaoh (deified kings)
>From earliest times in Egypt the pharaohs were worshipped as gods: the
son of Ra, the son of Horus, the son of Amen, etc. depending upon what
period of Egyptian history and what part of the country is being
considered. It should be noted that prayers, sacrifices, etc. to the
pharaohs were extremely rare, if they occured at all - there seems to
be little or no evidence to support an actual cult of the pharaoh.
The pharaoh was looked upon as being chosen by and favored by the gods
his fathers. The pharaoh was never regarded as the son of any
goddesses, but rather as the son of the Queen his mother, fathered by
the god, incarnate as his earthly father. (A few seeming exceptions
to this include a sculpture of Pharaoh Tutankhamen being embraced by
his "parents" Amen and Mut, but the intent here seems to be to compare
the king with their son Khonsu, rather than to actually claim that Mut
was his mother.)
SEE ALSO Amen, Khonsu, Mut.
Worshiped in Memphis from the earliest dynastic times (c.3000 BC),
Ptah was seen as the creator of the universe in the Memphite
cosmology. He fashioned the bodies in which dwelt the souls of men in
the afterlife. Other versions of the myths state that he worked under
Thoth's orders, creating the heavens and the earth according to
Ptah is depicted as a bearded man wearing a skullcap, shrouded much
like a mummy, with his hands emerging from the wrappings in front and
holding the Uas (phoenix-headed) scepter, an Ankh, and a Djed (sign of
stability). He was often worshiped in conjunction with the gods Seker
and Osiris, and worshiped under the name Ptah-seker-ausar.
SEE ALSO Osiris, Seker, Thoth.
Qebhsenuef (Kabexnuf, Qebsneuef)
One of the Four Sons of Horus, Qebhsenuef was represented as a
mummified man with the head of a falcon. He was the protector of the
intestines of the deceased, and was protected by the goddess Serket.
SEE ALSO Four Sons of Horus, Serket.
Originally believed to be a Syrian deity, Qetesh was an important form
of Hathor, specifically referred to in the latter's function as
goddess of love and beauty. Qetesh was depicted as a beautiful nude
woman, standing or riding upon a lion, holding flowers, a mirror, or
serpents. She is generally shown full-face (unusual in Egyptian
artistic convention). She was also considered the consort of the god
Min, the god of virility.
SEE ALSO Hathor, Min.
Ra was the god of the sun during dynastic Egypt; the name is thought
to have meant "creative power", and as a proper name "Creator",
similar to English Christian usage of the term "Creator" to signify
the "almighty God." Very early in Egyptian history Ra was identified
with Horus, who as a hawk or falon-god represented the loftiness of
the skies. Ra is represented either as a hawk-headed man or as a
Owing to the fact that the sun was a fire, the Egyptians realized that
in order to travel through the waters of Heaven and the Underworld, it
required a boat, and so Ra was depicted as traveling in a boat.
During the day the boat was a great galley called Madjet ("becoming
strong") and during the night, a small barge called Semektet
During dynastic Egypt Ra's cult center was Annu (Hebrew "On", Greek
"Heliopolis", modern-day "Cairo"). In Dynasty V, the first king,
Userkaf, was also Ra's high priest, and he added the term "Sa-Ra (Son
of Ra)" to the titulary of the pharaohs.
Ra was father of Shu and Tefnut, grandfather of Nut and Geb,
great-grandfather of Osiris, Set, Isis, and Nephthys, and
great-great-grandfather to Horus. In later periods (about Dynasty 18
on) Osiris and Isis superseded him in popularity, but he remained "Ra
netjer-aa neb-pet" ("Ra, the great God, Lord of Heaven") whether
worshiped in his own right or, in later times, as half of the Lord of
the Universe, Amen-Ra.
SEE ALSO Amen, Amen-Ra, Geb, Horus, Isis, Nephthys, Nut, Osiris, Set,
"Ra, who is Horus of the Horizons." An appelation of Ra, identifying
him with Horus, showing the two as manifestations of the singular
Solar Force. The spelling "Ra-Hoor-Khuit" was popularized by Aleister
Crowley, first in the Book of the Law (Liber AL vel Legis).
SEE ALSO Hor-akhuti, Horus, Ra.
Seb: SEE Geb.
A god of light, protector of the spirits of the dead passing through
the Underworld en route to the afterlife. Seker was worshiped in
Memphis as a form of Ptah or as part of the compoun deities Ptah-seker
SEE ALSO Ptah.
A lioness-goddess, worshiped in Memphis as the wife of Ptah; created
by Ra from the fire of his eyes as a creature of vengeance to punish
mankind for his sins; later, became a peaceful protectress of the
righteous. She was worshiped with Bast and Ra as a compound deity,
Sekhmet-bast-ra, and was considered the consort of Ptah-seker-ausar.
SEE ALSO Bast, Ptah, Ra, Seker.
Serket (Serqet, Selket)
A scorpion-goddess, shown as a beautiful woman with a scorpion poised
on her head; her creature struck death to the wicked, but she was also
prayed to to save the lives of innocent people stung by scorpions; she
was also viewed as a helper of women in childbirth. She is also
depicted as binding up demons that would otherwise threaten Ra, and
she sent seven of her scorpions to protect Isis from Set.
She was the protectress of Qebhsenuef, the son of Horus who guarded
the intestines of the deceased. She was made famous by her statue
>from Tutankhamen's tomb, which was part of the collection which toured
America in the 1970's.
SEE ALSO Isis, Qebhsenuef, Ra, Set.
Originally, in earliest times, Set was the patron deity of Lower
(North) Egypt, and represented the fierce storms of the desert whom
the Lower Egyptians sought to appease. However, when Upper Egypt
conquered Lower Egypt and ushered in the First Dynasty, Set became
known as the evil enemy of Horus (Upper Egypt's dynastic god).
Set was the brother of Osiris, Isis, and Nephthys, and husband of the
latter; according to some versions of the myths he is also father of
Set is best known for murdering his brother and attempting to kill his
nephew Horus; Horus, however, managed to survive and grew up to avenge
his father's death by establishing his rule over all Egypt and casting
Set out into the lonely desert for all time.
In the 19th Dynasty there began a resurgence of respect for Set, and
he was seen as a great god once more, the god who benevolently
restrained the forces of the desert; but this was short-lived and by
around Dynasty 20 or 21 Set became once more dreaded as the god of
SEE ALSO Anubis, Horus, Isis, Osiris, Nephthys.
The god of the atmosphere and of dry winds, son of Ra, brother and
husband of Tefnut, father of Geb and Nuit. Represented in hieroglyphs
by an ostrich feather (similar to Ma'at's), which symbol he is usually
shown wearing on his head. He is generally shown standing on the
recumbent Geb, holding aloft his daughter Nuit, separating the two.
It was said that if he ever ceased to interpose himself between earth
and sky, life would cease to be on our world - a very accurate
assessment, it would seem. The name "Shu" appears to be related to
the root "shu" meaning "dry, empty." Shu also seems to be a
personification of the sun's light. Shu and Tefnut were also said to
be but two halves of one soul, perhaps the earliest recorded example
SEE ALSO Geb, Nuit, Ra, Tefnut.
The goddess of moisture and clouds, daughter of Ra, sister and wife of
Shu, mother of Geb and Nuit. Depicted as a woman with the head of a
lioness, which was her sacred animal. The name "Tefnut" probably
derives from the root "teftef", signifying "to spit, to moisten" and
the root "nu" meaning "waters, sky."
SEE ALSO Geb, Nuit, Ra, Shu.
The god of wisdom (Thoth is the Greek corruption of the original
Egyptian Tahuti), Thoth was said to be self-created at the beginning
of time, along with his consort Ma'at (truth). The two produced eight
children, of which the most important was Amen, the hidden one, who
was worshiped in Thebes as the Lord of the Universe.
Thoth was depicted as a man with the head of an ibis bird, and carried
a pen and scrolls upon which he recorded all things. He was shown as
attendant in almost all major scenes involving the gods, but
especially at the judgement of the deceased.
It was widely believed that Thoth invented the magical and hermetic
arts, and thus the Tarot deck, especially its revision by Aleister
Crowley, is often referred to as the "Book of Thoth".
SEE ALSO Amen, Ma'at.
Owner and Editor
Best Wishes Robert.
Hrumachis is Harmachis, the rising sun.
Prophet of L
Harmachis is Heru-em-Akhet, or "Heru-in-the-Horizon".
Heru-em-Akhet is the great Sphinx before the second pyramid at Giza.
Owner and Editor
We will never really be sure of the pronunciation of many of the Ancient Egyptian words I'm afraid. Much of the language is known from later times through the travels of people like Herodotus, but they were written in Classical Greek and people still argue about the 'correct' pronunciation of that language too! The spoken language from earlier times will probably always be unknown to us.
The written language changed over time, the most significant change being made in Akhenaten's time. Looking at various spellings, from different times, of the same words or names should give us a clue... in the case of Ra-Horakhti this just adds to my confusion. The main problem with this name is the final part, 'akhti', which could be pronounced in any of the various ways already given in this topic above...
'Akh' is actually a single glyph given the phonetic value 'KH' in modern times. In practice we have no idea where the vowel sound should be for pronunciation, or which vowel sound should be used.
The name is sometimes written, in earlier times, without the 't'. In Hieroglyphics the 't' is an indicator of a feminine term. As the word 'Akh' means 'Horizon', the 't' could be entirely silent, simply indicating the femine nature of the horizon. This has caused a lot of confusion and no-one's entirely sure when the 't' should or should not be pronounced: an obvious example of this confusion is the Goddess Name Bast or Bastet. Her name terminates with two ts and most assume that one is to be pronounced (Bast) and the other is to indicate the Goddess is female, others pronounce both ts (Bastet). The 't' as indicator of fem. is definitely silent in some cases: Cleopatra's name was written in Heiroglyphs as Kleopatris(t) and it's obvious that 't' was not spoken. Whether this was always the case is anybody's guess though.
The 'i' sound given at the end is another confusion: the name has sometimes been found written with the hieroglyph which looks like this: // - that glyph is pronounced 'i' but is also used to indicate a plural. In this case it could be there simply to indicate "the TWO horizons" and, as with the 't', may not be spoken at all. This plural glyph was also used in place of a repeated syllable: The primordial mound, the BEN-BEN, through time came to be written as BEN(//) and we can assume that in this case the // was not pronounced as 'i'.* Again, whether the non-pronunciation of the plural glyph was standard or not, we don't know.
So Ra-Hor-Akhti could be pronounced in any of the suggested forms already offered in this topic, or it could be pronounced simply as Ra-Hor-Kh. A further consideration is that the horizon glyph is simply a determinative showing which aspect of Horus is referred to, in which case it wouldn't be pronounced either: This leaves us with Ra-Hor (in whichever pronunciation of those God names you prefer to use.
The important thing is the concept, the pronunciation is secondary. Ra, Horus of the two horizons, is a concept which should give insight into Thelemic thinking. A couple of brief notes: The horizon is the place where, symbolically, the land meets the 'underworld', the microcosm meets the macrocosm, etc. As the places where the sun enters or leaves either of those realms the horizon is a doorway and the God is making a definite action at those points. The attitude and nature of the God at these two points differs, giving two specific identities.
An essay on "Thelemic Egyptology" is the intended result of this research. Any information and assistance would be gratefully received...
I was working on a similar project and would be happy to offer any information or assistance I can. It may not be too helpful but the offer's there and I'm not going to cry if you disagree with, or ignore, any of my ideas 😉 (I'll be away for a couple of weeks from tomorrow)
* an interesting sidenote - it has been suggested, though only by myself as far as I know ( 😉 ), that the later written form of BEN-BEN (BEN//) has been misread as BENI and the Hebrew Beni-Elohim are the Egyptian Gods of the primordial mound.
As for Hadit...
The name as it appears on the Stele is not really the name of the God, this particular aspect of the Horus God was never named. The title given on the Stele is "The Great God of Behdet". At Behdet (now Edfu) the most important ceremonies of Horus were carried out, such as his marriage to HatHor. This is a mysterious God who combines all the other Horus Gods, and may be seen as the perfected Horus.
Just a note. The Golden Dawn could not have obtained their Egyptian god names from Budge since the book of the dead was not published until 1899 by which time the G*D* system was already in operation. A French or German source seems more likely.
As for Khonsu, his name can be spelled Chons,Khensu,Khons,Khonsu or Khonshu although his real name was Iah (Iah Besz?). He was the child god of the moon and his titles included wanderer, pathfinder, embracer and defender. He would also attack the kings enemies extracting their energy to be made into a placenta from which the king could draw energy,
hence his other title"the one who lives on hearts". He was worshipped together with the Goddess Mut, and replaced her son Menthu (Mentu) as war god in the kingdom. The father of Khons was Amon(Amoun). How this all fits into Liber Al is mysterious as Crowley seems to have rearranged all the gods and goddesses. But that is what you would expext in a book starting a new Aeon.
Does anyone know what Mut looked like, was she a variation on Nuit?
Thanks and Best Wishes Robert.
Greetings. Mut wore the Vulture head-dress and sometimes the pshkent ( double crown ). She is linked with the cow ( indicitive of the sky), the cat and the lioness. From "A Guide to the Gods" by Richard Carlyon page 284.
re: Golden Dawn and Egyptian God-forms...
Do not forget that the Memphis & Mizraim rite existed before the Golden Dawn...
And also the Classical greek sources where available (i.e, Plutarch, Zosimos, etc).
The "Egyptian revival" can be traced back to, at least, the times of Marsilio Ficino (XV century). It wasn't really "new" when the golden Dawn emerged.
What you say is true K. But the old Egyptian texts like the Book of the Dead could not be read before Champollion decyphered the Rossetta stone. So modern Egyptology really begins around 1840 with German works appearing in 1845. Since Mathers spent a lot of time in France I would imagine he used French sources for his studys particularly as they where housed nearby to the Bibloteque Nationale . Its true the Greeks and Romans imported some Egyptian gods such as Isis and Osiris but thay seem to have had little time for the lesser gods. Of course when the Romans invaded Britain they named the river running through Londinium Thame Isis and it's still the Thames today- I imagine the Christians got rid of the Isis part- but the Roman priests used latin not Egyptian in their rituals. The Greeks used some egyptian gods but usually only if they could be fitted into the existing Greek Pantheon.
Best Wishes Robert.
ps How is the next film coming along?
I know that this is of no use to the discussion, but thus Ra-Horakhti reminds of the first mention of "God" in genesis as "Elohim": a masculine word with a feminine plural ending.
I missed reading this thread when I joined and perused the "old" threads. Thanks, Paul, for directing us here from the Ankh-f-n-Khonsu thread. 🙂
The Budge/GD "connection" was suggested by Ithell Colquhoun in her biography of Mathers (Sword of Wisdom), from the 1970s I think. To my knowledge, it was just speculation and there's no real evidence.
Am I mistaken to think that many people interpret "arise" as an arrival for Hrumachis? I think that's precisely the opposite of what is inferred in AL III:34. Horus/Hrumachis rises up out of the Hierophant's throne, at the end of the Aeon of Horus, to vacate it so that Maat can sit down and take his place.
Just my pestilential interpretation! 🙂
Thanks for the source: I 'lost' my copy of Colquhoun's book some time ago: no wonder I couldn't find the reference!
Owner and Editor
Budge is not listed as a member of the Golden Dawn in 'The Golden Dawn Companion' by R. A. Gilbert (The Aquarian Press, 1986), but as he lived until 1934, he may have had some connection with descendant orders, such as the Alpha et Omega, but that seems unlikely.