Finally we have come to the key for unlocking the secrets in the Ancient Book of Thoth. In the table below we give the words and sentences that the Egyptian scribe used in the left column and our interpretation in the right column.
Some experts propose that the Book of Thoth represents an Egyptian tradition that feeds into the Greek Hermetica through perhaps several Greek interpretations and translations. It is possible that the existence of an Egyptian dialogue between Thoth and a student could have inspired authors of a priestly connection to write their Graeco-Egyptian philosophy in the pattern of dialogues with Hermes.
This conclusion is not far from the claim of Iamblichus, the author of the De Mysteriis Aegyptiorum, who wrote that the Greek Hermetica were translated from Egyptian by men versed in Greek philosophy. Because a substantial connection between this Egyptian composition and the Greek Hermetica would be very meaningful for the history of Greek literature, we translated some words in the Egyptian text with parallels found in the Greek hermetic texts, like Nous, Demiurge and Logos.
But having the Key is just the first step. With it you can decrypt certain words. The next step is to fill in all the gaps in the text using the Key for inspiration and maybe revelation.
Examples of using the Key
Example 1: Literal translation
while they lack a son, they give birth to….
by means of your utterance.
[They] will be great (in) four sides (?), while their foundation is small of violence.
[They] will serve as doors, as servants at the beginning of the divine word.
[Look!] They lift exceedingly high … not…to them … a burden.
[Who are] these Lords of Offerings? Do you wish to hear them?
Place your ears to hear them!
[O one dar]k in thoughts,
lift your forehead that you may experience the taste.
[Let me supply] it to the fist (?). Equip it in the place of instruction of writing.
to baby birds, while they hurry to the sacred animals,
while they swallow with their excellent mouths.
It is when their feet are at their proper place
that they are able to drink it (wisdom) in…
0 (?) prophets of Istes, the son of Wen-yema belongs to him.
“Lord of Joy.” He said/meant.
Using the Key it becomes:
“Masters, while they lack a son, give birth in the shape of wisdom by means of their utterance.
This room will be protected by four sides, while its foundation knows no evil.
The divine utterances will serve as doors, as servants of the opening of the divine word.
Hear! They will lift us exceedingly high, but not understanding them makes them a burden.
Who is Nebet-hetepet, the pure and great goddess of Creation? Do you wish to hear her? Place your ears to hear her!
O, one still dark in thoughts, listen so that you may experience the taste of wisdom. Grasp what I will tell you firmly in your mind. May it be a substitute for the instruction in writing.
Compare it to baby birds, while they hurry to their sacred mothers, and swallow what she offers with their open mouths. When they have a stable foundation they are able to ingest the wisdom she offers them according to their ranks.
O great prophets of Thoth, the master belongs to him, the Lord of Joy!”
Example 2: Literal translation
“… May I awaken in the Chamber of Darkness, the character of the Ibis leading him.
[I am] the one who hears in the Chamber of Darkness, in the shrines of the Spirits.
[I] wish to bark among the dogs of Shai, the great one.
[The wish of] my heart is that which brought me (here).
May I be one with the youths!”
Using the Key it becomes:
“Yes, may I awaken in the Sea of Non-duality, and Thoth leading me.
I am the one who wants to enter the Sea of Non-duality, by passing the shrines of the Spirits.
I wish to pray among the followers of Shai, the great one.
The wish of my heart is that which brought me here.
May I be one of the pupils!”
Example 3: Literal translation
“… He said:
“Who are you? What is that which you have sought?
Who, who is the one who created/tied your fillet?”
“I am The-one-who-loves-knowledge,
the one who has sought the craft of the mouth.
The Ibis is the one who bound me up that I may comprehend it.
Do not enter into the cavern, if you do not know its manner. Do not draw near to the hand of the…
Using the Key it becomes:
“Who are you? What is that which you seek? Who is the one who pulled you here?”
“I am a student, the one who seeks to become a spiritual guide. The speech of Thoth is what bound me to this place so that I may learn and comprehend it.
One should not knock at the door, if he does not know its manner. Do not draw near to the nearness of a master (maybe this was said by the master).
The Key to the Secrets
|Literal translation||Semiotic translation|
|He-created-the-thoughts||advanced/senior hermetic master|
|The-one-of-Heseret||hermetic master, but could also be Thoth himself|
|Baboons||priests of Thoth|
|Bull||worker, someone part of a community orsociety, citizen, fellow-men, servant|
|Son of Wen-yema||Priest of Thoth, hermetic master|
|Ibises||scribal priests of Thoth, wise masters|
|Smell of myrrh||sensual pleasures|
|Ba-souls||received divine wisdom, divine inspiration|
|Hunted-the-Ba-souls||possessor of divine wisdom|
|Fattest exotic/migratory birds||advanced teachings|
|Scribal Equipment||gaining wisdom, ways to imprint wisdom into the mind|
|Overseer of Learning||greatest/most senior teacher, the master of masters, grandmaster|
|Deceased spirits||ancient wisdom|
|Lord of the Hedenu-plant||Thoth|
|Foremost one of Heseret||Thoth|
|Lord of Hermopolis||Thoth|
|The lord of the Ba-souls of Re||Thoth|
|Son of Thoth||hermetic master|
|Vultures||hermetic masters with authority over a region|
|Donkey||person, mankind (normal, untrained, unschooled and uninitiated)|
|Nebet-hetepet/Lords of Offerings||Goddess of Creation, the Cosmos, the femaleprinciple of creation, Life|
|Wise one of Re||Thoth|
|Two Lands||material/dual world, sensible reality|
|Four corners of Nun||Cosmos|
|House of Life||Sea of Divine Unity|
|Chamber of Darkness||Sea of Nonduality|
|Cavern||(metaphorical) entrance/door to wise teachings|
Order the book
The Secret Wisdom of Thoth offers a unique semiotic approach to The Ancient Egyptian Book of Thoth. This ancient book of sacred wisdom is a dialogue between a spiritual master, perhaps the god Thoth himself, and a student.