ETERNITY AND EVERLASTINGNESS… without seam, without joining together! – Queen Hatshepsut.
Linking the theme of Women in Power from a previous post and the Ancient Inspirations series of quotes, below are excerpts from a speech carved upon stone by Queen Hatshepsut. It is taken from an inscription on the base of the standing obelisk erected by her at the temple of Karnak.
As mentioned in the earlier post, in her role as pharaoh in a female form she combined and employed the iconography of both male and female genders. Drawing upon enduring sphinx iconography, here the pharaoh is depicted with unusual rounded ears and ruff that stress the lioness features of the statue, human face and divine/pharaonic beard (Fig. 1). Again in these lines of her speech, are similar joint references.
“As I rule this land like the son of Isis [Horus], As I am mighty like the son of Nut [sky] (Nut’s son is Shu/air, see Fig. 2 below),
As Re rests in the evening bark, As he prevails in the morning bark…As sky endures, as his creation lasts…
So as regards these two great obelisks,
Wrought with electrum by my majesty for my father Amun [the Hidden One]…
In order that my name may endure in this temple…
For eternity and everlastingness, They are each of one block of hard granite, without seam, without joining together!
I am his daughter in very truth…On the Horus [son of Isis] throne of all the living, eternally like Re.”
While changing cycles were recognized as evident in nature, the Ancient Egyptian worldview and orientation was toward alignment with the enduring and eternal. This ideology permeated their entire culture and is practically manifest in their art, architecture, the symbolic structure of the language itself, and written upon the myriad magnificent monuments they erected.
In her ultimate dedication to the Eternal Amun-Re, at Deir el-Bahri, Thebes, shown below is the magnificent funerary/temple complex of Pharaoh, Queen Hatshepsut of the 18th Dynasty. I loved the fact that this unusual image captures the perspective of the dramatic stairway, leading your feet to the upward entrance! For a close up of the pharaoh Hatshepsut in canonical kingly aspect click here.