24 April 2004

(38) The Crow Book of the Dead

The Crow Book of the Dead, chapter 64, from the papyrus of H'ru:

It was the custom, in Ancient Egypt, for the "discoverer" of a manuscript to rewrite it, grafting upon it the benefit of his own experience. This would suggest that there was more to discovering a manuscript than simply finding it in a cave somewhere; there is an implicit suggestion that a common mystical path is being described.

I am yesterday and today, and I have the power, should I wish, to be born another time. I am the divine hidden soul who creates the gods, and who gives celestial meals to the divine hidden beings in the world, in the underworld and in heaven. I am the rudder of the east, with two divine faces which the crack of dawn illumes.

I am the lord of those who are raised up from the dead, the lord who comes forth from out of the darkness. Hail, ye two divine crow sentinels, perched upon your haunts, who hear that which I say. The flesh of the sacrifice is swinging, beckoning, and has been spied by the raven. May Badb Catha accept my gifts, my eyes starting tears as I watch and wait.

Familiar with the Abysses is your name. You ached in a chasm, while the winds of the wilderness blew bare your bones. I work for you, O ye ancient crow ancestor spirits, who are in number four million, six hundred and one thousand, and two hundred, and who stand twelve cubits high. You join hearts together and reach far, for the sixth hour, which belongs at the head of the world, is the hour of the overthrow of the fiend.

I am come there in triumph, and have entered the hall of the world. The strength which protects me protects my spirit; blood, cool water, offerings. I open a way among the teeth claws and talons of all those who would harm me, who keep themselves hidden, who would oppose me, and those who writhe upon their bellies.
The eye will not absorb the tears of the goddess Morrigan. Hail, goddess Morrigan, open for me the walled garden and grant me pleasant paths upon which I might travel.

And who are you, who consumes in hidden places? I am the lover of Nemain, and go in and come forth in the name of The Watcher, the lord of millions of years and of the Earth; I am the maker of my name. She who bears has birthed upon the Earth her fruit. The door by the wall is shut fast, and the things of terror are overturned and spiked with the beak blades of the carrion crows of regenerative ecstasy, the two Macha goddesses.

To the mighty one has his eye been given, and his face radiates light as he illuminates the earth. My name is his name. I shall not become corrupt, but I shall come into being in the form of the crow god; the blossoms of eternal spring shall be in me.

I am he who is never overwhelmed in the waters. Happy, yea happy, is the funeral couch of the still heart. He enters the misted pool and yet comes forth. I am the lord of my life. I have come to this place, and I have come forth from the roost within the tree of life of the crow god. Verily, all that is thine is held in state by the three beaked crow.

I have clasped the sycamore tree and the elm and I have opened their secrets. I have opened a way for myself among the secret gods of the world. I have come to see the one who dwells in his divine uraeus, face to face and eye to eye, and have drawn to myself the winds that rise when he comes forth.

My insight will ripple across my face, o bird god, who dwells in Yggdrasil. You are in me and I am in you, and your attributes are my attributes. I am the rain god, and Cloudmaker is my name. My forms are the forms of the god of the First Egg, the feathers of the winds of the earth.

I have entered in as a being of no understanding, and I shall come forth in the form of a strong spirit, and I shall look upon my form, which shall be that of the crow for ever and ever.

The Egyptian Book of the Dead