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Another variation on Sekhmet

20 March 2024
Ancient history, Mythology

After passing over some part of Nicholas Costa’s view of Sekhmet I received a response from Eric. He had already sent me one of his deliberations on Sekhmet after I asked him what it was that Akhnaton had observed and why he decided to build his new capital at the point of that observation. Eric sent me it again. It is a mixture of mainstream ideas with those of Velikovsky and some of his off spins, such as David Talbot of Thunderbolts and Dwardu Cardona of Kronos journal. The latter was also the author of several books on mythology – and ideas involving planets such as Venus, Jupiter, and Mars. Obvously, a long way removed from mainstream. Hence, it is a mixed bag and as it consists of 5 pages I can only mention the odd bit.

Eric’s piece revolves around the historical figure of Akhnaton and his father, Amenophis III. The latter built the avenue of statues of Akhnaton for some reason. According to Costa it was all down to the way Thutmose III, his father, came to the throne – by deposing his brother [or stealing his birth right]. Eric says Amenophis III elevated Sekhmet to the chief goddess – the euivalent of Mut [consort of the god Amun]. Sekhmet, he says, is closely associated with the god Ptah. Not sure if that is strictly true – but we’ll go on. He then brings in Talbot and his ideas on planet gods. This comes directly from Velikovsky – but Talbot created a rather more elaborate story of the planets, as gods. Cardona also liked to identify the gods of the ancient world as planets – and he claimed Sekhmet = another name for Venus. Talbot, on the other hand, identifies the ‘eye of Ra’  as the Aten [as they have similar signs and symbols]. The Aten, in his opinion, which Akhnaton worshipped rather than Amun, otherwise the chief god of dynasty 18, was in his opinion a sort of enclosure – as in a circle. Not sure if he is thinking of the magic circle and the idea of keeping evil at bay, but that is in the background. According to Talbot the Aten had a protective role – rather than a malevolent role [as envisaged by Costa]. It was not so much a religious revolution but a different way of looking at the gods, as the Aten is known from early Egyptian history. It wasn’t a new concept – although  mainstream like to present Akhnaton as a sort of equivalent to Martin Luther.

Velikovsky, according to Eric, said the idea the god Amun, and the Aten, were the sun is based ‘on nothing known from any Egyptological source’ – which seems par for the course. Just because they were supreme deities and the Sun is the supreme luminary does not necessarily mean they were one and the same. However, the Aten had some kind of association with the Sun. It was sun-like, one might say.

Talbot, for some reason, identified the god Amun with Shu – who was tasked with defending the human realm on the surface of the earth from chaos  coming from the heavens. He was therefore a god of the air, or the lower atmosphere. His task was to thwart such things as meteors – and cosmic bodies somewhat larger. On most occasions meteors break up in the upper atmosphere and therefore Shu was seen as doing his stuff. However, when a bigger piece of space debris exploded in the lower atmosphere – Shu was at fault. Airbursts have the potential to do serious harm to life on earth. Hence, it was sometimes alleged that Shu was absent from his post when one of these bigger lumps of space rock arrived. They did not have vacations [holidays] in those days – so he was off visiting fellow gods, or goddesses. Otherwise, faith in the ability of Shu to defend the human world would have become impossible. Talbot did not take any of this onboard and assumed the Aten as worshipped by Akhnaton was an enclosure or place of safety. Yet, we know that Akhnaton had actually witnessed the presence of the Aten – in the sky somewhere to the east of Egypt. Aknaton also composed a hymn to the Aten but according to Talbot the Aten was a window in heaven. At this point we are getting somewhere as the window in heaven is akin to the lattice opening in the sky that allows Baal to infiltrate the atmosphere above the Levant. It is a very real feature of the Baal Epic and it even appears in the Bible as the lattice window that led to King Jehoram being confined to his sick bed, and dying in a very unpleasant manner. We may note that at this time, prior to the Deuteronomic revision, the Israelites appear to have worshipped the Canaanite gods, with Yahweh another version of Baal. The Elijah story seems to bear this idea out. Possibly, that is why Velikovsky ignored Elijah – in spite of the cosmic drama involved.

The window, we may note, would have allowed Sekhmet, and any other malevolent god or goddess, to penetrate the upper atmosphere. Hence, the Aten played a distinct role. Just as the god Canaanite god Baal was able to enter through the lattice in the sky. The god Aten manifested itself to Akhnaton as a very bright burst of light, one might imagine – and this is what Akhnaton saw in the sky. One only has to think in terms of the 2013 Chelyabinsk airburst [in the upper atmosphere] to get some idea of the brightness – though brief. It was therefore interpreted as a little bit of the Sun. In the hot Egyptian world the Sun was prominent – and distinctly hot in the desert. Hence, a brief visit by Sekhmet would have been like looking at a brief piece of the Sun interacting with the earth and its inhabitants. In this instance, the Aten was not destructive – at least, not in Egypt. It was too far away. Yet, it left an indelible mark on Akhnaton, so much so that the god Amun took the back seat for a while.

What this means is we can forget planets as gods, in spite of the wordy tomes of Cardona and the video dramatics of Talbot. Meteors are a much more likely source – as recognised by Costa. Indeed, Talbot goes so far as to say the Aten, as an enclosure, was the equivalent of ‘the island of fire’ – which is mentioned in the coffin texts. They also mention the Aten, and as Talbot said, they were likely one and the same thing. Here we have a direct connection of the Aten with fire – entering through a window in the atmosphere. Sekhmet was famously associated with distributing fire and destruction on the surface of the earth [in selective locations of course]. An exploding cosmic object in the lower atmosphere has its modern parallel in human made nuclear weapons. Is the fate of humans to go through the same all over again?

I’m probably not giving Eric a fair crack of the whip but one can always reinterpret texts in a variety of ways. If you believe Velikovsky was correct and planets caused mayhem in the past and then Talbot and Cardona can come across as reasonable. Most people would not agree, though. By substituting meteors for planets a more realistic source of catastrophism in the ancient world can be visualised as an alternative and more likely source of known upheavals during the Bronze Age – which seems to have continued into the early Iron Age. In that respect Velikovsky had intuitively logged into a catastrophist slant within the Bible and other sacred texts. Especially those of the Hindus. This all came to an end in the time of the Deuteronomist – and the Axial Age. God became an invisible something – but our hymns still ring around churches with words such as Glory and Majesty, and so on. If you attend Christmas Carol services you might like to reflect on some of the words sang with gusto. Religion, in the  past, was all about appeasement.

One last point. Meteors mostly burn up in the upper atmosphere – so why would they have been destructive in the past? According to Clube and Napier and a group of mainstream astronomers, a large comet, or comets, broke up in the inner solar system as a result of interaction with the Sun. You only have to think about Comet Halley. It is a pale shadow of its former self and has been visiting the inner solar system for hundreds, if not thousands of years. It must once have been a really large cosmic body, losing material via sublimation on each visit it made [every 76 years or so]. The same thing applies to the Taurid streams of meteors. They all have an origin in a now defunct comet that may have first arrived coinciding with the Laschamp Event, 40 to 50,000 years ago.

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