The two hymns that are in this post are for Re, the Sun-god. They are both abridged, especially the “Hymn to the Setting Sun,” which had many paragraphs cut. The hymns are about the Sun-god’s daily journey across the sky, from sunrise to sunset and then in the places under the sky. The hymns can be found in Hymns, Prayers, and Songs: An Anthology of Ancient Egyptian Lyric Poetry by John L. Foster. They are from the tomb of Khereuf, the steward of Queen Tiye, the Great Royal Wife of Amenhotep III. Some nouns were capitalized by the translator. The hymns are best used in the early morning and in the late afternoon. When uttering the hymns, the ritualist should face the east around sunrise, where the sun is rising, and the west around sunset, where the sun is setting. The hands can be held about shoulder level, with the palms facing to the ground. The uttering of the hymns and ritual act can be done when one has time or on a daily basis. It can also be done simply, or include candles, incense, and other ritual tools.
Hymn to the Rising Sun
[Tomb of Khereuf, TT 192]1
Hail to you!
Re in your rising, concealed as Amun in your going to rest.
You shine down from your mother’s back,
appearing gloriously as King of the Ennead.
Nut gives greeting at your appearance;
The arms of Maat protect you night and day.
You traverse the sky with joyful heart,
and the Lake of Two Knives is at peace;
For the Rebel is felled, his arms fettered,
hacked with knives, his backbone broken,
Unable to walk;
your enemies are down on their field of slaughter.
The hearts of the gods delight to see you in the Day Bark,
and you shall have a following breeze;
the Night Bark has destroyed him who attacked it.
You traverse your two heavens triumphantly.
with the Nine Great Gods accompanying you;
Your mother, Nut, embraces you.
and all is flourishing wherever you have been.
Let me worship you, with your beauty in my heart,
and may your Power grow fruitful in my breast.
Hymn to the Setting Sun
[Tomb of Khereuf, TT 192]2
Hail to you, lord over eternity, Atum, great forever!
You have joined with the horizon of the sky,
Glorious in the West as Atum of evening,
come in your power, freed of the enemy.
You rule the sky as Re,
reaching both your heavens with gladness in your heart.
You have driven away the clouds and the tempest
to go down within the body of your mother, Naunet.
While your father Nun, Nun, gives greeting, gods of the Western Mountain praise,
and those in the Underworld rejoice without ceasing,
For they see their lord of the wide-striding footsteps,
Amun-Re, ruler of all mankind.
Welcome in peace! O you who tread the Two Lands!
You have gone to the arms of the Western Mountain,
And your majesty has spent the allotted time
moored according to custom.
With the arms of your mother a protection about you
and the guardians defeating the Enemy.
- John L. Foster, Ed. Susan Tower Hollis, Hymns, Prayers, and Songs: An Anthology of Ancient Egyptian Lyric Poetry, (SBL Writings from the Ancient World Series, 1995), 41.
- Foster, Hymns, Prayers, and Songs, 42, 43.
- John L. Foster, Ed. Susan Tower Hollis, Hymns, Prayers, and Songs: An Anthology of Ancient Egyptian Lyric Poetry, SBL Writings from the Ancient World Series.
- The sun over the sea. Photo by Midjourney. Prompt: the red sun over the sea a bluish sky. Username: @david.k9
- The sun god Ra seated on a throne, from a painting on the wall of the Tomb of Roy (TT255) in Dra’ Abu el-Naga, circa 1300 BC. Public Domain.
David has studied traditional astrology since 2014. The Bay Area native completed Chris Brennan’s Introduction to Hellenistic Astrology course, and attended courses taught by Austin Coppock, Nina Gryphon, and Ryhan Butler. He is interested in exploring the less well known aspects of astrology, divination, and spirituality.