Sunday, 9 November 2014

The Dead King Eats The Gods

The sky is a dark bowl, the stars die and fall.
The celestial bows quiver,
the bones of the earthgods shake
and planets come to a halt
when they sight the king in all his power,
the god who feeds on his father eats his mother.
The king is such a tower of wisdom
even his mother can't discern his name.
His glory is in the sky, his strength lies in the horizon,
like that of his father the sungod Atum who conceived him.
Atum conceived the king,
but the dead king has a greater dominion.
His vital spirits surround him,
his qualities lie below his feet,
he is cloaked in gods and cobras coil on his forehead.
His guiding snakes decorate his brow
and peer into souls,
ready to spit fire against his enemies.
The kings head is on his torso.
He is the bull of the sky
who charges and vanquishes all.
He lives on the stuff of the gods,
he feeds on their limbs and entrails,
even when they have bloated their bodies with magic
at Nesis, the island of fire.
The king is prepared
and his spirits are assembled
and he appears as the mighty one, Lord of Holy Ministers.
He is seated with his back to the earthgod Geb
and he passes judgement
with the One whose name is concealed
on this day when the Oldest Ones are slaughtered.
He dines in sacrificial meals,
binding the victims
in preparation for the feast.
The dead king eats men and lives on gods
and to carry messages he has couriers:
Kehau the Grasper of Horns lassos them like oxen,
and Serpent with the Raised head
oversees and drives the victims,
and Master of Bloody Sacrifice binds them.
The moongod Khons, Racer with Knives,
strangles them for the king
in his evening hearth.
He is the one who feasts on their magic
and swallows their spirits.
The great ones are for breakfast,
the medium-sized ones are for supper
and the tiny ones are for midnight treats.
Old men and women are burnt for incense.
The mighty stars in the northern sky
ignite fires under the cauldrons
with the thighs of their elders.
The sky-dwellers take care of him and sweep the hearth
with their women's legs.
He has travelled through the two firmaments
and walked both banks of the Nile.
He is omnipotent
and his power over the powerful is absolute.
He is a holy icon, the holiest of all icons of omnipotence
and he eats as raw meat
whomever he finds on his path.
He stands forth on the horizon among the nobility,
a god older than the oldest.
Thousands are at his feet,
hundreds sacrifice to him.
Orion, father of the gods, assigned him his deed of power.
The dead king appears again on the heavens,
the crowned Lord of the Horizon.
He snapped their backbones, drained their marrow,
and tore out the hearts of the gods.
He ate the red crown worn by the King of Lower Egypt.
He swallowed the green crown of the goddess Wadjet,
guardian of Lower Egypt.
he feeds on the Wise Ones lungs.
He is sated with their hearts and magic.
He won't lick the foul tasting substance of the red crown.
He flourishes and enjoys himself with the magic in his belly.
His dignities are inviolate.
he has swallowed the intelligence of every god.
The dead king lives forever.
His boundary is infinite.
He does as he pleases
since he inhabits the endless horizon.
Observe how their spirits fill his stomach.
Their souls belong to him
and their shadows as well.
In his pyramid among those who live on the earth of Egypt,
the dead king ascends and appears
forever and forever.

Egyptian Pyramid Text (2464-2355 BCE) Trans. Tony and Willis Barnstone

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