Who And What Are Those Egyptian References In Liber Resh?

The Stele of Reveal­ing, which Crow­ley cre­at­ed Liber Resh, was a trans­la­tion from the Ancient Egypt­ian to the French by the assis­tant cre­ator of the Boulaq Muse­um in Cairo, under the super­vi­sion of the Egyp­tol­o­gist Bugsch Bet in 1904. In 1912, Crow­ley had the trans­la­tion done again by Sir Alan Gar­diner and Bat­tis­combe Gunn. There were, not sur­pris­ing­ly dif­fer­ences of opin­ion about some of the words and names. In Crowley’s The Holy Books of Thele­ma, the mod­ern pub­lish­ers includ­ed an addi­tion­al mod­ern trans­la­tion done in 1982. Since the three dif­fer­ent trans­la­tions are avail­able in the above book, I sought to add some oth­er­wise addi­tion­al his­tor­i­cal and pho­net­ic obser­va­tions upon the three. It is inter­est­ing to note, that the words that Crow­ley cre­at­ed for Liber Resh were nev­er updat­ed from suc­ceed­ing trans­la­tions, and remain from the first trans­la­tion.

Hail unto Thee who art Ra in Thy ris­ing, even unto Thee who art Ra in Thy strength, who trav­ellest over the Heav­ens in Thy bark at the Upris­ing of the Sun. Tahuti standeth in His splen­dour at the prow, and Ra-Hoor abideth at the Helm. Hail unto Thee from the Abodes of Night!

The sun god had a plen­i­tude of names, Ra or Re being the Sun God of Heliopo­lis. The hiero­glyph for Ra is an open mouth, an extend­ed arm and a god seat­ed with a sun and uraeus upon its head. Watch­ing the sun­rise upon the hori­zon, one can eas­i­ly see why it appears as a mouth open­ing, its arms of light extend­ing out­ward. A god sit­ting upon the edge of the world, or appear­ing to be born from the primeval abyss of water, which for the Egyp­tians was the Red Sea in the East. Budge declares that it was “by the agency of the god Khep­era, who brought this result about by pro­nounc­ing his own name.” And, indeed, Khep­era does pro­ceed Ra com­ing from the dark­ness unto the light of day.

Ra’s bark is the Sek­tet (or Man­jet) boat “the bar­que of mil­lions of years,” which car­ries Him across the watery abyss of the celes­tial sky. Sek­tet can be trans­lat­ed as “sek,” that which gath­ers togeth­er and girds itself against some­thing; and “te,” mean­ing a kiln or hot; and “t” is often used as an end­ing on nouns; Also, “tet” sig­ni­fy­ing sta­bil­i­ty or dura­tion. Thus, “the sta­ble, hot boat, which is and pro­tects Ra.”

The crew of this boat is made up of the gods of cre­ation, wis­dom and mag­ic. Tahuti, or Thoth, the God of Wis­dom and mag­ic, inven­tor of hiero­glyph­ic writ­ing and scribe of the Gods, sits in the front of the Sek­tet boat, like the baboon that cer­e­mo­ni­ous­ly, every day faces the ris­ing of the sun; but in this case appears as an Ibis bird. Ra-Hoor, is anoth­er name for Horus, mean­ing “the house of Ra.” An ancient hymn, from the Papyrus of Ani describes this. “Thoth stands at the prow of thy boat, smit­ing all thine ene­mies,” and “I have seen Horus at the helm and Thoth act­ing at his com­mand. ”

Hail unto Thee who art Ahathoor in Thy tri­umph­ing, even unto Thee who art Ahathoor in Thy beau­ty, who trav­ellest over the Heav­ens in Thy bark at the Mid­course of the Sun. Tahuti stan­dith in His spendour at the prow, and Ra-Hoor abideth at the helm. Hail unto Thee from the Abodes of Morn­ing!

Ahathoor, Het-Hert, Het-Heru or Hathor when trans­lat­ed means “the dwelling or house of Horus” and was also known as “the moth­er of Light.” She is the sym­bol­ic celes­tial cow who gave birth to the uni­verse. She was a sky god­dess in gen­er­al; but she was also con­sid­ered both a sun god­dess and a moon god­dess. She rep­re­sents the sky from the east­ern to the west­ern hori­zon. So hon­or­ing Her at noon, is to give recog­ni­tion for Her cre­ation at its peak. She is often depict­ed, being car­ried upon a boat, as water was Her ele­ment, and was iden­ti­fied astro­nom­i­cal­ly with the star Sept, or Soth­is, which is called “the sec­ond sun.”

Hathor was also the god­dess of beau­ty. The Hathor Mir­ror, with its round brass face when high­ly pol­ished was used by women of the Pha­ron­ic courts as a per­son­al hand mir­ror. The suns celes­tial light was cap­tured in the face of the behold­er. The beau­ty of the sun trans­ferred to the one who held the mir­ror. From the papyrus of Ani comes this sen­tence: “O thou beau­ti­ful being, thou dost renew thy­self in thy sea­son in the form of the Disk with­in thy moth­er Hathor.” The solar disc is often depict­ed between her horns. Her role of car­ing for the dead led Her to be called the Queen of the West, as she also ush­ered the dead to the under­world and fed the souls upon her milky tits.

His­tor­i­cal­ly speak­ing, Hathor was not known to be the noon deity, Ra was, and Khep­ri or Khep­hera was the morn­ing God, as Atum was in the evening. In the Boulaq trans­la­tion, how­ev­er, she is men­tioned as one of the four main gods.

Hail unto Thee who art Tum in Thy set­ting, even unto Thee who art Tum in Thy joy, who trav­ellest over the Heav­ens in Thy bark at the Down-going of the Sun. Tahuti standeth in His spendour at the prow, and Ra-Hoor abideth at the helm. Hail unto Thee from the Abodes of Day!

Tum or Atum, was the orig­i­nal god of Heliopo­lis, pre­ced­ing Ra. He was a sun god whose name meant “to be com­plete” or “to make an end of.”  He rep­re­sents the sun in the evening and in His form of the snake, he rep­re­sents the con­cept of the end of the uni­verse. Atum is also pic­tured as a beard­ed man wear­ing the Dou­ble crown of the Pharaoh. Also from the Papyrus of Ani is found this line. “I am Atum when he was alone in Nun, I am Ra when he dawned, when he began to rule that which he had made.” There is also, “The glo­ry of Unas is in the sky, his pow­er is in the hori­zon, like Atum his father who fash­ioned him,” which is from the Pyra­mid Texts of the Fifth dynasty (2600 B.C.E.). Tum is the rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the “old god, who grows weary,” the father of Ra. The Boulaq trans­la­tion spells his name “Toum.” Gar­diner & Gunn spell it “Tom,” and the mod­ern trans­la­tion is “Atum.”

Hail unto Thee who art Khep­hra in Thy hid­ing, even unto Thee who art Khep­hra in Thy silence, who trav­ellest over the heav­ens in Thy bark at the Mid­night Hour of the Sun. Tahuti stan­dith in His splen­dour at the prow, and Ra-Hoor abideth at the helm. Hail unto Thee from the Abodes of Evening.

Khep­ra (the Boulaq trans­la­tion) or Khep­ri (Gar­diner & Gunn trans­la­tion) and Khep­eri (the mod­ern trans­la­tion) is known as the sacred scarab bee­tle and “he who becomes,” or “self cre­at­ed.” His­tor­i­cal­ly, again, Khep­ra sym­bol­ized the dawn­ing sun, hav­ing been born in the East, not as Crow­ley spoke of him at night. His inter­pre­ta­tion of the bee­tle, who rolled togeth­er a ball of dung for which the female laid her eggs and buried it in the earth until it was time to hatch, gives the impres­sion that this was a time of dark­ness. At the time of a funer­ary death, it was a scarab amulet that was placed over the heart, which was intend­ed to stim­u­late the dead heart to beat again at some future time. From the Book of That Which is in the Under­world, (Papyrus Naskhem), it says, “In the twelfth hour of the night, Ra enters into the con­fines of thick dark­ness. In this region the god is born under the form of Khep­era.” It is not Ra who is seen in the boat now, but a bee­tle that stands in the cen­ter. And from the papyrus of Nesi-Khen­su, The god Khepera,“who is unknown and who is more hid­den than the oth­er gods, the unknown one who hideth him­self from that which cometh forth from him.”

Uni­ty utter­most showed, I adore the might of Thy breath, Supreme and ter­ri­ble God, Who mak­est the gods and death to trem­ble before Thee: I, I adore thee!

Uni­ty utter­most showed is the poet­ic para­phras­ing of the group­ing of the Stele’s gods, Khep­era, Ra, Hathor and Atum. The above became the dra­mat­ic inter­pre­ta­tion from the Boulaq trans­la­tion, “o for­mi­da­ble soul, who inspires ter­ror of him­self among the gods.”

Appear on the throne of Ra. Open the ways of the Khu, Light­en the ways of the Ka. The ways of the Khabs run through To stir me or still me, Aum, let it fill me.

The throne of Ra is the hori­zon. It is also that which is our eter­nal, inter­nal flame.

The Khu is known as sev­er­al things. Pri­mar­i­ly, it is of the spir­i­tu­al self. It is a spir­it­ed intel­li­gence that has a high­er and a low­er form. In the low­er form it shows itself visu­al­ly as a specter of low flame. It is the seat of intel­li­gence and men­tal per­cep­tion. It is part of the per­son and their thought forms that per­form thought, rea­son, judg­ment, analy­sis, reflec­tive facil­i­ties, mem­o­ry and acts as the cre­ative self. It can be trained and dis­ci­plined and ded­i­cat­ed to the high­er form of Khu. There is always the pos­si­bil­i­ty of it devel­op­ing as vam­pir­ic. The high­er form is the “Glo­ri­ous, or Shin­ing One. ” Its form is the crest­ed heron, hav­ing a shin­ing or lumi­nous effect. It is the spir­i­tu­al side of man. The Gods and God­dess­es and divine per­sons can have sev­er­al spir­its or Khus. Using this Khu, one can pass into the domains of Thoth and Hathor. One of the sev­en souls of Ra was a Khu, depict­ed as a disc rain­ing down in the mean­ing of “splen­dour.” In the Boulaq trans­la­tion, it is spelled, n khu mean­ing “to the bright one.” or  khu “the bright­ness.” For Gar­diner & Gunn, they trans­lat­ed it as the Sekh; and the mod­ern trans­lates to “ah” or “i.” The sen­tence refers to open­ing to this high­er source with­in.

The Ka is the dou­ble or abstract per­son­al­i­ty; the inner self; the prin­ci­ple of the body; the con­scious­ness self; the pro­tec­tive genius. It is the tran­scen­dent part of man. The Ka gov­erns the sens­es, per­cep­tions and con­scious­ness. It is the sum of all the sens­es. Visu­al­ly, it is a light shad­ow, the ether­ic and the astral body. It could sep­a­rate itself from or unite itself to the body at will and could move about freely. Funer­al offer­ings were made to the Ka or offer­ings were paint­ed on the tomb walls. There were priests of Ka, who per­formed ser­vices in hon­or of the Ka. Its hiero­glyph is seen as two con­nect­ing arms held up. It is a part of the astral inner self. The Boulaq trans­la­tion states that Ka means ele­vat­ed or sub­lime. Also, kha, means “ele­vat­ed or appear­ing.” Gar­diner & Gunn trans­lat­ed it to a dif­fer­ent part of the sub­tle body, the Ba soul. The mod­ern trans­la­tion spells it ka mean­ing the “high one.” The sen­tence refers to the light­en­ing of those phys­i­cal sens­es and allow­ing the astral to ascend.

The khabs is from the Boulaq trans­la­tor who was refer­ring to the Khaib­it. It is the shad­ow, the dweller on the thresh­old. Khaib­it, means, “to veil or cov­er.” In gen­er­al it is where the pow­er of the sev­en plan­ets con­verge and man­i­fest in each indi­vid­ual. The Boulaq trans­la­tion spelled it n khab mean­ing “to the shad­ow” or “to the body.” Gar­diner & Gunn named it the khabt. The mod­ern trans­la­tion was very dif­fer­ent, sw(t) (i), mean­ing “my shad­ow.”

There are two aspects to the Khaib­it, the low­er and the high­er. The low­er khaib­it is the black shad­ow attached to every per­son. It can be inde­pen­dent and free at will and can go out into open sun­light. Some­times it is vis­i­ble as an aura of light. It can be vam­pir­ic and sim­i­lar to Don Juans’ shad­ow. This shad­ow is also known to the Greeks as the Umbra. When it is seen as light in its low­er form, it appears as a flick­er­ing ecto­plas­mic light. In the high­er khaib­it form the hiero­glyph is depict­ed as a shade. With­in the khaib­it, as the dweller on the thresh­old, it is the “pro­tec­tive God of the heav­ens,” the “oppos­er and ter­ri­ble defend­er of the door.” With­in it rests the ele­ment of self-decep­tion, but it is also the bridge to the high­er planes where the “ill will” will not go. It is the pro­duc­er of motion and emo­tion; it sus­tains sen­so­ry per­cep­tion; and sus­tains blood; and is there­fore very impor­tant in dis­eases. It is con­sid­ered to be the “abode of the psy­chic pat­tern.” Because of its heav­en­ly influ­ences, it can cause delu­sions. It is the root of emo­tion­al sen­si­tiv­i­ty and the pro­fi­cien­cy of cre­ative arts. As the dweller, it sus­tains and enhances pride, jeal­ousy, fear and anx­i­ety. It is there­fore also volatile and can influ­ence oth­ers. It is the plus and minus poles of the imag­i­na­tion. There are invo­ca­tions to bring it out from the phys­i­cal body through the use of a mir­ror. It is also close­ly asso­ci­at­ed with the Ba soul. The sen­tence refers to the asso­ci­a­tion we have with our shad­ow. Will it keep us still to the point of stag­na­tion or will it stim­u­late us to our fullest cre­ative poten­tial ?

The light is mine: its rays con­sume Me: I have made a secret door into the House of Ra and Tum. Of Khep­hra and of Ahathoor. I am thy The­ban, O Men­tu, The prophet Ankh-af-na-khon­su.

We are each filled with our own indi­vid­u­at­ed light. The secret door is that process by which we open our­selves up to the dif­fer­ent aspects of our­selves in the form of each of these gods, which are a phase, a path, a trans­mu­ta­tion where we find expe­ri­ence. The amount of light we shed upon these parts of our­selves, both with­in a twen­ty-four hour peri­od in the way in which the light­ed heav­en­ly bod­ies give us their light and through time, from birth until death. This is the con­sum­ing cul­mi­na­tion of all the rays. May this light trans­pose us.

It was in Thebes, now Lux­or, the great city of the dead, that the great­est tombs and mon­u­ments are found. Thebes was the home of the high priests that ruled Upper Egypt when it was divid­ed in the 21st Dynasty. Its Egypt­ian name also means “Wise.” It is also the largest city in which Men­tu or Mon­tju or Mont was hon­ored. Men­tu was the war-like fal­con-head­ed or bull­head god who came to pow­er in the 11th Dynasty. In the 12th, Amun rose to pow­er and Mut his con­sort adopt­ed Mon­tu into the The­ban tri­ad. He was com­pared and equat­ed with Ra, Amun and Horus. One of his titles was “Horus with the strong arm.”

Ankh-af-na-khon­su is the deceased prophet of Men­tu, Lord of Thebes, who is “true of voice,” hon­ored in the Stele of Reveal­ing. He is also the son of a per­son of the same rank as Bes-n-maut, and of the priest­ess of Ammon-Ra, the mis­tress of the house Ta-nech. On the reverse of the stele with the Boulaq trans­la­tion, it says that it is he who “has left the mul­ti­tudes and rejoined those who are in the light, he has opened the dwelling place of the stars; now then, the deceased, Ankh-af-na-khon­su, who has gone forth by day in order to do every­thing that pleased him upon earth, among the liv­ing.” In the Gar­diner & Gunn trans­la­tion, he is “the Open­er of the Doors of Nut in Kar­nak, the Jus­ti­fied.” The mod­ern trans­la­tion spells his name Ankhef-en-Khon­su.

To fur­ther trans­late the mean­ing might be clos­er to the fol­low­ing, “Ankh” is both a tool and a sym­bol mean­ing of “new life.” The hyphen -af is always part of anoth­er word that lends exclam­a­to­ry force. The word na is gen­er­al­ly used as a prepo­si­tion, such as “to, for, belong­ing to, through, or because.” “Khon­su” was the adopt­ed son of Amun and Mut from the The­ban tri­ad. His name comes from a word mean­ing, “to cross over” or “wan­der­er” or “he who tra­vers­es.” So, his entire name may be trans­lat­ed as “the truth that has crossed over.”

By Bes-na-Maut my breast I beat; By wise Ta-Nech I weave my spell. Show thy star-Splen­dour, O Nuit. Bid me with­in thine House to dwell, O wing’d snake of light, Hadit, Abide with me, Ra-Hoor-Khuit.

In the Boulaq trans­la­tion, Bes-na-maut is the “son of mnb­sn­mt (the fathers name who was a for­eign­er) and born of the Sistrum-bear­er of Amon, the Lady Atne-sher.” It is also stat­ed that Bes n mut, was the son of the priest­ess-musi­cian of Amun-re, mis­tress of the house Ta nech. Bes-na-Maut (also spelled Bes-en-mut in the mod­ern trans­la­tion) can be bro­ken down to mean, Bes, as bs, which means “to intro­duce, be ini­ti­at­ed into a mys­tery, or hav­ing mys­te­ri­ous form.” Bes, was also a pop­u­lar domes­tic deity, a beard­ed dwarf with shag­gy hair, bandy legs and a tail, often wear­ing a lion’s skin. He was the patron of music, jol­li­ty, and child­birth. He was asso­ci­at­ed with human plea­sures of all kinds and he pro­tects mankind by first stran­gling then devour­ing any ser­pent that might threat­en the one wear­ing his like­ness as a charm. The word na, again to reit­er­ate, means “to, for, belong­ing to, through, or because.” It can also be a neg­a­tive, mean­ing “not,” or in this case may intro­duce a prop­er noun.

As for Maut, we must assume the pho­net­ic pro­nun­ci­a­tion and make it that of the God­dess, Maat. Maat, in short was the per­son­i­fi­ca­tion of truth and jus­tice, who was seen as wear­ing a sin­gle feath­er. The feath­er rep­re­sent­ed truth and it is seen in the judg­ment as being weighed on a scale in bal­ance against the heart of an indi­vid­ual. So even though the name is for­eign and there is no clue to the vocal­iza­tion, if we use the Gar­diner & Gunn trans­la­tions, the name could be trans­lat­ed as an oath mean­ing essen­tial­ly, “by the mys­ter­ies of ini­ti­a­tion, I swear by all that is true,” or some­thing sim­i­lar.

For Ta-Nech we may break it down thus: Ta is the sin­gu­lar, fem­i­nine form for “this or the.” Once again, the par­tic­u­lar spelling of Nech is not to be found on its own, and only con­jec­ture can aid us here. It is of inter­est to note that it sounds very close to the God, Nekht, one of the four­teen names for Ra’s souls, mean­ing “strength.” It is also the root word for Nech­a­bet, who was the vul­ture god­dess most often shown on the dou­ble crown of Egypt, which rep­re­sent­ed the union of upper and low­er Egypt. The name itself could be trans­lat­ed as mean­ing “by the wise unit­ing pow­ers” that guide.

The star­ry spendour that is Nuit, or Nut, is both an eager and desirous request to be shown the night sky, and to be placed there­in, as a star “in the com­pa­ny of stars.”

The god, Hadit in the Boulaq trans­la­tion was spelled “Hudit.” By Gar­diner & Gunn as “Behdet”; and in the mod­ern trans­la­tion as “Hehedite.” If we break down the syl­la­bles of the form that Crow­ley chose, we get these var­i­ous mean­ings: Ha is a desert god. Had or hd means “to pun­ish” or “defeat,” or to be “vic­to­ri­ous.” The it means “father.” If we add an “n” to “it” it means the “sun” or the “sun’s disk.” So, I think we begin to see what Crow­ley was try­ing to say. He was invok­ing the light of night and the light of day that wings its way across the heav­ens, to be a part him.

Ra-Hor Khut, was as the Boulaq trans­la­tion tells us, “chief of the gods” who faces Ankh-f-na-khon­su on the stele. Thank­ful­ly, there is a god of Egypt’s his­to­ry, spelled only in a slight­ly dif­fer­ent man­ner, as Ra-heru-Khuti. This is a com­pound name of the gods and attrib­ut­es of Ra, Horus and Khuti. There is only one ref­er­ence with Crowley’s spelling of “Khuit.” She was an ancient female deity from Anthribes that lat­er became direct­ly asso­ci­at­ed with “Hathor.” It is not sur­pris­ing then, that Crow­ley chose the spelling of a god­dess that was the per­son­i­fi­ca­tion of the great pow­er of nature which was per­pet­u­al­ly con­ceiv­ing and cre­at­ing. She was “the moth­er of her father, ” and “the daugh­ter of her son.” Thus, Ra-Hoor-Khuit, was the Father, the son and the Moth­er, a potent tri­ad in one mag­i­cal for­mu­la. And after say­ing this all-encom­pass­ing pow­er word, what could pos­si­bly be con­veyed but the pow­er of silence, with the sign of silence.

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