My search for Anpu has lead to this place, mist filled and echoing with the cries of birds. It gives me a chance to sit down and rest my feet. Just need to make sure there aren’t any crocodiles around. Not that I’m scared of meeting Sobek, however brief the encounter! I sense another presence, friend rather than foe it appears. Djehuty. In my blind pursuit of the Walker between the Worlds I’ve forgotten that he’s been with me every step of the journey. How remiss of me. His hand and wise words have guided my pen and feet to Khmunu, City of the Eight, renamed by the ancient Greeks as Hermopolis Magna. Located in the Hare Nome, 15th Nome of Upper Egypt. Cult centre of Djehuty, god of wisdom and learning. The Hare and Ibis together in the place of Creation. How apt.
I look expectantly at the Ibis headed god, who surveys me calmly, a gleam in his eye. Then his hands lift to remove the mask, revealing a face beautiful as it is divine. His eyes reflect the light of a million stars piercing the darkness of a time before time. Some say his worship came late to Khmunu, the Eight preceding him. As always the priesthood extol the virtues of their creation myth above all others. The Eight existed with Djehuty and jointly did their actions bring about Creation, opening the way for the Child in the Lotus to arise. I listen to his words in silence, head bent unable to face the dazzling light of his presence. He places a gentle hand beneath my chin and raises my head. He tells me of several manifestations of Life, all relevant, just different perceptions of the truth. Yes, I understand. It can equally apply to self-perceptions. My heart feels a little lighter but questions and doubts still plague it. I must voice them but my tongue is not yet ready. I look at the god’s face wondering why I’m really here. In my mind’s eye I see the waters of Nun, stormy and placid by turns. The First Mound is yet to come. The Eight form out of Nothingness into Being. Snake and Frog-headed entities embodying elemental powers. A memory of a cosmic event, being the ‘Big Bang’? Perhaps. I sense there is a need to drop the mask and reveal what the real Self is about. Time to go back to the beginning, to a moment in which all components of this Self were thrown into the Crucible. Alchemy.
How appropriate that I am here with the Master Alchemist. I cannot sense much around me in this place. There is little here of humanity’s activity. It feels like my focus is being turned inwards, towards that moment of creation in the waters of Chaos. I see a seething mass of serpentine bodies, which is a little disturbing. All around me is the sound of whispered speech which is quite hypnotic. Something is manifesting within the boiling mass of bodies. I can feel it coming together atom by atom. The Cosmic Egg containing…Containing the infant Sun birthed from the fiery ball of first matter in the Universe. My body begins to sway due to the waves of energy being emitted as part of this process. My veins fill with molten fire and I am consumed in flames. There is no sense of time within the vessel that is the Crucible. Billions of years race by, or so it appears. Creation is emanating from The Eight, symbolising regeneration, balancing out of opposing forces (unmanifested and manifested) and infinity. Eight is the number of perfection and final point of manifestation. Eight is the number of Djehuty.
I open my eyes, which are still filled with Cosmic Fire. The god closes my eyelids and places a blessing upon me. The Emerald Tablets of Hermes are manifest in each one of us says the god from the City of Eight. Remember, that is his final word. He escorts me to the edge of the Hare Nome, but where is the Hare I ask? He looks at me and then points to the figure standing to the side. It is a White Hare.