In The Desert Of Seth

By G. B. Marian

Concerning “The Lament of Hermes”

The Gods triumph over Apophis!

So there’s this Hermetic prophecy called the Lament of Hermes, which foretells of a future time when the ancient Egyptian religion will be eradicated from the land in which it was born. This text is particularly fascinating to certain Christians I’ve met, who seem to think it predicted the advent of Christianity. In actuality, the text was written at a time when Christianity was already in development, for Hermeticism and Christianity were contemporaries. The Lament is really an example of what the Christian historian Bernard McGinn calls “history as prophecy,” in which contemporary writers claim to be people living in the ancient past and “predict” events that have already taken place. This was a favorite pasttime among Jewish and Christian writers in the earliest years of the Common Era, with the infamous book of Revelation being a primary example. (The events in that book are really about the persecution of early Christians by the Roman Emperor Nero.) But the “history as prophecy” motif was actually used by Egyptian writers long before then, with scribes attempting to build their Pharaohs up as messianic saviors who rescued Egypt from cataclysmic events that had happened in the recent past (e.g., the Ramesside Pharaohs pulling the country back together after the Second Intermediate Period).

The “history as prophecy” motif is truly ingenious. From a cynical perspective, it’s an excellent way of controlling people (as long as you can convince them that your story was written before it actually happened), which isn’t that difficult even in this day of age. People will fall in line and do whatever you say if it seems like you have the Grays Sports Almanac: Complete Sports Statistics 1950-2000 from Back To The Future Part II (which, mind you, was actually written after 2000 and before it was used by Biff Tannen in 1955). But from a far less superficial standpoint, this phenomenon actually serves an important psychological need. When Egyptian scribes “predicted” the past deeds of their glorious Pharaohs, they were giving their fellow Egyptians a sense of hope against the social, political and spiritual turmoil that threatened to swallow them in the present. “Things will work out just as they did before,” such prophecies seem to say; “If we believe our enemies have already been defeated – that the outcome of our struggle has already been decided in our favor – then it will be so.” The same held true for Jews who were living in the Babylonian Captivity and for Christians who were being thrown to the lions in Rome. “History as prophecy” can be a very cathartic way of dealing with the dark uncertainties of the future.

The author of the Lament of Hermes (whose true identity will most likely remain unknown) was answering a very similar need at the time. He (or she, but probably a he) was coping with the anxiety of seeing Egyptian spirituality and magic disappear from this world forever. This didn’t exactly happen – the way of Ma’at would resurface again through Renaissance occultism, which in turn would open the door for Thelema, Kemeticism and other Egyptian-based paths in the 20th century – but the author’s concern was valid nevertheless. What can you do when the Gods you follow have lost most of Their worshipers and Their sacred images are being defaced and torn down? Dream of a time when the world will be reborn and the way of Ma’at will return, that’s what. Write what’s happening now as if it already happened long ago, and write of your hopes for the future as if they are certainties, not hopes. Such is a particular brand of magic that is used universally, by virtually every religion of which I know.

But the Lament forecasts a lot more than just the decline and eventual return of Egyptian spirituality. Between these two events, it’s said that the Gods will grow so weary of this world that They will abandon it altogether, leaving us to finally be swallowed by Apophis. The Gods will then create a new world and start Their work all over again, but once all vestiges of the Egyptian religion are completely erased from Egypt, so will this world be completely erased from existence. This is because Egypt is “the Temple of the World” and what happens there will supposedly influence everything that happens everywhere else. And now, in light of what happened to Nimrud and Hatra in Iraq last week, it seems like the Lament’s grim prophecy might potentially come true after all. ISIL has issued a fatwa commanding Muslims to destroy every last Egyptian artifact in the country, and while many Egyptian citizens will probably try their best not to let this happen (since archaeology abd tourism are such huge parts of their economy), ISIL has a history of making good on its childish threats.

Now of course, one could say the prophecy isn’t true because the Egyptian religion hasn’t been practiced in Egypt for quite a while now, and yet the world is still here. But I would contend that the prophecy isn’t just referring to the Egyptian religion in a Kemetic reconstructionist context. For one thing, it’s a product of the Alexandrian Greco-Egyptian era; it’s not a Pharaonic Egyptian work. Following the Netjeru meant something very different for the author of the Lament than it would have for someone living under, say, Ramses II. By Greco-Roman times, upholding Ma’at had become more of an exotic and Hellenized mystery cult phenomenon; the all-pervasive church-state animism of the Pharaohs had already disappeared. For another thing, I think the Netjeru are a bit more open-minded about what qualifies as “piety” than certain other Deities, and I think They’re reasonably happy so long as Their sacred images and monuments are preserved in places of honor (e.g., museums). The 42 Negative Confessions show that no one is ever judged by the Gods according to whether they actually worship or believe in Them; the greater concern is that people treat other living beings well and that they refrain from vandalizing or stealing any offerings from any shrines to Gods or the dead. That’s literally all there is to it, and by this logic, Egypt has been keeping up its end of the bargain simply by not destroying all of its ancient relics. Some of them have been vandalized, for sure, but there has never been a successful orchestrated attempt to completely erase the entire pre-Abrahamic history of Egypt.

Furthermore, I’ve seen evidence that there are still people in Egypt who either (1) continue to celebrate Islamicized versions of ancient Egyptian festivals (e.g., observing Wep Ronpet as Wafaa El-Nil) or (2) actually worship the Old Gods (ostenisbly in secret). In his book, Isis and Osiris: Exploring the Goddess Myth (Doubleday, 1994), Jonathan Cott writes of meeting a secret group in modern Egypt called the Ammonite Foundation, which claims to have existed since Pharaonic times and which continues worshiping the Netjeru on modern Kemetic soil. I’ve never seen anything in any source apart from Cott’s book to verify that these “Ammonites” actually exist, but even if they do, they’re probably quite small (and they probably never existed before the 1970s). Nevertheless, it seems highly likely to me that someone in the country probably still worships one or more of the ancient Gods. It’s definitely true that Kemetics and other Egyptian-based Pagans from foreign countries have made pilgrimages there, so one way or another, the Gods are still being honored in the glorious Black Land of the Nile; They haven’t forsaken it just yet.

I also find it very hard to believe that the Gods would ever just abandon everyone on Earth to fend for themselves against the chaos dragon and its demons. What about those of us who honor Them in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States? Don’t we deserve Their continuing guidance despite whatever might happen in the actual geographic place called “Egypt”? Could They really be so elitist as to consider us “not good enough” simply for being foreigners? Where exactly is the Black Land, anyway? Is it really limited to a specific geographic area in North Africa? Or has it perhaps become something greater than that? If images contain the true spiritual essence of a thing, then we aren’t just thinking about Kemet whenever we say its name, look at photographs of its landscapes, or imagine what it must have been like to live there before Muhammad, Christ or Moses. No; when we see Egypt in our minds, we’re actually seeing the real thing. ISIL can try to destroy whatever it wants (and I personally hope they will fail and all die horrible, stinking deaths), but it will never lay waste to the true Temple of the World that exists and thrives within our hearts. As long as we are here – all Kemetics, all Tameran Wiccans, all Thelemites, all Hermeticists, and all [three of] us LV-426ers – the Lament of Hermes will never really come true. We are HERE, motherfuckers! We will not fade away, and we will not go quietly! We will not shut up, and we will not bow to the idiot serpent that ISIL truly serves! Fuck Apep, and fuck you!

AAH triumphs over ISIL! Taste your death, Apophis!
AMUN triumphs over ISIL! Taste your death, Apophis!
ANATH triumphs over ISIL! Taste your death, Apophis!
ANUBIS triumphs over ISIL! Taste your death, Apophis!
ANUKET triumphs over ISIL! Taste your death, Apophis!
APIS triumphs over ISIL! Taste your death, Apophis!
ATUM triumphs over ISIL! Taste your death, Apophis!
BANEBDJED triumphs over ISIL! Taste your death, Apophis!
BAST triumphs over ISIL! Taste your death, Apophis!
BUTO triumphs over ISIL! Taste your death, Apophis!
DUAMUTEF triumphs over ISIL! Taste your death, Apophis!
GEB triumphs over ISIL! Taste your death, Apophis!
HAPI triumphs over ISIL! Taste your death, Apophis!
HATHOR triumphs over ISIL! Taste your death, Apophis!
HATMEHIT triumphs over ISIL! Taste your death, Apophis!
HEKA triumphs over ISIL! Taste your death, Apophis!
HEKET triumphs over ISIL! Taste your death, Apophis!
HORUS triumphs over ISIL! Taste your death, Apophis!
IMHOTEP triumphs over ISIL! Taste your death, Apophis!
IMSETY triumphs over ISIL! Taste your death, Apophis!
ISHTAR triumphs over ISIL! Taste your death, Apophis!
ISIS triumphs over ISIL! Taste your death, Apophis!
KHEPERA triumphs over ISIL! Taste your death, Apophis!
KHNUM triumphs over ISIL! Taste your death, Apophis!
KHONSU triumphs over ISIL! Taste your death, Apophis!
MA’AT triumphs over ISIL! Taste your death, Apophis!
MERETSEGER triumphs over ISIL! Taste your death, Apophis!
MIN triumphs over ISIL! Taste your death, Apophis!
MONTU triumphs over ISIL! Taste your death, Apophis!
NEITH triumphs over ISIL! Taste your death, Apophis!
NEKHBET triumphs over ISIL! Taste your death, Apophis!
NEPHTHYS triumphs over ISIL! Taste your death, Apophis!
NUT triumphs over ISIL! Taste your death, Apophis!
OSIRIS triumphs over ISIL! Taste your death, Apophis!
PTAH triumphs over ISIL! Taste your death, Apophis!
RA triumphs over ISIL! Taste your death, Apophis!
QEBSHENUF triumphs over ISIL! Taste your death, Apophis!
SEKER triumphs over ISIL! Taste your death, Apophis!
SEKHMET triumphs over ISIL! Taste your death, Apophis!
SERKET triumphs over ISIL! Taste your death, Apophis!
SESHAT triumphs over ISIL! Taste your death, Apophis!
SHU triumphs over ISIL! Taste your death, Apophis!
SOBEK triumphs over ISIL! Taste your death, Apophis!
TAWERET triumphs over ISIL! Taste your death, Apophis!
TEFNUT triumphs over ISIL! Taste your death, Apophis!
THOTH triumphs over ISIL! Taste your death, Apophis!

And most of all, IAO-BOLCHOSETH-ABERAMENTHO-TYPHONEUS triumphs over ISIL! Taste your death, Apophis, and GREAT SUTEKH BE PRAISED!

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5 responses to “Concerning “The Lament of Hermes”

  1. Rev. Dragon's Eye March 13, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    Very uplifting!

    I fall under the belief that the People who honor the “Old Ways”, will rise up in defense of them. We can all rise up, as avatars of the Gods (and Goddesses), and be as instruments of defense, of Their honored ways. These “Islamics” (a globally-controlled systemic movement) are doing the bidding of their controllers (the globalists) in erasing mankinds’ past, and all remnants thereof. This has been the contrived plan for a very long time.

    Interestingly,

    This sounds like another great way to use today’s “doubles-day” power, with the power of the waning moon, to begin weakening the negative effects these groups are doing?!?

    Like

  2. katakhanas March 13, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    Great post! And huzzah for synchronicity: My Bodacious Beau and I were just talking about Cott’s book this morning before we left for work! While I personally doubt that the Ammonites bear the eldritch stamp of venerability, I don’t doubt that the Neteru continue to receive worship, either directly or under threadbare disguises of Coptic/Eastern Orthodox Christianity or Islam. After all, Byzantine iconography depicts St. Christopher with a dog’s head, which is as blatant an homage to Anubis as you can get!

    Your rousing curse reminds me of the good old days in my Gardnerian training, when my very politically active HP and HPs led our coven in dark moon binding spells targeting George W. Bush and his criminal cronies at the outset of the illegal invasion of Iraq. I think all polytheists who honor warrior goddesses and gods in particular need to convene in large groups and do hexing on a mass scale towards Islamic State!

    Liked by 1 person

    • G. B. Marian March 18, 2015 at 6:23 am

      Yes, Saint Christopher is an excellent case in point! (I really enjoyed your thoughtful essay about that, by the way.) This reminds me of yet another reason why it could be argued that the Egyptian Gods are still being honored in Egypt, though it’s almost certain to make some “hard” polytheists cringe. My brother Patrick believes in what I guess you might call an Egyptianized version of Interpretatio graeca, wherein Deities and other figures from non-Egyptian religions are interpreted as being different versions of Egyptian Gods. Jews amd Muslims, for instance, are really following Aten, while Christians are really worshiping Osiris and Buddhists are following a reincarnation of Imhotep. I’m not always sure I agree with this myself (though I do find it tempting at times), but if it’s true, this would mean that at least three different Deities (Aten as Yahweh/Allah, Osiris as Christ, and Isis as the Virgin Mary) are still being worshiped and/or honored by the masses in modern Egypt.

      In any case, it is clear to me that ISIL is really serving neither Allah nor Aten (regardless of whether these are truly the same entity or not), but Apep, which is proven by its actions.

      Like

  3. ChildofRa March 14, 2015 at 10:43 am

    This is very interesting and something i never knew before

    Like

  4. Setken (@WingedPhysique) March 15, 2015 at 4:27 am

    This is a good post Mr. Marian, and timely.

    I too have been contemplating how Kemeticisim has reemerged today, and been looking at everything from Crowley to the Rosicrucians and HoN to ToS and others besides. I am specifically working on new paintings that contemplate how Netjer is manifesting in America today!

    I know someone (and have recently spent time with him in your country) that has had actual interaction and contact with the Amonnites. Read about it on his blog here: http://iconsofkemet.blogspot.com.au/2015/02/autobiography-of-mystic-part-2.html

    A Google search on fatwas decreeing destroying antiquities reveals articles going back to 2006. The destruction of the Buddhas in Afghanistan suggest this is not a new thing for these clowns either. I would think that with the millions that the Egyptian government have spent on building the new Grand Egyptian Museum alone, I doubt that they are going to let anything as horrible as what happened in Nimrud and Hatra (and Afghanistan for that matter) happen there. I also take comfort in the fact that when I visited Cairo late 2010 there were guards EVERYWHERE. (The revolution came just after that time).

    I shall read the Phil Coppens article linked to your post with interest.

    Liked by 1 person

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