Astronomical texts

ASTRONOMICAL CEILING OF THE TEMPLE OF HATHOR AT IUNET

 

in the upper register are represented, from left to right:
-the God of the East Wind with four wings; 
-in the first boat are represented Osiris and Isis enthroned, and on the bow is depicted Upuaut as a sphinx; 
-in the second boat is represented Harsomptus in two of His forms (human-headed and falcon-headed), and on the bow are depicted Maat and Upuaut; 
-the three Gods on the right are epagomenal decans.
In the lower register are represented, from left to right:
-Khyt, the Goddess of the East;
-in the first boat are represented Horus of Behdet and Hathor of Iunet, and Upuaut (on the bow);
-in the second boat is represented Kheper-Ra (the God of the Morning Sun) standing inside a shrine, and five Gods (the one on the right is Maat), and on the bow is depicted Horus the Child seated;
-the boat of Kheper-Ra, the Boat of the Morning Sun, is pulled into the Eastern Sky by three black jackals/wolves and an Uraeus;
-on the right are represented Four Baboons, the “Souls of the East” making adorations to the Boat of the Morning Sun.

 

Scene from the astronomical ceiling of the Hypostyle Hall of the Temple of Hathor at Iunet, second band east:
the Boat of the Morning Sun pulled into the Eastern Sky by three black jackals/wolves and an Uraeus. On the Solar Boat is represented Kheper-Ra (the God of the Morning Sun) standing inside a shrine; before Him there are Hu, Sia, Isis, and Maat; on the bow is depicted Horus the Child seated, and on the stern is represented a falcon-headed God steering the Sacred Boat.

 

Scene from the astronomical ceiling of the Hypostyle Hall of the Temple of Hathor at Iunet, second band east: the Sacred Bark of Ra sailing across the sky.
The Sacred Bark is pulled by three Gods (at right) representing the Stars that accompany Ra.
On the Solar Bark is represented Ra-Horakhty standing in a shrine; before Him there are Hu, Sia, Isis, and Maat. On the bow is depicted a sacred baboon, and next to Him a Falcon-headed God is spearing the cursed apophis (the enemy of Ra and of all the Gods); on the stern is represented a falcon-headed God steering the Sacred Boat.

 

scene from the Ceiling of the Hypostyle Hall of the Temple of Hathor at Iunet:
on the left, Netjer-Duau, “the God of the Morning”: He is the God of the Planet Venus, and is represented falcon-headed, standing on His sacred boat surrounded by Stars, holding the Ankh (the symbol of Life) and the Uas-Scepter of Power and Dominion; behind Him is a falcon-headed God.
On the right, the Goddesses of the first two Hours of the Day, and Their associated Gods:
(from right to left) the Goddess of the Second Hour of the Day, Her name is “Semet”, and the God Hu (wearing an Uraeus on His head);
the Goddess of the First Hour of the Day, Her name is “Nunut”, and the God Shu.

 

THE DAILY JOURNEY OF RA DURING THE HOURS OF THE DAY

(scenes from the  first strip east of the Ceiling of the Hypostyle Hall of the Temple of Hathor at Iunet, and from from the Astronomical Frieze of the Outer Hypostyle Hall of the Temple of Horus at Behdet)

I HOUR:

The daily journey of Ra during the hours of the day, the I hour:
(from the Ceiling of the Hypostyle Hall of the Temple of Hathor at Iunet, first strip east, I scene)
: on the sacred boat is represented Ra in His form of Divine Child inside the Sun; Ra is flanked by Nephthys (at left) and Isis (at right); behind Isis is represented Thoth making adorations to Ra. On the stern is represented Montu steering the Sacred Boat

 

 

 

 

IV HOUR:

The daily journey of Ra during the hours of the day, the fourth hour:
(scene from the Ceiling of the Hypostyle Hall of the Temple of Hathor at Iunet, first strip east)
: (from right to left) the Goddess of the fourth hour of the day, wearing the Solar Crown, making adorations to a human-headed bird (the Ba/Soul) and to the Gods of the Sacred Boat of Ra;

on the bow is represented Horus spearing one of the traditional enemies of Egypt (with asiatic features);
Thoth (ibis-headed) and Bastet making adorations to Ra (ram-headed, holding the Ankh and the Uas-scepter of Power and Dominion) depicted inside the Sun; 
behind Bastet, on the stern, is represented Horus, steering the Sacred Boat.
 
The daily journey of Ra during the hours of the day, the IV hour,
scene from the Astronomical Frieze of the Outer Hypostyle Hall of the Temple of Horus at Behdet (drawing from “I Monumenti dell’ Egitto e della Nubia” by Ippolito Rosellini, Band 4,3, plate XXXIX):
“Ra of Behdet, Lord of the Sky” is represented inside the Sun, ram-headed, holding the Ankh and the Uas-scepter of Power and Dominion; behind Him is represented Montu (falcon-headed) steering the Solar Bark; in front of Ra are represented Thoth (ibis-headed), Bastet, and the Goddess of the fourth hour of the day, each making adorations to Him. On the bow is represented Montu spearing the cursed apophis (the enemy of the Gods, here depicted as a man with asiatic features), and an human-headed bird (the Ba/Soul).
 

 

V HOUR:

The daily journey of Ra during the hours of the day, detail of the V hour (from the Ceiling of the Hypostyle Hall of the Temple of Hathor at Iunet, first strip east, V scene):
Thoth (at right), Isis and Bastet (at left) making adorations to Ra; Ra is represented inside the Sun, falcon-headed, wearing the Solar Crown with the Uraeus, and holding the Uas-Scepter of Power and Dominion. On the stern is represented a God steering the Sacred Bark.

 

The daily journey of Ra during the hours of the day, the V hour,
scene from the Astronomical Frieze of the Outer Hypostyle Hall of the Temple of Horus at Behdet (drawing from “I Monumenti dell’ Egitto e della Nubia” by Ippolito Rosellini, Band 4,3, plate XL):
“Ra of Behdet” is represented inside the Sun, falcon-headed, wearing the Solar Crown and holding the Ankh and the Uas-scepter of Power and Dominion; behind Him, on the stern, is represented a God steering the Solar Bark; in front of Ra are represented Thoth (ibis-headed), Maat, Bastet, and the Goddess of the fifth hour of the day, each making adorations to Him. On the bow are represented a sacred Bull, a falcon-headed God the King spearing the cursed apophis (the enemy of the Gods, here depicted as a snake)

 

 

The daily journey of Ra during the hours of the day,
the IV and the V hour (from the Ceiling of the Hypostyle Hall of the Temple of Hathor at Iunet/Dendera, first strip east):
In the middle register,
-at left, the IV Hour: Ra is represented inside the Sun, ram-headed, holding the Ankh and the Uas-scepter of Power and Dominion, and is flanked by Thoth (ibis-headed) and Bastet making adorations to Him; behind Bastet, on the stern, is represented a Falcon-headed God steering the Sacred Bark; behind Thoth is represented Montu (falcon-headed) spearing the cursed apophis (the enemy of the Gods, here depicted as a man with asiatic features); on the bow is represented a human-headed bird (the Ba/Soul), and in front of Him the Goddess of the fourth hour of the day, wearing the Solar Crown;
-at right, the V hour: Ra is represented inside the Sun, falcon-headed, wearing the Solar Crown with the Uraeus, holding the Uas-Scepter, and is flanked by Thoth (at right), Isis and Bastet (at left) making adorations to Him; behind Bastet, on the stern, is represented a God steering the Sacred Bark; behind Thoth is represented Montu (falcon-headed) spearing the cursed apophis; on the bow is represented a sacred Black Bull, and in front of Him the Goddess of the fifth hour of the day, wearing the Solar Crown.
In the upper and in the lower register, the Divine Souls and Blessed Spirits (the four sailors holding oars, serpents with human legs and arms, serpent-headed birds, and human-headed birds) Who worship. assist and protect Ra during His Daily Journey
 

 


VIII HOUR:

(from right to left) the Goddess of the eighth hour of the day, wearing the Solar Crown, making adorations to Harpokrates (Horus the Child) and to the Gods of the Sacred Boat of Ra;
on the bow is represented Horus spearing the cursed apophis (the enemy of Ra and of all the Gods, here depicted as a water snake);
Bastet and Thoth (ibis-headed) making adorations to Ra (baboon-headed, holding the Ankh and the Uas-scepter of Power and Dominion); 
behind Ra, on the stern, is represented Horus, steering the Sacred Boat.


IX HOUR:

(from right to left) the Goddess of the ninth hour of the day, wearing the Solar Crown, making adorations to Thoth represented in His sacred form of baboon and to the Gods of the Sacred Boat of Ra;
on the bow is represented Horus spearing one of the traditional enemies of Egypt (with asiatic features); behind Him are depicted a Goddess crowned by the Udjat-Eye, Bastet, and Thoth (ibis-headed) making adorations to Ra. 
Ra is represented lion-headed, wearing the Solar Crown with the Uraeus, and holding a little baboon on His left, and the Ankh in the right. Behind Ra, on the stern, is represented Horus, steering the Sacred Boat.
 
 

MOON

 
scene from the Astronomical Ceiling of the Temple of Hathor at Iunet, first strip west:
Osiris Onnophris identified with the Full Moon, standing in His Sacred Barque resting on the hieroglyph for “Sky” depicted with a row of stars inside and supported by the four Goddesses of the Compass Points (from left to right, Fayt of the West, Tuayt of the North, Ahayt of the South, and Khyt of the East).
Osiris is represented enthroned, wearing the Atef Crown and holding the Ankh (the symbol of Life) in the right and the Uas-scepter of Power and Dominion in the left; He is flanked by Nephthys (on the left) and Isis (on the right), both enthroned and offering the Ankh to Him; on the prow is represented Thoth in His form of baboon; behind Isis is represented the Goddess Maat making adorations; behind Nephthys is represented Horus.
On the top, the sacred scarab representing Kheper-Ra (the God of the Morning Sun), winged, holding the Sun flanked by the Two Uraei, and resting on the Shen-ring (symbol of Eternity and of Eternal Protection) to which are attached two Uas-scepters both linked to four alterning Ankh signs an Uas-scepters and to two Heb-Sed signs (symbol of the Jubilee of the King).
The Winged scarab of Kheper-Ra is flanked by the Two Goddesses represented as two vultures (at left Uadjet, and at right Nekhbet) with outstretched wings as a sign of protection.
The Sacred Barque of Osiris is flanked at left by the jackal-headed Souls of Nekhen-Hierakonpolis, and at right by the Falcon-headed Souls of Pe-Buto (the Souls of Pe and Nekhen are the Ancestral Souls of the “Predynastic” Kings of Egypt),in the kneeling jubilation position.

 

detail from the astronomical ceiling of the Temple of Neith and Khnum at Iunyt:
ten of the fourteen Gods of the Waxing Moon following the Eye of Horus (the Lunar Eye as Full Moon) represented inside the Full Moon Disk supported by the Crescent Moon.
From right to left,
Khnum, Atum, Shu, Tefnut, Geb, Nut, Osiris, Isis, Nephthys, and Thoth
 
 
 

ZODIAC SIGNS

 

the Goddess Nut flanked by stars and by the twelve Signs of the Zodiac:
in the lower register are represented, from right to left,
Aquarius, Pisces, Aries, Taurus, Gemini, and Cancer;
in the upper register, from left to right,
Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius.
Capricorn is represented next to the right hand of Nut (lower register, to the left).
Above the head of Nut, flanked by stars and sacred scarabs, the lotus-like rays of the Sun.
Detail from the inner base of the coffin of Petamenophis; II century CE, now in the Louvre Museum…

 

the Goddess Nut flanked by stars and by the twelve Signs of the Zodiac; lid of the coffin of Soter, Archon of Uaset-Thebes during the early II century CE; now in the British Museum…
-to the right, from bottom to top
a sacred baboon making adorations,
Aquarius, Pisces, Aries, Taurus, Gemini, and Cancer;
-to the left, from to to bottom
Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn,
a sacred baboon making adorations;
-the head of the Goddess is flanked by the Morning Solar Boat with the Udjat-Eye (to the right) and by the Evening Solar Boat with Atum (to the left);
-on the top, the Sun spreading His lotus-like rays;
-at each side of Nut are represented the twelve Goddesses of the hours of day (to the right) and night (to the left);
-between the feet of Nut, the sacred scarab of Khepry; on the bottom, the sacred Apis bull on a shrine and the Winged Solar Orb (Horus of Behdet) with the Uraeus

 

VIRGO, BOOTES, AND THE PLANET MERCURY,
from the astronomical ceiling of the Temple of Hathor at Iunet (Dendera), upper register of the westernmost strip.

from right to left,

-a Goddess holding the Ankh and a huge ear of wheat, representing the Virgo constellation;

-a bull-headed God holding a plow, representing the Boötes constellation; Boötes is a northern costellation located above Virgo;

-and ‘Sebeg’, the planet Mercury (assimilated to Seth), represented as a frog-headed falcon;
Virgo, like Gemini, is ruled by the planet Sebeg/Mercury. In this period of the year Mercury is in Virgo.

 

 

CONSTELLATIONS

 

THE NORTHERN CIRCUMPOLAR CONSTELLATIONS,
from the ceiling of the “House of Gold wherein one rests” (the burial chamber) of the “House of Eternity” of King Sethi I, Valley of the Kings (KV17), West Uaset-Thebes.

The Northern Circumpolar Constellations are the imperishable stars that never rest. They are always visible in the sky, in the surrounding of the Pole Star. They are six, and are universally known as:
“Draco”, “Big Dipper” (also know as “Ursa Major”), “Ursa Minor”, “Cepheus”, “Cassiopeia”, and “Camaleopardalis”.

From right to left,
-Reret Uret, “the Great Hippo”, that is the Draco constellation identified with Isis, with a crocodile on Her back; She holds the mooring post that is the Celestial Pole; the cords of the mooring post hold Meskhetyu tied to it. Meskhetyu, that is the constellation of the “Big Dipper” is assimilated to Seth and is represented as a striding bull on a platform;

-between the “Great Hippo” and Meskhetyu are represented
(on the top) a God holding the cords of the mooring post, probably corresponding to a part of the Draco,
and below, the falcon-headed God An, supporting the platform of Meskhetyu; probably An corresponds to the Ursa Minor;

-below Meskhetyu is represented a God with arms raised as though spearing the crocodile; the God probably corresponds to Cepheus, while the crocodile to Cassiopeia

-to the left, from top to bottom,
the Goddess Serket, probably corresponding to a part of the Big Dipper:
a Falcon, the “Divine Lion”, and a crocodile with curved tail, whose name is “Sak”; probably this group correspond to the Camaleopardalis constellation and to its neighboring stars.

To the left,
two of the Gods attending the Northern Constellations and identified with the Circumpolar Stars, each wearing a Lunar disk; They are the two Irmaua-Gods (Irmaua means “He Who acts with violence”; in the list of the Gods of the days of the month the Deity of the XV day is Irmauay, a feminine form of Irmaua).

 

detail from the Circular Zodiac of Dendera,
from the second east chapel of Osiris on the roof of the Temple of Hathor; now in the Louvre Museum…

from right to left,
-the Taurus zodiac sign
-Sah, the Orion constellation (assimilated to Osiris), wearing the White Crown, holding the Flail and the Uas-scepter, followed by a rekhyt-bird (the lapwing bird)
-“Horus who is on His papyrus”, in His form of sacred Falcon, wearing the Double Crown, and representing the “Canis Minor” constellation

 
 
 
 

-THE BOOK OF NUT-

The “Book of Nut” is a sacred astronomical text describing the motion of the Sun and the Stars across the Year. As it is in all the ancient religions, in ancient Egypt the astronomical science was considered a divine knowledge and a fundamental aspect of religion itself, a sacred science that reveals the connection between the World and the Cosmos, the Gods and the Cosmos, and the unfolding of Time in the cyclical eternity. This is another evidence of the superiority in Maat (Truth and Righteousness) of the ancient religions in respect to the “new religions” (jewish-christian-muslim creeds) where on the contrary “religion” and science have always been in strong contrast (and in fact the sacred texts of the “new religions” do not teach anything about the science of astronomy).

 
 
 
-translation of the texts inscribed between the wing of the Sun God Ra and the arms of Nut, (on the left, upper and lower register):
(upper register)
“The Majesty of this God (Ra) enters within the Duat (one of the names of the NetherWorld) by Her (Nut’s) mouth. Afterwards He goes forth and travels in it (the sky). These Stars enter and go forth with Him. They travel about to Their places”.
-commentary from the Carlsberg Papyrus 1, col. III,31:
“It is by Her (Nut’s) mouth, that is to say, the Sky, that the God Ra enters within the Duat. Look at the picture, the Solar disk which is in Her mouth. From it, the Duat, He goes forth, in it, the sky, He travels again.
With Him (Ra) these Stars set and with Him they rise. When their time of setting is complete, the period in which they are not customarily seen occurs. With Him they customarily rise and with Him they customarily set.
While travelling to their places, the ones proper to them, these Stars set. Each place is the place in which they do work. It happens that some are accustomed to set in order to receive others from them in their places. The Sacred Book says: ‘Some come at night, others come at their hour when a star has gone into its places.”
(lower register)
(the “Book of Nut” from the Osireion adds:
“Houses of the Pillars is the place where Ra is.”
and the commentary from the Carlsberg Papyrus 1, col. III,39 adds:
“House of the Pillar is the place in which Ra enters. ‘House of the Pillar’, the place in which Ra sets, is its name”.)
“The Majesty of this God (Ra) enters in Her (Nut’s) first hour of evening.
He becomes glorious, He becomes beautiful in the arms of His father Osiris. He is purified therein.
The Majesty of this God rests/sets in life in the Duat (the “Book of Nut” from the Osireion adds: “in Her [Nut’s] second hour in early night. The Majesty of this God gives commands to the Westerners (the Dead) and He makes plans in the Duat”).
The Majesty of this God goes forth on Earth again, having come into existence in Upper Egypt. His strength is great again like the First Time of His antiquity (the birth of the cosmos). He comes into existence as the Great God of Behdet (Horus).
The Majesty of this God travels up to the boundaries of Her (Nut’s) arms (“the waters of Heaven”). He enters Her …. in the night (“in the hour of middle night”) and He travels in in darkness, and these Stars (are) with Him.”
 
 
 

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