Nut, the sky mother’s belly was full with creation, but because of Ra’s jealousy and rage he cursed her so that she could not give birth to her creations on “any day of the year” and all the gods knew her pain because they listened to her constant groans and torment as they echoed across the heavens. But Thoth, being the God of wisdom realized this was not best for the whole…and so he thought long and hard on the matter and transformed himself into a baboon.
As the playful baboon Thoth went to Khonsu, the God of the moon, and starting to entertain him with jokes and antics like the first court jesters. As the moon boat dipped in the West Thoth, the baboon gracefully jumped aboard and sailed with Khonsu to the depths of the underworld. While he rode in the boat with Khonsu he entertained the God with sounds, and pictures and revealed to him the art of writing. Khonsu was enamored with this skill and told Thoth that he would “give him anything he desired” if he would only share this magic with him. Thoth, sly and wise, told Khonsu that he only wished to play a game of dice. Laughing, Khonsu agreed and so Thoth the baboon and Khonsu the moon began to play the game of dice.
At first, Khonsu rolled the best scores and the baboon jumped up and down complimenting the round faced God on his skills, and this pleased Khonsu whose ego was stroked enough that he agreed to the suggestion of wagers to make the game more interesting. At first only fruits and shells were wagered on the outcome of the dice games; and Khonsu won again and again. After a while, Thoth suggested the gamble for higher stakes and Khonsu again agreed and this time they played for gold and for silver. So the game went on, day upon day, month upon month, for almost a full year. During this time, Nut the sky mother’s shrieks of pain were still heard throughout the universe.
Khonsu continued winning the game gaining more and more treasures so the baboon God Thoth suggested they increase the wager for just a little of the moon’s light. Khonsu, hesitated a moment, yet he looked at all of his winnings and feeling confident and taking in the flattery of Thoth agreed to the wager. The game was on….Thoth blew on the dice and said:
“Bones, Bones, roll as you may. Your numbers choose both night and day. Where the power of sky and stars hold sway, cause these bones to roll my way, Roll for me this day, Roll for me this day.” (Tamerian spell for gambling)
Luck was with Thoth, the God of Magick, and Khonsu groaned each time Thoth won the roll giving up more and more of his light to the God. After a while, his face became thinner and thinner but he played on confident that the luck would change in his favor and the days rolled on. Thoth, rolled and rolled, winning enough light for five extra days and since he was the measurer of time he decided to add these on to the end of the year that RA had created. Laughing, and whooping Thoth bowed deeply and swiftly took his leave from the God Khonsu and leaped on the Moon boat and transformed himself into the Ibis (his sun form which is that of a bird); and jumped. He soared higher and higher in his bird-form until he reached NUT.
<Because of this dice game the moon waxes and wanes for Thoth never did give Khonsu back his full moon power. It is also because of this game that Thoth has the power of moon and sun. It is also the reason why there are 365 days in a year!.>
Thoth called out for Tauret the hippo Goddess and the dwarf-god Bes to assist him in the labor of Nut and delivery of these God children. It took five days, exactly as much as Thoth had won for each child to be born and as each child was delivered into the universe, Thoth blessed each and gave them their names so that they would be counted among the company of the Gods. The first child born on the first day was named Osiris the Good, and the universe cried out and said “the Lord of the whole world” had just been born. The second day saw the birth of the heroic Horus, Horus the elder, who was most like his grandfather Ra. The third day saw the birth of the red-headed Set and in him was chaos and wildness of energies. On the fourth day the Goddess Isis was born, and on the fifth day Nephthys the dark eyed goddess came forth blessing all the previous children but she lavished her highest praise on her brother Set.
After all of this was done, the heavens earth and sky were fulfilled and set into their proper places. All the creatures that lived were following their instilled natures and all the Gods that took care of them had taken their stations. Thus, Ra, being the first and creator of it all became bored and weary of eternity; he looked at the impermanence and the excitement of mortal men and women’s lives and felt envy and longing.
The Gods lived in the palace of Ra removed from man and woman, knowing nothing of suffering or joy immortal, beautiful, and bored.
Lessons from the Hands of Thoth:
* Never judge by appearances! Thoth while he is the god of wisdom and magick, also realizes a power we humans should be aware of…the power of utilizing aspects of ourselves that we need to when we want to obtain a goal. The power of tom-foolery and making “a monkey” out of ourselves is a good one. Maybe from time to time we should take ourselves less seriously; maybe we should be willing to shake a tail feather, and lose from time to time knowing that every thing is not important what is important is the end result.
* Listening to the pain and suffering of those around us is important, but doing something for them to ease their pain and suffering is more important. Thoth took time to plan and to take action and because of this he was successful! He was also very patient taking over a whole year to get the results he wanted, but determination and wisdom means that sometimes you do not get immediate results.
* Thoth is a God who is not only wise, but is also a trickster. You know the trickster God the one that gives you what you want but leads you down a crazy path to get there! Or shows you how you really don’t want what you think it is you want…oh that is wisdom. Hmmmm wonder if contemplating your personal ideas of wisdom and a “trickster” might blur the lines between the two?
* How is it that Khonsu lost? He got cocky, he let his ego be fed in a way that made him not take notice that he was being stroked and led in a certain direction. His ego was WAY too big! Do not be so foolish as to listen to all those “compliments” and people that are “stroking your ego” be cautious! Sure you should surround yourself with people that are not unhealthy and mean to you; but you should also surround yourself with people who are honest and tell you the hard truths whether you want to hear them or not. Khonsu’s ego was huge, and this was his downfall make sure you too are always grounded else your ego will lead to your downfall!
*If you practice this path, then learning the calendar is easier if you remember this story. Knowing who the Enneads are and the roles of many of your deities becomes common place if you remember who does what. Tauret looks like a Hippo but she is a Goddess of midwifery! Bes, is a dwarf but he assisted in the delivery! If you are pregnant, or assisting in a Wiccaning or friends with a female and you follow this path a gift of Bes or Tauret would be in line would it not?
*Set is not the Devil, he is not “bad”. In our modern 21st century culture we have been programmed to see things as extremes: white or black, good or bad, rich or poor, etc. But Set is described as Chaos and primordial energy not tamed or focused…sounds a lot like our lives and us as practioner’s of magick that are trying to constantly learn does it not? Why not study Set, get to know him and realize there are other aspects and characteristics of him that might interest you. Did you know he was considered the God of trading, God of the Desserts, also the God of foreign languages? Egyptian Gods have lived so long their characteristics and complexities defy human understanding at times; yet help us flesh them out to be more than “stereotypes” but “archetypes” and isn’t that what a spiritual path is all about?
* Know your creation story. Use it as a tool to teach you, to instruct you, to make you smile, laugh, take delight in it! It is a story after all, and it is customized by the Gods for you…your mind and spirit will gain things from it that no other person on earth will ever grasp! You are a wonderful unique vessel…and the Gods envy you at times.
If you want to learn about the Egyptian Calendar and the creation story then try these:Egyptian Mystics: Seekers of the Way by Moustafa Gadalla, Egyptian Cosmology the Animated Universe by Moustafa Gadalla, and Egyptian Rhythmn: The Heavenly Melodies by Moustafa Gadalla
Lastly, not least imporantly...THANK YOU for reading, and freely giving me the gift of your time!