(Iah, Ioh) Yah is the total divinity of the moon, as opposed to other Gods—Thoth, Khonsu—who represent certain aspects of it; Yah is the deity in the Egyptian pantheon whose name means ‘Moon’. The corollary to this, however, is that references to Yah are generally more astronomical than theological. One formula, though, which travels through the afterlife literature in diverse forms, seems to be addressed to Yah and Yah alone: in CT spell 93, “for going out into the day,” this formula appears as “O you Sole One who shines as the moon, I go forth among the masses to the gates of the Bark with those who are in the sunshine,” while CT spell 152, “going forth into the day and living after death,” has it as “O you Sole One who rises in the moon, O you Sole One who shines in the moon, I will go up to the sky among a multitude of others when those who are in the sunshine are released, while I have gone forth into this day that I may carry off that foe of mine.” BD spell 2’s version reads, “O Sole One who rises as the moon, O Sole One who shines as the moon, may N. go out with this thy multitude. Deliverer of them that are in the sunlight, open the netherworld,” adding “Lo, N. is gone forth by day to do whatever he may wish among the living,” while BD 65, “for going forth by day and overcoming one’s enemies,” prays of the moon “mayest thou go out with this thy multitude. Mayest thou deliver him that is with the blessed. Open the netherworld,” and adds, “Lo, I am ascended on this day, esteemed; my blessed ones [i.e., deceased relatives] give me life. Brought to me are my enemies, completely subdued, in the Council.” This formula seems to suggest beliefs about the moon which are known from certain other cultures, namely that the moon waxes each month with the souls of the dead ascending into the sky, souls that when the moon wanes are released back to the earth.

Allen, T. G. 1974. The Book of the Dead or Going Forth by Day. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. [BD]
Bernot, Denise et al., eds. 1962. La Lune: Mythes et Rites. Paris: Éditions du Seuil.
Faulkner, R. O. 1973-8. The Ancient Egyptian Coffin Texts. 3 vols. Warminster: Aris & Phillips Ltd. [CT]

Return to Index

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: