Pyramid TextsAs a companion to yesterday’s excerpts from the Hindu Rig Veda, here are excerpts from religious texts even older than those: the Pyramid Texts from ancient Egypt. Beginning in the late Old Kingdom (c.2375-2181 BC), pharaohs had prayers and spells to assist them in the afterlife carved onto the walls of their pyramids—and as you’ll notice immediately, they are almost all concerned with that very earliest of Egyptian beliefs, where deceased royalty ascended to the stars. They are likely derived from earlier spells that were not committed  to  writing, and anyone familiar with later Egyptian literature will recognize how seamlessly these spells were adapted for non-royal burials in the later Coffin Texts, and in the even later Book of the Dead.

Since these spells were meant, quite literally, to be the private utterances of a resurrected pharaoh to the gods, apparently to be muttered as he made his way from the burial chamber, through the corridors and out of the pyramid, there is great beauty but also an impenetrable opaqueness to the spells, repetitious as they are. And since, for reasons of magical safety, Egyptian literature (and these spells in particular) avoid saying much of anything negative about the pharaoh or the gods—since to commit such ideas to writing of stone or ink was to give those ideas very real life—the spells also lack the narrative beauty of the Rig Veda hymns.

For all that, though, they are remarkable, and it was actually through the experience of both the Pyramid Texts and the Rig Veda that I was inspired to write my Hymns and Lamentations (as well as the still unpublished Book of the Sky, which I hope to bring out soon). When I said yesterday that in another life I would have been a Hindu, the same is true about Egyptian religion: it gets a bad rap in the Bible, and from anyone who imagines the Bible represents it accurately, but those who say the Egyptians were “death obsessed” for building “huge tombs,” need only read a few of these spells to realize the pyramids, and nearly the entirety of their religion, was actually obsessed with denying the power of death, and affirming the continuance of life.

The following excerpts come from the translations made by R. O. Faulkner (and wasn’t it fun, a few summers after devouring a bunch of William Faulkner, to find another Faulkner in the world to root for). A more recent edition does exist in English, which anyone studying the spells beyond the poetry inherent in them should seek out. Also, as I lack an Egyptian font, untranslated/untranslatable words left in hieroglyphs in Faulkner’s text are merely reproduced here with the nearest-looking English alphabet equivalent.

And like Rig Veda 10.129, what Faulkner translates as Utterance 216 has also taken a special place in my mind.

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Utterance 216

(The king as a star fades at dawn with the other stars)

I have come to you, O Nephthys;

I have come to you, O Night-bark;

I have come to you, O Mr-hr-trwt;

I have come to you, O Msht-kw;

Remember me.

Orion is swallowed up by the Netherworld,

Pure and living in the horizon.

Sothis is swallowed up by the Netherworld,

Pure and living in the horizon.

I am swallowed up by the Netherworld,

Pure and living in the horizon.

It is well with me and with them,

It is pleasant for me and for them,

Within the arms of my father,

Within the arms of Atum.

 

From Utterance 506

O men and gods, your arms under me! Lift me up, raise me to the sky, just as the arms of Shu are under the sky when he raises it. To the sky! To the sky! To the great throne among the gods!

 

Utterance 429

Thus says Geb: O Nut, it is well with you; power was yours in the womb of our mother Tefenet before you were born, that you might protect this King, for he has not died.

 

Utterance 462

(A ‘resurrection’ text)

O King, mighty in waking and great in sleeping, for whom sweetness is sweet, raise yourself, O King, for you have not died.

 

Utterance 406

(The sun-god is invoked for food)

Hail to you, O Re, in your life and in your beauty, in your thrones, in your swy. Bring me the milk of Isis, the flood of Nephthys, the overspill of the lake, the surge of the sea, life, prosperity, health, happiness, bread, beer, clothing, and food, that I may live thereby.  May the Brewers obey me, being long (at work) by day and content with me at night; I partakes of the meal when they have satisfied themselves. May I see you when you go forth as Thoth, when a waterway is prepared for the Bark of Re to his fields which are in Isw; may you rush on (?) as one who is at the head of his Chaos-gods.

 

Utterance 20

(from The Ritual of Opening the Mouth)

O King, I have come in search of you, for I am Horus; I have struck your mouth for you, for I am your beloved son; I have split open your mouth for you. [I announce him to his mother when she laments him, I announce him to her who was joined to him. Your mouth is in good order(?), for I have adjusted your mouth] to your bones [for you]. Recite four times: O Osiris the King, I split open your mouth for you with the… of the Eye of Horus— foreleg.

 

Utterance 21

(from The Ritual of Opening the Mouth)

[Your mouth is in good order(?), for I split open your mouth for you, I split open your eyes for you. O King, I open your mouth for you] with the adze of Wepwawet, [I split open your mouth for you] with the adze of iron which spilt open the mouths of the gods. O Horus, open the mouth of this King! [O Horus, split open the mouth of this King! Horus has opened the mouth of this King, Horus has split open the mouth of this King] with that wherewith he split open the mouth of his father, with that wherewith he split open the mouth of Osiris, I with the iron which issued from Seth, with the adze [of iron which split open the mouths of the gods. The King’s mouth is split open with it, and he goes and himself speaks with the Great Ennead in the Mansion of the Prince which is in] On, and he assumes the Wrrt-crown before Horus, Lord of Patricians.

 

Utterance 23

(A libation spell)

O Osiris, take away all those who hate the King, and who speak evilly against his name. O Thoth, hasten, take away him who is harmful to Osiris, and carry off him who speaks evilly against the King’s name; put him in your hand. Recite four times: Do not let go of him! Beware lest you let go of him! —Pour water.

 

Utterance 25

Someone has gone with his double,

Horus has gone with his double,

Seth has gone with his double,

Thoth has gone with his double,

Dwn-nwy has gone with his double,

Osiris has gone with his double,

Hnt-irty has gone with his double,

You also having gone with your double.

O King, the arm of your double is in front of you!

O King, the arm of your double is behind you!

O King, the arm of your double is in front of you!

O King, the arm of your double is behind you!

 

Utterance 77

Ointment, Ointment, where are you? O you who should be on the brow of Horus, where are you? If you are on the brow of Horus, I will put you on the brow of this King, that you may give pleasure to him who has you, that you may make a spirit of him who has you, that you may cause him to have power in his body, and that you may put the dread of him in the eyes of all the spirits who shall look at him and everyone who shall hear his name—first quality pine-oil.

 

Utterance 106

(Presentation of sandals)

O King, I am your son, I am Horus; I have come and I bring to you Horus’ own Eyes; seize them and join them to yourself. I have joined them to you and have united them to you, for they are complete. Horns [has put] them on this King’s feet that they may guide [this] King [to the firmament to Horus, to the sky, to the] great [god, and that they may protect] this King from all his foes. [O King, I bring to you the two Eyes of] Horus which expand his heart; join [them to yourself, lay hold of them].

 

Utterance 197

O Osiris the King, this Eye of Horus is strong, I give it to you that you may be strong and that your foe may fear you; the morning bread is in its due time.

 

Utterance 205

O you who are over the baked foods, O you who are concerned with the supplies of drink, the King is committed to Fetket the butler of Re, for Re himself has committed him to him, and Re commits him to him who is over the catering for this year. They seize and give to him, they grasp and give to him barley, emmer, bread, and beer, because what belongs to the King, it is his father who gives to him, it is Re who gives to him barley, emmer, bread, and beer, because he is the Great Bull who smote Kenzet, because the King is he who is at the quintet of meals in the Mansion. The trio (of meals) is in the sky with Re and the pair is on earth with the Two Enneads, for he belongs to the looser, and it is he who looses; he belongs to the seer, and it is he who sees. O Re, it is better with him today than yesterday. The King has copulated with Mowet, the King has kissed Shuset, the King has joined with Nekhebut, the King has copulated with the Beauteous One, for his dread is the lack of food and drink (?). Assuredly it is the Beauteous One who cares for the King, she gives bread to the King and she treats him well today.

 

Utterance 207

A meal for me, O butcher! A meal for me, O butcher! A meal, O you who are in the Eye of Re! A meal for me, O fowler who is in the Eye of the God! O butler, bring water and light the fire, for the calf of leg is with the roast meat—4 handfuls of water.

 

Utterance 210

Awake, O Wpiw! Be high, O Thoth! Awake, you sleepers! Rouse up, you dwellers in Kenzet, who are before the Great Egret who went up from the cultivation and the Wepwawet jackal which emerged from the tamarisk-bush. My mouth is pure, the Two Enneads cense me, and pure indeed is this tongue which is in my mouth. What I detest is faeces, I reject urine, I detest my own detestableness. What I detest is these two, and I will never eat the detestableness of these two, just as Seth rejected the poison (?). O you two Companions who cross the sky, who are Re and Thoth,  take me with you, that I may eat of what you eat, that I may drink of what you drink, that I may live on what you live on, that I may sit on what you sit on, that I may be strong through that whereby you are strong, that I may sail in that in which you sail. I My booth is plaited with rushes, my drink-supply is in the Field of Offerings, my food-offerings are among you, you gods, my water is wine like that of Re, and I go round the sky like Re, I traverse the sky like Thoth.

 

Utterance 211

My detestation is hunger, and I will never eat it. My detestation is thirst, and I will never drink it. It is indeed I who will give bread to those who exist, for my foster-mother is Iat, and it is she who nourishes me, it is indeed she who bore me. I was conceived in the night, I was born in the night, I belong to those who are in the suite of Re, who are before the Morning Star. I was conceived in the Abyss, I was born in the Abyss; I have come and I have brought to you the bread which I found there.

 

Utterance 213

O King, you have not departed dead, you have departed alive; sit upon the throne of Osiris, your sceptre in your hand, that you may give orders to the living; your lotus-bud sceptre in your hand, that you may give orders to those whose seats are hidden. Your arm(s) are Atum, your shoulders are Atum, your belly is Atum, your back is Atum, your hinder-parts are Atum, your legs are Atum, your face is Anubis. The Mounds of Horus serve you, the Mounds of Seth serve you.

 

Utterance 214

(The king goes to the sky)

O King, beware of the lake!—recite four times. The messengers of your double come for you, the messengers of your father come for you, the messengers of Re come for you, so go after your sun and cleanse yourself, for your bones are those of the divine falcons who are in the sky. May you be beside the god, may you depart and ascend to your son, may you fetter (?) anyone who shall speak evilly against your name. Go up, for Geb has committed him to a low estate in his town so that he may flee and sink down weary. But you shall bathe in the starry firmament, you shall descend upon the iron bands on the arms of Horus in his name of Him who is in the Hnw-bark. The sun-folk shall call out to you, for the Imperishable Stars have raised you aloft. Ascend to the place where your father is, to the place where Geb is, that he may give you that which is on the brow of Horus, so that you may have a soul thereby and power thereby and that you may be at the head of the Westerners thereby.

 

Utterance 215

(The king ascends to the sky as a star)

O King, your messengers go, your heralds run to your father, to Atum. O Atum, raise him up to you, enclose him within your arms.

There is no star-god who has no companion, have you your companion? Look at me! You have seen the shapes of the children of their fathers, who know their speech, the Imperishable Stars; see now those who are in the Castle, who are Horus and Seth. Spit on the face of Horus for him, that you may remove the injury which is on him; pick up the testicles of Seth, that you may remove his mutilation; that one is born for you, this one is conceived for you.   

You are born, O Horus, in your names of Him at whom the earth quakes; (you are conceived, O Seth, in this your name of) Him at whom the sky trembles. If this one has no mutilation and if that one has no injury—and vice versa—then you will have no injury and you will have no mutilation.   

You are born, O Horus, for Osiris, and you have more renown than he, you have more power than he. You are conceived, O Seth, for Geb, and you have more renown than he, you have more power than he. There is no seed of a god which passes away at his word (?), and you shall not pass away at his word (?). Re-Atum will not give you to Osiris, and he shall not claim your heart nor have power over your heart. Re-Atum will not give you to Horus, and he shall not claim your heart nor have power over your heart. O Osiris, you shall never have power over him, nor shall your son ever have power over him; O Horus, you shall never have power over him, nor shall your father have power over him. ‘You belong, O So-and-so, to this god’, said the Twin Children of Atum. ‘Raise yourself’, say they, ‘in your name of God, and come into being, an Atum to every god.’

Your head is Horus of the Netherworld, O Imperishable.

Your face is Mhnt-irty, O Imperishable.

Your ears are the Twin Children of Atum, O Imperishable.

Your eyes are the Twin Children of Atum, O Imperishable.

Your nose is the Jackal, O Imperishable.

Your teeth are Sopd, O Imperishable,

Your hands are Hapy and Duamutef—

You demand that you ascend to the sky and you shall ascend—

Your feet are Imsety and Kebhsenuf—

You demand that you descend to the Lower Sky and you shall descend—

Your members are the Twin Children of Atum, O Imperishable.

You shall not perish and your double shall not perish,

For you are a double.

 

 

Utterance 217

(The king joins the sun god)

O Re-Atum, this King comes to you, an imperishable spirit, lord of the affairs (?), of the place of the four pillars; your son comes to you, this King comes to you. May you traverse the sky, being united in the darkness; may you rise in the horizon, in the place where it is well with you.

O Seth and Nephthys, go and proclaim to the gods of Upper Egypt and their spirits: ‘This King comes indeed, an imperishable spirit. If he wishes you to die, you will die; if he wishes you to live, you will live.’

O Re-Atum, this King comes to you, an imperishable spirit, lord of the affairs (?) of the place of the four pillars; your son comes to you, this King comes to you. May you traverse the sky, being united in the darkness; may you rise in the horizon, in the place where it is well with you.

O Osiris and Isis, go and proclaim to the gods of Lower Egypt and their spirits: ‘This King comes indeed, an imperishable spirit, as one to be worshipped, who is in charge of the Nile. Worship him, you spirits who are in the waters! Whom he wishes to live will live; whom he wishes to die will die.’

O Re-Atum, this King comes to you, an imperishable spirit, lord of the affairs (?) of the place of the four pillars; your son comes to you, this King comes to you. May you traverse the sky, being united in the darkness; may you rise in the horizon, in the place where it is well with you.

O Thoth, go and proclaim to the western gods and their spirits; ‘This King comes indeed, an imperishable spirit, adorned with Anubis on the neck,  who presides over the Western Height. He claims hearts, he has power over hearts. Whom he wishes to live will live; whom he wishes to die will die.’

O Re-Atum, this King comes to you, an imperishable spirit, lord of the affairs (?) of the place of the four pillars; your son comes to you, this King comes to you. May you traverse the being united in the darkness; may you rise in the horizon, in the place where it is well with you.

O Dwn-nwy, go and proclaim to the eastern souls and their spirits: ‘This King comes indeed, an imperishable spirit. Whom he wishes to live will live; whom he wishes to die will die.’

O Re-Atum, your son comes to you, the King comes to you; raise him up, enclose him in your embrace, for he is the son of your body or ever.

 

Utterance 222

(The king joins the sun-god)

The officiating priest addresses the king

Stand upon it, this earth which issued from Atum, this spittle which issued from Khoprer; come into being upon it, be exalted upon it, so that your father may see you, so that Re may see you.

The king speaks

I have come to you, my father, I have come to you, O Re.

I have come to you, my father, I have come to you, O Ndi.

I have come to you, my father, I have come to you, O Pndn.

I have come to you, my father, I have come to you, O Dndn.

I have come to you, my father, I have come to you, O Great Wild Bull.

I have come to you, my father, I have come to you, O Great Float-user.

I have come to you, my father, I have come to you, O Sopd.

I have come to you, my father, I have come to you, O Sharp of Teeth.

Grant that I may seize the sky and take possession of the horizon.

Grant that I may rule the Nine and provide for the Ennead.

Place the crook in my hand, that the head of Lower and Upper Egypt may be bowed.

I charge my opponent and stand up,

The great headman in my great waters.

Nephthys has favoured me,

And I have captured my opponent.

The priest speaks

Provide yourself with the Great of Magic, (even) Seth dwelling in Nubet, Lord of Upper Egypt; nothing is lost to you, nothing has ceased (?) for you; behold, you are more renowned and more powerful than the gods of Upper Egypt and their spirits.’ O you whom the Pregnant One ejected you have terminated (?) the night, being equipped as Seth who broke forth violently, (even) you whom Isis has favoured.

Equip yourself as Horus, being young; indeed nothing is lost to you, nothing has ceased (?) for you; behold, you are more renowned and more powerful than the northern gods and their spirits.’ Cast off your impurity for Atum in On and go down with him; assign the needs (?) of the Lower Sky and succeed to the thrones of the Abyss (?). May you come into being with your father Atum, may you go up on high with your father Atum, may you rise with your father Atum, may (your) needs (?) be loosed from you, your head being under the care of (?) the Lady of On. Go up, open your way by means of the bones of Shu, the embrace of your mother Nut will enfold you. Be pure in the horizon and get rid of your impurity in the Lakes of Shu.

Ascend and descend: descend with Re, sink into darkness with Ndi.

Ascend and descend: ascend with Re, rise with the Great Float-user.

Ascend and descend: descend with Nephthys, sink into darkness with the Night-bark.

Ascend and descend: ascend with Isis, rise with the Day-bark.

May you have power in your body, for you have no hindrance; you are born for Horus, you are conceived for Seth. Be pure in the Western nome, receive your purification in the Heliopolitan nome with your father, with Atum. Come into being, go up on high, and it will be well with you, it will be pleasant for you in the embrace of your father, in the embrace of Atum. O Atum, raise this King up to you, enclose him within your embrace, for he is your son of your body for ever.

 

Utterance 233

(from a series of spells against snakes & other noxious creatures)

Fall, O serpent which came forth from the earth! Fall, O flame which came forth from the abyss! Fall down, crawl away!

 

Utterance 241

(from a series of spells against snakes & other noxious creatures)

O you expectoration of a wall, you vomit of a brick,’ what comes out of your mouth is turned back against yourself.

[n. says, “Opprobrious allusions to the snake or other vermin crawling out of a crevice in a wall.”]

 

Utterance 245

(The king joins the stars)

The king speaks

I come to you, O Nut, I come to you, O Nut, I have cast my father to the earth, I have left Horus behind me, my wings have grown into those of a falcon, my two plumes are those of a sacred falcon. my soul has brought me and its magic has equipped me.

 

Utterance 253

(The King is Cleansed in the Field of Rushes)

Someone has bathed in the Field of Rushes

Re has bathed in the Field of Rushes.

Someone has bathed in the Field of Rushes,

This King has bathed in the Field of Rushes.

This King’s hand is in Re’s hand.

O Nut, take his hand!

O Shu, lift him up!

O Shu, lift him up!

 

Utterance 254

(The king arrives in the sky)

The king’s advent is announced

The Great One has been censed for the Bull of Nekhen, and the fiery blast is against you who are behind the shrine. O great god whose name is unknown, a meal is (set) in place for the Sole Lord.

The king threatens a general cataclysm if a place is not made for him

O Lord of the horizon, make ready a place for me, for if you fail to make ready a place for me, I will lay a curse on my father Geb, and the earth will speak no more, Geb will be unable to protect (?) himself, and whoever I find in my way, I will devour him piecemeal (?). The hnt-pelican will prophesy, the psdt-pelican will go up, the Great Ones will arise, the Enneads will speak, the earth being entirely dammed up; the borders will be joined together, the river-banks will unite, the roads will be impassable to travellers,  the slopes will be destroyed for those who would go up.

Speeches by different deities

‘Set the rope aright, cross the Milky Way (?),O smite the ball in the meadow of Apis!  Oho! Your fields are in fear, you id-star, before the Pillar of the Stars, for they have seen the Pillar of Kenzet, the Bull of the sky, and the Ox-herd is overwhelmed before him. Ho! Fear and tremble, you violent ones who are on the storm-cloud of the sky! He split open the earth by means of what he knew on the day when he wished to come thence—so says   Wr-skt who dwells in the Netherworld.

Behold, she comes to meet you, does the Beautiful West, meeting you with her lovely tresses, and she says; ‘Here comes he whom I have borne, whose horn is upstanding, the eye-painted Pillar, the Bull of the sky! Your shape is notable; O pass in peace, for I have protected you—so says the Beautiful West to the King.

‘Go, row to the Field of Offerings and travel to Him who is on his kt-plant—so says Hnty-mnitf. You sink into the earth to your thickness, to your middle, to your full span (?), you see Re in his fetters, you praise Re in his loosing from fetters by means of the amulet of the Great One which is in its red linen, I and the Lord of Peace will give you his hand.

Speech by the king

O you female apes who cut off heads, I will escape safely from you; I have affixed my head to my neck, and my neck is on my trunk in this my name of Affixer-of-heads, by means of which I affixed the head of Apis on that day when the ox was lassoed. Those whom I have caused (to eat), they eat (their food, those whom I have caused to) drink,  they drink of their water-flood; so will I be honoured there by those who see me. The Serpent of Praise on her sceptre is my Tefenet whom Shu supports, she makes spacious my place in Busiris, in Mendes, and in Djedut, she sets up my two standards in front of the Great Ones, she excavates a pool for me in the Field of Rushes, she confirms my land in the two Fields of Offerings, and I give judgement in the heavens between the two Contestants, for my power is the power of the Eye of Tbi, my strength is the strength of the Eye of Tbi. I have protected myself from those who would do this against me, who would take away my food from me, who when it was in being would take my supper from me and who when it was in being would take the breath from my nose and who would bring to an end my days of life. I am stronger than they, having reappeared upon my shore; their hearts fall to my fingers, their entrails are for the denizens of the sky, their blood is for the denizens of the earth. Their heirs are (doomed) to poverty, their houses to conflagration, and their courtyards to the high Nile. But I am happy, happy, for I am the Unique One, the Bull of the sky, I have crushed those who would do this against me and have annihilated their survivors. That which appertains to my throne, which I have taken and lifted up, is this which my father Shu gave me in the presence of Seth.

 

Utterance 257

(The king is identified with the sun)

There is tumult in the sky; ‘We see something new’, say the primeval gods. O you Ennead, Horus is in the sunlight, the possessors of forms make salutation to him, all the Two Enneads serve him, for he sits on the throne of the Lord of All. The King takes possession of the sky, he cleaves its iron; the King is conducted (on) the roads to Khoprer, the King rests in life in the West, and the dwellers in the Netherworld attend him. The King shines anew in the East, and he who settled the dispute will come to him bowing. Make salutation, you gods, to the King, who is older than the Great One, to whom belongs power on his throne; the King assumes authority, eternity is  O brought to him and understanding is established at his feet for him. Rejoice at the King, for he has taken possession of the horizon.

 

Utterance 258

(The king leaves the earth for the sky)

The Kind; is Osiris in a dust-devil, earth is his detestation, and the King will not enter into Geb lest he perish and lest he sleep in his mansion upon earth; his bones are made strong,  his ills are removed. The King has become pure through the Eye of Horus, his ill is removed by the two Kites of Osiris, O the King has shed his efflux to the earth in Kus. It is his sister the Lady of Pe who laments him, for the King is bound for the sky, the King is bound for the sky on the wind, on the wind! He will not be excluded, and there is nothing through which he can be excluded; there will be no session on him in the Tribunal of the God, for the King is unique (?), the eldest of the gods. His bread-offering is up above with Re, his meal is in the Abyss, for the King is one who goes to and fro; he comes and goes with Re and he has occupied his mansions. The King bestows powers and takes away powers, he imposes an obstacle and removes an obstacle, and the King spends day and night propitiating the Two Adzes in Unu; his foot shall not be opposed nor his desire frustrated.

 

Utterance 261

(The king becomes a flash of lightning)

The King is a heart-tosser (?), the favourite son of Shu, long-extended, fierce of brilliance; the King is a flame (moving) before the wind to the end of the sky and to the end of the earth when the hand of the lightning is voided of the King. The King travels the air and traverses the earth, he kisses the Nt-crown, (even he) whom the god cast forth. Those who are in the firmament (?) open their arms to him, the King stands on the eastern side of the celestial vault, there is brought to him a way of ascent to the sky, and it is he who performs the errand of the storm.

 

Utterance 262

(The gods are prayed to recognize the king)

Be not unaware of me, O God;

If you know me, I will know you.

(Be not unaware of me, O God;

Of me it is said; ‘He who has perished.’)

Be not unaware of me, O Re;

If you know me, I will know you.

Be not unaware of me, O Re;

Of me it is said; ‘Greatest of all who have been completely destroyed.

Be not unaware of me, O Thoth;

If you know me, I will know you.

Be not unaware of me, O Thoth;

Of me it is said; ‘He who rests alone.’

Be not unaware of me, O Har-Sopd;

If you know me, I will know you.

Be not unaware of me, O Har-Sopd;

Of me it is said; ‘Miserable One.’

Be not unaware of me, O Dweller in the Netherworld;

If you know me, I will know you.

Be’ not unaware of me, O Dweller in the Netherworld;

Of me it is said; ‘He who wakes healthy.’

Be not unaware of me, O Bull of the sky;

If you know me, I will know you.

Be not unaware of me, O Bull of the sky;

Of me it is said; ‘This star (of the Lower Sky).’

Behold, I have come; behold, I have come; behold, I have gone up on high, but I have not come of myself; there was brought a message which came for me. I have passed by my house of Danger (?),  the striking power of the Great Lake has missed me, my fare for the Great Ferry-boat has not been taken, the Castle of the Mace of the Great Ones will not oppose me on the Street of Stars (?). Behold, I have reached the height of heaven,  I have   seen the Viper  in the Night-bark, and it is I who row in it; I have recognized the Uraeus in the Day-bark, and it is I who baled it out; the sun-folk have testified concerning me,  the hailstorms of the sky have taken me, and they raise me up to Re.

 

Utterance 267

(An address to Osiris and another to Re)

You have your heart, O Osiris; you have your legs, O Osiris; you have your arms, O Osiris; (so too) my heart is my own, my legs are my own, my arms are my own. A stairway to the sky is set up for me that I may ascend on it to the sky, and I ascend on the smoke of the great censing.

I fly up as a bird and alight as a beetle; I fly up as a bird and alight as a beetle on the empty throne which is in your bark, O Re. Stand up, remove yourself, O you who do not know the Thicket of Reeds, that I may sit in your place and row over the sky in your bark, O Re, I that I may push off from the land in your bark, O Re. When you ascend from the horizon, my sceptre will be in my hand as one who rows your bark, O Re.

You mount up to the sky, you are far from the earth, far from wife and kilt.

[n. says “ ‘Kilt’ here signifies the royal offices]

 

from Utterance 269

(A censing prayer)

The fire is laid, the fire shines;

The incense is laid on the fire, the incense shines.

Your perfume comes to me, O Incense;

May my perfume come to you, O Incense.

Your perfume comes to me, you gods;

May my perfume come to you, you gods.

May I be with you, you gods;

May you be with me, you gods.

May I live with you, you gods;

May you live with me, you gods.

I love you, you gods;

May you love me, you gods.’

 

Utterances 273-4

(The king hunts and eats the gods)

The sky is overcast,

The stars are darkened,

The celestial expanses quiver,

The bones of the earth-gods tremble,

The planets (?) are stilled,

For they have seen the King appearing in power

As a god who lives on his fathers

And feeds on his mothers;

The King is a master of wisdom

Whose mother knows not his name.

The glory of the King is in the sky,

His power is in the horizon

Like his father Atum who begot him.

He begot the King,

And the King is mightier than he.

The King’s powers are about him,

His hmwst are under his feet,

His gods are upon him,

His uraei are on the crown of his head,

The King’s guiding-serpent is on his brow,

Even that which sees the soul,

Efficient for burning (?);

The King’s neck is on his trunk.

The King is the Bull of the sky,

Who conquers (?) at will,

Who lives on the being of every god,

Who eats their entrails (?),

Even of those who come with their bodies full of magic

From the Island of Fire.

The King is one equipped,

Who assembles his spirits;

The King has appeared as this Great One,

A possessor of helpers;

He sits with his back to Geb,

For it is the King who, will give judgement

In company with Him whose name is hidden

On that day of slaying the Oldest Ones.

The King is a possessor of offerings who knots the cord

And who himself prepares his meal;

The King is one who eats men and lives on the gods,

A possessor of porters who dispatches messages

It is Grasper-of-topknots who is (?) Kehau

Who lassoes them for the King;

It is the Serpent with raised head

Who guards them for him

And restrains them for him;

It is He who is over the reddening (?)

Who binds them for him;

It is Khons who slew the lords

Who strangles them for the King

And extracts for him what is in their bodies,

For he is the messenger whom the King sends to restrain.

It is Shezmu who cuts them up for the King

And who cooks for him a portion of them

On his evening hearth-stones;

It is the King who eats their magic

And gulps down their spirits;

Their big ones are for his morning meal,

Their middle-sized ones are for his evening meal,

Their little ones are for his night meal,

Their old men and their old women are for his incense-burning;

It is the Great Ones in the north of the sky

Who set the fire for him

To the cauldrons containing them

With the thighs of their oldest ones.

Those who are in the sky serve the King,

And the hearth-stones are wiped over for him

With the feet of their women.

He has travelled around the whole of the two skies,

He has circumambulated the Two Banks

For the King is a great Power

Who has power over the Powers;

The King is a sacred image,

The most sacred of the sacred images of the Great One,

And whomsoever he finds in his way,

Him he devours piecemeal (?).

The King’s place is at the head

Of all the august ones who are in the horizon,

For the King is a god,

Older than the oldest.

Thousands serve him,

Hundreds offer to him,

There is given to him a warrant as Great Power

By Orion, father of the gods.

The King has appeared again in the sky,

He is crowned as Lord of the horizon;

He has broken the back-bones

And has taken the hearts of the gods;

He has eaten the Red Crown,

He has swallowed the Green One.

The King feeds on the lungs of the Wise Ones,

And is satisfied with living on hearts and their magic;

The King revolts against-licking the sbsw

Which are in the Red Crown.

He enjoys himself when their magic is in his belly;

The King’s dignities shall not be taken away from him,

For he has swallowed the intelligence of every god.

The King’s lifetime is eternity,

His limit is everlastingness

In this his dignity of:

‘If he wishes, he does;

If he dislikes, he does not’,

Even he who is at the limits of the horizon for ever and ever.

Lo, their souls are in the King’s belly,

Their spirits are in the King’s possession

As the surplus of his meal out of (?) the gods

Which is cooked for the King out of their bones.

Lo, their souls are in the King’s possession,

Their shades are (removed) from their owners,

While the King is this one who ever appears and endures,

And the doers of (ill) deeds have no power to destroy

The favourite place of the King among those who live in this land

For ever and ever.

 

Utterance 317

(The king becomes the crocodile god Sobk)

I have come today from out of the waters of the flood; I am Sobk, green of  soy plume, watchful of face, raised of brow, the raging one who came forth from the shank and tail of the Great One who is in the sunshine. I have come to my waterways which are in the banks of the flood of the Great Inundation, to the place of contentment, green of fields, which is in the horizon. I make green the herbage which is on the banks of the horizon,  so that I may bring greenness to the of the Great One who dwells in the field. I take my seat which is in the horizon, I appear as Sobk son of Neith, I eat with my mouth, I urinate and copulate with my phallus, I am the owner of seed who takes women from their husbands whenever he wishes, according to his desire.

 

 

Utterance 336

(An address to the sun god)

Hail to you, Bull of bulls, when you rise I grasp you by your tail, I grip you by the root of your tail (?) when you rise, a great one being behind you and a great one being before you.

Hail to you, greatest of the gods! Receive me, for I belong to you, and your heart is glad. As for my corpse,  it is rejuvenated.

 

 

Utterance 338

(From a series of food-spells)

O Hunger, do not come for me; go to the Abyss, depart to the flood! I am satisfied, I am not hungry by means of this kmhw-bread of Horus which I have eaten, which my chief woman has prepared for me, and I am satisfied thereby, I assume my (normal) condition thereby. I will not be thirsty by reason of Shu, I will not be hungry by reason of Tefenet; Hapy, Duamutef, Kebsenuf, and Imsety will expel this hunger which is in my belly and this thirst which is on my lips.

 

 

Utterance 355

(A ‘resurrection’ text)

O King, your head is knit to your bones for you, and your bones are knit to your head for you. The doors of the sky are opened to you, the great bolts are drawn back for you, the brick is drawn out of the great tomb for you. Your face is that of a jackal, your tail is that of a lion, you sit on this throne of yours and give orders to the spirits. You come to me, you come to me, indeed you come to me as Horus who protects his father Osiris, and I am your wt-Inpw priest. You set your arm over the land, while your ready fighter is in the Great Mound, and you go to and fro in it among the spirits. Stand up, raise yourself up like Osiris.

 

 

Utterance 356

(Horus and Geb support the king against Seth)

O King, Horus has come that he may seek you, he has caused Thoth to turn back the followers of Seth for you, and he has brought them to you altogether, he has driven back the heart of Seth for you, for you are greater than he. You have gone forth in front of him, your nature is superior to his; Gen has seen your nature and has set you in your place. Geb has brought your two sisters to your side for you, namely Isis and Nephthys; Horus has caused gods to join you, so that they may be brotherly to you in your name of   ‘Snwt-shrines’,  and not reject you in your name of ‘Two Conclaves’. He has caused the gods to protect you, and Geb has put his sandal on the head of your foe, who flinches from you. Your son Horus has smitten him, he has wrested his Eye from him and has given it to you; you have a soul by means of it, you have power by means of it at the head of the spirits. Horus has caused you to lay hold of your foes, and there is none of them who shall escape from you. Horus indeed has a soul, and he recognizes his father in you in your name of ‘Soul of the King’s litter (?)’; Nut has placed you as a god to Seth in your name of ‘God’; your mother Nut has spread herself over you in her name of St-pt;  Horus has laid hold of Seth and has set him under you on your behalf so that he may lift you up and quake beneath you as the earth quakes, you being holier than he in your name of ‘Sacred Land’. Horus has caused you to examine him in his inmost parts, lest he escape from you; he has caused you to lay hold of him with your hand, lest he get away from you.

O Osiris the King, Horus has protected you, he has acted on behalf of his spirit in you, so that you may be content in your name of ‘Contented Spirit’.

 

 

from Utterance 364

(from a series of ‘resurrection’ texts)

O Osiris the King, lift up your heart, be proud, open your mouth, for Horus has protected you and he will not fail to protect you. O Osiris the King, you are a mighty god, and there is no god like you. Horus has given you his children that they may bear you up; he has given you all the gods that they may serve you, and that you may have power over them; Horus has lifted you up in his name of ‘Hnw-bark’; he bears you up in your name of Sokar. Live, that you may go to and fro every day; be a spirit in your name  of ‘Horizon from which Re goes up’; be strong, be effective, be a soul, and have power for ever and ever.

 

 

Utterance 366

O Osiris the King, arise, lift yourself up  Your mother Nut has borne you, Geb has wiped your mouth for you, the Great Ennead protects you and has put for you your foe under you; ‘Carry one who is greater than you’ say they to him in your name of ‘Palace of the Great Saw’. ‘Lift up him who is greater than you’ say they in your name of ‘Thinite Nome’. Your two sisters Isis and Nephthys come to you that they may make you hale, and you are complete and great in your name of ‘Wall of the Bitter Lakes’, you are hale   and great in your name of ‘Sea’; behold, you are great and round in (your name of) ‘Ocean’; behold, you are circular and round as the circle which surrounds the Hw-nbwt; behold, you are round and great as the Sn-r-sk. Isis and Nephthys have waited for you in Asyut because their lord is in you in your name of ‘Lord of Asyut’, and because their god is in you in your name of ‘God’; they praise you lest you be far from them in your name of ‘Sacred Beard’; they join you lest you be angry in your name of ‘Dndrw-bark’. Your sister Isis comes to you rejoicing for love of you. You have placed her on your phallus and your seed issues into her, she being ready as Sothis, and Har-Sopd has come forth from you as Horus who is in Sothis. It is well with you through him in his name of ‘Spirit who is in the Dndrw-bark’, and he protects you in his name of Horus, the son who protects his father.

 

 

Utterance 406

(The sun-god is invoked for food)

Hail to you, O Re, in your life and in your beauty, in your thrones, in your swy. Bring me the milk of Isis, the flood of Nephthys, the overspill of the lake, the surge of the sea, life, prosperity, health, happiness, bread, beer, clothing, and food, that I may live thereby.  May the Brewers obey me, being long (at work) by day and content with me at night; I partakes of the meal when they have satisfied themselves. May I see you when you go forth as Thoth, when a waterway is prepared for the Bark of Re to his fields which are in Isw; may you rush on (?) as one who is at the head of his Chaos-gods.

 

 

Utterance 419

(The king is addressed his son on the occasion of his funeral)

Hail to you, my father, on this your day when you stand before Re when he ascends from the East and when you are clad with this your dignity which is among the spirits! Arms are linked for you, feet dance for you, hands are waved for you. Isis has grasped your hand and she inducts you into the baldachin. The land is covered (?), the mourners wail.

A boon which Anubis, Foremost of the Westerners, grants! Your thousand of bread, your thousand of beer, your thousand of ointment, your thousand of alabaster, your thousand of clothing, your thousand of cattle! The goose is decapitated for you, the trp-bird is slaughtered for you, Horus has dispelled the evil which was on you in your four days, Seth has annulled what he did against you in your eight days.

The doors are opened because of those whose seats are hidden; arise, remove your earth, shake off your dust, raise yourself, that you may travel in company with the spirits, for your wings are those of a falcon, your gleam (?) is that of a star, the night-demon (?) will not bend over you, your heart (ib) will not be taken away, your heart (hty) will not be carried off. You are a great one with intact Wrrt-crown; may you provide yourself with your iron members. Cross the sky to the Field of Rushes, make your abode in the Field of Offerings among the Imperishable Stars, the followers of Osiris.

 

 

Utterance 429

Thus says Geb: O Nut, it is well with you; power was yours in the womb of our mother Tefenet before you were born, that you might protect this King, for he has not died.

 

 

Utterance 462

(A ‘resurrection’ text)

O King, mighty in waking and great in sleeping, for whom sweetness is sweet, raise yourself, O King, for you have not died.

 

 

Utterance 464

(Appendix to the above [462])

O you who are high exalted among the Imperishable Stars, you shall never perish.

 

 

from Utterance 476

(A series of short spells)

Scribe, scribe, smash your palette, break your pens, tear up your rolls! O Re, expel him from his place and set me in his place, that I may be I fortunate, bearing the staff. O Re, expel him from his place and set me in his place, for I am he.

 

 

Utterance 482

The king is summoned to take food

O my father the King, raise yourself upon your left side, place yourself upon your right side for this fresh water which I have given to you.

O my father the King, raise yourself upon your left side, place yourself upon your right side for this warm bread which I have made for you.

A ‘resurrection’ text

O my father the King, the doors of the sky are opened for you, the doors of the celestial expanses are thrown open for you. The gods of Pe are full of sorrow, and they come to Osiris at the sound of the outcry of Isis and Nephthys. The Souls of Pe clash (sticks) for you, they smite their flesh for you, they clap their hands for you, they tug their side-locks for you, and they say to Osiris: ‘Go and come, wake up and sleep, for you are enduring in life! Stand up and see this, stand up and hear this which your son has done for you, which Horus has done for you. He smites him who smote you, he binds him who bound you, he sets him under your eldest daughter who is in Kdm. Your eldest sister is she who gathered up your flesh, who closed  your hands, who sought you and found you on your side on the river-bank of Nedit, so that mourning might cease in the Two Conclaves. ‘O you gods,’ speak to him, fetch him.

You shall ascend to the sky, you shall become Wepwawet, your son Horus will lead you on the celestial ways; the sky is given to you, the earth is given to you, the Field of Rushes is given to you in company with these two great gods who come out of On.

 

 

Utterance 484

(An ‘ascension’ text)

I am the Great One who ascends to the sky [… ‘…] in peace’ says she. ‘My son the King has come in peace’, says she, namely Nut, ‘without any whip having fallen on his back, without anything evil having fallen on his hands; I will not allow him to fall, I will not allow him to slip.’

I am the primeval hill of the land in the midst of the sea, whose hand no earthlings have grasped, and no earthlings have grasped [my] hand […] earthlings; Shu presses down the earth under [my (?)] feet […] that is what he has done. He separates me from my brother Anti and reunites me with my brother Afti; his name lives because of natron, and he is divine. I live on what he lives on, on the t-wr-loaf behind the god. I am a breaker of commands, a breaker of commands who is at your feet, you gods.

 

 

from Utterance 486

Address to the waters of the Nile

Hail to you, you waters which Shu brought, which the two sources lifted up, in which Geb bathed his limbs. Hearts (ibw) were pervaded with fear, hearts (htyw) were pervaded with terror when I was born in the Abyss before the sky existed, before the earth existed, before that which was to be made firm existed, before turmoil existed, before that fear which arose on account of the Eye of Horus existed.

 

 

Utterance 494

 O Someone sits to eat bread, Re sits to eat bread, water is given by the Two Enneads, [and the flood] stands [on the river-banks. O Flood, I have come to you that you may give me bread when I am hungry and give me beer when I am thirsty].

 

 

Utterance 496

 Hail to you, Food! Hail to you, Abundance! Hail to you, Grain! Hail to you, Flour! Hail to you, you gods [who lay a meal before Re, who … with food, who are on the Great Flood! I shall eat of that which Re bites, being seated on the throne of sunlight]. I am a man of Dendera, I have come from Dendera with Shu behind me, Tefenet before me, and Wepwawet clad (?) at my right hand. They cause [that Field of Offerings of Re] to nourish [me, so that I eat after (?) they have been gathered together for me like those who preside over the Ennead, who live on the Great Flood].

 

 

Utterance 506

(The king is various entities)

I amt Ztty; I am Zty-zty; I am the Zw-zw water; I am Zwntw, the coffer of the sky; I am the double-maker, the spirit of the Kings of Lower Egypt; I am the creator who created this land; I am he who … the Two Lands; I am he who quivers (?); I am he who will quiver (?); I am Praise; I am Majesty; I am Bt with her two faces; I am one who is saved, and I have saved myself from all things evil.

I am a she jackal, I am jackal-like; I am Hapy; I am Duamutef; I am Imsety; I am Kebhsenuf; I am Dwn-rnwy; I am these great gods who preside over the Lake; I am a living soul with bearded (?) face, who endowed his head with divinity, who saved himself and removed himself from those who disturb Her who does what has to be done when She who does what has to be done, and who commands what has to be commanded, is at rest; I will help him who does what is good and I will make command on behalf of him who commands what is good.

My lips are the Two Enneads; I am the Great Word; I am one who is loosed; I am one who ought to be loosed, and I am loosed from all things evil.

O men and gods, your arms under me! Lift me up, raise me to the sky, just as the arms of Shu are under the sky when he raises it. To the sky! To the sky! To the great throne among the gods!

 

 

Utterance 509

(The king ascends to the sky in an earthquake)

The sky thunders, the earth quakes, Geb quivers, the two domains of the god roar, the earth is hacked up, and the offering his presented before me. I ascend to the sky, I cross over the iron (firmament), I traverse the Hzw water, I demolish the ramparts of Shu; I ascend to the sky, my wingfeathers are those of a great bird. My entrails have been washed by Anubis, and the encircling of Horus and the embalming of Osiris have been carried out in Abydos. I ascend to the sky among the Imperishable Stars, my sister is Sothis, my guide is the Morning Star, and they grasp my hand at the Field of Offerings. I sit on this iron throne of mine, the faces of which are those of lions, and its feet are the hooves of the Great Wild Bull. I stand in my empty place which is between the two great gods, my papyrus-shaped sceptre in my hand. I will lift up my hand to the sun-folk, and the gods will come bowing, with the two great gods watching beside them; they will find me among the Two Enneads, doing judgement. ‘He is the magistrate of all magistrates,’ say they of me, and they have installed me among the Two Enneads.

 

 

from Utterance 510

(A miscellany of spells)

I take possession of the sky, its pillars and its stars. The gods come to me bowing, the spirits serve me because of my power; they have broken their staffs and smashed their weapons, because I am a great one, the son of a great one, whom Nut bore. My strength is the strength of Seth of Nubet; I am the Great Wild Bull who went forth as Foremost of the Westerners; I am the flowing fluid, I have issued from the creating of the waters; I am a snake multitudinous of coils; I am the scribe of the god’s book, who says what is and brings about what is not; I am this head-band of red colour which went forth from Iht the great; I am this Eye of Horus which is stronger than men and mightier than the gods. Horus lifts me up, Seth raises me; I will make an offering, I will pour out a star, I will propitiate the two gods who are contented and propitiate the two gods who are discontented.

 

 

Utterance 511

(The king goes to the sky in an earthquake)

Geb laughs, Nut shouts for joy before me when I ascend to the sky. The sky thunders for me, the earth quakes for me, the hail-storm is burst apart  for me, and I roar as does Seth.  Those who are in charge of the parts of the sky open the celestial doors for me, and I stand on the air, the stars are darkened for me with the fan of the god’s water jars. I traverse the sky like Zwntw, a third to Sothis, pure of thrones. I have bathed in the pools of the morning, and the Cow who traverses the waters prepares my fair roads and guides me to the Great Throne which the gods made, which Horus made and which Thoth brought into being. Isis conceives me, Nephthys begets me, and I sit on the Great Throne which the gods have made. Dww will come to me rejoicing and the gods in homage (?); the Horizon-dwellers will come to me on their faces and the Imperishable Stars bowing down; I  will receive the offering-stone and dedicate the altar, I will hold up the sky with life and support the earth with joy; this right hand of mine will support the sky with a ws-staff, and this left hand of mine will support the earth with joy. I will find a fare for myself, (because) the Summoner, the gate-keeper of Osiris, detests a crossing without payment (?) being made to him. I will take for myself my breath of life, I will breathe in joy for myself, I will be inundated with god’s-offerings, I will snuff the wind for myself, I will have abundance of the north wind, I will be content among the gods. I will be as effective as Spd-wr, I will preside at the head of the Two Conclaves, I will smite with a sceptre and rule with a staff, I will set a record of myself among men and the love of me among the gods. It is said; ‘Say that which is, do not say that which is not, for the god detests falsity (?) of words.’ I am protected, so may you not name me, for I am your son, I am your heir.

 

 

Utterance 527

(The creation of Shu and Tefenet)

Atum is he who once came into being, who masturbated in On. He took his phallus in his grasp that he might create orgasm by means of it, and so were born the twins Shu and Tefenet. May they put the King between them and set the King among the gods in front of the Field of Offerings. Recite four times; May the King ascend to the sky, may the King descend to the earth.

 

 

Utterance 532

(An Osirian text)

The dd-pillar of the Day-bark is released for its lord, the dd-pillar of the Day-bark is released for its protector. Isis comes and Nephthys comes, one of them from the west and one of them from the east, one of them as a ‘screecher’, one of them as a kite; they have found Osiris, his brother Seth having laid him low in Nedit; when Osiris said ‘Get away from me, when his name became Sokar. They prevent you (sic) from rotting in accordance with this your name of Anubis; they prevent your putrefaction from dripping to the ground in accordance with this your name of ‘Jackal of Upper Egypt’; they prevent the smell of your corpse from becoming foul in accordance with this your name of Horus of Hty. They prevent Horus of the East from putrefying; they prevent Horus Lord of Patricians from putrefying; they prevent Horus of the Netherworld from putrefying; they prevent Horus Lord of the Two Lands from putrefying, and Seth will never be free from carrying you, iris.

Wake up for Horus, stand up against Seth; raise yourself, O Osiris, firstborn son of Geb, at whom the Two Enneads tremble. The Herdsman waits on you, the festival of the New Moon is celebrated for you, so that you may appear at the monthly festival. Fare southward to the lake, cross over the sea, for you are he who stands untiring in the midst of Abydos; be a spirit in the horizon, be long-enduring in Mendes.

Your hand is taken by the Souls of On, your hand is grasped by Re, your head is raised by the Two Enneads, and they have set you, O Osiris, at the head of the Conclave of the Souls of On, live and raise yourself!

 

 

Utterance 535

(An Osirian text adapted for the king)

Thus said Isis and Nephthys: The ‘screecher’ comes, the kite comes, namely Isis and Nephthys; they have come seeking their brother Osiris, seeking their brother the King… Weep for your brother, O Isis; weep for your brother, O Nephthys; weep for your brother! Isis sits down with her hands on her head, Nephthys has grasped the tips of her breasts because of their brother the King, who crouches on his belly, an Osiris in his danger (?), an Anubis foremost of grip (?). You shall have no putrefaction, O King; you   shall have no sweat, O King; you shall have no efflux, O King; you shall have no dust, O King. O Ht(y) son of Hrt(y), Nmny who came out of Mnt, you have been cut up (?) into three (parts) in these your four days and your eight nights. The starry sky serves your celestial serpent whom you love; your orphan comes to the front, you are at the head of those who are foremost, orphans are orphaned for you (?). You have relieved Horus of his girdle, so that he may punish the followers of Seth. Seize them, remove their heads, cut off their limbs, disembowel them, cut out their hearts, drink of their blood, and claim  their hearts in this your name of Anubis Claimer of hearts! Your eyes have been given to you as your two uraei because you are Wepwawet who is on his standard and Anubis who presides over the God’s Booth.

O King, you preside over the houses of the Great Ones who are in On; the spirits fear you, and also the Imperishable Stars; the dead fall on their faces before you, you have seized hold of the sun-folk. O First-born, ‘Honour is for the King’, say the Souls of On; they provide you with life and dominion.

If he lives among the living, then will Sokar live among the living; if he lives among the living, then will the King live among the living. O King, come, live your life here from season to season, in these years when you are content and your desire is at ease.

 

 

Utterance 536

(A ‘resurrection’ text)

Your water is yours, your flood is yours, your efflux which issued from Osiris is yours. The doors of the sky are opened for you, the doors of Nut are thrown open for you; the doors of the sky are opened for you, the doors of the firmament are thrown open for you. ‘Endure!’ says Isis; ‘In peace!’ says Nephthys, when they see their brother. Raise yourself, loose your bonds; throw off your dust, sit on this your iron throne, be purified with your four nmst-jars and your four bt-jars which have come forth to you from the Castle of the God that you may be divine, they being filled to the brim from the Canal of the God, which Horus of Nekhen gave to you. He has given you his jackal-spirits as Horus who is in his house, as the pre-eminent one who is foremost of the Powers; how enduring is what has been done for you! Anubis who presides over the God’s Booth has commanded that you go down as a star, as the Morning Star. May you traverse the Mound of Horus of the Southerners, may you traverse the Mound of Horus of the Northerners, may the honoured ones (?) clap their hands at the stairway of your throne.    He has come to you his father, he has come to you, O Geb; do for him this which you did for his brother Osiris on that day of your complete fishing out of the water for the putting of bones in order and for the making firm of soles and the cleansing of his upper and lower nails,  so that the Southern Conclave and the Northern Conclave may come to him bowing […]

 

 

Utterance 543

Go to this Osiris the King. O Osiris the King, I bring to you him who would kill you; do not let him escape from your hand. O Osiris the King, I bring to you him who would kill you, and a knife is made ready for him. O Osiris the King, I bring to you him who would kill you, he having been cut three times.

 

 

Utterance 569

(An address to the sun god)

I know your name, I am not ignorant of your name; your name is ‘Limitless’, your father’s name is ‘You-are-great’, your mother’s, name is ‘Peace’, (even) she who bears you on the path of the dawn (?), the path of the dawn (?).

The birth of Limitless in the horizon will be prevented

If you prevent me from coming to the place where you are.

The birth of Selket will be prevented

If you prevent me from coming to the place where you are.

The Two Banks will be held back from Horus

If you prevent me from coming to the place where you are.

The birth of Orion will be prevented

If you prevent me from coming to the place where you are.

The birth of Sothis will be prevented

If you prevent me from coming to the place where you are.

The Two Apes, his beloved sons, will be held off from Re

If you prevent me from coming to the place where you are.

The birth of Wepwawet in the Pr-nw will be prevented

If you prevent me from coming to the place where you are.

Men will be held back from the King, the son of the god,

If you prevent me from coming to the place where you are.

Your crew of the Imperishable Stars will be prevented from rowing you,

If you prevent them from allowing me to go aboard this bark of yours.

Men will be prevented from dying

If you prevent me from going aboard this bark of yours.

Men will be held back from food

If you prevent me from going aboard this bark of yours.

I am Sksn, envoy of Re, and I will not be held back from the sky; the mtt-tree has laid her hands on me, (even she) the door-keeper of the sky; Hrfhf has made ready for me, (even he) the ferryman of the Winding Waterway. I will not be held back, nor will obstacles be set against me, for I am one of you, you gods. I have come to you, O Re, I have come to you, O Limitless, and I will row you, I will escort you, I will love you with my body, I will love you with my heart.

 

 

Utterance 572

(An ‘ascension’ text)

‘How lovely to see, how pleasing to behold!’ says Isis, when your ascend to the sky, your power upon you, your terror about you, your magic at your feet; you are helped by Atum just as he used to do, the gods who are in the sky are brought to you, the gods who are on earth assemble for you, they place their hands under you, they make a ladder for you that you may ascend on it to the sky, the doors of the sky are opened for you, the doors of the starry firmament are thrown open for you, Atum has assembled the nomes for you, he has given the cities of Geb to you, having spoken about it, (even) the Mounds, the Mounds of Horus, the Mounds of Seth, and the Field of Rushes. You are Rhs who presides over Upper Egypt, you are Ddwn who presides over Nubia, you are Sopd who is under his ksbt-trees. Have they killed you or said that you shall die? You shall not die, but shall live for ever. You shall be effective against them as the Enduring Bull of the wild bulls, that you may be superior to them, living and enduring (?) for ever.

 

 

from Utterance 573

The king flies up to the sky

Someone flies up from you, O men, as do ducks,

He wrests his hands from you as does a falcon,

He has removed himself from you as does a kite,

The King is saved from him who was obstructive on earth,

The King is loosed from him who attacked him.

 

 

Utterance 580

(An offering text in which the sacrificial ox represents Seth)

Address to the ox by the priest impersonating Horns

O you who smote my father, who killed one greater than you, you have smitten my father, you have killed one greater than you.

Address to the dead king

O my father Osiris this King, I have smitten for you him who smote you as an ox; I have killed for you him who killed you as a wild bull; I have broken for you him who broke you as a long-horn on whose back you were, as a subjected bull. He who stretched you out is a stretched bull; he who shot (?) you is a bull ot be shot (?); he who made you deaf is a deaf bull. I have cut off its head, I can cut off its tail, I have cut off its arms (sic), I have cut off its legs. Its upper foreleg is on Khopr(er?), its lower foreleg [belongs to Atum], father of the gods, its haunches belong to Shu and Tefenet, its midi belong to Geb and Nut, its thighs belong to Isis and Nephtys, its shanks belong to Hnt-irty and Kherty, its back bleong to Neith and Selket, its heard belongs to Sakhmet the Great, the contents of its utter (sic) belong to these four gods the children of Horus whom he loves, Hapy, Imsety, Duamutef, Kebhsenuf. Its head, its tail, its arms, and its legs belong to Anubis who is on the mountain and Osiris Hnty-mnwt-f. What of it the gods have let over belongs to the Souls of Nekhen and the Souls of Pe. May we eat, may we eat the red ox for the passage of the lake which Horus made for his father Osiris the King.

 

 

Utterance 628

(Nephthys restores the king to life)

Rouse, yourself, O King ! Turn yourself about, O King! I am Nephthys, and I have come that I may lay hold of you and give to you your heart for your body.

 

 

Utterance 645

(The king is placed in the bark of Sokar)

O Osiris the King, Horus has lifted you into the Hnw-bark, he raises you into the Bark of Sokar, for he is a son who raises up his father, O Osiris the King, in your name of Sokar. May you be mighty in Upper Egypt as this Horus through whom you are mighty; may you be mighty in Lower Egypt as this Horus through whom you are mighty, that you may be mighty and protect yourself from your foe.

 

 

from Utterance 666

(A ‘resurrection’ text)

O King, collect your bones, assemble your members, whiten your teeth, take your bodily heart, throw off this earth which is on your flesh, take this purification of yours, these four rbt-jars of yours which are filled full from the Canal of the God, cleanse yourself with them as a god and go forth thence as the Eye of Re, having appeared in front of them as Geb who is at the head of the company of the Ennead of On when he governs the gods and speaks in the session of the living god. Assume the Wrrt-crown as the Lone Star who destroys foes; indeed, this going of yours, O King, is that of which Horus spoke to his father Osiris.

O King, come, you also, tell of this going of yours that you may become a spirit thereby, that you may be great thereby, that you may be strong thereby, that you may be a soul thereby, that you may have power thereby.

 

 

from Utterance 667A

(An ‘ascension’ text)

O King, you have not died the death; live among them, the Imperishable Spirits. When the season of Inundation comes, provide the efflux which issued from Osiris, that Horus may be cleansed from what his brother Seth did to him, that Seth may be cleansed from what his brother Horus did to him, that this King may be cleansed from every evil thing on him, and that there may be cleansed those who watched for Horus when he sought his father Osiris.

 

 

Utterance 667B

(A food-spell)

Hail to you, O King, whose seats are hidden! May your herald ascend happily to the firmament. I have threshed barley, I have reaped emmer, I have made your yearly sustenance therefrom. Go up, seat yourself, O King, and empower (?) me; I cannot see you, but you can see me.

‘How great are those whom my face has seen, how mighty are those whom my eyes have seen !’

Horus comes with bound hairs as the protector of his father, he stands as Horus upon the river-bank with his sisters Isis and Nephthys beside him.

 

 

from Utterance 675

O King, you have no human father who could beget you, you have no human mother who could bear you; your mother is the Great Wild Cow who dwells in Nekheb, white of head-cloth, long of hair, and pendulous of breasts, she suckles you and does not wean you.

 

 

from Utterance 684

The King is one of these four beings whom Atum begot and Nut bore, who will never become corrupt, therefore the King will not become corrupt; who will never decay, therefore the King will not decay; who will never fall to the earth from the sky, therefore the King will not fall to the earth from the  sky.

 

 

Utterance 685

(The king is reborn)

The waters of life which are the sky come, the waters of life which are in the earth come, the sky is aflame for you, the earth quakes at you before the god’s birth; the two mountains are split apart, the god comes into being, the god has power in his body; (so) the two mountains are split apart, this King comes into being, this King has power in his body.

Behold this King, his feet are kissed by the pure waters which exist through Atum, which the phallus of Shu makes and which the vagina of Tefenet creates. They have come and have brougt to you the pure waters with their father; they cleanse you and make you divine, O King. You shall support the sky with your hand, you shall lay down the earth with your foot, a libation shall be poured out at this King’s gate. When the face of every god is washed, you shall wash your hands, O Osiris, you shall wash your hands, O King,  you shall be young (again), O god; your third is he who orders offerings. The perfume of Iht-wtt is on this King, a bnbn-loaf is in the Mansion of Sokar, a foreleg is in the House of Anubis. This King is hale, the Herdsman stands up, the month is born, Sp lives. I have prepared arourae so that you may cultivate barley, you may cultivate emmer; this King will be presented therewith for ever.

 

 

Utterance 691B

(The king as Horus calls on Osiris to wake)

Wake, wake, O my father Osiris, for I am your son who loves you, I am (your) son Horus who loves you. Behold, I have come that I may bring to you what he took from you. Has he rejoiced over you? Has (he) drunk (blood) from you? Has Seth drunk (blood) from you in the presence of your two sisters? The two sisters who love you are Isis and Nephthys, and they will support you. Do not pass me by, for I have provided (?) you; may you not suffer (?), may your wisdom judge Horus who is in his house. Quell Seth as Geb, as the being who devours entrails, for your front is that of a jackal, your hinderparts are the Celestial-Serpent, your spine is the door-bolt of the god. I have cultivated barley, I have reaped emmer, which I have prepared for your yearly sustenance, so wake, wake, O my father, for this bread of yours.

 

 

Utterance 723

(A ‘resurrection’ text)

O King, raise yourself upon your iron bones and golden members, for this body of yours belongs to a god; it will not grow mouldy, it will not be destroyed, it will not putrefy. The warmth which is on your mouth is the breath which issued from the nostrils of Seth, and the winds of the sky will be destroyed if the warmth which is on your mouth be destroyed; the sky will be deprived of its stars if the warmth which is on your mouth be lacking. May your flesh be born to life, and may your life be more than the life of the stars when they live.

 

 

Utterance 758

(The king is given breath and food)

O Lord of the horizon, Foremost of the gods, to whom worship (?) is done at dawn, who lives on food and quenches his thirst with the water (?) of life, who will never perish: Behold, the King has come to you, this King is this one, the lord of witness regarding the Just One. The King was conceived in the nose, the King was born in the nostril,  the King lies down in your coil, the King sits in your circle, the King lives on your life, the King is provided with your peace.

The King has come to you, the King eats of the provisions of the double, the King feeds (?) on food, the King receives an offering from the god’s hand. It is the King (sic) who makes pt-cakes, who gives supplies (?) to the King on the day of the Sd-festival. Collect what belongs to truth, for truth is what the King says.

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3 thoughts on “Egyptian Pyramid Texts

  1. I loved reading the ancient Egyptian texts as well as many others. Ancient mythology and religion form the basis for a lot of my own writing. I also found the Popul Vuh to be extremely fascinating. Love this post.

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