The proposal put forward on this page is a reconstruction of the Stellar beliefs of Egypt during the Old Kingdom, in particular the identification of the star Deity Sah through seals dating to the 2nd Dynasty of Egypt, which have been sourced from here, and will be shown to be what the Pyramid texts of the VIth Dynasty are describing, this in association with the interlinked concerns of Sopdet and Sopdu. The texts regarding Sah have been sourced from here.

This proposal rejects the conventional considerations that Sah should be associated with the constellation Orion, i see that as a mis-representation from the Late Period of Egyptian history, were whilst the constellation Orion could be considered as being related to the timing of the Sokar Festival of Khoiak, the mergeance of Osiris-Sokar, and the increasing rise in status of the former and demise of the latter, saw association of Orion solely with Osiris, with writers of the Classical period such as Plutarch making a facile identification of Horus or Osiris with Orion, and Sopdet-Isis, being the natural consort, seen placed alongside in the unfortunate role of Dog-Star/Sirius, this in former times more probably relevent to the cult of Anubis. It should also be considered that the Constellation Bootes was understood as Orion to some Greek authors, from here;

Arkturos is mentioned twice, W. 566 and 610. By Arkturos Hesiod means the same as Homer by Bootes; in later Greek he is also called Arktophylax, and Aratus seems to use Arktophylax for the Constellation, and Arkturos, just as we do, for its brightest star; Arat. Phen. 91 seqq., ‘Behind Helike moves, like to one driving, Arktophylax, whom men also call Bootes, since he appears to lay his hands on the wain-like Bear; all of him is very conspicuous, but under his belt rolls brightly the star Arkturos himself.’ The Schol. on this passage says that Arktophylax was an Arkadian, son of Zeus and Kallisto, and that he was brought up by a goatherd on Mount Lykaion, and being with his mother in danger of his life, Zeus in pity turned him into a star. He adds, ‘This is said to be Arktophylax, Bootes, Orion, . . . and also he is called Trugetes (Vintager). Theon and Hesychios also call Bootes Orion, and it has been suggested that there were two Orions, Bootes being one.

 

It is undisputed that the sequential relationship between 'The Big Dipper', and the stellar Deities Sah and Sopdet is critical to any undertanding of what progression through the afterlife entailed, and the terminology of the Pyramid texts expresses this linkage in the sense of the joining of hands of the various parties involved, suggesting practical proximity is neccesary.

The seals proposed as the primary evidence are cartouches bearing the name of 2nd Dynasty Kings from their tombs, with the focus being on the raised and fallen figure located within these,shown above a 'ladder'. This figure in some of the seal impressions has an arc tracery of small circles above his outstretched arms, which also appear in Later astronomical ceilings denoting stars, and also bear comparison to the circular hieroglyph for a grain of sand or metallic particle, thus essentialy a poetic allusion to an arc tracery of stars above the figure, clearly identifying it as a Stellar Deity.

Moreover, as this Stellar Deity appears within the cartouche of the Kings, then there is a direct association between this Deity and the King himself, being placed in the context between the Horus identification hieroglyphic and the scepter of power. Currently in Egyptology the figure is seen as a Lord/Official (Nb) representing an unkown institutional practise, the 'ladder' is thought to go on to become the hieroglyph representative of the word 'Mer' associate with canals, waterways, also seen in terms of the place of ascension of the Ba, and indeed the word for Pyramid in Egyptian.

The sealings refer to an unknown institution (nb) and to the official in charge of its direction (there is sometimes an Adj-Mer official of the Nb).
Cf Kahl Dictionary vol. 3, 224ff; Helck, Untersuchungen zur Thinitenzeit, 1987, 182-3; Kaplony, Inschriften der Ag. Fruhzeit I, 126f.; and Wörterbuch II, 236. 6-9-

 

 

For the King is a great Power who has great Power over the Powers

The King is a sacred image the most sacred of the sacred images of the Great One

And whomsoever he finds in his way him he devours piecemeal(?).

The King's place is at the head of all the august ones who are in the horizon,

for the King is a god, older than the oldest.

Thousands serve him hundreds offer to him,

there is given to him a warrant as Great Power by Sah, father of the Gods.

The King has appeared again in the sky. He is crowned as Lord of the horizon;

He has broken the back-bones

And has taken the hearts of the gods



 

The Great One falls upon his side,

He who is in Nedit quivers,

his head is lifted by Re;

he detests sleep, he hates inertness.

O flesh of the King,

do not decay, do not rot, do not smell unpleasant.

Your foot will not be overpassed, your stride will not be overstridden,

you shall not tread on the corruption of Osiris.


The hieroglyph showing the Stellar Deity as fallen upon his side finds strong correspondance in the texts of the VIth Dynasty, here 'The Great One' is also identified with Osiris, and the state of being fallen made comparable to sleep or death, were it is given that the figure shall be raised from off his side, with assistance from Horus and Thoth, and that his head shall be lifted by Re.

 

Thus quite naturally, the state of being fallen upon it's side is seen as undesirable, comparable to sleep, inertness and death, and events are set into motion that will see the fallen raised, to once more stride forth purposely, this the direct opposite to inertness and making no steps forward.

You will regularly ascend with sah from the eastern region of the sky,

you will regularly descend with sah into the western region of the sky,

This Great One has fallen on his side, he who is in Nedit is felled.

Your hand is taken by Ra, your head is lifted up by the Two Enneads.

Behold, he has come as sah, behold, Osiris has come as sah,

The sky reels, the earth quakes,

Horus comes, Thoth appears, they raise Osiris from upon his side

and make him stand up in front of the Two Enneads.


 

 

The fallen figure is realised in quite natural artistic terms, and the stars that will most readily lend theselves to incorporating this image are those in the vicinity of the Constellation Bootes, which has a striking three star asterism paronatella to the horizon when rising in the East, which translates to the vertical when setting in the West, this being the proposed striking visual premise for the development of this Cult.

The generally given translation of the word 'Sah' itself is that of 'Toe-Star', identified here with Alpha-Bootes/Arcturus

The figure is shown above a ladder which is, relative to the horizon, on a South-North axis, and this was a fetish of the cult of the figure arising,whilst also given the outstretched arms the figure could be seen to arise as a Heron. In the seals the figures are depicted differing in height above the horizontal and also when seen thus their angle has shifted correspondingly as is the natural progression of the stars high into the sky to circle around the Pole.

I have gone up among the great ones, I have descended among the sheswe;

I have gone up upon the ladder

with my foot on sah and my arm uplifted.

 

May I soar cloudwards to the sky like a heron,

may I surpass the side-locked ones of the sky,

.


It's interesting to note that the Greeks had myths relating to the Constellation of Bootes which show very strong correspondance to the mythic elements of falling asleep comparable to death, and arising from such, this was related to the Constellation having seasonal risings relevent to viticulture, which is also the most ancient aspect of the cult of Osiris, and the underlying theme of his Feast of Wagy, notable also in the Grrek myth is the role of Virgo ;

It was said that the Herdsman was the national sign of ancient Egypt, the myth of the dismemberment of Osiris originating in the successive settings of its stars; and that there it was called Bacchus, or Sabazius, the ancient name for Bacchus and Noah; and that Kircher's planisphere showed a Vine instead of the customary figure. Its risings and settings were frequently observed and made much of in all classical days, Hesiod says: "When in the rosy morn Arcturus shines, Then pluck the cluster's from the parent vines" and again, but for a different season of the year: "When from the Tropic, or the winter's 'Sun, Thrice twenty days and night's their course have run; And when Arcturus leave's the main, to rise; a star bright shining in the evening 'skies; Then prune the vine". Roman writers and others have similar references to Bootes, or to Arcturus, as indicating the proper seasons for various farm work, as in the 1st Georgic:"Setting Bootes will afford the signs not obscure".

In another story, Bootes is seen as Icarius, a grape grower in Attica. Icarius was a very friendly man and unwittingly gave Bacchus (Roman Bacchus - Greek Dionysus, the god of wine and ecstasy, he had a cult followings throughout much of the ancient world), who happened to be incognito, the freedom to inspect his vineyards. Bacchus was so impressed with these vineyards that he decided to tell Icarius how to make wine from grapes. Icarius did so, and was delighted with the results. Icarius invited all the other shepherds and friends of the neighborhood to a festival to taste the heavenly liquor for themselves. The party was a great success but they all drank too much and, under the influence of the wine, fell asleep. When they awakened the next morning with terrible hangovers and headaches, they discussed what had happened and decided that Icarius must have planned to poison them all. They agreed that Icarius should pay for this with his life. They overpowered the innocent man in his sleep, killed him, and threw his body in a ditch. The Dogs, Asterion and Chara (of the constellation Canes Venatici), missed Icarius, their master, and began to whine. Erigone, Icarius' daughter (associated with the constellation Virgo), heard the dogs and let them off their leashes. Immediately, the dogs started to sniff and search for Icarius until they found his dead body in the ditch. In despair, Erigone committed suicide and the dogs leapt in the deep ditch to die with their master. [NPS p152]. (See Virgo in the Myths of the Zodiac by Kalev Pehme for a more complete account of this story).

"The whole tragic story of Icarius, Erigone, and the Dogs can be seen unfolding in the sky. When Bootes (Icarius) culminates high in the south, Taurus, the Bull, the sacred animal of Bacchus, has just set, which means that Bacchus has left Icarius after his visit, leaving the wine recipe with Icarius. At the same time Orion also sets which means that the shepherds fall asleep under the influence of the wine. Next morning when Orion comes up he appears as an enormous giant, just awakening from his sleep and brandishing his club, the signal that the shepherds have decided to kill Icarius. This can be seen in the west where Bootes sinks below the horizon. Then, as the shepherds sneak off, notice how Orion sinks down to the west. In the east rises the constellation of Virgo, the Virgin, who represents Erigone. The Hunting Dogs also rise and the search begins. When Bootes culminates again it means that the dogs have found Icarius. Next we see the trio sink towards the west which indicates the end of the story when they all die".

http://users.winshop.com.au/annew/Bootes.html

ERIGONE, in Greek mythology, daughter of Icarius, the hero of the Attic deme Icaria. Her father, who had been taught by Dionysus to make wine, gave some to some shepherds, who became intoxicated. Their companions, thinking they had been poisoned, killed Icarius and buried him under a tree on Mount Hymettus (or threw his body into a well). Erigone, guided by her faithful dog Maera, found his grave, and hanged herself on the tree. Dionysus sent a plague on the land, and all the maidens of Athens, in a fit of madness, hanged themselves like Erigone. Icarius, Erigone and Maera were set among the stars as Boetes (or Arcturus), Virgo and Procyon. The festival called Aeora (the "swing") was subsequently instituted to propitiate Icarius and Erigone. Various small images (in Lat. oscilla) were suspended on trees and swung backwards and forwards, and offerings of fruit were made (Hyginus, Fab. 130, Poet. astron. ii. 4; Apollodorus iii. 14). The story was probably intended to explain the origin of these oscilla, by which Dionysus, as god of trees (Dendrites), was propitiated, and the baneful influence of the dog-star averted (see also Oscilla)

http://www.1911encyclopedia.org/Erigone.

 

May sah give me his hand,

for sedpet has taken my hand.

The earth is hacked up for me, offerings are presented to me,

even I, for whom the Two Districts shout.

The Egyptians themselves had the Cult of Shesmu, the Headsman of Osiris, who beheaded the condemned deceased to produce red wine, this then provided for those making the journey into the Afterlife. The fallen figure would mark the begining of the progressive state from being void of wine/blood, to achieving full nourishment and vitality in the West when seen upright, a cyclic progression of intoxication or fulness of life, and a myth thus related to the growing of vines and wine production, the notion of the fallen figure was not without humerous aspects.

 

The connection between wine and blood, and thus between helper god and punishing demon, came from the red wine the Egyptians drank. The white variety of wine appeared in the Middle Kingdom, and was a favourite of the Greeks.

It was this red wine - or blood - that Shesmu offers the pharaoh in the Pyramid Texts and the deceased in their travels. Shesmu had a priesthood from early times, and his cult was especially strong at the Faiyum. He was worshiped at Edfu and Dendera. He was a god found in the stars and a god of the dead. He was the headsman of Osiris, beheader of the condemned who turned their blood into deep red wine. His blood wine went to nourish the pharaoh to give him strength, his wine to quench the thirst of the dear departed

http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/shesmu.htm

 

 

 

Betake yourself to the waterway, fare upstream to the Thinite nome,

travel about Abydos in this spirit-form of yours which the gods commanded to belong to you;

may a stairway to the det ('netherworld') be set up for you to the place where sah is,

may the bull of the sky take your hand,

may you eat of the food of the gods.


He initially seems to be a fierce underworld deity, but Shezmu was quite helpful to the dead. Although he was a harsh executioner of the wicked, he was also a great protector of the virtuous. Shezmu offered red wine to those who had passed on. Other than wine, he was in charge of earthly objects such as embalming oils, and perfumes.

Among the gods, his job was to use the bodies and blood of the dead to create sustenance for Unas. Osiris was the one who ordered the use of the wicked one’s blood to be turned to wine.

On a darker note, Shezmu’s affinity with the color red linked him to evil. Crimson was a feared and hated color among the Egyptians. Not only is it the universal color of blood, and therefore death, but it was the color of the god of chaos, Seth. Since it was also the color of the setting sun, red was associated with the coming darkness and the reign of Apophis the serpent demon.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shezmu

 

 

 
There is some evidence that suggests that human sacrifice was practised during the Predynastic Period and at the beginning of the 1st Dynasty.

The earliest known example of human sacrifice may perhaps be found in Predynastic burials in the south of Egypt, dated to the Naqada II Period. One of the discovered bodies showed marks of the throat having been cut before decapitation took place.

A fragmentary label from the reign of the Horus Aha found at Abydos, and a label dated to the time of Aha's successor, Djer, found at Saqqara, may bear witness to a ritual involving the killing of a human being. In both cases a kneeling figure sticks a long weapon into the chest of a bound victim sitting in front of him. A bowl between the assailant and his victim may have been intended to catch the latter's blood as he bleeds to death. Also present in both cases is some kind of fence-like sign, drawn above the sacrificial scene.

On the label fragment from Aha, a figure of authority, identified by his long stick, observes the killing.

This figure with stick, overseeing the rituals and the transformation of the blood into wine could well be the early basis for the Cult of Osiris.

http://www.ancient-egypt.org/index.html

The evidence would suggest that from the Pre-Dynastic Period up until the beginings of the First Dynasty that ritual killing and usage of blood sacrifice was an aspect of the Afterlife Cults of the Period, the sign involved in both killings from the labels of Aha and Djer is the 'ladder' sign, associate with the Sah figure above it, from the Second Dynasty seals. The seal of Djer appears to show the transition of a bound corpse carried in funerary procession, to being shown held upright, in association with upright 'ladder' fetish., note also the triangular fetish carried aloft.

Raise yourself because of your strength, may you ascend to the sky,

may the sky give birth to you like sah, may you have power in your body,

and may you protect yourself from your foe.

 

The upright figure relative to the setting position of Sah in the West, we can assume has been well fed upon the flesh of the condemned, and nourished by their blood, to stand triumphant. The position of the figure bears comparison to the early Dynastic representations of the King about to smite the head of his enemy held in his left hand, with the mace held in his right. The arc tracery of stars above the head of Sah appear to have beeen seen as comparative to a crown, though in the Middle Kingdom it is a stylized glyph possiblyy representative of the three stars paranotella upon the horizon, that constitutes the crown of Sah..

A furthur comparison is made between the crown of Sah, and the sun's crown when emerging from the Akhet, the ecliptic path of the sun, to be greeted by Horus within the same path, which will be shown to be associate with the star Regulus, that was alongside the ecliptic path of the sun, and would rise with it at the time of the mid-summer innundation of the Nile. Around 2500BC, the summer solstice was located near Regulus, meaning that around that period, the Sun was located near Regulus at the start of summer, and the combined heat of the Sun and Regulus was believed to produce the excessive heat of that season.

"The elder one fell on his side but stood up as a god, his control with him and his crown atop him. This Pepi Neferkare has fallen on his side and Pepi Neferkare will stand up as a god, his control with him and his crown atop him like the Sun's crown when he emerges from the Akhet and is greeted by Horus in the Akhet "

 

 


 

 

The sky is clear, Sopdet lives,
Because I am a living one, the son of Sopdet,
And the Two Enneads
Have cleansed themselves for me in Ursa Major, the imperishable
My house in the sky will not perish,
My throne on earth will not be destroyed,
For men hide, the gods fly away

Sopdet has caused me to fly up to the sky
Into the company of my brethren the gods,
Nut the great has uncovered her arms for me,
The Two Souls who are at the head of the Souls of On,
Who attend on Re, have bowed themselves,
Even they who spend the night making this mourning for the god

Utterance 302, lines 458-460

 

In considering the positions and attributions of Sopdet and Sopdu, relative to Sah, then it can be considered that Sopdet caused the spirit of the deceased to fly upward along the path of Dawn, the ecliptic pathway of the Sun, and Regulus, in the vicinity of which Spica of the Constellation Virgo is also located.

In terms of risings of this trinity, then Regulus would rise first, then Arcturus, with Spica as the third.

Given the strong positional relationship of Regulus to the Sun's path of rising, and it's helical rise at the time of mid-summer and the innundation of the Nile, then the Sun could be seen as set on hight between Arcturus and Spica, in the form of a triangular relationship, in the position of Regulus.

On the Denderah Zodiac Isis is represented seated with the child Horus, in the centre of this triangle, in the position of the Virgo Cluster, whilst again shown standing holding the Grain Spike/Spica.

 

Rejoice over me, rejoice over my Ka,
For I am vindicated and my Ka is vindicated before God!
Re has taken me to himself,
To the sky, to the eastern side of the sky
As this Horus, as the dweller in the netherworld,
As this star which illuminates the sky

My sister is Sepdet,
Never again will the sky be void of me,
Never again will the earth be void of me

Bring this to me and I will be your third in On

Utterance 266, lines 361-363


The reed-floats of the sky are set in place for Re, the reed-floats of the sky are set in place for Re, that he may be on high from the east to the west in company with his brethren the gods. His brother is sah, his sister is sepdet, and he sits between [them] in this land for ever. The reed-floats of the sky are set in place for this King, the reed-floats of the sky are set in place for this King, that he may be on high from the east to the west in company with his brethren the gods. His brother is sah, his sister is sepdet, and he sits between them in this land for ever.

 

The sky is pregnant of wine,
Nut has given birth to her daughter the dawn light,
And I raise myself indeed
My third is Sopdet, pure of seats

There are two triangles that need to be considered with regards to the Sah/Sopdet/Sopdu relationships, the first is the commonly observed Arcturus/Spica/Denebola instance known as 'The Spring Triangle', which is roughly equilateral in form. The arms of the fallen figure and risen, from the 2nd Dynasty seals would project toward Denebola, as seen in the diagram above, suggesting that this star was possibly also relevent to the cult of Sopdu, in the sense of a greater Regulus based constellation located amongst the stars of the constellation Leo. This first triangle also bears comparison with the triangular aprons worn in Egypt.

It is the second Arcturus/Spica/Regulus triangle which i would suggest was seen as the primary, as this is equivalent to the triangle of the Sopdet hieroglyph, also seen in the name of Sopdu, were also a lion can be seen illustrated, suggesting that he was at some point associate with the constellation Leo in one form or another as a Lion.

The most critical fact is that during the Old Kingdom the heliacal rising/mergance of Regulus with the Sun took place at the time of the Summer Solstice, at the postion of 62*., correspondant with the Nile Innundation, and marking the New Year. For example on July 12/13th according to the Julian Calendar, in 2,570 Bc at 4.45 am the Summer Solstice would occour and Regulus and the Sun would be merged.

The rising point of Spica for this date and location (Giza) on the horizon would be at 76*, which would be the Solstice~Equinox midpoint occuring in Mid May, and this would be seen as giving birth to the Summer Solstice, relative to Sopdet/Isis. The correspondant Autumnal quarter point of the year would occour in Mid November at 104*, and be related to the cult of Sokar and the Feast of Khoiak, whilst the Winter Solstice took place at 118*, correspondant to the rising place of Anubis/Canis Major, essentialy then the seasonal progression of the Sun along the horizon was from the rising point of Sirius, at the Mid-Winter Solstice, to the rising point of Regulus at the Summer Solstice (62*), covering 56* in total. There was also the noted heliacal rising/return of Sirius at around the time of the Summer Solstice, this in a sense the culmination of events inaugerated at the Winter-Solstice rising point of Sirius, this star going on to become very closely associated with Spica/Erigone/Isis.

Securi dormite, canes: custodiet hortum
cum sibi dilecta Sirius Erigone.

(Sleep dogs in safety: Sirius will watch over the garden with his beloved Erigone...Priapus)

Perhaps the most critical comparative of Spica/Sopdet and the Star Sirius (Anubis) in Egyptian thought can be found in the 'Dramatic Text' refering to Sirius and its noted seventy day period of invisibility, related to the period of embalming and purification through water;

"The one (star) which goes to earth dies and enters the Duat .. It stops in the House of Geb seven decans.It looses its impurity to the earth in seven decans .It sheds its impurity to the earth. It is pure and it comes into existence in the horizon like Sopdet

Thus Sirius comes into the existance upon the horizon, purified, as the case would be with water, comparative to the association of Sopdet coming into the horizon, also notably purified, however the purification of Sopdet would be seen as purification through the air, the association of the wind with winged Isis, and the oscillation rituals through the air as seen in Greek rituals regarding Erigone. Thus essentialy the concern was with Solar seasonal positions along the horizon, in conjunction with the rising points of key Stars, and the sense that this can be seen in relationship to an arc extending down from Ursa Major, through Bootes and Virgo as far as Canis Major.

These occurances transformed in ritual and percieved as magic, thus so Sirius/Anubis associated with purification through water, Spica/Sopdet purification through air, whilst Regulus would be purification through fire, given the solstice mergance with the Sun. The point equidistant between the Winter solstice and equinoctal point, at 104* would see Orion/Sokar associated with Earth, a chothonic Deity, celebrated at the Festival of Khoiak, and associated with Sirius/Anubis in terms of the underground preperation of the deceased to beging the journey into the afterlife.

These four rising points of the Sun throughout the year, and their association with the stars that arose at the same point upon the horizon, in terms of four elements of nature would suggest the basic premise for what developed into the Alchemical tradition developed by the later Greek philosophical schools, with the basic premise of purification of the four elementals then their unification, given that the Winter Solstice/118* was correspondant with water, the midpoint between winter solstice/equinox at 104* Earth, the midpoint between summer solstice/equinox at 76* wind, and the summer solstice 62* fire, then the equinoctal point of 90* would see the balancing of the elementals. The sequance would be Water~Earth~Wind~Fire for the four elements, the fifth principle would see the four elements in balance, and this would be overall represented by the principle of Ma'at. During the Old Kingdom, and before, the Scales of Libra rose due East shortly before the Autumnal Equinox, whilst at the Vernal Equinox they would set due West after sunset, it is most likely the Scales of Libra developed from the Egyptian model of the Scales of Ma'at, and that the rising/setting point due East/West represented the concept of balance between hemispheres and elements.


...

I know your name, I am not ignorant of your name ;

your name is 'Limitless', your father's name is 'You-are-great', your mother's name is 'Peace',

(even) she who bears you on the path of the dawn(?), the path of the dawn(?).

 

May sah give me his hand,

for sedpet has taken my hand.

The earth is hacked up for me, offerings are presented to me,

even I, for whom the Two Districts shout.

 

In Egyptian mythology, Sopdu (also rendered Septu or Sopedu) was originally the scorching heat of the summer sun. Sopdu's name, meaning with Sopd, derives from this heat it was said that Sopdet gave birth to this heat, and so Sopdu was seen as her child.

The effects of the scorching of the sun lead many ancient cultures to see it as war-like, and the Egyptians were no different in this respect, with Sopdu consequently being seen as a war god. Because heliacal rising occurs in the east, and the sun's heat begins there daily, Sopdu was referred to as Lord of the East, and had his greatest cult centre at the easternmost nome of Lower Egypt, which was named Per-Sopdu, meaning place of Sopdu. The combination of being a war-god, and being associated with the easternmost edge, lead to Sopdu being depicted as an Asiatic warrior, with a shemset girdle and long axe, and more generally being said to guard Egypt's borders. When the Egyptians conquered Sinai, he was also thought to guard the turquoise mines, which predominantly lay within Sinai.

His name is composed of the hieroglyph for sharp, a pointed triangle, and the 3rd person plural suffix (a Quail); thus a literal translation of his name is sharp ones. However, the triangle glyph was really a representation of a plant thorn, which the Egyptians referred to as a tooth, and so his name could be seen as the plural of tooth, i.e. teeth. Consequently, war-gods also being associated with death, he was said, in the Pyramid Texts, to protect the teeth of the deceased.

By the Middle Kingdom, as a war-deity, he became strongly associated the pharaoh, which, together with his being god of the sky, lead to an association with Horus, the sky god, who was said to be the pharaoh's patron. Consequently, Sopdu started being depicted as wearing the two falcon feathers as a headdress, that represented Horus, who was seen as a falcon. He also started being identified as the standard bearer of Horus - gaining the glyph of a falcon on a standard in his name. By this time, the plural suffix of his name, previously a glyph of a quail, was shown with the hieratic abbreviation - a swirl, which often leads to misinterpretations of the standard depicting the quail, which appears to have otherwise vanished. Eventually, the association with Horus lead to his identity gradually merging to Horus, and in the New Kingdom, he was referred to as Har-Septu, an aspect of Horus rather than an individual.

http://www.serendipity.li/petrie/rs01.htm

 

There is an interesting comparison that can be made between the 'Sothic triangle' and the cone shaped bread offerings often seen illustrated, as in the example left from Karnak, and right were Sopdu is offered such in a cup.

This will be derivative of the fact the Isis-Sopdet was Goddess of grain/bread, and a great agricultural Deity, with Sah-Osiris being her consort

Even yet at harvest time the people make a dedication of the first heads of the grain to be cut, and standing beside the sheaf beat themselves and call upon Isis, by this act rendering honour to the Goddess for the fruits which she discovered, at the season when she first did this. Moreover in some cities, during the Festival of Isis as well, stalks of wheat and barley are carried among the other objects in the procession, as a memorial of what the Goddess so ingeniously discovered at the beginning."

Diodorus Siculus

There were also cone shaped funerary seals which some have seen possibly related to the bread offerings, again this is all suggestive of the importance of the triangular motif/relationship.

The cones may have been used for a variety of functions. Egyptologists suggest that they may have been used to identify the tomb owner (almost like a modern cemetery marker, as an ornamental memorial, as a boundary marker or even as a symbolic offering of bread...

http://www.anth.ucsb.edu/faculty/stsmith/research/artifacts_cones.html

 

The given method for visually navigating around these Northern Constellations, as mentioned in Classical times, is to Follow the arc to Arcturus, then speed (or spiral) to Spica", thus visually follow the arc of the Big Dipper down to Arcturus then continue the progression toward Spica. If one draws up such a curvilinear relationship, then it will be found that the centre of the arc/circle described will be located at Regulus. This arc progression is essentialy what is involved in the Greek myth regarding 'the swing'...The festival called Aeora (the "swing") was subsequently instituted to propitiate Icarius and Erigone. Various small images (in Lat. oscilla) were suspended on trees and swung backwards and forwards

 
Sah is encircled by the det, pure and living in the horizon.

Sepdet is encircled by the det, pure and living in the horizon.

I am encircled by the det, pure and living in the horizon.

It is well with me and with them, It is pleasant for me and for them,

within the arms of my father, within the arms of Atum.


 

 

The siting of the Pyramids at Giza relative to centre takes into account the setting positions of Arcturus and Spica.

Whilst the site divides into ten sectors, each of 36 degrees, the 4 degree zone banding which gives tolerance to the slightly shifting star positions, this is capable of harmoniously incorporating the 32 degree 'Sothic Triangle', indeed Khufu's Pyramid takes up 32 degrees of field of vision when viewed from centre, with a setting point for Arcturus directly through centre.

 

In symbolic terms a mirroring transferance of the Heavenly concepts onto the site seems likely, the transferance of the spiritual forces associate with Regulus at the Sphinx therefore, born of the essence of Sah and Sopdet, who thus also translate to centre in the form of the Son, that merges with the Atum-Re


 
 
 

The earliest writings of the decanal name for Sopdet are spd, a masculine referance. In the later coffins a feminine ending t appears sporadically. In coffin 11 we consistently have spdt. The Senmut ceiling and the later lists always have spdt, frequently coupled with 3st "Isis". The compound "Isis-Sothis" is common and it is suggested that Spdt was in origin a nisbe of spd referring to Isis as "the one of spd"

In Utterance 216 of the Pyramid Texts, it is translated: “Spdet is swallowed up by the Netherworld, Pure and living in the horizon.” However, there is a footnote that says: “Despite the lack of correct gender ... in a triple repetition of the phrase, the scribe has ignored the discrepancy of gender in the case of Sopdet.”

Thus it is apparant that there was a very close association between the masculine Sopdu and the feminine Isis-Sopdet, Har-Sopd was literally given as being seen as within Sopdet, in the sense of son and mother, or brother and sister as the case may be. This is important when the association of Sopdet with the New Year is considered, as it is Sopdu/Regulus which rises merged with the Sun on New Years Day, not Sopdet, yet the two in this context were obviously not differentiated between, Sopdet has given birth to the New Year, in the form of Sopdu. Also of primary consideration is that they were of the same sharp/tooth triangle and thus essentialy singular in terms of this conceptual motif.

“Your sister Isis comes to you rejoicing for love of you. You have placed her on your phallus and your seed issues into her, she being ready as Sopdet, and Har-Sopd has come forth from you as Horus who is in Sopdet.”

(Utterance 366)

“I go up on this eastern side of the sky where the gods were born, and I am born as Horus, as Him of the horizon; I am vindicated and my double is vindicated; Sopdet is my sister, the Morning Star is my offspring.”

(utterance 472)

Here's an interesting quotation from Petrie's 'Researches in Sinai' regarding an association of Hathor with Sopdu, to the extent of being named as such...


After two or three thousand years of worship at the primitive shrine, the Egyptians introduced side by side with it the worship of the god of the East, Sopdu. He was closely associated with Hat-hor, or rather, probably his symbol, the zodiacal light, was identified with the goddess, as she is called Sopdu at Elephantine and Abydos (LANZONE, Diz. Mil., 863). A smaller shrine and cave for him was carved at the side of the older shrine; and on the later steles he appears worshipped as well as Hat.hor.

The Turqoise mines of Serabit had a Temple dedicated to Hathor in conjunction with Sopdu, a Deity prominent in the North-Eastern region, and an aspect of the cultic worship there involved sacred cones, which Petrie saw as of Semitic origin, but this was not necessarily the case. On the rectilinear zodiac at Denderah the face of Hathor is depicted within a triangular construct with the Sun atop it, indicative of her function as fertility Goddess in relationship to the Sah/Sopdet/Sopdu triangle.

   


Another specially Semitic feature at Serabít was the dedication of cones of sandstone , of which two were found in the Sacred Cave or the Portico. The sacred cone was the central object of worship and impersonation of the deity in Syrian temples. It is shown on the coins of Paphos in the midst of the temple. At Emesa was the sacred conical stone, the high priest of which, when he became Emperor of Rome, signalised his devotion by taking the name of Elagabalus, and brought his stone and his ritual with him to the capital; and other less obtrusive instances «p.190:» are known. No such sacred stone occurs in Egyptian worship.

 

Conical/triangular stones were quite common cultic objects of worship in the Near East/Hellenic world, in general associated with a union of the Sun God and Venus/Aphrodite/Ishtar, but then the conical/triangular form as a cultic object was common in Egyptian symbolism and arguably of earlier origin.

An association of Hathor with Sopdet is quite common, particularly with regards to the yearly renewal of the Heavenly patterns which saw the Sun reborn at the yearly Solstice, seen as marking the re-commencement of the yearly cycle, seen also as the birth of Sopdu/Regulus, through Sopdet/Spica, the two aspects being seen as a singularity, thus a particualr mergence of Re and Sopdu upon that day.

The illustration to the right shows the final section of the Book of Caverns, regarding the rebirth of Re, with the two triangles representative of the Duat and the passage through it.

 


Given this, then it should also be considered that the Planets Mercury and Venus would appear to have been seen in ancient Egypt as aspects of the Sun/Re, due to their close relationship through having inferior orbits, literally the eyes of Re, and thus the mergance of Regulus with the Sun would also see the total symbolic mergence/identification with these two aspects of Re.


Given these considerations then, Hathor/Venus, as an aspect of Re, has merged with Sopdu, to the extent that arguably she can thus at that point be considered indistinguishable, the association of Sopdu with Sopdet was also extremely close, the child and mother as one

Not only then is Hathor, as an aspect of Re, seen as totally merged with Sopdu at this point in time, but also inevitably Sopdet, as at this critical point of birth the two are inseperable, until one presumes the year gets underway and things start to move apart. The Morning Star offspring would be Mercury/Horus.

 

 

On the Denderah zodiac the seated woman holding the Horus child upon her hand is generally thought to relate to the 'Virgo Cluster', situated between Arcturus and Spica, within the 'Sothic triangle' as i have suggested relates to this area of the skies.

This is obviously a natural choice, to make this the literal central theme of the Father/Mother/Son triangle, and in the Late Period this iconograhpy as represented by a seated Isis holding the infant Horus, was one of the most popular, and continued through the Roman Period lending itself from then on into the Madonna holding the Christ child.

The seat or Throne upon which Isis is seated would appear in naturalistic terms to be facing toward Spica and the pathway of the ecliptic, thus the childs position upon the outstretched arm, as seen at Denderah, would place him along this 'Path of Dawn', between Spica and Regulus. There is actually a small grouping of stars there which actually bear some resemblance to Bootes, the constellation of Sah, the Father, .

Below is an example of the tip of an obelisk, that of Hatshepsut from Karnak, and it can be seen how the tips of these conform to the 'Sothic Triangle', with the Mother, and Child knelt before her in this case, in the position of the Virgo cluster within the triangle. The base point of the centreline would be that of the Northernmost Moonrise, associate with Thoth, who lays the 'Eye of Horus' at the feet of Horus-Nefertum, this being the Planet Mercury, as an aspect of the Sun/Re.

I am Thoth who brings you the bright Eye-of- Horus in its name of white bread, that you might become erect through it in its name of Benben.

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.


 
     
     

 

Part One- Preliminary study of Pentagonal geometry and associated Phi ratio in terms of the cult of Osiris.

Part Two-Furthur consideration of the geometry as regards architectural projections upon the Giza Plateau.

Part Three-Considering the contextual implications of a subdivision of Giza into ten sectors.

Part Four-Examaning the central area of the projections around the Sphinx and associated cults.

Part Five-Determination of the central cultic role of Sokar~Osiris in terms of the Giza Necropolis.

Part Six-The Birthing of Nefertem through the Sacred Centre.by the waters.

Part Seven-The Egyptian Model of the Five Celestial Divisions.

 
 

 

 

 

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