By Sar Draconis
We know from historical research that the Egyptian Mysteries were divided into two grades. In the first grade were the feminine Mysteries such as those of Isis, Hathor, Mut and Sekmet. These particular cults dealt mainly with the developing of mediums and mediumship, especially in young girls, who as virgins of the Temple were used for psychic work, and who later became the priestly seeresses. These latter were often married into the priesthood, or if they had little ability, married to laymen selected by the Temple Authorities. A study of the funeral texts in the British Museum makes this theory almost conclusive.
In the Lesser Mysteries the phenomena, both mental and physical, were much the same as those now found in the Spiritualist Society, which seek to awaken religion through the emotions. These Mysteries were not confined to women, but they offered a quick and easy development of the subconscious through the emotions, and for this reason attracted women with their finer sensibilities rather than men.
In addition in the outer forms of the Lesser Mysteries there were beautiful rituals that were combined with song, music and dance. Here every effort was made to stir up the emotional nature and the subconscious minds of the laity in order to produce a stirring religious atmosphere.
These festivals were usually held with reference to the moon periods. The symbolism was that of the moon, water and the form-giving, negative side of nature. Though the mother principle of the macrocosm was the object of this type of worship, those who worked these Lesser Mystery cults were the more highly trained priests and priestesses of the Greater Mysteries. The hierophants who ruled had to be members of that Order which had its colleges at 'The House of Net' whose Lord was Thoth, whose main Temple was in Hermopolis, the Greek name for the ancient city of Unnu. Thoth is the 'pacifier' of the gods, that is the ruler over the chiefs of all the Mystery schools, and the arbitrator in their disputes.
The Greater Mysteries were (in Egypt but not in Greece) masculine in their nature and the gods were male, and usually considered to be the Lords of Life or Judges in the world to come. Gods such as Osiris, Anubis, Imhotep, Khonsu, Tehuti and Thoth were human rulers or divine/human saviours. They also seemed to be names for an office that was held by many hierophants ruling over a cult that may have lasted for centuries. They were the earthly representatives of the Lords of the Fields of Aalu, the Egyptian Summerland. Like the box of Thoth in the Sea of Coptos, the Summerland was surrounded by a wall of iron, broken by several doors. Here, iron stands for the boundary of the material world, the limit of the sphere of sensation in man. These gods were represented in terms of the Qabalah, the microcosmic aspect of the Greater Mysteries; that is, they dealt with the salvation of mankind in a purely religious sense.
In addition the Greater Mysteries also had their macrocosmic aspect. Here the chief gods were Amon, the Hidden One, with a subsidiary form of Min, Ra, Ptah and Khnemu as Cosmic Creators. These gods had each of them a consort or "Shakti" (to use an eastern term.) Amon had Mut, Ra had Rat, Ptah had Sekmet. It should be noted that the feminine consorts were often the destructive aspect of the male god. In India the same idea appears in the relationship between Shiva and Kali-Durga. Most of these gods are personifications of various elemental powers, and often the benevolent Mothers of the Lesser Mysteries become the terrible destroying Mothers of the Greater Mysteries.
Controlling all Mysteries, Gods, saviours, rulers and hierophants was the Lord of Khemmennu. He ruled over the colleges in which were trained the selected initiates from the Lesser and Greater Mysteries of all Egypt His was the earthly Order that is behind all earthly Orders. Here were trained the hierophants skilled in magic, the Kheri Heb, or priest-magicians. This was indeed the 'House of the Net', and it is still behind each and every contacted Order that comes to birth on this plane. A hierophant had to pass through the 'Net', and take the higher grades out of the body before becoming a high priest. For the highest degrees are of grace, and not by rite.
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