Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Question of Nisut

Really, the one thing that drives me way the hell into the neo-reconstructionist side of things is the whole Nisut question. (And this isn't just that as one of Set's little minions I have certain kingmaking and king-challenging tendencies.)

The central problem is this: the Nisut is pretty much essential to ancient Egyptian theology. He (and he was always at least iconographically male-gendered, even in the case of female Nisuts), being both of human and divine natures, was the linchpin that straddled the seen and unseen worlds, enabling communication between them. All ritualists performed their work as delegates of the Nisut, not powers in their own right. It was the Nisut's responsibility to perform the rites that kept the universe working, and everyone else's responsibility to support him in this.

Thus, a reconstruction of Egyptian thought cannot avoid the question of kingship; it is flatly impossible to come up with a coherent theology that honestly is rooted in ancient thought without at least poking at the question with a stick.

I do not believe that a literal Nisut is functional in a modern world, for a variety of reasons.

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