Heru[pronunciation?] (literally "Horus sun-flesh", among other possible meanings) is a composite deity within Thelema, a religion that began in 1904 with Aleister Crowley and his Book of the Law. Heru-ra-ha is composed of Ra-Hoor-Khuit and Hoor-paar-kraat. He is associated with the other two major Thelemic deities found in The Book of the Law, Nuit and Hadit, who are also godforms related to ancient Egyptian mythology. Their images link Nuit and Hadit to the established Egyptian deities Nut and Hor-Bhdt (Horus of Edfu).
The Active Aspect of Heru-ra-ha is Ra-Hoor-Khuit (Egyptian: Ra-Hoor-Khu-It, Ra-Har-Khuti or possibly Ra-Har-Akht), more commonly referred to by the Greek transliteration Ra-Herakhty, means "Ra (who is) Horus on the Horizon." Ra-Hoor-Khuit or Ra-Hoor-Khut is the speaker in the Third Chapter of The Book of the Law. Some quotes from his Chapter:
- "Now let it be first understood that I am a god of War and of Vengeance." (AL III:3)
- "Fear not at all; fear neither men nor Fates, nor gods, nor anything. Money fear not, nor laughter of the folk folly, nor any other power in heaven or upon the earth or under the earth. Nu is your refuge as Hadit your light; and I am the strength, force, vigour, of your arms." (AL III:17)
- "I am the warrior Lord of the Forties: the Eighties cower before me, & are abased. I will bring you to victory & joy: I will be at your arms in battle & ye shall delight to slay. Success is your proof; courage is your armour; go on, go on, in my strength; & ye shall turn not back for any!" (AL III:46)
- "There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt." (AL III:60)
Within Thelema, Ra-Hoor-Khuit is called the Lord of the Aeon (which began in 1904 according to Thelemic doctrine), and The Crowned and Conquering Child.
An appellation of Ra, identifying him with Horus, this name shows the two as manifestations of the singular Solar Force. "Khuit" also refers to a local form of the goddess Hathor at Athribis, who guarded the heart of Osiris. "Khut" refers to the goddess Isis as light giver of the new year, and by some accounts can also mean the fiery serpent on the crown of Ra. This last meaning serves as a title of Isis in one of the hymns to "Isis-Hathor" at the Temple of Philae. Hathor also has the titles "Uraeus of Ra" and "Great Flame".
The Passive Aspect of Heru-ra-ha is Hoor-pa-kraat (Egyptian: Har-par-khered), more commonly referred to by the Greek transliteration Harpocrates, meaning "Horus the Child"; Horus, the son of Isis and Osiris, sometimes distinguished from their brother Horus the Elder, who was the old patron deity of Upper Egypt. Hoor is represented as a young boy with a child's sidelock of hair, sucking his finger. The Greeks, Ovid and the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn attributed silence to him, presumably because the sucking of the finger is suggestive of the common "shhh"-gesture.
Aiwass, the being who dictated The Book of the Law to Crowley, in the book's first chapter introduces himself as "the minister of Hoor-paar-kraat."
Also known as "The Babe in the Lotus", Hoor-paar-kraat is sometimes thought of as the baby Ra-Hoor-Khuit and sometimes as the younger brother of Horus. The former interpretation in the works of Aleister Crowley portrays Ra-Hoor-Khuit—in place of the Golden Dawn's Osiris/Jesus -- as a model for the initiate, and thus describes attainment as a natural growth process, de-emphasizing the metaphor of death and resurrection. In the second interpretation, the Golden Dawn placed Hoor-paar-kraat at the center of their Hall of Ma'at while the officers of the temple (one of whom represented Horus) revolved around him.
The Cry of the First Aethyr in Crowley's Liber 418 presents Horus, the Crowned and Conquering Child, as the union of many opposites.
It is a little child covered with lilies and roses. He is supported by countless myriads of Archangels. The Archangels are all the same colourless brilliance, and every one of them is blind. Below the Archangels again are many, many other legions, and so on far below, so far that the eye cannot pierce. And on his forehead, and on his heart, and in his hand, is the secret sigil of the Beast. (fn: Sun and moon conjoined) And of all this the glory is so great that all the spiritual senses fail, and their reflections in the body fail.(...)This child danceth not, but it is because he is the soul of the two dances, --- the right hand and the left hand, and in him they are one dance, the dance without motion.
- "Egyptian vocabulary page for AEL translation of Westcar papyrus". Rostau.org.uk. Retrieved 2010-01-08.
- Book of Thoth, XX, The Aeon.
- Crowley, Aleister (1904). Liber Al vel Legis. pp. Chapter 1, Verse 36.
- See for example Seattle Art Museum and Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna. The latter also shows the winged sun globe in connection with "the new idea that the deceased could become one with the sun god, previously only a royal prerogative."
- Crowley, Aleister (1904). Liber Al vel Legis. pp. Chapter 3, Verse 3.
- Crowley, Aleister (1904). Liber Al vel Legis. pp. Chapter 3, Verse 17.
- Crowley, Aleister (1904). Liber Al vel Legis. pp. Chapter 3, Verse 46.
- Crowley, Aleister (1904). Liber Al vel Legis. pp. Chapter 3, Verse 60.
- Liber VIII and Liber 418, 8th Aethyr
- Géographie ancienne de la Basse-Égypte by Jacques Rougé, p 65-66. pub. 1891. Online version retrieved from Google Books December 23, 2007. The O.T.O.'s Golden Lotus Oasis also made this connection in "Who And What Are Those Egyptian References In Liber Resh?".
- The Twilight of Ancient Egypt: First Millennium B.C.E. by Karol Myśliwiec, p 197. (translated by David Lorton). Published 2000 Cornell University Press. Original Polish edition copyright 1993. Online preview retrieved from Google Books December 23, 2007.
- Who's Who in Egyptian Mythology by Mercatante. Published 1998, Barnes & Noble Publishing. First published 1978. Online preview retrieved from Google Books December 23, 2007.
- Stele translated in An Introduction to Ancient Egyptian Literature by E. A. Wallis Budge, p. 108. Published 1997, Dover. First published 1914. Online preview retrieved from Google Books December 23, 2007.
- The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge by Johann Jakob et al., p 140. Published 1911, Funk and Wagnalls Company. Online version retrieved from Google Books December 23, 2007.
- "Newgrange Speaks for Itself - Jacqueline Ingalls Garnett - Google Boeken". Books.google.com. Retrieved 2013-08-17.
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- Papyrus Bremner-Rhind, via Creation Stories of the Middle East by Ewa Wasilewska, 2000. Google Books preview retrieved January 19, 2008.
- "HARPOCRATES : Greek god of silence ; mythology : HARPOKRATES". Theoi.com. Retrieved 2010-01-08.
- Crowley, Aleister (1904). Liber Al vel Legis. pp. Chapter 1, Verse 7.
- Liber Samekh p 11-12.
- Regardie's account of The Golden Dawn, invisible stations in "The Enterer of the Threshold", p 344. 777 also has one reference to this interpretation, in the Vital Triads on p 41.
- Crowley, Aleister. The Vision and the Voice.
- Crowley, Aleister. The Book of the Law.
- Crowley, Aleister. The Book of Thoth.
- Crowley, Aleister. edited by Israel Regardie. 777 and other Qabalistic writings of Aleister Crowley 2000 edition.
- Regardie, Israel. The Golden Dawn.