KRAKOOM two pages left!
Just a correction from last week! I said that the ROM library had no catalog look up! NOT true! Thank you Leah for emailing me! You can go to http://onesearch.library.utoronto.ca/ and look up their books there!
I’ve consumed a lot of sugar in the last half hour, so let’s get started! On today’s Library Friday, we had ourselves a studio field trip to the ROM!
I asked Megan (of Beauty and the Beast fame) what I should look up, and she suggested the Underworld! Which is great! It’s something I’m genuinely interested in, had been wanting to look up, and there’s a lot of books about it! Like… a lot a lot.
Like, a lot.
The Underworld, Netherworld, Farworld– whatever YOU wanna call it, was called the Duat by the Ancient Egyptians. Believed to be a magical land, it was where souls traveled to after death. A land of giant (not too giant) barley and tall (not too tall) corn stalks. You lived in the kingdom of Osiris and helped Ra defeat Apep on his Sun Barque. Yep, that was the afterlife. Which is exactly what they believed. You never died in Ancient Egypt, you’d simply begun your life among the gods.
Once you died, your body was prepared for its spiritual journey. Great care was taken to preserve your body, and priests performed a ritual called the Opening of the Mouth ceremony. They would touch your eyes, nose, ears and mouth- an act that reanimated your senses and faculties.
Your loved ones packed all the things you’d need in your next life: clothes, cosmetics, your dog (mummified as well), books, games, organ- it all comes with! You’re placed in your tomb with your things, and then the fun starts. Said quite eloquently by John H. Taylor in ‘Spells for Eternity’
‘…regarded the person as a composite of physical and spiritual parts, which separated at death.’
At death, you began your journey through the underworld– which could be taken a number of ways. You can go by foot, or by Ra’s Sun Barque. There are several spells in the Book of Going by Day (a book of prepared for the deceased) that transform you into an animal to help you through this process.
The Duat itself is… inconsistent. Often it was described as real life, but not. When you die you want something familiar! You want something you can relate to! So it’s basically ancient Egypt. You got your Nile, your Delta, your lakes of fire, trees of turquoise, giant walls of iron. You know, the important stuff. Apparently, the Duat was constantly evolving in every version of the Book of Going by Day, Book of Gates, Book of Caverns, Amduat– and the priests just kept it all as canon. Famous hot spots included:
The Field of Reeds
Mound of Wenet, Destroyer of Souls
River of Flaming Fire
Mound of Kheraha
Mound of Transfigured Spirits
and the River Urnes that ran through the entire Duat.
Often described as a series of gates, the Book of the Going by Day divided the Duat into 12 sections. One section for each hour of the night. And each hour was protected by a goddess with an amazing name
Hour one: Smiter of the Heads of the Enemies of Ra
Hour two: The Wise Protector of Her Lord
Hour three: She who Slices Souls
Hour four: Great in her Powers
Hour five: She who is in her Boat
Hour six: Proficient Leader
Hour seven: She who Repels the Forces of Chaos and Decapitates the Savage-Faced (if you don’t think that’s the tightest shit etc etc)
Hour eight: The Coffer of her Deities
Hour nine: Protector of Her Eye
Hour ten: Raging One, who Boils the Rebel Alive
Hour eleven: Instructor, Lady of the Sacred Boat, At Whose Emergence the Rebels are Punished
Hour twelve: Who sees the Beauty of Ra
These gates acted not only as transitions for the dead, but a challenge. If you approached a gate, you had to recite the goddess’ name, demonstrating you had power over them enough to travel on. The Book of Going by Day is a book of spells that helped you pass through the gates and access the Kingdom of Osiris at the centre.
That’s it for this week, friends! There won’t be library posts for the next two weeks due to Holidays (and libraries being closed).
Oh, the weather outside is frightful. So let’s stay inside and talk about Dead People Jars! This week on Godslave, we saw a canopic jar eat it at the hands of gravity and age and maybe magic. On Library Friday, let’s take a look at what real canopic jars are all about!
It’s open before 1 PM (and every day!)
You can bring your tea in!
Also, it’s catalogued! The ROM has no cataloging system as far as I’m aware, which leaves you on your own to hunt. At the reference library, like a regular library, it’s easy-peasy to just type in basic key words on their computers and find what you’re looking for.
Early tombs were found things like food or possessions buried with the deceased. As time went on, it got increasingly more elaborate. Food, toys, jewelry, even the pets! Canopic jars, starting in the Old Kingdom, were made for very specific contents though. After you died, your body went through the very detail-intensive process of being mummified. Crucial to the process, the entirety of your abdomen needed to be emptied out and salted. Your organs were removed and preserved for burial along with the rest of your stuff!
Your intestines, lungs, stomach and liver all got to come with you. No brain though, sorry.
Most of the time when books refer to Canopic jars, they have these guys hanging around!
The Four Sons of Horus! Although they’ve become iconic with Dead People jars, they weren’t introduced until the Rammeside Period! It’s not clear how it started. Originally they were simple lids, then in Middle Kingdom became human-headed lids. More than likely, the idea of putting the gods’ faces and names on stuff as protection became more and more commonplace. Each son was to watch over the organ, and a goddess to protect them.
Jars were usually made out of alabaster, but have also been made of limestone, pottery or fience.
They contained the deceased’s organs up until the 21st Dynasty. After that, organs would be removed from the deceased, wrapped in linen with a wax doll of the corresponding Son, then put back in to the body before it was to be wrapped up. Jars, having become such a routine part of the funerary ritual, still accompanied the coffin. But they would be solid, ‘dummy’ jars.
That’s it for this week! See you next Friday!
Disclaimer: I’m gonna start this off by saying all the research I did focused on the Heliopolis sect of AE religion. Godslave is about the Ennead, not the Ogdoad. So if you were hankering for Memphite, I’m sorry. This nonsense is hard enough to keep track of just with these 9 losers.
Hey babies! So you’ve seen that button on the side of the comic, right?
Library Friday? What does that mean?
I’ll tell ya what it means! It’s means a mother flippin’ adventure!
When Godslave was still just concepts and doodles, I went knee deep into research about Egyptian Mythology. And when it comes to research, I’m very lucky to live in a metropolis like Toronto. Within walking distance of my house, there’s: two major universities that feature Egyptian studies, a large reference library, and
The Royal Ontario Museum was a BIG help to this comic. Or, more specifically, their library! They have a Far Eastern Library that has loads of out of print/circulation books. It’s mostly kept open for university students, but it’s open to the public. And, unlike the museum, free!
If you’re the type to get hot and bothered by ‘old book smell’, welcome to heaven. And if you’re the type that needs to get some work done about Ancient Egypt, you are also in your own personal heaven! Say I want to read up on the Duat- the Egyptian Underworld
I found 8 books that talk about the Duat. Want to look up hieroglyphics?
Here. Have a shelf.
Depending on the time of year the library can either be empty, or jammed with university students. That’s why it doesn’t hurt to get here early (opens at 1 PM) to get yourself a good spot! I was concerned about bring my laptop and getting an outlet, but they’ve got you covered there too!
BUT. I digress, I did in fact come to the library to do some research. Not just paw around with my camera phone.
Today, I wanted to look into Thoth
Thoth. God of Wisdom. Divine Physician. Thoth, excellent of understanding. Silver Aten. Lord of Time (NOBODY SAY IT). Tongue and Heart of Ra.
In Egyptian his name was Djehuty. Because it’s sometimes translated as ‘He of Djhut’, it’s thought his cultural worship origin is ‘Djhut’. No one really knows where it is, but it’s thought to be somewhere along the Delta. This is backed up by the fact that the Delta had the emblem of an ibis.
hey how ya doin
While rocking the house at Hermopolis Magna, his cultural worship centre, the people merged him with the baboon deity Hedj Wer. Which is why Thoth is associated with both animals. Originally a moon deity, the people soon began to associate him with writing and wisdom. Thoth became known as the god who invented writing and all the different languages, and who wrote 42 books containing all of humanity’s knowledge. He was also said to record everything that happened every day and reported it to Ra every morning.
His birth is a bit puzzling. In the first version of the Conflict of Horus and Set, he’s said to be born from the semen that’s called out of Set; making Horus the father. In the later version of the myth, Thoth is already there and– straight up- takes the semen that comes out of Set and makes a crown out of. Yeah. Yeah.
Another version of his birth, from The Handbook of Egyptian Mythology,
‘Ra was said to have created the baboob form of Thoth to shine in the night sky and the ibis form to act as a messenger between heaven and earth.’
Thoth is also protected and served Osiris’ family. He helps Isis reassemble Osiris’ body, and teaches her the spell to resurrect him. He’s the one that cures Horus of the poison from Set’s scorpion, and defends Horus at the trial against Set. Speaking of trials, they’re kind of Thoth’s thing. Thoth is up-held as an example of the law. An incorruptible judge, and ‘gracious peacekeeper or merciless executioner’.
As for Thoth’s family, again, it gets vague. There’s a few mentions of the librarian Goddess Seshat
Seshat is either his wife or his daughter. It’s unclear. There’s also mention of a Nehemtawy as his consort, awarded to him after he brought back the wayward Eye of Ra.
(I tried to find an image of Nehemtawy and instead found this. Enjoy)
In the Duat, Thoth’s role changes over time. In the Pyramid texts, the dead kings would fly to the heavens on the wings of Thoth. In the Middle Kingdom, he has a mansion that serves as a safe haven for the spirits and teaches them spells to defeat the demons of the Duat. In the New Kingdom he oversees the union of Ra and Osiris. Finally, in the Book of Going By Day, Thoth records the results of the scale that weighs the deceased’s heart against the feather of Maat.
That’s about all I could get in two hours about Thoth, but this is your basic breakdown. If you want to know more, there’s a book dedicated to the guy called Thoth The Hermes of Egypt by Patrick Boylan. The books I used were
Handbook of Egyptian Mythology
The Gods of Symbols of Ancient Egypt
The Gods of Ancient Egypt
The complete Gods and Godesses of Ancient Egypt
Alright, I’ll see you guys next Friday! If there’s a specific God or subject in Ancient Egypt you want me to look up, let me know!
Wow, hey guys! Welcome to Godslave!!
Godslave is a comic about Edith landing headfirst into the modern day world of Egyptian Mythology. It’ll feature magic, monster fights and family drama. If that sounds like your bag, Godslave will update every monday and thursday! There’s about 8 pages up now, and if you’re not familiar with Egyptian Mythology, check out the silly Myth comics on the side for a refresher.
There’s also a reading list button! Godslave required a lot of research and library trips to happen. If that’s something you’re into, check it out!
Speaking of the library- you’ll notice a button that says ‘Library Friday’, but no content behind it! What a lazy bum this artist is, not loading in content! Look that is rude, first of all. Second of all, you only have to wait until Friday!
That’s it for the low down, guys. In all honesty, I’m very excited about this comic, and I hope you’ll come to understand why.Thanks for checking out Godslave. If you’re caught up, please share with friends on social media! Every little bit helps support the comic!