Ancient Egyptian Metaphysics

Many requests for me to do some teaching (largely from a book that I am now writing on ancient Egyptian Metaphysics and Personal Worship) about metaphysics, worship and the ancient Egyptian traditions. To start off, I want to briefly quote some ancient Egyptian philosophers to give you the gist of ancient Egyptian philosophy and Metaphysics. The next note I enter will be on general comments on ancient Egyptian metaphysics. The material I will use is not from Masonic or Rosecrucian but from authentic Egyptian sources. In many cases I can quote the exact sources, most are translations of papyrus, temples, tombs, etc. Having studied the subject for 33 years, gotten a degree on the subject, and working on the book for 10 years, I will pass on some of what I have learned. All of the translations are from Egyptologists and Archaeologists. To quote an old Egyptian philosopher (found written on his tomb), Ptah hotep:
"To give a few words of Truth,
And what you make of Them will be your Test."

From the College of Priests House of the Temple of Horus at Edfu:
"The Lamp of Wisdom burns steadily,
If the soil that feeds it be reality.
If the oil that feeds the lamp be Love,
The beloved will meet the Lord or Lady and be blessed.

(Lord or Lady means personal God or Goddess, ed.)

If the air that feeds the Flame be Truth,
The Breath of He who breathes will inhale Wisdom.

If the Spirit enters the Flame,
The Fire will be as bright as a Star."

Next little lesson; what is a hymn when I mention one or quote one (which I will from time to time)?

The hymns of Egypt tell of the nature and workings of the God/dess they glorify. They mention his/her name and his/her ties to a locality, allude to the myths and describe his/her appearance and powers and attributes.

An occult tradition is like a journey. Before one ventures onto any unknown journey it is best to have an idea of the dangers and preventive protection. Ancient Egypt had 14 traditions. I will, in these notes, outline them all.

To share another "wisdom texts" as the ancient Egyptian philosophy is called: This one is from Kagemni, whose tomb can be visited at Sakkara, as is known as one of the wisest men around. This text is for a student in order for him to select the right metaphysical teacher.

"He who is a Priest of the Living, whom a Neter* favors
Like the Bennu on the Obelisk,"
Performs Right Actions without seeking a reward for them.
Such a Teacher lives a life of true piety.

He seeks no gain from any good deed he does,
But sets his Heart only on the Neter's service.
He has compassion upon all Living creatures.

He holds fast to the Neter's name and inspires others to meditate on it.*
He accepts joy and sorrow with an equal mind.
He is always happy and never set apart from his Neter.

To him gold and dross are as one;
Nectar and poison are as one
The King and the beggar are as one."

  1. Neter — Neter is the ancient Egyptian word, that we would equate with God or Goddess. But Neter's exact translation is "Abstract Principle" or "Divine Principle" and is not a male or female word.
  2. Bennu on the Obelisk — the Bennu bird is the Egyptian Phoenix, which lives in Arabia, and comes every 500 years to built a nest on an obelisk where it lays an egg, and when the egg starts hatching, it dies in its own flames, and is reborn from the egg. The obelisk is the Egyptian symbol of the first ray of sun light striking the earth, and when built, is usually covered in gold or electrum. The top of the obelisk is like a pyramid and is called the Pyramidion; and the pyramids are all representations of the suns first light on the Newly Born Earth.
  3. "He holds fast to the Neter's name and inspires others to meditate on it."— In addition to the common name of any god, like Heru for Horus, they also have a hidden name, a name of power, that the priest/esses use in ritual and meditation.

Priests and Priestesses

How did a person become a priest/ess in ancient Egypt?

Well, each family had their own family worship area, the size of which is wholly dependent upon the size of the house they lived in. More about this when we get into the path of the Aait-Shesheta. Therefore, in each family, someone had to act as the family priest/ess. If the father or mother was a priest/ess, then he or she was the family religious leader, in charge of the family rituals. If the parents were not initiated priest/esses, then usually the Elder Son acted as the religious leader. However, in some nomes (or states), matrilineal descent (through the female) was a tradition so the Eldest Daughter was the religious leader.

The only schools, including most crafts, were taught in the temple colleges. A child would be sent to a college to learn a craft between the ages of 6-10. If the family had a tradition of priest/esses then usually the children would go to the temple college to be interviewed and tested for the priesthood. Exactly how the priest/esses at the college tested the would be initiate is not well known yet, but we do know that usually the following priests would be involved:

  1. A Divine Scribe (reader and writer initiate)
  2. A Prophet (who uses divination of some sort and inner visions)
  3. A Purification Priest
  4. A Priest of Anubis (or some other sort related to traveling in Egyptian heavens (astral plane directly related to Egyptian heavens).

Every Egyptian temple had 2 types of staff, a magical one and a working one (working meaning the scribes, bakers and people who run the every day part).

If the would be initiate was found wanting in the magical staff (called People of the Circle, which we will get to when we talk about temple organization), the person may be sent back, or taught a craft, or go into the working temple staff.

One of the first things that any initiate is taught is Egyptian Philosophy, which is really less like Voltaire, and more like Ethics and Conscious. The would be priest needs to come up with his own ethics or philosophy before embarking on to magical training.

Therefore ethics and morals was the beginning of the training. If one had to make a Readers Digest Condensed version of all of the Egyptian ethics and philosophy teachings it would be; as one Egyptian Philosopher put it (but not quite as well).

Do anything you want, but only in moderation, and while doing so, do not harm anyone physically or psychology.

Almost exactly like the Wiccan motto: “Do what they wilt, but harm none.”

But to the ancient Egyptian, theirs also says: "Don't harm yourself, and don't go overboard on anything: Moderation.”

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License