Exploring spirituality somewhere between the Emerald Isle and the Black Land....

Friday, March 23, 2012

Four Sons of Heru (PBP)

Today's post is exciting because I got to learn something new! I feel like I've got a good grasp on Kemeticism now, but there's so much to it so much history, so many stories that I still run into things I know little or nothing about. And that will likely remain true for quite a while!

While pondering what to write about this week and not having much luck (seriously, you wouldn't think the letter F would be so difficult!), I came across the phrase "The Four Sons of Horus/Heru." (Horus is his better known Greek name, but I'll refer to him as Heru since I prefer to use the Netjeru's Egyptian names.) I had no idea who these sons were, or what they were about, so I figured I'd do a bit of research and write about them for this week.

Turns out these Four Sons of Heru are those fancy dudes whose heads adorn the canopic jars. You know, those things they put your guts in when you were mummified. Considering all of the care the ancient Egyptians put into preserving a body as part of ensuring a happy afterlife, it's no surprise that these gods were charged with protecting the organs their jars housed, as well as helping the departed reach the Duat the other world. In fact, it was apparently such a big deal that The Four Sons of Heru were each protected in turn by a goddess.

Imsety, Hapy, Duamutef, and Qebehsenuef
photo from http://www.thefakebusters.com/

Now allow me to introduce you to the Sons of Heru:

There's Duamutef, who is depicted as a jackal-headed mummified man. His jar held the stomach, and his protector is Nit (Neith).

Qebehsenuef is a hawk-headed mummified man whose jar held the intestines. He is protected by Serqet (Selket).

Imsety is a mummified man whose jar held the liver, and his protector is Aset (Isis).

Hapy is depicted as baboon-headed mummified man, and his jar held the lungs. He is protected by Nebt-het (Nephtys).

O Children of Horus, Hapy, Duamutef, Imsety, Kebhsenuf, lift up your father this Osiris the King and guide him. O Osiris the King, it is caused that you be restored and that your mouth be split open, so stand up!
- Pyramid Texts Utterance 545

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