Joan, Full of Names

May 3, 2015

"Joan, full of names"

Coming around the bend, trying to see where I'm going.
What did I see? What did I find?
There are still so many mysteries. Quatrefaced Hethert? What does it mean?
Ah, rich food for the soul, I shall never run out of it.
I sat all day in the place of confusion, I did not go anywhere.
But the soul, it travelled.

Names, what do I want to say about names?

"Joan, full of names" (Joan (dj-n), nebet ren |||)

Thinking that I take with my small hands these big ideas, and chew, chew, chew. Chew thoroughly, awful painful if it gets "stuck" on the way down.

By what have I been called, by what I've chosen to call myself, names that were given, names that were chosen?

"Joan", this was given to me. My parents differed in their telling of how I got it. Dad said a nurse advised my mother to this name, as no female names had been picked out, only "Michael" for a boy. He'd wanted "Patricia" in some weak thought towards a girl. I'm glad he didn't win. My mother told me she especially picked this name because it would not be turned into a nickname. And then shortly afterwards, she nicknamed me "Joanie". Wiki informs us "Joan is mainly a female name in the English language, but can be a male name in Catalan, Spanish, Dutch and in French." I think of the Catalan artist Joan Miró, among the famous males to bear this name. Either gender, the "name ultimately derives from the Biblical Hebrew name [Yohanan], short for [], meaning "Yahweh is merciful", which I've always heard rendered "God is gracious".

Is God gracious? It depends on what god and your relationship with him or her. Better chance if you like that deity, but that's the way with all sentient entities. In any case, I feel blessed, and for that, I'm grateful.

Is this all that can be said about my name? I like it as it is. I do not want to be called "Jo-anne", with two syllables. Nor was I especially fond of "Joanie", except for the affection with which my mother called me that. Curiously enough http://www.sheknows.com/baby-names/name/joan says of the name's numerological meaning that "People with this name have a deep inner need for quiet, and a desire to understand and analyze the world they live in, and to learn the deeper truths." Quiet, except that I do love my tunes when I'm busy at work, and occasionally at home, too. Perhaps music does not rank as opposite of "quiet", however.

Anyway, "Joan" fits me, like a comfortable shoe with a low heel and padded insole to ease my foot joints when walking. Feet have joints. You might not be aware of them at twenty, but at fifty-six, you might well be, as I am.

My first birth "last name", hmm, I'll not render here, in deference to my poor relatives, who might go websearching for their name, to see where it turns up! Yet it might be found elsewhere in these my many pages, I can't recall. (No, I haven't carried on their fondest hopes for me, I'm sad to say! I think of those who have passed on, and like to think that when they reached the other side, they gained new understanding about the diversity of life, the multi-faceted nature of Netjer and other things.) I did go briefly with a pen name of "Chevalier", thinking it a possible French equivalent to this German-origin name. My current last name "Lansberry", it came with my partner who died in 2002. It fits fine.

There have been names I chose for magical purpose. I was quite fond of "Illuminaria", whose meaning might be rendered as "She who brings light to the darkness". I might have done that with my research on the Egyptian god Set. I brought to light the understanding that Set, whatever has been said by mis-informed people, is NOT EVIL. This may have spoiled it for a few seekers of "the dark". Sorry about that! No, NOT SORRY ABOUT THAT! :)

There have been noms de "forum", (who writes with a "plume" anymore? We are all mostly tap, tapping away on some keyboard of varying size). "Meriset Ptahhotep" on one forum, and for a while "Meresankh" on another. "Meriset?" (Beloved of Set, and yes, I know it should have read "Meritset", I just liked the sound of the first one better.) Yes, I like to think so, quietly think so, with a bright-eyed smile. "Ptahhotep?" (Ptah is pleased?) Humbly I hope so. Certainly if I did more art, and better, more skilled art, then more so? "Meresankh?" Usually translated, "She loves life", yes I do! Sometimes translated "Life loves her", yes, I've been mostly fortunate.

These names, having been a part of me however briefly, are still part of me.

And so a new one enters the "bowl" of names: "Senuwierneheh", pronounced seh-NOO-wee-air-neh-HEH, and meaning "My two, forever." This was given to me by Hemet Rev. Tamara who has a long list of names, leader of the tribe of Kemet known as "House of Netjer". It's already quite cherished, even though still new. The "two", as you might have guessed by now, are Hathor (Hethert) and Set. So when I worked out the glyphs for the name, I put the deity determinatives in it:

There's a lot wrong with my attempt, so...

(Edited 10:01pm, May 29, 2015. I got doctorate level help in putting this name into glyphs. :) )

I had the 'neheh' part right, a short version of neheh, but one the ancients would have understood. The Senu part wasn't right, and I was missing the glyphs referring to 'my'. The full name, thanks to Bestekeni, is:


The Egyptology glyph books show the two lines in a diagonal to express the "dual". Perhaps this is the more common way to put the two lines.

And the color version:

"Neheh" means an unending futurity, a cyclical futurity. It is not the "eternity" that is unchanging, like "Djet" means. So cycles, cycles revolving, evolving, spinning into the great beyond. And spinning into the great behind.

I think of my eternal Ba, eternally giving worship (Dua) to my favorites:


Wooden statue of Ba bird
Late Period, 6th-4th century B.C.E.
Roemer-Pelizaeus Museum, Hildesheim.
Photographer Hans Ollermann

That me! I'm thinking some Ka with which my Ba had been paired surely in its flesh case walked the streets of Old Kemet. Ah, skeptics, what can I say to you? This thought brings me joy, and for that joy, perhaps you will excuse me.

But I am not in the business of making you see things my way. What a joyless path in life, such force! And so resented, that force! No, I just want to create some "pretty" and "intriguing" pictures and do some fascinating research and enjoy all the beauty that life has to offer. And live in gratitude for all the blessings I have been given, and blessings I've helped to bring about, by one way or the other. Life is too rich and maybe too short to do otherwise. Whether long or short, it is so important.

Go Back to Scenes with the Ba
Go Forward to Grateful
Go to INDEX of Markings Of My Path
© Joan Ann Lansberry: