Here in Isiopolis, we are fortunate that we will be able to see about 80% of the eclipse that is coming on Sunday.
This obscuration of the sun reminds me of a ritual I will soon be undertaking with some of my beloved and magical friends. For just as the sun will be obscured by the moon on Sunday, so is Re’s light obscured each night when He sets and begins His nightly journey though the Twelve Hours of the Night.
The ritual we will be doing near the summer solstice is also called “The Twelve Hours of the Night” and it is a new ritual created for the upcoming edition of Isis Magic. We’re test driving it for the book. “The Twelve Hours of the Night” is a long ritual and is intended to go from sunset one day to sunrise the next. It is an initiatory rite—and something of an ordeal—for the Prophetess or Prophet of Isis. During the course of the ritual, the Prophet/ess journeys though the Hours to be renewed in her or his Work, just as Re is renewed each night.
Ahh, but how exactly is Re renewed by this nightly journey? After all, if you read the Egyptian otherworld books, you see that Re is constantly giving away His Light and Life to the inhabitants of the otherworld. Where does He get the energy?
Well, at the beginning of the journey, Re’s body and soul separate; in effect, He dies, but is neither dead nor ineffective. Then, at the very deepest part of the night—the Sixth Hour, Re’s soul (ba) rejoins His corpse, as the Death God Osiris, and together, made one, They are immersed in the fluidic Nun, the primordial waters from which Creation emerged In The Beginning. By connecting with this original and eternal energy, the Sun God is renewed and thus may be reborn at dawn in full power.
Wow. The first time I read this, it shook me to the core. Have you ever had that experience? Even if you’ve heard or read a thing before, sometimes it just hits you; really connects on a visceral level. That’s what happened to me when I read this. This is a great and wonderful Mystery. The source of everything is The Beginning. One must be un-made to be remade; or in alchemical terms, solve et coagula, separate and rejoin. It is the Mystery of Osiris and the Mystery of Re and the Mystery of Their joining. It is the later Hermetic Mystery of the Mixing Bowl.
And, of course, Isis is there with Re and Osiris—and with Her Prophet/ess—throughout this dangerous journey. In the Fifth Hour, just before Re’s dip in the primordial ocean in the Sixth Hour, Isis ignites the flames of transformation. The Book of What is in the Duat tells us:
The secret way of the land of Sokar, which Isis enters on, to be behind her brother. It is filled with flames of fire from the mouth of Isis.
See the large head in the middle of this image? That’s Isis protecting and filling the cavern with holy, transformative fire. And in the Hour following the renewal (the Seventh Hour), She and the Elder Magician protect the newly rekindled solar flame from the evil that would like to extinguish it.
Fire and Water; the transforming Fires as well as the primordial Waters of the Nun; both are required for renewal. Opposites join to become one, obliterating the opposition and creating something new and renewed.
I shall ponder these Mysteries as Sun and Moon conjoin on Sunday. Perhaps you will join me?