Thoth

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Thoth, pronounced "tot", is the Greek name given to Djehuty, the Egyptian god of the Moon (lunar deity), and consequently wisdom, writing, magic, and measurement of time, among other things, all of which were thought of as connected to the moon in ancient culture (thus the owl as a wise bird to the greeks). As Thoth was the god of writing, and of magic, he was identified by the Greeks with their god Hermes, with whom Thoth was eventually combined, as Hermes Trismegistus.

As the cycles of the Moon organized much of Egyptian society's civil and religious rituals and events, so Thoth was also seen as the primary regulator of such things. He was usually depicted with the head of an ibis (whose beak looks like a crescent moon) - indeed his name translates as Ibis, or sometimes depicted as a baboon (a nocturnal animal that has many similarities to humanity). During the late period of Egyptian history a cult of Thoth gained prominence, and millions of ibises were mummified and buried in his honour.

Thoth was credited by the ancient Egyptians as the inventor of writing and the 365-day calendar, and was considered to have been the scribe of the underworld, Duat, thus aiding Osiris to judge the souls of the dead. He was a son of either Ra or Set, but is also said to be the secretary and counsellor of Ra, and with [[Maഝ] stood next to Ra on the nightly voyage across the sky.

Thoth appears in a few tales as a background figure; he aids Horus and Isis against Set in the Legend of Osiris and Isis, and he also settled an argument between Hathor and Ra (in some versions it is between Tefnut and Shu), where the goddess had fled and turned herself into a cat as disguise. Thoth also appeared as the main character in a tale where he plays dice with the moon itself, winning 1/72nd of its light so that Hathor may have children. This tale is thought to originate from commemorating a change in the calendar system; originally there were 360 days in the egyptian year, but a reform adjusted this to 365, 1/72nd over 360 days is exactly 5 whole days, i.e. the extra days added. It also happens that 72 is the number of years required for the constellations to precess by 1/360th of a cycle (360 was used as the number of degrees in a circle since ancient times).

The original pronunciation of his name is disputed, and may have been approximately Tee-HOW-ti. Thoth was a close companion of Astennu, a name which was occasionally used to refer to Thoth himself. He had a daughter named Seshat.

Contents

Thoth in modern times

Missing image
Thoth000.jpg
Krewe of Thoth Float

One of the most popular and cited works on the Tarot was connected to this deity. Written by the infamous occultist Aleister Crowley, The Book of Thoth is a philosophical text on the usage of Tarot and, most notably, Crowley's own created Tarot Deck, the Thoth Tarot which he also referred to as The Book of Thoth, where the name is taken from a non-existant book in Egyptian mythology, believed to contain ancient knowledge originally brought to man by this deity. Aleister Crowley commissioned Lady Frieda Harris to assist him in painting the Thoth Deck. See Thoth Tarot.

Thoth is also a Carnival Krewe in New Orleans, Louisiana which parades on the Sunday before Mardi Gras. The Krewe features a float decorated with a large depiction of the ancient deity.

The online community environment oriented towards people interested in the arts & sciences Thothica derives its name from him.

The name of the main Orbital Frame in the Playstation 2 game "The Zone of the Enders" is called Jehuty derived from the name Djehuty.

In the science fiction television series Stargate SG-1, Thoth is a Goa'uld engineer in the service of the System Lord Anubis in the episode "Evolution Part 2".

The Book Of THoTH (http://www.book-of-thoth.com) Website took the inspiration from the infamous writing of Thoth, ie to become a central repository of quality knowledge and wisdom. As well as discussion about him and all manner of subjects.

THOTH (http://www.maitreya.org/FILES/THOTH/toc.htm/TABLE%20OF%20CONTENTS.html), also known as The Holiest Of The Holies is a compilation of discourses and talks by Maitreya, see www.maitreya.org about the creation of man and his ultimate goal in life. It is also known as the Last Revelation. Central to the teachings is the explanation of the 7 seals as described in the Book of Revelations as well as the Eternal Divine Path, a path where one can follow to experience God. THOTH.exe (http://www.maitreya.org/FILES/THOTH/e-book/THOTH.exe) is also available in eBook format which can be downloaded and viewed offline.

Other names

  • Djehuty (Egypt)
  • Tahuti
  • Tehuti
  • Thot
  • Zehuti
  • Techu
  • Tetu

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References

  • Bleeker, Claas Jouco. 1973. Hathor and Thoth: Two Key Figures of the Ancient Egyptian Religion. Studies in the History of Religions 26. Leiden: E. J. Brill
  • Boylan, Patrick. 1922. Thot, the Hermes of Egypt: A Study of Some Aspects of Theological Thought in Ancient Egypt. London: Oxford University Press. (Reprinted Chicago: Ares Publishers inc., 1979)
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