So, some of you may have seen my post about ancient Egyptians and what they might have thought about those who went through or planned to go through sexual reassignment surgery and the like. Well, I was just thinking the other day about life, the universe, and everythingand I was remembering the story of how Osiris died and was put back together. Part of it was that Isis/Aset/Auset (I put all spellings I know because I know some people are picky--and they have a right to be) couldn't find her husband's penis so she made him a new one. I find that this somehow reflects back to the ancient Egyptian belief that one must have their genitals intact to enter the after life, but I can't make the exact connection. Where and how does this connect? I really feel like it reflects back onto the whole needing genitals thing. Maybe the belief was just the whole "it's ancient times and we need to procreate to keep up the population" thing. Which makes sense, but... Anyways, would anyone like to share their thoughts on this?
I've never heard of that particular belief, care to share your sources?
In general, keeping the body as intact as possible was important as the body was still a fairly viable vessel for the soul, even after death. If the body was destroyed instead of properly buried, a small effigy could be used to represent the person, whether it be a tiny clay statue or an emorous one in the center of a temple. As long as it was "open" for the right being to inhabit it, even for a moment, it was more than enough. The body or the effigy was important as it gave the dead person the ability to inbide the food left behind by relatives or the priestly services.
Having surgery is not the same as losing body parts. Your parts are, more or less, changed into the form acceptable to you. The ancient Egyptians did not have the know-how to do this and have the person survive. There are a few possible cases of homosexuality, and a few stories of such, and generally the consensus was the dominant person suffered little to no social stigmas, whereas the submissive person did (as this tended to show that the dominant person was over them in power thus making them less of a person of authority). The few stories of this always said that there was a wife waiting at home, with kids even, and the general consensus was that a man doing his duties properly would have a wife and kids (lineage was of a lot of importance especially amongst the educated folks). This was to ensure that one's family would live on, thus one's name would live on, etc. So no matter the behaviors that we would see as deviant were, they were acceptable as long as certain things were done.
There are deities which were female but had male bits and males that had female bits. Deities don't necessarily always follow human gender lines and gender roles; nor should we hold them to those particular lines and roles. The depictions were always intended as a way to describe the deity in a particular aspect; deities with particular endowments were in an aspect as a procreator or as a creator.
The Aset/etc story that is most common is not technically a Kemetic one; it's a Greco-Egyptian one. At the time that that particular story was written down/founded, while there still was some folk worship and political nods to the old gods, but for the most part the Greek rulers made up their own deities based on superficial similarities in an attempt to explain away their mistreatment of the natives. You can't oppress a people religiously if your gods are their gods. ;)
The original Aset-Wesir (Osiris) story involved him drowning, being taken to a cave, and almost being fully ressurrected before being interrupted by either Set or a well meaning deity. No body part chopping/removing/replacing.
Well to be honest, this is kinda different. I studied the Egyptians first years, and I still am. They are a winder, heck they created the most Well known mystery. The pyramids, however in a way this doesn't make sense.
I would also like to see you sources if you have any!
I know for a fact that some God's in mythology or beliefs had certain parts other other than a girl or boy parts.
Re: Egyptian Beliefs etc By: Brysing Moderator / Adept
Post # 5 Nov 30, 2014
It was once a very old tradition of removing body parts in battle.
It was to "prove" how many of the enemy a soldier had killed. Some Native American tribes collected scalps.Quite a lot of cultures collected ears! The Egyptian Military Generals were not stupid! Ears were no "proof" of individual "kills"; all men have two ears, and it was (at that time) impossible to distinguish male ears from female! But one thing was sure "proof" of a kill! The penis.And that is what Egyptian soldiers did, they cut off the penis of the enemy soldiers. It also had the added belief that only a "whole" body could go to the afterlife. So the enemy was not only deprived of this life, but also of the afterlife!
Re: Egyptian Beliefs etc By: Brysing Moderator / Adept
Post # 6 Nov 30, 2014
By the way. It was also known for women to go onto the battle field, and remove the penises from their own soldiers, and give them to their husbands/lovers to "prove" their men were "heroes".
Yes, even in that gruesome tradition there was cheating!
Except that the beliefs also included that a reasonable image of a person could be used equally well as a body if need be. It was a belief only attributed whenever a body could not be recovered/found or was so destroyed that there was no way to perserve it. If a body part or two were missing and could be replaced with the proper magical and funeral efforts, it was entirely acceptable to do so. As long as the member would still function in the afterlife, that was the main concern.
Brysing, I'm not sure that what you said was PG-13 appropriate, though it spreads from true for the ancient Egyptian armies to true for their "colony" armies. (Places like Kush were not considered "true" Egyptians by the Egyptians, to them Kush, etc, were lesser countries that Egypt controlled.)
A lot of you kept asking about my sources and my source for the genital removal thing was a documentary on Ancient Egypt from... National Geographic? Or maybe the History Channel? Sorry, American cable here.
First, understand that the Egyptian mythos, like all others, was fluid and changed over time. Set (or Seth) was not originally the bad guy, but the God of the Earth. Anubis (Anpu) was at a point the child of Set and Nephthys (Nebt-Het), Not Osiris (Asar) and Nephthys. Point is the stories and cannon changed over time.
Second, with regards to the version where Osiris was chopped up and a new penis had to be fashioned for him, Isis (Aset) could only bring Osiris back for one day with her magic. The point of bringing him back was to lay with him and have a child. This is where Horus (Heru) was conceived. That was the significance of creating a new penis when his was lost, not that he required it to go into the afterlife. Afterwards, because Osiris came back from the dead he changed from a primarily agricultural god to the god of the underworld, Lord of the Hall of Amenti.
The Ancient Egyptians had a strong moral code. This is apparent when, in their beliefs, the soul of the departed is judged in Amenti, by placing the heart of the person on the scales of justice, opposite the feather of Ma-at, and being questioned by the gods. The questions that were asked are well recorded in temple documents. They included things like "Have you killed others?", "Have you committed fraud?", etc. Some of the more interesting ones are "Have you defiled yourself?" and "Have you lain with a man?" (which, in this text, is understood to be describing homosexuality). Now, I've not found exactly how many questions you could get wrong before your heart outweighed the feather and your soul was fed to the crocodile god. I think it may be more like a confession and admitting of sin so that you could be free to move into the afterlife, but that is just a thought. Point being, I think they would have taken issue with having the surgery done. But, that is just how I think they would have felt. As there are no ancient Egyptians around today, the world may never know.
The following quotation is what I am looking for sources on, I do not count the History Channel, Discovery Channel, etc, as viable sources as they commonly twist language/information for their viewers. "The ancient Egyptian belief that one must have their genitals intact to enter the after life." I hope that you can explain this more thoroughly?
Actually Yinepu (Anubis) was not a child of Nebthet (Nepthys) or Set originally. His name means "Royal Child", which would more thoroughly place him as a child of Ra, Shu, Geb, or other creation/king Netjeru (god) than Set or Nebthet. Sometimes he's even a child of Aset or an aspect of Heru-sa-Aset (Horus, the son of Isis). Many individual and free standing Netjeru were placed within the mythos of other Netjeru; originally it is theorized that Wesir (Osiris) was a Netjeru whom one did not wish to be consigned to. The mythos of the ancient Egyptians is large and complex, making simplistic statements about it becomes vastly confusing very quickly.
Your second statement also contains some issues as ancient Egyptians viewed Aset as attempting to return her husband to life, thus the point of mummifying a body, speaking specific heka over/to it, etc. There's no point in a living person trying to copulate with a dead person and they knew it! Wesir and Aset needed an heir, yes, but that was not the point of it. Returning her husband and brother, who she deeply loved and cared for, was the main focus. Also, a phallus is required in the afterlife to some degree, specifically because to the ancient Egyptians a phallus wasn't just a phallus or a procreative body part, but a representation of their general creative abilities, power, and strength. Min, a very well endowed Netjeru, uses his body part in a technique called phallic intimidation which afforded protection. Similarly, Wesir's phallus represents protection, strength, and the ability to create (outside of intercourse!). Wesir never changed from an agriculture Netjeru to an Duat (Unseen/Underworld) Netjeru, he had additional duties placed upon him rather than losing his original ones. In many ways, Wesir represents the Nile itself, that which gives life (which is one of the theories as to why his original mythos had him drowning). He can't exactly give life without his member.
The last portion about the 42 Negative Confessions are a priestly (not a laymen!) requirement. The phrase generally reading homosexuality is the results of a Victorian era translation by Budge which has been used much like Leviticus 20:13. Anyone attempting to use this translation in this way is spewing some serious vitriol and needs to sit down and shut their mouths. The translation of modern Egyptologists and translations reads one of two ways: "I have not laid with an underage boy" or "I have not laid with a minor". The hierologlyphic translations indicate that it is a child, not a man, being spoken of in that particular negative confession.
It is NOT an admission of sin. The ancient Egyptians had NO concept of sin. This is a Victorian addition to the original texts.
You don't get x amount of questions you can answer wrong, you don't admit "yeah, I killed a guy", you continuously say "I did not do this bad thing". The point of it isn't to admit to wrong doings, it is not to cleanse your spirit/soul. The point of it is to say that you are clean and pure, that you have the right to be with the Netjeru; so you tell your heart and your Netjeru you have not done a thing, even if you might have. The heka of it is so that by saying it, you make it true. You don't get any questions wrong, you simply state "I have not done ___" forty-two times.