Per Bastemhet

Posts Tagged ‘Duat

Religious Song – In Your Room by Depeche Mode

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I just noticed that one of my favorite songs ever actually has some religious symbolism to it.  Makes sense, since the album it’s from is called “Songs of Faith and Devotion.”  Here’s what I was thinking at the time that I heard it.   My comments will be in italics, lyrics in normal bold.  Praise be to Bast, who gave me the inspiration.  She is truly Great!

In your room

In Kemetic temples, the netjer had hir own room dedicated to housing their statue. 
Where time stands still

The temple was set up so that Zep Tepi, the first time, is replicated.
Or moves at your will

Time began only when the creator deity made their first creative act of separating Nut from Geb.  This is when time and space were accomplished.
Will you let the morning come soon

The rising of the sun is Ra.  He travels across the sky, and fights Apep in order to come back again. 
Or will you leave me lying here
In your favorite darkness

Before the first act of creation, everything was dark within the positive uncreation of Nun.
Your favorite half-light

The dawn is where the Duat resides.  It is toward the dawn that the kas of the dead travel, hence, “Book of Coming Forth by Day."
Your favorite consciousness

This makes me think of the religio-consciousness that people’s minds would slip into when going through training of the mysteries, or using the false door.  I feel this when I do ritual.
Your favorite slave

One of the names for the priests of Kemet was hm ntjr, which literally means servant of god.

In your room
Where souls disappear

Only you exist here

The sole receiver of praise, worship, and offerings, is the netjer of the temple, and only after that, do other lesser deities and akhu be given offerings.
Will you lead me to your armchair

Could be another name for the throne.  Each person was able to become an Ausir-NN, which means the sole aim of a person in the afterlife is to be pure enough to achieve godhood, and thus dwell with the gods.
Or leave me lying here
Your favorite innocence

The time in Zep Tepi when humans lived with the netjeru, before those who did Isfet and plotted against Ra.
Your favorite prize
Your favorite smile
Your favorite slave


I’m hanging on your words

This references the creation mythology of Memphis, in which Ptah created the world with his heart and tongue (words).
living on your breath

This references the creation mythology of Thebes, Amun’s invisibility carrying connotations of the wind and breeze. 
feeling with your skin
This interpretation will be a bit of a stretch, but in one myth, we are made from Ra’s tears.  Of course the other netjeru are made from other expulsions of his body as well.

Will I always be here

In your room
Your burning eyes
Cause flames to arise
Will you let the fire die down soon
References to the solar eyes of Ra, and perhaps the story of Sekhmet and her wrath.

Or will I always be here

Your favorite passion
Your favorite game
Your favorite mirror

We seek to achieve godhood through living purely and living in Maat, just as the netjeru do.
Your favorite slave
I’m hanging on your words
living on your breath
feeling with your skin
Will I always be here

Here’s the song.

 

Can you find religious meaning in the songs that you listen to?

Written by Bastemhet

September 19, 2010 at 9:08 pm

Posted in Myth, theology

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Purification 14

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For an explanation of this series, read the introduction here.

Hail Hot-feet, coming forth from the dawn, I do not damage myself with lies.

Hot-feet is an epithet for Set. 

In Purification 8 I wrote about lying in general.  This purification deals more with the understanding that lies not only harm those around you, but also yourself.  The ancient Kemetics make clear here that they not only value being able to present ones’ self as pure in front of the netjeru, but also that one take care to prove themselves of good character.  Part of that ties into being polite and humble to others, as well as taking care to be true of voice.  By lying we damage our own character and make others see us in a poor light.  Social harmony is important to the maintenance of Maat. 

Besides damaging character, we increase our chances of being eaten by Ammit.  With each lie, with each act of Isfet, we make our heart more heavy.  At the end of our travels through the Duat our heart is weight against the feather of Maat, to see if our actions as a whole were just enough that they were as light as the feather of she who personifies order. 

With this purification I caution all to be conscious of our actions not only to maintain Maat, but also to avoid destruction.

Written by Bastemhet

September 10, 2010 at 12:35 am

Purification 11

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For an explanation of this series, read the introduction here.

Hail Qererti, coming forth from Amenti, I do not fornicate with minors.

Qererti is an epithet for Ausir, which means “He who is in his caverns,” Amenti meaning “the West” which is the traditional orientation for the Duat. 

A note on the translation by Rev. Siuda:

Quite literally, the purification is dedicated to Wesir, "He Who is in His Caverns" (Qererti) in the West (Amenti). It speaks against, again quite literally while still remaining readable by our younger members, "having sex with a sex-boy." There’s a play on words here. The verb nek, the most vulgar way to say "intercourse" in Egyptian, is played off of the very similar looking word "nekek," literally a prepubescent boy who is used to nek — a child prostitute.

It is interesting that the ancient Kemetics had this view about sexual relations with minors.  I read in another book that pederasty (sex between two men, commonly with one of them being a minor) was a common and accepted thing in ancient Greece.  That the Kemetics have a point of view that is similar to our modern one is a good thing, but even then, I think we should be aware that there are going to sometimes be discrepancies between what was accepted then and what is accepted now.  Rather than the words be law themselves, I think the spirit of the law, and the moral concerns which governed them should guide us.

With this purification I will remember that children were cherished in Kemet, and also be aware of not only the differences of the Kemetic culture with my own, but also that which brings us together. 

Written by Bastemhet

August 21, 2010 at 9:19 pm