The Horus Paradox

The Set of All Sets Which Can Contain One and Only One Member

It is the image of the Eye of Re together with the image of the Eye of Horus.

The Horus metaphor began in Neolithic Egypt and held center stage until the last breath of Cleopatra. Horus is arguably the oldest and perhaps original god of the Nile, and his name is a deliberate pun; hor is a word for “face.” In other words, as the Eye of the Sun and Eye of the Moon, Horus is the Face of the Sky. He is your face, and the human face is the quintessential metaphor for unique identity. Wild-animal faces tend to sameness, the better to recognize potential mates among the bewildering variety of animal faces out in the wild; humans, however, have an entire, large section of brain tissue dedicated  solely to the nuances and details of the human face; we see faces everywhere, in everything—whether we want to or not. In this sense, Horus is a genetically inherited skill; Egypt put a face on the abstraction of a powerful and very human instinct.

When the mass migrations into the Nile valley and Delta regions began, you were for the first time exposed to many more new faces than ever before; knowing friend from foe and accepting new members into your group was a crucial skill. The Horus icon on its standard, with a flag, showed that here was a known human group; as a result, the falcon became an “early god” at many different locations. From our point of view, this multitude creates a “Horus paradox,” that was, nonetheless, central to the ancient philosophy, the revelation that unique identity can be expressed in universal terms; in other words, being human is universal, but being you is unique. Recognition of the uniqueness of self-identity was their first great spiritual discovery, a mystery which led them to an ever more sophisticated understanding of human nature; this was the most profound contribution of the shamanic strata of the nation’s cultural origins, a belief which made possible the unification of the multitude into a great nation, the belief that the dignity and value of the human individual was central to their society, from pharaoh to farmer, throughout the centuries; even their women had greater equality than in any other civilization until the 21st century.

Horus is One

Horus is the essence of integrity. Egyptian symbols for fractions are segments of the Horus Eye, read as 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32, 1/64. When these fractions are added up they equal 63/64. In other words, Horus is greater than the sum of his parts.

The Paut of the Gods are in adoration when they see the Eye of the First Horus in its place.
It is perfect in all its parts, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32, 1/64 in the counting for its master.

The Falcon Shrine

Falconry is a prehistoric hunting technique that has remained popular to this day, and it was widely practiced in the Nile valley and Delta regions. The falcon is the Horus-icon; their soaring height takes them up to the sky and they can dive out of sight beyond the horizon of human sight and return, thus they are living denizens of both Duat and spacetime—yet they answer to the call of a human voice. As the falconer controls the natural energies of the wild bird, Horus controls the natural energies of your body as captain of the Solship.

In representations, Re is actually just the solar crown itself; the figure of the god is shown as the falcon bearing the sun of Re on his head, sometimes as a bird, sometimes as a falcon-headed human or mummiform god; in other words, Horus is the primary carrier of consciousness and Re cannot be recorded because consciousness is light. Horus is you, the captain of the Re's solar ship, piloting the journey of your life just as the pharaoh piloted the journey of Egypt through time; in other words, Horus is your ego, in charge of your life; he is you working in the light. “I am the captain of my soul.”

The reality of self-identity is a subject of much scholarly and medical debate in the 21st century, but in ancient Egypt, identity was king, quite literally, because Horus was the guardian and patron of the pharaoh. Horus appears on wall paintings and pottery at archaeological sites going back 6,000 years, where the Horus bird stands on a classic reed-boat image, the earliest version of the Sun ship icon, or perches on the serekh, the palace-façade emblem of the pharaoh. Egypt created the identity of the pharaoh; the pharaoh, in turn, maintained the identity of Egypt.

Ramona Louise Wheeler