November 28, 2009

Water for the Dead (Mysteries of Wesir (Osiris), Fourth Hour)

We offered water to Him, among other things, in the fourth hour vigil prayers. As I stand before the shrine then back away to take my seat among the other participants I notice as if for the first time just how bright His icon's eyes are, watching me from a deep green face. It is the first time I've noticed all night that His eyes are open, even though they always have been. Earlier, in the ritual, I could not see His face.

At the head of the funeral bier stands Nebt-het (Nephthys), Her icon's arms extended in both protection and mourning, and next to Her, Her son Yinepu (Anubis). To Their right, and toward Wesir's feet, Djehuty (Thoth) and Aset (Isis) stand together, planning, waiting, speaking the words of transformation that will make Wesir change from Dead King into King of the Dead. Nebt-het and Yinepu wait silently for what has happened; Djehuty and Aset create what will be. This is how it always was, always has been and always will be. The past becomes present; the dead are restored to life. The cycle in all of its intricacies plays out there in the form of five gilded statues on a flat surface, standing at the joining point of two walls literally covered with golden stars listing the names of the blessed dead, our ancestors. We can read the names in the half-light, and add Them to the magic of becoming.

Sunrise is closer. The fourth hour of the night passes, and we pass with it. We taste the taste of the water of life and we emerge as Shemsu, His followers, refreshed with it.

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