Farmer's almanac in Egypt
The Egyptians followed the moon Toth during the summer and the evening sun Atum in the winter. The Europeans adapted much from Egypt and I had to sort out in short what it is about. In explaining the ritual astronomy talking about a virtual year would be best
Egyptian year ritual, resurrection, achet, peret, schemu, wag-feast, djed-pillar, Tothe the moon, Atum the evening sun, afterlife, Ka-soul, iset, water of lifeRitual year | Resurrection |more on Egypt | sitemap | home |
Egyptian ritual year
One source tells that achet the inundation began in August and ended in October. The other periods followed with peret "coming forth" November to February a cool period. The dry period schemu with harvest is till from Mars to August.
In explaining the ritual astronomy talking about a virtual year with three seasons with four months each would be best. Still, I try to compare with our time and set New Year and beginning of achet 21st July. Some text is telling Re raises the vault the first day in the second period of peret. That must be 21st December and we can count back. Then it is from the rituals in Thebe.
New Year or Ramadan is when inundation begins about 21st July. They had a uag-feast but of a different kind maybe, because the third of the epigone days was the birthday of Seth. In the official tales he was the evil, however at many place they worshipped him as the superior.
Epigone was the five days of holiday they set in to even the year before New Year. The Greek word means "born afterwards" when 5 days was added to 12 x 30 = 360 to even a year. The Sumerians had also holidays and we call them "seven sleepers days".
They called the first period achet and in the picture it is the upper row at right and read from left. The battle between Horus and Seth began about 26th September and lasted more than a month. At the Bend of Nile in Karnak, Luxor and Thebe they celebrated the "harem feast" Opet for a month. They thought that as the pregnancy time and they had plenty of food after the harvest.
Below are the four wheels of peret "coming forth" and time for sowing. The first day in the second period of peret 21st December then Re, the Sun raises the vault of heaven. In plain English that means that the sun turns from the winter solstice ... I found the beginning of the yearly ritual at the Law Haugsbyn in exactly the same words.
Testing the fertility of corn
On the 12th day began the Osiris rites for the growing season. They made a mummy of corn and sand in a basin and wrapped with rush. The djed-pillar was set to slanting position. It was watered daily until 21st and was then set in the sun and perhaps on a journey until 25th of the month and they buried it in a cist.
The last period was a feast until 30th when they raised the djed-pillar to vertical. At that time the pharaoh celebrated the journey to the valley. That means valley temples or tombs maybe as a search for afterlife for the death. We do not know how popular this was among people and if they also went to Underworld ceremonies.
The 12th in third peret they tell Toth the moon take over after Atum the evening sun. That means approximately Candlemas. That means that the moon takes over after the evening sun. They connected the moon to fertility and growth. They also said that Ra the Sun and Osiris made the plants, as the child of Osiris became the new plant.
The sequence is right but about the days I am not surer than my sources.
The four at left are schemu. It is time for harvest and the hot time of lions. Around Thebe the period began and ended with a feast ... see below.
From the papyrus we learn that they divided the year in twelve times thirty days and set in five to six days as a holiday. We understand the synchronisation of the sun year and the moon loops in the symbolism as a whole.
The origins of the constellations in the Senenmut calendar are perhaps from about 2700 BC. It is depending on which star is the exact used in the constellation of either Ox or Scorpio.
The black headgears in the rows are originally dark red and are surely moons. The fifth from right have a star symbol in the name and a dog-head. Compared to the Sumerian Dog it maybe was to be synchronised with a star.
Understanding the middle of the picture is easy since we see the stars of equinoxes on top of the obelisk. The falcon-headed Ra is the sun rising in eclipse with a specified star in Ox. Above is a symbol of Scorpio and below that the moon goddess inferring that it is happening simultaneously. If the fix-star is Aldebaran, it was actual about 2800 BC and if Ox lambda 2200 BC.
Auriga, Orion, Ox and Hare overshadow each other and it might be a matter of local tradition, which they used. That means they could have used Ox from about 3600 BC and we see it also in pot paintings. The Bull became a symbol of the pharaoh as the defender of the feed-trough symbolised as a threat. This is surely a very old symbol from the time the feeding was based on animals.
The myth of resurrection
No need to be an admirer of urban cultures. Urban people seem predestined to destroy most of the worlds. It has accelerated in our generation with lack of ability to control our technology. Many earlier urban cultures have left only ruins wasteland and pollution.
It sounds more like sticking up to nature, when men call themselves homo sapiens sapiens. This is of course in Latin so very few understanding it ... the Wittgenstein solution is to shout your mouth if you don't understand what you say. Seeing any reason in destroying our own living room is difficult.
One aspect of ritual was to educate coming generations. Another was to prepare for next season. The third was preparing for an afterlife. They saw no fundamental difference between regeneration of plant, animal or man. Of course they knew that the individual could not be regenerated to same shape ... but it was a hopeful thought and a beautiful way to leave this life.
You need not know all about how animals and herbs regenerate either to cultivate or to make ritual forecast a season of breed or harvest. The ingenuity is the simplifying all aspects of life in only one myth.
The ritual of funeral was a copy of that of cultivation.
The bird left and an iset hieroglyph on head guard the Corpse. Iset stands for the step to the underworld. Maybe the flight of the Ka-soul to Orion stars of Osiris should be included in that. On right the bird carries a beaker or the sign water of life. Iset stands also for Isis and her stars the Auriga on the Watergate. The Sothic was also one of her stars in the myth.
Time of practice was of course in the spring or the moon of Khoiak our February. In the temple of Isis they made mould in shape of Osiris. They filled with a blend of sand and seed, then wrapped up with rush and sprinkled the mould with water. They laid the Corpse in a shallow basin. This was a method of testing germination of seed in practice.
The stars of Osiris were Orion. He is here in the incarnation of the djed-pillar or the growing corn. Isis is on the left and Nephtys the humidity on the right side.
During next ten days they sprinkled it and on the 2lst basin were placed in sun a short while before sundown. Then they sent it for a trip until the 25th. On that day it was placed in a coffin and laid in a grave. The last day of festivities was the 30th and funeral was over. This was last day of inundation and new seed had germinated. On this day the djed-pillar was set up as sign of the "Kid" on his/her way.
They dealt with funeral and mummifying in much the same way. Some Egyptians have got a new eternal life.
Heron standing on Hill of Origin an icon of resurrection. In Scandinavian languages we have a little word UR for oldest origin.
The coppersmiths were making daggers around 3000 BC and the shape was the same as some Egyptian glyph. Other signs are the tools for agriculture. In Scandinavian rock-carvings we have tens of symbols similar to Egyptian glyphs.
Europe had to moderate the rituals to fit the four seasons of a temperate climate. The sun and moon behave of course in the same way and we see the suites of seven as a copy of the Egyptian fertile season. But in the last millenium BC we see much of the trinity in symbolism.
In Val Camonica, the Italian Alps' donkey were used and also tools of Egypt as pickaxe and early ard. The ard only carves the soil, when a plough turns the ridges. ... Good to know where the child is!