Horus 'He who is above.' Guardian of the pharaohs, protector of the god king planets.
The sky god Horus protecting the red (?) disk of Mars (NOT THE SUN!) which at this particular time was named Ramesses ('Fashioned by Re'), personified here as the young king. Photo credit: Jon Bosworth
The Falcon-god Horus can be traced back to the dynastic period around 3100 BC and is one of the most famous gods of ancient Egypt. Usually depicted as a hawk or as a man with the head of a hawk, Horus was not only a god of the sky but the embodiment of divine kingship and protector of the reigning pharaoh. Gradually the cult of other hawk gods merged with that of Horus, and a complex array of myths became associated with him.
(Shaw & Nicholson, 2002, p 133)
Horus and the pharaohs (Horus in general)
In giving celestial identity to the very enigmatic god Horus in my first two books I offered the very simple formula: Horus = ruling god king planet. In regards to the god kings, I stand by this - the astral pharaohs when reigning over earth as 'living gods' were simultaneously embodied in the sky god Horus - he was, just as the literal sources reveal, the guardian of kingship. However, there is much more to this, and after much diligent research I am now in a position to elaborate and promote a much more comprehensive understanding of Horus and his many forms.
By using sacred imagery along with the Egyptians own divine words (taken at face value) it will be shown how Horus was essentially an omnipresent sky deity whose physical form was above all manifest in the god king planets. Furthermore, the subsequent many coexisting forms of Horus derived from the very same red-orbed Pharaonic planets (as Horus) undertaking prominent and distinctive traits (e.g. the winged disk) and dwelling in certain locations (e.g. 'in' or 'on' the horizon) for lengthy periods of time - enough time to warrant the invention of a new form of universal god Horus. In other words, without the kingly planets (& cosmic chaos) there would be no Horus, and no variant forms.
It will be further shown how Horus (and his many forms) was not the Sun or even some kind of vague mythical aspect of Re as many believe but a totally independent entity, and should be treated as such. This would include the apparent composite god Re-Horakhty (which really is the crux of the matter) and Horus Behdety (winged disk), again, not the Sun! They held physical presence in the same celestial sphere and certain text refer to Horus as the son of Re, but they were independent deities, moreover, worshiped as such. Only when the planets began to settle into their current orbits did the many forms of Horus slowly merge into one, leaving behind a legacy of enigmatic myths.
Horus, Lord of the Skies
Establishing the origins of Horus and how the Egyptian kings became Horus incarnate.
The process of a planetary body becoming Pharaoh and the 'Living Horus' born to the skies of earth, as you would expect, involved a myriad of cosmogonical deities (Re, Isis, Hathor, Amun, etc.). By using the Ramesses the Great ('Fashioned by Re.' Clayton COP) as just one of the many guises of an incandescent red Mars, a rough sequence of events would go something like this.
Ramesses/Mars begins life as a very large star. In this form Ramesses/Mars is to be equated with Osiris, the quintessential god of the afterlife and the duel world above, which the Egyptians called Upper Egypt (the hemispherical dome of heaven perceived as a fixed land mass). Osiris is to be seen as a deity attributed to no one particular body but all that appeared in 'star form.' A god that basically transported the dead to be reborn as a star (akh) in the firmament above, just as the Egyptians tell us.
Ramesses/Mars moves closer to earth and in doing so magnifies in size, slowly shedding its white Osirian linen bandages (star-like quality) to reveal a hazy red disk, in the image of Re, the Red Sun (hence, the kings were 'Offspring of Re'). Born amidst the general location of the ecliptic (apparent path of the Sun and planets) Ramesses/Mars at this stage is perceived to be a 'young Horus.' In giving birth too countless bodies, as well as playing a preliminary role in escorting them to the vibrant land above, this portion of the sky was deified as the mothering goddess Isis, which we will discuss shortly.
Ramesses/Mars further magnifies in size, so much so it looms larger than the Sun (Re), and all other bodies. In a size determining factor here (from an earthly perspective), such an exalted status deems Ramesses/Mars god king of Egypt - the unifier of the 'two lands' of Upper (heaven) and Lower Egypt - an intermediatary between the moral and the divine. Moreover, Ramesses/Mars now becomes the 'Living Horus,' and 'Lord of the Sky.'
Note; as the record shows, it was the gods (through 'divine order') that dictated kingship throughout the ancient world. An understandable situation given the God King Scenario.
Under the authority and guardianship of a range of cosmogonical deities (Horus, Re, Amun, etc.) Ramesses/Mars reigns over earth for a period of time, this paralleling the historical account (e.g. Ramesses II, 68 years). His very colourful life (battle campaigns, marriages, fathering over 150 children, etc.) is recorded via scared inscriptions and images throughout Egypt (sacred writings = events above).
Ramesses/Mars appears to move away from earth (temporary death) and in doing so is slowly transformed into a star (Osiris) once again.
"The king has come to his throne which is upon the Two Ladies and the king appears as a star." (Pyramid Text Utterance 248)
This process would involve a red orbed 'spinning' Mars slowly becoming cocooned/wrapped in white 'star-like' material or, as the Egyptians believed, white linen bandages as Ramesses/Mars is mummified in preparation for rebirth in the Egypt above. Assisting in the mummification process was the blackness of space, which was deified as the 'black' jackal-headed god Anubis. The attributes of Anubis drawn from the natural world as jackals were observed loitering around cemeteries, thus perceived to be guardians of the dead (note; no such species as black jackals).
As a star, Mars has transformed from a living Horus (son of Isis and Osiris) into the god Osiris (star-form) and is subsequently named Ramesses-Osiris. He now begins the very perilous journey (chaos) to the duel world above, to be reborn in whatever form he so chooses. As the record shows, this process was repeated over and over again.
As Mars appears to move back and forth between the two lands of heaven and earth, it is named and renamed numerous time over, as too were the other perpetrators of chaos. The sacred names, titles and epithets given to the astral monarchy primarily dictated by their location, attributes and appearance in respect to Egypt's more prominent gods e.g. the Sun god Re gives us kingly titles such as 'Appearing like Re,' 'Rising like Re' and 'Shinning like Re,' and the deified global aurora (Amun) gives us 'Beloved of Amun,' and similar titles (see Names and Titles).
The above gives us a brief process of how planetary kings became embodied in the 'living Horus.'
The following inscriptions leave us in no doubt of the kings astral status as the god Horus.
"Usermare-Setepnere (Ramesses II) given life, in - - - giving to thee myriads of years,
eternity upon the Horus-throne of the living." (Breasted, Ancient Records of Egypt, Vol III p 115)
"His majesty (Tuthmosis) is Horus, assuming his (i.e. Horus’) kingdom of myriads of years."
(ibid, Part Two, p 73)
"Year 1, Akhet (month) 4, day 19, under the majesty of Horus…"
"Lord of the words of the gods, who appeared on the Horus throne of the living daily like his father Re."
"All their life and health was (from) the nose of the mighty king, the Horus, who repeats births, the beloved son of Amen-Re, king of the gods, who had begotten him so that he would be created, of the king of Upper and Lower Egypt."
(Tutankhamen's Restoration Stela)
"Grant that he rest upon thy throne as Horus, the Mighty Bull, beloved of Ma’at."
(Papyrus Harris, Breasted, Ancient Records of Egypt, Part Four, p 351)
It is well known and well attested to that Horus was a sky god, this raises the question, how can an earth bound king be the 'Lord of the Skies?' The God King Scenario promotes the idea that we take the Egyptians at their word, this will prove to be far more productive than invoking a surreal world we don't understand.
The phrase "... the Horus, who repeats births...." is explained thus. Mars appeared to move back and forth in an endless cycle of death and rebirth (morphing between a red orb and a star). Each time it was born to earth it became Horus incarnate, more specifically "Horus, who repeats births." A very common phrase....
(Ramesses II) "....shining upon the Horus-throne of the living, like his father, Re, every day..." (Ibid Vol III p 118)
Raises the obvious question, how can humans shine 'like the Sun?'
Taken at face value, the text also make it very clear that two totally separate deities are being referred to here, insofar as, Ramesses shines on the Horus throne 'like' (thus separate too) the Sun.
With the above in mind, the iconography becomes virtually self-explanatory. For example, the photo at the top of the page depicts the 'good and just' god Horus protecting the disk of a young Ramesses/Mars. Similar iconography can be found in the image on the left where the pharaoh Khafre's head and neck are physically embraced by the wings of the protective sky god Horus. According to almost every single book on ancient Egypt, art such as this is believed to be 'idealized' - the Egyptians were somehow tying to conceptualise an ideal world, or so the theory goes. Are they correct? Absolutely not! All Egyptian art derives from catastrophic events in the heavens. 'Idealised' is a term used by scholars who fall well short when it comes to understanding ancient minds.
Credit photo: Arnvid Aakre; www.egyptmyway.com
The oldest known part of the royal titulary is the Horus-name. The kings were given the Horus-name upon enthronement, or upon 'outsizing' thus 'outranking' all other bodies. On the right we have a very fine example of a Horus name written within a Serekh (Photo credit: Guillaume Blanchard). What follows is a few Horus names given to the kings which are clearly celestial in connotation (after all Horus was a sky god!)
Hor-Aha "The Fighting Hawk."
Den "Horus Who Strikes."
Djet "Horus Cobra" (one shown).
Djoser "Divine of the Body."
Tutankhamun "Strong Bull, Fitting From Created Forms."
(above source: Clayton)
Tuthmosis (Moon) "Horus Mighty Bull, Arising in Thebes."
Neferefre "Horus, Beautiful Of Apparitions."
The Horus-name given to celestial 'doubles.'
"The Horus name of a king is that which was given to his Ka, or 'double,' and it is written inside a representation of an object called the 'Serekh'...." (Budge, Book of Kings, Vol 1 p XIII)
"It was, perhaps, not so much the man who was identified with Horus himself, but rather the ka of the pharaoh, which, created as the body's twin, was an expression of the life force, rather than just an aspect of his person." (ref.)
The Ka has been traditionally translated as some kind of invisible life force or 'soul,' this is totally incorrect. In a world dominated by cosmic chaos and observations of kingly planets appearing to move back and forth between Upper and Lower Egypt (living, dying & rebirth), the Egyptians developed the natural belief that astral bodies such as planets, comets and asteroids were the Kas or 'doubles' of themselves. Real physical astral personified 'doubles' that the earthly Egyptians believed they would join with (via the ba bird) after death, to journey too, and ultimately be reborn in the duel Egyptian world above (see Egyptian Dualism).
The naming of the kings Ka with the Horus name offers valuable support for my afterlife interpretation. Inasmuch as, we are able to take the whole Egyptian theology at face value - the Egyptians really were naming the kings Ka, only this was a real life planetary body and not some obscure invisible life force.
"He shall be at the head of all the Kas ('doubles') of the living." (Thutmose III: The Napata Stela)
My interpretation: Tuthmosis/Moon with numerous trailing satellites.
Golden Horus Name
In later times (important) the Egyptians added the golden Horus-name to the royal titulary. Scholars are completely baffled by this.
"The golden Horus name represents the falcon god Horus perched on a symbol that usually represents 'gold' (image right). However, its meaning is hotly disputed." (ref)
We may ask the question, if Horus was some kind of obscure aspect of the Sun, then why have a Horus name and then add an additional golden Horus name? For what reason? If the Sun, why wasn't the golden Horus-name used solely from the beginning of dynasty Egypt?
The GKS suffers from no such reservations, and by applying the simple formula, Horus = resident god king planet (or planets), things become self evident. The golden Horus-name was added to the list of kings titles because in later times the astral monarchy many times adorned a golden hue. This would be especially so in the New Kingdom (circa 1,000 BC revised chronology) when errant planets not only orbited around earth (geosynchronous orbit) but also began to migrate towards the Sun. What this means is they now appeared sunside (between the earth and Re) - major events now begin to dominate the daytime sky, the upshot of which was planets appearing golden.
The inscriptions fully corroborate this:
Tuthmosis III ("Born of Thoth" = Moon)
"Horus of Gold Powerful of strength, Sacred of appearance." (ref.)
"He (Amun [aurora]) modelled me as a falcon of gold". (ref.)
Tuthmosis (Moon) co-regent Hatshepsut (Venus) calls herself "The Female Horus of Fine Gold." (ibid)
This would be especially so of the Moon (Tuthmosis, one of many names), as even today the Moon can appear golden during the day (go out and look!).
Above right, the Hawk of the Pharaoh, Hatshepsut/Venus (Temple, Luxor)
Notice (in this case) the overall golden (possible reddish?) hue given to Horus and the disk of Venus/Hatshepsut (NOT THE SUN!). Also the addition of the cobra is highly significant and represents the lashing out of gigantic volcanic eruptions emanating from a sea of boiling hot lava on the surface of Venus. (See The Egyptian cobra goddess Wadjet).
(Photo credit: Steve F-E-Cameron (Merlin-UK)(ref.)
The above gives us a basic platform for understanding the sky god Horus. We will now discuss some of his more prominent forms.
Harpocrates 'Horus, the child.'
The Goddess Isis = Ecliptic
Although an invisible path traced out by the Sun to us, in ancient times the ecliptic was clearly seen. It was made visible as a result of incalculable amounts of dust and debris littering the plane of the elliptic. The sweep of the ecliptic was easily discerned as it arched across the heavens as a hazy band (mound) spanning up and out towards the relatively unwavering planets Jupiter (Ptah), Saturn (Sokar) and beyond. This was the very same dust and gases which hazed our Sun red. As mentioned above, the ecliptic 'zone' was deified as the Goddess Isis.
The ecliptic/Isis was a hive of activity as it not only gave birth to and housed the divine monarchy (and numerous other bodies) but also played a crucial role in their journey to the duel Egypt above (Isis is credited with inventing mummification). Isis was a bovine nurturing sky goddess whose countless titles and epithets are completely consistent with this unique identification.
"Praise to you, Isis, the Great One, God’s mother, Lady of Heaven, Mistress and Queen of the gods." "Isis, giver of life, residing in the sacred mound." (Isis temple, Philae)
'Lady of Heaven,' 'From whom all beginnings arose,' 'Opener of the year,' 'Lady of the new year,' 'Maker of sunrise.' As a goddess of the sky (ecliptic) she was all of these and more.
In giving birth to the astral monarchy, Isis was the mother to the king and the throne of Egypt. This is echoed in the literal translation of her name (Isis name above) which means 'She of the throne.' It is noteworthy that the Isis name also contains an egg - this was undoubtedly symbolic of the ecliptic/sky/Isis giving birth.
Above all this, was the fact that since the kings were Horus incarnate, the primary role of Isis was that of mother to Horus. Or to put it another way, it was the ecliptic/Isis that fashioned the physical manifestation of the sky god Horus by means of the planetary kings.
The photo on the right depicts a bronze statue of Isis suckling Horus (king). With the above in mind, the iconography hear is clear. It represents the sky (Isis/ecliptic) nursing the infant Horus-king, born to the skies of earth. Herein lies the origin of an aspect of Horus known as Harpocrates, 'Horus, the Child.'
"Horus the Child, son of Isis, son of Osiris, lord of the Abaton and of Philae."
(Inscription at Dendur) Isis is shown in the act of suckling Horus as a direct result of observations of pharaonic bodies actually sucking 'white' streams of material (milk) from a dust strewn solar system (analogy, Saturn's moon Prometheus sucking material from its F ring, see Hathor). Hence Isis was also known as the 'Great white sow of Heliopolis,' and the 'Isis Cow.' Also note the cow horns, these represent the 'housing' of the red disks of the planets (and the red Sun).
This theme echoes throughout the ages; below is a famous medieval icon of Mary and Jesus (left) and Madonna and child (right).
There is no doubt such symbolism finds its origins in Egyptian theology, and by extension cosmic chaos. I would take this a step further and suggest all the world major religions have their origins in recent upheaval in the solar system. Moreover, the key to understanding this lies with the god kings of the ancient Egyptians and Mesopotamian cultures. I would further argue, to understand ancient Egypt is to understand cosmic chaos.
(For more information on Isis may I refer you to my book Comet Venus).
Harsiese 'Horus Son of Isis'
For conceptual purposes, not as an historical matter, the two primary aspects of Horus from which the majority can be derived (including the above Harpocrates) are Harsiese and Haroeris. We will discuss Harsiese or 'Horus son of Isis' first.
There exists many references to this aspect of Horus, although it has to be noted my research reveals Harsiese primary role seems to be more in connection with the Hereafter. This is supported by numerous funerary references and the imagery where Harsiese features predominantly (in respect to other forms of Horus) on many tomb walls and papyri. Given that Harsiese was also the son of the quintessential god of the afterlife Osiris (star form), this is no surprise. This would be in contrast to the more familiar Haroeris (next), who in his many aspects dominates the 'outside world' - he is carved on temple walls, in statues, carved on obelisks and features strongly in Egyptian art in general. I will explain why this was shortly.
Harsiese was commonly represented as an anthropomorphic falcon-headed man wearing the crown of Upper and Lower Egypt (image above). Sometimes it is difficult to tell which Horus is being represented as many can look identical. We have to consult the text (where possible) to be sure of correct identification. The above afterlife scene depicts 'Horus, son of Isis' (Harsiese) leading queen Nefertari (a guise of comet Venus, as per the headgear) on her first stage to a life of immortality in the next world above.
I would like to make clear that although it was the astral kings (via location 'zones' and attributes) who gave rise to the many forms of Horus, whenever a Horus form is depicted or cited, this doesn't signify a kingly planet. On the contrary, as above Horus was an omnipresent sky god of many forms who presided over many locations and could be invoked at any time.
It really depended on the dynamic events of above and how the Egyptians perceived them. A simplistic interpretation of the above scene would be as follows; Venus/Nefertari was observed to slowly migrate across the sky and away and from earth (towards the west?), and given that everything came under the will of the gods, it was believed that in this case, Horus son of Isis presided over such movements.
With this in mind, I would tentatively suggest that Harsiese also be associated with the main east-west band (ecliptic) of the sky along with his mother Isis, but not I might add, the horizons. Other forms of Horus were invented as guardians of the horizons (on which see below).
Harsiese dividing the firmament.
“I have taken possession of the sky, I have divided the firmament, I will show the paths of Khepri [Electrical manifestation], and the dwellers in the netherworld will follow me.” (CT text 326)
Harsiese perhaps should be seen as a more mature version of Harpocrates. As the son of Isis (ecliptic) and Osiris (star form) this would make good sense. May I remind the reader; without the pharaonic planets, there would be no Horus or his innumerable forms. A good example of this would be Hatshepsut/Venus who called herself the female falcon.
(On Osiris)"And his son Horus arose as king of Upper Egypt, arose as king of Lower Egypt, in the embrace of his father Osiris and of the gods in front of him and behind him." (From the Shabaka Stone)
A passage from the Coffin Texts (passage 148) sums up Horus in his own words:
"I am Horus, the great Falcon upon the ramparts of the house of him of the hidden name. My flight has reached the horizon. I have passed by the gods of Nut. I have gone further than the gods of old. Even the most ancient bird could not equal my very first flight. I have removed my place beyond the powers of Set, the foe of my father Osiris. No other god could do what I have done. I have brought the ways of eternity to the twilight of the morning. I am unique in my flight. My wrath will be turned against the enemy of my father Osiris and I will put him beneath my feet in my name of 'Red Cloak'."
(Myth and Symbol in Ancient Egypt, Rundle Clark, p 216 (ref.)
This aspect of Horus features prominently in the Osirian mythos; Harsiese as ‘Horus-saviour-of-his-father’ is awarded the cosmic sovereignty after a lengthy conflict with his uncle Seth (god of evil). This conflict, in which Horus receives constant assistance from his mother Isis, is fought on many levels - magical, juridical, cosmic, medical - and is the principal symbol of conflict as such in Egyptian religious thought. When Egypt’s pharaoh strives against enemies foreign or domestic, it is as Horus against Seth.
Such myths originate from the 'face of heaven' i.e., the good and just god Horus, fighting to maintain 'divine order' (ma'at) through kingly bodies. This is subject for another time.
Harsiese (Horus son of Isis) and Anubis (god of blackness of space) escorting the king (centre) towards the very real Egypt above.
Hathor (hat-hor = House of Horus)
The very same dust and debris that littered the solar system also congregated around earth's celestial equator (a natural sequence of events) to form a dynamic gigantic hazy ring system (a good analogy would be Saturn's Rings only not so defined). As I have proposed, the Egyptians deified this 'secondary' more prominent east-west hazy band of debris as the bovine goddess Hathor (see here).
Isis (ecliptic) and Hathor (earths rings) shared similar traits and were at times interchangeable because their paths would cross throughout the day and year (the ecliptic moving in relation to the more fixed equatorial Hathor). This due to earths daily spin and its annual trip around the Sun.
Looking up, on countless occasions 'Hathor's haze' took precedent over the ecliptic (Isis) which was physically behind earth's rings. What this means is, the Horus kings were also repeatedly seen to be born in, reigned and perceived to die amidst Hathor. Hence the name Hathor which literally means 'House of Horus.'
Haroeris (Horus the Elder or Horus the Great) consort of Hathor
The other prominent form of Horus from which many other forms derived was Har-wer, 'Horus the Elder' or 'Horus the Great' (Greek form Haroeris). This was the form of Horus worshiped from the earliest periods, especially at the city of Nekhen, which the Greeks called Hierakonpolis, 'the city of the hawk.'
As mentioned above this form of Horus is ubiquitous throughout dynasty Egypt. He is carved on numerous temple walls and monuments and was associated with kingship from proto-dynastic times. This is the Horus that stands on top of the rectangular enclosure (serekh) containing the holy Horus name of the kings as in the image above. The very same Horus stands on the back of the famous statue of Khafre (also above) with his wings outstretched to protect the king. Excluding Egypt's tombs and funerary text you wouldn't be far out by adopting the notion that most depictions of Horus represent Har-wer, Horus the Great and his many derivative forms (Behdety, Horakhty, Re-Harakhty, etc. see below).
Haroeris, consort of Hathor
I have placed Horus son of Isis (and Osiris) as the masculine (Isis, female) guardian and 'face' of the ecliptic. In a similar vein but different 'zone,' I would suggest Horus the Great be equated with earth's deified hazy band, Hathor; why? A number of reasons. Firstly, this Horus was the husband (sometimes son) of Hathor, so we have an obvious close and personal connection here. Secondly, the iconography supports the first reason as Har-wer is depicted numerous times as the consort of Hathor (example below). Thirdly, as discussed the name Hat-hor means house of Horus, so the question arises as to which Horus is being referred too here - which Horus is being housed? Given the textual references and imagery it is logical to assume this has to be Horus the elder - a Horus god around since the birth of pharaonic Egypt - a deity that appeared even before the Sun god Re! And finally, Harwer was the Horus form closely associated with kingship. What this means is to become the living Horus planetary bodies had to appear as 'living,' 'breathing' red disks (in the image of Re) in close proximity to earth, thus more often than not they appeared amidst Hathor's dust... the upshot... Horus the elder (older, or even ancestor). The epithet 'Great' or 'Elder' because even through times of tumult where Re was completely obscured, Horus the Great being close to earth would literally shine through via Egypt's godly pharaohs.
This isn't as clear cut as I'm making out but this is to be expected given the ever changing heavens and the fact that Isis (ecliptic) and Hathor (earths ring) crossed paths on a daily and annual basis. That said, I do believe my identifications gives us a fundamental basis from which to work from.
Above right: Ptolemy VI (Mars?) making an offering before the gods Horus (Har-wer) and his wife Hathor (earth's rings housing the red disk). Note the kings distinctly unusual headgear on which scholars offer no explanation. I will follow up on this in the near future.
There are so many permutations here; one such scenario would be a planetary body born amidst the distant ecliptic as 'Horus the Child' only to move to the forefront and amidst Hathor to become Haroeris, 'Horus the Great.'
"When he reaches maturity Horus becomes Har-wer or 'Haroeris' - the elder Horus now capable of seizing power." (Egyptian Gods and Goddesses, Hart 91)
Independent Horus deities (an example of why confusion reigns).
Horus the Elder was worshiped as an independent deity to Horus Son of Isis, that is until later times when the various form of Horus became blended into one.
We can see just how difficult it is to tell them apart by comparing Horus the Elder in the image directly above with Harsiese in the Nefertari image above - there is little if anything to tell them apart and yet they were independent deities, as too were other Horus forms. The Coffin Text confirm their independence.
"Although Egyptian texts usually make little effort to distinguish Haroeris from Harsiese, the Coffin Texts do feature, among the genre of spells for transforming into, or invoking, particular deities, separate spells for “Becoming the Elder Horus” (CT spell 280) and for “Becoming Horus” (i.e., the son of Isis) (CT spell 326)."
The imagery further supports this independence.
From the right: Horus the Great seemingly watching over Horus and Isis (as a cat) who offers the symbol of life (ankh) to a Ptolemy king.
A point to be made here is the Egyptians when carving such meticulous reliefs knew exactly what they were portraying. They were fully aware of the various forms of Horus and the locations they represented - there can be no doubt they were able to distinguish between the two Horus' otherwise they wouldn't have carved them. Along with the cardinal points and a thick dusty horizon, cosmic dust created many 'zonal bands' in the heavens. These were home to Egypt's numerous cosmological gods who nurtured and looked after the astral kings - Horus, and his many forms being just one of them.
God of Light
It is epithets such as this that had led scholars to erroneously believe the Egyptians must be somehow referring to the Sun, this is incorrect. Pharaonic times saw the surfaces of Mars, Venus, Mercury and the Moon molten hot - incandescent orbs generating their own light (see Cobra). The same Horus bodies also reflected light from Re - on numerous occasions Horus would shine bright during the night, and in this ancient twilight world (red Sun) also during the day. A simple analogy; the Sun today grants visibility to our Moon by shinning on it. Our Moon, it could be said, is the last remaining Horus of ancient times.
CT spell 280, addresses the deceased as “the elder Horus who took sail at nightfall … he who mourns in the mansion of Osiris … your eye is Re” [reflected light from the Sun]. This represents a luminous planetary body, a 'god of light' taking sail at nightfall, a common occurrence.
"Horus: Mighty Bull, Shining in Thebes" was a common 'Horus' epithet bestowed upon numerous Pharaohs - a very apt title.
Image right: Another aspect of the spirit and personification of the 'height' of heaven - Horus manifest as the lunar god Thoth. An image that appeared in later times as the Moon fell under earths gravitational spell.
'Horus who rules with two eyes,' the eyes of heaven?
Quote: "According to later traditions, the right eye represented the Sun and so is called the 'Eye of Ra' while the left represented the Moon and was known as the 'eye of Horus' (although it was also associated with Thoth). However, in many cases it is not clear whether it is the left or right eye which is referred to. Others myths suggest that it is Horus´ right eye which was torn out and that the myth refers to a solar eclipse in which the sun is momentarily blotted from the sky" (ref.) Horus was sometimes given the title Kemwer, meaning (the) great black (one).
Regarding the 'eyes,' the above sounds quite plausible, especially when taking into account they are referring to "later times." A time when perhaps cosmic chaos had settled somewhat leaving behind the Sun and the Moon (Thoth) as the primary eyes of heaven. 'The great black one' could be a simple reference to the night sky. Unfortunately it isn't as simple as that. For a start, if nothing has changed since time immemorial then why wasn't the Sun and Moon the 'eyes' of heaven from the beginning of pharaonic Egypt? Actually, a little research reveals the whole thing is shrouded in confusion, contradictions and erroneous assumptions, for example.
"Horus the Elder was said to have a green, with which the Egyptians meant red (cf. Red or Green Crown of Lower Egypt), eye which represented the Sun, and a lesser white eye, the Moon." (ref.)
"The blue-eyed Horus comes to you; the red-eyed Horus, violent of power, waits for you." (BOD 117)
"His right eye was white and represented the sun; his left eye was black and represented the Moon" (ref.) King Unas is said to have taken these to illumine his face (Gods of the Egyptians, Budge).We also have the titles, 'Horus of the two blue eyes' and 'Horus of the two red eyes' (Ibid).
Confused? While it may be possible to understand the references to the left eye being white or even black and representing the Moon, where on earth did a 'white Sun' come from? What of the blue and red eyes? If signifying the Sun and Moon shouldn't any reference simply refer to a white and golden eye, as per exactly what is seen? Only in a world where errant bodies adorned a variety of colours can we even begin to understand such enigmas.
To compound matters further when in hieroglyphic form or pictorially represented, the 'eyes' are presented thus.
Who amongst us would have thoughts that the Sun and Moon were being referred too here? Colouring the eyes white and golden may prompt such thoughts, but the art reveals that this clearly isn't the case. Given the many colours (and locations) of the Horus bodies, I would suggest that the Egyptians are merely representing the 'eye(s)' of the sky in a very simplistic and universal form, in order to be understood by all.
The Eye of Horus
Too much to go into detail here, suffice to say, in connection with the above, the 'eye' or 'eyes' of Horus (and Re) are all to do with large bodies prominently reflecting or generating their own light and thus becoming 'whole' or 'complete.' This 'battle' was certainly played out in the light and dark phases of the Moon in later times (further reading on the Moon http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/moon.htm). Note the Egyptians didn't worship the Moon in earlier times, this is understandable since the Moon was only captured during Pharaonic times, its rise to prominence parallels its slow capture. I will address the Eye of Horus at a later date.
Horus and the horizons
As you would expect with Horus bodies rising and setting like Re, of great importance was the horizons. These came under the authority of at least three aspects of the same Horus 'horizon' deity, Harmachis, 'Horus in the horizon' - Horakhty, 'Horus of the horizons,' and Re-Horakhty, 'Re-Horus of the horizons.' All these belong to the Horus 'ruling the earth' side of the god kings i.e. Haroeris, or the 'Horus the elder' aspect. We will discuss all three plus a bit more.
Harmachis (Horemakhet, Harmakhet) 'Horus in the horizon'
Given the current belief that Horus was some kind of weird aspect of the Sun, many have pondered over this title, for how can it be said that the Sun was 'in' the horizon? 'On' the horizon we may understand but 'in' just doesn't make sense. We may also ask the very simple question as to why the Egyptians felt the need to invent so many independent deities just to explain the simple rising and setting of the Sun.
A very straightforward explanation is as follows. Cosmic catastrophe gave way to countless tons of dust and gasses, and in addition to hazing the sun red (exactly as depicted) it also fell to earth to mix with an already dust filled atmosphere. This brought about by countless active fire breathing volcanoes (triggered by close proximity bodies) which also spewed out tons of dust and ash (god of volcanoes, Bess). This created a thick hazed band of dust around earth's horizon. It encircled the flat pancake of earth in the north, south, east and west. Its thickness was determined by the intensity of chaos and to a certain extent it many times gave the illusion of actually intermingling with the fabric of earth.
On numerous occasions the god king planets as Horus were seen to reside in this 'red' curtain of haze as they spun with earth (thus appearing stationary). In other words, we have a literal translation of the Horus god Harmachis, or 'Horus in the horizon.'
"The redness of dawn is also connected to Horus, the archetype of kingship. PT 404, for instance, includes a reference to the ‘Horus of (dawn)-redness,’ and the king himself is said to be “the redness that came forth from Nut” in PT 1460a (Goebs,168). Horus is explicitly connected to red cloth in texts related to the ritual of the meret-chests at Edfu. The god is said to “…unite with the seshed-linen to overthrow your foe. You hold the red linen in its moment” (A. Egberts, In Quest of Meaning, 180). (ref.)
Horakhty - 'Horus (manifest through Mars) IN the Horizon' i.e., Mars appearing stationary 'in' the horizon. Note the yellowish coronal ring encircling the disk above Horus' head (insert). I've done my best to recreate this around the orb in the picture. It undoubtedly represents the thick dense gaseous atmosphere of Mars as it is slowly and systematically torn apart from an earth-like planet to its now frozen, barren desolate state.
Horakhty (Harakhty, Harakhti) 'Horus of the horizons.'
(Its possible the word Horizon, Hori-zon (Hori, Hore, Heru?) derived from the name Horus)
The celestial kings as Horus incarnate presiding over the horizons i.e., red orbs rising and setting like the red Sun.
"The form Harakhti or "Horus of the horizon" refers to the god rising in the east at dawn to bathe in the "field of rushes." The Pyramid Texts mention this aspect of the god linked to the sovereign: the king is said to be born on the eastern sky as Harakhti. Also since the element -akhti can be a dual form of the noun akhet (horizon), there is a play on words when the king is given power over the "two horizons" (i.e. east and west) as Harakhti." (ref.)(my bold emphasis).
"Horakhty, only god, king of the gods; he rises in the west, he sendeth his beauty --."
(Breasted vol III p II, my bold emphasis).
The inscriptions do not leave any room for misunderstanding here, it clearly states, the god Horakhty rose in the west! Given that most people accept the notion that Harakhty is some kind of aspect of the Sun, this has led many catastrophists to promote the idea that the earth somehow physically toppled over on its axis leading to the Sun rising in the west. This is incorrect; the god kings as Horus probably rose in the west on a number of occasions, and since the earth didn't flip over they were able to write about it.
Above: Horakhty offering the symbol of life to the king (spot the difference with the above Horus').
The following inscription reveals Ramesses/Mars appeared somewhere close to the horizon above Nubia in the south (as above, so below).
Ramesses II; "He made (it) as his monument for his father, Harakhty great god, lord of Nubia."
(Breasted vol III p 213)
Sometimes an incandescent red orb, sometimes enshrouded in dust and debris and electrical manifestations giving the illusion that Ramesses/Mars resided in a mansion or 'great house' above (per'ah = pharaoh = great house). The following text reveal that Ramesses/Mars as the incarnation of Horakhty (or at the very least under the authority of) set up camp in the southern skies, 'God's Land' (Punt), the domain of Re.
"He made (it) as his monument for his father, Horakhty; making for him the "House-of-Usermare-Meriamon (Ramesses)-in-the-House-of-Re." (ibid p 215)
It is clear two separate deities are being spoken about here, for if Re and Horakhty were one and the same, it would simply read...
"He made it as his monument for his father, Re making for him the "House-of-Ramesses-in-Re's-House" (the ancient Egyptians may have been naive but they were not stupid!). The glorious temples at Abu Simbel in the far south were built as a direct result of Ramesses/Mars and his divine queen Nefertari/Venus migrating sunside (daytime) to appear in the southern skies - clearly seen during the day courtesy of a red Sun.
"His majesty sailed down-stream as the image of Harakhte." (ibid p 18)
Re-Horakhty Part 2 of the Horus Gods.
Horus Behdety - The Winged Disk Part 3
Hart, G. 1986. A Dictionary of Egyptian Gods and Goddesses. London: Routledge/Kegan Paul.
Wilkinson, R. H. 2003. The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt. London: Thames and Hudson.
Wallis, E.A. Budge 1969. The Gods of the Egyptians , vol 1. New York: Dover Books
Ancient Egypt Online
Henadology Philosophy and Theology