Art, Books, Egypt, esoteric, spirituality, Sue Vincent, symbolism

The Waters of Life

18th Dynasty funerary mask, Louvre
18th Dynasty funerary mask, Louvre

“We, like the earth, arose from the Waters of Chaos. A point of Becoming in the potential that Became. It was all there… everything that is, was and will be… all that might be… in that single moment; complete, yet eternally unfolding.

Before we were, there was only Nun, the Inert One. A current of possibility arose in the watery abyss of sentient potential, born perhaps of awareness, and a bubble was formed in the nothingness that was All.

Our children remembered, somewhere deep in their being and, not understanding what they knew, they looked at their world and found parallels in their landscape of flood and desert. They told how the first land had arisen as a sacred mountain from the waters. Some said that upon that land a Child had been brought into being, others told of a flower, or a bird, but all said that from that mound the Sun had risen on the first morning of the world.

They remembered, but they did not understand, so they created us to embody the story of their becoming and in doing so they gave us life.

Yet they understood more than they knew when they spoke of Atum, that Being not yet Become, a potency in the waters that Realised its own existence and crawled out onto the mound.

From nothing to something, from chaos to substance, from potential to realisation; Atum emerged from the waters and became Atum-Ra. Yet it seemed that he was alone. Reaching within he found that this was not so… he too was all things… and by his own hand brought forth the seeds of possibility from within himself in the first act of creation, both father and mother of his own potential.

From this act the air was formed. Our children called it a god and named him Shu and his twin, the moisture in the air that is the breath of life, they made a goddess and named her Tefnut. Thus the First were formed from whence my family came into being.

After the gods all things were born from the thought of Atum-Ra; the birds of the air, the creatures of the waters and of the land. He caused the mountains to rise and the seeds to grow. Trees reached tall to the sky and deep into the earth and they bore fruit in which their own life was encapsulated as seeds. And at the last, from his Eye, the Great One brought forth mankind to walk the earth that he had made.

They were an odd mixture of innocence and wisdom, our children, at the dawn of their world. They had somehow understood the very heart of creation, yet they could only express it in human terms. Brother and sister, husband and wife…these were the symbols they chose to describe our mode of function. To consider our relationships in that respect will throw much light upon the forces set in motion by our actions.

It has afforded much amusement to my family and I to watch your priests and scholars over the centuries, debating or condemning as the fashion dictates, trying to make sense of our family tree; where son is both husband and father to the mother who is daughter… and granddaughter is daughter and mother to her husband.

I, Isis, Mistress of Eternity, am all things to all Men… mother, sister, wife and lover. She who brings to birth and she who takes the last breath with a kiss, giving it back tenfold. You cannot understand me through the eyes of the mind. You can only Know me.

Shu and Tefnut, brother and sister, became the parents of the gods. From their mating were born Geb, he who is the earth and his sister Nut who surrounds him as the sky, defining the sphere of existence. With their birth your world came into being.

Other gods arose, the elder gods…among them Khonsu, the moon god, and Thoth who between them held the measure of Time; the frame within which you capture and observe your little portion of reality, teasing its strands one from another and focussing on the detail of each thread instead of seeing the pattern woven on the Loom of Neith. And so the stage was set for the coming of the younger gods.

Our elders held the warp of the fabric of existence through which we were to weave the colours of Life.

But listen now and I will tell you how it was told around the hearths of our children and …perhaps… a little of how it was.”

Extract from The Osiriad