Monday, January 13, 2014

An Egyptologist Looks at Enish-go-on-dosh in the Book of Abraham, Facsimile 2, Figure 5

I  An Egyptian Name?

The Prophet Joseph Smith says Figure 5 (the Hathor cow) on Facsimile 2 of the Book of Abraham: "Is called in Egyptian Enish-go-on-dosh; this is one of the governing planets also, and is said by the Egyptians to be the Sun." He speaks further of a certain "governing power" or "grand key" by means of which the sun, in successive cascade, receives its own light and power. The transfer of stellar and solar light appears often in Egyptian art and scripture (see Note 1).

(For Book of Abraham Facsimile 2, an Egyptian hypocephalus, see:

Is the name Enish-go-on-dosh Egyptian? Nothing about either its form or its elements precludes such an origin, and it can certainly be so read. A larger question becomes whether any reading of the name as Egyptian also matches what we see on Facsimile 2 or in its inspired Explanation. Can the name or like names be found in the hieroglyphic record? Or does Enish-go-on-dosh, in any way, recall Egyptian names for heavenly bodies? for example, Hor-dosh-dawy (or Har-tosh-tawy), a name for Jupiter? Mars as Hor-dosh? Mercury as Sebgu, Sebko, or Sebgo? or spectacular Saturn, Hor-ko-pi-ranef-siu-yaminty-jopi? And what of the red star bearing the name 
Dosh-iati-imi-hawt-ins? According to Heinrich Brugsch, Har-dosh, Hor-doshr, or Har-tosh can also sometimes name "a feminine form of Horus," or also represent the sun (Heinrich Brugsch, Thesaurus Inscriptionum aegyptiacarum I, 70). 

All these transcriptions and variants thereof are but approximations of the phonemic realities, as is also, it goes without saying, Enish-go-on-dosh (which may as well be transcribed Ins-ko-on-tosh). (See Heinrich Brugsch, Thesaurus Inscriptionum aegyptiacarum I, 67ff., for these and like transcriptions. Sebgu, Sebko, and Sebgo are some of his transcriptions).

The Latter-day Saints need not prove anything to a non-reflective and unbelieving world. We just need to be grateful. "Fools mock, but they shall mourn" (Ether 12:26). A seer gives insight into things "which otherwise could not be known" (Mosiah 8:17). Everybody already "knows" Re, Horus, Isis. Relatively few know of Rait, the Female Re, or Female Sun. The names the Prophet supplies in the Explanation likely describe the various figures in light of their constellative placement on the hypocephalus (our facsimile 2). The word to keep in mind is nuance--and note the Prophet's careful qualifiers: "In this case, in relation to this subject," the Sun is not "called in Egyptian" Re or Rait, rather Enish-go-on-dosh (see Explanation for Facsimile 1, Figure 12). As Sir J. Norman Lockyer pointed out long ago, the Egyptians had special Horus names for "the planets and constellations when rising" (The Dawn of Astronomy, 149, italics added; f
or the names of the planets, Heinrich Brugsch, Thesaurus Inscriptionum Aegyptiacarum I, 67ff., published 1883).

Professor Kent Weeks further reminds the egyptologist, for whom such seeming ordinary things "can be terribly misleading," that labels, colors, names often speak to states, stages, phases, and actions--they are not fixed stars ("Art, Word, and the Egyptian World View," in Egyptology and the Social Sciences, 63ff; see also Bernard Mathieu, "Horus: polysemie et metamorphoses d'un dieu," ENIM 6 (2013), 1-26). Long-established dictionary or generic animal names may thus turn out to apply to an animal in a particular ritual setting only or at a precise stage in its growth. By analogy, divine names and epithets may describe specific roles, ritual or geographical settings, or powers. Even an ordinary color word like dshr (pronounce: dosh or tosh) ultimately shows up the much-thumbed lexicon as being circular in definition and thus "nothing very imaginative." Dshr is not just dictionary red--it's also yellow, orange, pink.

Consider the following alternative name--a dosh name, no less--for one of the four Sons of Horus, which, "in this case," as one of the Seven Akhu, is said to be a star, a red star: Dosh-iati-imi-hawt-ins (the One whose two eyes are red [dSr.(ty) j3t.ty], who dwells in the House of Scarlet [Hw.t jnsw.t], i.e., in the Horizon, sometimes also called the House of Dosh [Hw.t dSr.wt]). Dosh-iati-imi-hawt-ins? Find that in the handbooks. Track down your local egyptologist. And let's certainly be grateful the Prophet spared the Latter-day Saints a like embarrassing monstrosity! Dosh?! Posh! Every bit as nonsensical appears Enish-go-on-dosh, which formally recalls the very same name, though in reverse order (as if, jns-go-on-dosh = dosh-go-on-jns).

O, do go-on! And let's start by reviewing the iconography of Facsimile 2.

II The Sons of Geb, and Horus the Eldest in the Likeness of Kolob

In the Lower Panel of the hypocephalus we find the bird-serpent Nehebkau offering the Wedjat Eye, symbolic of Wholeness and Fullness, to the enthroned Horus Min. Next we see that same Eye personified as the lady Wedjat, who, in her turn, conveys the power she embodies to the Hathor Cow (or Rait, the feminine sun and Eye of Re). Directly facing Hathor, next appear, in row, the four mummified Sons of Horus or of Geb, as the case may be, followed by the solar cryptogram of Lotus-Lion-Ram, a riddle of solar renewal. The stage-by-stage transfer of vital, renewing energy is what the Wedjat Eye is all about. The sun is about to rise. (For a full discussion of the panel see Hugh Nibley and Michael Rhodes, One Eternal Round, and Hugh Nibley, "The Three Facsimiles of the Book of Abraham," Provo: 1980.) 

Professor Weeks's insistence on specificity ought to be taken to heart; for, "in this case, in relation to this subject," the four genies or b3.w (manifestations) may well represent the Sons of Geb. By Sons (ms.w) the Egyptians meant the instantaneous and fourfold spatial emanation of Geb, the god of the earth. "Represents this earth in its four quarters," is how the Prophet Joseph explains the matter (see Bernard Mathieu, "Les enfants d'Horus, theologie et astronomie," ENIM 1 (2008), 7-14). The Sons of Geb also take their place in the busy transfer of the Eye, distributing its power to the four quarters of the earth, as "they traverse [xnzj] both the South and the Land North" (Pyramid Texts 1510a-c, cited in Mathieu, 13). Already in the Pyramid Texts, the four genies find their essential identity in the four winds blowing from the quarters of the earth (Hugh Nibley, An Approach to the Book of Abraham, 296-334, treats the Sons of Horus as the four quarters, four elements, four winds, four stars, etc.; for the winds, 302-04).

If the Sons of Horus in their manifestation as Geb surprises, what shall we say when we learn that Horus, "in this case," is not Horus at all--at least not Horus of the handbooks? It is Horus Smsw (Horus the Eldest), the archaic sky god, that we meet in the Four Sons, not Horus, son of Osiris. Smsw? Just behind the four genies in that lower panel runs, top to bottom, the cryptogram of Lotus-Lion-Ram (zrp.t-m3wj-zr), which can be also read acrophonically as zmz or sms.w, with reference to the Sun as the Eldest. Perhaps the genies on the hypocephalus represent the Sons of Horus Smsw, after all. 

On the hypocephalus, it is the grand governing star, ram-headed Kolob, that takes center stage, as figure 1 in the Explanation. Notes left behind by the Prophet and a few associates, the Kirtland Egyptian Papers, designate Kolob "the Eldest of the stars"; in Coffin Texts VII 491h (Spell 1143), Horus the Eldest takes his transcendent place in the middle (Hr-jb = lit. "over the heart") of both the northern and also the southern stars. The wording in the Coffin Texts is "in the middle of the stars of the upper region and of the opposing lower region," a cosmic view matching the schema of the opposing halves of the hypocephalus. (For the solar cryptograms, Marie-Louise Ryhiner "A propos de trigrammes pantheistes," Revue d'Egyptologie 29 (1977); for Horus Smsw, Bernard Mathieu, "Les enfants d'Horus.") As Hugh Nibley and Michael Rhodes point out, the Semitic (and Egyptian) root k-l-b/q-r-b signifies heartmiddleto be near. Horus the Eldest appears "at the heart" of all the stars in the Egyptian cosmos, separating them into two spheres, one above, one below--though you'll never find that in any handbook or museum guide. It's buried in the depths of the Coffin Texts. (R. O. Faulkner, The Ancient Egyptian Coffin Texts III, Spell 1143, translates: "Horus the Elder is in the middle of the upper stars and opposite the lower ones.")

What the cryptogram Lotus-Lion-Ram encapsulates is renewal--in its several stages--by means of the Wadjet Eye. What does the hypocephalus show? The Eldest, in renewal, appears on the horizon--encompassed by stars--as the fourfold-power-in-emanation and, thus, Transcendent Cosmic Amun-Re--what the Kirtland Egyptian Papers also call "the wonder of Abraham." (For the Cosmic Amun-Re on the hypocephalus, see David Klotz, Adoration of the Ram: Five Hymns to Amun-Re from Hibis Temple [New Haven, 2006].)

III A Study in Scarlet

Horus Smsw and the Sons of Geb are not the one-stop stuff on which egyptological handbooks are made. Handbooks, zealously reinforcing a smattering of half-truths, divert the uncertain visitor, while leading the student to err. So what about the name Enish-go-on-dosh? Shall we reject it out of hand because the handbook harps on Re rather than on Rait, Horus the Eldest, or Zarpot-Mawj-Zer, to name a few; on the Sons of Horus rather than Geb's Sons, Shu's Sons, or Atum's Sons? Let's toss the handbook in favor of our minds.

The first part of the name, Enish-go-, recalls an attribute of the Wedjat Eye as the Living Eye ('nx.t): Life itself (ankh). 'nx.t, a designation of Hathor as Wedjat Eye, thus curiously matches Hebrew Hawah (Eve) as the mother of all living. 'nx.t shows the feminine ending -.t, often dropped in pronunciation; the /x/-phoneme resembles Scottish loch, or, later, /sh/. Anesh- or Enish-go ('nx.t-q3j.t) may accordingly designate the "exalted Living Wedjat Eye." On-dosh suggests both 'n(n) dsh (the One who turns back at the [solsticial or solar] borders) and 'n.t-dsh (the Beautiful one [the beautiful Eye] at the borders). It is no infrequent thing for a goddess to bear an epithet beginning with 'n.t or 'jn.t (one Coptic spelling of which, auon, noted by John Darnell, sufficiently matches our -on). Hathor, the Feminine Sun at Dendera, takes the epithet 'n.t x'w, the One who is beautiful [on-] in her manifestations [-go = x'w?], that is, in her manifestations as the solar Eye. Other readings, both semantically and semiotically linked, spring to mind. Consider ond-dosh(t): 'n or 'jn.ty dSr.ty (the One whose Wedjat Eye is red [with anger]). 'n.t dSr(.ty) matches the attested dSr or dSr.ty jr.ty dosht-iat). I favor reading Enish-go-on-dosh as the Exalted (-go = q3j.t) Red Solar Eye (jnsj.t), even the Beautiful Eye in its Red Resplendence ('n.t dshr.wt).

None of these can in fact be excluded, for it is in the nature of Egyptian to allow for more than one reading, especially where paronomasia and riddling come into play. Though capturing Egyptian in the absence of hieroglyphs perforce becomes a delicate matter, an interpretation centering on the Wedjat Eye and its beauty (especially as manifest in the female sun), and on the working of solar reversal and renewal, here partakes of such peculiar and specific clarity that it approaches rigorous demonstration. 

There's still a bit of room for fun: plays on words, semantic depth, and semiotics all encourage us to keep a vigorous and open mind and simply to enjoy the beauty of language, as we come to discern Egypt's true place in intellectual history. Can we allow Abraham a place in that world, as well?

It is typical of the Egyptians to array their deities in symbolic names. Book of the Dead Chapter 148 lists by name the seven solar Hathor cows. Seven becomes the number of fullness, for the seven names in fact make up a single elaborated Name. One version of the list gives the following combination of strange but beautiful names--or one Name:

She great of love, red of hair;/
oh foremost one residing in the mansion of the red one, beautiful rudder of the southern sky,/
she who is united with life, she of the red cloth.

(John C. Darnell, The Enigmatic Books of the Solar-Osirian Unity: Cryptographic Compositions in the Tombs of Tutankamun, Ramesses VI, and Ramesses IX, dissertation, 105; cf. also the translation of the chapter in Raymond O. Faulkner, The Book of the Dead, p. 142, and especially the various names found in BM 10471. The plate appears on p. 147).

"Red of hair" translates Egyptian dSr.t Snj.t (lit. red of circuit, i.e., the circlets of hair--which also suggests the solar circuit). "Mansion of the red one" (the red horizon) derives from Hw.t dSr.t; which may also be read "she of redness" or "of the red solar eye." DSr.t (the /r/ comes to be dropped in pronunciation) matches -dosh, while Jns.t suggests Enish. The unique name-chain 
packs in a world complete: Solar Eye, Horizon, Redness, Scarlet, the Solar Circuit, the Beautiful Rudder (gubernator = "one of the governing planets also") of the Southern Sky. Given such an elaborated naming of redness for the Hathorian sun, can anyone lightly dismiss Hathor as Enish-go-on-dosh, "said by the Egyptians to be the sun?"

Hathor manifests solar power as the Eye. Dimitri Meeks and Christine Favard-Meeks note how Hathor's unblushing depiction "as a female countenance seen face-on" evokes "the face-to-face encounter between the sun and the element in which he [she?] appears at the moment of the creation [cf. the four Sons as elemental and spatial emanation]. Thus Hathor can represent the solar eye" (The Daily Life of the Egyptian Gods, 236). No wonder Hathor's symbol is the mirror; she reflects creative light and power, and so distributes it throughout all creation. The Wedjat-lady of figure 5, whose head is the Wedjat Eye itself, recalls that mirror. The Latin (and Greek) verb re-flect conveys the exact notion found in the Egyptian 'nn (-on?), that is, curving, shaping, turning, bending, refraction. Hathor, in a seasonal about-face at Winter Solstice, turns back ('nn) the visage of the hidden sun to a forlorn world. Each reflection also marks an upward turn on the cosmic ladder, from light to light, in a dazzling ascent.

And yet her face is masked (see Nibley, Abraham in Egypt, 433). The face of the sun merely masks the divinity behind the glory. For the Egyptians names are masks. Joseph Smith never comes closer to the spirit of the ancients than with his elaborated and breath-taking cosmological names: "I know you and I know your name; I know the names of the seven cows and their bull" (Book of the Dead, Chapter 148, tr. Raymond O. Faulkner). The Red Name of the Bee, a great and ineffable mystery, is, says Hugh Nibley, the most sacred name of all ("The Deseret Connection," Abraham in Egypt; for the bee symbolism, see also my post, "Joseph Smith Translation Exodus 34:1-2: The Holy Order and the Migration Bees"). Marguerite Rigoglioso finds the closest links between Hathor, the cows, bees, "governing stars" (i.e., the Pleiades), and doves. Oceanus, the celestial sea, encompasses them all--exactly as on the hypocephalus (The Cult of Divine Birth in Ancient Greece; cf. Facsimile 2, fig. 5).  : . Enish-go-on-dosh is such a hidden name, a mask within a mask. As Heraclitus says: Nature loves to hide. 

IV  Brother Joseph Hits the Mark

We return to Book of the Dead Chapter 148, which plays to a fare-thee-well on a multiplicity of names for the Hathor cow:

She great of love, red of hair;/
oh foremost one residing in the mansion of the red one, beautiful rudder of the southern sky,/
she who is united with life, she of the red cloth.

The phrase Hnm.t-'nx jnsj.t (she who is united with life, even she, the red one) plays on the words 'nx = 'nsh (life) and jnsj.t (the lady of redness, or scarlet). (Hathor often flows from the brush in a wine red dress.) To unite with life is here to unite with the sun on the red horizon, or "mansion of the red one" (the hw.t dshrw: tosh): red (jns) thus answers to life ('nx). T
he color word jnsj comes from a bright red linen called jnsj. Yet because the Woerterbuch (I, 100.14) also lists jnsj.t as a name of the Eye of Horus, we can link jnsj.t and 'nx.t, the last also being a name for the Female Solar Eye (cf. Woerterbuch I, 100 passim). Unsurprisingly, dshr.t also names or describes the red Eye of Horus (Woerterbuch V, 489; see also Bernard Mathieu, "Les couleurs dans le Textes des Pyramides"). 

The elaborated double red name, which brings together both dSr and jns, can name either the sun or a governing star--take your pick. After all, a bright red star perfectly images the sun. An unusual, playfully elaborated name for one of the Sons of Horus ("in this case," being one of the Seven Akhu stars) runs round as follows:, Dosh-iati-im-hawt-ins, He of the two red eyes, who resides in the mansion of the red one (or in the Red Mansion) (Matthias Rochholz, Schoepfung, Feindvernichtung, Regeneration, 111; pLondon BM EA 10477, l.57 = Book of the Dead Papyrus of Nu, 18 Dynasty). As mentioned above, the name much recalls Abraham's Enish-go-on-dosh. According to Bernard Mathieu, the Seven Akhu are stars of the greatest symbolic import. A like solar name is given variously in the Coffin Texts and elsewhere: The Red One (or: The One who belongs to Redness) who is in (or facing) his Red Linen Mansion, dSr.ty-jmj-Hw.t=f-jnsj; dSr.ty-xntj-Hw.t-jnsj; dSr-jr.ty-jmj-Hw.t-jnsj (Thesaurus Linguae Aegypticae, lemmata: Coffin Texts IV 270-1a; pLondon BM 10477, l.57). Hor-dosh-iati (dSr jr.ty) appears already in the Pyramid Texts, where it, perhaps, names the planet Mars; Horus of the Lapis-Lazuli Eyes may name Venus (Bernard Mathieu, "Horus"). All this forcibly recalls the vivid red that yet appears on a hypocephalus housed in Turin's Egyptian museum: red circles encompassing red circles, red Kolob, and red disks of the sun (best shown in a photograph by Art Pollard, on Flikr). The three Zagreb hypocephali show the same red circles. Red Kolob? The Prophet Joseph hits the mark by giving us a Hathor name burning with so much resplendent scarlet.

Because jnsj.t recalls our Enish, I favor the following reading for Enish-go-on-dosh:

The Exalted Red Solar Eye,
even the Beautiful One (or Beautiful Eye)
in its Redness (or in its quality as the Red Eye

jns.t q3.t, 'n.t dSr ~ Anis-qo-on-dosh

Such a name or double name would answer well to the round of mornings and evenings that make up the journey of the sun about the bordering quarters of the heavens and the earth: 

The Exalted Scarlet Eye, 

The Beautiful Eye in its Deep Redness

The phrase -on-dosh, which can be read as 'n dSr (lovely in redness), may just as readily represent 'n.t dSr:

The Exalted Scarlet Eye
The Wedjat Eye in Its Redness (of Anger)

The name--brim though it is with mirrorings and metonymy--doesn't jibe with our ideal of beauty, until we recognize that the solar red is anything but a red barn: it is a resplendent tide that flames like a ruby. Here is a precious "living stone," as well as "living Eye," a translucent diadem among stars (see 1 Peter 2:4-5). (The chapter to read on the connection between hypocephalus and rubies and sapphires is Hugh Nibley and Michael Rhodes, "The Jewel of Discernment," One Eternal Round, Chapter 10, 423-462.) The Egyptians encased Creation's poema into compact cryptonyms: enish and on-dosh--the beginning and the end--each radiate both life and redness, both beauty and the (red) borders (or border stones). The epithet "red (or yellow) of hair" (lit. "'that curled round' red" = dshr.t shnj) clearly plays on the idea of the "red circuit" or "red eternal round" of the sun (the word for the solar circuit is shn.t). Redness, Beauty, Life, the Eye of Horus: all is one--and one eternal round. The exalted female sun, the Eye, as she navigates (D3j ~ the rudder = -go?) from the southern borders to the north, is both vibrantly and gloriously beautiful--both sun by day and flaming Arcturus by night.

The piercing jewel set in Hathor's crown shows the rubied sun itself, ensconced, as it is, between the rounded borders (or bows) of her two horns (cf. Joseph Smith--History 1:35: the description of the Urim and Thummim). The correlation of Eye and Stone (and Crown), by the way, comes to perfection in the hypocephalus design. If the "hypocephalus itself," as Nibley says, is "a giant eye" (318), then it is also a fiery solar stone or jewel. The object, like a round sea of glass and fire, can therefore serve its purpose "to spark a flame under the head of a radiant spirit" (Book of the Dead Chapter 162; Doctrine and Covenants 88:11 = the two eyes, both the visible as also intellectual light). "And I, Abraham had the Urim and Thummim, which the Lord my God had given unto me, in Ur of the Chaldees."

And I, Abraham, had the hypocephalus: it is not given to us this Urim and Thummim, but we do have Abraham's hypocephalus and Abraham's matchless stars! And I saw the stars, that they were very great" (Abraham 3:1-2). . .

These Are The Governing Ones (Abraham 3:3)

As the Egyptian planet Jupiter, Har-tosh-tawy ("Horus who sets the bounds of the Two Lands"), makes his royal progress, or "annual revolutions," he circumscribes the expanse of space and so secures the cosmos as his demesne. Here is Horus the Cosmocrator. Another name for Jupiter, Determiner (wpj, to judge, determine, divide), bespeaks the same thing: Horus, the Determiner, Separator of the Two Lands, that is, Horus, the Determiner of the Bounds of the Two Lands (Hr wpj t3.wj = *Hr wpj t3sh.w t3.wj). Which Horus does the name address? Horus, son of Osiris, as earthly king, does indeed determine the bounds of the two lands, which he then binds up into one state. Yet the soaring falcon, Horus the Eldest, surveys the bounds of the habitations of man from the very beginning. . . A third name meets the first, with the letters t3, and sh now playfully, mysteriously, transposed: Hr wpj sht3 (Horus, Opener of the Mystery). Wpj sht3 derives, by means of word play, from the hieroglyphs depicting expanses of water and tracts of land. The mystery may thus be explained as the mystery of knowing the universe in its entirety. The opener, or separator (wpj) of water and land--all creation--perforce becomes the discerner (wpj) of mysteries. (For the names of the planet Jupiter, see Heinrich Brugsch, Thesaurus Inscriptionum Aegyptiacarum I, 67ff., published 1883.)

And is it too much to suggest a correspondence between the planetary Horus, who makes the rounds and sets the bounds, and the four sons of Geb or Shu or Horus that the Hathor cow faces in Facsimile 2, Figure 6? The four standing sons, as if four standing stones, represent both "this earth in its four quarters," and in a celestial mirroring, the four stars of the ever-turning Dipper. To these, Professor Mathieu also adds the four stars that delineate Orion (Pyramid Texts, 573, Hugh Nibley, The Message of the Joseph Smith Papyri, 113; An Approach to the Book of Abraham, 301; Bernard Mathieu, "Les enfants d'Horus"; Book of the Dead 148: the four Sons, four oars, and the seven Hathor cows = 15). And note how the duality of a sky having four corners in each hemisphere finds its reflection on earth with four corners in the north and four in the south. The Sons of Geb thus mirror the Sons of Horus, and indeed, the shape of reality--the ordering of the cosmos--cannot do without either set of tent pegs. The opposition built into the hypocephalus design, as also the Janus-faced Kolob, accords with the same idea--see Nibley and Rhodes, One Eternal Round.

Of these four stars, brightest shines the falcon, Qebehsenuef. As the Fourth, Qebehsenuef often represents all the rest as a stand-alone, the very same presiding brother the Prophet calls Elkenah. Why does the Fourth star preside? To complete the count of four. Qebehsenuef marks the circuit and thus seals the efficacy of the ceremony. 

Next to these four come the three cryptic figures (Lotus-Lion-Ram) standing for the renewing revolutions of space and time, the universal crank that turns the starry heavens. "If the world can find out these numbers, so let it be": 4 + 3 = 7, the number of completion, the universe in its entirety, which consists of both the tally of the northern Dipper so well as southerly Orion. The sons of Horus, usually four, sometimes number seven (Matthias Rochholz, Schoepfung, Feindvernichtung, Regeneration,111-12). 

Given the placement of the Hathor cow facing earth's four boundary markers, its four t3S.w (dosh.w), followed by the three mysterious symbols of solar renewal, no wonder that, "in this case, in relation to this subject," the cow "is said by the Egyptians to be the sun."

These several planetary name-chains, to which we must add Re Horakhty (Re-Horus of the Horizon), all show the Horus Jupiter as a distant, transcendent super sun coursing the utmost regions and taking their measure. The Horus names are interchangeable; the governing power is one. Again, the question arises about which Horus we encounter here? Should we also see in the Egyptian Jupiter the ancient solar divinity Horus Smsw, all the planets then swim into ken as emanations or reflections of the elder falcon, the central power navigating the paths of the sky. Do all these Horatian planets accordingly share, i.e., receive, exchange, borrow, and lend, their light in the fashion described by the Prophet in his Explanation of Facsimile 2, figure 5? In Egypt, "the glory of the sun is one," no matter the medium through which it shines. In Hor-dosh-tawy, Jupiter in the image of the sun (Eg. twt nj r'), we find a reflection of Enish-go-on-dosh as "one of the governing planets also, and [it] is said [note that disclaimer said] by the Egyptians to be the Sun."

Re himself is sometimes "said by the Egyptians to be" a star (sb3). And because any star or planet can also be called a Re (r'), or a Horus, any star apparently can also be "said by the Egyptians to be the Sun." Joseph Smith's inspired phrases often sum up, with articulate precision, the ideas found in Egyptian books and art. A ringlike name rounds the solar universe: "He [Horus Behedty] is that Re who is the lord of every Re" (r' pw nb r'.w nb.w). 
The Egyptians knew the sun to be a star (Heinrich Brugsch, Thesaurus Inscriptionum Aegyptiacarum I, 78-9, published 1883).

Beyond, we are assured, fan out "a plurality of skies," each with its governing power (Erik Hornung, Books of the Afterlife, 12). It remains to ascend, world upon mirrored world, "one planet above another, until thou come nigh to Kolob" (Abraham 3:9). Henry Thoreau had it right: "The sun is but a morning star."


The above comments form part of a longer essay, originally published on this Web site on 14 April 2010. Additional sentences and paragraphs have been added from time to time.

1) The transfer of stellar or solar light from one star or light source to another makes up a motif in Egyptian art and scripture (see Hugh Nibley and Michael Rhodes, One Eternal Round, 220-21, with illustration from tomb of Tutankhamun; 240, 267, 295-99, 334; David Klotz, Adoration of the Ram: Five Hymns to Amun-Re from Hibis Temple [New Haven, 2006], 176, 181-82: Shu-feathers, as on Fac. 2, fig. 2; hypocephalus as iris or pupil hiding Amun-Re, the spiritual light behind the physical manifestation; as for the baboons, they are "agents of justice and communication. In a world become wide-ranging and complex, the baboons maintain the links between above and below. They 'let ma'at ascend' and also disseminate it downward."

They are symbols of "representation and mediation," Jan Assmann, The Mind of Egypt, 187-88; Maat, 202ff.). 

2) Hathorian red is also the red of the bee. The bee, another -dosh, makes a subtle appearance on the hypocephalus (cf. Hugh Nibley, "The Deseret Connection," Abraham in Egypt).

Copyright by Val H. Sederholm, 2014