The House of Life
THE HOUSE OF LIFE
When Air Becomes Breath
Breathing Life Into Your Ancestors
The ancient Egyptian mystery school, the Per Ankh is the inspiration for a hermeneutic and healing approach to genealogy. Every hermeneutical perspective constructs and reconstructs more or less coherent and meaningful pictures of the past, based on the particular spiritual needs and expectations of their real or imagined audiences. It is a soulful approach to psyche and our forebears and the mysteries of death, transformation, and spiritual rebirth, honoring soul and body.
The psychophysical approach is rooted in our being, land, water, and air, from our very first to our final breath — the fire of the breath of life. Psyche is that divine spark. Along the way, we are learning to live and learning to die with wisdom and meaning. Wisdom is not as concerned with a particular kind of thought, as a wisdom about thinking, and an analysis of what it means to think, and an inquiry into the nature of the ultimate reference of thought.
Our family tree is rooted in narrative and history which traces back to ancient Egyptian, Mesopotamian, and Biblical traditions, and spans continents and conflicts. We study the psychological and metaphysical meanings of the mythologies that anchor our longest lines of lineage. It includes mental activities, spiritual dimensions, methods, attitudes, practices, or even behavioral and ritual patterns that give us image and form.
The Transgenerational Effect
Our psychological approach is Transgenerational Integration.
Trans- is a prefix meaning: across, beyond, through, on the other side of, to go beyond, while state is a condition or way of being that exists at a particular time. It functions as a feedback loop acting across multiple generations, including transgenerational conflict. Transgenerational trauma is transferred from the first generation of trauma survivors to the second and further generations of offspring. Some transgenerational consequences are epigenetic.
Our psychological approach is Transgenerational Integration.
The hallmark of the transgenerational models of family therapy is their emphasis on the powerful influences that past generations have on the present. Unresolved conflicts, beliefs, and roles in an individual impact an individual’s relationships and interactions in his/her family of origin. They unconsciously continue to influence our current relationships and level of functioning. Healing across lifetimes is possible without any metaphysical model or belief in past lives or reincarnation, but within the genealogical model of direct descent and multigenerational influence.
So, the trans- state is, among other things, a coincidentia oppositorum. An alchemical wedding defines the fixed place, where boundaries are actively transgressed. In many ways, this very undertaking is where the role of the magician, mystic, artist, and healer collide. Down at the crossroads, where possibilities are collapsed into actualities, by the wondrous act of a conscious decision lies the place of suffering and surrender — of realization and redemption.
We seek, not only ancestors, but signs, symbols, and symbolic meaning — our origin in the foundation of being — with an eye to restoring sacred harmony and transformative connection to Cosmos, an indissoluble unity of potentiality and act, darkness and light. Systems of archetypal symbolism come from the mysteries of death, transformation, and spiritual rebirth, and related cosmogonical theories.
Many of these ideas had their roots in Egyptian philosophy. Philosophy is a rite of rebirth, the very essence of which is participation in divine reality and, therefore, its activities are primarily those of inner vision rather than mere logic. The Tree of Life is a logically coherent meta-structure of metaphysical knowledge — its own body of wisdom. And it lives within us.
Ankh is the Egyptian term meaning “life.”The hieroglyph ankh, originally perhaps representing a knot or a bow, is a symbol for divine life, for the “breath of life,” provided by Shu and other gods, and for regenerating the power of water.
Ankh also designates a floral bouquet (offered to the gods) and a mirror, itself an important metaphysical symbol., also seen in the sistrum and later the crux ansata.
Per ankh means the House of Life — a temple scriptorium and advanced school for esoteric training whose priests maintained an oral tradition of initiation and also produced writings in different branches of knowledge. This included theology, mathematics, ritual expertise, hieratic liturgy, hermeneutics, genealogy, astrology, sacred geography, mineralogy, medicine, mythography, architecture, the science of theurgic talismans and image-making.
The staff of every per ankh were lector-priests (heri heb) whose role was associated with sacred books and the heka-power, as well as with preservation of maat, the cosmic order, and maintaining the theurgic tradition of mystical ascent and assimilation to the gods.
Only through esoteric knowledge and initiation into the invisible realm, that is, through symbolic death and rebirth, accomplished in the House of Life, was one able to reveal one sakh-identity and be united with immortal divine principles. In the diagram of the per ankh (Pap. Salt 825) it is depicted as a symbolic mandala with Osiris at the center.
Isis and Nepthys occupy the corners at the side of his feet, Horus and Thoth are at the corners at the side of the head, Geb represents the ground, Nut–the sky. The priests of the House of Life follow “the secret way of Thoth.” One of the chief lector-priests (heri tep) said regarding the formula imbued with the heka-power: “Do not reveal it to the common man–it is a mystery of the House of Life.” (Pap. Leiden344r)
The House of Life was the center of cultural endeavor to preserve and ensure progress of cosmic, political, and social life. A holy place and scriptorium, The House of Life contained secret, magical writings the Egyptians believed had the power to renew and sustain life and further the rebirth of Osiris at his annual festival.
The significance of the House of Life and the rituals performed there was universal. Like the temples it stood for the whole creation, just as the reborn Osiris symbolized eternal life in general. According to tradition, time and again people went to the House of Life to consult ancient writings when they needed answers to problems of their day.
In ancient Egyptian writings and architecture, the House of Life was an institution aligned with kingship, preserving and creating knowledge in written and pictorial form. The overseer of the private rooms of the king, bore the title of ‘overseer of writing in the House of Life, a man to whom all sacred matters are revealed’, and ‘keeper of secrets of the House of Life.’
The ancient Egyptian civilization was strongly connected with nature and the Universe that surrounded them. The school of Abydos House of Life, attracted many healers in the course of time and was an important base of knowledge about healing and medicines. They knew mind and body were strongly connected. Therefore they created various ways to maintain a sound physical body. They analyzed the plants in their neighborhood and built various schools.
The Per Ankh, House of Life, is a solar temple of sacred science (mystery school) and an institution of learning, healing and training. The House of Life, (Per Ankh), is an organization of Egyptian Magicians, founded by the God of Learning, Thoth.
The Per-Ankh texts were transcribed and kept by scribes, including the “books of the dead”. The House of Life was also a restricted access center of esoteric training where students may have undertaken a course of spiritual development, resulting in initiations into “various degrees of symbolic death and rebirth.”