ride a keeper

Cover Up (Yugyeom)

Plot: Yugyeom does a subtly caring gesture as he hugs you // Party AU

Genre: Fluff/Drabble

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The Egyptian snake mythology goes beyond deities to encompass another understanding, also expressed in the Hindu concept of Kundalini and the Eastern concept of Chi. It is the life force as it expresses itself, and the cycles it makes.  The spine is the central navigating path for the life force, which the Egyptians call Ka. This life force, understood in Hindu mythology as the chakra system, expresses itself through  seven energy centers in the astral body which  correspond to nerve ganglia branching out from the spinal column. Gordon and Schwabe speak of the “Egyptian association of ‘back’ and 'spine’ with magical powers”, and notes “the Egyptian word psd for 'spine’…with a different determinative also means 'to give light’, 'to gleam’, 'to shine’.

(The Quick and the Dead, pages 88-89) I found the hieroglyphs in Budge’s two volume dictionary:   While searching for that word, I found another word for ‘spine’, and with the determinative for ‘7’, it means “the seven magical knots” of protection. Here ‘seven’ is expressly associated with the spine! Returning to our snakes, "a snake is mostly a living spinal column”, (TQatD, page 109) something the Egyptians noticed, see snake-spine illustration, which comes from a ‘Magician’s Manual’: 

The Egyptians understood the vivifying nature of the spine, endowed “with life-giving properties. Texts from the Old Kingdom on mention the back (spine) or the bones which comprise it (i.e. the neck, trunk and tail vertebrae) in contexts that suggest they were all believed to fulfill magic or physiological functions in reproduction and revivification of the dead. Thus, in PT Utterance 336, the king says to the sun god ‘Hail to you, Bull of bulls, when you rise, I grasp you by your tail, I grip you by the root of your tail (?) … As for my corpse, it is rejuvenated.’ And similarly, in PT Utterance 539, ‘I will ascend and rise up to the sky. My spine is the Wild Bull;…[my vertebrae (?) are the two Enneads; I will ascend and rise up to the sky.’’’ (TQatD, page 95)
The Egyptian word for ‘Bull’ is the same word for the vital life force, ‘KA’, possibly the sameness due to their belief that bulls were especially “high in this energy or life force.” (Ibid, page 82)
Interestingly, the bull also enjoys a special role in Hindu mythology, as Nandi is the bull which Shiva rides and is the gate keeper of Shiva and Parvati. The yogic notion of ‘prana’, the vital breath, is most similar to the Egyptian ‘ka’. However, the the Oriental ‘Ch’i’, ‘qi’ or ‘ki’, the vital force which flows, even has a similar sound.
As one Egyptian word for ‘spine’ has associations with ‘to shine’, so does the Egyptian glyph for ‘Ka’, the two hands outstretched; if it is combined with other glyphs, also means ‘to shine’ or ‘to be radiant’: 

To return back to the Pyramid Texts”, one passage “tells us that the King 'absorbed the seven frontal cobras [uraei] which then became the seven frontal vertebrai which commanded the entire dorsal spine'”. (Lucie Lamy in _Egyptian Mysteries_, page 170)
In Utterance 478, the king exclaims:
I am the Eye of Horus…I ascend to the sky upon the ladder of the god [Seth].
I appear as the uraeus which is on the vertex of Seth.“
(From _The Midnight Sun_, by Alan F. Alford, page 266)
This concept of Set being as a ladder is born out elsewhere, for Alford in _Midnight Sun_ declares "the Seth-animal was drawn with its ears and tail in the shape of the hieroglyph for the prop of the sky” (Ibid, 294). Most scholars agree the Was scepter bears the head of Set. Also, Wilkinson in _Symbol and Magic in Egyptian Art_ shows Was scepters shown standing on the hieroglyph denoting earth (ta) and holding up the sky (pet hieroglyph), Set, as son of Nut, the sky goddess, and son of Geb, the earth god, forms then the ladder from earth to heaven ( page 139):

Perhaps then we can better understand the image of the Was scepter supporting an uraeus (page 11) from a 12th dynasty North Pyramid of Lisht. Not only is the was scepter an emblem of Set’s power, Alan F. Alford reveals “according to G.A. Wainwright the djed-pillar at Busiris (Djedu) belonged originally to Seth prior to its reassignment to Osiris.“ (Alford, Midnight Sun, page 294) The djed pillar represents the spine. The spine gives support to the chakras via the nerve ganglia. Note, too, the serpent in that relief is carrying the ‘shen’ glyph (=eternity), meaning it carries the way to immortality of the spirit.
DeLubicz via Paul LaViolette speaks of the Was (uas) as "a living branch that conducts nourishing, vivifying sap, fluid that ascends…” and even found some Was scepters that were “made from the living branch of a tree that had been cut so as to include a section of the lower source branch as well as two offshoots coming from its upper end (figure 2.5)." 

The Met museum has examples of wooden Was fragments.
This is the concept of the sap coming up from the earthly root. Although the Taoist internal yogic tradition only speaks of three energy centers (or ‘Tan Tien’), they do speak of the root area and endeavor to build Chi pressure in the lower Tan Tien through 'contraction of the anus and perineum’. Through the breath and this drawing inwards and upwards, they increase their Ch’i.
Another Egyptian scepter, the Wadj, a stylized depiction of the papyrus plant, also conveys the idea of sap ascending from the root. “Wadj-amulets were worn by the living as well as the dead,” and the glyph of a stylized papyrus stem meant “green’ and 'flourishing” (From _Papyrus_, by R. B. Parkinson, Stephen Quirke, Ute Wartenberg, and Bridget Leach, page 11). Here we are back to Wadj and 'Wadjet/Uatchit’, and 'the seven companions of Uatchit’, noted by Budge, and the cobra goddess’s shrine, the 'per-nu’, or 'house of flame’.
‘House of flame’, the spine with its radiating centers is a house of the kundalini flame which rises up. Here are two scarabs showing the god Set with a rising uraeus: 

The small faience scarab (above, left) is from 19th to 21st Dynasty, and shows the god Set with
an uraeus. The other one with Set and two uraei is from Ramses II’s time. As we have seen before, the uraeus has associations with kingship:
"Pepi is the one who has grasped the White Crown,
The one upon whom is the curl of the Red Crown;
Pepi is the uraeus which proceeded from Seth,
The uraeus which moves back and forth, acquiring and fetching:
Restore Pepi to health, restore him to life…”
Adapted from two different translations of utterance 570 of the Pyramid Texts, Pepi I: Vestibule, West and East Walls:
_The Literature of Ancient Egypt_, edited by William K. Simpson, pages 260-261
_The Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts_,James P. Allen and Peter Der Manuelian, page 178
The Egyptians weren’t the only ones to be concerned with the soul’s immortality, the Oriental yogic system also was/is. “The nei tan or 'inner alchemical’ school was concerned with the development of the nei qi, or inner qi… Few martial artists today realize that the concept of the tan tien (tanden in Japanese) derives from the Taoist internal yogic tradition; the term tan (or dan) refers to the secret drug of immortality that participants in the yogic tradition believed could be developed in the area of the lower belly (the tien, literally, 'field’). Thus, tan tien translates as the 'field of the elixir of immortality.’“ (_Ba Gua: Hidden Knowledge in the Taoist Internal Martial Art_, by John Bracy, page 11)
There are three of these tan tiens, a lower tan tien which correlates either to the solar plexus or lower back chakra, a middle tan tien which correlates to the heart chakra, and an upper tan tien which correlates to the third eye/ uraeus chakra. It’s interesting that while the nei qi school
doesn’t count seven fields, they do speak of the importance of the root area, as mentioned earlier. They endeavor to build Chi pressure in the lower Tan Tien through 'contraction of the anus and perineum’. (_Tan Tien Chi Kung: Foundational Exercises for Empty Force and Perineum Power, by Mantak Chia, page 69)

In Coffin text, spell 612 the reciter declares "I have swallowed the seven uraei”, (Ritner, _The Mechanics of Ancient Egyptian Magical Practice_, page 104). ‘Swallowing’ has magical implications, not necessarily with physical consumption (although a spell may include such), but it is to facilitate the intake of heka, the magical energy-force. Here are some correspondences between the chakras and Egyptian concepts: 

In the Pyramid text, Unis ‘eats’ the magic of men and gods. “Unis’s privileges will not be taken from him, for he has swallowed the Perception of every god.” The ‘belly’ is understood to be the repository of heka, as the Pyramid text speaks of “their belly filled with magic”. Can this be aligned to the Manipura chakra, known as the ‘Power chakra’? So equipped, Unis is very powerful indeed:
“For Unis’s kas are about him, his guardian forces under his feet,
his gods atop him, his uraei on his brow;
for Unis’s lead uraeus is on his forehead,
ba when seen and akh for shooting fire;
for Unis’s powers are on his torso.”
Unis: Antechamber, East Gable and Wall page 51
_The Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts_, translated by Allen and Der Manuelian
“Unis’s lead uraeus is on his forehead”, like the “Ajna” chakra, which leads by ‘perceiving and commanding’:
“I ascend to the sky upon the ladder of the god Seth”, says the king in the Pyramid texts, how interesting that even the chakra site uses the word “ladder”:
“Together, the seven chakras form a connecting ladder between matter and consciousness, body and mind, Earth and Heaven.” {llewellynencyclopedia.com/article/249} by: Anodea Judith) The ladder begins with the Muladhara chakra, which has its roots in matter and proceeds upwards to the crown chakra, which “is the place where we study consciousness itself.” {llewellynencyclopedia.com/article/258} by: Anodea Judith.)
Kundalini is the "force” of consciousness”, which Setians call the ‘gift of Set’, that enables the entire process.
Another website on Kundalini Yoga says “The Kundalini is the internal fire that ignites our
Soul” {kundaliniyoga.org/kyt08.html}. Likewise, this seems a fair definition of another Setian term, the ‘Black Flame’. Kundalini is also described as a flame which rises up. (Remember the Egyptian word ‘Iaret’, ‘she who rises up’?) Although it is usually fairly quiet, resting about the lower back chakra, I have felt the little energy ball (aka ‘Ch’i ball’) shoot upwards incandescent, blazing all the way up the spine. Ever since this experience, the Setian term “Black Flame” has had this additional meaning for me.
Returning to yogic thought, Evola notes “Arthur Avalon remarked: ‘As the diamond is hard and indestructible, and as the thunderbolt is powerful and irresistible, likewise the term vajra is used to describe that which is stable, permanent, indestructible, and powerful.’ A special kind of scepter used during magical rituals and ceremonies symbolizes the vajra and is even called by the same word.” (_The Yoga of Power_, page 217)
The Was scepter when it is spiraled is called djam (tcham), and “The spiral shaft of the djam-sceptre might be an imitation of lightning.”(TeVelde, SGoC, page 90)

Lightning moves downwards, which Evola explains it is a sort of “command of those who have reached this supreme plane is like a thunderbolt that travels along the entire hierarchy,
starting from the top until it reaches the vibrations at the very bottom, which shape matter. This is the so-called vajra-vak, the diamond-thunderbolt of the living word.” (TYoP, page 13) The cyclical nature then allows the initiate to ‘shape matter’. Then he begins again at the bottom, as Evola describes the process of upward moving chakras:
“Through the earth chakra one acquires an extraordinary material strength. Through the water chakra one may acquire youthful energies, thus neutralizing the processes of aging and of organic decay (“The Water of Life”). Through the fire chakra one acquires the power of transforming and of dissolving the elements (this corresponds to the Hermetic saying solve et coagula).” (TyoP, page 184)
The fire (Manipura) chakra is the HEKA chakra, the seat of magical force and its transmission.
A frequent phrase concerning possessing magical powers is, “’…I have filled my belly with magic…” (Coffin Text spell 239), “I have called to mind all the magic which is in my belly.”
(Coffin Text spell 657), both via Ancient Egyptian Magic by Bob Brier, pages 124, 126) The earlier Pyramid texts declare “Unis’s powers are on his torso.” (_The Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts_, translated by James P. Allen, page 51)
The first three chakras are enabling inner powers, as sacredcenters.com explains, “self-preservation, self-gratification, and self-definition”. What do the upper chakras enable?
The fifth, sixth and seventh chakras are powers aiming outwards, the fifth towards communication, the sixth towards perception, and psychic faculties, and the seventh towards connection that goes beyond time or space. You may even meet there your ‘Self ahead of self’, and thereby receive wisdom from your future self.
And where is the heart, the center? “The heart is mentioned frequently throughout the rest of the BD [Book of the Dead] in a wide variety of contexts because, among other things, the heart was considered to be the seat of the emotions and the intellect.” (The Egyptian Book of the Dead: The Book of Going Forth by Day_, by Faulkner and others, page 151)
The heart chakra is the integrator of opposites in the psyche. Ritner makes reference to “heart of Hermes (=Thoth)” (_The Mechanics of Ancient Egyptian Magical Practice_, page 40) Thoth, called “the son of the two lords” (_Seth, God of Confusion, TeVelde, page 44) reconciles the two lords, so the heart can be seen as balancing (reconciling) the inner realm of Set with the outer realm of Horus.
There are images of Antewy, a combined form of Horus and Set, standing amidst a series of uraei. I think the following two images are illustrating the ‘chakras’, with the position of Set-Horus at the center, the heart chakra.
The heart is “the insubstantial centre of being… Everything comes from the heart and returns to it, it sends forth and it receives.” (_Magic and Mystery in Ancient Egypt_, by Christian Jacq, page 17) “It is the magician’s access to knowledge that entitles him to claim, ‘I am the master of life in whom life is eternally renewed…’” (Ibid, page 35)

“The magician goes out at night, in the darkness, with Horus in front of him and Seth at his right hand…” His message to anyone who would threaten him, “’I am Horus-Seth,’ he proclaims, thus creating an extraordinary union, beyond duality, beyond ‘good’ or ‘evil’. (Ibid, page 115)
During Egypt’s Late Period, Setne Khamuast, (aka Setem Khaemwaset), Ramses II’s fourth son, known to be an extraordinary magician during his lifetime, makes an appearance in Demotic tales. John Ray, who wrote about “The First Egyptologist" declares “The Setne of these tales is sometimes recognisable as the scholarly priest…“ who then goes through wild adventures as "here we find Setne in characteristic style, reading hieroglyphs on temple walls, when he receives a tip-off that a book containing the secrets of the universe is hidden in an ancient tomb.” (_Reflections of Osiris: Lives from Ancient Egypt_, page 95)
In “The Romance of Setna Khaemuas”, he seeks after the Scroll of Thoth. He did go into that tomb, and found the scroll, as well as having a long conversation with the ghost of the mummy in that tomb. Naneferkaptah, the ghost, predicts he will return this scroll bearing “a forked stick in his hand and a brazier of fire on his head.” (The Literature of Ancient Egypt, edited by William Kelly Simpson, page 463)
As we have seen, the was (uas) and spiraled djam (tcham) scepters all are forked, and some were even made of sticks. The ‘brazier of fire’ likely refers to what the Hindus call the ‘crown chakra’, brilliantly luminous.
The magician finds the secrets, and learns the methods.
The symbolism is abundantly clear how the ancient Egyptians saw the evolving human with evolving consciousness, rising upwards to become the akh, the immortal, luminous, effective spirit. Serpent imagery is used flexibly to illustrate this, which those of us on the quest for sovereignty seek. Meanwhile, in ancient times, those in the know would understand the subtle meanings which might pass the ordinary person by. The tomb worker, the farm worker might not know the subtlety, as he made his appeals to Meretseger and Renenutet for boons, feeling much of his life not under his control. But I like to imagine that a few of the common workers had a clue of enticing mysteries drawing them forward, sensing “Ir Shti Shta-tu!”
For it is like that today, a fortunate few have a clue of these enticing mysteries. The past has left clues, and that which was suppressed for many centuries is coming to light. Fragments of ancient knowledge still exist for us to tease out clues. However, today literacy is not limited to only the nobility and the priesthood. Today, anyone with burning curiosity may seek the mysteries, possibly thereby returning from the search, as Setne of old, bearing “a forked stick in his hand and a brazier of fire on his head.”

Joy Ride

It’d been a quiet, slow couple of weeks in the Citadel. Crops were between harvests and the next scheduled trade run was a few days off; even routine patrol runs had been uneventful. Days were long and hot, aggravating tempers.

War Boys were getting restless without any war to do. One way that some of them worked out their frustrated energy was the pit fights. Some Boys would spar for fun (to the red thumb’s chagrin), and then they’d set the ferals on each other.

Dingo had passed most of the time between patrol runs tending to his car, making Thundersticks, visiting the kennels and one spectacularly tedious morning in the gardens. Not wanting to raise tensions between Nail and Arret, Dingo avoided his feral friend when the keepers; but any time that the keepers weren’t around, Dingo always had a scrap of food for Nail. He hadn’t spent enough time to chat with Nail, either, nor had Dingo offered any more information about his curious interest with ferals.

Once Dingo had even brought a book; The Seagull, penned by a name that looked Buzzard. It was a narrow, yellowed paperback, the cover long gone, held together by staples. Six pages were stapled together out of order, but at least they were all there. It was a day that Dingo spent talking fruitlessly to other ferals, but he’d knelt quickly by Nail’s cage and poked the book through the bars at him with a hissed “You didn’t get this from me,” and continued on his way.

Maybe it was just the boredom and cabin fever, but Dingo had had this idea; a way he could talk to Nail uninterrupted. He couldn’t save the feral from the kennels, but maybe he could get him out for an afternoon…

Nail had been lined up to fight today. Simple enough. 

Dingo prowled the crowd watching the fights today. He never bet when he showed up to watch fights; some just assumed he was only there to enjoy the violence. He’d hardly be the only one.

When Nail had finished his bout and was led out of the pit, Dingo elbowed through the crowd, trailing behind them.

“OI!” He barked out to get the keepers’ attention. “Need a feral.” Shiv in hand, Dingo used it to point at the keeper on the other end of Nail’s leash. “The clever one.”

super grateful for my boyfriend who never fails to take care of me and show me all of his love

The Musketeers S01E01 Review

My review of the pilot of The Musketeers, scratched down at different times over the last week, caps made along the way.


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