O Serapis, husband of Isis, I have no husband.
O Serapis, father of Harpocrates, I have no father.
O Serapis, father of Hermanubis, I am travelling alone.
O Serapis, bearded lord, sometimes I am afraid,
travelling alone, and then I am ashamed of my fear.
If you watch over me, Serapis, I would be grateful.
If you would send your son Harpocrates to wait for me
when I am out late at night, if you would send your son
Hermanubis to guide me safely out and home again,
if you would look after me like a father, Serapis, and ask
your holy wife Isis to look after me like a mother,
I would be grateful, and I would sing your praise.
Read Full Post »
Posted in Current Practice, Polytheism, tagged amun, ancient art, art, athene, bes, diana, egypt, greece, horus, isis, museums, nephthys, osiris, rome, sekhmet, serapis, taweret, thoth, walters art museum on 4 August 2014|
Leave a Comment »
I’ve recently realized I am properly a dumbass polytheist. A dumbass polytheist is one who buys a nice bottle of wine, with a cork, as an offering to the gods, and then discovers the corkscrew went to her ex.
(I bought a new one this weekend.)
Now that I have that out of my system…. I did something yesterday which I’ve been meaning to do for weeks, namely, to visit the museum and look at the ancient art with an eye to god-spotting and ancient religious practice.
I’m pretty familiar with the collections at my museum, but it was eye-opening to look specifically for and at religious themes, religious art (with a couple of side tours into ancient jewelry… *sigh*). The Egyptian collection has a lot of representations of deities, all of whom I greeted sotto voce. In one area, two statues of Isis suckling Horus and of Osiris, each twelve to eighteen inches high, face one another, forming a quartet with the busts of a pharaoh and a priest. “Mery”, the museum’s resident mummy, lies in her painted coffin accompanied by four Canopic jars capped with the images of the sons of Horus, a box for the jars that also depicts Isis and Nephthys, and an array of amulets depicting or symbolizing Thoth and other gods. I saw images of Bes, Hathor, Amun, and Taweret in addition to the deities already mentioned, and the entrance to the Egyptian rooms is flanked by two images of Sekhmet as a couching lion.
The Greek and Roman exhibits have covetable jewelry but fewer divine images. I had hoped that I might see Hadrian and/or Antinous, but there seemed to be no representations of them at all. I saw Diana, Venus, Athene, Eros, and some other deities, but the highlight of the Greek and Roman collections was a splendid large head of Serapis. Even missing his basket crown and body, his image was beautiful and moving. I snapped a halfway-decent phone picture of him, thanks to the natural light in his location.
Altogether it was a worthwhile trip and a good way to get out of the house on a lazy Sunday. Hail to the gods and goddesses of Egypt, Greece, and Rome!
Read Full Post »