Honoring Thrice-Great Djehuty
Full Moon night fell on the Bonneville Salt Flats of Utah’s northwestern desert on May 10, 2017, and we gathered beneath the ruddy peaks that lined the valley to give praise to the Noble Ibis- the God Djehuty, called “Thrice-Great” in so many ancient texts. My new series of small icon panels, the “Aegis Series”, began with the Aegis of Djehuty and the Souls of Khmennu, a work that petitions Lord Djehuty to safeguard the virtues of sacred Knowledge, Wisdom, and Magical learning. Like all of the panels in the Aegis Series, this icon is a *shield* of divine protection aimed at drawing out the apotropaic qualities of the deity it houses.
This holy work is not a symbol, though it displays symbols. It is not a reminder, though it contains memory. It is not inspirational art, though it was certainly divinely inspired and provokes inspiration. Like all true cult images or God-images, the Aegis of Djehuty is a physical manifestation of the Netjer’s (the Deity’s) Ka or Vital Essence. Referred to in the ancient tongue as sekhem, the cult-image is a literal container of the Netjer’s power, and is itself a tangible manifestation of that deity’s living presence. Such works are taken through a number of complex rites and magical procedures, from the moment of their inception to the moment of their installation in temple or shrine. Each of my icons is *birthed* through the pains and ecstasies of time-honored rites that directly link the physical image with the dynamic manifestation of the deity crafted upon it.
One such body of practices is the rite of lunar radiation, during which the icon is taken beneath the light of the Full Moon, and remains there for a period of time long enough to magically charge it with the essence of the lunar disk. Solar radiations are also accomplished for deities linked directly with the sun; but for Lord Djehuty, Who is Himself the very embodiment of the Moon (Iah), the lunar radiation ritual is the most vital and powerful ritual, whose action grants the cult-image a living power all its own.
So, we took the Aegis of Djehuty- still in a state of being worked to completion- out into the desert salt flats where the intense glare of the Full Moon shone nearly as bright as early morning on the pristine salt. Above us stretched a dark lapis sky ornamented with bright stars, and behind us the dark amber sentinels of pyramidal mountains. These were the peaks we have recognized as sacred places of our Gods, and have even given them Kemetic names; Montu Mountain, the Peak of Sutekh Great of Strength, the Womb of Merit-Sager. All of Them watched in utter silence as we created an appropriate ritual space on the desert floor, and then broke the silence with the crash of our sistrums and chanting in the Kemetic tongue.
Offerings of round bread and beer were fed to the image through the recitation of offering formulas, and Lord Djehuty petitioned to receive the essence of the offerings by way of the *mouth* of His holy image. It is the essence of cult that opens up the doorway between our human world and the world of the Gods. It is the action of cult- its offerings, music, hymns, and ecstasy- that urges the Gods to return our petitions with the power of Their living Presences. It is cult that brings human and Divine together in the same vital space, which becomes a living temple where the Gods and Their celebrants dance.
The most significant aspect of the cult of images is to provide a meeting place for the material and spiritual worlds, to bring these together in such a way as to make them inseparable. This is accomplished through the feeding of the divine image, meaning the offering of taste (food sustenance), sight (via flames), sound (via music, instruments and chanting), and smell (incense) to the Deity. These are the foundations of cultic action, and without them no God-image can hope to serve or to bridge the gap between humanity and the Gods. It is the constant *feeding* of the God-image that establishes a firm link with the deity so embodied, and cult-images that receive constant and vigilant service become the most potent images of all.
I am very grateful to those generous souls who contributed prayers to be read out loud during our lunar radiation rite for Lord Djehuty. Her Holiness Rev. Tamara Siuda (AUS), Nisut / Sacral King of the Kemetic Orthodox Faith, was kind enough to send us a special prayer she had adapted for our blessing of this icon, and she is sincerely thanked for providing that blessing. Rev. Tatiana Matveena allowed us to use two of her beautiful and poetic prayers to Djehuty for His gratification. All three of these prayers are posted below with permission from their authors, and all rights are reserved by them.
Prayer for Blessing the Aegis of Djehuty
By H.H. Rev. Tamara Siuda (AUS)
Dua Djehuty! I kiss the earth before Ra’s tjaty.
Very Great Lord, sacred bird, Lord of Ma’at, words, and knowledge:
Creator Who spoke the words of life,
You Who spoke into existence all that is and shall be,
Who played a game against the moon that Netjeru might be born,
Who aided Aset in Her flight, and judged in Heru’s favor;
You Who are mate of History and consort to Truth,
Lord of scribes, playwrights, and poets,
Grant that this icon communicate with Your grace.
Accept my words and bless Your image with iru,
that it might inspire and bring blessings to all who interact with it.
May You walk within it, and within each of us, today and every day.
Adoration of Thrice-Great Djehuty
By Rev. Tatiana Matveena
Djehuty thrice-great, lord of Khemennu
Uncreated, who made the world into being
As the word of Ptah and will of Atum
Who witnessed the birth of sun
On the top of the hill of the Ogdoad
My heart longs for you
Your city is in rejoice
When you come into it
Let me praise you
At day at night
You, master of the divine book
Who measured the sky and earth
Let me follow you
Wherever you go
Protect me and vindicate against my enemies
Make me justified
Before the tribunal of any god and goddess
Let them all say, she is without fault
So my water and bread will be pure
One that comes from your altar
Let me come to the beautiful west
To the abode of pure souls
To dwell with ones who love you
You, the well of the desert for those who thirst
Consolation of sorrows
Inventor of speech
Lord of many graces
Let me know all your holy names
Written in my heart
Let me know you and adore you in all your holy forms
So I may make the glorifications
Of the secrets of Thoth
Praising Djehuty Lord of Hermopolis
By Rev. Tatiana Matveena
Praise to you, Djehuty,
Lord of Hermopolis, Thrice Great,
Great One of the Five,
Lord of the divine Net in Kheseret,
Lord of Terror in Pselquet,
Lord of the Wine in Abaton.
Lord of the Divine Speech,
One who makes libations for the Ogdoad on Iat-Djamut,
Divine Avenger with knife
Sharp as the moon-crescent, blood-stained,
One, whose revenge is swift,
One, whose benevolence has no limits.
You, the most beautiful,
Silver Aten of the Night,
Lord of the Glory of Nut,
Thrice Great, Great.
My heart rejoices about you every day,
Your heart is pleased, when you see me,
My heart is full of joy when I see you.
You make me justified,
Before the tribunal of every God and Goddess,
You initiate me into the secrets of the Divine Book,
And let me know the difficult passages of the Divine Speech,
You let me know the number of Chambers-of-the-Sanctuary.
You are the Light I saw in the Chamber of Darkness.
Accept me to your suite
And let me follow you
Wherever you go,
And grant me safe passage
Through either of the Two Ways
To the Mansion of the Moon,
To the abode of Justified.
I live to serve Djehuty,
Now and in the eternity-everlasting, nhh-djt.