Scenes with the Ba|
April 4, 2015
I've collected some scenes of Dua(adoration) to the Ba. One occurs in the Book of the Dead of Tentameniy:
The lady Taameniu kneels before her Ba, which wears a Djed, representing enduring stability (Ptolemaic Book of the Dead of Taameniu (Tentameniy), British Museum, EA 10086, sheet 5
Alison Roberts describes this: "Vignette from chapter 26 of the Book of the Dead, equaled with the ninth hour of the night. A chapter of the heart, it begins with the words 'May my heart be mine in the House of Hearts'/ Holding her heart, the lady Taameniu kneels before her Ba, which wears a Djed symbol of 'stability', symbolizing her stable existence..." (_My Heart My Mother: Death and Rebirth in Ancient Egypt_, by Alison Roberts (Northgate Publishers 2000),page 153)
Wearing the Djed expresses her Ba's eternal nature.
Inherkhau's tomb has a Ba-dua scene, too:
Osirisnet.net describes this: "Chamber G, North wall, upper register. The whole register is represented in 4 photographs. Inherkhau raises his arms in adoration before his Ba which stands on his tomb."
Kent Weeks explains:
"At the beginning of the upper register on the right wall, Inherkhau stands in adoration before a pylon with a human-headed ba bird on top. The bird’s feathers are highly stylized, as are the feathers of the other birds in this tomb, and its face and hands look very similar to those of Inherkhau himself. At left, a second scene shows the deceased before Ptah, the god of craftsmen and therefore one greatly praised in Dayr al-Madina. The text that follows at left is a copy of Book of the Dead chapter 42, a list of body parts and the deities associated with them. “My hair is Nun,” one of the rectangles proclaims, “My face is Ra; my eyes are Hathor; my ears are Wepwawet; my nose is She who presides over her lotus leaf.” (From _The Illustrated Guide to Luxor_ by Kent R. Weeks, published by the American University in Cairo Press. Copyright © 2005 White Star S.p.a, as quoted by
The association is of a possessive/transformative nature, "my eyes ARE Hathor".
A scene in the beautiful Abydos temple shows:
"The kneeling Seti I offers to Hathor in the form of a Ba-bird. (Relief in the chapel of Nefertem in the Ptah-Sokar-Osirs area of the Abydos temple." (described by Roberts, page 51)
"Plate 40 shows Seti kneeling devoutly before Hathor, 'the female Hawk', who appears in the form of a human-headed Ba-bird. Between the king and the goddess are inscribed the words
May She give charm and attraction
and the fact that Hathor is shown here as a Ba-bird means that she is understood as dynamically present, manifesting herself in all her vital power before the king." (Roberts, page 52)
Roberts explains, "the Ba represents above all the capacity to appear as a dynamic, living presence and emanate power affecting others." (page 52)
Could the scene of Seti positioned devoutly before Hathor as a Ba-bird have any similarity between the two scenes of Inherkhau and Taameniu in devotion before their own ba? We have seen the tranformative heka (magic), "my eyes ARE Hathor", which allows the one who has passed on to overcome the trials within the Duat (underworld). Perhaps his ba has become as Hathor. Or perhaps he's acknowledging Hathor as the maker of his Ba? With this creative possibility, She could thereby be able to give "charm and attraction", enabling Seti to better navigate the difficulties of the Duat.
We have seen here the Ba as eternal, dynamic and capable of emanating power. It is a characteristic of both gods and humans. Human Bas arise forth from Netjer, thus when awakened, humans need not feel isolation from the Divine.
Fiercely Bright One linked to
Ariadne's Axe post in which the writer gives advice on how to choose a patron, "When you find that god whose wish is your wish, then your hearts will be like one heart, and your mission will be one mission."
The post-Christian division of "'My will be done' vs 'Thy will be done'" is false when the religion comes from a heart joyfully attuned to Netjer. What makes the deity happy, makes you happy. There's no need of austere self-denial when the soul recognizes its Source. Recognizing our Ba's Divine origins allows us to channel the Divine blessings and strengths.