Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Egyptian God Thoth

The ancient Egyptian God Thoth (or Toth) was thought to be a self-begotten 'One' of his own making, and held many important attributes. It was believed that the gods would not exist without the words of Thoth, as he was the scribe of the gods and the Underworld, thus his power was nearly unlimited. Being the creator of writing he was seen as the author of all works of science, religion, magic, philosophy, and was the master of all forms of law. Thoth was a record keeper for the Underworld, wise counselor, and persuader to both humans and gods.

Usually depicted as a man with the head of an ibis, or simply the head of the bird, he was sometimes depicted as a baboon holding a crescent shaped moon because it was Thoth who directed the motions of heavenly bodies; the curve of the ibis' beak is similar to a crescent moon and baboons were observed as intelligent nocturnal creatures. This deity was associated with the moon due to its significant importance in early astrology, astronomy, and many of Egyptian society's important events were governed by the cycles of the moon. Perhaps Thoth, like the moon in the dark of night, provided illumination in the darkness of ignorance. The moon itself eventually became associated with another god and Thoth was more often associated with wisdom and writing, thus becoming the patron of scribes (writers). However, Thoths connection to the moon sustained in that magic, measurement, regulation of events, and of time itself remained associated with this most important of Egyptian deities.

Spiritkeepers™ Stone #sk056 shown above.

The wearing or carrying of an image of this ancient animal deity certainly could call upon totem animal like aspects to gain assistance from a "Higher Power" for a wide variety of us simple humans living today. Thoth may be called upon by modern Pagans, Wiccans, and witches for assistance in writing ones own spells or rituals, especially having to do with moon magick. An author or poet of any faith may find inspiration in an image of Thoth as a simple good luck charm. Through meditation upon His image, those having legal difficulties, or social issues, may find helpful counsel from Thoth in discovering how to persuade an opponent to see things your way... if you stand in a place of truth. Modern astrologists and astronomers could also gain important insight through meditating upon an image of Thoth. Those working in the fields of personal organiser, construction, mathematics, or any field of the sciences could improve skills with the help of this god.

*Referenced and recommended reading...
Budge, E. A. Wallis. Egyptian Religion. Kessinger Publishing, 1900.
Budge, E. A. Wallis. The Gods of the Egyptians Volume 1 and 2. New York: Dover Publications, 1969
* Free images of Thoth for you to print and color http://karenswhimsy.com/ancient-egyptian-gods.shtm

Painted stone art work images, unless otherwise credited, copyright Tree Pruitt. Totem animal text information may not be used for profit.

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Monday, September 21, 2009

About Anubis

  • Learn about Anubis and discover some ways this ancient deity can remain relevant in modern life through symbol and analogy. Ancient Egyptian text states that Anubis silently walked through the shadows of life and death, lurking in the dark places. It was he who deemed the deceased worthy, or not, to cross into rebirth; resurrection, enter a heavenly place. Anubis was the guardian of the dead, who greeted the souls in the Underworld, protecting them on their journey. He was watchful by day as well as by night.

Anubis is the Greek name for the jackal-headed God of the Dead. In ancient Egyptian mythology his hieroglyphic name is more accurately spelled Anpu (also Anupu, Anbu, Wip, Ienpw, Inepu, Yinepu, Inpu, or Inpw). He's nearly always depicted as a man with the black or very dark blue head of a jackal. Sometimes Anubis is depicted in the full form of the jackal animal, especially in hieroglyphic writing; However, at the Temple of Ramses II in Abydos he is shown in the rare form of total human, devoid of any animal characteristics. The color of Anubis' head likely served to visually link him with mummification because an embalmed body would turn black in color. Interestingly, black also represented fertility to the Egyptians, so the color choice probably serves to express Anubis' connection to rebirth in the afterlife. During the later Ptolemaic period, because their function as messenger of the gods were similar, Anubis came to be identified as the Greek god Hermes, becoming Hermanubis. Anubis was also sometimes associated with Sirius the Dog in heaven, and Cerberus in hell because even the Egyptians often thought of him as a dog, rather than specifically a jackal. Prayers to Anubis have been found carved on even the most ancient of tombs in Egypt, as He is one of the oldest deities of that great land.

No public procession in Egypt would be conducted without a figure of Anubis to march at the head, as the "go-between" of gods and men. The ancient Egyptians swore "by the Dog" when making oaths they would not break. When pet dogs died they were mummified and buried in temples dedicated to Anubis. The reason for Anubis' canine form likely stems from behavior the ancient Egyptians themselves observed; dogs and jackals often haunted the edges of the desert, especially near the cemeteries where the dead were buried. One of the reasons such care was taken to preserve the dead with sweet smelling herbs was the belief that Anubis would check each person with his keen canine nose, and only if they smelled pure would he allow them to enter the Kingdom of the Dead.

It was thought that Anubis invented the process of making mummies, so he became the overseer of embalming and mummification, as well as escorting the deceased through the procedures for entering the underworld as the 'Opener of the Ways'. Modern day persons working in paranormal or parapsychology fields may be able to seek the assistance of this ancient deity to help guide a ghost or unwanted spirit "into the Light". Awakening the dead was also one of his functions, as he was said to appear near a mummy to rouse the soul. It may also hold true that a bold modern necromancer or Medium might be able to gain assistance from Anubis in awakening the dead, allowing them to speak for a time. Anubis was the one who purified the body of Osiris through mummification after Osiris was murdered, so it is likely at this time that Anubis gave over the title of THE "God of the Dead" as an honor to Osiris. Anubis tests the knowledge and faith of the every day mans soul by placing the heart on the scales of justice for judgment. If the heart weighs heavier than the feather of Maat (or Ma'at, the goddess of truth) Anubis feeds the soul to the demon Ammit, who destroys it utterly. This is important symbolism because, though we may have done deeds in our lives that cause a "heavy-heartedness", we can make atonement before death to literally lighten up! If an individual soul carries too much remorse or regret it cannot cross into a heavenly realm; this is doctrine found in many religions active today.

Anubis was also a warrior god, opening the way to victory for pharaoh. Modern Pagans and witches may find it helpful to call upon this aspect of the God when seeking to win legal battles, clear a path through difficult situations, or even to overcome personal difficulties. In His many forms, and indeed through many types of media, the energy of Anubis remains an active part of modern life in many countries today.

Anubis Resources...

Painted stone art work images, unless otherwise credited, copyright Tree Pruitt. Totem animal text information may not be used for profit.
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Egyptian Goddess Taweret

A friend recently brought up the subject of fertility issues in the aspect of motherhood, not just abundance in life, so I was inspired to paint some unique Spiritkeepers™ Stones featuring the Egyptian Goddess Taweret, or The Great Female. Usually I pass my hand over a selection of rocks seeking the feel of energy for the image I want to create and will be lucky to find a single stone that's right for the job; in this case the blessing was a total of three pebbles volunteering to become representations of Taweret!

"Taweret (Taueret, Taurt, Toeris, Ipy, Ipet, Apet, Opet, Reret) - The Great Female - was the ancient Egyptian goddess of maternity and childbirth, protector of women and children. Like Bes, she was both a fierce demonic fighter as well as a popular deity who guarded the mother and her newborn child. She was depicted as a combination of a crocodile, a pregnant hippopotamus standing on her hind legs with large breasts and a lion. Unlike the composite demoness Ammut, her head and body were that of the hippo, her paws were that of the lion, and her back was the back of a crocodile." -- British Museum Glossary

Some of the many aspects associated with this Goddess are as follows...

  • guardian of women and children

  • a fierce protector

  • giver of fertility

  • pregnancy & motherhood

  • guide & protector through childbirth & labor

  • a good harvest

  • help with female sexuality

  • magical protection

  • ward off evil & fight demons or negative ghost spirits

  • a guide to souls of the dead and rebirth

  • a loving household deity

This Goddess is a lesser known feature character in the famous Egyptian Book of the Dead, but I've most often seen depictions of Her on everyday items a woman might use such as vanity mirrors and drinking cups. She was also an important symbol to be included on birthing blocks; wood or stone blocks women stood upon while in labor to ease delivery of the baby. Lucky babies and children in Egypt would have some sort of amulet or talisman featuring a depiction of Taweret near the bed or on worn jewelry because being comprised of both the hippopotamus and crocodile Taweret is fiercely protective of offspring! When depicted standing in profile, She's often holding the sa, which is a hieroglyph of protection similar to the ankh hieroglyph of life. She was an important deity in Her day, and I feel that Her energy if called upon today could offer comfort and magical assistance to a woman in need.

The Taweret Spiritkeepers™ Stones I painted are currently available in my Etsy.com Curio Castle store, but if you're opposed to becoming a member of a shopping site you are welcome to contact me for direct purchase (Contact link tab). Make sure to include a return email address when contacting me so that I can get back to you with ease. If you stop by the store, I do hope you'll enjoy browsing the Taweret and many other one of a kind stones I have to offer!

* Taweret & other Egyptian deities to print & color yourself

* The Book of the Dead, by Sir E. A. Wallis Budge
Download ebook for free from Project Gutenberg Literary Archive http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/7145

Painted stone art work images, unless otherwise credited, copyright Tree Pruitt. Totem animal text information may not be used for profit.

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