image Ancient Egypt

 

Amen (also Amun) - The hidden one 2500 BCE to present

Amen comes from Egypt , as a supreme creator God, worshipped as pre-Dynastic, but officially “emerged”around 2500/2400 BCE to 400CE.

Like much of Ancient Egyptian history, the history of worship and meaning of Amen was lost until recent times. Synonyms include Amen kem-atef (snake god), Amen kamutef (fertility god).

Centre of religious worship included Thebes (Luxor)- Great Temple of Amen at Karnak; Luxor Temple south of Karnak dedicated to the ithyphallic form of Amen kamutef.

Centre of religious worship included Thebes (Luxor)- Great Temple of Amen at Karnak; Luxor Temple south of Karnak dedicated to the ithyphallic form of Amen kamutef.

Literary sources include the Pyramid texts, temple hymns and the Egytian Book of the Dead. This source includes a hymn from at least 2000 BCE or later that begins “Amen, amen which art in heaven...”

According to Ancient Egyptian religious history, Amen is a sun God, lord of the sky and king of the Egyptian world. He is perceived as a primeval deity present in chaos at the creation of the cosmos and is therefore also one of the eight deities of the Ogdoad coupled with the Goddess Amaunet and representing hidden power.

He is portrayed as a pharaoh, with blue skin and wearing a modius (turban) surmounted by two tall feathers symbolic of dominance over both Upper and Lower Egypt. In addition to the major temples at Luxor, further sanctuaries were built byond the first Nile cataract at Amada, Soleb, Gebel Barkal and Abu Simel.

Amen is symbolised chriefly by a ram with curved horns. The Nile goose is also sacred to him. He is a god regarded as hidden but spreading throughout the cosmos, unseen but everywhere. Though depicted anthropomorphically, in temple hymns, other deities describe him as “hidden of aspect, mysterious of form.”

Amen is variously described in Ancient Egyptian texts as “the hidden one”, “only one” and “secret master”.
In the new kingdom from the middle of 1600 BCE onwards, Amen was drawn as a manifestation of the ancient sun god of Heliopolis, which effectively raised his prestige still further and earned him the title “king of the gods.” he was also regarded as being the father of each pharaoh. At Thebes he was revered as a snake deity with attendant connotations of immortality and endless renewal.

As a member of the Ogdoad, he has the head of a snake. Amen’s ithyphallic form probably came from the notion that because he was “first formed” of the gods, he could not have a father and therefore has to impregnate his own mother. He is generally regarded as a god with great sexual attributes. The Temple of Queen Hatsepsut at Deir el-Bahari bears a relief of her mother impregnated by Amen. A similar scene exists in the Temple of Amenhotep III at Luxor. The Great Hall of Hypostyle is filled with wall paintings of Amen and the pharoah and contains several processions honouring Amen.

By 1355 BCE the Amen priesthood was a powerful force in Egypt leading to the eventual contest between Amen and Aten, the God ‘created’ by Amenhotep IV (Akhenaten). Amen’s eclipse was short-lived and he returned to prominence until the end of Egyptian history.

The word Amen, is found throughout the Old testament texts as well as the new testament texts and is still featured in Christian ceremonies.

However in all cases, its Egyptian religious heritage is either not provided or simply not stated. In the Oxford English Dictionary on Historical Principles, the word is identical and hence untranslatable across Ancient Greek, Hebrew and Latin.

It meaning according to Oxford English Dictionary sources is given as “certainty, truth”. In Finlayson’s Symbols and Legends of Freemasonry(page 20) it is stated “AMEN-This untranslatable word, the same in all languages is a name of the great God of Egypt.” In Revelation 3:14, God is called “the AMEN”.

The use of the word Amen as part of rituals and prayers of the earliest Christian sects is well recorded as is its continued use today.

It is therefore astounding that Christian doctrine on the one hand decry’s “the serpent” of the garden of Eden as a manifestation of the supreme evil being, while on the other hand calling upon faithful to speak the word Amen as a call to “God”.

It is recorded that at the time of the great “Romanising” of Christianity under the stewardship of the Apostle St Paul, much of the Jewish mysticism was removed, or simply hidden from view.

Set(h) 2500 BCE- 400 CE

The name Seth represents arguably one of the oldest formed spirits of ill will of human history. In Ancient Egyptian history, Seth is known as the God of chaos and adversity, with literary sources dating his existence in Ancient Egyptian literature to the earliest known sources of this culture from around 2500 B.C.E.
Seth is a deity who generally represents hostility and violence, but who has also claimed considerable respect. His parents are Geb and Nut and his fellow siblings include Isis, Osiris and Nephthys, who at times is also seen as his consort.

More typically he is linked with Semitic war goddesses including Anat and Astarte. Legend has is that he tore himself violently from his mother’s womb. he is depicted in human form with the head of an animal that seems to bear faint similarity to an aardvark with erect ears and a long curving snout.

He is also depicted in wholly animal form, in which case the beast bears no real similarity to any living creature, but has a stiffly erect tail. Other animals symbolising the god include the oryx, pig, boar and the hippopotamus when it is a disruptive element of the river. Seth is also represented by the crocodile (see Geb).

Sometime during the middle of 2500 BCE, in the II Dynasty, there was a break with the tradition whereby the kings of Egypt were linked with the God Horus. The falcon symbolism os Horus was replaced with that of the creature of Seth. Several Egyptian rulers followed the cult closely.

Tuthmosis III in the XVIII Dynasty, for example, titled himself ‘the beloved of Seth.’

In the Osirian legend, first recorded in the Pyrmaid texts and later popualrised and embellished by the Greek writer Plutarch, Seth is the jealous adversary of his brother Osiris. A separate mythology credits Seth with defence of the Sun God Re as he is about to be swallowed by Apophis, the perenially hostile serpent God of the underworld. The so called Book of the dead accounts Seth as the ‘lord of the northern sky’ who controls storm clouds and thunder.

Ramesses II, in a treaty with the Hittites, implied a fusion of Seth with the Hittite storm god Tesub. There is an interesting juxposition of the image of Seth in the history of Judaic religion. In the gnostic mystical texts, Seth is seen as a powerful archon and ally to the creation of humanity. Seth is also mentioned as being one of the two brothers created by the coupling of Adam and Eve.

In European languages, Set(h) is the true origin of the figure and literal name of Satan, derived from several words, including Old English (settan) Old Spanish (settian) Old Gothic (satjan).