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The Cosmic Manifestation of the Egyptian Alphabet
The Cosmic Manifestation of the Egyptian Alphabet
3.2 The Cosmic Formation of Alphabets
Thoth (Tehuti) represents the Divine Messenger who articulates and writes the spoken/written language, knowledge, etc.
Thoth (Tehuti) is portrayed as an ibis-headed figure, writing on a tablet.
Several of Thoth’s attributes were confirmed by Diodorus of Sicily, in his Book I, Section 16-1:
"It was by Thoth, according to Ancient Egyptians, that the common language of mankind was first further articulated, and that many objects which were still nameless received an appellation, that the alphabet were defined,"
The Ancient Egyptians considered the letters to be elemental, basic things in a very real sense. For the Stoics, it appears that language was not simply modeled after the physical world, but belonged to it part and parcel. It was customary among the Egyptians to identify the letters of the alphabet (and with them, the individual sounds of speech) as stoicheia - literally, physical particles. Throughout the history, the alphabet was invested with very real mundane significance. To these Egyptians, letters are things, not pictures of things.
Plato’s Collected Dialogues refers to the Ancient Egyptian writing mode in Philebus [18-b, c, d]
"...he [Theuth/Thoth] found a number of the things, and affixed to the whole collection, as to each single member of it, the name ‘letter.’ ... he [Theuth/Thoth] conceived of ‘letter’ as a kind of bond of unity, uniting as it were all these sounds into one, and so he gave utterance to the expression ‘art of letters,’ implying that there was one art that dealt with the sounds."
The Ancient Egyptian alphabet consists of 28 letters [25 consonants and 3 primary vowels]. Plutarch referred to such a fact in his Moralia Volume V, [56A],
"Five makes a square of itself, as many as the letters of the Egyptian alphabet."
The three primary vowels A, Y and W were not counted in the number of the 25 consonants/letters because they were/are not produced by the articulating organs. Such practice was universal at that time. Moreover, it continues to be endorsed by modern day linguists and philologists.
The whole alphabet, read in its proper order, is a natural symbol of Creation. It represents through the letters the necessary basic processes and structural requirements common to any creation or making, including that of the universe, so far as is humanly discernible.
The great chain joining the upper world with the lower knows all the mysteries of nature, and becomes a worker of miracles.
3.3 The Lunar Manifestations of the Alphabetical Letters
Thoth (Tehuti) , the Divine Messenger is not a neter (god) of the moon, but a moon-neter. There is a subtle difference between these two concepts which must be borne in mind in order to understand the character and significance of Thoth. Thoth manifests himself in and through the moon. This celestial body is the nature-substratum of his being.
The relation of the power of speech to that of the intellect is like that of the moon to the sun. The moon derives its light from the sun in the course of traversing twenty-eight mansions of the moon. In the same way the faculty of speech derives the meaning of the words from the intellect in the course of traversing the throat and interpreting it through the medium of the twenty-eight letters of the [Egyptian] alphabet. The relation of the twenty-eight letters of the alphabet to the power of speech is like the relation of the twenty-eight mansions to the moon.
The moon, being the planet closest to the Earth, acts as the intermediary between all the heavens and the terrestrial domain so that the lunar mansions synthesize in themselves all the aspects of the Intellect which are manifested in the planetary spheres and the archetypal world of signs. The numerical symbolism involved clarifies this relation. The number of the mansions of the Moon, which is 28, is equal to 7 + 6 + 5 + 4 + 3 + 2 + 1 that is, the sum of the number of planets. Moreover, the 28 mansions are the macrocosmic counterparts of the 28 letters of the Egyptian alphabet which form the language of the Divine Word.
[Excerpts from Chapter 3 from The Egyptian Alphabetical Letters of Creation Cycle by Moustafa Gadalla]