Welcome to the temple beautiful!
The true definition of a sanctuary is a place where opposites meet. In Egypt this meant astrology and astronomy, music and medicine, philosophy and physics. All initiates had to walk the implied path between mercy and severity on their journey towards enlightenment. After all, the truth has always hung in the balance.
Egyptian temples were places where the gods lived on Earth. For thousands of years, these sanctuaries celebrated the marriage of the masculine and feminine as part of the Great Work. These alchemical rituals sustained the gods and allowed them to play their reproductive roles. Outside the temple, the pyramidal obelisk inferred a phallus while the heptagonal facade implied a vulva:
This blog then, is really an attempt to preserve a wisdom which in Egypt survived the rise and fall of empires. Happily, the tombs in the Valley of the Kings and the temples of the Nile still preserve this legacy. Most famously, Luxor hints at the Anthropocosm—woman as the cosmos.
In conventional western theology an attempt is made to know God by thought; to make statements about divinity. In Hermeticism this effort is abandoned and replaced by a union with God directly—enlightenment that comes from the balance of time and space, wisdom and faith, female and male. Nowhere is this alchemical marriage more beautifully depicted than in Johfra Bosschart’s Libra:
Above: magick is sex, sex is magick
We know very little about the ancient people that gave birth to dynastic Egypt. Were they white, black or brown? Delightful, dangerous or devout? If they enslaved the Jews, one of the smartest races on Earth, how advanced were they? What was it like to live in a matriarchal society when the climate was wet and the influence of Memphis could be felt on three continents?
The Nile was always been a fickle mistress. Later dynasties had to deal with feasts and famines even as the desert advanced. Like a mirage, Egypt has always been a mystery. After all, what are we referring to? The Old Kingdom? Egypt under the Persians? The Greeks? Like a shimmering enigma, the secrets of this empire have been steadily receding for thousands of years—the last glimmer was the Temple of Isis at Philae, six centuries after Christ:
Much later, when the bones of Egypt were bleached white by the desert sun, there was still something left behind—their mathematics. This informed not just their art and architecture but also their master symbol: the Ankh. If you read on and make a contribution, you will come to know why they revered this figure.
The Latin word renascentia means “rebirth”. As a first declension noun it is the mother of the French word renaissance. The narrative within this blog then, invites you to be reborn. Please check us out on Facebook or Pinterest. You can also email the author, Richard Donald.