Mishkan ha-Echad

Thursday, 26 June 2008

The 42 Assessors & The Negative Confession

A little understood part of the Neophyte ceremony involves the Invisible Stations of the 42 Assessors, who related to the 42 parts of the Negative Confession attributed to Ma'at in the 125th Chapter of the Egyptian Book of the Dead (used extensively for the Neophyte grade). There are many different versions of this Negative Confession, where the soul confesses what sins they have not committed, and their heart is then weighed against the feather of Ma'at, to be granted eternal life should they not be weighed down by sin, or be cast into the mouth of a waiting demon if they fail. Although it is nigh impossible for any of us to ever really be able to make such a Negative Confession with utmost honesty (for surely we err on one matter at the very least [for example, number 8]), it's an important principle to explore in terms of the 42 Assessors of the Neophyte Hall. The following translation is from E.A. Wallis Budge:

The Negative Confession

1. Hail, Strider, coming forth from Annu, not have I done wrong

2. Hail, Embraced with flame, coming forth from Kher-aba not have I despoiled

3. Hail, Fentiu (i.e. The Nose), coming forth from Khemmenu, not have I robbed

4. Hail, Eater of shades, coming forth from Qernet, not have I slain men: twice.

5. Hail, Nehaa-hra coming forth from Re-stau, not have I defrauded the offerings

6. Hail Double Lion-god, coming forth from heaven, not have I diminished [oblations]

7. Hail, Whose two eyes are of fire, coming forth from Saut, not have I despoiled the things of the god.

8. Hail, Flame, coming forth in going back, not have I spoken lies.

9. Hail, Breaker of bones, coming forth from Suten-henen, not have I carried off food.

10. Hail, Shooter forth of flame, coming forth from Memphis, not have I afflicted [any ].

11. Hail Qereti, coming forth from Amentet, not have I committed fornication.

12. Hail, whose face is behind him, coming forth from his cavern not have I made to weep.

13. Hail, Bast, coming forth from the secret place, not have I eaten my heart.

14. Hail, Blazing legs, coming forth from the darkness, not have I transgressed.

15. Hail Eater of blood, coming forth from the block, not have I acted decietfully.

16. Hail Eater of intestines, coming forth from Mabet, not have I desolated plowed lands.

17. Hail, Lord of Maat, coming forth from Maat, not have I been an eavesdropper.

18. Hail Strider backwards, coming forth from Bast, not have I set my mouth in motion [ against any man ].

19. Hail Sertiu coming forth from Annu, not have I raged except with a cause.

20. Hail, Doubly wicked, coming forth from Ati, not have I defiled the wife of a man.

21. Hail Double Serpent, coming forth from the torture chamber, not have I defiled the wife of a man.

22. Hail, Looker at what is brought to him, coming forth from Per-Amsu, not have I polluted myself.

23. Hail, Chief of the mighty, coming forth from Amemt, not have I caused terror.

24. Hail, Khemiu, coming forth from Kesiu, not have I committed offence.

25. Hail, Disposer of speech, coming forth from Urit, not have I inflamed myself with rage.

26. Hail, Babe, coming forth from Uab, not have I made deaf myself to the words of right and truth.

27. Hail Kennememti, coming forth from Kennemmet, not have I caused grief.

28. Hail, Bringer of his offering, coming forth from Sais, not have I acted insolently.

29. Hail, Disposer of speech, coming forth from Unaset, not have I stirred up strife.

30. Hail, Lord of faces, coming forth from Netchefet, not have I judged hastily.

31. Hail, Sekheriu, coming forth from Uten, not have I been an eavesdropper.

32. Hail, Lord of the two horns, coming forth from Sais, not have I multiplied my words upon words.

33.Hail, Nefer-Tmu, coming forth from Memphis, not have I harmed, not have I done evil.

34. Hail Tmu [in his ] seasons, coming forth from Tattu, not have I made curses of the king.

35. Hail, Working in his heart, soming forth from Tebu, not have I fouled water.

36. Hail Sistrum bearer, coming forth from Nu, not have I made haughty my voice.

37. Hail, Provider of mankind, coming forth from Sais, not have I cursed god.

38. Hail, Neheb-ka, coming forth from his cavern, not have I committed theft (?).

39. Hail Neheb-nefert, coming forth from his cavern, not have I defrauded the offerings of the gods.

40. Hail Arranger of [ his ] head, coming forth from [ his ] shrine, not have i carried away offerings from the beautified ones.

41. Hail, Bringer of his arm, coming forth from {the double town of Maat,} not have I carried off the food of the infant, not have I sinned against the god of the town.

42. Hail, White teeth, coming forth from Ta-she not have I slaughtered the cattle divine.

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