Per Em Heru Ch.17 Cosmological Text
(1) HERE BEGIN THE PRAISES AND GLORIFYINGS OF COMING OUT FROM AND GOING INTO (2) THE GLORIOUS NETER-KHERT IN THE BEAUTIFUL AMENTA, OF COMING OUT BY DAY IN ALL THE FORMS OF EXISTENCE WHICH PLEASE HIM (i.e., THE DECEASED), OF PLAYING AT DRAUGHTS AND SITTING IN THE (3) SEH HALL, AND OF COMING FORTH AS A LIVING SOUL. Behold Osiris, the scribe Ani, after (4) he hath come to his haven [of rest]. That which hath been done upon earth [by Ani] being blessed, all (5) the words of the god Tmu come to pass. "I am the god Tmu in [my] rising; I am the only One. I came into existence in Nu. (6) I am Ra who rose in the beginning. [He hath ruled that which he made.]"
    (7) Who then is this? It is Ra who rose for the first time in the city of (8) Suten-henen [crowned] as a king in [his] rising. The pillars of Shu were not as yet created, when he was upon the (9) high place of him who is in Khemennu.
    "I am the great god who gave birth to himself, even Nu, (10) [who] created his name Paut Neteru as god."
    Who then (11) is this? It is Ra, the creator of the name[s] of his limbs, which came into being (12) in the form of the gods in the train of Ra.
    "I am he who is not driven back among the gods."
    (13) Who then is this? It is Tmu in his disk, or (as others say), It is Ra in (14) his rising in the eastern horizon of heaven.
    "I am Yesterday; I know (15) Tomorrow."
    Who then is this? Yesterday is Osiris, and (16) Tomorrow is Ra, on the day when he shall destroy the (17) enemies of Neb-er-tcher, and when he shall stablish as prince and ruler (18) his son Horus, or (as others say), on the day when we commemorate the festival (19) of the meeting of the dead Osiris with his father Ra, and when the battle of the (20) gods was fought in which Osiris, lord of Amentet, was the leader.
    What then is this? (21) It is Amentet, [that is to say] the creation of the souls of the gods when Osiris was leader in Set-Amentet; or (22) (as others say), Amentet is that which Ra hath given unto me; when any god cometh, he doth arise and (23) doeth battle for it.
    "I know the god who dwelleth therein."
    (24) Who then is this? It is Osiris," or (as others say), Ra is his name, even Ra (25) the self-created.
    "I am the bennu bird (26) which is in Annu, and I am the keeper of the volume of the book of things which are and of things which shall be."
    Who (27) then is this? It is Osiris, or (as others say), It is his dead body, or (as others say), (28) It is his filth. The things which are are and the things which shall be are his dead body; or (as others say), (29) They are eternity and everlastingness. Eternity is the day, and everlastingness (30) is the night.
    "I am the god Amsu in his coming-forth; may his (31) two plumes be set upon my head."
    Who then is this? Amsu is Horus, the (32) avenger of his father, and his coming-forth is his birth. The (33) plumes upon his head are Isis and Nephthys when they go forth to set themselves (34) there, even as his protectors, and they provide that which (35) his head lacketh, or (as others say), They are the two exceeding great uræi which are upon the head of their (36) father Tmu, or (as others say), His two eyes are the two plumes.
    (37) "Osiris Ani, the scribe of all the holy offerings, riseth up in his place in triumph; he cometh into (38) his city."

What then is this? It is the horizon of his father Tmu.
    (39) "I have made an end of my shortcomings, and I have put away my faults."
    What then (40) is this? It is the cutting off of the corruptible in the body of Osiris, the scribe Ani, (41) triumphant before all the gods; and all his faults are driven out.
    (42) What then is this? It is the purification [of Osiris] on the day of his birth.
    (43) "I am purified in my exceeding great double nest which is in Suten henen, (44) on the day of the offerings of the followers of the great god who is therein."
    (45) What then is this? "Millions of years" is the name of the one [nest], (46) "Green Lake" is the name of the other; a pool of natron, and a pool of nitre (47); or (as others say), "The Traverser of Millions of Years" is the name of the one, "Great Green Lake" (48) is the name of the other; or (as others say), " The Begetter of Millions of Years" is the name of the one, "Green Lake" is (49) the name of the other. Now as concerning the great god who is in it, it is Ra himself. (50)
    "I pass over the way, I know the head of the Pool of Maata."
    (51) What then is this? It is Re-stau; that is to say, it is the underworld on the (52) south of Naarut-f, and it is the northern door of the tomb.
Now as concerning (53) She-Maaat, it is Abtu; or (as others say), It is the road by which his (54) father Tmu travelleth when he goeth to Sekhet-Aaru, (55) which bringeth forth the food and nourishment of the gods behind the shrine. (56) Now the Gate of Sert is the gate of the pillars of Shu, (57) the northern gate of the underworld; or (as others say), It is the two leaves of the door through (58) which the god Tmu passeth when he goeth forth in the eastern horizon of heaven.
    (59) "O ye gods who are in the presence (of Osiris), grant me your arms, for I am the god (60) who shall come into being among you."
What then is this? It is the drops of blood (61) which fell from Ra when he went forth (62) to cut himself. They sprang into being as the gods Hu and Sa, who are in the (63) following of Ra and who accompany Tmu (64) daily and every day.
    "I, Osiris, Ani (65) the scribe, triumphant, have filled up for thee the utchat after it was darkened (66) on the day of the combat of the Two Fighters."
    What then (67) is this? It is the day on which Horus fought with (68) Set, who cast filth in the face of Horus, and when Horus destroyed the (69) powers of Set. Thoth did this with his own hand.
    (70) "I lift the hair[-cloud] when there are storms in the sky."
    What then is this? (71) It is the right eye of Ra, which raged against [Set] when (72) he sent it forth. Thoth raiseth up the hair[-cloud], and bringeth the eye (73) alive, and whole, and sound, and without defect to [its] lord; or (as others say), It is the eye of Ra when it is sick and when it (74) weepeth for its fellow eye; then Thoth standeth up to cleanse it.

(75) "I behold Ra who was born yesterday from the (76) buttocks of the cow Meh-urt; his strength is my strength, and my strength is his strength."
    What then (77) is this? It is the water of heaven, or (as others say), (78) It is the image of the eye of Ra in the morning at his daily birth. (79) Meh-urt is the eye of Ra. Therefore Osiris, the (80) scribe Ani, triumphant, [is] a great one among the gods (81) who are in the train of Horus. The words are] spoken for him that loveth his lord.
    (82) What then is this? [i.e., who are these gods?] Mestha, Hapi Tuamautef, and Qebhsennuf.
    (83) "Homage to you, O ye lords of right and truth, and ye holy ones who [stand] behind Osiris, who utterly do away with (84) sins and crime, and [ye] who are in the following of the goddess Hetep-se (85) -khus, grant that I may come unto you. Destroy ye all the faults which (86) are within me, even as ye did for the seven Shining Ones (87) who are among the followers of their lord Sepa. (88) Anubis appointed their place on the day [when was said], 'Come therefore thither.'"
    What then (89) is this? These lords of right and truth are Thoth and (90) Astes, lord of Amenta. The holy ones who stand behind Osiris, even Mestha, (91) Hapi, Tuamautef, and Qebhsennuf, are they who are (92) behind the Thigh in the northern sky. They who do away with (93) sins and crime and who are in the following of the goddess Hetep-se-khus (94) are the god Sebek in the waters. The goddess Hetep-se-khus is the eye of (95) Ra, or (as others say), It is the flame which followeth after Osiris to burn up (96) the souls of his foes. As concerning all the faults which are (97) in Osiris, the scribe of the holy offerings of all the gods, Ani, triumphant, [they are all that he hath done against the lords of eternity] since he came forth (98) from his mother's womb. As concerning (99) the seven Shining Ones, even Mestha, Hapi, Tuamautef, Qebhsennuf, (100) Maa-atef-f, Kheri-beq-f, and Horus-Khenti-maa, Anubis appointed (101) them protectors of the body of Osiris, or (as others say), (102) [set them] behind the place of purification of Osiris; or (as others say), Those seven glorious ones are (103) Netcheh-netcheh, Aqet-qet, An-erta-nef-bes-f-khenti-heh-f, (104) Aq-her-unnut-f, Tesher-maa-ammi (105) -het-Anes,
    Ubes-hra-per-em-khet khet, and Maa (106) -em-qerh-an-nef-em-hru. The chief of the holy ones (107) who minister in his chamber is Horus, the avenger of his father. As to the day (108) [upon which was said] "Come therefore thither," it concerneth the words, "Come (109) then thither," which Ra spake unto Osiris. Lo, may this be decreed for me in Amentet.
    "I am the soul which dwelleth in the two (110) tchafi."
    What then is this? It is Osiris [when] he goeth into Tattu (111) and findeth there the soul of Ra; there the one god (112) embraceth the other, and souls spring into being within the two tchafi.
    ["I am the Cat which fought (?) by the Persea tree hard by in Annu, on the night when the foes of Neb-er-tcher were destroyed."]
    What then is this? The male cat is Ra himself, and he is called Maau by reason of the speech of the god Sa [who said] concerning him: "He is like (maau) unto that which he hath made, and his name became Maau"; or (as others say), It is Shu who maketh over the possessions of Seb to Osiris. As to the fight (?) by the Persea tree hard by, in Annu, it concerneth the children of impotent revolt when justice is wrought on them for what they have done. As to [the words] "that night of the battle," they concern the inroad [of the children of impotent revolt] into the eastern part of heaven, whereupon there arose a battle in heaven and in all the earth.
    "O thou who art in the egg (i.e., Ra), who shinest from thy disk and risest in thy horizon, and dost shine like gold above the sky, like unto whom there is none among the gods, who sailest over the pillars of Shu (i.e., the ether), who givest blasts of fire from thy mouth, [who makest the two lands bright with thy radiance, deliver] the faithful worshippers from the god whose forms are hidden, whose eyebrows are like unto the two arms of the balance on the night of the reckoning of destruction."
    Who then is this? It is An-a-f, the god who bringeth his arm. As concerning [the words] "that night of the reckoning of destruction," it is the night of the burning of the damned, and of the overthrow of the wicked at [the sacred] block, and of the slaughter of souls.
    Who then is this? It is Nemu, the headsman of Osiris; or (as others say), It is Apep when he riseth up with one head bearing maat (i.e., right and truth) [upon it]; or (as others say), It is Horus when he riseth up with two heads, whereof the one beareth maat and the other wickedness. He bestoweth wickedness on him that worketh wickedness, and maat on him that followeth after righteousness and truth; or (as others say), It is the great Horus who dwelleth in [Se] khem; or (as others say), It is Thoth; or (as others say), It is Nefer-Tmu, [or] Sept, who doth thwart the course of the foes of Neb-er-tcher.
    "Deliver me from the Watchers who bear slaughtering knives, and who have cruel fingers, and who slay those who are in the following of Osiris. May they never overcome me, may I never fall under their knives."
    "What then is this? It is Anubis, and it is Horus in the form of Khent-en-maa; or (as others say), It is the Divine Rulers who thwart the works of their [weapons]; it is the chiefs of the sheniu chamber.
    "May their knives never get the mastery over me, may I never fall under their instruments of cruelty, for I know their names, and I know the being Matchet Who is among them in the house of Osiris, shooting rays of light from [his] eye, but he himself is unseen. He goeth round about heaven robed in the flame of his mouth, commanding Hapi, but remaining himself unseen. May I be strong upon earth before Ra, may I come happily into haven in the presence of Osiris. Let not your offerings be hurtful to me, O ye who preside over your altars, for I am among those who follow after Neb-er-tcher according to the writings of Khepera. I fly as a hawk, I cackle as a goose; I ever slay, even as the serpent goddess Nehebka."
    What then is this? They who preside at the altars are the similitude of the eye of Ra and the similitude of the eye of Horus.
    "O Ra-Tmu, lord of the Great House, prince, life, strength and health of all the gods, deliver thou [me] from the god whose face is like unto that of a dog, whose brows are as those of a man, and who feedeth upon the dead, who watcheth at the Bight of the Fiery Lake, and who devoureth the bodies of the dead and swalloweth hearts, and who shooteth forth filth, but he himself remaineth unseen."
    Who then is this? "Devourer for millions of years" is his name, and he dwelleth in the Lake of Unt. As concerning the Fiery Lake, it is that which is in Anrutf, hard by the Shenit chamber. The unclean man who would walk thereover doth fall down among the knives; or (as others say), His name is "Mathes," and he is the watcher of the door of Amenta; or (as others say), His name is "Heri-sep-f."
    "Hail, Lord of terror, chief of the lands of the North and South, lord of the red glow, who preparest the slaughter-block, and who dost feed upon the inward parts!"
    Who then is this? The guardian of the Bight of Amenta.
    What then is this? It is the heart of Osiris, which is the devourer of all slaughtered things. The urerit crown hath been given unto him with swellings of the heart as lord of Suten-henen.

What then is this? He to whom hath been given the urerit crown with swellings of-the heart as lord of Suten-henen is Osiris. He was bidden to rule among the gods on the day of the union of earth with earth in the presence of Neb-er-tcher.
    What then is this? He that was bidden to rule among the gods is [Horus] the son of Isis, who was appointed to rule in the place of his father Osiris. As to the day of the union of earth with earth, it is the mingling of earth with earth in the coffin of Osiris, the Soul that liveth in Suten-henen, the giver of meat and drink, the destroyer of wrong, and the guide of the everlasting paths.
    Who then is this? It is Ra himself.
    "Deliver thou [me] from the great god who carrieth away souls, and who devoureth filth and eateth dirt, the guardian of the darkness [who himself liveth] in the light. They who are in misery fear him."
    As concerning the souls within the (113) tchafi [they are those which are] with the god who carrieth away the soul, who eateth hearts, and who feedeth (114) upon offal, the guardian of the darkness who is within the seker boat; they who live in (115) crime fear him.
    Who then is this? It is Suti, or (as others say), It is Smam-ur, (116) the soul of Seb.
    "Hail, Khepera in thy boat, the twofold company of the gods is thy body. Deliver thou Osiris (117) Ani, triumphant, from the watchers who give judgment, who have been appointed by Neb-er(118)-tcher to protect him and to fasten the fetters on his foes, and who slaughter in the shambles (119); there is no escape from their grasp. May they never stab me with their knives, (120) may I never fall helpless in their chambers of torture. (121) Never have the things which the gods hate been done by me, for I am pure within the Mesqet. (122) Cakes of saffron have been brought unto him in Tanenet."
    Who then is this? (123) It is Khepera in his boat. It is Ra himself. The watchers (124) who give judgment are the apes Isis and Nephthys. The things which the gods hate (125) are wickedness and falsehood; and he who passeth through the place of purification within the Mesqet is Anubis, who is (126) behind the chest which holdeth the inward parts of Osiris.
    He to whom saffron cakes have been brought in (127) Tanenet is Osiris; or (as others say), The saffron cakes (128) in Tanenet are heaven and earth, or (as others say), They are Shu, strengthener of the two lands in (129) Suten-henen. The saffron cakes are the eye of Horus; and Tanenet is the grave (110) of Osiris.
    Tmu hath built thy house, and the two-fold Lion-god hath founded thy habitation; (131) lo! drugs are brought, and Horus purifieth and Set strengtheneth, and Set purifieth and Horus strengtheneth.
    (132) "The Osiris, the scribe Ani, triumphant before Osiris, hath come into the land, and hath possessed it with his feet. He is Tmu, and he is in the city."
    (133) "Turn thou back, O Rehu, whose mouth shineth, whose head moveth, turn thou back from before his strength"; or (as others say), Turn thou back from him who keepeth watch (134) and is unseen. "The Osiris Ani is safely guarded. He is Isis, and he is found (135) with [her] hair spread over him. I shake it out over his brow. He was conceived in Isis and begotten in (136) Nephthys; and they cut off from him the things which should be cut off."
    Fear followeth after thee, terror is upon thine (137) arms. Thou art embraced for millions of years in the arms [of the nations]; mortals go round about thee. Thou smitest down the mediators of thy (138) foes, and thou seizest the arms of the powers of darkness. The two sisters (i.e., Isis and Nephthys) are given to thee for thy delight. (139) Thou hast created that which is in Kheraba, and that which is in Annu. Every god feareth thee, for thou art exceeding great and terrible; thou [avengest] every (140) god on the man that curseth him, and thou shootest out arrows ..... Thou livest according to thy will; thou art Uatchit, the Lady of Flame. Evil cometh (141) among those who set themselves up against thee.
    What then is this? The hidden in form, granted of Menhu, (142) is the name of the tomb. He seeth [what is] in [his] hand, is the name of the shrine, or (143) (as others say), the name of the block. Now he whose mouth shineth and whose head moveth is (144) a limb of Osiris, or (as others say), of Ra. Thou spreadest thy hair and I shake it out over his brow (145) is spoken concerning Isis, who hideth in her hair and draweth her hair over her. Uatchi, the Lady of Flames, is the eye of Ra.

Hieroglyphic Text

The History Of Creation - A

by E. A. Wallis Budge Tr. 1912

THE BOOK OF KNOWING THE EVOLUTIONS OF RA, AND OF OVERTHROWING APEP. [These are] the; words which the god Neb-er-tcher spake after he had, come into being:-
"I am he who came into being in the form of the god Khepera, and I am the creator of that which came into being, that is to say, I am the creator of everything which came into being: now the things which I created, and which came forth out of my month after that I had come into being myself were exceedingly many. The sky (or heaven) had not come into being, the earth did not (exist, and the children of the earth, and the creeping, things, had not been made at that time. I myself raised them up from out of Nu, from a state of helpless inertness.
I found no place whereon I could stand. I worked a charm upon my Own heart (or, will), I laid the foundation [of things] by Maat, and I made everything which had form. I was [then] one by myself, for I had not emitted from myself the god Shu, and I had not spit out from myself the goddess Tefnut; and there existed no other who could work with me. I laid the foundations [of things] in my own heart, and there came into being multitudes of created things, which came into being from the created things which were born from the created things which arose from what they brought forth.
I had union with my closed hand, and I embraced my shadow as a wife, and I poured seed into my own mouth, and I sent forth from myself issue in the form of the gods Shu and Tefnut. Saith my father Nu:-My Eye was covered up behind them (i.e., Shu. and Tefnut), but after two hen periods had passed from the time when they departed from me, from being one god I ,became three gods, and I came into being in the earth. Then Shu and Tefnut rejoiced from out of the inert watery mass wherein they I were, and they brought to me my Eye (i.e., the Sun). Now after these things I gathered together my members, and I wept over them, and men and women sprang into being from the tears which came forth from my Eye.
And when my Eye came to me, and found that I had made another [Eye] in place where it was (i.e., the Moon), it was wroth with (or, raged at) me, whereupon I endowed it (i.e., the (second Eye) with [some of] the splendour which I had made for the first [Eye], and I made it to occupy its place in my Face, and henceforth it ruled throughout all this earth.
When there fell on them their moment through plant-like clouds, I restored what had been taken away from them, and I appeared from out of the plant-like clouds. I created creeping things of every kind, and everything which came into being from them. Shu and Tefnut brought forth [Seb and] Nut; and Seb and Nut brought forth Asar (Osiris), and Heru-khent-an-maati, and Set, and Aset (Isis), and Nephtbys at one birth, one after the other, and they produced their multitudinous offspring in this earth."

The History Of Creation - B


[These are] the words of the god Neb-er-tcher, who said: "I am the creator of what hath come into being, and I myself came into being under the form of the god Khepera, and I came into being in primeval time. I came into being in the form of Khepera, and I am the creator of what did come into being, that is to say, I formed myself out of the primeval matter, and I made and formed myself out of the substance which existed in primeval time. My name is AUSARES (i.e., Asar (Osiris)), who is the primeval matter of primeval matter.
I have done my will in everything in this earth. I have spread myself abroad therein, and I have made strong my hand. I was ONE by myself, for they (i.e., the gods) had not been brought forth, and I had emitted from myself neither Shu nor Tefnut. I brought my own name into my mouth as a word of power, and I forthwith came into being under the form of things which are and under the form of Khepera. I came into being from out of primeval matter, and from the beginning I appeared under the form of the multitudinous things which exist; nothing whatsoever existed at that time in this earth, and it was I who made whatsoever was made.
I was ONE: by myself, and there was no other being who worked with me in that place. I made all the things under the forms of which I appeared then by means of the Soul-God which I raised into firmness at that time from out of Nu, from a state of inactivity. I found no place whatsoever there whereon I could stand, I worked by the power of a spell by means of my heart, I laid a foundation [for things] before me, and whatsoever was made, I made.
I was ONE by myself, and I laid the foundation of things [by means of] my heart, and I made the other things which came into being, and the things of Khepera which were made were manifold, and their offspring came into existence from the things to which they gave birth. I it was who emitted Shu, and I it was who emitted Tefnut, and from being the ONE, god (or, the only god) I became three gods; the two other gods who came into being on this earth sprang from me, and Shu and Tefnut rejoiced (or, were raised up) from out of Nu in which they were. Now behold, they brought my Eye to me after two hen periods since the time when they went forth from me.
I gathered together my members (which had appeared in my own body, and afterwards I had union with my hand, and my heart (or, will) came unto me from out of my hand, and the seed fell into my mouth, and I emitted from myself the gods Shu and Tefnut, and so from being the ONE god (or, the only, god) I became three gods; thus the two other gods who came into being on this earth sprang from ,me, and Shu and Tefnut rejoiced (or, were raised up) from out of Nu in which they were.
My father Nu saith:-They covered up (or, concealed) my Eye with the plant-like clouds which were behind them (i.e., Shu and Tefnut) for very many hen periods. Plants and creeping things [sprang up] from the god REM, through the tears which I let fall. I cried out to my Eye, and men and women came into existence.
Then I bestowed upon my Eye the uraeus of fire, and it was wroth with me when another Eye (i.e., the Moon) came and grew up in its place; its vigorous power fell on the plants, on the plants which I had placed there, and it set order among them, and it took up its place in my face, and it doth rule the whole earth.
Then Shu and Tefnut brought forth Asar (Osiris), and Heru-khenti-An-maa, and Set, and Aset (Isis), and Nephthys and behold, they have produced offspring, and have created multitudinous children in this earth, by means of the beings which came into existence from the creatures which they produced. They invoke my name, and they overthrow their enemies, and they make words of power for the overthrowing of Apep, over whose hands and arms AKER keepeth ward. His hands and arms shall not exist, his feet and leas shall not exist, and he is chained in one place whilst Ra inflicts upon him the blows which are decreed for him. He is thrown upon his accursed back, his face is slit open by reason of the evil which he hath done, and he shall remain upon his accursed back."



ONE day, Hermes, after reflecting on the origin of things, fell asleep. A dull torpor took possession of his body; but in proportion as the latter grew benumbed, his spirit ascended into space. Then an immense being, of indeterminate form, seemed to call him by name.
"Who art thou?" said the terrified Hermes.
"I am Osiris, the sovereign Intelligence who is able to unveil all things. What desirest thou?"
"To behold the source of beings, O divine Osiris, and to know God."
"Thou shalt be satisfied."
Immediately Hermes felt himself plunged in a delicious light. In its pellucid billows passed the ravishing forms of all beings. Suddenly, a terrifying encircling darkness descended upon him.

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[paragraph continues] Hermes was in a humid chaos, filled with smoke and with a heavy, rumbling sound. Then a voice rose from the abyss, the cry of light. At once a quick-leaping flame darted forth from the humid depths, reaching to the ethereal heights. Hermes ascended with it, and found himself again in the expanse of space. Order began to clear up chaos in the abyss; choruses of constellations spread above his head and the voice of light filled infinity.
"Dost thou understand what thou hast seen?" said Osiris to Hermes, bound down in his dream and suspended between earth and sky.
"No," said Hermes.
"Thou wilt now learn. Thou hast just seen what exists from all eternity. The light thou didst first see is the divine intelligence which contains all things in potentiality, enclosing the models of all beings. The darkness in which thou wast afterwards plunged is the material world on which the men of earth live. But the fire thou didst behold shooting forth from the depths, is the divine Word. God is the Father, the Word is the son, and their union is Life."
"What marvellous sense has opened out to me?" asked Hermes. "I no longer see with the eyes of
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the body, but with those of the spirit. How has that come to pass?"
"Child of dust," replied Osiris, "it is because the Word is in thee. That in thee which hears, sees, and acts is the Word itself, the sacred fire, the creative utterance!"
"Since things are so," said Hermes, "grant that I may see the light of the worlds; the path of souls from which man comes and to which he returns."
"Be it done according to thy desire."
Hermes became heavier than a stone and fell through space like a meteorite. Finally he reached the summit of a mountain. It was night, the earth was gloomy and deserted, and his limbs seemed as heavy as iron.
"Raise thine eyes and look!" said the voice of Osiris.
Then Hermes saw a wonderful sight. The starry heavens, stretching through infinite space, enveloped him with seven luminous spheres. In one glance, Hermes saw the seven heavens stretching above his head, tier upon tier, like seven transparent and concentric globes, the sidereal centre of which he now occupied. The milky way formed the girdle of the last. In each sphere there rolled a planet
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accompanied by a genius of different form, sign and light. Whilst Hermes, dazzled by the sight, was contemplating their wide-spread efflorescence and majestic movements, the voice said to him:
"Look, listen, and understand. Thou seest the seven spheres of all life. Through them is accomplished the fall and ascent of souls. The seven genii are the seven rays of the word-light. Each of them commands one sphere of the spirit, one phase of the life of souls. The one nearest to thee is the Genius of the Moon, with his disquieting smile and crown of silver sickle. He presides over births and deaths, sets free souls from bodies and draws them into his ray. Above him, pale Mercury points out the path to ascending or descending souls with his caduceus, which contains all knowledge. Higher still, shining Venus holds the mirror of love, in which souls forget and recognize them in turn. Above her, the Genius of the Sun raises the triumphal torch of eternal beauty. At a yet loftier height, Mars brandishes the sword of justice. Enthroned on the azure sphere, Jupiter holds the sceptre of supreme power, which is divine intelligence. At the boundaries of the world, beneath the
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signs of the Zodiac, Saturn bears the globe of universal wisdom. 1
"I see," said Hermes, "the seven regions which comprise the visible and invisible world; I see the seven rays of the word-light, of the one God who traverses them and governs them by these rays. Still, O master, how does mankind journey through all these worlds?"
"Dost thou see," said Osiris, "a luminous seed fall from the regions of the milky way into the seventh sphere? These are germs of souls. They live like faint vapors in the region of Saturn, gay and free from care, knowing not their own happiness. On falling from sphere to sphere, however, they put on increasingly heavier envelopes. In each incarnation they acquire a new corporeal sense, in harmony with the surroundings in which they are living. Their vital energy increases, but in proportion as they enter into denser bodies they lose the memory of their celestial origin. Thus is effected the fall of souls which come from the divine ether. Ever more and more captivated by matter

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and intoxicated by life, they fling themselves like a rain of fire, with quiverings of voluptuous delight, through the regions of grief, love, and death, right into their earthly prison where thou thyself lamentest, held down by the fiery centre of the earth, and where divine life appears to thee nothing more than an empty dream."
"Can souls die?" asked Hermes.
"Yes," replied the voice of Osiris, "many perish in the fatal descent. The soul is the daughter of heaven, and its journey is a test. If it loses the memory of its origin, in its unbridled love of matter, the divine spark which was in it and which might have become more brilliant than a star, returns to the ethereal region, a lifeless atom, and the soul disaggregates in the vortex of gross elements."
Hermes shuddered at these words, for a raging tempest enveloped him in a black mist. The seven spheres disappeared beneath dense vapors. In them he saw human spectres uttering strange cries, carried off and torn by phantoms of monsters and animals, amidst nameless groans and blasphemies.
"Such is the destiny," said Osiris, "of souls irremediably base and evil. Their torture finishes only with their destruction, which includes the loss
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of all consciousness. The vapors are now dispersing, the seven spheres reappear beneath the firmament. Look on this side. Do you see this swarm of souls trying to mount once more to the lunar regions? Some are beaten back to earth like eddies of birds beneath the might of the tempest. The rest with mighty wings reach the upper sphere, which draws them with it as it rotates. Once they have come to this sphere, they recover their vision of divine things. This time, however, they are not content to reflect them in the dream of a powerless happiness; they become impregnated thereby with the lucidity of a grief-enlightened consciousness, the energy of a will acquired through struggle and strife. They become luminous, for they possess the divine in themselves and radiate it in their acts. Strengthen therefore thy soul, O Hermes! calm thy darkened mind by contemplating these distant flights of souls which mount the seven spheres and are scattered about therein like sheaves of sparks. Thou also canst follow them, but a strong will it needs to rise. Look how they swarm and form into divine choruses. Each places itself beneath its favorite genius. The most beautiful dwell in the solar region; the most powerful rise to Saturn. Some ascend to the Father, powers themselves
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amidst powers. For where everything ends, everything eternally begins; and the seven spheres say together: 'Wisdom! Love! Justice! Beauty! Splendor! Knowledge! Immortality!'"
"This," said the hierophant, "is what ancient Hermes saw and what his successors have handed down to us. The words of the wise are like the seven notes of the lyre which contains all music, along with the numbers and the laws of the universe, The vision of Hermes resembles the starry heaven, whose unfathomable depths are strewn with constellations. For the child this is nothing more than a gold-studded vault, for the sage it is boundless space in which worlds revolve, with their wonderful rhythms and cadences. The vision contains the eternal numbers, evoking signs and magic keys. The more thou learnest to contemplate and understand it, the farther thou shalt see its limits extend, for the same organic law governs all worlds."
The prophet of the temple commented on the sacred text. He explained that the doctrine of the word-light represents divinity in the static condition, in its perfect balance. He showed its triple nature, which is at once intelligence, force, and matter; spirit, soul, and body; light, word, and life. Essence, manifestation, and substance are three
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terms which take each other for granted. Their union constitutes the divine and intellectual principle par excellence, the law of the ternary unity which governs creation from above downwards.
Having thus led his disciple to the ideal centre of the universe, the generating principle of Being, the master spread him abroad in time and space in a multiple efflorescence. For a second part of the vision represents divinity in the dynamic condition, i.e., in active evolution; in other terms, the visible and invisible universe, the living heavens. The seven spheres attached to the seven planets symbolise seven principles, seven different states of matter and spirit, seven different worlds which each man and each humanity are forced to pass through in their evolution across a solar system. The seven genii or the seven cosmogonic gods signify the superior, directing spirits of all spheres, the off spring themselves of inevitable evolution. To an initiate of old, therefore, each great god was the symbol and patron of legions of spirits which reproduced his type in a thousand varieties, and which, from their own sphere, could exercise their action over mankind and terrestrial things. The seven genii of the vision of Hermes are the seven Devas of India, the seven Amshapands of Persia, the seven
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great Angels of Chaldæa, the seven Sephiroths of the Kabbala, the seven Archangels of the Christian Apocalypse. The great septenary which enfolds the universe does not vibrate in the seven colors of the rainbow and the seven notes of the scale, only; it also manifests itself in the constitution of man, which is triple in essence, but sevenfold in its evolution.
"Thus," said the hierophant in conclusion, "thou hast reached the very threshold of the great arcanum. The divine life has appeared to thee beneath the phantoms of reality. Hermes has unfolded to thee the invisible heavens, the light of Osiris, the hidden God of the universe who breathes in millions of souls and animates thereby the wandering globes and working bodies. It is now thine to direct thy path and choose the road leading to the pure spirit. Henceforth dost thou belong to those who have been brought back from death to life. REMEMBER THAT THERE ARE TWO MAIN KEYS TO KNOWLEDGE. This is the first: 'The without is like the within of things; the small is like the large; there is only one law and he who works is One. In the divine economy, there is nothing either great or small.' And this is the second: 'Men are mortal gods and gods are immortal men.' Happy
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the man who understands these words, for he holds the key to all things. Remember that the law of mystery veils the great truth. Total knowledge can be revealed only to our brethren who have gone through the same trials as ourselves. Truth must be measured according to intelligence; it must be veiled from the feeble, whom it would madden, and concealed from the wicked, who are capable of seizing only its fragments, which they would turn into weapons of destruction. Keep it in thy heart and let it speak through thy work. Knowledge will be thy might, faith thy sword, and silence thy armor that cannot be broken."
The revelations of the prophet of Amon-Râ, which opened out to the new initiate such vast horizons over himself and over the universe, doubtless produced a profound impression, when uttered from the observatory of a Theban temple, in the clear calm of an Egyptian night. The pylons, the white roofs, and terraces of the temples lay asleep at his feet between the dark clusters of nopals and tamarind trees. Away in the distance were large monolithic shrines, colossal statues of the gods, seated like incorruptible judges on their silent lake. Three pyramids, geometrical figures of the tetragram and of the sacred septenary, could be dimly
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seen on the horizon, their triangles clearly outlined in the light grey air. The unfathomable firmament was studded with stars. With what a strange gaze he looked at those constellations which were depicted to him as future dwellings! When finally the gold-tipped barque of the moon rose above the dark mirror of the Nile which died away on the horizon, like a long bluish serpent, the neophyte believed he saw the barque of Isis floating over the river of souls which it carries off towards the sun of Osiris. He remembered the Book of the Dead, and the meaning of all the symbols was now unveiled to his mind after what he had seen and learned; he might believe himself to be in the crepuscular kingdom of the Amenti, the mysterious interregnum between the earthly and the heavenly life, where the departed, who are at first without eyes and power of utterance, by degrees regain sight and voice. He, too, was about to undertake the great journey, the journey of the infinite, through worlds and existences. Hermes had already absolved him and judged him to be worthy. He had given him the explanation of the great enigma "One only soul, the great soul of the All, by dividing itself out, has given birth to all the souls that struggle throughout the universe." Armed
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with the mighty secret, he entered the barque of Isis. Rising aloft into the ether, it floated in the interstellar regions. The broad rays of a far-spreading dawn were already piercing the azure veils of the celestial horizons, and the choir of the glorious spirits, the Akhimou-Sekou, who have attained to eternal repose, was chanting: "Rise, Râ Hermakouti, sun of spirits! Those in thy barque are in exaltation. They raise exclamations in the barque of millions of years. The great divine cycle overflows with joy when glorifying the mighty sacred barque. Rejoicing is taking place in the mysterious chapel. Rise, Ammon-Râ Hermakouti, thou self-creating sun!" And the initiate replied proudly: "I have attained the country of truth and justification. I rise from the dead as a living god, and shine forth in the choir of the gods who dwell in heaven, for I belong to their race."
Such audacious thoughts and hopes might haunt the spirit of the adept during the night following the mystic ceremony of resurrection. The following morning, in the avenues of the temple, beneath the blinding light, that night seemed to him no more than a dream . . . though how impossible to forget . . . that first voyage into the intangible and invisible! Once again he read the inscription
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on the statue of Isis: "My veil no mortal hand hath raised." All the same a corner of the veil was raised, but only to fall back again, and he woke up on the earth of tombs. Ah, how far he was from the goal he had dreamed of! For the voyage on the barque of millions of years is a long one! But at least he had caught a faint glimpse of his final destination. Even though his vision of the other world were only a dream, a childish outline of his imagination, still obscured by the mists of earth, could he doubt that other consciousness he had felt being born in him, that mysterious double, that celestial ego which had appeared to him in his astral beauty like a living form and spoken to him in his sleep? Was this a sister-soul, was it his genius, or only a reflection of his inmost spirit, a vision of his future being dimly foreshadowed? A wonder and a mystery! Surely it was a reality, and if that soul was only his own, it was the true one. What would he not do to recover it? Were he to live millions of years he would never forget that divine hour in which he had seen his other self, so pure and radiant. 1

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The initiation was at an end, and the adept consecrated as priest of Osiris. If he was an Egyptian, he remained attached to the temple; if a foreigner, he was permitted, from time to time, to return to his own country, therein to establish the worship of Isis or to accomplish a mission.
Before leaving, however, he swore a formidable oath that he would maintain absolute silence regarding the secrets of the temple. Never would he betray to a single person what he had seen or heard, never would he reveal the doctrine of Osiris except under the triple veil of the mythological symbols or of the mysteries. Were he to violate this oath, sudden death would come to him, sooner or later, however far away he might be. Silence, however, had become the buckler of his might.
On returning to the shores of Ionia, to the turbulent town in which he formerly lived, amidst that multitude of men, a prey to mad passions, who exist like fools in their ignorance of themselves, his thoughts often flew back to Egypt and the pyramids to the temple of Amon-Râ. Then the dream of the crypt came back to memory. And just as the lotus, in that distant land, spreads out its petals on the waves of the Nile, so this white
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vision floated above the slimy, turbulent stream of this life.
At chosen hours, he would hear its voice, and it was the voice of light. Arousing throughout his being the strains of an inner music, it said to him: "The soul is a veiled light. When neglected, it flickers and dies out, but when it is fed with the holy oil of love, it shines forth like an immortal lamp."

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