Rise like Nefertem from the blue water lily, to the nostrils of Ra, and come forth upon the horizon each day...
I am he who rises and lights up wall after wall, each thing in succession. There will not be a day that lacks its owed illumination. Pass on, O creatures, pass on, O world! Listen! I have ordered you to! I am the cosmic water lily that rose shining from Nun's black primordial waters, and my mother is Nut, the night sky. O you who made me, I have arrived, I am the great ruler of Yesterday, the power of command is in my hand.
The above illustration shows Nefertem rising from the blue Lotus as the essence of the sun, the sum of perfection, either side of the Deity are six reeds parting as the lines that mark the twelve hours of day, which Nefertem manifests. In terms of the schemata proposed for the Necropoli at Dashur, Giza, and Abusir, then the centre of the circle besides the waters would be indicative of the point of rising from the waters, the sublime design opening like the water lily from the waters of Nun.
God Nefer-Tem (or Nefer-Atum or Nefer-Ra), originally a god from Hermopolis, became the original third member of the mother-father-son Memphite triad, (usually with Ptah as his father and Sekhmet as his mother). His name means “young atum” (the sun in its youth, the rising sun) and his importance is considerable in the Egyptian concept of the origin of life at Hermopolis. The legend describes a lotus flower rising from the water. As the lotus flower opens, a scarab is revealed, then metamorphoses into a young boy crying. As his tears fall, they create humanity. We find allusions to this in the Pyramid Texts. In the Text of Unas (last king of the 5th Dynasty), it is said: “Unas has risen like Nefer-Tem from the lotus to the nostrils of Ra, and he goes forth from the horizon on each day…” By claiming to be the living incarnation of Nefer-Tem, a king claimed the power of creation.
. The lotus was said to have arisen from the waters after the explosive interaction as a bud, which floated on the surface, and slowly opened its petals to reveal the beetle, Khepri, inside. Khepri, an aspect of Ra representing the rising sun, immediately turns into a weeping boy - Nefertum (young Atum), whose tears form the creatures of the earth. In later Egyptian history, as the god Khepri became totally absorbed into Ra, the lotus was said to have revealed Ra, the boy, straight away, rather than Ra being Khepri temporarily. Sometimes the boy is identified as Horus, although this is due to the merging of the myths of Horus and Ra into the one god Ra-Herakty, later in Egyptian history.
I will say to Ptah, Lord of Truth:
The god of the blue water lily was Nefertem, a god not just linked to the sun but to beautification and healing. It was he who brought a water lily to the sun god Ra, to help ease the suffering of his aging body. The perfume of this flower was not only pleasing to the Egyptians, but they saw it as healing as well. Scenes show women holding the water lily and people being offered the flower at parties, smelling its divine fragrance. Some people today believe that the Egyptians used this plant as a narcotic both for its healing qualities and as a recreational drug when soaked in wine, though this is a hotly debated topic.
The Osiris Ani, whose word is truth, saith:- I am the holy water lily that cometh forth from the light which belongeth to the nostrils of Ra, and which belongeth to the head of Hathor. I have made my way, and I seek after him, that is to say, Horus. I am the pure blue water lily that cometh forth from the field [of Ra].
The Egyptians saw that the blue water lily opened up each morning, seeing the intense golden center set against the blue petals, seemingly an imitation of the sky that would greet the sun, releasing sweet perfume. Each afternoon, they would close again only to open again each day. The flower was therefor firmly linked with the rising and the setting of the sun, and thus to the sun god and the story of creation. The religious significance of the flower was great - many columns of the Egyptian temples had water lily capitals crowning them.
I am the Lion-god who cometh forth with long strides. I have shot arrows, and I have wounded my prey. I have shot arrows, and I have wounded my prey. I am the Eye of Horus, I traverse the Eye of Horus at this season. I have arrived at the domains.
In terms of the centre at Giza, then there is no reason why the Sphinx would not have been seen in terms of Nefertem-Horus, indeed for the period this seems most likely, the Temple before the Sphinx gives indication that it would have been connected to the mysteries of Nefertem, there are pedastals for Ten Deities, correspondant with the division of the Heavens and the Earth into ten sectors, under the contol of Sokar at Memphis, whilst at Heliopolis the Ennead of nine is increased to ten great ones with the arrival of Horus, five of which are Celestial Deities and five Deities of Heaven and Earth. In icongraphic terms the blue lotus could often be represented in five basic sub-divvisions as in the illustration above in terms of the headgear of Nefertem, or even in nine sub-divisions, as in the illustration at the bottom of page, with the head of Nefertem making ten.
Utterance 455: ... you ten great ones of the Palace, you ten great ones of On, you Great Ennead, sit down and see the purification of my father this King ..
There are twenty-eight columns around the inner courtyard, indicative of the visible lunar cycle, and fourteen portals into the courtyard, representative of the full moon, which plays a crucial role in terms of Thoth and Aah in the birthing of Nefertem, and the handing over to him the eye of Horus, which had been in the custody of Thoth.
There are also twenty-four of the pillars arranged at six per side, associate with the hours of day, of which Nefertem can be associated with twelve in terms of the daylight hours.
As to his role as a lion-headed god, Nefertem could be more war-like. He was known as khnr t3wy, 'Restrainer of the Two Lands', giving him an identity as a guardian-protector of both Upper and Lower Egypt.
In art, Nefertum is usually depicted as a beautiful young man having blue water lily flowers around his head, although, as the son of Hathor-Bast, or Sekhmet, he also sometimes has the head of a lion or is a lion or cat reclining. It might be furthur conjectured that Hathor-Bast in the function of Venus Evening Star would be involved with conception, whilst Sekhmet as the bloody Morning Star would have been involved with the ferocious aspects of birthing.
He was sometimes depicted as a man with the head of a lion or as a reclining lion or cat. In this form he was associated with the lion god Maahes who may have been his brother, but may also have been an aspect of Nefertum.
"Words spoken by Nefertum, the Great God, Lord of Ta-Djeser (The Necropolis), who orders one to appear before the mountain of the West, Lord for Eternity, Govenor of Eternity..." (Tomb Ramesses I)
The familial relationship works on the lines of the Memphite triad which comprised Ptah, Sekhmet, and Nefertum, however the mortuary versions of Ptah and Sekhmet were generally Sokar and Hathor. Ptah was the main deity of the city of Memphis, but was soon identified with Sokar in the composite god Ptah-Sokar. Sometime later in the Old Kingdom, after the ascendence of Osiris as the principal mortuary god from Heliopolis, this god was grafted on too, and the composite Ptah-Sokar-Osiris was formed.
The Sokar Feast was celebrated every year at the setting (disappearance from the night sky) of the constellation Orion, which was a symbolic death of Ptah-Sokar-Osiris. The rites center around the preparation of his body, actually a corn Osiris which would later sprout after watering, and its placement into a tomb, but the culmination of the ceremonies involved the resurrection of the god in the form of the full moon rising on the lotus of Nefertum.
Ptah-Sokar-Osiris was aided by many gods during these proceedings. The principal actors on his behalf were Sekhmet (and various others of her avatars such as Hathor, Wedjoyet, Neith, etc.), Nefertum, and Thoth. Other deities who form part of the background for this cult are Nun, Tatjenen, and various manifestations of the underworld sungod. This is because Orion (Ptah-Sokar-Osiris) had to return to the uncreated world to be regenerated.
This feast revolved around the images of the dead and resurrected god Sokar-Osiris. The calendar date of the feast corresponded with the disappearance of Orion from the night sky, which was a symbolic death for the god who resided in this constellation. This is why the rites of the Sokar Feast revolve around the mortuary preparations and entombment of this deity.
various different deities assisted in the mythical rites of the feast of Sokar, and Nefertum and his mother Sekhmet were very prominent among these. This is why a chapel to Nefertum and Sekhmet, side by side, was included in the Sokar Complex of Sety's temple.
there is also a statue of the king as a sphinx interacting with the the deity.There is a crescent moon atop the lotus of the emblem and above that is a large hole in the wall so one cannot tell whether the full moon's disk might not have sat upon this.
Perform thy work, O Seker, perform thy work, O Seker, O thou who dwellest in thy circle, and who dwellest in my feet in Khert-Neter. I am he who sendeth forth light over the Thigh of heaven. I come forth in heaven.
I have divided the heavens. I have cleft the horizon. I have traversed the earth following in his footsteps.
A recitation by Nefertum, lord of Ka's, Horus of Acclamations
mummiform god seated on a throne:
Come to me, you, Nefertum, my god, adjudicator of the gods, who brings his magic, his Ba, his Sekhem, and his acclaim
Come to me, you, Nefertum, adjudicator of the gods, to your thousand of broadcourt breads!
Rejoice a rejoicing of the god because of the Eye-of-Horus in its name of flesh!
Choice-joints consisting of beef, poultry, and hearts from transgressors have entered for you into your house.
Nefertum! I am Thoth and I appease you with the Eye-of-Horus,
Nefertum who protects the Two Lands, Lord of Ka's, Horus of Victory,
having brought you your meal of what is in heaven, and what is on earth.
Every good fresh thing has entered for you into your house, comprising hundreds, thousands, ten-thousands, hundred-thousands, and millions. I appease you,
('Coffin Texts,' I, 161: ff)
I am Atum, the creator of the Eldest Gods,
I am he who gave birth to Shu,
I am that great He-She,
I am he who did what seemed good to him,
I took my space in the place of my will,
Mine is the space of those who move along
like those two serpentine circles.