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Seshat and the Clitoris

Guest author Nandani Felicia Bharrat writes Seshat and the Clitoris.

The name Thoth is familiar to most, but how many know of the Goddess Seshat?

Seshat the Goddess was actually the sole true creator of the hieroglyph. She is the goddess of wisdom and writing and Thoth is the decoder of this information to humanity. Thoth is the messenger much like the Greek god, Hermes—a transmutation made from Egyptian to Greek mythology. Hermes is also known as the Roman god, Mercury.

Seshat is sometimes depicted as wearing leopard print with a seven-pointed star leaf emblem above her head. Throughout spiritual histories of metaphysics, mythology and occult, the number seven has become a staple. Seven in numerology has esoteric properties associated with meditation. There are the seven rays of occult myths originating in 6th c. BCE, seven major chakras of ancient Tantra and Hinduism, and seven African powers within Obeah and Orisha worship of Yoruba, Afro-Cuban and Caribbean spiritual practices.

In tantra numerology, the seventh body is the cleansing and mastering of the auric field, the energetic layer of the physical self. A well-known auric protection visualization among psychics, channelers and yogis alike is to imagine an orb of light hovering approximately six inches above the crown chakra located at the top of the head. Through meditational visualizations the orb is strengthened in luminosity and serves as a protective energetic field for your auric body.

In my research, I have found that wisdom has a powerful and scholarly association when identified in masculine gods. At the same time, however, wisdom is also associated with deities such as Lakshmi in Hinduism, who is much like the roman Venus or Greek Aphrodite. All are goddesses of love, abundance and earthly delights as well.

This topic became of interest to me once I noticed the “upside down horns” depicted above Seshat’s seven-pointed star. It is said that her horns were originally turned upright much like goddess Hathor. but in later depictions this changed. Historians have also mapped her decline alongside the rise of male-centric cults developed in worship of Thoth. According to Professor and feminist author Carole R. Fontaine, as time went on, scribes managed to lower the ranks of the goddesses while re-writing the accounts and sacred texts.

It is also recorded in those times that Seshat’s wisdom was bestowed upon Pharaohs and scribes. If this is true, then they there were no others to question the authority or re-writing of these men.

(Note there were only a few female pharaohs under the protection and wing of Seshat, see List of Ancient Egyptian Queens)

The oldest knowledge we have of Seshat tells us that she created the hieroglyph system. “According to one myth, it was actually Seshat who invented writing, but it was her husband Thoth who taught the people to write.” [via]

There are many other instances where the goddess and female power and presence was slowly buried. Old reliefs depict Seshat with Queen Hatshepsut. She was pharaoh under protection and guidance of Goddess Hathor as well. She had a temple made for her. She was a peaceful queen but good at war. Her reign was almost completely erased, though, by her own son, Tuthmosis III. His reign was assumed to be a cleansing of the lineages’ long reign of female power. Queen Hatshepsut’s attempts to adorn herself in the male pharaoh garb, including a fake beard, in reverence to tradition did not save her from the stifling of her light that has happened relentlessly to Goddesses, females in authority and many artists, writers throughout our known history. Tuthmosis III, son of Hatshepsut’s half-brother / husband (his death left her to reign) was unfortunately not challenged or questioned, as he tore down her temples and removed all signs of her energy everywhere.

In relating back to the subject of goddesses of wisdom and their association with fertility and sex, there is also this. Up until very recently, the female sexual organs and sexual liberation was a taboo subject—and in some places it still is. Yet when we look deep into the history of ancient spiritual philosophies and culture we find that both the masculine and feminine were equally as important and revered for their godly and humanly qualities.

In the past few years we have finally incorporated the internal images of the clitoris! Never before was this taken into consideration or shown so publicly, and the clitoris is still censored or left out of scholastic textbooks.

In 2005 The American Urological Association published Dr. O’Connell’s reports on clitoral anatomy. The report itself states, “The anatomy of the clitoris has not been stable with time as would be expected. To a major extent its study has been dominated by social factors … Some recent anatomy textbooks omit a description of the clitoris. By comparison, pages are devoted to penile anatomy.” The report also mentions how seemingly impossible it is to understand the internal structure of the clitoris with just one diagram. Several are required to truly get a comprehensive understanding of it.

Alas, it wasn’t until as recent as 2009, French researchers Dr. Odile Buisson and Dr. Pierre Foldès gave the medical world its first complete 3-D sonography of the stimulated clitoris. They did this work for three years without any proper funding. [see]

Amazingly, if you look at the “upside down” horns on the head of Seshat you will see very clearly it is in th internal shape of the clitoris! I believe this is associated with her mental fertility and stimulation that led to the realization and creation of the hieroglyph. Here are a few other points to further connect the symbols. Seven chakra points were defined in a another not- so distant land where Tantra and pre-Hinduism were the reigning spiritual philosophies. The Chakras are basically energy points in the body governing and elevation of consciousness until one has attained a certain level of enlightenment.

Observe depictions of such ancient Hindustan gods like Chinnamasta, who is shown as a headless being spewing her own blood into the mouth of two nude devotees adorned in armbands and malas (prayer beads / sacred necklaces) who willingly drink from her. Below Chinnamastika’s feet, a couple lay in the throes of passion.

Now, upon studying the main chakra points you will notice that the lowest chakra governs the primal needs such as sex, breathe, food and so on. The blood spilling from a headless body is representative of an elevated consciousness that goes beyond the physical!

Once you have delved into the various myths, and spiritual paths and symbols you can easily find the similarities, the connection of metaphysical philosophies that correlate despite their distance in time or location. The seven-pointed star located above Seshat looks much like a tantra and chakra visualization of the protective light field.

In spiritual studies of this system, you are taught psychic protection. One tool in this process is envisioning a stream of light right above your head with a light shining out from its top, much like an orb. Cartoonish depictions of light are often made with points showing the rays exiting the center or the brightness. Here we could make the conclusion that this is a variation of that and upon it sits the internal shape of the clitoris! Let us consider, then, that the feminine may be a symbol of the connection of earth to astral or of the astral back to earth again! The cycle, or the infinity! With woman life begins and is given forth and the cycle may continue that way!

There are ways we can identify how ancient Egyptian gods and goddesses have changed throughout time. At first Seshat was Thoth’s daughter, but in later accounts she was his wife. And when cults followed Thoth more strongly, he was deemed the god of writing who created writing, rather than the interpreter. This may be direct evidence of a shift from goddess to god mentality.

We are limited in words but the symbols themselves do carry a potency.

Is there something to be said for less words? By this I mean, focusing on putting more potency and energy behind them rather than providing more of them. Take the hieroglyphic, since we are on that subject. They are pictures and symbols with great meaning and energy.

On a visit to the Brooklyn Museum I happened to see a 3d hieroglyphic. The Egyptians took a 2d sigil and manifested it into 3d! Statues and idols now have a new meaning to me. Symbols immortalize beliefs that can change from one society to another, one historian to another. But as we have come to more extensive acknowledgment and education on the female anatomy we can further explore the top of Seshats crowning symbol!

Excerpt on Wikipedia about Seshat:

“Seshat assisted the pharaoh in the “stretching the cord” ritual. This ritual is related to laying out the foundations of temples and other important structures in order to determine and assure the sacred alignments and the precision of the dimensions. Her skills were necessary for surveying the land after the annual floods to reestablish boundary lines. The priestess who officiated at these functions in her name also oversaw the staff of others who performed similar duties and were trained in mathematics and the related store of knowledge.

Much of this knowledge was considered quite sacred and not shared beyond the ranks of the highest professionals such as architects and certain scribes. She also was responsible for recording the speeches the pharaoh made during the crowning ceremony and approving the inventory of foreign captives and goods gained in military campaigns. During the New Kingdom, she was involved in the Sed festival held by the pharaohs who could celebrate thirty years of reign.” [via]

Thoth is no less important nor higher in rank than Seshat. As we approach a new dawn on this planet may the fear and subjugation of the feminine powers be put to rest. Let there be an end to violence against witches and women alike. And let us celebrate equality among the gods and people! Let us continue to research deeply, question history and uncover truth or at the very least keep an open mind.

Nandani Felicia Bharrat is an Indo-Guyanese Hindu-Witch, experimental artist and energy healer based out of Brooklyn, NY. Her business Kali MA: Triple Goddess Tarot and Healing is a center for Reiki healing, Meditation, Tarot Workshops and Divination services. She creates experimental film and visual art and founded the Portal Gallery, ongoing event/project that aims to diversify arts and performance in her hometown, Bushwick.

Under the moniker Kali, she is an ever-evolving healer-artist, with focus on intersectional feminism, womb healing, self realization, addiction, mental illness and trauma survivors. She is a certified Usui Shiki Ryoho Reiki Master, a Kundalini Kriya yogini, clairsentient psychic, channel, and self taught diviner.

Want to write for Hermetic Library? Submit your Pitch!

Write an article, review, or story for Hermetic Library

Interested in writing for Hermetic Library? Now you can!

I am announcing an open and rolling call for you to pitch ideas for submissions to Hermetic Library’s blog, site, private publication for subscription Patrons, or, possibly-maybe-once-and-future, journal!

(If you want to post to the Hrmtc Underground BBS or submit something to the wild & wooly Zine instead, go ahead! There’s no formal submissions process for either of those. What I’m describing here is specifically for publishing to the blog, site, and/or journal.)

I recently created an online form which you can use to submit a pitch for your submission idea. I’d mentioned it in a couple of places, and have it linked on the website and in the sidebar of the library blog, but wanted to make sure I more formally announce it to you here.

You’re probably already familiar with the library and the blog, but if not you should be sure to get an idea of what the library is all about before making a pitch. Consider taking a gander at the submissions guidelines for the Anthology Journal for some general idea of what I thought submissions to that might have looked like. Now that I’m thinking about it, there’s also the contributors’ guidelines in the Caduceus archive you can consider as well.

But, once you’ve got an idea that you feel is right for the library audience, you’re ready to start. You should pitch your idea for a submission!

What happens next, you ask? What’s the process of moving from making a pitch, developing a submission, compensating you, and, finally, publishing your work for the public audience of the library to read? Well, I’m so excited you asked! Let me tell you!

The Pitch

When a pitch comes in, what I plan on doing is posting it to a private forum for my Patrons. I’ll do that to give them a chance to let me know what they think, and if they’re interested in reading the proposed submission. I’ll take their feedback into consideration on whether to accept or reject the pitch, and move forward with the idea as a submission.

If the pitch idea is not accepted, I’ll suggest whether or not to revise the submission for another try. Optionally, the author may consider posting the submission as topic for Discussion on the BBS.

If the pitch is accepted, then I’ll ask the author to submit the article, review or story for consideration.

The Submission

When a submission comes in, what I plan on doing is posting it to a private forum for my Patrons. I’ll do that to give them a chance to let me know what they think about the various merits of the submission. I’ll take their feedback into consideration on whether to accept or reject the pitch, and move forward with compensation for the author and then posting the submission to one of Hermetic Library’s projects.

If the submission is not accepted, I’ll suggest whether or not to revise the submission for another try. Optionally, the author may consider posting to their work as a topic for Discussion on the BBS, or submitting to the Hermetic Library Zine instead.

If the submission is accepted, I’ll move forward with paying the author. Once I’ve successfully compensated the author for their work, I will then post the the article, review or story for the public to read one of the variety of places I publish.

Compensation

For submissions that are accepted for publication, I happily offer thanks. I’m also delighted to send a gratis download code for any one of the released anthology albums.

For work accepted to the blog, I currently offer an honorarium of $15/article. If you’re pitching a review, I offer and honorarium of $5/review or I am happy to see about getting a reviewer’s copy sent to you as your compensation instead.

For work that is accepted for publication in a journal or privately for Patrons who have the Subscription Publication perk, you will be offered ¢13/word.

Finally, if there’s something else you’ve got in mind, or an idea I’ve not mentioned, let me know!

Places Where Submissions Will Be Published

As already mentioned, rejected pitches can still be developed and posted to Discussion on the BBS, while rejected submissions can be re-submitted to the Hermetic Library Zine instead.

Accepted article, review or story submissions may be posted to the Hermetic Library blog, added to the Hermetic Library itself, privately printed as a booklet sent to Patrons who have selected the Publication Subscription perk, and/or collected for publication in an Hermetic Library Journal, which could then be actually launched!

But, to set expectations, the most likely place of publication will be as a guest post on the Hermetic Library blog.

 

If you have any comments, questions, or concerns, do get in touch. Also, if the process seems daunting or there’s some aspect of it that creates difficulty for you in some way, let me know so we can find a way forward that works better for you. Finally, if you’re thinking of something that doesn’t seem to fit what I’ve described here, get in touch and let me know what you’re thinking so we can figure out whether and how we can consider your cool out-of-the-box idea. Go ahead and use the form and fill out as much as you can and I’ll get back to you, or contact me directly.

Current contact information should always be up on Hermetic Library, so you can reach me via email or post.

I look forward to hearing from you, so pitch your idea today! (Besides, you read this far, right? You might as well follow through with a pitch too!)

It’s Aleister Crowley’s Birthday

On the occasion of Aleister Crowley’s lesser feast for life, born October 12, 1875, Jason Louv, over at Ultraculture, links to the Libri of Aleister Crowley in a re-post about Crowley’s continued relevance today at “It’s Aleister Crowley’s Birthday“.

“Crowley took it as his life’s work to return an understanding of Magick to a society that had buried it. Like many others of his generation, he helped kick down the locked doors of repression, both sexual and spiritual, and sought to put the study of the ‘otherworlds’ on a firm scientific basis.

Crowley was one of the first Westerners to openly talk about and advocate yoga, meditation, ritual, shamanism, the chakras, understanding of past lives, sexual and chemical experimentation, Qabalah, Buddhism, Hinduism and even Tantra as valid tools for self-exploration.

For Crowley (also an early advocate for gay rights), all of these could be used as structures to achieve one thing: the discovery, and execution, of one’s true life purpose. Unlike the Theosophists who came before him and the New Agers who came after him, he ruthlessly sought to cut out any fluffy, wishful and deluded thinking and instead posited Magick as the study of the true nature of the world, which, being natural, is neither black nor white but, rather, red in tooth and claw.” [via]

Dangerous Minds punks out before attending Aleister Crowley’s Gnostic Mass

Dangerous Minds correspondent Thomas McGrath totally punks out before attending Aleister Crowley‘s Gnostic Mass in the UK, and actually writes about it at the inaccurately and click-bait titled “‘DO NOT EAT THE CAKE OF LIGHT!’ Dangerous Minds attends Aleister Crowley’s Gnostic Mass“.

Dangerous Minds Gnostic Mass

The article is barely worth mentioning, but it’s an interesting example of how newbies perceive things and apparently freak themselves out (or are freaked out by ill-informed friends) around attending such things. Frankly, that kind of self-induced frission is nothing compared to the funky mind games one can play with themself before an initiation (“OMG, what did they put in this WATER they offered while I wait my turn?!?!” or “I hope the GOAT is GENTLE this time!!!”), but this was an example of someone who might have stayed for a much fuller and richer experience of, you know, actually attending the Gnostic Mass ritual if they had been allowed the opportunity to pass the first time they attended, which some local bodies do offer.* However, on the other hand, in spite of the author of the article, I think the amiable and welcoming as well as both funny and serious nature of most actual Thelemites I’ve known comes through a bit as an example for those able to get over themselves long enough to join in.

 

* The point about being expected to partake is actually one of those issues. The text of Liber XV, the Gnostic Mass, itself says, “Those of the PEOPLE who intend to communicate, and none other should be present, having signified their intention, a whole Cake of Light, and a whole goblet of wine, have been prepared for each one.” And, so … but self-care and self-determination, tho.

The Copiale Cipher: An Early German Masonic Ritual Unveiled

The Copiale Cipher: An Early German Masonic Ritual Unveiled” by James D Hodgkins is an article, pointed out to me by the author, from the March-April 2012 issue of the Scottish Rite Journal which may be of interest.

 

“A curious enciphered manuscript was discovered in an East German library in 1970 and eluded all attempts at decipherment. The document was forgotten until it fell into the hands of a private collector and recently came to the knowledge of an international team of academics from the U.S. and Sweden. In April 2011 the “Copiale Cipher” was broken, studied, and released to the public six months later. It contained rituals that caused a great deal of excitement in the mainstream press. Due to translation errors, the press missed an opportunity to arouse public interest with another mysterious topic that often grabs headlines: the Cipher protected an 18th-century German Masonic ritual.” [via]

 

“The first sign that this was a Masonic document was when Bro. de Hoyos saw the German word mopsen [sic] and noted that it was mistranslated as “thieves” on the second page of the cipher. The sentence in which the word occurs asked whether the candidate was a member of any other secret order. The code breakers used scientific methods to determine the age of the document, but the word mopsen allowed Bro. de Hoyos to “guestimate” a timeframe of 1740s–1760s for the cipher’s age. Bro. de Hoyos noted that the “Mopses” were a pseudo-Masonic Catholic coed fraternity founded in 1740 after Pope Clement XII’s 1738 bull denounced Freemasonry. It consisted almost entirely of Germans and counted some of the most important members of German society as its members. The name derived from the German noun Mops, meaning “pug-dog “(which played a part in the society’s ritual), although the translators confused this with the verb mopsen meaning “to filch, to steal.”

The interpretation of the manuscript as the ritual of an ophthalmology society is due to the misinterpretation of one commonly used logogram (a symbol used in place of a word). The logogram , which the code breakers called “lip,” was interpreted to mean “oculist” or “eye doctor.” Bro. de Hoyos took a cursory read of the first page of the German text, recognized it as using the language of 18th-century German Masonic rituals, and realized the logogram in question clearly stood for Maurer, or “Mason” in English. Once this small change is made, the document opens itself up and becomes a great deal more legible for everyone. Most English-language writings on 18th-century ritual are concerned with English and French Masonry; this document provides useful primary-source insight into German Masonic ritual of that time.” [via]

 

“In a time of legitimate concern over such issues as declining membership within the Craft, it is encouraging that core aspects of our ritual and philosophy have remained unchanged for close to three centuries. Regardless of time or distance, one of the appeals of Masonry will always be the universality of the values we teach. The Copiale Cipher now serves as a new testament to this tradition.” [via]

September 1930, Lisbon: Aleister Crowley’s lost diary of his Portuguese trip

September 1930, Lisbon: Aleister Crowley’s lost diary of his Portuguese trip” (Note: the link goes to a PDF) by Marco Pasi is an article in Number 1, Spring 2012 of Pesso Plural, a publication of research about Fernando Pessoa published by Brown University, Utrecht University and Universidad de los Andes. In addition to the article itself, there’s also a series of images of the diary typescript itself you will probably find interesting.

“Aleister Crowley’s diary for the period of his travel to Portugal and his meeting with Fernando Pessoa has long been considered lost or inaccessible. However, a copy has been finally found and is here presented and published for the first time. The analysis of the diary allows us to have a fuller knowledge of Crowley’s movements and activities while in Portugal and especially of his meetings with Fernando Pessoa. It also clarifies some aspects of the famous Boca do Inferno suicide stunt in which Pessoa was directly involved and brings some new clues concerning a possible initiation of Pessoa in one of Crowley’s magical orders.”

“O diário de Aleister Crowley referente ao período da sua viagem a Portugal e ao seu encontro com Fernando Pessoa considerava-se, há muito tempo, perdido ou inacessível. Porém, uma cópia do mesmo foi finalmente localizada e é aqui apresentada e publicada pela primeira vez. A análise do diário permite-nos ter um conhecimento mais completo dos movimentos e das actividades de Crowley aquando da sua estadia em Portugal e, nomeadamente, do seu encontro com Fernando Pessoa. Também esclarece certos aspectos da famosa encenação do suicídio de Crowley na Boca do Inferno, encenação na qual Pessoa esteve directamente envolvido, e fornece algumas novas pistas relativas a possível iniciação de Pessoa numa das ordens mágicas de Crowley.” [via]