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Self-Slain Ankh-af-na-khonsu

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The Secret Door

Song Of Adoration
36. Then said the prophet unto the God:
37. I adore thee in the song --
I am the Lord of Thebes, and I
The inspired forth-speaker of Mentu;
For me unveils the veiled sky,
The self-slain Ankh-af-na-khonsu
Whose words are truth. I invoke, I greet
Thy presence, O Ra-Hoor-Khuit!
Unity uttermost showed!
I adore the might of Thy breath,
Supreme and terrible God,
Who makest the gods and death
To tremble before Thee: --
I, I adore thee!
Appear on the throne of Ra!
Open the ways of the Khu!
Lighten the ways of the Ka!
The ways of the Khabs run through
To stir me or still me!
Aum! let it fill me!
38. So that thy light is in me; & its red flame is as a sword in my hand to push thy order. There is a secret door that I shall make to establish thy way in all the quarters, (these are the adorations, as thou hast written), as it is said:
The light is mine; its rays consume
Me: I have made a secret door
Into the House of Ra and Tum,
Of Khephra and of Ahathoor.
I am thy Theban, O Mentu,
The prophet Ankh-af-na-khonsu!
By Bes-na-Maut my breast I beat;
By wise Ta-Nech I weave my spell.
Show thy star-splendour, O Nuit!
Bid me within thine House to dwell,
O winged snake of light, Hadit!
Abide with me, Ra-Hoor-Khuit!
Among the interesting things about the Liber AL vel Legis is that the poem in Verse 36 rhymes in English, even though it parallels a translation from ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. Crowley said the text is found "mostly" in the Stele of Revealing found in a Cairo museum.
As discussed earlier, the stele is a story about a powerful Egyptian priest in the City of Thebes, a servant of the God Mentu named Ankh-af-na-khonsu, who performed a magickal ritual before the throne of Horus that appears to have been an act of self-sacrifice.
The song explains that the act of slaying himself evoked the presence of the Sun God Ra-Hoor-Khuit. It seems to have projected the priest forward through time so that he could bring the message in the Book of the Law to Aleister Crowley. To Crowley the priest appeared under the name Aiwass, or "I Was."
The priest appeals to Horus to "appear on the throne of Ra," the great god of the sun. He asks that the "ways of the Khu" be opened, and the ways of the Ka be lightened and the "ways of the Khabs run through." The word Khabs refers to the star, or the secret light in every man or woman. The Khu is the garment worn to hide the inner light. It is, in essence, our mask, or ego. The word "Ka" seems to mean spirit. Thus the prayer of Ankh-af-na-khonsu is that his ego be opened, his spirit lightened, and the ways of his light "run through."
The objective of the ritual is to allow the light and "red flame" of Horus to enter the priest "as a sword in my hand" to carry through "a secret door" into the future.
The final song seems to be one of joy, in which Ankh-af-na-khonsu realizes success. He proclaims: "The light is mine; its rays consume me: I have made a secret door into the House of Ra and Tum, Of Khephra and of Ahathoor." These are all Egyptian gods with interesting significance. The House of Ra and Tum refers to the death of an elderly person at sunset. The god Khephra is involved in transformation, and Ahathoor appears to be a reference to Isis.
The priest continues to name the gods or perhaps powerful people in his time: "By Bes-na-Maut my breast I beat; by wise Ta-Nech I weave my spell." Bes-na-Maut seems to speak of a cat goddess. The name Ta-Nech may be a proper name of a person or perhaps another high priest of the day.
Thus the priest's song ends, with a request:
"Show thy star-splendour, O Nuit!
Bid me within thine House to dwell,
O winged snake of light, Hadit!
Abide with me, Ra-Hoor-Khuit!"
Copyright-James Donahue

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