hieroglyphs from the White Chapel of King Sesostri I (ca. 1961–1917 BCE) at ‘Ipet-Sut’ (“Karnak”), the highly sacred Precinct of the God Amon-Ra at 'Uaset’-Thebes:

(from right to left)
Bḥdt(y) s3b šwt pr(j) m 3ḫt nb pt

whose meaning is

“Behdety ("He of Behdet”, Horus), many colored of plumage, He Who rises from the Horizon, the Lord of the Sky"

heofspeckledplumage  asked:

Do you have any good resources for myths specific to Heru-wer? Books, links, etc? I feel like such a bad devotee that I only really know of one so far, the winged disk.

Hey there. I hope you don’t mind me making this public as I’m sure @obsidianwitch and @theartofwingingit can offer some advice.

So I definitely understand where you’re coming from here since I had similar issues when I first became involved with Heru-Wer. To me, the only thing I really knew about him before I started looking deeper was that he was a son of Geb and Nut without a counter point like their other children. It seemed like there was this great deity but he was hiding, maybe, hoping that those who really wanted to get to know him would go searching.

So let me tell you what I found before we go too much further: I found out that when it comes to Horus mythos (any of them really), it’s a complete cluster. I’m going to directly quote from The House of Horus at Edfu by Barbara Watterson: “There were many forms of Horus, some more important than others, and the myths associated with them became intertwined making the mythology very complicated.”

On top of the fact that the mythos became so complicated because of all of the syncretic forms of Horus out there, the other issue is that many of the temples specifically relating to Horus, or some aspect of one of them, were all built and re-built and re-built. As an example, the Edfu complex that we know today is from the Ptolemaic era. It took the Ptolemies years to build it (as I recall, it was actually like 3 or 4 different Ptolemies that built the current historical structure). But it was a rebuild of an ancient site dating back to the Pre-Dynastic era though the remains of this site only date back to the 5th Dynasty. (The original structures, showing a thriving city, is located about 50 m at a site known as Wetjeset-hor, which I’ll discuss in more detail in a bit.) These rebuilds are going to complicate information even further.

And finally due to the syncretism between Horus the Elder and Horus the Younger, and the similarities in mythology, it seems that many early Egyptologists kind of tossed them all into one giant Horus shaped crock pot and didn’t much care what came out.  As devotees of Heru-Wer, it becomes frustrating because we’re mostly catching glimpses of him in general books or in books about one subject that mention some tantalizing tidbit that you may not find in any other book ever again.

So basically, it’s not your fault that you haven’t found anything more mythology wise. It’s just that getting the information when it comes to any of the Horus out there is just a complete crapshoot.

Let’s talk about aspects that may be of interest to you:

1.       You’ve got warrior king in his form of Heru-Behdety already, with the Winged Disk myth. Obviously, this form was pretty prominent down at Behdet.

2.       You’ve got the blind man in his form of Khenty-Khem. Both his eyes were said to be the sun and the moon. When his eyes were visible, he was known as Heru Khenty-Irty and when neither were visible, he was known as Heru Khenty-En-Irty. This form was pretty important down in Khem, or Letopolis.

3.       Then there’s our Sphinx down at Giza, associated with the sunrise, known as Heru-em-Akhet. He was obviously of pretty big important in, you guessed it, Giza. :)

4.       Then you’ve got the Horus of the Two Horizons that we all know and love as the syncretized Re-Horakhty.

From what I’ve read, and most of my reading has been all over the map (I’ll give sources in a few minutes), I have found that the further back you go, the more and more clear cut the Heru-Wer information gets. You have to find it though because he’s not often illustrated as Heru-Wer.  You get a general Horus and a reference to a place where a major cult center happened to be, such as Behdet, Nekhen, Kom Ombo, etc.

Here’s some important information for you before I give you some resource information:

Hetheru is very important and very tied to Heru-Wer.  You really can’t get too deep into Heru-Wer mythos without finding her staring back at you. Hetheru appears to have been his primary consort and based on what I’ve found, it actually kind of seems like Re and Hetheru were together before Heru-Wer wound up with her.  I’m not sure how this came about but there you have it. You can take or leave Hetheru and Heru-Wer’s kid, Ihy. He pops up now and again, but he doesn’t get as much mention as Hetheru does. I’ll tell you that he has more information on him in relation to Hetheru than Heru-Wer.

Another thing is that Heru-Wer apparently also had another consort, who is another aspect of Hetheru: Tasenetnofret, and they had a child, too, Panebtawy. These two relations of his are found at Kom Ombo so my information is limited as I have not had time to research Kom Ombo as much as I have regarding Edfu.

The reason I decided to mention this is that I found some information when reading things on Hetheru. So, the Festival of the Beautiful Reunion is pretty big and important. It was through my research into this festival that I found out more details about Behdet. Sometimes when it comes to needing more information, you need to research the members of the triad in order to get anything of interest.

So where to look for this stuff, right?

  • The House of Horus at Edfu by Barbara Watterson (book is thin and the mythology portion is kind of disappointing)
  • Daily Life of the Egyptian Gods by Dimitri Meeks and Christine Favard-Meeks (they give glimpses that make you want to pull your hair out by the information is interesting)
  • Egyptian Myths by Geraldine Pinch
  • The Complete Gods and Goddesses of AE by Richard H Wilkinson
  • Ancient Egyptian Magical Texts by J.F. Bourghouts
  • Temple of Edfu by Dieter Kurth
  • Henadology
  • KO Wiki
  • AE Online
  • Reshafim
  • Articles about each temple precinct

I most likely have other sources with information available on the H-dubs that I’m just forgetting.

Just know that the information is there; it’s a matter of putting on your waders and sorting through all the manure first. ;D

‘Ipet-Sut’ (“Karnak”), the highly sacred Precinct of Amon-Ra at 'Uaset’-Thebes,
Central Bark Shrine of Amon-Ra,
exterior south wall of the West Room, top register, I scene:
“Behdety ("He of Behdet/Edfu”, that is Horus), Lord of 'Mesen’ (Tjaru’-Sile in the 14th nome of Lower Egypt), Lord of the Sky" (at right, falcon-headed; translation of the row of hieroglyphs above Horus)
“Thoth Lord of hieroglyphs” (at left, ibis-headed; translation of the row of hieroglyphs above Thoth)
purifying the King (Philip III Arrhidaeus). Above Him, the Solar Orb (representing Horus of Behdet) with the Two Uraei and 'Ankh’-signs