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Author Topic: The Living God Ausir  (Read 3713 times)

Nehet

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The Living God Ausir
« on: October 25, 2011, 10:09:22 pm »
I have been thinking of posting the following post for quite some time. I finally realized that I need to say something in response to the many comments about how “Ausir is Dead.”

We hear it a lot.  We hear it all the time.  It's become so commonplace that many assume that it's "official" Kemetic teaching.  It is not.  There are many Kemetics who do not say (or believe) that he is "dead."  

The idea may have originated from the House of Netjer.  At the very least, they have strongly contributed to its popularity.  Look at this article by Siuda:

http://dailykemet.blogspot.com/2009/11/god-is-dead-thoughts-about-mysteries-of.html
 
Siuda says:  "God is dead. Not dying; not about to be resurrected. Wesir is a dead god, a god that goes to the otherworld/afterlife/netherworld/whatever you want to call the place where dead people are and doesn't come back. Ever. He is as gone from us as gone can be. His voice is no longer heard among the other gods as They gather; His face no longer lit with the rosy glow of life itself. Unlike Jesus Who is returned to his place after a time of testing...Wesir will not come back to us shining in bright white robes as an angel rolls back the stone. He will not come back to us at all; only through the memory of His life, and His sacrifice, will we continue to understand Him and know Him and love Him.."

Perhaps Siuda is trying to emphasize that Ausir has gone through a permanent transformation.  In this, she is right.  Ausir has a qualitatively different sort of life than he did  previously.  It is possible that she repeatedly uses to the word "dead" to discourage readers from denying the permanence of the transformation or the enormity of the sacrifice.  If those were here intentions, then I can respect what she attempted to do.  I still have serious disagreements with the overall message of this blog entry.

He is not "gone from us".  Obviously, we are able to have relationships with Him. (I am living proof of this).  He is still involved  with the world in some fashion, just as our ancestors can be involved with the world.  Our relationships with them do not end with death.  Why, then should we say that Ausir, who is foremost among our ancestors ("Westerners") is gone from us?  This sentiment does not reflect the beliefs of the ancients at all. When Siuda says that we can only know him through our "memories", she fails to honor the very real experiences of people who actually commune with their ancestors, and with Ausir.

The ancients were very aware of Ausir's involvement in this world.  I mean, how could they not be?  If you want to connect with Ausir, look down at the Earth.  Here's a hymn, taken from an ostracon cited by Allison Roberts in "My Heart, My Mother."

Earth lies upon your arm
And its corners upon you
As well as the four supports of the sky

When you quiver, the land trembles
The inundation comes forth
From the sweat of your hands

If canals are built...
if one builds homes and temples,
Moves monuments, plants fields,
Excavates tombs,
They are built upon you.

They endure upon your back,
and you do not say “I am burdened.”


Yup, you are currently sitting on Ausir's back (yes, now) and he doesn't mind.  What a wonderfully generous Deity.   Oh, and, apparently, he's causing earthquakes and bringing the Nile forth from its cavern.  This is not a God who is separate and uninvolved in our world.

There is a hymn that I recite in my own "general" ritual to Ausir, which I based off the Reidian template. It's from the Stela of Amemose, and it can be found in Miriam Lichtam's Ancient Egyptian Literature: The New Kingdom.

Plants sprout at your wish. Earth
grows its food for you. The sky and its stars obey you.


It appears that Ausir is pretty busy for a "dead" guy.  I mean, issuing commands to the Earth and stars!  However does he pull that off?  This must be difficult since he has apparently lost his influence (Siuda says that his voice is no longer heard by the company of the Gods)

Let's look the hymn from that stela again:

The nine Gods adore you.

Benevolent leader of the Nine Gods, gracious and lovely to behold,
awe inspiring to all lands.

You are the leader of all the Gods. Effective is your word and command. The great Ennead
praises you. The small Ennead loves you.

That sounds, to me, like the other Gods are actually listening.

I want to address one more thing that Suida said:  "His face no longer lit with the rosy glow of life itself."  She's describing him like he is some sort of pallid corpse.  It is almost as if he is "undead", like a zombie or vampire, rather than fully alive.  How radically different is this, from the texts which describe his face as kindly and beautiful to behold.  He is also called "rich and sustainable in
Sekhem." (see hymn from Lichtam, again).  His vital power is not gone.  

You will not hear me say that he is “dead”, on TC or anywhere. This is not only because I believe it is bad theology.  I believe it is bad Heka.  Didn't the ancients call their Akhu "the living ones?" (Hornung, “The One and the Many” page 233).  That was the type of right speech that supported their life and vitality.  Why should Ausir, who is the lord of the ancestors, be treated differently?

The ancients did not talk about it the way some Kemetics do.  I have never read one text that says He is permanently dead. In fact, the ancients made a conscious effort to avoid talking about his death. They don't go into detail about what happened to Him. Plutarch presented a graphic account of the incident, but he was not coming from a Kemetic standpoint. In Kemet, they preferred to use phrases like "he fell on his side." To say that he is “dead” is in direct conflict with ancient texts. Look at Jan Assmann' Death and Salvation in Ancient Egypt. "The texts (i.e., the pyramid texts) do not speak of Osiris' condition but rather of the actions aimed at remedying them. They speak of searching and finding, of gathering and putting together, of joining the head to the bones, of reinserting the heart, of replacing discharged fluids, of mourning Osiris, transfiguring him, and breathing life into him ." (p. 25).

There is also a text from the Mysteries of Ausir that we perform every year, in my temple: “ O Ba-Soul, perfect to all eternity, your members are in a state of well-being, your sufferings are relieved, every evil thing in you has been done away with. Your limbs are rejoined; you are protected. You have no defect. Your limbs are rejoined, and not a member of yours is lacking.” (The book of making the Ka of Ausir--from a papyrus at Paris, a portion of which has been edited by P. Pierret (Et. Egyptologiques, 1873). If Ausir's death is mentioned in ritual texts (or rather, alluded to), there is an immediate reference to fixing that problem.

I do a lot of ritual for Ausir, as I'm sure most of you know. I can only imagine how Ausir would feel if I were to say he is “dead", after doing ritual for him.  "Here you go, patron God.  I will raise your Djed pillar.  I will offer you my ankh. I will proclaim, each morning, that you are renewed, whole and alive...but I'm going to say that you are dead after the ritual is over." That seems like it would partially undo the work I  do for Him.  

In my studies of ancient hymns and spells, I have only seen one type of text where beings are pronounced permanently “dead”. This would be for curses...directing destructive forces against a target, usually an enemy, or a demonic being (go to Pinch's “Magic in Ancient Egypt” for examples of this, or look at Reidy's execration rite). I do not say “Ausir is dead”, because I believe this may direct destructive forces toward the God.
On the few occasions when I have said it, I have gotten a dreadful feeling that something is "wrong", and I have vowed not to say it again.   I can't do that to him.

Ausir is a life-giver.  He is filled with life, and he gives of that life completely.  He brings renewal.  Ra is renewed when he unites with Ausir each night in the Duat (see Reidy, page 60, bottom paragraph). The texts speak of “Ra, when he comes to rest in Ausir.” When we “rest”, we re-charging. The union between the two Gods recharges them both. People say Ausir is "dead", and yet his renewing power rejuvenates the Sun God himself.  When we wake each morning and feel refreshed, like Ra who bathes in the Lake of Rushes, we can thank Ausir...for embracing the Sun God in the Duat and bringing him life for the new day.

He brings life to our Akhu, to the crops, and to all of us. He has certainly brought life to me. The least I can do is return the favor.

And so, rather than saying that Ausir is “dead”, I will say this: “Live Ausir, for all time and for all Eternity.”

Ankh Neheh Djet.

~NHT
See, life is but a movement of eternal return.  Even Trees fall ~ Berlin papyrus 3024, (A man tired of life).

Live, Ausir, for all time and all eternity! Ankh Neheh Djet!

Etheric1

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Re: The Living God Ausir
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2011, 10:46:28 pm »
Quote from: Nehet;27530


*sniped for brevity*

He brings life to our Akhu, to the crops, and to all of us. He has certainly brought life to me. The least I can do is return the favor.


~NHT

 
Thanks for that post.  There is a lot to absorb there, all of it thought provoking.

One thing I wanted to add, we often think of death as a permanent thing.  I prefer to think of it more like a major change.  I've seen that mentioned in many different faiths.  
 If we believe that we still exist after our physical body dies, then really all that has happened is a major change.  

How many little "deaths" do we go through during our physical incarnation here on Earth?  Our careers can die and then be reborn into something new as we pursue another calling.  And sometimes in order to do so, we have to say goodbye to our old ways in order to move on to the next thing.  This has been especially true for me as I have been going through a pretty major change over the past few years.  

As someone who feels a very strong connection with Set, I have noticed that sometimes we have to dismember ourselves and our way of life, how we think about things, and how we act in order to grow. But without doing that grown can (although not always) be quite inhibited.  And with Ausir being associated with renewal the correlation here, for me at least, is really noteworthy and important to consider.
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Re: The Living God Ausir
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2011, 10:54:13 pm »
Quote from: Nehet;27530
He brings life to our Akhu, to the crops, and to all of us. He has certainly brought life to me. The least I can do is return the favor.

And so, rather than saying that Ausir is “dead”, I will say this: “Live Ausir, for all time and for all Eternity.”

Ankh Neheh Djet.

 
I will add to this the one thing He ever said to me:

"Everything grows in the dark until its time of emergence."

(Emergence = peret = the Egyptian spring.)
as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

Etheric1

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Re: The Living God Ausir
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2011, 11:48:27 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;27539

"Everything grows in the dark until its time of emergence."

 
I LOVE that!
No matter how dark the fur, the bunny is still fluffy. - Mel\'s Law of Dark Fluffs.
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Firaza

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Re: The Living God Ausir
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2011, 01:43:25 am »
Quote from: Nehet;27530


Thank you for this, Nehet. Since I know very little of Wesir, it definitely paints a clearer picture for me.

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Re: The Living God Ausir
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2011, 10:08:28 am »
Quote from: Nehet;27530
I finally realized that I need to say something in response to the many comments about how “Ausir is Dead.”

 
Excellent! Thanks for writing this!

I suspect that the Rev. Siuda was, as you said, trying to emphasize that Ausir is not proto-Jesus. It would be interesting to start a "How dead is he?" thread on KIN, with a link to her blog post, and to your thread here. She seems to be quite willing to answer questions on there as Tamara.

People in Kemetic Orthodoxy get messages from their Akhu during their RPD, so apparently even though they're dead they can still think and talk. I should think that Ausir is no more dead than they are.

It's a difficult thing to convey. I'd say that there was a permanent change in state or status, and if people had the idea that he just jumped up afterwards and said "Ha, I was just fooling!" and everything went back to how it was before, they'd be wrong. And I think the association with Aset went through a permanent change as well. That also makes me think more about the other netjeru who are pictured in mummiform wrappings and green faces, and what that's supposed to say.

Maybe 'dead' is a word that sends us down the wrong track. Like 'chaos.' It's a different state, and should have a different name. I wonder if they used phrases like "is not weary" and "is not tired" to convey a different meaning, rather than squeamishness about death?

Lots to consider in there!
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Re: The Living God Ausir
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2011, 10:55:32 am »
Quote from: Nehet;27530
Stuff.

 
I was asked to post this here, so I am doing so. I wanted to write this blog post before Nehet put her thread up. I wanted to get my thoughts down and concrete before I read this thread because I wanted to be able to compare notes, learn, etc. Have a base to work off of. Here is that blog post, for those interested: http://thetwistedrope.wordpress.com/2011/10/25/thoughts-on-the-other-side/

I have to agree with Nehet. I don't see him as dead. Quite honestly, I never did. I understand the idea behind the myth/story. I think I get what it is trying to say. But I can't really call him dead. He acts so very not dead. If anything, he is completely alive for me. The black earth that the Nile brings. The crops that sway and dance in the wind (imagery I have seen when I think of him, sorry if it appears random). It's all him. And it's all alive.

Reading Nehet's post has just solidified this thinking even more.

-Devo
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The Living God Ausir
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2011, 12:08:01 pm »
Quote from: Nehet;27530
...

Thank you for this!
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Re: The Living God Ausir
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2011, 01:14:16 pm »
Quote from: Nehet;27530
~NHT

 
I thank you for having taken the time to write this out. As someone who has little to no contact with Ausir, it showed me a lot about him (and you) that I didn't know before.

I do have commentary, though it doesn't specifically have to do with Ausir.

I think this is similar to the Death card in Tarot. In seeing the movies and hearing the comments, there is an all-pervasive fear of the Death card. This is due to propaganda but also because a lot of humans see death as a simple one-dimensional aspect: you stop breathing, get buried, and boo-ya, it's over. It is with these eyes that they see the Death card.

However, the Death card isn't that simple. It's more along the lines of ending a way of living, of creating the need to have a rebirth in a given area. But, if you try to explain this to people who don't understand Tarot or who have a passing knowledge of it because they watched a movie once, they don't instantly believe you.

I did a reading not all that long ago for the Hubby's little brother who had a near heart attack when I pulled the Death card in his spread. "I'm going to die? Are you serious?" And I had to quickly assuage his fears. Again, it comes down to misinterpreting and misreading and taking this one-dimensional viewpoint and trying to morph it to fit all things when that's just not the case (or possible).

Quote from: Helmsman of Yinepu
...Maybe 'dead' is a word that sends us down the wrong track...


I think this is exactly the issue. (I'm basing this off of my Christian upbringing.) We're raised to think of death in a negative aspect. When we die, things just stop. We no longer exist. Or, if we're supremely lucky and were very well behaved, we can go to Heaven. Then, we're told that there was a guy, once, who was able to beat death and come back, but we'll never be that lucky. We'll never be able to get back up and walk around anymore because that's no longer possible. And it's with these beliefs in the back of our mind that we look at Tarot and see the Death card and instantly, there is fear, there is hate, and there is misinterpretation.

The point: It's with this singular eyesight that we view all things associated with death, not just the Tarot card in question, but also, Ausir.
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Setnakht

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Re: The Living God Ausir
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2011, 01:41:32 pm »
Quote from: Nehet;27530


We hear it a lot.  We hear it all the time.  It's become so commonplace that many assume that it's "official" Kemetic teaching.  It is not.  There are many Kemetics who do not say (or believe) that he is "dead."  
~NHT

 Thank you, Nehet, for this thoughtful post. I agree completely. Ausir lives in a far more perfect way than in earthly form. But it is a real life, complete with the ability to act.
Here are some lines from a Litany to Osiris:

"Praise be to you,
   lord of the pomegranate nome, one who places Sokar on his sledge,
 drives off the rebel who does evil, and puts the Eye to rest where it belongs.
 
Praise be to you,
  strong in your power, great and mighty, foremost in Naref,
master of time and eternity; it is you who are lord of Heralkeopolis.
 
Praise be to you,
  in the midst of your sacred bark, you fetch Hapy from his cavern, ..."

These lines come from Hymns, Prayers, and Songs: An Anthology of Ancient Egyptian Lyric Poetry, by John L. Foster (Scholars Press, 1995) pages 100-101.

Notice the active verb forms: Ausir "places Sokar on his sledge,"
he "drives off the rebel," he "puts the Eye to rest; he is strong in power,
he "fetches Hapy from his cavern.""  These are not the acts of a dead god, gone forever. The ancient Egpytians, based on their writings,
did not regard Ausir as a dead god. To do so is a real distortion of the ancient Egyptian vision. I also have experienced Ausir as a living god capable of granting great blessings when He is approached with reverence and love. Thank you so much, Nehet, for saying this so well!

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Re: The Living God Ausir
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2011, 05:06:24 pm »
Quote from: SatSekhem;27640
The point: It's with this singular eyesight that we view all things associated with death, not just the Tarot card in question, but also, Ausir.

 
That's a pretty good observation that's inspiring me to write a blog post (about how people view another "death bringer," tangentially, not Wesir).

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Re: The Living God Ausir
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2011, 06:55:23 pm »
Quote from: Firaza;27682
That's a pretty good observation that's inspiring me to write a blog post (about how people view another "death bringer," tangentially, not Wesir).

 
Yippee! I inspired stuff! Honestly, I just thought I was rambling. :ange:
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Re: The Living God Ausir
« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2011, 12:21:24 am »
Quote from: Devo;27616
He acts so very not dead. If anything, he is completely alive for me. The black earth that the Nile brings. The crops that sway and dance in the wind (imagery I have seen when I think of him, sorry if it appears random). It's all him. And it's all alive.


Thank you, Devo.  I'm glad that I'm not the only one who sees him as alive!
See, life is but a movement of eternal return.  Even Trees fall ~ Berlin papyrus 3024, (A man tired of life).

Live, Ausir, for all time and all eternity! Ankh Neheh Djet!

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Re: The Living God Ausir
« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2011, 01:19:09 am »
Quote from: Setnakht;27647

"Praise be to you, lord of the pomegranate nome, one who places Sokar on his sledge,

 
By the way, I would like to comment that he loves pomegranates. ;)
See, life is but a movement of eternal return.  Even Trees fall ~ Berlin papyrus 3024, (A man tired of life).

Live, Ausir, for all time and all eternity! Ankh Neheh Djet!

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Re: The Living God Ausir
« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2011, 09:28:59 pm »
Quote from: Nehet;27530
Here's a hymn, taken from an ostracon cited by Allison Roberts in "My Heart, My Mother."

Earth lies upon your arm
And its corners upon you
As well as the four supports of the sky

When you quiver, the land trembles
The inundation comes forth
From the sweat of your hands

If canals are built...
if one builds homes and temples,
Moves monuments, plants fields,
Excavates tombs,
They are built upon you.

They endure upon your back,
and you do not say “I am burdened.”

 
FYI:  I was looking up the original hymn and the wording quoted above is different.  I forgot that I adapted the text for my own ritual.  Here is the original, for those of you who want it:

Earth lies upon your arm
And its corners upon you
As well as the four supports of the sky

When you quiver, the land trembles
The Nile comes forth
From the sweat of your hands


"Nile" was changed to "innundation".  I wanted to use a term that was more universal.  We don't experience the Nile flooding.  Most of us have seen the results of abundant rainfall where we live.  

If canals are built…
if one builds estates and temples,
Moves monuments, makes fields,
Excavates tombs and graves,
They lie on you,



The main thing I changed was "estates" to "homes".  Estates, to me, alludes to affluence that most of us don't experience.  "Homes" is much more immediate to the experience of the common person.

Quote from: Nehet;27530

You are the one who does this.
They are on your back,
More than can be written about.
There is not empty space on your back.
They endure upon your back,
and you say not “I am burdened.”


I re-worded this because some of this sounded cumbersome and repetitious at the time.  I'm thinking of tweaking it back to be more similar to the original.  "You are the one who does this" implies that this arrangement is an active choice on Ausir's part.  He's perfectly willing to have cities built on his back.  "More than can be written about" alludes to the sheer magnitude of this.   I mean, there's over 6 billion of us now...

I just wanted to be transparent about what I tweaked and why.  ;)
See, life is but a movement of eternal return.  Even Trees fall ~ Berlin papyrus 3024, (A man tired of life).

Live, Ausir, for all time and all eternity! Ankh Neheh Djet!

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Bob, Catja, Emma-Eldritch, Fausta, Jubes, Kelly, LyricFox, Phouka, Sperran, Star, Steve, Tana

Site Administrator:
Randall