The Cobra Goddess & Chaos Serpent
in Ancient Egypt
by Lesley Jackson
UK £16.99, ISBN: 978-1-910191-24-8
226 pages, quality bound paperback
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The Serpent encircles all that is. Present before the beginning, serpents will outlast the end. Serpents are always present on our journey should we choose to see them. “Watch over the Soul! Be helpful, O Fiery One.” – author Lesley Jackson
The Cobra Goddess and the Chaos Serpent is a meticulous study of the history, mythology, symbolism and importance of snake and serpent deities in Ancient Egypt. Lesley Jackson draws on extensive research from a wide variety of sources, including the latest reports and studies of Egyptologists, taking readers on an adventurous discovery of the serpentine powers and mysteries in all aspects of Egyptian religion – including the divine, earthly and afterlife. Serpents are part of the eternal cycle of existence and the perfect symbols for the Egyptian concepts of both linear and circular time, Djet and Neheh.
The Uraeus is a depiction of an Egyptian Cobra rearing forward in a warning pose showing that it perceives a threat. The Uraeus Goddess was the ultimate protector of Egyptian deities and royals and depicted on their crowns and also on the solar disc. The Uraeus, like the sun and the snake, was life-giving and life-taking, but regardless of her dangerous powers and fiery nature, she was never demonised. The association of goddesses such as Hathor, Isis, Sekhmet and Mut, and other Cobra Goddesses such as Wadjet and Renenutet with serpents are all explored.
In the Khonsu Cosmogony, the original Creator God is the serpent Kematef who emerges spontaneously from the nun, the primordial ocean of undifferentiated potential and chaos. From Kematef comes Ptah, the Creator God; Khepri, the Sun God in his dawn aspect; and the Ogdoad, the eight primitive deities who continue the work of creation. The arch-fiend and sun-stealing Chaos Serpent Apophis (Apep) also emerged from the nun as the ultimate destructive force in the universe. Apophis represents total disorder in the perpetual battle of good against evil. Every night Apophis attacks the Sun God Ra in an attempt to destroy the sun and obliterate the Solar Barque – and with it time and space.
For anyone who wants to know about the Cobra Goddess, the Chaos Serpent and the role of snakes in Ancient Egyptian magic, healing and the afterlife, this book is essential reading.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The perfect symbol
The cosmic serpent
The great rebel serpent
The uraeus goddess
Serpents of fire, earth and water
Magic and healing
Two serpent stories
Snakes in the afterlife
The eternal serpent
From the Introduction:
The Essential Components of a Person
A number of terms occur throughout this book which relate to both humans and deities. The Egyptians believed that a human was made up of a number of components; the physical body and its shadow, the ba, ka and akh and the true name. Deities were similar but usually without the physical body. These terms are difficult to explain and interpretations vary because it is not always clear exactly what the Egyptians understood them to be. The ba is sometimes described as the soul but is nearer to our concept of personality and power. Deities usually have multiple bas. The ba is independent of the body and to emphasise its freedom it is often depicted as the ba-bird, a bird with a human head. Jacq describes the ba as the power of incarnation. The ka can be considered as the life-force or vital energy, but the word is also translated as soul or spirit. The ka comes into being at the same time as the person. The akh is the form that the vindicated deceased take and is a celestial subtle body. It is a transfigured and imperishable spirit. The true name of the person, or deity, was called the ren and was as critical as the other components. Lose your name and you lose your existence. The earthbound ka needs to connect with the energy and solidity of earth to recover and replenish its energy, especially when intense or traumatic events have depleted it. Stillness and solitude are essential for the ka’s recovery. The free-flying ba longs for heaven but in life the earthbound serpentine ka provides an anchor to reality and stops us drifting off into inner space leaving us unable to cope with the present reality.
 Magic and Mystery in Ancient Egypt, Jacq, 2002:56
About the Author
Lesley Jackson has a lifelong interest in archaeology, ancient history and sacred myth and a fascination with the mysterious geographical, be it lost worlds, otherworlds or the sacred places of this world. She is a devotee of the Egyptian deities and since being blessed with early retirement has devoted much of her time to researching and writing about them.
Lesley Jackson is the author of Thoth – The History of the Ancient Egyptian God of Wisdom; Hathor: A Reintroduction to an Ancient Egyptian Goddess; Isis: Eternal Goddess of Egypt and Rome; and Sekhmet and Bastet: The Feline Powers of Egypt, all published by Avalonia.
She has written a number of articles about Egyptian religion, some of which have been published in Pagan Dawn and Nile Magazine.
Despite the strong call of Egypt she is a Northerner at heart, preferring cooler climes and wooded landscapes. She lives in the East Riding of Yorkshire, close to the lost world of Doggerland.
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Please note: Books will ship on or before the 25th of April 2020. In light of the current Covid-19 health crisis, please allow extra time for delivery. If you want your book to be delivered via a signed-for or courier service, please contact us for a quote.
With the launch of Lesley’s new book The Cobra Goddess and Chaos Serpent, Avalonia is also re-releasing all her previous titles in a new matching format. Order the full (Hathor, Sekhmet & Bastet; Cobra Goddess & Chaos Serpent; Isis and Thoth) set for the fantastic price of just £65.00 now – with free P&P (worldwide)