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PBP Fridays: Q is for Qebshenef

PBP Fridays: Q is for Qebshenef

Qebshenef is one of the Four Sons of Heru (Horus), a group of netjeri (spirits) associated with the canopic jars that hold the organs of the mummified deceased. The Four Sons also protect the throne of Wesir (Osiris) in the Unseen and assist the deceased through the Duat. Each of the Sons is protected by one of the funerary goddesses and associated with one of the cardinal directions.

Qebshenef, whose name means “cooling his brother (with water),” is hawk-headed and holds the intestines. He is guarded by Serqet (Selkis), the scorpion goddess, and associated with the south.

Imset, whose name means “the kindly one,” is human-headed and wears the nemes headcloth. He holds the liver, is guarded by Aset (Isis), and is associated with the west.

Duamutef, whose name means “praising his mother,” is jackal-headed and holds the stomach. He is guarded by Nit (Neith), the Great He-She, and associated with the north.

Hapy (not Hapi, god of the Nile), whose name means “runner,” is baboon-headed and holds the lungs. He is guarded by Nebt-het (Nephthys) and associated with the east.

While the Four Sons have the above associations in regards to their canopic jars, they also assist the deceased in different ways, including carrying or lifting up the deceased, preparing a ladder into the sky, protecting against attacks and decay, preventing hunger and thirst, bringing the deceased a boat “which Khnum built,” and steering that boat.

The Sons themselves are alternatingly stated to be sons of Aset (Isis) and Heru-wer (Horus the Elder) or Khenty-irty (Horus of Khem), but were also implied to be sons of Heru-sa-Aset (Horus the Younger) by virtue of being the grandchildren of Wesir (Osiris). They’ve also been described as the bau (souls) of Pe (a city in Lower Egypt) and Nekhen (a city in Upper Egypt), along with Heru Himself. In various texts, they’re identified as stars near Ursa Major, as emanations of Heru or as Heru’s bau (souls), and as the king’s “children’s children” (the king being as Wesir, Heru’s own father). They’ve also been identified in spells as the hands, arms, fingernails, and/or feet of the deceased or described accompanying the deceased through the Duat.

Sources:

  • http://kemet.org/names-of-netjer
  • http://www.reshafim.org.il/ad/egypt/religion/sons_of_horus.htm
  • http://henadology.wordpress.com/theology/netjeru/horus-sons-of/

Henadology’s article is particularly well-fleshed-out and worth further reading, as my entry here merely summarizes the basics of the Four Sons.

This post brought to you by the Pagan Blog Project.

on Heru-wer’s day

on Heru-wer’s day

From Faulkner’s translation of the Pyramid Texts, part of Utterance 510:

The doors of the sky are opened,
The doors of the firmament are thrown open
For Horus of the Netherworld at dawn,
That he may go down and bathe in the Field of Rushes.

The doors of the sky are opened,
The doors of the firmament are thrown open
For me at dawn,
That I may go down and bathe in the Field of Rushes.

Dua Heru-wer on His day!

Dua Heru-wer on His day!

Today is Heru-wer’s birthday, the second of the epagomenal days, five days that fall between the end of the Kemetic year and Wep Ronpet, the Kemetic New Year on August 3rd.

Hail to the Way-Lighting Falcon,
soaring through darkening tumult
and deterring the lightning.

May You bless this coming year
so that it may shine as brightly
and stand as tall and rightful as You.

Gold as the noonday sun,
as unerring as the hunting hawk,
Dua Heru-wer, Master of Fear!

In Heru-wer’s honor, a sigil for flight– of the falcon and of the arrow to its target. (Click here to see it in the light.)

happy birthday, Heru-wer

happy birthday, Heru-wer

I sat in the backyard next to a candle lit for Heru-wer, and this got stuck in my head as a looping singsong chant.

Thanks for the tune, Heru-wer. Good timing. Henu to You.

(Y’all can click here to listen. Mediocre recording quality, but it gets the point across.)

Heru-wer has wakened
and so comes up the sun;
and now that Heru-wer has risen,
inward flows the dawn;
and now that Heru-wer has spoken,
isfet is overcome.

For those who have no clue who the hell Heru-wer is and what isfet is and why I’m wishing random entities happy birthday:

I’ve dug myself a homey nest in the fertile ground of Kemeticism, specifically with Kemetic Orthodoxy (the aforementioned awesome spiritual group). In other words, I am studying and beginning to practice a soft-reconstructionist version of ancient Egyptian religion and spirituality. I will be writing about this a lot in days to come.

Right now, we are within the five days considered to be outside the year – the intercalary or epagomenal days. (Started Friday, ends Tuesday. Wednesday, August 3rd, is New Year Day.) Each of the five days is a major god’s birthday. So I’m lighting a candle for each one and, apparently, writing a little sommat for Them. (Or, in this case, singing it.)

Yesterday’s god, Wesir (Osiris), is lord of the underworld. Today’s god, Heru-wer (Horus the Elder) is a solar warrior. Those two sentences are heinous over-simplifications, but they’ll work for those who are totally unfamiliar with Egyptian mythology. :)

Oh, and isfet = bad shit. Going against the rightness/order of the universe – more like “chaos” than “evil.” And henu is a form of deep respect accompanied by physical gestures.