Strange Sacrament For A Dead Priest
"Above the gemmed azure is
The naked splendour of Nuit
She bends in ecstasy to kiss
The secret ardours of Hadit
The winged globe, the starry blue
Are mine, O Ankh-f-na-khonsu!"
--Liber al vel Legis 1:14
This brief poem expressing beauty, ecstasy and love by the universal creators Nu and Had is addressed to a person with a strange Egyptian name: Ankh-f-na-khonsu.
That the poem follows a call by Nuit to her children to enjoy all sensual freedoms under the stars seems, at first glance, to be a continuation of the original theme. But when we learn that Ankh-f-na-khonsu is identified in Egyptian hieroglyphics as a dead priest, we must conclude that there is a deeper message.
Even more significant is that the poem describes a picture found on a wooden tablet, overlaid with stucco and painted with mythological scenes and hieroglyphic writing, that exists even today in a museum in Cairo, Egypt. It is said to be an artifact dating from the 26th dynasty, commemorating the death of Ankh-f-n-khonsu.
Ankh-f-na-khonsu was a priest of the god Mentu in the ancient Egyptian City of Thebes. The art work, called a Stele of Revealing, was placed just outside the tomb of Ankh-f-n-khonsu. That it survived in its present condition after so many years is remarkable. More than that, however, the stele served as some kind of magickal link between the priest and Aleister Crowley in bringing forth the words to The Book of the Law.
As the story is told, Crowley found the Stele of Revealing in the museum while he and his wife, Rose, were visiting Cairo in 1904. Soon after making his discovery, Crowley received the words to the mystical writings through the personality of Aiwass. The book set forth the principals of the Law of Thelema and inaugurated what occultists believe is the New Aeon of Horus.
Horus is the son of Isis and Osiris, ancient gods of Egypt. He is portrayed as a man with a hawk head who was said to rule over Thebes at the time Ankh-f-na-khonsu served as a priest for one of the lesser gods, Mentu.
With this information in hand, and while examining the picture of the front of the actual stele examined by Crowley, posted on this page, we find understanding behind Nuit's love poem.
The "gemmed azure" in the first line often is identified as a ring lined with blue sapphire stones, or gems. Since the poem is referring to Nuit, who is identified as the space comprising the universe, this is obviously a reference to the blue sky "gemmed" by billions of stars.
It is there that we find "the naked splendour of Nuit." If you examine the outer edge of the art piece, you will find it delicately framed by the naked body of a woman, wearing only golden jewelry around her ankles, her neck and wrists, and a red band just under her breasts. She is bending over, her feet and hands touching the ground, but her mouth is in contact with one of the wings of the winged, globed figure seen at the top of the picture.
The winged globe is clearly identified as Hadit. And her lips are kissing one of his wings. In the poem we are told these are the "secret ardours of Hadit."
And Nuit declares that the "winged globe, the starry blue are mine, O Ankh-f-na-khonsu!"
This statement, concluded with an exclamation mark, almost suggests that Nuit is challenging Ankh-f-na-khonsu during the priest's own death ritual. It was as if the Egyptian priest was so powerful, and was going through a sacrificial ritual so important, that Nuit felt as if her position was threatened.
We can say that the ritual involved Ankh-f-na-khonsu's personal sacrifice. The hieroglyphs tell us that the picture shows the priest at the right, standing before an altar with food and holy objects pictured below it. On the left side of the picture is the hawk headed god figure of Ra-Hoor-Khuit.
Ra-Hoor Khuit appears to be an image of Horus. He is a hawk-headed warrior god with the body of a man. According to Egyptian mythology, he is a brother of Hoor Paar Kraat, the one depicted as the baby sitting upon a Lotus flower. That child, the Crowned and Conquering Child, is Horus.
Ankh-f-na-khonsu is constantly referred to as the "dead man." The song of Horus in Chapter Three makes it clear that the priest, now identified as Ankh-af-na-khonsu, took his own life.
"I am the Lord of Thebes, and I
The inspired fourth-speaker of Mentu;
For me unveils the veiled sky,
The self-slain Ankh-af-n-khonsu
Whose words are truth. I invoke, I greet
Thy presence, O Ra-Hoor-Khuit!"
The question is why would the priest feel it necessary to kill himself as part of a sacred ritual in the presence of Ra-Hoor-Khuit?
Did the Egyptian priest get a glimpse of the future? If so, he would not have been the first magickian of old to witness the mess we humans have made of this planet. Was his personal sacrifice a method of carrying a message of warning, through the Book of the Law, to contemporary times?
Support for this comes from Nuit in Chapter One, Verse 36. She says: "My scribe Ankh-af-na-khonsu, the priest of the princes, shall not in one letter change this book . . ."
That the spelling of the name of the Egyptian priest is slightly altered in the middle of the book is a mystery. There is a letter "a" attached to the lone and hyphenated "f" in the middle of the name. The secret significance in this is obviously lost in the lack of this writer's understanding of the ancient Egyptian culture.
How sad that this sacred book was clouded for so many years by a wicked religious system that successfully demonized the great magickian Crowley. Its truths were buried by the book of lies and half-truths known as the Bible.
Copyright - James Donahue
Die Wahrheit wiegt meistens schwer.