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“I have risen from the egg that is in the land of mysteries. My mouth has been given me, that I may speak therewith before the gods of the nether world. I shall not be kept away from the Council of the great God, for I am Osiris, the lord of Rosetau, this God who is at the top of the terrace. I have come, having accomplished my heart’s desire in the Isle of Flame. I quench any fire that has broken out”.
The first record…of the Sanctified God who came into being at the First Occasion, sets out a picture of a primaeval island (iw). This island has a principal name Island of Trampling [or Crushing] (iw titi)…the name of a region in which the creation took place, is known to us only from the first Edfu cosmogonical record…The sacred place Djeba in Wetjeset-Neter having been created, the Sanctified Ruler…appeared. He came from the underworld…as a protector
This text seems to imply a belief in the existence of a group of nameless [shmw] deities who existed before the origin of the world, and who were believed to act as a single creating power…these powers are described as the Primaeval Ones…the lords of the light…The Ghosts, the Ancestors…These nameless Creators of the Earth seem to have been regarded as its original inhabitants…they are also described as the Great Ennead…the Sanctified Ones who…created their own bodily form for themselves
The general tone of the beginning of the first record seems to convey the view that an ancient world, after having been constituted, was destroyed, and as a dead world it came to be the basis of a new period of creation…
The Pn-God…is to be linked with the gnn, the Weak One…believed to reside in a field of reeds, who died there and whose mortuary image was hidden in the same field of reeds…the first act of creation…in the Island of Trampling was solely an act of recreation of a divine world which once existed.
Then appeared on the scene a large company of divine beings…the whole company was then divided into four groups; each group was placed along one side of the bw-titi…Thereafter the snake was overthrown and the victorious gods are said to have settled beside him…The divine powers who were believed to have acted in this phase of creation were the deities who took part in the former process
The Place-for-crushing resembled a ifdw [four sides] of the divine shelter (nwt) within that domain
The star-map indicates that the setting of this myth and its participants are not, in fact, of this earth, but are to be found in the heavens. What is of pivotal importance is the identity of the ‘river Euphrates’. Apart from the earthly river, the ‘Euphrates’ can also be found on the star-map where it is closely associated with the watery outflow joined to the Swallow.
This heavenly river actually runs parallel to the course of the ecliptic and now that this fact is established, the action of the fish can be better understood – they escort the sun (the mythical egg) from its lowest point at the solstice and guide it onto its ascending path that leads towards the spring and ‘dry land’, which is represented on the star-map by the constellation of the Field. .
These primeval god-men are quite specifically referred to in a body of literature known as the Edfu Building Texts found carved on the walls of the Ptolemaic temple of Edfu in Upper Egypt. Andrew shows how when the Elder gods (they are named variously in the texts as the Elders, the Shebtiu, the Falcons, the Sages and the Ancestors) disappear from the Nile valley, the first neolithic communities begin to spring up in the Upper Euphrates valley of northern Syria, south-east Turkey (Anatolia).
Of the greatest interest is the temple’s idea of itself expressed in the acres of enigmatic inscriptions that cover its walls. These inscriptions, the so-called Edfu Building Texts, take us back to a very remote period called the ‘Early Primeval Age of the Gods’ – and these gods, it transpires, were not originally Egyptian, or even connected with Egypt in any way, but lived on a sacred island, the ‘Homeland of the Primeval Ones’, in the midst of a great ocean.
originally posted by: Kantzveldt
Of course all questions of creation generally come down to which came first the chicken or the egg
The opposition of m e / partsu and n a m t a r / shimtu is not just conceptually implied, but turns out to be made explicit in third millennium cosmogony. Herein a cosmic ocean, N a m m a , produces a proto-universe, Heaven and Earth undivided. In a series of stages, all represented by gods, Heaven and Earth produce the Holy Mound (d u k u g ), which in its turn produces E n l i l , ‘Lord Ether’, who by his very existence separates Heaven and Earth. E n l i l , representing the space between Heaven and Earth, the sphere of human and animal life, organises what he finds by his decisions (n a m t a r / shimtu), and thus puts everything into place: the universe becomes a cosmos. Before being permanently subjected, however, the primordial universe (Heaven and Earth) rebels; its representative, a member of the older generation of gods, E n m e sh a r r a , ‘Lord All M e ’, tries to usurp E n l i l ’s prerogative to n a m t a r / shimtu (i.e. prerogative to make decisions). He is defeated by E n l i l and incarcerated in the netherworld for good. The myth can be read as a theistically-slanted argument on two modes of defining order: an immutable cosmological order (m e / partsu) whose unmistakable champion is E n m e sh a r r a , against a protean, individual-centred, volitional, anthropomorphic order, whose champion is E n l i l
originally posted by: Kantzveldt
A few concluding considerations, the religious tradition involved here despite some adaptations was alien to ancient Egypt,
the Greeks just happened to dig out an old document recording it and carved it onto the walls of Edfu,
Pisces at the dividing line between that constellation and Aquarius at Spring equinox at present, 13,000 at the Autumnal.
The ancient story tells of the brother of Osiris, Set(hippopotamus), breaking his body into thousands of pieces and broadcasting them over the land. In fact, hippos do break up papyrus rhizomes and can clear running streams that have been clogged. The story continues as Isis, his sister wife, collects the bits of his body and stores them in a chest. Rhizome cultivation would require collection of roots to be over-wintered in a dark, dry box. During planting season, the saved rhizome or "eye" could be replanted on woven mats at the edge of lakes. Evidence for chufa planted on mats is shown in the picure above. Osiris is sitting on a throne that sits on the woven mat with chufa growing out of the plaits. The canopied Sukkah is reminiscent of the huts of Sukkot.
originally posted by: Kantzveldt
a reply to: Byrd
Perhaps, there is some correlation to earlier tradition, but i think it is the Greeks that wish to place emphasis on an egg in the cosmologies of that period, there was similar interest in Northern Mesopotamia with the Atargatis mythos.
The zodiac constellations were relatively recent in Egypt, but really the transition points of the stellar asterisms along the ecliptic plane will be observed and considered no matter how you divide things overall, take Newark Earthworks for example.