View Full Version : Harpocrates

solomon levi
10-15-2012, 05:43 PM

"To attain the SANCTUM REGNUM, in other words, the knowledge and power of the Magi, there are four indispensable conditions--an intelligence illuminated by study, an intrepidity which nothing can check, a will which cannot be broken, and a prudence which nothing can corrupt and nothing intoxicate. TO KNOW, TO DARE, TO WILL, TO KEEP SILENCE--such are the four words of the Magus, inscribed upon the four symbolical forms of the sphinx...
Silence is the Equilibrium of Perfection. Harpocrates is the omniform, the Universal Key to every Mystery soever!" - Eliphas Levi

solomon levi
10-16-2012, 07:38 AM
From wikipedia:
Typically, "Harpocrates is the Babe in the Egg of Blue that sits upon the lotus flower in the Nile". He may be termed the
'God of Silence' and said to represent the Higher Self and be the 'Holy Guardian Angel' and more in similar vein, adapted
from Aleister Crowley's often-reprinted Magick.

This reference with the HGA is significant to me. This has kind of looped around back to the "secrecy" thread
and the gods/angels sharing alchemical secrets with people. I've had some very profound and strange visions
today having to do with angels, aliens, gods, spirits, demons and daimons and their role with us. Probably too
strange to share; or maybe I'm being tested on keeping silence. That would suck. I don't want the universe to be
a test. Ooops. I said, "I don't want..." Now I'm really forgetting myself. ;)

Another thing I want to mention is that the finger to the lips is actually a sign or mudra which stores/saves energy,
as one might guess keeping silence would.

It may interest some that Harpocrates stands on the back of the crocodile, but the crocodile is on the back of Set.

Bel Matina
10-18-2012, 01:35 AM
Harpocrates, and the rest of the trinity in which he is embedded, pose an interesting case study of signs being reinterpreted as they are brought into different contexts. The modern hermetic reimagining of him recasts the recieved understanding of him within the familiar reference of the language of birds. That received understanding itself consists of the blended superficialities of his original Egyptian significance and his Roman significance, the latter a superficial projection of a figure mostly encountered as a cherubic statue in the temples of Isis and Sarapis mysteriously cautioning silence. Actually the gesture made the statue a life-sized rendition of the hieroglyph for 'child' - consider the differences in meaning of the 'thumbs up' sign internationally today. Horus did not loom large in the practice of the Isis/Sarapis mystery cults, as much as he figured mythologically, and the Romans were free to run wild with the significance of this mysteriously for granted statue. I can definitely understand how that presence of the mysteriously neglected shushing child in the sanctum of the mysteries would speak to the philosophers - even this mysterious child of no consequence can tell you that there are things that cannot be told to you, no matter how clear the sight of the teller or the depth of the precision of their words.

The truth is that no matter how much they may lack for ambiguity with the right content and context, words describe the categories we assign our experiences to, and not at all the experiences themselves. Fundamentally, even an apt description is a metaphor for what we saw, and as the philosophers teach us everything is a metaphor for everything else. That being the case, whether or not there is in fact some common substrate to all our individual experiences, our words will never reach it; the best we can do is establish a common reference point and gesture wildly. Thus, there is no hope of communication if you put any kind of confidence in the solidity in your words, as they are just frothing air and while they may be elaborate and precise (and I believe there is a place and a utility for such gesticulations) the limits of their utility is not your confidence or skill in craft but your audience's ability to place the metaphor in their own experience.

solomon levi
10-18-2012, 04:09 AM
Greetings Bel Matina.

I wanted to write about synchronicities... I have a little already, but it would be a good thread.
I mentioned somewhere recently that the thing with synchronicities is that they are still subjective.
What it comes down to for me, and what I think makes or breaks a magician/alchemist, is that
one first process their beliefs... which means not believe. It's important to be free of beliefs
before this magic and synchronicities and time/chronos start to "speed up" (wrote a thread on that too)
or else you won't have the detachment to "slow down" and see other, less subjective options.
Believing can result in egomaniacal complexes and savior roles or some other power thing or even
people thinking they are manifestations of the devil or god (which we all are - we all are All).

I have to relinquish the computer, but I really appreciate your reminding us of the old/original ways/versions...
I'm more of the kind of alchemists that re-writes the story, keeping the archetypes. I'm sure you're both.

Anyway, gotta go. I'll come back to this and write more.
I love you and thank you Bel Matina.
Talk soon. :)

Bel Matina
10-18-2012, 06:14 AM
I feel moved to explore the pre-Roman layers of this enigmatic figure.

By the time the Romans heard of him, Horus the child (that is Har-pa-khrat > Harpokrates) had merged with Horus the Elder (Har-wer > Haroeris) as one figure at different ages - not dissimilar to the way Jesus on the cross and Baby Jesus might almost be considered distinct objects of worship in some forms of Christianity. This was all placed within the familiar narrative of the Isis-Osiris mythos. Their original relationship is somewhat more complicated.

Horus the Elder is in fact one of the oldest cult gods worshiped in Egypt, predating Isis and Osiris by a large margin. Haru may be translated as 'the face' or 'above' among other things, and both of those meanings figure into the mythology describing him in the pyramid texts, the largest corpus of the oldest stratum of Egyptian literature extant. One telling passage relates that his right eye is the sun and his left eye is the moon, and the pillars of heaven the locks of his hair. Their understanding of the structure of the world was more or less identical to that described in genesis, with a great transparent dome holding up the waters over heaven from the earth, the stars suspended from it - the prototype of the later celestial spheres. I have a hard time finding a way to understand this passage other than that this is a personage whose body encompasses the entire universe - a universal God in the earliest stratum of Egyptian history. Horus the Elder is always paired with Hathor as his female counterpart, whose name means literally "house of Horus". The age of this divine pair is attested by the fact that in the earliest god lists there are no fewer than eight Hathors, the take away being that the local cults had diverged to the point that they were no longer considered to be worshiping the same divinity.

When the Isis-Osiris cult incorporated in Egypt, they coopted the personage of Horus into their mythos to form a father-mother-child triad, a well-precidented strategy for incorporating disparate cults within a polity that continued to be used for a long time after - for example Carthage had such a triad, innovated for the particular attachments of that city. It's when that cult rose to imperial prominence that the appellation "Har-wer" (as opposed to just "Har") first appears. This makes it pretty clear that the term "Horus the Elder" was first coined not to distinguish different life phases of the same figure, but rather to distinguish Horus in his role in the new triad versus the original cult, still extant. This was of course millennia before the Romans came, by which point the original cult was long dead and forgotten.

Horus, in his role in the triad to Egyptian understanding, was the archetypal Pharaoh - conflated with Re, he was the sun personified, and we have inherited that Egyptian significance of the sun (and also their sign). He represented the sun at noon, at the height of its power to draw life from the waters, where Osiris represented the sun at midnight, in its state of deepest digestion. Osiris was the king after death, and so father to the living king (always Horus). We owe quite a bit of symbolism to the Isis-Osiris cult along those lines, so I don't feel like it's necessary to harp on it.

There are so many ways to digest all this, but I think I'll throw it out raw and see where people go with it before I lend my own liquor :)

10-18-2012, 06:24 PM
More then a decade ago I did a mantra with a group people:

Heru Sekhai
Heru Hekkennu

Some experienced spontaneous OOB's which was fine at the time but they had never had that before so they felt concerned afterwards.

As Horus the hawk soaring over the terrain.

solomon levi
10-19-2012, 06:50 AM
For me, Harpocrates has recently come into my awareness as silence, or the power of keeping silence.
That is what I wanted to share with people, especially if you are experiencing magic and synchronicities.
I found myself "spontaneously" turning to keeping silence as a gesture of slowing down the vortex
and preserving energy instead of disipating it by 'believing' the synchronicities.
Synchronicities let some people know they are on the right path. But what are synchronicities...
you can't have synchronicities without a past, without memory and association.
Do we want the past to write the present, or do we want the present to be new and unknown?

Anyway, there's no good or bad about this... no right way. I'm just aware that sometimes
synchronicities can drive us crazy and keeping silence is a way of not attaching significance
and meaning to things... it's an antidote if the synchronicities get too much.

It was actually synchronistic that I found that quote by Eliphas Levi, and I like it very much:
"Silence is the Equilibrium of Perfection. Harpocrates is the omniform, the Universal Key to every Mystery soever!" - Eliphas Levi

Silence is also golden. Consider what lead is. :)