Egyptian Temple Ritual -
Temple of Amen-Ra at Karnak
During the time of Amenhotep III , approximately 3300 years ago
Body erect, still kneeling, hands bent back as before but at an angle of 90 degrees.
Az a gam
look upon my offering
4. Hands flat as before, horizontal, but both pointing to the right.
here are two vases (gifts) : lit. "Come vases [plural]"
5.Arms flung heavenwards with hands straight out:
grant a blessing lit. Loose a blessing
6. Body erect, still kneeling, hands bent back as before but at an angle of 90 degrees
zama ad eiran fees
she, vola, has brought burning incense" lit. Incense, burning, prepared she brings.
7. Head bent, hands half forward, cup-shaped
and this perfume"lit. perfume this
8. Head truned to the left, hands cup-shaped but resting against the body, palms up, with the palm of the right hand holding the back of the left hand, a gesture of completion and repose:
Zan na goos-tee eiran feen
accept these her offerings brought: lit Salute these her baskets of tribute made to bring.
A temple maiden would be a cup-bearer, tend to the lamps and arrange the vestments. She would also take part in the services and ceremonies. Here is an actual account, taken verbatim from a woman regressed to a lifetime in Egypt 3300 years ago:
pronounced: eest y ah Vol'la.
"Lo! this is Vola. " or Here is Vola!
"I am holding in each hand a sort of lamp with a pedestal about a yard long. It is of wide, saucer-shape, with a white flame coming out at the top. They are intended to fit into sockets with a metal ring, one on either side of a curtain which conceals a central doorway at the end of a large hall. It is the entrance to a hidden sanctuary, with rounded steps leading up to the centre. The lights were intended to keep away evil spirits, and the incense to keep pure the sanctuary itself.
"the most important festival of the year...for he was the most powerful of the Gods; the most feared, and yet one from whom the greatest blessing was sought and hoped for. The great Farang (Pharoh) is in this procession. I can see bulls with long, smooth horns, garlanded with flowers. I was a cup bearer in this service."
At one of our services, which took place once a year, a procession passed along the Avenue of Sphinxes, down one side, and back along the other side to the Temple. At each of the animals of stone the procession stopped, and we had to touch it with our palm-branches. The animals were not worshipped. The idea was that they were consecrated afresh each year to their duties as guardians of the Temple. This service was to remind them of their guardianship, and to pray that no evil spirits would pass them and so gain admission to the Temple.
Other Temple Gestures
Hands outstretched in curves, palms upwards head uplifted
Head lowered in humility, swaying slightly from side to side with movements symbolic of unworthiness
Hands drawn in , palms downwards, fingers extended- lateral gesticulation as in protesting unworthiness
Head raised again to heaven, arms flung upward in adoration and entreaty
Repeat: Head lowered in humility, swaying slightly from side to side with movements symbolic of unworthiness, hands and arms showing contrition
Head erect, arms forward in mute appeal
Head on table (or floor, if standing) face down- silent meditation, head resting in hands.
My arms are bare to the shoulders, and I am wearing a pale muslin robe, crossed and pleated over the breast, tightly and beautifully done. I have also a straight undergarment from my neck to my feet, fitting tightly to the body. The outer dress is folded over the front at the waist and hangs down.
I have sandals on my feet, bracelets on my arms; and a broad flat necklace from the shoulder to the collarbone: also a curious head dress like a halo round the forehead, fastened round horizontally, with another band going over the top from front to back. My hair is thick, not curled, and comes down straight to the shoulders, with round discs hanging at the sides of the headdress. Very lovely effect, although artificial, with painted eyebrows, full lips, and painted eyes : it feels my own self.
|The god, in the form of a statue, was housed in a shrine, the naos,
which was built of stone or wood and was located in the innermost
chamber of the temple. The statue could be made of stone, gold or gilded
wood, inlaid with semi-precious stones. Often it was less than lifesized.
It was not regarded as an idol, but as the receptacle of the deity´s ka.
Receiving a blessing from Amun-ra
Three times a day rituals were performed at the shrine. At dawn the temple singers awoke the god by singing the Morning Hymn. And after having purified himself, the high priest conducting the Morning Service, broke the seal and drew back the bolts that had been tied last night, and the doors to the god was opened. Now the god received the same purification process as the priests already had undergone. Incense was burned and the god was dressed, perfumed and had cosmetics put on, in the same way as the King would have been prepared for the day. more
For a silly picture of me dressed as an Egyptian noblewoman
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