[Update 4/6/2016: I have added the short descriptions of the talks, as well as a couple of notes about them]
Here are two presentations delivered at Pantheacon 2016:
Waking up Gods, Waking up Creation: The Egyptian Morning Hymn
Descriptive blurb submitted for the Pantheacon Program: “We will explore the Morning Hymn used to waken the Gods and Goddesses in Egyptian Temples – covering the hymn’s history, meaning, parts, and performance. We will end by learning to pronounce and sing choral portions of the hymn and then perform a complete hymn together for a God or Goddess”.
Presentation – PDF rendering of PowerPoint slides and a PDF handout distributed at the talk.
Weaving the Cloth of Reality: Word and Sound in Egyptian Ritual
Descriptive blurb submitted for the Pantheacon Program: “Egyptian rituals use the sounds of words, along with their meanings, to connect to mythic themes and tie the ritual utterances together into effective tools. The goal is to please the Gods, re-energize Them, and sustain creation itself each day. We will explore sound and how it can deepen our modern understanding and practice of Egyptian ritual by looking at current progress in reconstructing the pronunciation of Egyptian, analyze the layers of meaning in some simple ritual texts, and then pronounce them”.
Presentation – PDF rendering of PowerPoint slides
These slides are clearly not the complete content of the talks and unfortunately the talks were not recorded. Nevertheless, I will leave these here in the interest of documentation and as a reference point for some later posts, so I may refer back to them.
You will notice that some of the material from The Morning Hymn for Seven Goddesses is included in the Pantheacon slides. We sang about half of that Hymn as part of the presentation, diverging a little bit from the plan in the blurb text.
The ‘Waking the Gods Handout’ provides a short form Morning Hymn vocalization for both a God and a Goddess and a pronunciation key. If you feel so moved, use them in your own devotions. By all means experiment – sing them in English or Egyptian, for any God or Goddess, using whichever way of saying Their names that is meaningful to you, or chant them, or say them out loud. They are meant as tools and (hopefully) take off points for your own practice. No need to obsess over doing them one right way. The Egyptians had multiple versions, and we can too. Make them live!
There are more examples of the Morning Hymn text than are covered in ‘Waking the Gods’. One of those, Utterance 6 of the Temple Statue Ritual (Berlin Papyrus 3055), titled simply ky r(A) “Another Utterance”, contains a quite interesting version. It will receive its own treatment in a subsequent post.
The photograph is one I took at Deir el Bahri Temple in January 2016. It shows the rising sun shining directly into the sanctuary of Amun, albeit somewhat misaligned. The alignment would be very near perfect at the Winter Solstice, to which the temple is aligned. We were there a couple of weeks later.