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TOA LESSON 1
1. Summarize the plot of the Asarian Resurrection
The plot of the Asarian Resurrection myth is based around the main characters Asar, Aset, Heru and Set. It begins, however, with Creation coming into being when Nun lifts the boat of Ra out of unformed matter (NuNu). Ra shines lotus rays onto the world and creates the Cosmic Gods and Goddesses Maat, Shu, Tefnut, Nut, and Geb. The union between Nut and Geb begets Asar, Aset, Set, and Nebethet. When Ra sheds tears, human beings are created and Asar, Aset, Set and Nebethet are sent to govern over the earthly realm. Herein is where the plot thickens and the original sibling rivalry proves to be fatal.
Ra selects Asar and Aset to rule as King and Queen of Egypt (Kemet) and under their rulership Kemet prospers. Set felt slighted by Ra and was jealous of his brother Asar which drove him to insanity. Thus, Set murdered his brother Asar by cutting His body into pieces that he scattered far and wide. Aset, with the aid of Nebethet, Anpu, and Sobek, relentlessly searched for Asar, gathering all of the scattered pieces, except for his phallus that was eaten by a fish. Aset re-membered all of the pieces and breathed air to Resurrect Asar so that they may be together one last time.
From their union Heru is miraculously conceived and Asar, who is now pure spirit, becomes Asar-Seker ruler of the Netherworld, judging over the living and the dead. Meanwhile, Aset must hide in the marshes with Her newborn son Heru in order to protect Him from the jealousy of Set. Seven scorpions are assigned to protect the infant Heru (one for each energy center) by the scorpion Goddess Selket. During Her time of exile, Aset nurses Heru and thereby imparts Her Divine Wisdom through Her breast milk. Though diligent in Her protection and nurturing of Heru, alas, one day when Aset is away Set struck Heru in the form of a scorpion.
When Aset returns to find that Her child Heru is dead she tries to revive Him with Her magic power of Resurrection to no avail. In Her desperation and sorrow Aset cries out in a voice that stops the boat of Ra. Ra sends Djehuty to assist Aset in Her hour of desperation. Djehuty tells Her that Heru is not dead, but visiting His father Asar in the Netherworld. When Heru communes with His Father Asar, He learns that He is the rightful ruler of Kemet and must take up arms against Set to reclaim His birthright. Upon this Heru is reborn into His role as Vindicator of Asar.
Thus begins the epic battles between Heru and Set where peace no longer reigns in the land of Kemet.
Heru and Set fought, it seemed, endlessly with one having the upper hand over the other, only to have the tables turned. Set took the form of fierce animals, such as a hippo, to defeat Heru. But Heru took aim and struck Set with His harpoon. During this battle Aset assisted Heru by striking Set with Her own harpoon. Set cried out to Aset to have mercy and, in Her compassion, Aset withdrew Her harpoon. This act of mercy enraged Heru and, in His insanity, He cut off His Mother Aset’s head. Heru’s action left Him vulnerable, and when He was at rest Set plucked out His eye and threw it far away until it shattered into pieces.
Djehuty found the eye and restored it to its wholeness. Upon the restoration of His Uadjit Eye, Heru decided to approach the Council of Gods and Goddesses, headed by Ra, to plead His case as the rightful heir to the throne of Kemet. The Goddess Net, Matrix of Creation, agreed that Heru was the rightful heir but Set argued that Heru was too young to rule over Kemet. Undecided, a letter was sent to Asar so that He might weigh in on the decision between rulership of Heru and Set. When Asar read the letter He became angered and demanded that justice be done for His son Heru, as well as His own pain and suffering at the hands of Set, or He would send the demons to torment them, reminding them even they (Gods and Goddesses) would someday be judged before Him.
It was then decided that Heru was the rightful heir to the throne, but He had to prove Himself worthy. As long as Heru fought on an equal footing with Set He could not defeat him, for Set was very strong. Therefore, it was not until Heru united with Ra to become the All-encompassing Heru Behdet (Winged Sundisk) that He was able to defeat Set. Set accepted that Heru was the rightful heir to the throne and returned to His original role as Nebi-Ra—Protector of the boat of Ra. At last Asar was vindicated and Heru wore the double crown of Upper and Lower Kemet.
2.What are the main take aways from the Asarian Resurrection myth, the important teachings to remember?
To summarize, the main take away from the Asarian Resurrection myth is to “re-member.” When the ego (Set) is out of control, due to unrighteousness and ignorance, our soul (Asar) becomes fragmented and disconnected from our true Divine Self. This causes pain and suffering, creating a residue of negative ari. When we tire of the suffering and lifetimes of accumulated ari, our innate Divine intuitional Wisdom (Aset) is awakened and we begin the process of healing by re-membering our dissected soul and giving birth to our Higher selves (Heru).
But the ego fights for its survival and, thus, we struggle between our Higher Self and lower self. When we lose sight of our Divine intuitional Wisdom we become vulnerable to our ego selves. With Divine intellectual Wisdom (Djehuty) we can restore our vision through the teachings of Shetaut Neter. When properly understood, and most importantly experienced, the teachings lead to Union with the Divine. In this All-encompassing state the ego is placed in the service of the Divine and the Higher and the Lower Self are united (Smai Heru-Set).
Nuk pu Asar!
3. Based on the video lecture, readings and your current understanding at this time ,
A: What have you discovered so far about what is the importance about the role of Aset in that epic teaching of the Asarian Resurrection?
B: What do you make of Her character, Her personality?
“I Aset am all that has been, all that is or shall be and no mortal man hath ever unveiled me.”
The above quote sums up the central context that Aset serves in the teachings of the Asarian Mysteries. The intuitional Wisdom that Aset represents is innate within all of us but is veiled in ignorance. I have heard Aset referred to as “Netert Asha Renu” (Goddess numerous in names), in reference to Her many attributes. Many adore Aset, and I myself was drawn to Her, initially, for these attributes which include beauty, intellect, motherhood, healing magic etc., etc. But the quintessential Goddess figure that everyone sees in Aset (Isis) was forged in unspeakable pain, followed by great triumph. In other words Aset (intuitional Wisdom) actually transcends all images of Her. It is my belief that one cannot begin to unveil Aset without understanding this.
As the one who Resurrects Asar, Aset represents that Divine spark that dwells in the heart and, often through pain and suffering, is awakened. It isn’t until the tragic murder of Asar that Aset is forced into action and is revealed in Her true power. When we come to realize our Divine intuitional Wisdom, likewise we begin on the path to our own true power. I have heard the expression “feminine intuition” and I suspect that it may be rooted in reference to “Aset intuition” from the Asarian Resurrection myth. But it is important to understand that Divine intuitional Wisdom, represented by the Goddess Aset, is not exclusive to those who physically happen to be of the female gender, as the expression in worldly terms often implies.
“Souls, Heru, son, are of the self-same nature, since they came from the same place where the Creator modeled them; nor male nor female are they. Sex is a thing of bodies not Souls.”
Therefore, as the above quote from the text African Religion Vol. 4: Asarian Theology (Ashby p. 19) attests, Kemetic Spirituality does not recognize male and female in literal terms, but symbolically—female representing movement and creation, and male representing rest and spirit. Thus, based on this understanding, the Tantric union between Asar and Aset gives birth to Heru, who represents the perfect balance between the physical and the Spiritual. Therefore, the important role that Aset represents in the Asarian Mysteries is to join the Higher Self, in the physical aspect, to the Divine Soul. In this way Aset is central to achieving Nehast (Enlightenment).
In the Asarian Resurrection myth, I see Aset as a composite of complex personalities and character. As a wife to Asar, She is loyal and loving. As a Mother to Heru, Aset is nurturing and protective. As a Goddess Aset is to be reckoned with, as She is clever and ever vigilant. As a woman, Aset seems to have the same vulnerable, deep reaching pain as any wife and mother when She mourns for Asar and Heru—so much so that Her cries could stop the boat of Ra. Through it all Aset’s character is unshaken and Her persistence is unending, because Her love is unconditional. This makes Aset the Spiritual Mentor for all who are seekers of Truth, which leads to becoming Akhu.
Dua Aset! Meryt Aset!
Htp, Shems Heryt