This is an excerpt from forthcoming book ‘Stellar Magic: a beginner’s guide to
rites of the moon, planets, stars and constellations’ by Payam Nabarz.
By same author:
The Mysteries of Mithras: The Pagan Belief That Shaped the Christian
World by Payam Nabarz. Inner Traditions, 2005.
The Persian 'Mar Nameh': The Zoroastrian 'Book of the Snake' Omens and
Calendar & The Old Persian Calendar by Payam Nabarz and S, H
Taqizadeh. Twin Serpents Ltd, 2006.
Mithras Reader - An academic and religious journal of Greek, Roman, and
Persian Studies. Volume 1 Editor Payam Nabarz. Twin Serpents Ltd, 2006.
We three kings of Orient are
Bearing gifts we traverse afar
Field and fountain, moor and mountain
Following yonder star
O Star of wonder, star of night
Star with royal beauty bright
Westward leading, still proceeding
Guide us to thy Perfect Light....
-Carol We three Kings of Orient by Rev. John Henry Hopkins (1857).
Orion was a mighty hunter who has many myths attributed to him; Orion
was son of the Sea God Neptune. He was a giant who was able to walk in
the sea, with his head above the water. In the night sky Greeks saw him
holding a club in one hand and holding a lion skin or shield in the
other, he was fighting the bull constellation; Taurus and chasing
constellation Pleiades. The constellation Scorpio is positioned so that
it opposes him. Sagittarius was placed next to the Scorpion; with his
bow aimed at the scorpion's heart, should he try to move towards Orion.
The Orion Scorpio story echoes astronomical phenomenon that Orion and
the constellation Scorpio each rise as the other sets. Orion is the
brightest constellation, so bright that it was said: night, mistaking
him for day, folds her dark wings. Orion is the winter constellation
Orion evolved in the view of the Romans to be armed with a sword, a
baldric, wore the military belt and seen as a prime example of a
warrior. He portended war by making his sword flare brightly in the
sky. Those born when Orion was visible or rising were said to have the
characteristics of officers and soldiers. The influence of Orion on the
Roman army is discussed in ‘Mithras-Orion: Greek Hero and Roman Army
God’ by Michael P. Speidel.
The Greek/Roman legend of Orion is:
‘Orion loved Merope, the daughter of OEnopion, king of Chios, and
sought her in marriage. He cleared the island of wild beasts, and
brought the spoils of the chase as presents to his beloved; but as
OEnopion constantly deferred his consent, Orion attempted to gain
possession of the maiden by violence. Her father, incensed at this
conduct, having made Orion drunk, deprived him of his sight and cast
him out on the seashore. The blinded hero followed the sound, of a
Cyclops' hammer till he reached Lemnos, and came to the forge of
Vulcan, who, taking pity on him, gave him Kedalion, one of his men, to
be his guide to the abode of the sun. Placing Kedalion on his
shoulders, Orion proceeded to the east, and there meeting the sun-god,
was restored to sight by his beam.
After this he dwelt as a hunter with Diana, with whom he was a
favorite, and it is even said she was about to marry him. Her brother
was highly displeased and often chided her, but to no purpose. One day,
observing Orion wading through the sea with his head just above the
water, Apollo pointed it out to his sister and maintained that she
could not hit that black thing on the sea. The archer-goddess
discharged a shaft with fatal aim. The waves rolled the dead body of
Orion to the land, and bewailing her fatal error with many tears, Diana
placed him among the stars, where he appears as a giant, with a girdle,
sword, lion's skin, and club. Sirius, his dog, follows him, and the
Pleiades fly before him.
The Pleiades were daughters of Atlas, and nymphs of Diana's train. One
day Orion saw them and became enamored and pursued them. In their
distress they prayed to the gods to change their form, and Jupiter in
pity turned them into pigeons, and then made them a constellation in
the sky. Though their number was seven, only six stars are visible, for
Electra, one of them, it is said left her place that she might not
behold the ruin of Troy, for that city was founded by her son Dardanus.
The sight had such an effect on her sisters that they have looked pale
In another version of the story is when Orion threatens to kill all
beasts on the earth Gaea -Earth became angry and created a giant
scorpion that killed Orion by its sting. Zeus on request on Artemis and
Leto placed Orion in sky and to mark his bravery placed Scorpio in the
The origin of name the Orion relates to one his birth stories, which
Hyrieus of Thebes asks for gift of fatherhood of his guests Mercury and
Jupiter. He offered them an Ox for their feast and Mercury and Jupiter
accepted the offering and instructed him to remove the ox hide, they
then urinate on the ox hide and instructed him to bury it. Some time
later a boy was born who Hyrieus called Urion (urine born) 2. The
rising and setting of the constellation of Orion was thought to be
followed by storms and rain.
There has been a great deal written about Orion by modern writers, for
example the book ‘The Orion Mystery’ by Robert Bauval and Adrian
Gilbert, looks at the link between position of the Giza pyramids
and the major stars of Orion.
The Giza site offers a good example of archaeoastronomy. Build around
3000B.C. the pyramids are aligned to the compass directions, each side
faces east, west, north, abd south perfectly. Furthermore, at 3000B.C.
the pole star was Thuban in constellation Draco, meaning passages in
the north face of the pyramids emerge to pointed at this star. One
theory is that the Giza site was designed to mirror the sky, the three
pyramids represent belt stars of constellation Orion, the Sphinx is
constellation Leo and the Nile the Milky Way. Orion here is seen
as Osiris, the God of the underworld and resurrection 3.
However, view of Orion in the Egyptian religion being Osiris is a
controversial one, as some hold the view Orion was seen as Horus, son
of Osiris. This controversy has little effect on the archaeoastronomy
of the Giza site, as either way it demonstrate the importance of the
stars to Egyptian religion.
What we are concerned with here with is working with constellation
Orion and using Egyptian sources as example. The question of Orion
being Osiris or Horus needs examining further. While father and son
both have close links, there are also significant differences.
For an answer to this, we will use Plutarch as our source:
‘For when the Egyptians themselves tell us that Hermes had one hand
shorter than another, that Typhon was of red complexion, Horus fair,
and Osiris black, does not this show that they were of the human
species, and subject to the same accidents as all other men? Nay, they
go farther, and even declare the particular work in which each was
engaged whilst alive. Thus they say that Osiris was a general, that
Canopus, from whom the star took its name, was a pilot, and that the
ship which the Greeks call Argo, being made in imitation of the ship of
Osiris, was, in honor of him, turned into a constellation and placed
near Orion and the Dog-star, the former being sacred to Horus and the
latter to Isis 4’.
The above passage assigns Horus to Orion, Isis to Sirius, and Osiris to
Canopus/Argo. Further arguments for Orion being Horus and Canopus being
Osiris can found in ‘The Canopus Revelation: The Stargate of the Gods
and the Ark of Osiris.’ by Philip Coppens.
In my view, the Greek/Roman myths of Orion better align with myths of
Horus than those of Osiris. For example both Greek/Roman Orion and
Egyptian Horus are great warriors. Orion is chasing the daughters of
Atlas the seven sisters: the constellation Pleiades, while Horus is
partnered with Hathor (seven Hathors being Pleiades). Orion loses his
sight and Horus loses an eye, both have their vision healed. Finally,
Orion and Horus also both get bitten by a scorpion.
Some other world myths also see Orion as a warrior, for example in Epic
of Gilgamesh, the Bull of Heaven (the constellation Taurus) is killed
by Gilgamesh (Orion) and his friend Enkidu. In short, constellation
Orion be it the Greek Giant hunter, or the Roman solider, or Egyptian
Horus warrior, all play on the same warrior god theme. The
following the modern rite is designed to connect to constellation Orion
in using Greek, Roman and Egyptian texts, with a focus on Horus. One
part of the rite includes visualization of Temple of Horus at Edfu, it
is recommended that the participants memories the structure and map of
the temple before hand.
At Temple of Horus at Edfu. Note the Mithras print
on the T-shirt.
The Temple at Edfu contains images honoring Hathor and Horus together
as partners and was part of the ‘The Festival of the Beautiful Reunion’
(see http://www.philae.nu/akhet/BeautReun.html ). The Seven Hathors are
an aspect of Hathor, they were seven women in ritual dress who were
present at the child birth and would one by one tell the child’s
fortune. They were identified as the Pleiades. Hathor means the ‘house
Some view Min as the constellation Orion, however Min became linked
with Horus, who was also a God of the raised arm (shape of Orion). This
linking to Horus continued for sometime before the two deities diverged
Horus became seen more of a solar deity, and Min more as a fertility
deity. Some work show Orion as Min, and the 3 bright stars of Orion's
belt as an erect phallus and fertility.
• Location: a place with good visibility of stars.
(If indoor with Stellar maps on altar).
• Candles or tea lights to be lit and place on altar
in shape of constellation Orion
• Central fire lit (if needed due to cold) but kept
to a size not to effect the night vision too much.
• Time to perform this rite is determined using a
Star-globe or Star-chart to ensure visibility of the Orion
• Clothing: sensible outdoor clothing & footwear.
• A Sistrum.
• Altar cloth to have stars on it.
• A Hawk feather if possible.
• Offerings to Horus.
• Face paint or body paint e.g. Henna or Woad
or commercial ones from party shops.
• Food and drink to share.
Horus – Orion Altar.
Use the body paint (e.g. Hena) to draw the stars of Orion (as large
dots) on your body, in positions shown in usual pictures of Orion. The
two upper stars are on the shoulders (Betelgeuse left shoulder).
The three stars of Orion’s belt are on the waist, the two lower stars
of the sword’s scabbard are on the right thigh, and the two bottom
stars are on the knees (Rigel left knee, Saiph right knee).
• All begin with the tree mediation to root your self
to earth before reaching for the stars.
'Tree meditation': visualise yourself growing roots into the earth and
making connection. Allow roots to come out of your feet into the earth
and then feel the earth energy raise up, to your ankles, calves, knees,
thighs, and groin, up the spine. Higher up the spine to the back of the
neck. Feel the energy filling the front of your body, stomach, chest
and then down the arms. Next, let the energy reach your head and
filling with its light. Imagine yourself as tree, with roots in soil
and in the past. Its tree trunk solid in the present and your branches
reaching the future and high into the sky and basking in sunlight. Feel
yourself centred and connected to both sky and earth. Then visualise
• All hold hands and cast circle as expansion of tree
meditation forming a sacred Grove.
• Each person is visualising being a tree, when you
hold hands, the trees begin connecting and a Grove of trees is
• All seven directions to be open by volunteers using
their own words. East (air), South (fire), West (water), North (earth).
Above, below, and within.
TO THE STARS. (The Hymns of Orpheus)
WITH holy voice I call the stars on high,
Pure sacred lights and genii of the sky.
Celestial stars, the progeny of Night,
In whirling circles beaming far your light,
Refulgent rays around the heav'ns ye throw,
Eternal fires, the source of all below.
With flames significant of Fate ye shine,
And aptly rule for men a path divine.
In seven bright zones ye run with wand'ring flames,
And heaven and earth compose your lucid frames:
With course unwearied, pure and fiery bright
Forever shining thro' the veil of Night.
Hail twinkling, joyful, ever wakeful fires!
Propitious shine on all my just desires;
These sacred rites regard with conscious rays,
And begin our works devoted to your praise 5.
Light the candles which are set in shape of stars of constellation
Declare your intent as wanting to connect to Orion and to ‘draw down’
the power of Orion into yourself (if that is part of your intent).
While looking at the constellation, next take the stance of Orion,
right arm raised like holding a sword, left arm holding a shield.
Mediate on constellation Orion while standing in this position for few
When you feel ready recite the following hymn to Horus. Before you
recite visualise a door in front of you which has the stars of Orion
painted on it.
‘101. A hymn of praise to Horus to glorify him, which is to be said
over the waters and over the land.
Thoth spoke and this god recited [the following]:--
Homage to you, god, son of a god. Homage to you, heir, son of an heir..
Homage to you, bull, son of a bull, who was brought forth by a
holy goddess. Homage to you, Horus, who comes forth from Osiris, and
was brought forth by the goddess Isis. I recite your words of
power, I speak with your magical utterance. I pronounce a spell in your
own words, which your heart has created, and all the spells and
incantations which have come forth from your mouth, which your father
Keb commanded you [to recite], and your mother Nut gave to you, and the
majesty of the Governor of Sekhem taught you to make use of for your
protection, in order to double (or, repeat) your protective formulae,
to shut the mouth of every reptile which is in heaven, and on the
earth, and in the waters, to make men and women to live, to make
the gods to be at peace [with you], and to make Ra to employ his
magical spells through your chants of praise. Come to me this
day, quickly, quickly, as you work the paddle of the Boat of the god.
Drive you away from me every lion on the plain, and every crocodile in
the waters, and all mouths which bite (or, sting) in their holes.
Make you them before me like the stone of the mountain, like a broken
pot lying about in a quarter of the town. Dig you out from me the
poison which was raised and is in every member of him that is under the
knife. Keep you watch over him by means of your words. Verily let your
name be invoked this day. Let your power (qefau) come into being in
him. Exalt you your magical powers. Make me to live and him whose
throat is closed up. Then shall mankind give you praise, and the
righteous shall give thanks unto your forms. And all the gods likewise
shall invoke you, and in truth your name shall be invoked this day. I
am Horus of Shetenu .
O you who art in the cavern, O you who art in the cavern. O you who art
at the mouth of the cavern. O you who art on the way, O you who art on
the way. O you who art at the mouth of the way. He is Urmer (Mnevis)
who approaches every man and every beast. He is like the god Sep who is
in Anu (Heliopolis). He is the Scorpion-[god] who is in the Great House
(Het-ur). Bite him not, for he is Ra. Sting him not, for he is Thoth.
Shoot you not your poison over him, for he is Nefer-Tem. O every male
serpent, O every female serpent, O every antesh (scorpion?) which bite
with your mouths, and sting with your tails, bite him not with your
mouths, and sting him not with your tails. Get ye afar off from him,
make ye not your fire to be against him, for he is the son of Osiris.
I am Thoth, I have come from heaven to make protection of Horus, and to
drive away the poison of the scorpion which is in every member of
Horus. Your head is to you, Horus; it shall be stable under the Urert
Crown. Your eye is to you, Horus, [for] you art Horus, the son of Keb,
the Lord of the Two Eyes, in the midst of the Company [of the gods].
Your nose is to you, Horus, [for] you art Horus the Elder, the son of
Ra, and you shall not inhale the fiery wind. Your arm is to you, Horus,
great is your strength to slaughter the enemies of your father. Your
two thighs are to you, Horus. Receive you the rank and dignity of your
father Osiris. Ptah has balanced for you your mouth on the day of your
birth. Your heart (or, breast) is to you, Horus, and the Disk makes
your protection. Your eye is to you, Horus; your right eye is like Shu,
and your left eye like Tefnut, who are the children of Ra. Your belly
is to you, Horus, and the Children are the gods who are therein, and
they shall not receive the essence (or, fluid) of the scorpion. Your
strength is to you, Horus, and the strength of Set shall not exist
against you. Your phallus is to you, Horus, and you art Kamutef, the
protector of his father, who makes an answer for his children in
the course of every day. Your thighs are to you, Horus, and your
strength shall slaughter the enemies of your father. Your calves are to
you, Horus; the god Khnemu has built them, and the goddess Isis has
covered them with flesh. The soles of your feet are to you, Horus, and
the nations who fight with the bow (Peti) fall under your feet. You
rule the South, North, West, and East, and you see like Ra. [Say] four
times. And likewise him that is under the knife.
Beautiful god, Senetchem-ab-Ra-setep-[en]-Amen, son of Ra,
Nekht-Heru-Hebit, you art protected, and the gods and goddesses are
protected, and conversely. Beautiful god,
Senetchem-ab-Ra-setep-[en]-Ra, son of Ra, Nekht-Heru-Hebit, you art
protected, and Heru-Shet[enu], the great god, is protected, and
Once you have recited the hymn visualise the door opening, step inside
begin your journey to meet Horus-Orion.
If you are planning to use astral temple based on Horus temple of Edfu,
at this point, remember the map of the temple you have studied. Then
visualise your self once you step through the door to be standing
outside great temple in front of the split pylon. Make your way through
the gate, you may meet a guardian at these gates who ask why you are
entering. State your reason. In the courtyard take your time to
look at the surrounding and the columns, make a mental note of what you
see or hear, when ready make your way to the Hypostyle hall. There
might be other pilgrims also making their way. As you the hypostyle
hall you might be asked some questions by guardians of this doorway.
Take your time and observe your surrounding, note any carving and
inscription on the wall. If you feel you want to continue make your way
to the second hypostyle hall. Once more you may be asked questions by
the guardian of the gateway. Again take time and pay attention to your
surrounding. Once ready enter the offering hall, here you will leave
your offering and you might be asked what the offering symbolises to
you. Then proceed to the heart of the temple out of the offering hall
and toward inner sanctum. There are number of chambers hear, follow
your instinct and make your personal contact. Take your time.
Once ready make your back from the inner sanctum to offering hall back
through the hypostyle halls and to the court yard, and out through the
split pylon to outside in front of the temple. Step through the door
which had the Orion stars painted on and back to your circle.
- Communion of Bread and Wine. Saying the following (from Grace before
a Meal - Temple of Edfu (girdle-wall):
O Table-god (Atum), You have spat forth Shu from your mouth (...) O
Table-god, may he (the king as Shu) give to You all that he will have
dedicated, since he has become a god who is an emanation, alert,
worshipful and powerful. (...) May he dedicate to You every good thing
which You will give him, since he has become Heka. May he dedicate to
You every good thing, food-offerings in abundance. May he set them
before You and may You be content with them, may your Ka be content
with them (...)
Be satisfied and worshipful, O Living Falcon, lord of the Two Lands,
lord of the Nobles, lord of the common folk, lord of the Seat of Re,
lord of gods, through the offerings which this son of yours brings to
You, this Worshipfulness of yours, this Ka of yours, this Heka of
yours, this Ptah of yours, this Shu of yours, this Thoth of yours, this
abundance of yours upon Earth. May You be content and worshipful with
them. May your Ka be content with them, and Your heart be content with
them for ever.7
-Saying of thanks to spirits of the place.
-Sending of Blessings.
-Final thanks to Horus and Orion.
-Say Thanks to THE STARS. (The Hymns of Orpheus)
WITH holy voice we called the stars
on high, Pure sacred lights and genii of the
sky. Celestial stars, the progeny of Night, In whirling circles beaming far your
light, Refulgent rays around the heavens ye
throw, Eternal fires, the source of all
below. With flames significant of Fate ye
shine, And aptly rule for men a path divine. In seven bright zones ye run with
wandering flames, And heaven and earth compose your
lucid frames: With course unwearied, pure and fiery
bright Forever shining thro' the veil of
Night. Hail twinkling, joyful, ever wakeful
fires! Propitious shine on all my just
desires; These sacred rites regard with
conscious rays, And end our works devoted to your
Closing of directions in reverse order.
Have something to eat and drink. Clear the space.
Scanned at sacred-texts.com 1999 and 2003. J.B. Hare, redactor. This
text is in the public domain. These files may be used for any
non-commercial purpose provided this notice of attribution is left