The Wedjat Eye
by Wim van den Dungen
by Wim van den Dungen
A pretty simple and straightforward article on the importance of the wedjat (Eye of Horus) in Egyptian mythology.
Here are some quotes from it:
The Osiris drama unfolded in mythical (enneadic) times, but on a personalized level (as a family conflict unfolding in a mythical "perfect" kingdom) and in the fourth generation of gods. While the Atum-cycle refers to cosmogonical and royal themes (the Eye of Re), Osirian beliefs are anthropological (the emotional, funerary family drama) and vitalistic (the yearly revival of nature). Moreover, they are common beliefs (the Wadjat Eye of Horus was a very popular amulet).And:
Osiris was the victim, the helpless one, but also the dead land to be revived. He suffered, like the little man, with all mortality, had been murdered and sojourned unhappily in the Netherworld. His unfortunate death had been followed by a deadly afterlife. He called out to be revitalized by his son, Pharaoh Horus so as to resurrect as a soul and become the spirit of life itself. In this way, he would be the ultimate power of revival and fertility, the eternal cycle of birth (in this world : the fertility of the land) and rebirth (in the Netherworld : no "second death" but spiritualization).
His son Horus was his heir and avenger. As avenger, he had to confront Seth and subdue him. Then, as "beloved son" he could take care of the "Ka" of Osiris (who was depleted). Revitalized, Osiris achieved beatification and became the spirit of life. As heir, Pharaoh Horus would rule. He had Seth beneath his sandals, serving the new order.
The Wedjat Eye-cycle represents the process whereby Horus is injured by Seth (the empty eye), fights the foe, is healed (the Eye of Thoth), crowned (by the deities) & empowered by this "green" Eye of Wellness, which he gives to Osiris. Her great magic is able to resuscitate the dead god who is dying his "second death" in the realm of the dead. For Osiris is sleeping his "great sleep" in the "desert place" in which he came. By descending into the Netherworld and giving his Wedjat Eye to Osiris, Horus revives his father, i.e. pulled him out of this state of "second death". Reborn as a soul in the realm of the dead, Osiris is now able to move and transform himself into the spirit of eternal rejuvenation. The rescue of Osiris by Horus the Redeemer, is the rising of the flood waters and the advent of the New Year.
Osiris resurrects in a special spiritual "soul-body", released after "the opening of the mouth" by Horus. Without Horus, the perfect son, Osiris would have continued to die (being a god, total annihilation could not happen). Without Osiris, no Pharaoh could guarantee the fertility of his land. This model was the mythical background of Pharaonism : the living Pharaoh was Horus, the son and heir of Osiris, the dead king, his father, resurrected as a soul and spirit of eternal life.And:
Because of the care of his son (who vanquished the enemies of his father), the latter could become one with the soul of the original Osiris, and be "an Osiris" in the Netherworld. The living did not worship their ancestors, but hoped that some of their Ka-power could be transmitted for their own needs. By resuscitating Osiris in the Netherworld, Horus had guaranteed the fertility & growth in the re-established order on Earth for ever and ever.