a cache of usenet and other text files pertaining
to occult, mystical, and spiritual subjects.


Khu = Akh; Khab = Shwt

From: [HMH]
Subject: Khu = Akh; Khab = Shwt
Date: Mon, 10 Nov 1997 23:12:07 -0600


M. Allcock wrote:
> As to your question about the khu & the khabs I suggest you peruse any
>good textbook
>on  ancient egyptian language.

The following deals exclusively with transliterating the sounds of the
Egyptian language into the Latin alphabet and with ancient Egyptian words:

Prior to the turn of the century, two transliteration systems were in use;
one eventually won over the other and is now universally used by
Egyptologists.  The older transliteration system was the one employed by
the French Egyptologist who translated Boulaq 666 in 1904.

Khu = Akh

Baphemetis Continuity mentioned:
>the seven parts of the soul (of which the khu and
>khabs are but two).

See page 243 of Eq III.9 for the word "khu" in the 1904 transliteration.

The word formerly transliterated "khu" is now read "aleph", "circle h"
(together pronounced "akh") and is listed in this way in the dictionaries.

The ancient meaning of akh has received a great deal of discussion; the
most thorough attempt at circumscribing its significance is Gertie Englund
1978.  Akh:  une notion religieuse dans l'Egypte pharaonique.  Uppsala,
Sweden:  Uppsala University.  According to her, akh refers both to a state
of being, or condition, and to an actual kind of being.  Thus one can have
akh; one can be an akh.  Although she feels that theoretically the quality
indicated by the word could be attained during life, she refrains from
conclusively arguing toward this, and instead only shows that the quality
could be attained upon (physical) death.  According to her, akh, as both a
being and a state, represents the power of self-generation and the element
of life, and is continuous throughout all of one's manifestations
(kheperew), which is to say external changes of form.  This is as much as
to say that an akh is immutable and, being the essence of life itself,

The etymological meaning of akh seems to be "the brilliant one" or the
like.  It is figured as a crested ibis (Ibis comata).

Incidentally, akh can appear in secular contexts in relation to a living
person; but in such cases a translation involving the meaning "effective"
is typically employed.

Khab = Shw.t

In respect to what is said on p. 81 of The Law Is for All, no reliable
dictionary attests any reading "khabs" for a word meaning "star".

There is however a word kha-ba.w=s, variant kha-b(a).w=s, a collective
whose translation "stars" or "sea of stars" (HWB p. 582; see also Wb iii
230) is somewhat misleading.  The word kha-ba.w=s is a name for the
sky-goddess Nut meaning "a thousand of her ba's/souls" or perhaps even "her
souls are one thousand."  It appears in the Pyramid Texts (PT 785):  "You
[the king] have taken to yourself every god who bears his boat that you may
make them *stars in Kha-ba.w=s" (trans. from Blackman).  It appears also on
the sarcophagus of Thutmosis III and on that of Hatshepsut, where Re (the
sun-god) says "On behalf of Kha-b(a).w=s, I establish the king" (my trans.
from Blackman's text).  (On kha-ba.w=s, see A. M. Blackman in JEA 21 (1935)

Baphemetis Continuity mentioned:
>the seven parts of the soul (of which the khu and
>khabs are but two).

See page 243 of Eq III.9 for the word "khab" in the 1904 transliteration.

The word formerly transliterated "khab" (a guess from Coptic ha(e)ibes,
"shadow") is now read "shin", w, .t (together "shw.t"), and is listed in
this way in the most recent dictionary, Hannig's Grosses Handwoerterbuch
(HWB).  Older dictionaries such as Faulkner give slightly different

Shw.t means "shadow," and, according to H. Bonnet, Reallexikon der
aegyptischen Religionsgeschichte, p. 675, the shw.t is to be ranked
alongside akh, ba, body, and other terms as referring to a component of
(the human) being.  It appears to have a close connection with the ba,
which is often translated as "soul," and with the physical body.  "It is
thus depicted [in pictorial art] as the corporeal form of the deceased,
except that the same is filled in with black."  In Late texts, "the
deceased himself is referred to as a shadow"; in such texts it seems that
the shw.t is not just a component of being, but represents the fullness or
totality of the same.

Less research has been devoted to shw.t than to akh; this is probably to be
owed to the fact that, unlike akh, the word is relatively rare.  It is
unfortunate that Bonnet does not really discern any greater significance
for the term and that I myself am not presently aware of a more detailed
work on it.

Christopher Weiss wrote:
>Isn't the Khabs associated with light?
>E.g. Khabs am pekt (sp?), light in extention.

Khabs am pekht, appearing for example in the GD Festival of the Equinox, is
perhaps legitimate albeit distorted Coptic:

haybs em peht:

haybs ("ay" here representing eta; "h" is rough)
-if haybs, then here meaning "lamp" (comparable to Greek luxnos)
-haybs etymologically might mean "that which shines" (W. Vycichl.
Dictionnaire etymologique de la langue Copte, p. 290)
-perhaps there is another word of similar spelling that makes better sense,
but I cannot find such a one in Crum, Westendorf, or Vycichl
-it is odd that there is no definite article

-perhaps sonet-n/mmo=, with nu assimilated to mu before pi
-but the "e" sound has somehow been made into an "a" sound
-if sonet-n, here meaning "in/while/as"

peht ("h" is rough)
-this appears to be a Faiyumic qualitative of the verb poh, a qualitative
frozen in this form and used as an infinitive
-infinitives do not take a definitive article after n/mmo=, so that it does
not have one here is not a problem
-if poh, then "reached/stretched" or, strictly as an infinitive, "to
reach/to stretch"
-(English _extend_ literally means "to stretch out")

"Lamp in having been/being stretched (out)" = "lamp in extension" or
"extended lamp."
Since it sounds silly, perhaps "khabs am pekht" isn't Coptic.

On the other hand, if it really is Coptic, the distortion of letters (the
unusual use of the qualitative and the transformation of em to am) could
suggest that this phrase was not invented in the last century, e.g. by
Mathers, but rather was corrupted through verbal transmission and/or
inaccurate copying.  (This would be significant for historical purposes.)

93 93/93

To subscribe send: 'subscribe thelema93-l' to
To unsubscribe send: 'unsubscribe thelema93-l' to

The Arcane Archive is copyright by the authors cited.
Send comments to the Arcane Archivist:

Did you like what you read here? Find it useful?
Then please click on the Paypal Secure Server logo and make a small
donation to the site maintainer for the creation and upkeep of this site.

The ARCANE ARCHIVE is a large domain,
organized into a number of sub-directories,
each dealing with a different branch of
religion, mysticism, occultism, or esoteric knowledge.
Here are the major ARCANE ARCHIVE directories you can visit:
interdisciplinary: geometry, natural proportion, ratio, archaeoastronomy
mysticism: enlightenment, self-realization, trance, meditation, consciousness
occultism: divination, hermeticism, amulets, sigils, magick, witchcraft, spells
religion: buddhism, christianity, hinduism, islam, judaism, taoism, wicca, voodoo
societies and fraternal orders: freemasonry, golden dawn, rosicrucians, etc.


There are thousands of web pages at the ARCANE ARCHIVE. You can use ATOMZ.COM
to search for a single word (like witchcraft, hoodoo, pagan, or magic) or an
exact phrase (like Kwan Yin, golden ratio, or book of shadows):

Search For:
Match:  Any word All words Exact phrase


Southern Spirits: 19th and 20th century accounts of hoodoo, including slave narratives & interviews
Hoodoo in Theory and Practice by cat yronwode: an introduction to African-American rootwork
Lucky W Amulet Archive by cat yronwode: an online museum of worldwide talismans and charms
Sacred Sex: essays and articles on tantra yoga, neo-tantra, karezza, sex magic, and sex worship
Sacred Landscape: essays and articles on archaeoastronomy, sacred architecture, and sacred geometry
Lucky Mojo Forum: practitioners answer queries on conjure; sponsored by the Lucky Mojo Curio Co.
Herb Magic: illustrated descriptions of magic herbs with free spells, recipes, and an ordering option
Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers: ethical diviners and hoodoo spell-casters
Freemasonry for Women by cat yronwode: a history of mixed-gender Freemasonic lodges
Missionary Independent Spiritual Church: spirit-led, inter-faith, the Smallest Church in the World
Satan Service Org: an archive presenting the theory, practice, and history of Satanism and Satanists
Gospel of Satan: the story of Jesus and the angels, from the perspective of the God of this World
Lucky Mojo Usenet FAQ Archive: FAQs and REFs for occult and magical usenet newsgroups
Candles and Curios: essays and articles on traditional African American conjure and folk magic
Aleister Crowley Text Archive: a multitude of texts by an early 20th century ceremonial occultist
Spiritual Spells: lessons in folk magic and spell casting from an eclectic Wiccan perspective
The Mystic Tea Room: divination by reading tea-leaves, with a museum of antique fortune telling cups
Yronwode Institution for the Preservation and Popularization of Indigenous Ethnomagicology
Yronwode Home: personal pages of catherine yronwode and nagasiva yronwode, magical archivists
Lucky Mojo Magic Spells Archives: love spells, money spells, luck spells, protection spells, etc.
      Free Love Spell Archive: love spells, attraction spells, sex magick, romance spells, and lust spells
      Free Money Spell Archive: money spells, prosperity spells, and wealth spells for job and business
      Free Protection Spell Archive: protection spells against witchcraft, jinxes, hexes, and the evil eye
      Free Gambling Luck Spell Archive: lucky gambling spells for the lottery, casinos, and races