Greetings again Egyptophiles!
James Clark has decided to wow us with another example of his Egyptian iconography from the Neo-Enochian (that is post-Golden Dawn) portion of the Essential Enochian Grimoire. This is another of the godforms that rule the “Truncated Pyramids” of the Watchtower squares:
The Greek name “Harpocrates” comes from the Egyptian Heru-pa-Khered, meaning Horus the Child. As the story goes, Osiris had impregnated Isis just before he left the realm of the living to govern the Underworld. Osiris’ brother and murderer Set, who had usurped the Throne of Egypt, was unaware of the pregnancy, and Isis did everything in her power to keep it that way. She went into hiding in a field of reeds to have and raise the child – who she named Horus – in secrecy. (As it happens Set did eventually find out, and made several attempts to assassinate his infant nephew, but all without success.)
Eventually, Hrous came of age and confronted Set to reclaim his father’s Throne. After 80 years of battle (on the field and in court), Horus achieved victory and became the ruler of Egypt. From that point forward, every Pharoah was considered a living incarnation of Horus.
The Child Horus became a special figure in Egypt, much as the Baby Jesus would become his own figure in later Christianity. (In fact, it is quite likely that images of the Madonna and Child are descened from older Egyptian images of Isis and Harpocrates.) Horus the Child represented the newborn Sun (in the morning, but especially after the winter Solstice) and the first appearance of crops and vegitation.
As Nick Farrell pointed out in his most recent blog post, our association with Harpocrates as a “God of Silence” was due to a misunderstanding on the part of the Greeks. They saw the young boy figure holding a finger to his lips, and assumed he was making the common gesture for “be quiet.” Thus, they associated him with their own God of Silence and Mystery – and that is exactly how he is viewed in the Golden Dawn system to this day.
In fact, the particular gesture being made by Harpocrates is simply an imitation of the Egyptian Hieroglyph for “Child.” I suspect this had something to do with children sucking on their fingers, or even making a non-verbal request to be fed.
Of course, even if Harpocrates is not specifically a “God of Silence”, there is still deep significance in the mythos of his being raised in secret by the Mother Goddess, and prepared for his eventual confrontation with Set. In the Golden Dawn’s Neophyte initiation ceremony, the candidate is presented as likewise raised in darkness and obscurity, protected and finally guided to seek spiritual wisdom by the Great Mother so he can someday reclaim his own spiritual Throne and govern his personal Kingdom.
In the Neo-Enochian system, Harpocrates represents balanced Air and Water. Two sides of his pyramid are Air (yellow with purple characters) and two are Water (blue with orange characters). His image is a youth wearing a yellow and blue tunic, a yellow pectoral collar, and a blue headdress. He also wears the double-crown of Egypt, colored yellow and blue. He holds a blue ankh and stands in the “sign of silence” – meaning his left fingertip is pressed against his lips. Sometimes he is depicted kneeling upon a Lotus blossom. He rests upon a yellow and blue base.