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November 22, 2019, 7:16 am UTC    
October 28, 2019 07:25AM
Hi Chris -

> “Rebirth in the circumpolar horizon”? I’m
> aware of an eastern and western akhet, but a
> northern one? Can you elaborate on this intriguing
> idea and why Isis and Nephthys are involved?

To fully answer these questions would be a lengthy undertaking. I may ask Hermione to help me to upload a draft of the paper I am working on to the “Papers” section here - this would provide the full work-up.

Until then, the ‘short’ answers follow from the reasoning that if there was a duality of Re (ie, both a Polar and a Solar aspect to Re), then one might reasonably expect that there would have been a like duality in the concept of the Duat, and a duality in the concept of the Horizon – and so I believe there were. The celestial Duat would have been defined by the circle of "circumpolar-arity" – that is, by the circle outlined by those stars lying at or near the outer edge of the stars that never set. For instance, in ca. 2300 BC Polaris would have been one such star, Merak another, Nekkar another, etc. I find that the texts give a relatively clear indication of support for this determination, with this based on an equating of the “Morning Star” with Polaris. In 2300 BC, Polaris at its lower culmination would have been about 4° above the northern horizon at a latitude of 30° north (and similarly with the other stars mentioned). At its upper culmination it would have been pointing southeastward.

The location of the circumpolar Horizon, however, is a bit trickier to tease out. It seems to have been seen as forming a circle located around the then celestial pole (in the near vicinity of Thuban), with its circumference limited to fitting between the Ursa Major and Minor assemblages. It is therefore possible that it was seen as being a circle roughly bounded by the stars Alcor, Mizar, Pherkad and Kochab. My belief, however, is that at the time of the PT’s it was an even tighter circle than this, but the explanation for this is lengthy – suffice it to say that it involves the inexorable movement of the pole away from Thuban over the centuries, from about 2800 BC on.

You also ask about Isis and Nephthys. They are involved because the King’s path northward from Orion takes him through the stars of Auriga – where the stars of Isis would have been on one side of him and the stars of Nephthys would have been on the other. It is here that he boards the ferry to cross the Winding Waterway. Look at all the PT texts involving Isis, Nephthys, the Mooring Post and the WW – there are quite a few – and, when taken together, they actually present a reasonably clear picture of the scenario envisioned by the writers of these texts. If you are interested in a greater depth explanation, I will try to find a way to either get my paper to you or to post it as an article here. It will have a much more in depth development of the who, what, where (and why) of these issues.
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