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666

666
So,whatdothosehieroglyphsactuallysay?
The following treatment is heavily indebted to the anonymous modern analysis of the
writingonthestlewhichappearedinAppendixAtoTheHolyBooksofThelema,EquinoxIII
(9).Anymistakesareprobablymyown.Thehieroglyphsbelowarearrangedlefttoright
foreaseofreading;thisdoesnotreflectthearrangementonthestele,thebulkofwhichis
writtenrighttoleft.
Observe of stle
(1)Captionstopicture.

5
(beneathwingeddisk):

k
!
bodt nur ea nb.t [sic] pt

TheBehedite,thegreatgod,lordofthesky.Writtenrighttoleftonthestle.Thet( )
in nb.t was possbily included as a piece of spacefilling to make the arrangement of signs
symmetrical as it changes the gender of the title to Lady of heaven (nb.t pt is an epiphet
usedforanygoddessthescribeorpersoncommissioningtheinscriptionwishedtoflatterat
thetime).Alternatively,therecouldbeasignomitted;anotherstlefromthesameareaand
period(thatofanotherAnkhefenkhons,inthiscaseapriestofAmun,printedinPemberton,
TreasuresofthePharaohs),rendersthetitle ! ,i.e.givingthephoneticcomponents
ofptaswellastheskyideogram.
The first symbol, 5 (F18 in the standard signlist) is generally used for the bo biliteral,
althoughinsomecombinationshasthevalueowandwassotakenbythepersonresponsible
forthe1904transliterationCrowleywasworkingfrom,givingHuditorHouditasthenameof
the winged sundisc. Neither reading can reasonably give Hadit. In the name of the
winged sundisk the // terminal sometimes replaces the crossroads determinative, for
bodty, he of Behedet; spelt as on the stele it is strictly the name of a town, but is here
obviouslybeingusedinatransferredsense.
(aboveenthronedgod)
w
&O \ y
5 !
re or axt ory nurw

RHarakhty,chiefofthegods.Writtenintwocolumns,righttoleft.Riswrittenoutin
longform, i.e. with the hieroglyphs for r and e, the sun ideograph and the god

determinative. or.axt is represented by the Horus falcon, followed by y 5 for akhet,
horizon(strictly,theplaceofthesunrise,Gardiner,EgyptianGrammar,signlist,N18).In
older renderings, the akh bird was read as khu, hence the transliteration Crowley was
workingfromgavethenameofthegodasRaHoorKhut,whichspellingappearsinacouple
ofplacesinLiberAL.

m FF
(abovestandingfigure)
y F m! F
Y
p j
wsir om nur mnu nb wst wn eawy nw pt m ipt-swt anx.f-n-xnsw [mae]-xrw
Writteninfivecolumns,lefttoright.Nameandtitlesofthedeceased.wsir,[the]Osiris,
usedinatransferredsenseasinEgyptianfunaryliteraturefromtheOldKingdomonwards
to mean the deceased. om nur is here written using a convention known as honorific
transposition (see Gardiner, op. cit. 57) where the neter sign for god (or the sign(s)
comprisingthenameofsomeparticulargodsuchasRe,Amun,etc.)isdisplacedtothestart
ofagroupofsignswhenintheordinarygrammaticalorderitwouldcomeattheend.om-
nur, lit. slave of the god is sometimes glossed prophet (following its being rendered by
the Greek prophetes in the bilingual Decree of Canopus) although not in the sense of the
Hebrew neviim, freelance inspired preachers outside the temple hierarchy); Gardiner (op.
cit.,vocab,s.v.om)rendersitthehighestgradeofpriest.nb wast,LordofThebeswasan
epithetofMentu(mnu),originallyalocalgodwhocouldnotbeentirelydisplacedbythecult
of AmunRe so was instead assimilated. The final epithet, Makheru, true of speech,
vindicated, etc., is given defectively with only the second of the two glyphs of the
abbreviatedformwritten,squashedundertheseateddignitarydeterminative(whichlatter
normally indicates that the name it follows is that of a person of rank), probably on the
groundsthatthescribewasrunningoutofspace.
(belowofferingtable)
Simplyidentieswhatisonthetable,asbread,beer,beefandgeese;inotherwords,thelate
periodEgyptianequivalentofabarbeque.
(2)Maintext.Fivelinesofwriting,righttoleft.
Thismaybebrokendownforconvenienceintofoursections(||representslinebreaksonthe
stle):
jd mdw n wsir om-nur mnu nbt [sic] wast wn eawy nwt [sic] pt m iptswt enx.f-n-xnsw || mae-xrw

Preamble: words spokenby(jd mdwisrepresentedbyaconventionalabbreviation:see


Gardiner,op.cit.,vocabularys.v.mdw),thenthetitles,etc.,ofthedeceased,moreorlessasin
the caption although the scribe here appears to have inserted a couple of s in as space
fillers,givingnbtfornbandnwtfornw.Thenameofthedeceasedisfollowedbyaslightly
different versionoftheseateddignitarydeterminativetothatusedinthepicturecaption
(alsointhefathersnameinthebottomline).mae-xrwisherewrittenusingbothsignsofthe
abbreviatedform,
i ka dwa.twf wr baw ba ea cfyt ddw nrw.f || n nurw xew or nst.f wr

Initialaddresstothegod:flatteringhiminthehopesofgettinghisattentionanddisposing
him favourably to meet the requests that follow. While the text itself does not name the
deityaddressed,thepictureanditscaptionsprovidethecontext.Ohighone!mayhebe
praised!theoneofgreatpower,thespiritofgreatdignity,whoplacesfearofhimselfamong
thegods,whoshinesforthfromhisgreatseat.
ir wawt n ba[.i], n ax[.i] n.cwyt[.i] iw epr.kwi wbn[.i] || im epr ir n.i wat r bt ntt re itm xpri owt-or im

The letters in square brackets are conjectural corrections by the author of the modern
analysisinEquinoxIII(9),specificallypossessivesuffixes,thus[my]soul,[my]spirit,[my]
shade. The god is requested to make ways (i.e., paths or roads) for the ba (soul), akh
(spirit)andshadeofthedeceased,whodeclaresthatheisequippedandshinesforthas
onewhoisequipped(orpossiblysothathemightshineforth&c.).Thedeceasedfurther
requests the god to make a path for him to the place wherein are Re, Atum, Khepre and
Hathor. (Some versions of this chapter, e.g. the Papyrus of Ani version translated by
Faulkner,onlymentionReandHathor).
wsir om-nur mnuw nb wast || enx.f-n-xnsw [mae]-xrw sa mi nw bs-n-mwt ir.n ioyt n.imn-re nb[t]-pr ta-nci
Arecapitulationofthenameandtitlesofthedeceased,roundingoffwithhisparentage.As
in the picture caption, only one of the two components of the Makheru abbreviation is
written,andthatsquashedinbeneaththename,itselfherewritteninaslightlyshorterform
than elsewhere on the stle (using two fewer signs for the phonetic part, and lacking the
determinative);oneassumesthescribewasrunningoutofspaceagain.Thefathersnameis
writtenusingagroupwritingconvention(seeGardiner,op.cit.,60,alsoG29andAa18in
signlist),inthatthefirsttwoglyphs,normallyideographicorbiliteralforms,arehereused
toeachrepresentasinglephoneme.Thefirstpartofthenameisthebabirdsymbolofthe
soul. The final syllable of the name is represented using the vulture ideograph of Mut
(mwt),themothergoddessoftheThebantheogony.
Asthetextindicates,BesenmutwaslikewiseapriestofMontu;hispaintedsarcophagus
(oratleast,thesarcophagusofaThebanpriestofMontuofthatnamefromabouttheright
periodthenameappearstohavebeenbornebyseveralmembersofaprominentTheban
priestly family of the Late Period)survivesinmostlylegiblecondition.Inthetitlesofthe
mother (who, we are told, was a musician of AmunRe; the standing female figure is
apparentlyholdingtwosystrons)thefeminineterminalinnbt pr,mistressofthehouse,
has been omitted for reasons of space. (nb pr, presumably an Egyptian equivalent of the
HebrewBaalZebul,isnotoneofthegenerallyknownepiphetsofAmunRe).
The text is a version of cap. XCI of the Book of the Dead. In the Papyrus of Ani the
accompanyingvignettedepictsahumanheadedbird(aconventionalsymbolofthebasoul)
facingadoorway.Thestatedpurposeofthechapter(rubricfromPapyrusofAnivn.,trans.
Faulkner)istobecomeanequippedspiritintheGodsdomainandtonotberestrained
at any gate of the West whether coming or going. An earlier version is spell 496 in the
standardeditionoftheCoffinTexts.
There is a wellknown and very free English verseparaphrase (rather, an original
compositionsuggestedbytheabove)byAleisterCrowleywhichwasincorporatedintoLiber
AL vel Legis, the Book of the Law. The following, omitting the preamble and recapitulation
withthenameandtitlesofthedeceased,ismyowncompositionandmakessomepretence
tometrebutnonetorhyme:
SaiththeOsirisN.:
Othou !moHigh !maythoubepraised
Thouartthemightyoneofpower
Thespirit,soulofmajey
WhoseterrorisamongtheGods.
Thoushineforthuponthythrone:
Openapathwayformysoul,
Andformyspiritmakearoad
Andformyshadowloosethegates.
Hearthoumyvoice:Iamprepared
AsonepreparedmayIshineforth
MakeroadsuntothatplacewhereR,
Atum,Khepri,andHathordwell.
legeiudicaatqueride.
[Translationofreversemayfollowatsomepoint]