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Horus the Child

Horus the Child


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Horus the Child, the young Sun God, (Harpa-khruti) translated by the Greeks as Harpocrates, the Child of Silence. Nineteenth dynasty statue, maybe about 900 BC , the era of Queen Hatshepsut, possibly too of Solomon, the Sun King, par excellence.


Horus succeeded the ancient image of Ra or Re as a more personalised manifestation of the supreme divinity of the Sun. Like Ra, he is portrayed with a hawk, or falcon, head and is identified with the pharaoh, the sun king. Horus was the son of Isis and Osiris and his portrayal as a Child emphasises the innocence, humility and creativity of the spirit which we bring with us, only to lose all too soon. It is these qualities which Christ clearly values so highly when He insists there is none greater in the eyes of God than a child :

‘At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven ?
And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,
And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.’

(Matt.18. 1-5 )

Astrologically, the spirit of the Sun can be recognised in the areas of influence of the Fifth House, ruled by the Sun : children, creativity, fun, play, life, love, dance, song ― joy. If these are the essence of the Sun’s spirit, they are the essential qualities of life ― and who shall say nay ?!

Conventional wisdom suggests the Greeks misunderstood the stylised child’s gesture of Harpocrates, with his finger to his lips and called him the Child of Silence. This name recalls a traditional and modern definition of this spirit within our hearts, ‘the still, quiet voice.’ It is not impossible that the Greeks knew and celebrated this wisdom, even that it was part of Egyptian understanding. The Greeks may have known the ancient Egyptians better than we.

Mix and Match Religions ?
For those Christians for whom it will seem wrong to mix and match alien faiths, one might ask whether it would not be right for God to give His knowledge to all men, in different guises. Wouldn’t He otherwise be failing in His duty to all His Creation ?  And failing to present at least a few of His infinite faces and forms which our poor minds are unable to comprehend all at once ?  Aren’t we the richer when we discover all these different ways in which the love of God is recognised worldwide ?  Poorer when we do not understand, cannot love our neighbour because he is different ?

Many Christians, as other believers, find it natural to recognise the knowledge of God has been given to all men by this One Universal Spirit, in different forms. This recognition usually involves a belief that we need now to minimise our differences and emphasise the overwhelming areas of agreement, common belief. So our faith can fulfil it’s first principles in bringing us together in brotherly love rather than instigating bitter divisions and conflicts.

Two or three thousand years ago it was important that men did not dilute the new revelation of the One God of Abraham and Moses with rival ideas. But men were simple and illiterate then ― and paid a great price in hostility and wars with their neighbours.

We cannot cost that blind hostility these days and we are ready to understand God better and be more loving, understanding neighbours. Otherwise we will find too many of us cannot find any faith in a God who is less generous, less loving and understanding than our own minds. That cannot be right.

Would God be as limited and partisan as our too human minds sometimes suppose ?

Isn’t it more likely all religions know the spirit of God in different ways and are essentially saying the same thing ?

Of course this is expressing a Judæo-Christian ‘God’ perspective, the tradition most readers will be most familiar with. Other traditions might equally say the Buddha within has led us to an appreciation of our spirit and a good heart by many different paths, or that the wisdom of Shiva has taught truth through many teachers … The problem is perhaps that whatever the sense in the idea, our feelings are passionately involved and not so easily persuaded. It is difficult not to object in some way.

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