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The young Horus (Egyptian Har), the Hellenistic god known to Greeks as Harpocrates (in Egyptian Har-pa-khered or Heru-pa-khered meaning “Har, the Child”), was received by Isis from Osiris in the underworld. Harpocrates, the child Horus, personifies the first strength of the winter sun, and also the image of early vegetation. Egyptian statues represent the child Horus, pictured as a naked boy with his finger on his mouth, a realization of the hieroglyph for "child" that is unrelated to the Greco-Roman and modern gesture for "silence". Misunderstanding this sign, the later Greeks and Roman poets made Harpocrates the god of Silence and Secrecy.

"“Upon her [Isis’] brow stood the crescent moon-horns, garlanded with glittering heads of golden grain, and grace of royal dignity; and at her side the baying dog Anubis, dappled Apis, sacred Bubastis and the god [Harpokrates] who holds his finger to his lips for silence sake.” —Ovid, Metamorphoses 10.691.

In the Alexandrian and Roman vogue for mystery cults at the turn of the millennium, his worship was widely extended, linked with Isis and Serapis. Inexpensive cast terracotta images of Harpocrates, suitable for house shrines, are scattered throughout the Roman Emnpire.

Modern occultists display his image, loosely connected now with Hermeneutic gnosticism. Typically, "Harpocrates is the Babe in the Egg of Blue that sits upon the lotus flower in the Nile. He is the 'God of Silence' and represents the Higher Self and is the 'Holy Guardian Angel'" and more in similar vein.

By the Egyptians the full-grown Horus was considered the victorious god of light that annually overcomes darkness, winter, and drought. He is often represented with the head of a sparrowhawk, which was sacred to him.

External link


Harry Thurston Peck, Harper's Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, 1898: "Harpocrates."

Stele depicting Heru-pa-Khered standing on the back of a crocodile, holding snakes in His outstretched hands were erected in Egyptian temple courtyards, where they would be immersed or lustrated in water; the water was then used for blessing and healing purposes as the Name was attributed with many protective and healing powers.