Stele of Revealing
The Stèle of Revealing (also called Stèle 666) was discovered by Aleister Crowley and his wife Rose in the Boulaq Museum in Cairo, Egypt on March 18, 1904. For the previous two days, she had been receiving the message, “They are waiting for you” and claimed that it was from Horus. When Aleister took her to the museum to point out the speaker to him, she finally settled on this small, unassuming funerary stele. What struck Crowley was that it did indeed show Horus, and attached to the top was the exhibit number: 666, the number that he strongly identified himself with. The discovery of the Stele of Revealing was an important step in the events leading to the writing of The Book of the Law.
The Stele of Revealing was created by an actual Egyptian priest of the god Mentu, Ankh-af-na-khonsu (lit. He Lives in Khonsu), who lived in Thebes in the 26th dynasty (apx. 725 PEV). It is a funerary tablet created to commemorate his death. It is wooden, covered with stucco and painted on both sides. It is rounded at the top and measures 51.5 by 31 centimeters.
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The Obverse Side
The Front of the Stele contains the following:
Nuit frames the curved top. She is the Goddess of the Night Sky.
Hadit, the winged solar disc, with the inscription, “the great god, Lord of the sky.”
Horus, the hawk-headed solar god, sits on his throne. The inscription reads, “Ra-hoor-khuit, chief of the gods.”
Ankh-af-na-khonsu stands before Horus. His inscription reads, “The deceased, priest of Mentu, Lord of Thebes, the justified one for whom the doors of the sky are opened in Karnak, Ankh-f-n-khonsu.”
The Altar, which contains offerings, shows bread, beer, cattle and fowl.
The main body of text is a prayer to Ra-Hoor-Khuit. According to more modern interpretation, it says:
The words spoken by the Osiris (i.e. the deceased), the priest of Monthu, Lord of Thebes, the one who opens the doors of the sky in Karnak, the justified Ankh-f-n-Khonsu—
"O High One, may He be praised, the Great One of power, the spirit of great dignity, who brings fear of himself to the gods, who shines forth upon his throne—
Make open the way for my soul, my spirit, and my shadow, for I am equipped so that I might shine forth as an equipped one, make open the way for me to the place where Ra, Atum, Kheperi, and Hathor are."
The deceased, priest of Monthu, Lord of Thebes, the justified Ankh-f-n-Khonsu, the son of the man with the same titles, Bes-en-mut, and the son of the musician of Amun-Re, the mistress of the house Taneshi."
The Reverse Side
The reverse side, which is covered with hieroglyphs, is the following prayer:
The words spoken by the Osiris, priest of Monthu, Lord of Thebes, the justified Ankh-ef-en-Khonsu.
"O my heart of my mother (two times), O my heart while I am upon earth, do not rise up against me—as my witness, do not oppose me in the tribunal, do not be hostile against me in the presence of the Great God, Lord of the West.
Although I have joined myself to the earth in the great western side of the sky, may I endure upon earth."
Words spoken by the Osiris, the priest of Thebes, the justified Ankh-ef-en-Khonsu—
"O Unique One, who shines as the moon, may the deceased, Ankh-ef-en-Khonsu, go forth among your multitide (this to the outside)—O deliverer of those who are in the sunshine, open for him the Netherworld (the Duaut)—indeed the Osiris, Ankh-ef-en-Khonsu, shall go forth by day to do that which he wills upon the earth and among the living."
Crowley’s Poetic Paraphrase
Above, the gemmed azure is The naked splendour of Nuit; She bends in ecstasy to kiss The secret ardours of Hadit. The winged globe, the starry blue, Are mine, O Ankh-af-na-khonsu! I am the Lord of Thebes, and I The inspired forth-speaker of Mentu; For me unveils the veiled sky, The self-slain Ankh-af-na-khonsu Whose words are truth. I invoke, I greet Thy presence, O Ra-Hoor-Khuit! Unity uttermost showed! I adore the might of Thy breath, Supreme and terrible God, Who makest the gods and death To tremble before Thee:— I, I adore thee! Appear on the throne of Ra! Open the ways of the Khu! Lighten the ways of the Ka! The ways of the Khabs run through To stir me or still me! Aum! let it fill me! The light is mine; its rays consume Me: I have made a secret door Into the House of Ra and Tum, Of Khephra and of Ahathoor. I am thy Theban, O Mentu, The prophet Ankh-af-na-khonsu! By Bes-na-Maut my breast I beat; By wise Ta-Nech I weave my spell. Show thy star-splendour, O Nuit! Bid me within thine House to dwell, O winged snake of light, Hadit! Abide with me, Ra-Hoor-Khuit!
And the reverse side:
Saith of Mentu the truth-telling brother Who was master of Thebes from his birth: O heart of me, heart of my mother! O heart which I had upon earth! Stand not thou up against me a witness! Oppose me not, judge, in my quest! Accuse me not now of unfitness Before the Great God, the dread Lord of the West! For I fastened the one to the other With a spell for their mystical girth, The earth and the wonderful West, When I flourished, o earth, on thy breast! The dead man Ankh-f-n-khonsu Saith with his voice of truth and calm: O thou that hast a single arm! O thou that glitterest in the moon! I weave thee in the spinning charm; I lure thee with the billowy tune. The dead man Ankh-f-n-khonsu Hath parted from the darkling crowds, Hath joined the dwellers of the light, Opening Duaut, the star-abodes, Their keys receiving. The dead man Ankh-f-n-khonsu Hath made his passage into night, His pleasure on the earth to do Among the living.
Links of Interest
- The Stélé of Revealing (http://liber-al.thelema-society.de/index.php?act=viewtext&textID=796)