C   O   N   T   E   N   T   S 
Pg 39



Orion – Horus Stellar Rite

by Payam Nabarz


Orion from Bayer's Uranometria 1661, "U.S. Naval Observatory Library". http://www.usno.navy.mil/library/rare/rare.html

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. (c) 2007.

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.



Orion – Horus stellar rite

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 par excellence.
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 ever since1’.
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 sky also.
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. 

For details of Temple of Horus see:

Photographs of the Edfu temple available on:

Map of the Edfu temple is available on:

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 of Horus’.

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. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Min_(god)

Orion-Horus rite

Set up
•    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 constellation.
•    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 the circle.
•    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 formed. 
•    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 Orion.

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 minutes.

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. Vomit ye.
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 conversely.’6

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 praise.

Closing of directions in reverse order.
Have something to eat and drink. Clear the space.


1. Bulfinch's mythology the age of fable or stories of gods and heroes by Thomas Bulfinch [1855].

2. Star Myths of the Greeks and Romans: A Sourcebook by Theony Condos. Phanes Press, U.S. (Nov 1997).

3. Astronomy: A Visual Guide  by Mark Garlick, Reader's Digest (2005).

4. Legends of the Gods The Egyptian Texts, edited with Translations by E. A. Wallis Budge
[1912] http://www.sacred-texts.com/egy/leg/leg50.htm

5. The Hymns of Orpheus translated by Thomas Taylor 1792.  http://www.sacred-texts.com/cla/hoo/hoo11.htm

6 .Based on: Legends of the Gods The Egyptian Texts, edited with Translations by E. A. Wallis Budge. London: Kegan Paul, Trench and Trübner & Co. Ltd.
[1912]  Lines 101 to 166. http://www.sacred-texts.com/egy/leg/leg28.htm 

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 intact.

7. Grace before a Meal -Temple of Edfu (girdle-wall) http://www.sofiatopia.org/maat/osiris.htm