Thursday, August 8, 2013

Meet the Scarabs

Egyptian mythology & symbolism is so thoroughly embedded in the work of The Beatles, that it's not only hard to know where to start, but also hard to get to it all. But I'ma start with the most obvious.

Sacred to the ancient Egyptians, the scarab beetle was highly-revered as the creature that rolls the sun across the sky like a stone... and into the underworld each night. Only to re-emerge in the morning. 

the Scarabaeus sacer, or dung beetle
"Welcome the Rolling Stones" on the temple, surely.

More specifically, the scarab-headed god known as Khepri/Khepra/Khepera, the self-created father of the gods. Khepri (or Khepri-Ra) personified the rising sun emerging from the Underworld/Duat. His name means "to become, to come into existence, to be born, to emerge, to roll. And due to the fact that dung beetles would often lay their eggs in carrion, Khepri is strongly associated with  rebirth, renewal and resurrection.

Scarab amulets were placed over the heart of the deceased during the mummification ritual. These "heart scarabs" were meant to be weighed against the feather of Ma'at (feather of truth) during their final judgement. The scarab amulets were often inscribed with a spell from the Book of the Dead which instructed their heart to aid them in the judgement process.


Lennon, a Libra

In the Egyptian funerary texts The Book of Caverns and The Book of Gates, Khepri the Sun God rejuvenates Osiris then emerges in morning, the 12th hour, from The Cavern of Mystery as the reborn sun.

I'll follow the Sun, through the Egyptian Underworld and be reborn.

The Beatles emerging from The Cavern Club in 1963

Fairly early on in Egyptian history, the concept of Caverns in the netherworld became a motif of afterlife and theology.



Also featured prominently in the Egyptian funerary texts and legends of the Underworld is the Solar Barque/Sun Boat. A Solar Barque is a mythological representation of the sun riding in a boat. Most notably, the Sun Gods Ra, Khepri and Horus ride in a Solar Barque through the River of the Underworld from west to east every night so that the sun can rise in the east the next morning. 

The body of the deceased Pharaoh travels down the river of Ament in the funeral barque. The Pharaoh makes his way by the words of Isis and Shmsu. ("Somebody calls you...")
The utterances of this great god act as magical protection and perfrom the slaughter of Apep (Sgt. Pep), who is the serpent in the Duat Underworld in his circle of windings in the sky (Circle Sky).
"I purify myself. I assume my pure throne, which is in the sky. I will endure. I assume my pure seat in the bow of the Barque of Ra. It is the sailors who row Ra and it is they who will convey me round the horizon."

Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except for Me and My Monkees

One of the other myths related to the Solar Barque of Ra was that is was believed to carry him across the heavens. This Sun Boat is called the "Barque of Ages", and it is also the ship in which the gods traveled from the heavens to the earth, and when it was used to travel between the worlds, the Sun Boat was called "The Boat of a Million Years".
Horus the falcon-headed god on his Boat of a Million Years
or, the Millenium Falcon


In later funerary texts, Ra and Atum, other sun and creator gods, merged into Khepri as a ram-headed beetle, who was the ultimate expression of the power of life over death.

"While the boat is not yet completely revealed, we do see the ba, the scarab and the ram-headed morning form of the Ra, and in front of the barque, we see the ram-headed winged scarab beetle, along with the sun as a child."

http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/caverns.htm

McCartney's '70s projects. Also notice the pyramid in the Wings logo, and the rising sun.


Osiris, the Egyptian God of the Dead, mentions in The Egyptian Book of the Dead, "I am Yesterday and Today."Which is the title of an infamous Beatles album released in America in June of 1966. The cover featured an image of the Beatles decorated with doll parts and pieces of meat. 14 pieces of meat, to be exact.

Interestingly, according to the famous Egyptian legend, Set(Typhon), cut his brother Osiris into 14 pieces and scattered them across the land.


Understandably, there was a public uproar and the albums were quickly recalled and replaced with this image. Here we see Paul in a trunk. The image was also printed reversed, you can tell by the shirt buttons and John's hair part which was always on his left. (Here, Paul's hair is parted on his right, which some say only happened after 1966).

So, they're out of the woods right? Maybe as far as macabre controversy, but the Osiris & Set parallels continue. The legend states that Set lured Osiris into getting into a box especially designed for him. Once Osiris got into the box, Set murdered him. This was when Osiris was in his 28th year of reign. The license plate on the white VW Beetle seen on the Abbey Road cover reads 28IF LMW.

We see this same motif in Michael Meyers' Emblem 44 from his Atlanta Fugiens Alchemical publication from 1617. We've got both the dismembered man in the back room, and the crowned man getting into the box. There's even three men surrounding him as he gets in.


And that's not the only Beatles album with striking similarities to Egyptian lore. Their second album shows the Beatles half-lit, evoking Eye of Horus imagery. On the American version, Lennon's left eye was darkened out more.


Also, in the Egyptian Book of Caverns, Ra finds the body of Osiris beneath Aker, the double-headed Sphinx. And in the Book of the Hidden Chamber, in "The Cavern of Sokar", Ra becomes a three-headed winged serpent, and Seker/Sokar spreads his life-giving wings in anticipation of the regeneration of Osiris. This takes place inside an egg-like oval which rests between the two heads of Aker. 

What is interesting about Aker in light of the Beatles is that Aker statues were placed before doors and gates, as they were believed to be the "keepers who open and shut the gates into the worlds of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow." And the two lions were named Sef (Yesterday) and Duau (Today) - as Egyptians believed that they guarded the gates of dawn and sunset, through which the sun travelled every morning and evening.


Here we have artwork depicting Osiris, notice the palm raised near his head, much like the palm raised near McCartney's head on the Sgt. Pepper album cover. 
(It's also kind of interesting that the man next to Osiris raising his palm has an Uraeus snake on his head and Issy Bonn has a pronounced widow's peak. You could also interpret the Cor Anglais in Paul's hand and the ropes on his uniform as a crook and flail).

The deepest, darkest regions of water & earth associated with the Egyptian Duat/Underworld are called the Thick Darknesshttp://www.sacred-texts.com/egy/ael/ael14.htm
Which is intriguing, since the Hebrew word APL (Aleph Pe Lamed) not only means "thick darkness" but also has the Gematrical value of 111 - the first three numbers seen on the mirrored Sgt. Pepper drum.
And then we also have Apple (APL) Records.

We can also make the APL/Apollo Sun connections here. Did Paul as Apollo traverse the thick darkness of the underworld, and rise again as the newborn sun heralded by the scarab sun god Khepri?

from The Regions of Night and Thick Darkness



the "Morning Star" could be referenced by Lucy in the Sky.


"Everybody's laughing, everybody's happy. Here comes the Sun King" - Sun King

McCartney's crotch is in the very center of the Sgt. Pepper cover. The Cor Anglais he holds could be taken as the wooden phallus of Osiris. Egyptian mythology states that Isis could not find Osiris' penis when she collected his 14 scattered body parts, so she fashioned him a new one carved from wood.
Crowley, seen at top corner of Sgt. Pepper crowd, states that Osiris was a black god.
Does 11/9 ^HE DIE refer to the Aeon of Osiris dying on 9/11 and the Aeon of Horus emerging?

http://allthehappycreatures.blogspot.com/2012/06/great-gig-in-sky-part-4-age-of.html


And look who witnessed the 9/11 attacks. "Looks pretty Sirius", says McCartney from JFK airport, of all places.


In other Egyptian legends, Isis fashioned a golden phallus for Osiris after his dismemberment. Could the Yellow Submarine represent Osiris' golden phallus?

And the bird in the song And Your Bird Can Sing represents Isis, taking the form of a bird and hovering over Osiris' body to conceive Horus?


In the Jane Asher film Death At A Funeral, she wears a cap with black feathers.
An unconscious little person named Peter is placed upon her dead husband in the casket. After a while, when Peter regains consciousness, emerges from the casket and causes a scene. Jane's timid son, who has thus far been unable to deliver an adequate eulogy, 'comes to life', commands attention and delivers a brilliant, moving eulogy.
This parallels Isis attaching a phallic member to her dead husband Osiris, becoming a bird, fluttering over Osiris and conceiving Horus.

Lennon as Frankenstein, the re-assembled Green Man, in the Yellow Submarine film.
Another Osiris wync.

When Osiris absorbed the identity of Ptah, becoming Ptah-Seker-Osirs, the Apis bull became considered an aspect of Osiris rather than Ptah. Since Osiris was lord of the dead, the Apis then became known as the living deceased one. As he now represented Osiris, when the Apis bull reached the age of 28, symbolic of the lunar month, and the new moon, the bull was put to death with a great sacrificial ceremony... this would take place in Memphis.
Many PID legends state that Paul's last interview was in Memphis, TN
The Shirley Temple doll from the Sgt. Pepper cover wears a sweater with the radio station call letters WMPS on the sleeve, which is a Memphis station.


Osiris was killed by Set with the help of 72 conspirators. Lennon died on 72nd street.

Ancient Egyptians also believed that a dung beetle named Aksak made the first woman and man on Earth out of clay. http://www.crystalinks.com/scarabs.html

The scarab lifting the sun, among the Ennead, the 9 Egyptian dieties, in a Solar Boat, held up by Nun.


#9

Aker and the Ennead


The Ennead in the Solar Barque


The Ennead in the Solar Barque underneath Nut/Nuit/Hathor, who represents the Milky Way
"We all live..."

The Milky Way seen in the night sky represents the sky goddess Nut. In some Egyptian legends, it is Nut who swallows the sun in the evening and it is through her vulva that it is reborn every morning as the renewed solar child.
see post on the Beatles and Tarot for more on how Nut/Hathor ties into the lads from Liverpool.


Here is depicted Nut, the sky mother, forming the celestial night sky, at the bottom is Geb her husband forming the earth. (In between is Shu). This brings to mind the line from Yer Blues, "My mother is of the sky, my father is of the earth, and I am of the universe and you know what it's worth."


When Set tricked Osiris into the box and sent it away down a river, Isis set out to find him by sailing on the back of a boat made of papyrus reeds. 
the original papyr back rider

"Picture yourself in a boat on a river"


Osiris as god of the dead in the Underworld, seated upon his throne. Behind him are his sisters Isis and Nephthys. And in some legends it is Isis & Nephthys who lift Osiris to resurrection.

"Sitting on a sofa with a sister or two"





Actress Shirley Temple appears three times on the Sgt. Pepper cover, bringing to mind such things as the three Great Pyramids of Egypt, the three temple/pyramids of Teotihuacan and the three Temple Periods of Israel. Here we see her not only in a Pepper-esque jacket, but also making the finger to mouth gesture famous with Harpocrates, the Greek version of Hoor-Pa-Kraat, the passive aspect of the twin diety Heru-Ra-Ha, which represents the child of the new Aeon

as seen in Crowley's Aeon card. Ra-Hoor-Kuit sits beneath Nuit, and Hoor-Pa-Kraat stands in front.

Notice the body of NU wrapped around the Orphic Egg.
McCartney's 2013 album is titled NEW

WORK IN PROGRESS




2 comments:

Desiree said...

Working on something similar... although not even close to as detailed. Thank you for all this wonderful information.

woslo w said...

Thanks.
But this is my only post with "work in progress" at the end. I still have 3 pages of notes I'm trying to work into this. There's so much there concerning the Beatles & Egyptian mythology.