Egypt: The Egyptian God, Hu
The Egyptian God, Hu
By Catherine C. Harris
The Egyptian god Hu was one of the minor gods in some respects, but he was one of the most important gods for those serious about Egyptian deities. Hu is the power of the spoken word. He personifies the authority of utterance.
One legend has it that the creator and Sun God, Re (Ra), evolved from the primeval waters of Egypt. Once alive, Re created the air (Shu) and the moisture (Tefnut). Next, the earth god, Geb and the sky goddess, Nut were created. Mortal men and women were created from the tears of Re. Re then drew blood from his own penis and created the gods Hu and Sia. These two gods represented the creative power of the gods.
Hu and Sia were partners. Sia was the personification of Divine Knowledge/Omniscience, the mind of the gods. Hu was the personification of Divine Utterance, the voice of authority. During Ancient times, Heka, the personification of Divine Power accompanied these two gods. Together, the three gods were very important to the rulers of Ancient Egypt. Along with the falcon-headed Sun God, they rode the Sunboat across the sky in order to create and sustain all life.
The act of the Sunboat traveling across the sky signifies that with each sunrise the world was created anew. Having traveled through the Underworld of night and making it past all the dangers therein, the Sunboat once again rises to confirm that life is created new each day.
Hu was particularly important because he was the epitome of the power and command of the ruler. Even after death, Hu was of the utmost importance to the Kings of Ancient Egypt. Hu acted as the Kings companion as the King entered the Afterlife. Through Hu, the King maintained his royal authority in the Afterlife. Hu allowed the King to cross the waters of his canal and acknowledged the Kings authority and supremacy.
So far, we know Hu as the personification of Divine Utterance. However, some legends maintain that he was not just a part of creation, but that he was the creator. It is said that as Hu drew his first breath, there was in that sound the essence of his name. Hence, we have the name Hu, which sounds remarkably like the sound of an expelling breath.
With each breath Hu expelled, creation took place. The first breath created the Soul of Osiris. His last creation was the Sun. So it is said that Hu is the Word of God, the first and the last breaths, Hu Hu.
The Ancient Egyptians recognized the Sphinx at the Giza Plateau as an image of Hu. The lion was a symbol of power and strength. Used as the body of the Sphinx, this was perfectly acceptable to the Ancient Egyptians. The face of the Sphinx wore the distinctive Red Crown of the Creator and the Osiris Beard. These were hallmarks of the time.
It's been suggested that Ancient Egyptians would use the Sphinx in a ritual that reenacted the creation of the Universe. It was performed at dusk, as night was falling upon Egypt. This was considered the time before creation begun, when Hu (the Sphinx) sat silent.
When the signal was given, the sound of the first word of creation filled the air, as people made the sound they recognized as that breath, Hhhhoooooooo.
This word, the Word of God, would be chanted all through the night symbolizing the night of progressive creating. The final act of the ritual came at sunrise. As the sun rose out of the East, the last breath of Hu was recognized.
Sri Harold Klemp, Spiritual Leader of Eckankar, notes, Hu is the ancient name of God, a love song to God. When Soul has heard this sound, Soul yearns to go home.
Eckankar uses the singing of Hus name as a spiritual connection to the Heart of God. They sing the name Hu to draw closer to the Divine Being. For the people who follow this faith, the desires are reported to be love, freedom, wisdom, and truth.
Eckankar teaches, A spiritual essence, the Light and Sound, connects everyone with the Heart of God. This Light and Sound is the ECK, or Holy Spirit. Direct Aspects of God opens the deep spiritual potential within each of us. The Light and Sound purify, uplift, and direct us on our journey to home.
The Egyptian Book of the Dead, The Papyrus of Ani, mentions the ceremonies of Hu and Sa. One can only speculate as to the nature of such rituals and ceremonies. Could they be talking about the ancient ritual involving the Sphinx?
Hu may be considered a minor god in some ways, but its obvious that Hu was a not-so-minor god to most Ancient Egyptians.