Wednesday, May 05, 2010

sacred sexuality in ancient egypt

Gurdjieff Journal | Out of the cosmic soup, an egg produced by ancetral gods and four primordial couples is called into being by Thoth, the keeper of Science. This egg blasts forth in the first cosmic Big Bang and the Sun is born. Atum-Ra. A divine entity. A demiurge—one who creates material out of chaos. Atum-Ra, surrounded by the feminine element Hathor, becomes excited, masturbates, and either spits or breathes out his two children, Shu and Tefnut, the Two Lions of the solar horizon. Shu and Tefnut, being brother/sister and husband/wife produce two more children, Nut (Heaven) and Geb (Earth). Nut and Geb's union annoys their grandfather Atum-Ra since he can't continue circulating and energizing the world he is creating. He commands their father Shu to separate his "overly amorous" children, creating space between heaven and earth and thus infuriating Geb, who in his fury twists and turns in great gyrations and the mountains and volcanoes are created. Before the separation, Nut (sister/wife) has conceived five more children—Osiris, Isis, Nephthys, Seth, Horus—but Atum-Ra curses them and they are born against his will.

Creation, a Sexual Act
Thus begins the ancient Egyptian creation myth that is minutely detailed in this beautifully illustrated text, Sacred Sexuality in Ancient Egypt. The Ancient Sages, in the eternal wish to regulate man's most powerful urge, the sexual instinct, decided to make Creation a sexual act. The culture, as reflected in the book, is permeated with laws, ritual, literature and art that reflect this divine model. The authors state that their ambition is "a general glimpse behind the shutter of the private life of the ancient dwellers along the Nile."

Now that Thoth had brought Atum-Ra into being, the gods could no longer live outside of space and time and were thus subject to the same cycles as their mortal underlings. The nine emanations of Atum-Ra—Shu, Tefnut, Geb and the five children, Osiris, Isis, Nephthys, Seth and Horus—complete the Ennead, the divine Supreme Court who rule the Universe. Couples are formed—Osiris and Iris, who rule the world peacefully, and Seth and Nephthys. Seth, the Lord of Materiality, however, is less than majestic in his manifestation. A turbulent, frustrated deity, Seth embodies upheaval and sexual chaos. His sister/wife Nephthys is no comfort as she unfortunately is more attracted to Isis and Osiris than to her brother/husband. From her union with Osiris she produces a child, the dark dog Anubis. To complicate matters further, Isis and Osiris, having no child of their own, decide to appoint Horus (he's their little brother, too), as their heir. This infuriates the jealous Seth (uncle/brother), who kills Osiris and cuts him up in little pieces and tosses his body into the Nile.

Isis, a magician as well as a wife, gathers up the pieces (except for the phallus which was swallowed by a fish) and, with the help of Anubis, reconstitutes Osiris; in many illustrations she is depicted as a bird who flutters her wings and brings Osiris back from the dead. Osiris then returns to the center of the earth to once again recharge his energies. He is depicted as a god of nature, literally "germinating" small grains of wheat popping up on his mummified body, and, with a fully erect penis, recharging life force to the earth.