Explanation of Egyptian Art around Liber

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Explanation of Egyptian Art around Liber

Postby Tinman » Thu Jul 30, 2009 7:30 am

In many Crowley books, as well as a great deal of the more professional looking pdfs of liber out there, there is, on the cover, surrounding the document's title, an egyptian looking image - winged globe above, pillar on each side, hieroglyphics at the bottom.

(for example the first page of this doc:
http://www.hermetic.com/crowley/libers/liber777.pdf)

What do all the elements of this design mean?

Thanks
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Postby Jim Eshelman » Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:48 am

Someone who knows their Egyptian hierglyphics better than I will have to answer.

But the main thing is, I don't think they "mean anything" in a "gotta dig this out" sense. I think it was just a design some artist found and threw together for Crowley to use in Equinox Vol. III etc.
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Postby underabloodredsky » Thu Jul 30, 2009 10:04 pm

The figure is the entrance to the Temple; let it be known and revered.

The pillars' motifs are composed of two elements, the djed-pillar and the crown. The djed -pillar represents the backbone of Osiris. "It is a symbol of stability... and was particularly revered at his cult centre of Busris (ancient Djedu) in the Delta."
"One special festival depicted on the walls of the Abydos temple is that of 'Raising the Djed-pillar'. The origins of the the djed-pillar are uncertain, although it is thought by some to represent a pole with grain tied around it. ...The ceremony referred to the resurrection of Osiris and the djed motif is often found painted on the bottom of coffins so that the backbone of the deceased would rest on the image of the backbone of Osiris. Its restorative power would then ensure that the dead would return to life, just as Osiris had in mythology...The djed symbolised stability and continuity so the ceremony linked the reign of the king with the rule of Osiris in the Underworld."
It also "may originally have represented a stylized tree-trunk with the branches lopped off." Perhaps in this context it is related to the Tau.

The crown appears to be the headdress of Renenutet, a fertility Goddess and "deity of vineyards and wine-making...a cobra-form goddess of harvest and abundance....Wine had a special significance in the cults of the goddesses Bastet, Sekhmet, Tefnut and particularly Hathor, the goddess most associated with alcohol and drunkedness. A song inscribed on a wall of the hypostle hall of the Temple of Hathor at Philae, tells of a 'festival of intoxication' celebrated in honour of the goddess...."
-"Ancient Egypt"; Lorna Oakes and Lucia Gahlin.

The roof is composed of the winged solar disk: "In the book Practical Egyptian Magic by Murray Hope it is said about this symbol and its use in Egypt:

Emblematic of the element of air, this consists of a circle or solar-type disk enclosed by a pair of wings. In ritual magic it is suspended over the alter in an easterly direction and used when invoking the protection and co-operation of the sylphs. [1]

A Masonic reference work describes it this way:

... the Winged-Disk, with the Uraei of Egypt, the original of which we find in the text summarized by Naville in the "Myths of Horus," pII. xii. ff.:&endash; "Horus commanded Thoth that the Winged-Sun-Disk, with Uraei, should be brought into every sanctuary wherein he dwelt, and into every sanctuary of all the gods of the lands of the South and the North, and in Amentet, in order that they might drive away evil from therein...." This is what is meant by the Winged-Disks, with the Uraei, which are seen over the entrances of the courts of the temples of all the gods and goddesses of Egypt. [2]

Other occultic [sic] groups lay claim to the symbol and its use. A Rosicrucian reference work says this:

The Winged Globe is pre-eminently a Rosicrucian symbol, although the Illuminati may lay claim to it, and it may be admitted that it is of Egyptian origin. The Winged Globe is the symbol of the perfected soul making its flight back to the source of its creation in the Elysian fields beyond. [3]

1. Hope, Murry, Practical Egyptian Magic (New York: St. Martin's Press), 1984 p. 107. Quoted by Fritz Springmeier, The Watchtower & the Masons, 1990, 1992 pp. 113, 114.

2. Churchwald, Albert, The Signs and Symbols of Primordial Man,... (London: George Allen & Co., Ltd.) 1913 p. 344. From a photo copy in Springmeier, p. 114.

3. Swinburne, Clymer, The Rosicrucians Their Teachings (Quakertown, PA.: The Philosophical Pub. Co.), 1923 p. 112. Quoted by Springmeier, p. 115."
-http://www.seanet.com/~raines/disc.html

The hieroglyphics: the middle section, says, "Hudit god great Lord the sky." It is section [A] of the Stele of Revealing found on page 241 of "The Holy Books of Thelema", Samuel Weiser. The two glyphs on the side correspond to section D, which says, "[no translation]". However, on page 248 of the same, it says, "[D] In front of the priest is a table of offerings under which is written <<bread, water, cattle, fowl.>>"

To summarise, we have the Temple of "Ra-Hor-khut, cheif of the gods" with the winged solar disk, "Houdit, the great god, lord of the sky" emanating L.U.X., the Temple whose servant was "The deceased, prophet of Mentou, lord of Thebes, the one for whom the doors of the sky are opened in Thebes, Ank-f-n-khonsu", the Temple whose pillars reveal the Secret of eternal life, the drunked rapturous ecstasy of life, that "the dogma of the Great Work is fertility." "It abideth alone, and its name is Compassion. I understand by 'Compassion' the sacrament of suffering, partaken of by the true worshipers of the Highest. And it is an ecstasy in which there is no trace of pain. Its passivity (=passion) is like the giving-up of the self to the beloved." - The Book of Thoth.
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Postby Tinman » Fri Jul 31, 2009 10:36 am

A bunch of great info underabloodredsky - much appreciated

Jim your post left me considering all of the art I've enjoyed throughout Crowley's works... and who actually produced them. For instance - does anyone know the process that AC would go through to, say, produce the cover for his Equinox publications (the one with the slogan on it, and the ram on the left and lady justice on the right)... did he sketch it and hire some local artist? What?

I've been intrigued in learning about the method by which AC and Harris worked together to produce the Thoth art - never thought to apply the same detective work into understanding how the "other art" was produced - but now...
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Postby Jim Eshelman » Fri Jul 31, 2009 10:49 am

Tinman wrote:Jim your post left me considering all of the art I've enjoyed throughout Crowley's works... and who actually produced them. For instance - does anyone know the process that AC would go through to, say, produce the cover for his Equinox publications (the one with the slogan on it, and the ram on the left and lady justice on the right)... did he sketch it and hire some local artist? What?

I don't know item-by-item - but JFC Fuller was the primary illustrator for the first issues of The Equinox, and may have done the cover logo.
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Postby Secret Asian Man » Fri Jul 31, 2009 11:29 am

This is essentially the same information that underabloodredsky gave with some illustrations added.
Hieroglyphics
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