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Perspectives on the Male Divine

Child of the Sun

 

 

In the Northern Hemisphere, the temperature is rising.  As the days become warmer, many of us begin to revert to the practices of the ancients.  We once again become sun-worshippers.  We lather pleasant smelling lotions on our skins and offer ourselves up to the Sun God.  We bask in His glory and offer Him outrageous acts of worship (waterskiing, anyone?).  As our skin begins to darken, we come to resemble desert peoples so, I offer one of the desert’s greatest Sun Gods, Horus.

Background and History

The history of Horus, the Great Falcon, is jumbled to say the least.  The name we call him today, Horus, comes from the Greek language.  He was called Hor, Heru, or Har in ancient Egypt.  Horus began as a war and sky god.  He originally was seen as the son of Ra, however, later became the son of Isis and Osiris.[1]  The author has been unable to locate any source that explains why this happened.  What is known, is that there were several falcon gods throughout Egypt, and it appears that they all were eventually syncretized into one God with at least 15 different paths.[2]

Variations of Horus

Harsiesis:               Perhaps the path most familiar to most.  Son of Isis and Osiris.  Depicted as an infant under the protection of his mother.  Isis protects Horus from his uncle Set.  Worshippers ask Harsiesis to plead with Isis for their protection.[3]

Harpokrates:        Another familiar form, this Horus is depicted as an infant suckling Isis’ breast.  Harpokrates wears a royal crown with the upright cobra.  He is also seen as a youth with full sidelocks holding a snake in one hand and a scorpion in the other while standing on crocodiles.[4]

Harmakhet:          Physical form is the sphinx or ram-headed sphinx.  Harmakhet is the morning sun and Khephri’s companion.  His is the holder of all knowledge that is secret.[5]

Haroeris:               “Horus the Elder”.  Haroeris is the patron of Upper Egypt, and one of the oldest aspects of Horus.  In this variation, Horus was brother of Osiris and husband of Hathor.  Isis was another of his numerous wives, and bore Haroeris four sons.  Haroeris is seen as the falcon-headed man, and was the conqueror of Set.[6]

General Information

Pharoah was considered Horus’ human counterpart.  Due to this, Horus was believed to favor and protect all pharaohs.  The majority of Egypt’s rulers placed an image of Horus at the top of their palaces.  Only two known pharaohs, Sekhemhib and Khasekhemwy, deviated from this tradition.  Sekhemhib placed Set at the top of his palace, and Khasekhemwy placed both Horus and Set on his.[7]

Symbols:                Bull, hawk/falcon, Sphinx, young men, dutiful sons, Winged Disk, weapons, blacksmiths, iron, the Sun, Pharaoh[8]

 



[1] Ancient Egypt Online, “Gods of Ancient Egypt:  Horus,” 19 May 2012 <http://www.ancientegyptonline.co.uk/horus/html>.

[2] Egyptian Myths, “Ancient Egypt:  the Mythology – Horus,” 19 May 2012 <http://www.egyptianmyths.net/horus.htm>.

[3] Tour Egypt, “The Gods of Ancient Egypt – Horus,” 19 May 2012 <http://www.touregypt.net/godsofegypt/horus.htm>.

[4] Egyptian Myths, “Ancient Egypt:  the Mythology – Horus,” 19 May 2012 <http://www.egyptianmyths.net/horus.htm>.

[5] Tour Egypt, “The Gods of Ancient Egypt – Horus,” 19 May 2012 <http://www.touregypt.net/godsofegypt/horus.htm>.

[6] Egyptian Myths, “Ancient Egypt:  the Mythology – Horus,” 19 May 2012 <http://www.egyptianmyths.net/horus.htm>.

[7] Ancient Egypt Online, “Gods of Ancient Egypt:  Horus,” 19 May 2012 <http://www.ancientegyptonline.co.uk/horus/html>.

[8] Egyptian Myths, “Ancient Egypt:  the Mythology – Horus,” 19 May 2012 <http://www.egyptianmyths.net/horus.htm>.