There is also an altar of the Palmyrene at Rome which has the image of the solar god on one side, and on the other a conical cypress tree, the foliage of which exhibits a child carrying a ram upon its shoulder (d’Alviella, Mig. of Symbols), which shows a singular reversal in the position of the child and adult. But it was the child=the lamb that issued from the maternal tree, to be followed by the adult as the ram. When Horus rises from the dead in the Egyptian tombs it is as the good shepherd. The crook and whip (or flail) of rule are the insignia of his sovereignty. According to the Ritual (ch. 109), he rises up between two trees called the “two sycamores of emerald.” Thus he is the perfect prototype of the good shepherd in the Roman catacombs. The god who rises in this character is Horus of the double equinox in the mythology, and Horus in spirit in the eschatology, who by his resurrection joined the
two lives together and the two worlds in one. The good shepherd in the catacombs is self-identified by the cloak he wears, which is the cloak of royalty, as a figure of the royal Horus, the child who was born and predestined to be king.
THE MAKING OF AMENTA
The puzzle-picture of the astronomical mythology had to be collected from its many scattered parts and put together piecemeal, and the method of presentment is panoramic. It was not practicable to tell the story straight through with chronological sequence. For instance, in portraying the eschatology of the Ritual, in the fourth book, the existence of Amenta had to be taken for granted, before the making of this under-world had been described as the excavation made by Ptah the opener and his seven Ali or co-workers. As a group, the eight great gods of Am-Khemen were followed by the Put-cycle or Ennead of the Nine. The word Put, whence the name of Putah or Ptah, denotes the number nine, and the Put-cycle was formed when Ptah was added to the earlier eight great gods. Neither Anup nor Taht was now the highest one. The groups of seven and eight, however, were not submerged. The group of seven survived as
the seven Knemmu, moulders or metallurgists who assisted Ptah the divine craftsman, and the group of eight to which he was the ninth god are sometimes described as the children of Ptah. In an inscription at Edfu they are called “the most great of the first time; the august who were earlier than the gods, children of Ptah, who issued forth from him, engendered to take the north and the south, to create in Thebes and in Memphis; the creators of all creation,” according to the later, i.e., solar mythology. The earliest form of a divine fatherhood was outlined though not perfected in the pygmy Ptah; hence one of his titles is “the Father of the Fathers,” which indicates the fatherhood that was founded on the eldest brother. Ptah was a solar god who did not attain the status of Ra.
Now, until the time of Ptah, Amenta was not founded as the earth of eternity in the subterranean regions, nor excavated from one horizon to the other as a pathway for the nocturnal sun and the Manes. Sebek, the crocodile-headed god, swam in the water round about the earth from west to east upon the outside of the mount. Horus crossed the waters on the wings of the hawk. Behutet or Aten of the disk rode on the wings of the vulture, Tum-Horus was the calf that issued from the cow of earth, and Har-Makhu passed from one side of the mount to the other through the body of the Sphinx. The Amenta had not then been hollowed out. The passage through the mount from west to east was tunnelled now by Ptah and his co-workers, who in this character might be called his seven navvies. When Ptah, the supreme craftsman of the gods, constructed his terrestrial and subterranean house of the double earth he built it on the earlier foundations, such as the Akar and Tuat of the abyss that were previously extant. The two pillars of the south and north were likewise utilized. As it is said in the mythological text from Memphis, “the two pillars of the gateway of the house of Ptah are Horus and Sut,” which had previously represented the two poles of Sut and Horus, the twin founders, as we show, in the beginning.
An inscription found both at Edfu and Esné mentions the “festival of the suspension of the sky” by Ptah, which was connected with a celebration of the winter solstice. It has been suggested by Krall that this had descended from the time when “the winter solstice marked the beginning of the year and also of the creation” (cited by Lockyer, Dawn of Astronomy, p. 284). Under another figure this suspension of the sky by Ptah in Amenta was celebrated in the mysteries of Memphis by the erection of the double Tat-pillar which supported the sky and was originally a twofold figure founded on the pole, but the sky now suspended in the double earth of Ptah was not the sky of day. It is the firmament of the nocturnal sun through which it passed at night when in the nether world which is for the first time fully opened up by Ptah the great architect of the universe, who followed the earlier sky-supporters, Sut, Horus, and Shu.
The Kamite Amenta is “the grave of man’s lost world,” where his legendary garden of the beginning may be rediscovered. In this subterranean country will be found a copy of the primary paradise of all mythology, which can be restored from the Ritual and the imagery set in the stars of heaven, and proved to be the work of ancient
Egypt’s wisdom. The most primitive imagery was sacredly preserved in Amenta, which makes the Book of the Dead an eschatological record of the beginnings in mythology that is unparalleled, and not until we have mastered the wisdom of Egypt as recorded in Amenta shall we be enabled to read it on the surface of the earth. First comes the natural fact, next the mythical representation, and lastly the eschatological application of the type, be it the mount, or tree, the Deluge, the ark, the evil serpent, or the victorious young hero. All three phases have to be studied, collated, and compared; and for this purpose the Egyptian Books of the Dead and of Amenta are worth all other sacred writings in the world. The primal paradise of universal legend was above the earth upon the summit of the mount, up which the spirits climbed to reach the region of eternal rest among the stars that never set. It was configurated round about the pole of heaven. This has yet to be depicted as the mount of glory. The later paradise was sub-terrestrial, the earthly paradise of legendary lore. The first was stellar, the last is solar, and it is this last that was founded on the subterranean path of the nocturnal sun first opened up by Ptah. The duplicating of paradise was partly a result of repeating the imagery of the stellar representation in the solar mythos. The mount of glory in the east was added to the mount of glory in the north, with the wide water of the heavens flowing round between the terrestrial and celestial paradise. Kosmas Indikopleustis (A.D. 535) tells us that beyond the ocean in every direction there exists another continent which cannot be reached by man, but of which one part was inhabited by him before the Deluge. To the east, just as in other maps of the world and in later systems, he placed the terrestrial paradise and the four rivers that watered Eden which came by subterranean channels to water the post-diluvian earth (Blake, Astronomical Myths, pp. 266-7). This can be followed by means of the upper paradise of Am-Khemen, that was raised by Shu, and the lower one now configurated by the opener Ptah, who suspended a sky overhead in Amenta.
In the mythology, Amenta is the subterranean country of the sun by night. The dawn and sunset were its gates of glory. It is called the beautiful Amenta, the earth of eternity. It was the passage of the sun that made the pathway of the solar circle which was completed in the eastern equinox. Hence it is said of the sun-god, “The junction of the double earth is the head of the coffin of Osiris, the beneficent soul in Sutenkhen, who hath determined the paths of eternity,” that is in completing a circle by making the passage through Amenta (Rit., ch. 17, Renouf). The road to heaven for the manes now began with a pathway through the nether earth, from the place of sunset to the gate of sunrise. Previously the way to heaven was up the mount which was a figure of the north celestial pole. There was no solar passage through the nether regions in the stellar mythos; the sun went round the mount of earth, not through it. Ptah the opener added earth to earth and heaven to heaven, the solar mythos to the stellar. The sky upraised by him is indicated by the figure of heaven reversed. It is called the firmament of Ptah. Hence it is said by the Osiris in Amenta, “Mine is the radiance in which Ptah floateth over his firmament” (Rit., ch. 64), his firmament
being that of the nocturnal sun in the under-world. There was now a firmament above and one below the earth. The firmament uplifted first by Sut, Horus, and Shu was supplemented by a nether sky upraised and suspended by the opener Ptah. The nnu, nun, or heaven is the celestial water, and this, as sky, was both above and below the earth. Now, the account of creation in the book of Genesis, with its waters above the firmament and its waters below the firmament, could not have been written until the division of these waters of heaven above the earth and of Amenta below the earth was effected when Ptah created the firmament of the nether-earth and raised another heaven in Amenta. In many places the name of Nut has the sign of heaven in the reversed position, thus . Renouf asks, is this one more proof that the Egyptians believed in a sky below the horizon? (Book of the Dead, ch. 15, note 7.) This, however, does not touch bottom. The Egyptian wise men did not believein this nether sky; they created it as a figure in sign-language. Thus in the making of Amenta there was a sky above the under-world as well as over the upper earth; this is the nether sky that was suspended overhead by Ptah and memorized in the mysteries.
When the sun-god Atum-Ra mounts into heaven from the garden of Aarru it is from the lower Aarru in the secret earth of Amenta. Hence it is said at the same time he “goeth to the field of Aarru, approaching to the land of spirits in heaven” (Rit., ch. 17, Renouf), i.e., to the upper Aarru, which was in the heaven of eternity, not in the nether-land of the double earth, called the earth of eternity. This duality has to be completely comprehended before the Ritual can be read, or its traditions followed round the world, as for example, in the Hebrew Genesis and the Assyrian legends of creation.
Paradise in Amenta is said by the deceased to be the “beautiful earth of eternity.” But the deceased does not stay in it as his place of repose. It is not the eternal dwelling. In passing through Amenta he is bound for the heaven of eternity above. This below is but the earthly paradise, and there is an upper paradise to be attained across the celestial waters by those who can secure a seat in the boat of Ra. The typical mount was doubled; a mountain east was added to the most ancient mount of the north, which sometimes makes it look as if the site of the primitive paradise had been shifted and slewed round from the north to the east. The mistake hitherto made regarding the mount is in supposing the mount of earth, or Amenta, to be identical with the mount of the north, whereas the two belong to two distinct systems of the mythos, stellar and solar. The mount of heaven was stellar in the north; the mount of earth is solar in the east. The mount of heaven had its summit at the north celestial pole; the mount of Amenta was level with the sky-line on the horizon. There is also a double judgment seat, and a twofold judgment. One great hall was in Amenta. The other was at the apex of the hill of heaven, the maat of the final judgment that was given on the last great day. When the two are sundered, we sometimes find the judgment seat is imaged at the north celestial pole; at others, the great judge is seated as the Rhat-Amenta or Rhada-manthus, in the maat of the nether-earth. This double maat or seat
of judgment can be explained by the Egyptian wisdom. It was the individual judgment that now took place in the maat of Amenta. This was the first judgment of two; the second is the last great judgment in the maat above. The first is beneath the tree of dawn, the second is under the tree of the pole. Those who were condemned as guilty in the primary trial of the dead suffered the second death in Amenta. They went no farther, but were extinguished in the tank of flame or annihilated on the highways of the damned. Thus the two different resurrections are differentiated the one from the other, in the Gospel according to John, when it is said the dead are to come forth; they that have done evil to “the resurrection of judgment,” and they that have done good unto “the resurrection of life.” Both resurrections occur in the Ritual; one for the judgment in Amenta, the other on the mount for the last judgment and the resurrection to eternal life.
The garden of Aarru or paradise of the eight great gods, whom we identify as a group with the seven in the Lesser Bear, plus the deity of the pole-star, was in the north. Not on the horizon north, but at the celestial pole that was figured as the summit of a very lofty mount, the mythical mountain of the north, diamond-pointed at the apex with the polar star, whereas the Semitic Eden is the garden eastward. This is relatively late, because it belongs to the solar and not to the stellar mythos. It is not the circumpolar paradise of earlier tradition. That may be the reason why the mount is omitted from the book of Genesis. It is not Am-Khemen, the paradise of the eight great gods. It is the enclosure of the pair who in the solar mythos were Atum=Adam and the Great Mother Kefa=Chavah.
The earth itself was figured as a mount; its highest point was in Apta, at the equator. When tunnelled for a passage through it, this became the mountain of Amenta, also the funeral mount. The place of entrance for the sun or the manes of the dead was in the west, or, as it was termed, the western hill. The mount of earth is the mount of birth for Horus in the solar mythology. The mount of heaven is the mount of rebirth for souls in the eschatology. Both have been linked together but not blended in the Egyptian representation, when the Osiris makes his journey from the base of the mount in Amenta, to the summit of Mount Hetep it may look as if the mount were all in one, but it is not so. There was a double mount; the mount of earth which was solar, and the mount of heaven which was stellar. In the Ritual (ch. 108) the mount of earth is said to be “the hill on which heaven resteth.” This is called the hill Bakhu, the solar mount. Its dimensions in length and breadth are given in some of the early papyri. In the Papyrus of Nebseni the hill is 300 cubits in breadth. In the Turin Ritual it is 140 cubits in breadth. Now it happens that in the Mexican mythology there is a “mountain of the locust” or the mount of Capultepec, and the ideographic signs of this mountain include the following numerical figures:
These figures are Egyptian. The sign is a figure of ten, which goes
back to the origin in digital reckoning, as it is derived from the two hands clasped and cut off at the wrists. The Mexican figures therefore repeat the Egyptian at the value of 10´14=140, whatsoever the numbers may mean (Kingsborough, I, pt. 3, p. 10, fig. 218).
The Japanese also have the double Mount Kagu; one is on the earth, or rather it is the earth; the other is in Ame or heaven, the divine mount, that is the heaven, which had the North Pole for its highest peak (Trans. As. Soc. Jap., VII, p. 431). The Japanese likewise have the eight great gods of the mount, who are said to have been produced by Kagutsuchi, which we take to be a form of the original eight Kami that correspond to the Kamite Khemenu, the eight great gods in Am-Khemen, the heaven upraised by Shu. The same duality of the mount is illustrated in the two Chinese Kwenluns. Here the terrestrial paradise is described as being at the centre of the earth. The Queen-Mother dwells there alone in its midst. At the summit there is a resplendent azure hall, with lakes enclosed by precious gems. Above the clear ether rules the ever-fixed, the polar star (Chinese Recorder, vol. IV, p. 95). This is the Egyptian mount of Amenta in which Hathor was queen. The “azure hall” is the empyrean over the summit of the mundane mount, which is here identified as the mother-mount. The other mount is celestial; on its summit at the north star is the heavenly palace of Shang-ti at the centre of the circumpolar paradise, with its circle of thirty-six gods or rulers, which answer to the thirty-six decans of the zodiac.
The Todas also have the twofold mount. Their mountain of the world is the Makurti, or navel of the earth, the pillar of the firmament. It is a towering rock, upon the table-land of which the souls of the dead assemble for the leap into the abyss of waters that lies betwixt them and the mount of heaven. Either they, in common with some other races, have lost, or never had, the solar boat of the Egyptian eschatology, by which the base of one mount was reached from the summit of the other. But, sink or swim, the journey tis the same. So is the celestial chart. Hence the Todas can see the cows that grace the fields of heaven in the nebulæ of the Milky Way. These correspond to the Kamite cows, the givers of plenty in the meadows of Aarru, that rest by the still waters at the head of the river of light and the twin lakes in the region of the north celestial pole.
This stellar mountain in the northern heaven and solar mountain in the east will likewise account for the twofold mount of the Babylonians. Lenormant describes the two somewhat confusingly, but no explanation of their duality has ever been given. He says, “Above the earth extended the sky, and revolving round the mountain of the east, the column which joined the heavens and the earth and served as an axis to the celestial vault. The culminating point of the heavens, the zenith (Nuzku) was not this axis or pole. On the contrary, that was situated immediately above the country of Akkadia (in the north), and was regarded as the centre of the inhabited lands, whilst the mountain which acted as a pivot to the starry system was to the north-east of this country. Beyond the mountain, and also the north-east, extended the land of Aralli, which was rich in gold, and was inhabited by the gods and blessed spirits.” (Lenormant, Chaldean
Magic and Sorcery, Eng. tr., pp. 151, 152.) The mount of earth and mount of heaven become the double mount in the Babylonian version. As it is said of Gilgames, “To the mountains whose name is double, to the twin mountains in his course he came.” The mount of earth or Amenta below was entered in the west. The upper mount was also entered at the west in the heaven of the setting stars. There is probably an astronomical datum in the Babylonian legend. The scorpion-men are said to keep the gate and guard the sun. “Over them rising was the threshold of heaven. Below them the tomb sank down.” The tomb is Aralli (or Amenta) in the mount. The threshold of heaven was at the summit of the mount. We take the scorpion-men to denote the western equinox in the sign of Scorpio when that was the gate to the twin mountains, otherwise the mount of earth and heaven, the mount whose summit was the rise in Hetep at the pole. In Pahlavi the two mountains of heaven and earth are known as Mount Taêra, the centre of the universe, and Kakad-i-Dâîtîk, the centre of the earth (West. Pahlavi Texts, I, pp. 22, 36). Here the earth centre is distinct from the centre of the universe or mount of heaven which preceded the mount of earth, and the two different centres correspond to the two different forms of the mount of earth and the mount of heaven.
The heaven of the beatified had been apparently shifted from the north to the east when certain chapters of the Ritual were written, which is the same as saying the solar had then succeeded and to a great extent superseded the stellar mythos. The sun in its supremacy obscured the stars. Anup was merged in Osiris; the seven glorious ones became the servants of Horus and subsidiary souls of Ra. The place of sunrise in the east was figured as the mount of glory in relation to Amenta instead of the mount in the celestial north; otherwise said, it was interpolated in the solar mythos. Paradise now was both terrestrial (or sub-terrestrial) and celestial; in the east as well as on the northern summit, because it was solar as well as stellar. Not that the upper paradise was obliterated or really lost. That only happened in the absence of the gnosis. Am-Khemen remained aloft, and the upper paradise of two was still led up to by the mount, the tree, the way of souls, or the river of the Milky Way.
One form of this duality was represented in the Ritual by the mythical two houses, the great house and the house of flame. The speaker says, “Let my name be given to me in the great house. Let me remember my name in the house of flame on the night when the years are counted and the months are reckoned one by one” (ch. 25). The great house was stellar in the heaven at the celestial north; the house of flame (Pa-Nasrut) was solar in the east. Egyptian temples were built upon this dual plan, and each had its great house and its house of flame. The great house was central, like the lady-chapel in European churches, and the house of flame was on one side of it. The great house in a central position corresponds to the mount of heaven with its spire at the celestial pole. The house of flame was a kind of side entrance to the mount in the east, which is equivalent to the gate of sunrise. The church to-day remains a dual figure of this double house when both are blended together in one building. The nave with its doorway to the east corresponds to the mount of earth, and the
spire is a figure of the pole or mount of heaven. One of the most perfect ways of illustrating this duality is shown by the mode of burying the dead in the Pyramid of Medum. Prof. Petrie says the bodies were laid on their left side with the head to the north and the face turned to the east (Medum, pp. 17, 21). This position of the dead is also indicated by the prayer of the manes that he may “feed on the food of Osiris, on the eastern side of the mead of amaranthine flowers” (the kaiu of the oasis) (Rit., ch. 26, Renouf). The face is here turned after death to the eastward side of the paradise that was primarily figured in the northern heaven.
When it was discovered that the earth rotated on its axis and was afloat in space, it was known to revolve on the double poles, and what we call the two poles of the earth were signified by the twofold tat-pillar of Ptah. The tat is a type of stability. The double tat is the sign of tattu as the place of establishing for eternity, and tattu, like other mythical localities, was doubled when Amenta was founded. It is noticeable that when Queen Hatshepsu had erected her two pillars she says she has made two obelisks for him who is the lord of the thrones of the two worlds, or, as we should say, of earth and heaven (Records, vol. II, p. 132; 2, Pap. of Ani, pl.). This touches the origin of the well-known double pillar, the significance of which is not known. The double obelisk is a co-type with the twofold mount, and the two pillars of Tattu, the place where it was shown that earth was fixed and heaven made stable for ever, on the two pillars of Sut and Horus, which had been the two poles in Equatoria. The two obelisks then, imaged the thrones of two worlds, the double earth, or earth and heaven; and in Amenta the two pillars form the doorway from the one world to the other. So in the Japanese mythology the divine pillar of earth, Kuni-no-mi-Hashira, was added to the divine pillar of the heavens, Ame-no-mi-Hashira (Kojiki, Chamberlain’s Version, p. 19). How it was added can be explained by the Egyptian wisdom. The pillar of heaven was first erected. Shu-Anhur lifted up the heaven from the earth with that which constituted the divine support as prop, pillar, or lion-like strength in sustaining the paradise above.