The most popular and enduring of all the gods, Thoth has been responsible for keeping Egyptian magic in the forefront of learning since the collapse of the empire.
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Thoth - Lord of the Holy Words - The Gods - The White Goddess

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Monday, 23 January 2017

Thoth - Lord of the Holy Words

Thoth - Lord of the Holy Words.

Thoth [E=Tahuti]

The most popular and enduring of all the gods, Thoth has been responsible for keeping Egyptian magic in the forefront of learning since the collapse of the empire. Although in the later Dynastic period he was merely labelled the 'scribe of the gods'.

The magician's magician since he is endowed with complete knowledge and wisdom. He invented all the arts and sciences, astronomy, soothsaying, magic, medicine, surgery and most important of all - writing. As inventor of hieroglyphs, he was titled 'Lord of the Holy Words'; he was the first of magicians and compiled books of magic which contained 'formulas which commanded all the forces of nature and subdued the very gods themselves'. He appears to be long-suffering and is usually called upon to sort out the chaos created by the rest of the pantheon.

It was this power that earned him the name Tahuti - three times very, very great - which the Greeks translated as Hermes Trismegistus. He is identified as a lunar deity [E=Aah-tehuti] and his sacred animals are the ibis and the baboon. His chief festival was celebrated on the 'nineteenth of the month of Thoth', a few days after the full moon at the beginning of the Egyptian New Year. He was later identified with Mercury but should never be under-estimated, especially his role within the Primitive Path. He is associated with Hod on the Tree of Life and The Magus in the Tarot, his colour being amethyst the symbol of mystical power.

Day 19 of Dhwty in the season of Aket (Inundation)
(6th August, depending on how calendar is calculated)

Feast of Thoth.
A happy day in heaven in front of Re, the Great Ennead is in great festivity. Burn incense on the fire. It is the day of receiving. It is the day of going forth of Thoth.

Prayer or divinatory time: dawn.

Prayer or Invocation

Such was all-knowing Tahuti [Thoth], who saw all things,
and seeing understood,
and understanding has the power to disclose
and to give explanation.
For what he knew, he graved on stone;
Yet though he graved them onto stone he hid them mostly...
The sacred symbols of the cosmic elements
he hid away hard by the secrets of Osms
... keeping sure silence,
that every younger age of cosmic time might seek for them.

(Kore Kosmu -G SR Meade translation]

I have just been reading The Wisdom of Ancient Egypt by Joseph Kaster (originally published in 1968), anyway the chapter I was making some notes on concerned the Pyramid Texts and the story of Osiris (I should add that it was a compilation of spells or groups of spells rearranged to tell the story). There was a section that dealt with the assigning of Osiris in his place in the genealogy of the Gods, and Thoth was listed as one of the brothers of Osiris. In a footnote it said that it was one of the few references to Thoth as a brother of Osiris and an accomplice of Set.

[Thoth aids Set against Osiris]
Behold what Set and Thoth have done, your two brothers, who knew not how to weep for you!
Set, this your brother is this one here, Osiris, who is made to endure and to live, that he may punish you!

Thoth, this your brother is this one here, Osiris, who is made to endure and to live, that he may punish you!

Goddesses linked with Thoth

There are several Goddesses linked with Thoth, most notably Isis, with the help of Thoth she is able to resurrect Osiris long enough for her to concieve Horus (the Yonger). Later when she is hiding in the Delta papyrus swamps, one of the seven scorpion helpers of Isis, either through malice or clumsiness stings Horus, in her grief she causes the sky barque of the sun god to stop, and refuses to let it go again until her son is cured. Once again Thoth comes to the rescue. It was Thoth who brought Tefnut, who left Egypt for Nubia in a sulk after an argument with her father, back to heaven to be reuinted with Ra.

There is also Seshat (Sashet, Sesheta), meaning 'female scribe', was seen as the goddess of writing, historical records, accounting and mathematics, measurement and architecture to the ancient Egyptians. She was depicted as a woman wearing a panther-skin dress (the garb of the funerary stm priests) and a headdress that was also her hieroglyph, which may represent either a stylized flower or seven pointed star on a standard that is beneath a set of down-turned horns. (The horns may have originally been a crescent, linking Seshat to the moon and hence to her spouse, the moon god of writing and knowledge, Thoth.)

He was associated by the Egyptians with speech, literature, arts, learning. He, too, was a measurer and recorder of time, as was Seshat. Believed to be the author of the spells in the Book of the Dead, he was a helper (and punisher) of the deceased as they try to enter the underworld. In this role, his wife was Ma'at, the personification of order, who was weighed against the heart of the dead to see if they followed ma'at during their life.

He could also be equated as the Logos (Word) of God in similar role that Jesus would later come to represent. He is also associated with magic and Heka, the magical powers of Thoth were so great, that the Egyptians had tales of a 'Book of Thoth', which would allow a person who read the sacred book to become the most powerful magician in the world. The Book which "the god of wisdom wrote with his own hand" was, though, a deadly book that brought nothing but pain and tragedy to those that read it, despite finding out about the "secrets of the gods themselves" and "all that is hidden in the stars". The book of Thoth is supposed to be hidden in the Hall of Records which Edgar Cayce thought was beneath the Sphinx.

Thoth as Creator

Thoth's centre of worshiped was at Khmunu (Hermopolis) in Upper Egypt, where he was the creator god, in Ibis form, who laid the World Egg. The sound of his song was thought to have created four frog gods and snake goddesses who continued Thoth's song, helping the sun journey across the sky.

Titles of Thoth

He was the 'One who Made Calculations Concerning the Heavens, the Stars and the Earth', the 'Reckoner of Times and of Seasons', the one who 'Measured out the Heavens and Planned the Earth'. He was 'He who Balances', the 'God of the Equilibrium' and 'Master of the Balance'. 'The Lord of the Divine Body', 'Scribe of the Company of the Gods', the 'Voice of Ra', the 'Author of Every Work on Every Branch of Knowledge, Both Human and Divine', he who understood 'all that is hidden under the heavenly vault'. Thoth was not just a scribe and friend to the gods, but central to order - ma'at - both in Egypt and in the Duat. He was 'He who Reckons the Heavens, the Counter of the Stars and the Measurer of the Earth'.

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