Introduction

 

This page honors the wise, mighty and beneficent Lord Thoth, most learned and among the most beloved of the Neters who continue to assist the health and awakening of Egypt, and through her all peoples living on Earth.

 

Thoth was born the second son of Nut, after Ra, Neter of the Sun. Thoth first appeared in Egypt as the Neter of the Moon, as shown here. Even later, as the lunar deity travel costume in which he first appeared passed naturally to the feminine Neters Isis and Hathor, and Thoth became increasingly identified with Mercury rather than the Moon, the primal contrast between Thoth and his elder brother remained. As Ra was the golden solar light of the intellect, Thoth was still the ever-mysterious radiance of intuition, lit silver by the Moon. While Thoth is best known to Egypt and to history and present consciousness as a god of intellectual arts, his identification with the Moon continues, as though to suggest that the highest wisdom combines the clarity and penetration of intellect balanced by the insight and compassion of intuition.

   As Thoth is linked naturally with Isis, he also has the main supporting role in the Egyptian national myth of the royal family of Osiris the King, to whom Thoth is secretary and adviser; and Isis the Queen and their son Horus, whom Thoth serves as scout and protector against the murderous aims of Set, Neter of Chaos and Destruction, whose involvement with the other Neters proves far more intimate and direct than any of them would have wished.

 

  As divine intellect protecting the king and the realm, Thoth was the counselor of every pharaoh, provider of clarity, insight and inspiration, as he had been to King Osiris.

 

   For more on Thoth's role as Egypt's first Prime Minister, see When It Rained in Egypt.

Thoth is much beloved, and is understood to be good-humored and beneficent. Though he is a Neter of formidable intellect and verbal power, so that it is not surprising that he was among the first divine entities on our planet to be called a person of wit, those who love Thoth have always known him to be one who will use the brilliance of his mind in the service of others, and never for the purpose of wounding any being -- unless he is shielding another from attack. As Thoth also enjoys a good laugh, he has always been a teacher of compassionate comedy, and, as these images clearly show, was regarded as a kind of pleasant old uncle, even a comic figure much unlike the awesome solar Neters Ra, Thoth's older brother, and Horus, his student, the young solar hero.  As comforter of the fear- ful, Thoth was one of the Neters to whom the devout most fervently appealed for guidance at the start of the journey after death. Devotional amulets of the kind shown here were often wrapped into the bandages that wrapped the mummy of the devout departed, as additional prayers for Thoth's help. Among his annual festivals were several for those who wanted to address their prayers and wishes to the one most likely to smile on them. These two lower images, both

right at the border between realism and comedy, are enough to show that Thoth was thought kind and good-humored even to the point of being comically endearing. The right image in particular makes one wonder whether Thoth inspired Groucho Marx with the walk for Captain Spalding.

It has long been a matter of some curiosity that Thoth is also symbolized by the baboon, or, more commonly, several baboons all howling in unison to greet the rising Sun. Whether the baboon in Egypt is endowed with the same gifts of intelligence, resourcefulness and trickery as his counterparts from the monkey family in India and many other cultures is for Thoth to reveal in his own time. For now, we look at him in his bird form, along with another winged being who to him was the most precious of all: Ma'at, Neter of Truth.

 

Copyright 2001 Dan Furst

 

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