sun-god-ra

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Faience Cat
Ancient Egypt - 26th Dynasty

Vivid blue faience cat seated on a base and wearing a collar

Sacred animal to the sun god Ra and Bastet. The earliest Egyptian depiction of the cat took the form of three hieroglyph symbols, each representing seated cats. These formed part of the phrase ‘Lord of the City of Cats’ inscribed on a stone block from El-Lisht that may date as early as the reign of Pepy II, 2278-2184 BC. The Egyptian word for cat was the onomatopoeic term miw. 

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Limestone Cat Statue
Ancient Egypt, 26th Dynasty
663-525 BC

Brown limestone seated cat, with a smaller cat seated in the front, on a base with hieroglyphs.

Cats were sacred to the ancient Egyptians because of their hostility towards snakes.

Cats were also the symbol and domestic pet of Bastet (Bast) and the sun god, Ra. The earliest Egyptian depiction of the cat took the form of three hieroglyph symbols, each representing seated cats. These formed part of the phrase ‘Lord of the City of Cats’ inscribed on a stone block from El-Lisht that may date as early as the reign of Pepy II, 2278-2184 BC. The Egyptian word for cat was the onomatopoeic term miw. 

Ancient Egyptian hollow bronze seated cat statue with traces of green patina. Cats were the sacred animal of the Sun God Ra. The earliest Egyptian depiction of the cat took the form of three hieroglyph symbols, each representing seated cats. These formed part of the phrase ‘Lord of the City of Cats’ inscribed on a stone block from El-Lisht that may date as early as the reign of Pepy II, 2278-2184 BC. The Egyptian word for cat was the onomatopoeic term miw. 26th Dynasty.

New Post has been published on Goddess Isis

New Post has been published on http://goddessisis.net/duat-the-ancient-egyptian-underworld/

Duat - The Ancient Egyptian Underworld

To understand Duat we cannot just relate our current concept of Hell with it. The ancient Egyptians connected many different realms together, with blurred boundaries between them. It wasn’t just a matter of dying and then going to either heaven or hell. 

And actually, Duat was midway between earth and the afterlife. Yes, it was filled with scary creatures and difficult obstacles, but it was not where a soul went to stay for all eternity. 

Again, we must be reminded of the fact that the ancient Egyptian religion was not standardized throughout the land with let’s say one specific text that applied to all adherents. Many religious beliefs and practices were specific to their locale and had their own deities.

And then there would be a more general state religion that the king would take part of. 

Because of this, the different texts that explained different beliefs and practices were not considered an absolute. They mixed and mingled, some being evolutions of older texts and some just waxing and waning in popularity.

And so it was with the concept of the underworld… 

But for the sake of coherence, we will take a look at the most prevalent ancient Egyptian belief about the land of the dead.

geography & mythology of duat

In ancient Egyptian cosmology, the earth was thought to be flat and oval-shaped, and surrounded by oceans. Underneath this earth lay the vast expanse of the underworld, which also had the primordial waters of Nun running through them. 

For more on Nun and the primordial state of the universe before and during creation, check out the ancient Egyptian creation myth.

The Serpent Apep

The landscape was akin to the earth’s but with a more malevolent flavor.

There were trees, mountains as well as rivers, but also lakes of fire, dark caverns, evil spirits and serpents.

The ruler of the underworld was the God Osiris. Osiris was actually the King of the Earth prior to becoming “Lord of Duat”. But then his brother Seth murdered him out of jealousy… and although Isis, together with other helpful deities, tried to restore her beloved husband, he could only be revived on earth for a day and then had to become the Osiris of the Underworld.

Lord of the Underworld Osiris

But Duat was graced by many other deities as well as inhabited by other supernatural creatures.  Some were helpful to the deceased on their path through the underworld and judgment, while others could be harmful and provide challenges for the deceased to overcome.

the nocturnal journey of ra

Sun God Ra on his Solar Barque

Although earlier I said that many of the texts that describe ancient Egyptian religious beliefs were not constant, with different spells in them being used in different ways and in different sequences, there are two that were actually set. They were used in sequence and followed particular themes. 

Those were the Book of Gates and the Book of the Amduat. Together they were called “Guides to the Hereafter”

These texts describe the nocturnal journey of the Sun God Ra, from when he would dip into the underworld with the setting of the sun until he rose the next day on the opposite side. The ancient Egyptians mapped out what his journey looked like during that time.

This would also become the same journey that the deceased would take right after burial. 

The journey was divided into 12 hours, with each hour representing an obstacle that Ra had to complete in order to move onto the next. They include searching for the tomb of Osiris, facing his enemy Apep, navigating through the difficult realm of Sokar, and fully regenerating to come out as the rising sun from the eastern horizon.

Demons of the Gates of Duat

For the deceased each hour acted like a portal into the next, with gates in between.

Each of the gates had a demon guarding it.

To pass through each gate, the name of the demon had to be recited correctly. 

If passed through, the deceased would be allowed in to the Hall of Judgment for the Weighing of the Heart Ceremony, one of the most beautiful of all ancient Egyptian myths in my opinion.

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This Week - April 16th, 2015

April 16th, 2015

Join us for our weekly show featuring all Chicago music, Thursdays from 6-8pm on 88.7FM WLUW or streaming online at wluw.org!


 Sun God Ra – 6:00pm

Sun God Ra is the sonic weight of the Universe. It is the sound of the world made audible. Cosmic energy distilled into music. Sounds of the Sun. Hail Ra.

History Now – 6:30pm

It began at a mansion in Muncie, IN, and has taken seven years to come to this point. History now is the story of a group of friends that have gone through everything together, from deaths to new beginnings, from one part of the country to another, from old friends to new ones.

After recording their self titled debut EP at Ball State College in Indiana, the singer Kyle Jaromin, bassist Eric Taylor, guitarist Boaz Walker, and drummer Joseph Stanley set off on a whirlwind of shows and festivals, slowly building a loyal local fanbase. By the spring of 2009, though, things began to shift as Stanley decided to leave the band. All three remaining members moved to Chicago, one by one, and after some time off, eventually crossed paths with local drummer Ryan Quilty.

Razorhouse – 7:00pm

The musical horizon is wide open for Panick after Codex Du, and he’s not one for routine. He has kept the Razorhouse lineup fluid as he recruits musicians for an upcoming tour. Everything else is equally wide open, as he promises: “new music, new film and video projects; a gallery show or two and lots of exploration. I’m just doing what I’ve always done, building forts and looking for others who wanna play.”

 B. Forrest – 7:30pm

Hailing from the swamps of Chicago, guitarist and songwriter B Forrest’s palette of audible paint contains the colours blues, folk, love, and soul. His debut album entitled “Back to Bodhi” (due out February 2015), was a seed turned tree at the end of last year. The album was recorded among some of Chicago’s finest musicians at The Coach House. It is through singing that the soul is freed from the flesh, so join him in praise, because Buddha believes in thee.

This Week – April 16th, 2015 was originally published on Radio One Chicago

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Important Limestone Head of a Pharaoh, from 26th Dynasty Egypt

Wearing a headdress with a low relief cobra head. The uraeus cobra appears as a symbol worn on the crown or headdress of royalty. The cobra, is associated with the king and kingdom of Lower Egypt, and is also associated with the sun Ra, sometimes referred to as the”fiery eye of Ra.” According to legends, the cobra symbol protects the pharaoh by spitting fire at any approaching enemies.

Ancient Egypt.

Limestone canopic jar with stopper. Incised onto the front, three columns of hieroglyphs including birds and the sun God Ra holding an Ankh. On the stopper, Hapy, protector of the liver. Canopic jars were used by the Ancient Egyptians during the mummification process to store and preserve the organs of their owner for the afterlife.

18th Dynasty. 1570-1085 BC