February 10th I held my "Egypt Day" intensive study for some MAAT Tarot students in the Chicago area. The group got to see a movie I created from a blending of collected Egypt pictures and images of paintings. Then we delved into the idea that the Egyptian Funerary texts were not just for the dead pharaoh but were also useful to the living. The funerary texts may well have been used by the living pharaoh as well as the priesthoods to journey to the "far world" This premise is the feature of a fairly new book by Jeremy Nadler called Shamanic Wisdom in the Pyramid Texts. This is the book Michael Baigent quoted in the Jesus Papers. Here is what was in my handout for my class. I was up till midnight the night before I left for the weekend it all came out at the very last minute.
Understanding the Egyptian concept of Time.
The Egyptian view of time and eternity was not like the view we have today. They did not view time as people in the 21st century do, the future stretching infinitely in front of us and the past infinitely behind us. They did not have a heaven above and hell below them.
Time was seen as a blending commingled phenomenon. There was neheh cyclical physical time the seasons, the cycle of stars in the sky, which was infinite and there was djet a world where time was suspended a place where there was no time this was an eternal place. The worlds of djet and neheh were commingled though one did not see djet it was always there. I think the best way to think of djet and neheh is to think of neheh as the physical atoms and djet as the space in between the atoms. Djet and neheh were all part of the perfection and state of eternal harmony of the universe known as maat.
Part of the perfect harmony of the universe was the rising and setting of the sun. The place on the horizon where the sun rose in the morning as well as the place where the sun set at night were considered sacred like a doorway to the 'far world' this doorway was called akhet meaning 'horizon'. This doorway led to the place called the Duat the' far world'. Everyone in Egypt was responsible for working toward maintaining maat. However it was the responsibility of the pharaoh to maintain maat. Temples built in Egypt aided the pharaoh in maintaining maat and served as a gateway to the 'far world' as temples served as a link between the earth and the sky.
The Duat or the 'far world' was the place where one went at death it coexisted with the physical world, it was not seen as separate but a world that existed simultaneously with the physical world. In effect the Egyptians had a rather shamanic world view and funerary texts once thought to aid only the dead may have in fact been meant for the living as well. And may have been used in rites by priests and priestesses to journey to the far world.
Then we used a spread I created based on the 12 hours.Doing the spread before we knew what the questions were was fun and surprising.
Journey Through the Dwat- Tarot Spread
12 hours of the Journey of the Sun (pharaoh)
We found the best way to do this is to shuffle and pick 12 cards place the cards in an arch starting from the right side and going left dipping down and around like the bottom half of a circle.
Now here are the spread correspondences to complete your reading:
The actual funerary texts are found in the tomb of Thutmoses III in the valley of the Kings. There is a movie of these funerary texts filmed by Chance Gardener in Magical Egypt a symbolist tour episode 5 navigating the afterlife what to do in the Duat. available on line.
The First Hour Shows a barge with a scarab floating on the water and it is about the preoccupation with separation symbolized by three snakes, the snake as a larval form of life separates the waters. The symbol of the boat on the water represents the consciousness being led through the mysterious interaction with the flow of time. Time is the river. What I need to separate from.
The Second Hour Shows the barge with Amon in his shrine on the bow two cobras Isis and Nepthyus the personification of Magic. She who guides the boat -Magic guides the boat. What magic guides my boat?
The Third Hour Shows Anubis and Osiris. She who cuts up souls the prototype for
The Christian hell-the annihilation of the shadow. Those who obstructed others are
forgotten. In other words the identity of people who stand in the way of other peoples' enlightenment are sentenced to oblivion and lose their identity. What is my shadow?
The Fourth Hour The coffin descends into the earth. How deep can I go?
The Fifth Hour Physical to divine. The Power of the Earth to rebirth. Life bursting through the egg of Saqar. Creates a bridge to heaven. What am I creating?
The Sixth Hour The solar barge rests on the water faced with Set. Apep must be cut into pieces. The enemy is cutup and overcome. Opposition is just as immortal as divinity itself. Who is my immortal opposition?
The Seventh Hour Symbols of transformation. Symbols of weaving and metamorphosis the four states of matter in the form of un-sheared rams. Going from lower to higher consciousness. What is my transformation?
The Eighth Hour Deities seated weft and warp more weaving What must I contemplate?
The Ninth Hour The boat contains the scarab rolling the egg with its own future symbol of the Great Work. Symbols of the rising sun may be the kundolini. What is my Great Work?
The Tenth Hour Harmonious solar and lunar, right and left-brains rising sun is at the third eye. Harmony and balance. What will bring me into harmony?
The Eleventh Hour Process is almost complete solar and lunar fused together. The enveloper riding across time on the serpent. Intellect made divine duality reconciled Mastery over time.
What do I need to know from the timeless place?
The Twelfth Hour Process is complete barge is rolled through the large snake compared to the kundulini energy released. Ba and Ka unite the new sun rises. Who am I?
After doing this spread it dawned on me that the initiates may have been weaving their own white robes of ascension.
©2008 Julie Cuccia-Watts