An Essay on
© 2008 by Academic Services International, Los Lunas, NM, USA
Gods, Goddesses and Angels - Continued
2 - Thoth
Isis, lady of wisdom and magic, is often correlated with the number Two. But here we firmly place Thoth, as the second sphere, Chokmah, is primarily a male attribution.
Thoth was considered to be one of the most important deities of the Aegyptian pantheon. His original name was Tahuti. His feminine counterpart was Ma'at, and he is almost always depicted as a man with the head of an Ibis. In some localities, he was the head of the company of gods.
He was considered to be the mind, heart and tongue of Ra, as well as the means by which Ra's will was translated into speech.
He has been equated to the Logos of Plato. In Aegyptian pantheology, Thoth played many vital and prominent roles, including being one of the two gods who stood on either side of Ra's sun-boat (the other being Ma'at).
Thoth was involved in arbitration, magic, writing and science. He often served as a mediating figure, particularly between good and evil, cleverly ensuring that neither side scored a final, decisive victory. He is the scribe of the gods, having created writing and alphabets (i.e., hieroglyphs).
In the Tuat (underworld), Thoth is the god of judgement who records the result when the scales that weigh the dead man's heart (his conscience) against the feather of the law are unbalanced [bad news] or exactly equilibrated [good news].
Thoth was considered self-begotten and self-produced, and is credited with having made the calculations that established the heavens, stars, Earth, and everything in them. Without his words, the gods would not exist. His power was virtually unlimited in the Tuat and rivaled that of Ra and Osiris.
If you read the many mythological tales of the gods of Khem, you will find that Thoth is (almost) always involved, usually as a figure in the background - from whence he sets dramas in motion and steps into the limelight only when balance must be restored (i.e., his [relatively unknown] use of the phallus of the dead Osiris to impregnate Isis - resulting in the birth of Horus, or his healing of the Eye of Horus that Set wounded).
It has been said, and we deny it not, that if a person is simply present during an Invocation of Thoth, that his or her karma will be "speeded up" - that is, the cause and effect reaction in their daily lives will be accelerated, thus providing "instant feedback" as a valuable learning tool.
Practices relating to the number 2 include works of creation, writing, initiation, speech and equilibrium.
3 - Dark Nephthys
Nephthys is a goddess whose name specifically means Lady of the Temple Enclosure. Along with her sister Isis, Nephthys represents one side (pillar) of the pylons that provide a gateway into various temples. The Tuat is composed of a series of pylons, and these "doorways of transition" also represent the timeline of the dynasties and aeons as well as the entrances to the various grades or levels of consciousness encountered along the Path of Initiation.
Nephthys played a role in the Osiris myth, for it was her magical power (along with that of Isis) that reconstituted and resurrected the body of Osiris, as well as protected the child Horus.
Nephthys was a goddess with far more flexibility than usually described. As a mortuary goddess, she was one of the protectors of the sacred Canopic jars. In Memphis, she was honored as the Queen of the Embalmer's Shop, and was also related to the dog-jackal-headed Anubis.
Her primary role was that of the vigorous companion of Isis (they represented dark and light). This ties in with themes that describe Nephthys as a goddess whose special realm was darkness, and further identifies her with Binah, the color of which is black.
Practices relating to the number 3 include works involving time, intuition, and passing through the "Fifty gates of Understanding."
X - Set
Set (also spelled Seth, by the Greeks) is an ancient Aegyptian god, who was originally the god of the desert, storms and disorder.
The land of Khem is primarily a wasteland, so as the god of the desert, he was viewed as being tremendously powerful and has been revered, in early times, as the "chief god." Set was a brother of Osiris and Isis, and he was the father of Anubis.
The Aegyptian word for desert was Desheret, quite like the word for red, Desher. Thus, Set became identified with things that were red.
Note that the medieval and modern Devil (Satan) is often depicted as being red.
He was also identified with some forms of Canaan gods, including Baal.
Set's priests opposed a union of Upper and Lower Khem that was being promoted by the priests of Horus/Ra (supported by the priests of Osiris and Isis). This political division was written down as the Osiris, Isis, Set & Horus myth that finally led to the battle between Horus and set. The priests of Horus thus demonized Set as being disordered and evil.
Set is often pictured as an unidentifiable animal that appears in some ways to be a donkey, but he is also often associated with the crocodile.
In Olympian mythology, Typhon attempts to replace Zeus as the King of the gods. Typhon was therefore identified with Aegyptian Set, for Typhon led the Titans when they killed Dionysus, just like Set was involved in the murder of Osiris. Thus, we often find the name Typhon-Set written in the magical literature.
Practices relating to the designator "X" should be restricted to crossing the Abyss. Works involving disorder, murder, dismemberment, and the creation of storms are best left to motion picture screenwriters - Magicians who engage in these practices have little to do with White Magic and probably need their brains examined.
4 - Amoun
Amoun (also spelled Amon, Amun, Amen, and by the Greeks as Ammon and Hammon) is usually depicted in human form seated with a crown of two straight feathers.
When the military might of the XVIII dynasty expelled the Hyksos (foreigners) from Khem, Thebes (whose chief deity was Amoun) became the most important city in Egypt and he became important throughout the realm. The Pharaohs then attributed their fruitful undertakings to Amoun, expending much of their fortune and plunder in the building his temples.
Because of his prominence, Greek travelers reported that Amoun, Chief amongst the Aegyptian gods, was the same as (and thus was identified with) the Olympian King of the gods, Zeus.
As Aegyptians considered themselves to have been depressed under the Hyksos' rule, the victory bestowed by their ultimate god Amoun was viewed as his protectorship of the unfortunate and he was seen as defending the rights of justice of the destitute. By helping those who made journeys under his name, he was also known as The Protector of the Road.
Interestingly, as he was allied with Ma'at, people who worshiped Amoun had to show that they were worthy by first confessing their sins!
Amoun was a state god who obviously later served as the prototype image of the one God, whose priests require confession. He also became identified with Jehovah (falsely called Yahweh by misguided medieval translators), whose quaternary formula, IHVH, allocates his position to Chesed, the number 4 on the Tree of Life, and whose worship has become symbolically associated with the Cross. Note that Christian prayers end with the word Amen, which they describe as meaning "so be it!" Ha!
Practices relating to the number 4 include works involving authority (including authorship), rulership, and positions involving being the "head" man or Hierophant.