Sunday Early Afternoon, December 10th, Day 6

Temples of Karnak

Leslie, Hassan, Irene and I drove to the Karnak Temple. The driver of the van waited for us in the parking area just outside this massive complex, in a parking lot filled with other tour buses bringing visitors from Europe, Japan, and the US.

There were many people there that day. The weather was cool so I wore several layers of clothing. There is a rest area and food concession somewhere inside where we eventually stopped for some bottled water and small snack. Again I was forced to bargain with the local store owners about the price of a disposable camera, my third one.

The Karnak Temple complex just to the north of Luxor, consists of three main temples, and several outer temples. The main complex, The Temple of Amun, and is the masterpiece of the ancient city of Thebes. It's situated in the center of the entire complex.

An Open Air Museum is located to the north of the first courtyard,

across from the Sacred Lake.

The lake is located on the south side of the Karnak Temple. It is a vast stretch of water surrounded with a magnificent view. The lake symbolizes the waters of the primordial ocean. The water of the lake comes from the Nile. At the northwest corner of the lake lies a magnificent beetle shaped scarab that watches over the lake. The scarab was placed by King Amenhotep III. It symbolizes the transforming quality of the sunlight that comes out of the darkness. The encircling walls of the lake have courses of stones that has a wavy design. That was a hieroglyphic symbol for the water flow. The lake was used by ancient Egyptian priests for purification of souls. A person may wonder where the tradition of Christian baptism inside the churches, compared to temples, came from.

The Temple of Monthu is to the north of the Temple of Amun, while the Temple of Mut is to the south.

The principal female counterpart of Amen-Ra, the king of the gods, in the New Empire was Mut, whose name means "Mother." and in all her attributes we see that see was regarded as the great "world-mother." who conceived and brought forth whatsoever exists.

The pictures of the goddess usually represent her in the form of a woman wearing on her head the united crowns of the South and of the North, and holding in her hands the papyrus scepter and the emblem of life. Elsewhere we see her in female form standing upright, with her arms, to which large wings are attached, stretched out full length at right angles to her body. She wears the united crowns, as before stated, but from each shoulder there projects the head of a vulture; one vulture wears the crown of the North, and the other two plumes, though sometimes each vulture head has upon it two plumes, which are probably those of Shu or Amen-Ra.

In other pictures the goddess has the head of a women or man, a vulture, and a lioness, and she is provided with a phallus, and a pair of wings, and the claws of a lion or lioness. In the vignette of clxivth Chapter of the Book of the Dead she is associated with the two dwarfs, each of whom has two faces, one of a hawk and one of a man, and each of whom has an arm lifted to support the symbol of the god Amsu or Min, and wears upon his head a disk and plumes. In the text which accompanies the vignette, though the three-headed goddess is distinctly called "Mut" in the Rubric, she is addressed as "Sekhet-Bast-Ra, a fact which accounts for the presence of the phallus and the male head on a women's body, and proves that Mut was believed to possess both the male and female attributes of reproduction.

Amen (Amon) and Amen-Ra, King of the Gods, and the Triad of Thebes:

Among the gods who were known to the Egyptians in very early times were Amen and his consort Ament, and their names are found in the Pyramid Texts, e.g., Unas, line 558, where they are mentioned immediately after the pair of gods Nau and Nen, and in connection with the twin Lion-gods Shu and Tefnut, who are described as the two gods who made their own bodies, and with the goddess Temt, the female counterpart of Tem.

It is evident that even in the remote period of the 5th Dynasty Amen and Ament were numbered among the primeval gods, if not as gods in chief certainly as subsidiary forms of some of them, and from the fact that they are mentioned immediately after the deities of primeval matter, Nau and Nen, who we may consider to be the equivalents of the watery abyss from which all things sprang, and immediately before Temt and Shu and Tefnut, it would seem that the writers or editors of the Pyramid Texts assigned great antiquity to their existence.

Of the attributes ascribed to Amen in the Ancient Empire nothing is known, but, if we accept the meaning "hidden" which is usually given to his name, we must conclude that he was the personification of the hidden and unknown creative power which was associated with the primeval abyss, gods in the creation of the world, and all that is in it.

The word or root amen, certainly means "what is hidden," "what is not seen," "what cannot be seen," and the like, and this fact is proved by scores of examples which may be collected from texts of all periods. In hymns to Amen we often read that he is "hidden to his children, "and "hidden to gods and men," and it has been stated that these expressions only refer to the "hiding," i.e., "setting" of the sun each evening, and that they are only to be understood in a physical sense, and to mean nothing more than the disappearance of the god Amen from the sight of men at the close of day.

Now, not only is the god himself said to be "hidden," but his name also is "hidden," and his form, or similitude, is said to be "unknown;" these statements show that "hidden," when applied to Amen, the great god, has reference to something more than the "sun which has disappeared below the horizon," and that it indicates the god who cannot be seen with the mortal eyes, and who is invisible, as well as inscrutable, to gods as well as men. In the times approaching the Ptolemaic period the name Amen appears to have been connected with the root men, "to abide, to be permanent;" and one of the attributes which were applied to him was that of eternal.

Amen is represented in five forms:

From what has been said it is evident that the worship of Amen-Ra spread through all the country both of the north and south of Thebes, and the monuments prove that it made its way into all the dominions of Egypt in Syria, and the Nubia, and in the Oases.

In the Upper Egypt its centers were Thebes, Herakeopolis Magna ; in Lower Egypt they were Memphis, Sais, Xois, Metelis, Heliopolis, Babylon, Mendes, Thmuis, Diospolis, Butus, and the Island of Khemmis ; in the Libyan desert the Oases of Kenemet, {i.e., Farafra}, and the great Oasis of Jupiter Ammon ; in Nubia, Wadi Sabua, Abu Simbel, Napata, and Meroe ; and in Syria at several places which were called Diospolis.

The worship of Amen-Ra was introduced into Nubia by its Egyptian conquerors early in the 12th Dynasty, and the inhabitants of that country embraced it with remarkable fervor ; and the hold which it had gained upon them was much strengthened when an Egyptian viceroy, who bore the title of "royal son of Cush, " was appointed to rule over the land, and no efforts were spared to make Napata a second Thebes.

The Nubians were poverty of their country unable to imitate the massive temples of Karnak and Luxor, and the festivals which they made in his honor, locked the splendor and magnificence of the Theban capital ; still, there was no doubt that, considering the means which they had at their disposal, they erected temples for the worship of Amen-Ra of very considerable size and solidity. The hold which the priesthood of Amen-Ra of Thebes had upon the Nubians was very great, for the troublesome times which followed after the collapse of their power as priest-kings of Egypt, the remnant of the great brotherhood made its way to Napata, and settling down there made plans and schemes for the restoration of their rule in Egypt ; fortunately for Egypt their designs were introduced by the Egyptians under the 18th Dynasty, a fact which is proven by the testimony of the Tell el-Amarna tablets.

Thus in a letter from the inhabitants of the city of Tunep, to the king of Egypt i.e., Amenhotep III. or son Amenhotep IV. the writers remind him that the gods worshipped in the city of Tunep are the same as those of Egypt, and that the form of the worship is the same. From an inscription of Thothmes III. at Karnak we know that in the 29th year of his reign this king offered up sacrifices to his gods at Tunep, and it is probable that the worship of Amen-Ra in Northern Syria dates from this time.

On the other hand Akizzi, the governor of Khatti had seized and carried off the image of the Sun-God, begs that the king of Egypt will send him sufficient gold to ransom the image, and he does so chiefly on the grounds that in ancient days the kings of Egypt adopted the worship of the Sun-god, presumably from the Syrians, and they called themselves after the name of the god.

To emphasize his appeal Akizzi addresses Amenhotep III. as "son of the Sun-God," a fact which proves that he was acquainted with the meaning of the title "sa Ra," i.e., "son of Ra,", which every Egyptian king bore from the time of the Vth Dynasty onwards. This evidence supports an old tradition to the effect that the Heliopolitain form of the worship of the Sun-god was derived from Heliopolis in Syria.

The Priests of Amen possessed a temple in Apt from the earliest times, and all that they did was to rebuild Amen's sanctuary. As soon as the Theban princes became kings of Egypt their priests at once began to declare that their god was not only another form of the great creative Sun-god who had been worshipped for centuries at Annu, or Heliopolis, in the North of Egypt, under the names of Ra, Temu, Khepera, and Heru-khuti, but all the attributes which were ascribed to them were contained in him, and that he was greater than they. And as Thebes had become the capitol instead of Memphis, it followed as a matter of course that all the attributes of all great gods of Memphis that were contained in Amen succeeded in making their god, both theologically and politically, the greatest of the gods in the country.

Owning to the unsettled state of Egypt under the XIIth and 4th Dynasties, and under the rule of the Hyksos, pretensions of this kind passed unchallenged , especially as they were supported by arms. By the end of the 17th dynasty Amen had attained to an almost unrivaled position among the gods of the land. HYMN TO AMEN-RA And when his royal devotees in this dynasty succeeded in expelling the Hyksos from the land, and their successors the kings of the 18th Dynasty carried war and conquest into Palestine and founded Egyptian cities there, the power and the glory of Amen their god, who had enabled them to carry out this difficult work of successful invasion, become extraordinarily great.

His priests began by asserting his equality with the other great gods of the old sanctuaries of Heliopolis, Memphis, Herakleopolis, and other ancient cities, and finally they satisfied, or, at all events, attempted to do so, all worshipers of every form of the Sun-god Ra by adding his name to that of Amen, and thus forming a great god who included within himself all the attributes of the primeval god Amen and of Ra. The highest conception of Amen-Ra under the 19th and 20th Dynasties was that of an invisible creative power which was the source of all life in heaven, and on earth, and in the great deep, and in the Underworld, and which made itself manifest under the form Ra.

Nearly every attribute of deity with which we are made familiar by the hymns to Ra was ascribed to Amen after his union with Ra; but the priests of Amen were not content with claiming that their god was one of the greatest of the deities of Egypt, for they proceed to declare that there was no other god like him, and that he was the greatest of them all. The power and the might ascribed to Amen -Ra are well described in hymns which must be quoted in full.

Many of the hieroglyphs depict the worship of Amon-Ra.

There are many theories covering the main function of the temple and some of the inscriptions, which are unusually immodest, have lead to speculation of fertility rituals.

This vast complex was built and enlarged over a thirteen hundred year period. The three main temples of Mut, Monthu and Amun are enclosed by enormous brick walls. The Open Air Museum is located to the north of the first courtyard, across from the Sacred Lake.

Hypostyle Hall Columns

The greatest part of the temple is the magnificent Hypostyle Hall consisting of 134 massive columns 23 meters high creating an impression of enormous 'power' and strength. When you enter the area these carved columns are very impressive.

The Hypostyle Hall is found after passing through the Second Pylon. The hall is considered to be one of the world's greatest architectural masterpieces. Construction began during Ramesses I's reign. He was the king who founded the Nineteenth Dynasty and was king for only one year. The work continued under Seti I (1306, 1290 BC). Seti I also built the Temple of Abydos and many other temples. The hall was completed by Seti's son, Ramesses II. The effects that are produced inside the hall are much different than they were originally. The huge architraves are not above the capitals that tower above.

Towards to center of the hall several architraves and windows that have stone lattice work still remain. This small area can give you an idea of the builders' intent for the lighting effects. Some imagination is required here to appreciate what it must have looked like. The walls, ceilings and columns are painted with the natural earth tones. The light that was allowed in originally kept most of the hall in shadows. The hall ceiling was 82 feet high and was supported by 12 papyrus columns.

The columns are made of sandstone and set in two rows of six. Each row is flanked on either side by 7 rows of columns that are 42 feet (12.8m) high. Each row has 9 columns, however the inner rows have 7 columns. The reliefs throughout the hall contain symbolism of Creation. The reliefs in the northern half are from the time period of Seti I and are obviously better done than those done by his son Ramesses II, which are in the southern half. Ramesses II's reliefs are cut much deeper than those of Seti's. This gives a much more dramatic light and shadow effect.

The outer walls of the Hypostyle Hall are covered with scenes of battle. Again, Seti I is to the north and Ramesses II is to the south. The scenes have long since lost their color that was painted and the outlines of the scenes have been blurred by the centuries of wind and sun. It is unsure whether the scenes of battle are based on historical fact or of ritual significance. It is thought that when the battle details are very precise, real events are most likely involved. Seti's battles take place in Lebanon, southern Palestine and Syria. The southern walls of Ramesses II have hieroglyphic texts which actually record details of the Hittite king and Ramesses II signing a peace treaty in the twenty-first year of Ramesses reign. This is the first evidence found for a formal diplomatic agreement and is certainly historical.

The Transverse Hall lies beyond the rear wall of the Hypostyle Hall. The wall is mostly ruined. With the Transverse Hall is a partially reconstructed Third Pylon of Amenhotep (Amenophis) III. The Transverse Hall has remains of the earliest sections of the Karnak complex that are still in existence.

Leaving the hypostyle hall through the third pylon you come to a narrow court where there once stood several obelisks.

One of the obelisks was erected by Tuthmosis I (1504, 1492 BC) who was the father of Hatshepsut. This obelisk stands 70 feet (21.3m) tall and weighs about 143 tons.

During the centuries between Tuthmosis I and Ramesses VI, the kings of the time did more than their share of destroying and dismantling. This obelisk was never touched. The original inscription was left in its place. However, two kings did add their inscription on either side of the original. Beyond this obelisk is the only remaining Obelisk of Hatshepsut (1473-1458 BC). It is 97 feet (29.6m) high and weighs approximately 320 tons. Besides the Lateran obelisk in Rome, this is the tallest standing obelisk. The one in Rome is 101 feet (30.7m) high.

Hatshepsut was a woman who dared to challenge the tradition of male kingship. She died from undisclosed causes after imposing her will for a time. After her death, her name and memory suffered attempted systematic obliteration. The inscription on the obelisk says, "O ye people who see this monument in years to come and speak of that which I have made, beware lest you say, 'I know not why it was done'. I did it because I wished to make a gift for my father Amun, and to gild them with electrum." Tuthmosis III (1479-1425 BC) was Hatshepsut's successor.

When he came to power, he built a high wall around her obelisk. This wall hid the lower two-thirds but left the upper towering above. It has been thought that this was an easier and cheaper way of destroying her memory than actually tearing it down and removing it.

If Tuthmosis had really wanted to destroy the obelisk, he would have certainly torn it down and removed it.

Perhaps that was another reason for his building the wall. The top of the obelisk was visible for 50 miles (80 km). The pink granite for the obelisk was quarried at Aswan, which is several hundred miles south of Karnak. The stone was moved several miles over to the river and shipped down to Thebes. The setting of the stone is shown on reliefs as the pharaoh raising it with a single rope tied to its upper extremity. This is most probably symbolic, but may have been done this way with several hundreds of people pulling together. To the south of the standing obelisk is its companion which has fallen. It was also make of a single block of granite but is broken now.

The Sixth Pylon, which was built by Tuthmosis III, leads into a Hall of Records in which the king recorded his tributes. Very little remains of this archive beyond two granite pillars. Just beyond these pillars lies the Holy of Holies or sanctuary. Originally it was the oldest part of the temple. The present sanctuary was built by the brother of Alexander the Great, Philip Arrhidaeus (323-316 BC) who was the King of Macedonia. The present sanctuary was built on the site of the earlier sanctuary built by Tuthmosis III. The present sanctuary contains blocks from the Tuthmosis sanctuary and still contain Tuthmosis' inscriptions. The sanctuary is built in two sections. Why this was done is not known.

We entered through the west gate, the Avenue of Rams.

The sphinxes were commissioned by Ramesses II

Temple of Ramesses III (XX Dynasty), north facade
The temple was dedicated to Amon-Ra by Ramesses III.
The temple is typical style of New Kingdom.

Statue of Pinedjem,
The small person below him is supposed to represent his wife!
That made me mad for some reason.

I was able to sit

or stand

in any temple or chamber
to tell you what it was used for.
Hassan verified my psychic information.

The energies in these rooms were so strong,
I only had to close my eyes to travel to those time grids.
Remember they are happening simultaneously with our timelines.

One of the most powerful places we visited was

The Temple of Ptah.

You walk through the ruins where you are followed by a security guard in local garb who is looking for a small tip. Soon you enter an almost-dark chamber where you can stand beside this image of the Goddess Sekhmet.

The energy in the narrow chamber is very powerful.
It is almost as if it was set up that way as some sort
of battery, or generator, of electromagnetic energies.

I felt as if She were welcoming me home.

I thought about my blue photos that reflect a pharaoh

superimposed over my face and a cat to my left.

The magnetic properties in the chamber made my physical body feel like a rod (as in Hermes). I heard musical tones and felt a direct connection to Consciousness. My heart chakra opened.

I thought of the man named Ez and I suddenly felt a strong connection to him.

It was time to get some answers ...

I looked at my pocket watch. It was 3:00 PM. I had been awake for almost 20 hours.

Irene and Hassan decided to go to Hatshepsut's Temple while Leslie and I would go back to the Hilton Hotel

by horse and carriage.