17. Ancient Egypt:
Isis, Thoth, and Hermes
By Tom Gilmore
The Order of Isis
The Sumerian twins Gilgamesh and Enkidu set up the Order of Isis around 6300 BC to operate the public water facilities (known as Bau Gardens in Sumer), and to maintain records of their progeny. Royalty was accorded individuals with an ancestral connection to the Gemini Twins of Sumer. In antediluvian (pre-great-flood) ancient Egypt, and on into the period of dynastic Pharaohs, the descendants were certified by the Order of Isis. The Priestesses of Isis traveled widely to coordinate the genealogical records between regions, and evidence of this is seen in the ideogram of Isis, which represents a carrying chair, their method of travel. Egyptologists mistake the icon for a throne.
The Ideogram of Isis is depicted atop the head of Isis on the wall painting above left. Next to her face is shown a scroll, which represents the genealogical records. To the right is the reconstructed carrying chair of Hetepheres I, Great Queen of Snofru's 4th Dynasty, mother of Khufu. The similarity to the icon on the head of Isis is evident.
The Order of Isis spread far and wide establishing water-temples and populating them with unmarried priestesses called virgins of the hearth (a woman not ever married was termed a virgin, but was not necessarily celibate). These water-temple facilities offered baths, massage, prostitution, and laundry services to the local population. In addition they maintained fire (the hearth) for the populace to have access (similar to the Magi of Assyria). The genealogical library was maintained in duplicates at the major bath houses, and this duplication required frequent traveling of the High Priestesses of Isis.
In Egypt the Water Priestesses were called Nebti. There were two charters of Isis in Egypt, dividing the Nile into North (the Delta) and South (from Giza to the cataracts).
Illustration by Tom Gilmore
Lower Egypt (the Delta) was the realm of the Nebti Wadjet. She is symbolized by the cobra, and wears the red crown of the north. Nekhebet, the sister mistress, was the patron of Upper Egypt. She is symbolized by the vulture and wears the white war crown of the south. The two crowns together, the "Deshret" (basket crown) of the north, and the "Hedjet" (war helmet) of the south, were called the "Wereret" (double crown), and signified the uniting of Upper and Lower Egypt.
The heads of the cobra and the vulture can be seen below, attached to the formal headdress of the Pharaoh Tutankhamun. This reflects the importance of the Nebti in determining Royal bloodlines, and symbolizes the union of north and south.
The formal symbolism of the Pharaoh (as shown above) includes a crook and a flail crossed over his chest. These represent animal husbandry (the shepherd’s crook), and agriculture (the thresher’s flail), thus representing the basis of the nutritional sustenance of the nation.
Thoth and Hermes Trismegistus
"Hermes Trismegistus" has long been considered by the occult community to mean "Man Thrice Great". First of all, Hermes does not translate as "man". Hermes is a Greek "Olympian god" (a "god" politically adopted in the region of Mount Olympus). In ancient Greece the characters we call their "gods" were figureheads symbolic of specific attributes they were exemplifying.
To support this misinterpretation of Trismegistus, various occult
justifications have been propounded. A
popular version associates 3 accomplishments attributed to Thoth as defining
his “thrice greatness”, such as (1) the invention of letters and phonetic
writing, (2) the invention of the process of producing papyrus scrolls, and (3)
the establishment of libraries. Another
common explanation relates to the Greek Hermetical texts that discuss the 3
great wisdoms of alchemy, astrology, and theurgy.
(Theurgy is defined as the working of a divine agency in human affairs.)
Hermes is often depicted with wings on his feet (symbolizing running fast). In the Roman pantheon he is Mercury (the Messenger). These attributes clearly support the origin of the name as being from the "Hermes" (plural) that were runners carrying messages between districts. The name is derived from the "herma", those being cairns that marked indistinct areas of trails, and which identified junctions in travel paths. These cairns were originally stones stacked in a manner not occurring in nature, but evolved into more formalized markers in Greece. A Greek Herm is a short square column, usually from waist to chest high, sometimes with various frivolous or symbolic adornments.
The Hermetic communication system was a governmental function that was necessary for national coordination. Other uses included carrying military orders (when Hermes was wearing a metal helmet, the symbol of defense), serving for information exchange (when Hermes carried a serpent coiled on a branch, the symbol of knowledge), and facilitating emergency deliveries such as medicine (when Hermes carried the Caduceus, symbol of medicine).
Ancient Pre-dynastic Egypt originated the Hermetic system of communication, in conjunction with a tri-partite government.
The Greeks labeled it "Hermes' Trismegistus", meaning
“The Three Magistrates of the Hermetic System”
The Eight Capitals
The Nile was divided into 3 Districts and 8 Capital Cities relatively evenly spaced along the river. Each district had 2 Capitals, and between them was an independent Capital (Memphis and Abydos). The Hermes (messengers) could make the run between Capitals in a relay. The river was used for the transportation of products and merchandise.
Early Greek maps of Ancient Egypt show 3 sites labeled Hermopolis.
City Location Icon Magistrates
Hermopolis Majoris Djedu Far North Ibis Thoth
Hermopolis Magna Khnum Mid-Nile Baboon Khons
Hermopolis Parva Behdet Far South Falcon Horus
The prevalent animal icons of the regions around the 3 Hermopolis sites are the Ibis, Baboon, and Falcon. The Ibis (icon of Thoth) is a long-legged bird that lives in the swamps of the Delta where the papyrus plant grows that Thoth produced papyrus scrolls from. The Baboon (icon of Khons) was common along the fringe between the lush flood plains of the mid-Nile and the desert to the west, as well as in and around the Fiayum depression. The Falcon (icon of Horus) was common in the foothills around the cataracts of the southern Nile. These associations establish the names of the three Magistrates: Thoth, Khons and Horus.
Thoth is also known as An-djed-ti, or man-(an) who holds-(ti) the (djed). The Djed held by Andjedti (Thoth) is a remnant section of the spine of Osiris. The city where Andjedti lived was called Djed-u, or place-(u) of the Djed.
The Ancient Greeks understood that before the Old Kingdom period (called pre-history) there was a civilization in Egypt, and that it was organized under a tri-partite government.
Djedu (North) Thoth (Ibis) Judicial/Municipal Branch
Khnum (Middle) Khons (Baboon) Legislative/Administrative Branch
Behdet (South) Horus (Falcon) Executive/Military Branch
Among other duties, Thoth (icon Ibis) was responsible for producing papyrus (paper scrolls) and maintaining libraries. Thoth also administered justice, his judges holding court in boats that plied the river in circuits (the circuit courts), adjudicating disputes and prosecuting crimes, with judges called "Niles", and with appellate courts reviewing the decisions of the judges.
Khons (icon Baboon) regulated the craft and artisan guilds, collected taxes, legislated, and compiled census information.
Horus (icon Falcon) defended the Nation from armed incursions, which primarily came from the south above the cataracts, and through the mountain pass (the Wadi Hammamat) at Coptos He maintained a small standing army, with part-time reserves that could be called up in times of danger. He also supervised the charters of local police and fire departments.
The many Masons among the founding fathers of the US were privy to the secrets of Isis and Thoth, and they incorporated the ancient tri-partite principles in writing the Constitution. They made the same mistake of giving too much power to the Executive branch, tempting the US President to be a dictator, as occurred in Ancient Egypt with the advent of the Pharaoh.
The Advent of the Haraktite (of Horus) Pharaoh
According to the Nile Scholar's records, written shortly after the reign of the first Pharaoh A'ha (Menes), Thoth had ruled as the final authority for 3,226 years before Horus-Menes used his military power to take control and become a dictator king (Pharaoh).
Menes combined the positions of Thoth and Khons into the single position of Vizier (wise advisor).
This fusion made the Ibis and Baboon co-icons of the Vizier, and because of this both icons became associated with Thoth, who had been the final authority in the triumvirate.
My date estimates of the course of pre-history events places the origin of the
Thoth triumvirate around 6150 BC.
The Nile Scholars records state a duration of 3,226 years for the
triumvirate. Taking the historical
estimate of 2,920 BC as the date of the ascent of Menes, marking the end of the
triumvirate, the duration matches with my estimate.
(2,920 BC - 3,226 = 6,146 BC)
The 4th Dynasty
The Pharaoh Khufu (Cheops), the second Pharaoh of the 4th Dynasty, built his burial chamber on top of the Truncated Pyramid of Giza (now called the Great Pyramid). The Titans (article redacted) built the truncated portion (50 layers high) as an astronomical observatory (this was the astronomical purpose of the Grand Gallery now enclosed in the interior). It took 20 years for Khufu to complete the pyramid to its peak, and his mummy resides in his treasure-filled tomb located at the center of the upper section he built.
The succession of Pharaohs was validated by the genealogical records of the Order of Isis. A Dynastic line persisted so long as a male heir was produced from a Pharaoh in the succession. When there were no male heirs, a new dynasty was started, and it was the powerful function of the “Great Queen” to pick a successor from among the sons of the Pharaoh with one of his Royal mistresses, or in the rare case that no such males were produced, to choose an unrelated male in the Royalty certified by Isis.
A "Great Queen" of Egyptian royalty is initially the wife of the first Pharaoh of a Dynasty. If a Pharaoh has a daughter from the Great Queen then the daughter becomes the new Great Queen automatically, but only if married to a son in line to be the next Pharaoh. This is why such siblings were married as infants, in that this assured their offspring succession. When the succession of the 3rd Dynasty was broken, because the deceased Pharaoh Huni had no sons with his Great Queen, the Great Queen selected Snofru, the son of Huni (with his Royal mistress Meresankh), to marry the Great Queen’s daughter Hetepheres and assume the first throne of the 4th Dynasty.
The diagram below shows the complicated inbreeding of the 4th Dynasty that began with Snofru. There are contradictory and incomplete historical records concerning the genetic tree of the 4th Dynasty, but it is clear that Snofru had a daughter (Henutsen) with his own mother (Meresankh), and then children with his incestuously conceived daughter (right side of tree below).
Some scholars think Ra’jdedef was the son of Khufu, but it is more likely he was a half-brother of Khufu as shown in the diagram. Snofru likely sired Ra’djedef with his own daughter sired with the former Great Queen (of the 3rd Dynasty).
The successor of Khufu was Ra’djedef, but his short 8 year reign was followed by the succession of 3 Pharaohs from the alternate line of Henutsen. It is believed Ra’djedef murdered Kaweb (who was next in line of succession from Khufu), and married Kaweb’s sister/widow Hetepheres II. It is likely Ra’djedef attempted to eradicate all effigies of Khufu.
After Ra’djedef was deposed, Khephren, of the line from Henutsen, was installed as Pharaoh. It is thought Khephren had multiple children with various Royal mistresses, and while Menkaure may not have been the actual offspring of Kephren’s wife Khamernebti, she raised him. Menkaure’s son Shepseskaf was considered illegitimate and had a troubled 5 year reign, followed by a brief interim administration before the widow of Ra’djedef, Hetepheres II, who was officially the living Great Queen, decreed Userkaf, possibly her grandson, as the 1st Pharaoh of the 5th Dynasty.
Since dynasties change when there is no male direct descendent of the deceased Pharaoh, and Shepseskaf was considered illegitimate, the only direct line from Snofru was Ra’djedef who did not have a legitimate recognized son. However Ra’djedef had a daughter with Hetepheres II, Neferhetepes, who bore Userkaf, possibly with Menkaure, and this qualified Userkaf as a candidate for Pharaoh of a new Dynasty.
Roman expansion ended Ancient Egypt, and opened up the world to the Christian spiritual submersion into torture, squalor and ignorance. When Rome fell the Arabs inherited a neglected land. Sometime before Egypt came to the attention of the emerging Renaissance of English exploration, the Great Pyramid was stripped of its polished limestone casing for use in construction projects in nearby Cairo.
In the late 1880's there was an Egyptian fad craze around the world. Many of the obelisks were removed and taken to other countries. One is in New York's Central Park. Mummies were discovered in the thousands, and they were ground into powder to sell to superstitious Asians as an aphrodisiac. This may have given rise to the “curse of the Pharaohs mummy” promulgated by conservationists to discourage the practice. Over the subsequent decades the country was ransacked. By 1920 archaeologists were crowded side by side on roped off plots in the Valley of the Kings, competing like prospectors along a placer creek, in hopes of striking it rich. Pickings were thin and Howard Carter was struggling to keep his benefactor funding the work of excavation, when he stumbled on the incredible find of Tutankhamon's tomb in 1922.
Known popularly as King Tut, his name is incorrectly spelled as Tut-Ankh-Amun. The last syllable is usually spelled Amon (or “Amen”, the salutation often used at the end of a prayer). Rumors of a mystic curse on the tomb arose after a number of mishaps and deaths occurred to those involved with the project. Some believed an ancient deadly disease had been released with the unsealing of the tomb and/or coffin. Mystics enamored of ancient Egypt claimed that the Karma of despoiling Egypt had struck back.
The Pharaoh Tut-Ankh-Amon was originally given the name Tut-Ankh-Aten by his father Akhen-Aten, who revolutionized Egyptian society by declaring a henotheism based on the solar disc Aten. This was not a “one God” religion, but rather an elevation of Aten to the supreme god among the gods, the giver of life. However this seems to have subsequently evolved into the “one-God” psyche of mankind.
Although vague history, it seems Queen Tiye, wife of Amenhotep III, may have had difficulty conceiving, and have rescued the Hebrew baby Thutmose from the Nile during the infant purge imposed by Amenhotep III, and then subsequently have conceived the child Akhenaten, who became Pharaoh in preference to his older “brother” Thutmose who was considered illegitimate. The Hebrew heritage of Crown Prince Thutmose was kept from him as a child, but when it came out Thutmose rebelled against the Pharaoh, and eventually led his people out of Egyptian slavery as Moses. These “brothers” may have both been indoctrinated into monotheism by their mother Tiye.
Tutankhamon’s step-mother Nefertiti had been the Nebti Uadjit, or chief priestess of the Order of Isis for the Lower Nile (north). After the death of her husband Akhenaten, Nefertiti is thought to have served as a Queen Pharaoh and took the name Nefer-Neferu-Aten. She continued as Queen Pharaoh but was termed as co-regent when the child Tut-Ankh-Aten turned 8 and became Pharaoh. After the death of Akhen-Aten, power gradually reverted to Thebes where the old god Amon was restored, so when Tutankhaten became Pharaoh he was renamed Tut-Ankh-Amon.
The image below is an eminent domain photo of a small gilded wooden figurine found by Carter in Tutankhamon's tomb. The lower part of the icon above is evidently a cobra. The cobra symbolizes the Nebti of the north, Uadjit, commonly depicted as a cobra with extended wings, and a woman's head. The figurine probably represents Tutankhamon’s step-mother Nefertiti in her role as Uadjit.
Tutankhamon died unexpectedly at the young age of 17, thought to be from an accident riding his chariot, so preparations for his entombment had not progressed very far. Tutankhamon’s reign as Pharaoh is thought to be from 1332 to 1323 BC.
It is evident that the nested sarcophagi containing the mummy of Tutankhamun had been intended for Nefertiti. The winged figures of Neith, Isis, Nephthys, and Uadjit are posted at the four corners, with extended wings across the 4 inner walls of the sarcophagi. This configuration is typical for the sarcophagi of a Nebti of Isis, not of a Pharaoh. This would imply that Nefertiti outlived Tutankhamon. It may be she is entombed in a sealed off room (or corridor to more chambers), suspected to be located off Tutankhamon’s main burial chamber. Little is known of the ancestry of Nefertiti, and her mummy has not been discovered.
The Pharaoh Has Five Names
First is his Horus name. This is usually the serekh adopted as symbol of the king by Wadji, the 3rd Pharoah of the 1st Dynasty. The serekh is a depiction of gates between towers. In effect this name signifies "Pharaoh".
The second name is called Nebti, and signifies rule over Lower (north) and Upper (south) Egypt (the designation of upper and lower refers to the flow (elevation) of the Nile from south to north).
The first two “names” of the Pharaoh are just the title “Pharaoh of the North and South”
The third name is the Golden Horus, or divine connection name, in this case Tut-Ankh-Amon.
The fourth name is Nisut-Bit (north-south), given upon coronation. It is unique to him, and alone is sufficient to identify him. The politics of Thebes forced Tutankhamon to change his intended Nisut-Bit name from Neb-Khepru-Aten to Neb-Khepru-Re’, honoring Ra, the Sun god of Thebes.
The scarab mosaic pictured above represents Tutankhamon's Nisut-Bit name, Neb-Khepru-Re’ (Nebkheprure). Neb is the bowl shape at the bottom. Khepru is a variant of Khepri, the scarab in the middle. Re’ is the Sun Ra (the orange disc at the top) circled by the “serpent” (the gold ring).
The 3rd and 4th names are actually the first and last name.
Finally, the 5th name of the Pharaoh is called the son of Re' name. This denotes his inclusion in a genealogical royal line from the 3rd Tehuti, who is remembered as Re'-Horus. The Tehuti were the triumvirate rulers of pre-dynastic Egypt described earlier in this article.
So the full title of Tutankhamon was “Pharaoh of the North and South, Tut-Ankh-Amon Neb-Kephru-Re’, Son of Re’-Horus”.