This week I’ve decided to write about one of the Four Sons of Horus: Duamutef. I don’t have a whole lot of information on Duamutef alone, as he is usually associated and referred to through his family. The Four Sons of Horus.
The Sons of Horus were said to be the children and also the ‘souls’ of Horus, and were also referred to as the ‘friends of the king’ because they’d assist the deceased monarch in his ascension to the sky. These four Gods were also known as the sons of Osiris and were later said to be members of the group called ‘the seven blessed ones’ whose job was to protect the netherworld god’s coffin. Their role was a funerary one, and you may have already heard about the Canopic Jars, containers in which the internal organs of the deceased were preserved. The stoppers of these jars were once carved into the shape of human heads representing the deceased, but from the 18th dynasty they were carved in the form of the four sons of Horus who then had become the patron Gods of the contents of these jars. Each of the sons was said to be guarded by one of the funerary Goddesses, though there was some variation on this linkage. They may have been based on the symbolic completeness of the number four alone, but they are often given geographic associations.
Duamutef is depicted with a jackal head. He is the guardian of the stomach, often protected by the Goddess Neith and his orientation is the East. His name means “Who adores his mother”. In other texts he is associated with the South.
Qebesenuef (pronounced ‘Kebsnoof’) the falcon to the West, Hapy (pronounced ‘Haahpi’) the baboon to the North, and Imsety the man to the South are Duamutef’s brothers.
As a Pagan Witch who casts a circle at the beginning of any magical workings, I also often call on the Four Sons of Horus to guard my sacred space. These guardians can be summoned in a similar manner as one would summon traditional Elemental Kings, and can be associated with the elements as well. When summoned, the Four Sons of Horus should be visualized in the mummified human form with the head of the creature associated with each. We must do so with the same respect as we would summon elementals, because these are deities (or demigods as referred by some). We should also remember to thank them and bid them farewell at the end. They will surely guard our sacred space well.
Love and Blessings
Sources: The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt by Richard H. Wilkinson; An Egyptian Book of Shadows by Jocelyn Almond & Keith Seddon; http://en.wikipedia.org/