H is for Heru-sa-Aset and Harpocrates

This week, I’m going to discuss Heru-sa-Aset and Harpocrates, for no real reason other than I want to talk about Herus. I don’t think there’ll be much repetition from the Celestial Twins entry, but apologies in advance if there is.

Before I was divined in mid-2006, I had perhaps only one encounter with a Heru. A meditation in a nice warm bath, where I saw brown wings stretching across my face protectively. That was about it. I’d never been particularly drawn to any of the Herus, and this event remained isolated and something of a curiosity.

But then I had my RPD, where my Parent and Beloveds were revealed, and I discovered not only was there a Heru in my line-up, but that particular Heru was very close to Sobek, my Father. The Heru in question was Heru-sa-Aset, and in spite of my attempts to get to know Him over the past six-ish years, I’ve never really got anywhere with Him. I feel like He’s just out of my grasp and I can’t quite make the connection.

I always found this frustrating, because I’d see other people with good relationships with Heru-sa-Aset and their experiences just did not match up with mine. My Heru was silent; He’s only ever said one sentence to me in six years. He is not chatty. He is not bratty. The image other people painted of Him just never worked for me. That wasn’t the Heru I experienced. For a long time, I was happy to accept that this was just my UPG, and nothing more.

But then as I became more drawn to Roman and Greek religions, and Isis and Hekate came into my life, I began to wonder if perhaps I had been addressing the wrong God when it came to Heru. There were quite a few syncretic Graeco-Roman deities, and Aset, Wesir, and Heru didn’t just get Romanised, they also got syncretised into new forms, such as Isis, Serapis and Harpocrates. It was only as I contemplated the silence I get from my Heru as I looked around the Neos Alexandria site that it occurred to me that the Name I needed to talk to wasn’t Heru-sa-Aset, but Harpocrates, God of Silence.

The name comes from Heru-pa-khered, Heru the Child. The finger on His lips indicating childhood was misunderstood as a gesture of silence, and thus, the Child Heru became a God of secrets and silence.

Why do I feel like this is a better fit for my own experiences? I don’t really know, apart from a gut feeling that this is right. And I still don’t feel a conflict between Heru-sa-Aset and Harpocrates. Because Harpocrates is a child God, and Heru-pa-khered is Heru-sa as a child, I don’t feel like there is a conflict. It’s more different forms. But, naturally, due to the syncretic nature of Harpocrates, He is a different God than Heru-pa-khered. But Harpocrates can still ‘become’ Heru-sa-Aset as an adult. Which might explain why Heru-sa-Aset is always an adult when I think of Him, but with the ‘essence’ of Harpocrates. Harpocrates is, in some way, Heru-sa-Aset’s inner child.

But I’ve also been given some sort of connection to Amun, too. UPG, of course, but still important. Because I have my own Creation Myth, which is wholly UPG, and I think that’s where Harpocrates may belong. In the sense that Harpocrates comes first, and He is the new-born Sun. As the Universe grows and gets older, that new sun becomes the more adult Heru-sa-Aset, brightly burning, young, and energetic. Older still, He becomes Heru-wer, Heru the Elder, as the Universe ages. The old sun, experienced and wise, but coming to the end of His life.

I’d also like to point out that, for my personal creation myth, it has to be Harpocrates because I can’t find any reference to Heru-pa-khered having these same attributes because they are different Gods. Harpocrates was worshipped as the newly-born Sun, and I’ve found a few images of Him sitting on a lotus flower that is reminiscent, to me, of the imagery about the Cosmic Egg, and the new-born Sun growing in there. This, for me, links Him with Amun, the Hidden One.

This doesn’t mean I’m any closer to forging a relationship with Him, but I think I’m beginning to understand Him better. I think He’ll be a bit like Meretseger, and perhaps Kwan Yin, where to connect with Them may mean much more effort because of their ‘silent’ natures. You have to listen hard to hear Them. But I do feel like I’ve found a few more puzzle pieces. I’m seeing more of the form now, and what’s there. Maybe one day He’ll talk to me.

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