• “Eye of Horus” is the cultic expression for every offering item, not just water. Every offering item was thus represented as a substance that restored something that had been lost, that returned something that had been stolen, that renewed something that had been used up, that replenished something that had been reduced, that put together something that had fallen apart – in short, it was the symbol of a reversibility that could heal everything, even death. Jan Assmann
    Death and Salvation in Ancient Egypt

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We Are All In Mythological Time

I was talking to people recently, about time in lockdown. Every day is Blursday, it is Day O’Clock or Night O’Clock, and it is always the fortyteenth of Maprilay.

And I just now realized a thing: we are all in neheh, more in neheh than usual.

In ancient Egyptian cosmology, there are two forms of time, which combine and spiral and produce our experience: djet, in which one thing happens after another, in linear sequence, in which things done are final and past and fixed; and neheh, the time of mythology, the space where gods and spirits live, where all stories are new, and repeated, and cyclical.

As I put it once long ago, building a retaining wall, a drainage ditch, these are things that are in djet: they happened. They are in the past. They changed the world.

But in neheh, it rains. And what was done in djet changes the effects of the rain, but the rain itself does not live in djet. It happened; it happens; it will happen; it cycles. The thing built in djet changes how it flows, but the rain is outside of that.

We are in the midst of a tremendous matter of djet: this plague, this lockdown, this event, this iswaswillbebecomes history, a major event, a transformational experience that divides the world before from the world after.

But it is not yet after.

This moment, this time, is the extended space between before and after. The patterns are suspended, the cycles are suspended. Here we are, in Blursday, in the space where the gods make their stories. All times are now; now is no time at all.

When were the gods born? A time like this.

When was the world made? A time like this.

When was light divided from darkness? A time like this.

This is the space of ritual, of mythology, the space so many of us strive to step into, breathe into, so that we can change the world, so that we can affirm the world, so that we can be remade.

In this time that repeats its moments, in which things flow one into the other, in which meaning seems malleable and half-obscured, we have the power to shape what the world will become.

Build something.

Build something now, so that when we step back solidly into djet, you can bring that story down from Blursday and into tomorrow.

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