Friday, August 16, 2019

Ann Christine Tabaka writes


white Ibis        purple clouds
shadows    s t r e t c h i n g
out       of         bounds

wet marsh grass
                        in the breeze
whispering songs
            from beyond time

sun vanishes   
darkness glows
surf sounds      hypnotize

crashing waves
                        whistling wind
endless            dreams
sail past

sandy footprints
                        wander home
stars guide
the       ibis      calls
Sacred Ibis Painting - Thoth by Catherine G McElroy
Thoth -- Catherine G McElroy

1 comment:

  1. The ibis was sacred to "ḏḥwty" ("Djehuti," generally known to us as Thoth), whose name meant "[He] is like the ibis," a wading bird (Threskiornis aethiopicus). Originally a lunar god, Thot had the head of an ibis because the curve bird's beak was a symbol of the crescent moon. He was the Egyptian god of wisdom, writing, hieroglyphs, science, magic, art, judgment, and the dead. He maintained the universe and, with his wife Ma'at (the goddess who personified truth, balance, order, harmony, law, morality, and justice and who regulated the stars, seasons, and the actions of mortals as well as those of the deities who had brought order from chaos at the moment of creation), stood on either side of Ra's solar barge. In Duat, the underworld, he appeared as the god of equilibrium who reported when the scales weighing the deceased's heart against the feather, representing the principle of Maat, was exactly even. He was One, self-begotten, and self-produced. He served as the divine scribe and was credited with the invention of writing and hieroglyphs. The Egyptians credited him as the author of all works of science, religion, philosophy, and magic, and the Greeks, who conflated him with Hermes, claimed he was the inventor of astronomy, astrology, the science of numbers, mathematics, geometry, surveying, medicine, botany, theology, civilized government, the alphabet, reading, writing, and oratory, the true author of every work of every branch of knowledge, human and divine. He was credited with making the calculations for the establishment of the heavens, stars, Earth, and everything in them. Thoth was also heavily associated with the arbitration of godly disputes, the arts of magic, the system of writing, the development of science, and the judgment of the dead. Originally, the year was only 360 days long, and Nut (the goddess of the sky, stars, cosmos, mothers, astronomy, and the universe) was sterile during these days; Thoth gambled with the Moon for 1/72nd of its light (5 days' worth), giving Nut and her brother/husband Geb (god of the Earth, who allowed crops to grow and whose laughter caused earthquakes) to give birth to Osiris (the god of fertility, alcohol, agriculture, the afterlife, the dead, resurrection, life, and vegetation), Set (god of chaos, fire, deserts, trickery, storms, envy, disorder, violence, and foreigners), Isis (goddess of the sky, kingship, magic, wisdom, and rain), and Nephthys (the goddess of mourning, rivers, the night, service, childbirth, mothers, the dead, protection, the home, the hearth, coffins, burial, and air). After Osiris was killed by Set, his sister/wife Isis collected the pieces of his dismembered body, and Thoth gave her the words to resurrect him so he could impregnate her with Horus; after Set plucked out Horus' eye in battle, Thoth gave Horus the wisdom he needed to recover it. At Hermopolis, the City of Hermes (modern El Ashmunein), ibises were reared specifically for sacrificial purposes, and in the serapeum at Saqqara archaeologists found the mummies of 1 1/2 million them. They were probably the source of Herodotus' account of the man-eating Stymphalian birds, which had brass wings, sharp metallic feathers they could fire at their victims, and poisonous dung. Another bird that was regarded as an embodiment of Thoth was the northern bald ibis (Geronticus eremita), which symbolized excellence, glory, honor, virtue, and spirit (one of the 5 elements that constituted personality); a fertility symbol, in some accounts it was one of the 1st birds that Noah released from the Ark after the Great flood destroyed mankind.