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Budgeting for the Afterlife

“And in the CLXXXIXth Chapter he prays that he may not be obliged to drink filthy water or be defiled in any way by it. The rich man, even, was not certain that the appointed offerings of meat and drink could or would be made in his tomb in perpetuity: what then was the poor […]

Budge’s Version of the Legend of Ra and Isis

At this time Isis lived in the form of a woman who possessed the knowledge of spells and incantations, that is to say, she was regarded much in the same way as modern African peoples regard their “medicine-women,” or “witch-women.” She had used her spells on men, and was tired of exercising her powers on them, […]

Revelation Revisited

A review of Matt Cardin, “In Search of Higher Intelligence: The Daemonic Muses(s) of Crowley, Leary & RAW.”

Izre’el: Origins of the Adapa Myth

“Adapa the Sage Adapa was known in Ancient Mesopotamia as The Sage. The original etymology of the name Adapa may not have reached us. A lexical text lists a term adapu as meaning “wise” (Igituh I: 107), an attribute that is further attested in another late text (Lambert 1962: 74). This adjectival noun is undoubtedly […]

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Sumerian Archeology

“Arriving in 1878, Rassam went to work with a will. Over a period of four years he opened excavations not only at Nineveh but at sites ranging from eastern Anatolia to southern Iraq, leaving the day-to-day excavation to his assistants and rarely visiting the sites. His discoveries included panels of embossed bronze sheeting that had […]

We Were Created From the Blood of Kingu

” … When Marduk had arranged heaven and earth, and had established the gods in their places, the gods complained that their existence was barren, because they lacked worshippers at their shrines and offerings. To make a way out of this difficulty Marduk devised another “cunning plan,” and announced his intention of creating man out […]

Boundary Stone of Ritti-Marduk (British Museum, No. 90,858)

The accompanying illustration, which is reproduced from the Boundary Stone of Ritti-Marduk (Brit. Mus., No. 90,858), supplies much information about the symbols of the gods, and of the Signs of the Zodiac in the reign of Nebuchadnezzar I, King of Babylon, about 1120 B.C. The mutilated text of the Fifth Tablet makes it impossible to […]

More on the Babylonian Zodiac

” … Then returning to the dead body of Tiâmat he smashed her skull with his club and scattered her blood to the north wind, and as a reward for his destruction of their terrible foe, he received gifts and presents from the gods his fathers. The text then goes on to say that Marduk […]

Marduk Kills Tiâmat

” … When Anu reported his inability to deal with Tiâmat, a council of the gods was called, and Ea induced his son, Marduk to be present. We next find Anshar in converse with the god Marduk, who offers to act as the champion of the gods and to fight Tiâmat and her allies. Marduk […]

The First Zodiac

” … Not content with Ummu-Khubur’s brood of devils, Tiâmat called the stars and powers of the air to her aid, for she “set up” … (1) the Viper, (2) the Snake, (3) the god Lakhamu, (4) the Whirlwind, (5) the ravening Dog, (6) the Scorpion-man, (7) the mighty Storm-wind, (8) the Fish-man, and (9) […]

A Serpent Steals the Plant of Immortality in the Eleventh Tablet of the Epic of Gilgamesh

THE ELEVENTH TABLET. ” … When Uta-Napishtim had finished the story of the Deluge, he said to Gilgamish, “Now, as touching thyself; who will gather the gods together for thee, so that thou mayest find the life which thou seekest? Come now, do not lay thyself down to sleep for six days and seven nights.” But in […]

Death is the Fate of Mankind in the 10th Tablet of the Epic of Gilgamesh

THE TENTH TABLET. “In the region to which Gilgamish had come stood the palace or fortress of the goddess Siduri, who was called the “hostess,” or “ale-wife,” and to this he directed his steps with the view of obtaining help to continue his journey. The goddess wore a veil and sat upon a throne by […]

Gilgamesh Sees the Tree of the Gods in the 9th Tablet of the Epic of Gilgamesh

THE NINTH TABLET. “In bitter grief Gilgamish wandered about the country uttering lamentations for his beloved companion, Enkidu. As he went about he thought to himself, “I myself shall die, and shall not I then be as Enkidu? Sorrow hath entered into my soul, Because I fear death do I wander over the country.” His […]

Gilgamesh Recites the Iniquities of the Goddess Ishtar, the Sixth Tablet of the Epic of Gilgamesh

THE SIXTH TABLET. “The scene now returns to Erech, whither the heroes returned after their glorious exploit. As Gilgamish was washing himself and dressing himself in splendid attire the goddess Ishtar saw his comeliness and desired him to be her lover, saying, Go to, Gilgamish, do thou be (my) bridegroom, Give me freely the fruit […]

The Friendship of Enkidu and Gilgamesh, the 2d Tablet of the Epic of Gilgamesh

” … When Enkidu saw the beasts forsake him his knees gave way, and he could not run as of old; but when he came to himself he returned to the harlot. She spoke to him flattering words, and asked him why he wandered with the wild beasts in the desert, and then told him […]

Gilgamesh, Enkidu and the Nameless Harlot

THE EPIC OF GILGAMISH. “The narrative of the life, exploits and travels of Gilgamish, king of Erech, filled Twelve Tablets which formed the Series called from the first three words of the First Tablet, SHA NAGBU IMURU, i.e., “He who hath seen all things.” The exact period of the reign of this king is unknown, but […]

In the End, Dwelling at the Mouth of the Rivers

[THE ABUBU (CYCLONE) AND ITS EFFECTS DESCRIBED.] “97. As soon as something of dawn shone in the sky 98. A black cloud from the foundation of heaven came up. 99. Inside it the god Adad thundered, 100. The gods Nabû and Sharru (i.e., Marduk) went before, 101. Marching as messengers over high land and plain, […]

The Tale of Uta-Napishtim

[FIRST SPEECH OF EA TO UTA-NAPISHTIM WHO IS SLEEPING IN A REED HUT.] “21. O House of reeds, O House of reeds! O Wall. O Wall! 22. O House of reeds, hear! O Wall, understand! 23. O man of Shurippak, son of Ubar-Tutu, 24. Throw down the house, build a ship, 25. Forsake wealth, seek […]

The 11th Tablet of the Epic of Gilgamesh and the Quest for Human Immortality

THE BABYLONIAN LEGEND OF THE DELUGE AS TOLD TO THE HERO GILGAMISH BY HIS ANCESTOR UTA-NAPISHTIM, WHO HAD BEEN MADE IMMORTAL BY THE GODS. “The form of the Legend of the Deluge given below is that which is found on the Eleventh of the Series of Twelve Tablets in the Royal Library at Nineveh, which […]

The Legend of the Deluge According to Berossus

” … Berosus, it is true, is not a very ancient authority, for he was not born until the reign of Alexander the Great, but he was a learned man and was well acquainted with the Babylonian language, and with the ancient literature of his country, and he wrote a history of Babylonia, some fragments […]

The Sumerians Considered the Deluge an Historic Event

” … It is, at all events, well known that the Sumerians regarded the Deluge as an historic event, which they were, practically, able to date, for some of their records contain lists of kings who reigned before the Deluge, though it must be confessed that the lengths assigned to their reigns are incredible. After […]

The Library of Ashur-bani-pal

ASHUR-BANI-PAL, BOOK-COLLECTOR AND PATRON OF LEARNING. “Ashur-bani-pal (the Asnapper of Ezra iv, 10) succeeded his father Esarhaddon B.C. 669, and at a comparatively early period of his reign he seems to have devoted himself to the study of the history of his country, and to the making of a great Private Library. The tablets that […]

The Library of the Temple of Nebo in Nineveh

NEBO AND HIS LIBRARY AT NINEVEH. “Nothing is known of the early history of the Library of the Temple of Nebo at Nineveh, but there is little doubt that it was in existence in the reign of Sargon II. Authorities differ in their estimate of the attributes that were assigned to Nebo (Nabu) in Pre-Babylonian […]

Legends of Creation and Dragons

” … Both the source of the original form of the Legend of the Fight between Ea and Apsu, and Marduk and Tiâmat, and the period of its composition are unknown, but there is no doubt that in one form or another it persisted in Mesopotamia for thousands of years. The apocryphal book of “Bel […]

The Fifty Names of Marduk

” … it is clear that a dispute broke out between Marduk and the gods after he had created them, and the tradition of it has made its way into the religious literatures of the Hebrews, Syrians, Arabs, Copts and Abyssinians. The cuneiform texts tell us nothing about the cause of the dispute, but tradition generally […]

Mankind Was Created from the Blood of a God and Earth

” … When Marduk had arranged heaven and earth, and had established the gods in their places, the gods complained that their existence was barren, because they lacked worshippers at their shrines and offerings. To make a way out of this difficulty Marduk devised another “cunning plan,” and announced his intention of creating man out […]

Again, Berossus

“Versions in Greek of the Legends found by George Smith had long been known to classical scholars, owing to the preservation of fragments of them in the works of later Greek writers, e.g., Eusebius, Syncellus, and others. The most important of these is derived from the History of Babylonia, which was written in Greek by BEROSUS, […]

Miracles

“And as for thee, Joseph, the son of Jacob, shall be a symbol of thee. For his brethren sold him into the land of Egypt from Syria, the country of Laba (Laban), and on his going down into the land of Egypt there arose a famine in Syria and in all the world. And through […]

Gabriel, the Angel, on the Pearl

“And again, there shall be unto thee a sign that the Saviour shall come from thy seed, and that He shall deliver thee with thy fathers and thy seed after thee by His coming. Your salvation was created in the belly of Adam in the form of a Pearl before Eve. And when He created Eve out […]

The Most Religious Nation of Antiquity

“Now the Egyptians believed that as the souls of the departed could assume the form of any living thing or plant, so the “gods,” who in many respects closely resembled them, could and did take upon themselves the forms of birds and beasts; this was the fundamental idea of the so-called “Egyptian animal worship,” which provoked […]

Transformations of the Afterlife

“But the use of the horoscope is much older than the time of Alexander the Great, for to a Greek horoscope (published for the first time by Kenyon, Catalogue of Greek Papyri vol. i. p. 132 ff) in the British Museum is attached “an introductory letter from some master of the art of astrology to his pupil, named […]

The Five Epagomenal Days

“But to the three hundred and sixty days given in the calendars of lucky and unlucky days must be added the five epagomenal days which were considered to be of great importance and had each its peculiar name. On the first Osiris was born, on the second Heru-ur (Aroueris), on the third Set, on the fourth […]

Those Born on the 5th Day of Paophi Die of Excessive Venery

“The calendars of lucky and unlucky days do not, however, always agree as to a given day. Thus in the list given above the 20th day of Thoth is marked wholly unlucky, but in the papyrus Sallier IV it is wholly lucky, but the reader is told not to do any work in it, nor […]

Lucky and Unlucky Days

“In magical papyri we are often told not to perform certain magical ceremonies on such and such days, the idea being that on these days hostile powers will make them to be powerless, and that gods mightier than those to which the petitioner would appeal will be in the ascendant. There have come down to us, […]

The Seven Hathors

“The Seven Hathor goddesses also could predict the future of a human being, for in the well-known “Tale of Two Brothers” it is related that, when the god Khnemu, at the request of Râ-Harmachis, had created for Bata a wife “who was more beautiful in her person than any other woman in all the earth, […]

Destiny

“The Egyptians believed that a man’s fate or destiny was decided before he was born, and that he had no power whatever to alter it. Their sages, however, professed to be able to declare what the fate might be, provided that they were given certain data, that is to say, if they were told the […]

The Ka, the Ghost of the Egyptians

The peculiar ideas which the Egyptians held about the composition of man greatly favoured the belief in apparitions and ghosts. According to them a man consisted of a physical body, a shadow, a double, a soul, a heart, a spirit called the khu, a power, a name, and a spiritual body. When the body died […]

Procuring Dreams and Visions

Since dreams and visions in which the future might be revealed to the sleeper were greatly desired, the Egyptian magician set himself to procure such for his clients by various devices, such as drawing magical pictures and reciting magical words. The following are examples of spells for procuring a vision and dreams, taken from British Museum […]

Amen, the Only God

“Of Nut-Amen, the successor of the great Piânkhi who came down from Gebel Barkal and conquered all Egypt from Syene to the sea, we read that in the first year of his reign he one night dreamed a dream wherein he saw two serpents, one on his right hand and the other on his left; […]

Dreaming at the Base of the Sphinx

In early Christian literatures we find a number of examples of demoniacal possession in which the demon who has entered the body yields it up before a demon of greater power than himself, but the demon who is expelled is invariably hostile to him that expels him, and he departs from before him with every […]

In Which a Pharaoh Sends the Statue of a God on a Journey

The Prince of Bekhten, seeing that the priest was unable to afford relief to his daughter, sent once again to the king, and entreated him to send a god to his help. When the ambassador from Bekhten arrived in Egypt the king was in Thebes, and on hearing what was asked he went into the […]

An Infamous Case of Demoniacal Possession

“Incidentally, however, we have one interesting proof that foreign peoples believed that the Egyptians were able to cure the diseases caused by demoniacal possession, and the exercise of their power on the occasion described was considered to be so noteworthy that the narrative of it was inscribed upon a stele (originally published by Prisse, Monuments Égyptiens, Paris, […]

Excerpt from the Papyrus of Hunefer, BC 1350

“But it must be remembered that hitherto only the “bull of the south” has been sacrificed, and that the “bull of the north” has yet to be offered up; and all the ceremonies which have been already performed must be repeated if the deceased would have the power to go forth at will over the […]

Opening of the Mouth Concluded

“Thus the mouth and the eyes of the deceased are opened. The Sem priest then took in his hand the instrument called ur hekau, i.e., the “mighty one of enchantments,” a curious, sinuous piece of wood, one end of which is in the form of a ram’s head surmounted by a uraeus, and touched the […]

Opening of the Mouth

“The sprinkling of water was followed by a purification by means of incense, also contained in four vases, one for each of the four quarters of the earth. The burning of this sweet-smelling substance assisted in opening the mouth of the deceased and in strengthening his heart. At this stage the Sem priest dressed himself in […]

Rites of Mummification Concluded

“On the conclusion of the ceremonies which concern the head the deceased has the power to go in among the holy and perfect spirits, his name is exalted among men, the denizens of heaven receive his soul, the beings of the underworld bow down before his body, the dwellers upon earth adore him, and the inhabitants […]

The Rites Continued

“When these words have been said, a priest who is made to personify Anubis comes to the deceased and performs certain symbolical ceremonies by his head, and lays certain bandages upon it. When the head and mouth and face have been well oiled the bandage of Nekheb is laid on the forehead, the bandage of […]

The Rites

Continued: “The unguent cometh unto thee to fashion thy members and to gladden thy heart, and thou shalt appear in the form of Râ; it shall make thee to be sound when thou settest in the sky at eventide, and it shall spread abroad the smell of thee in the nomes of Aqert. . . […]

Le Rituel de l’Embaumement

“He believed that he would feed upon the celestial and imperishable food whereon the gods lived, but at the same time he spared no effort or expense to provide for his tomb being supplied at stated intervals throughout the year with perishable food in the shape of offerings of oxen, feathered fowl, cakes, bread, and […]