Update: September 12, 2023: I originally posted this article in January 2022. Looking back there are a lot of naive moments here, but overall, it’s on the right track. I was following my intuition, which is often the best guide. The Neterian beliefs are fascinating and indeed represent incredibly complex laws of nature. For more in-depth study, I would recommend the book series by Dr. Muata Ashby which are widely available online. ~Corbin
The Egyptian Neters are represented as beings with animal heads, long considered ‘gods.” However, are representations of Egyptian gods misunderstood? Could it be they weren’t meant to be considered literal gods but as symbolic of the cosmic laws of nature? We touch on this idea here, meant merely to explore. Further research could bring you down a vast cosmic rabbit hole and require in-depth study into ancient Neterian spirituality.
To consider this idea, we look at the Neters, which scholars have translated to the Egyptian word for god.
“The common word given by the Egyptians to God, and godand spirits of every kind, and being of all sorts, and kinds, and forms, which were supposed to possess any superhuman, supernatural power, was NETER,” writes E.A. Wallis Budge in The Monist.
The hieroglyph for a male Neter differed from the goddess equivalent or Netert, plural Neterit. To some scholars, the male symbol may represent an ax or hatchet but could also look entirely different. Note the little wave pattern seen above some of the hieroglyphs.
Were Egyptian Neters Gods or Something Else?
Although Neters has been taken to mean “gods,” Egyptologists didn’t agree.
For example, some believed the word translates to “renewal,” representing everlasting youth, “mighty,” or “power,” “to become,” or the Latin word, “natura.”
To another scholar, Dr. Heinrich Bugsch, Neter meant “the operative power which created and produced things by periodical recurrence, and gave them new life and restored them to the freshness of youth.”
Thus, even top Egyptologists of the time didn’t know the true meaning. Nevertheless, today the idea of Egyptian gods with animal heads is taken for granted, but could they be symbolic like hieroglyphics?
Consider, it’s impossible to know where the origin of the concept of deities began but, “the oldest monuments of Egypt bring before us the gods of nature chiefly, and among those especially the sun,” stated Norwegian egyptologist Jens Lieblein.
Perhaps, the Neters represent beings who have the power to generate and maintain life, suggests English egyptologist, E.A. Wallis Budge.
The Neters and Sacred Geometry
Perhaps, the Neters could have a profound abstract meaning that most scholars didn’t truly grasp? Of course, saying that the Egyptians had profound wisdom leaves the open question of where it originated.
Is it possible the Egyptian Neters were a way to discuss the sacred laws of nature and even the cosmos? Well, whatever you may think of that, consider that after thousands of years, Egyptian culture is as relevant and fascinating as ever in the modern world. It’s as if the culture resonates as strongly now as it ever has, drawing us in to learn more about its sacred truths.
For example, many people believe the Egyptians knew very well about Sacred Geometry. Could the Ankh be based on Sacred Geometry? Also, could the sun disc, later chosen by Pharaoh Akhenaten as the world’s first monotheist god, also simultaneously represent the Eye of Ra, and the center of all the sacred shapes?
In The Flower of Life by esoteric researcher Drunvalo Melchizedek, we see Egyptian tomb art featuring the seven Neters lined up below geometric wheels. On their heads, they carry discs, which may represent Ra, the sun and source. Others have called this disc the “Egg of Metamorphosis” and say the Neters here represent the chromosomes. Embedded in our DNA lies sacred geometry.
For an entertaining introduction to Sacred Geometry, try this great video by Spirit Science:
The Neters as Cosmic Laws of Nature
Few in the West have considered the concept of the Neters as cosmic laws of the universe but this is a central part of Neterian teachings. For example, the book series by Dr. Muata Ashby can teach you vastly more.
Another person who has explored these beliefs is British artist Brian Flynn, who has lived and painted in Egypt for over a decade. His work focuses on the spiritual influence of the sacred land, which lies outside any religious denomination. As an artist, he brings a unique vision to the Egyptian Neters as representatives of the cosmic laws of nature and the universe.
“They Egyptians never had multiple gods, let alone worship them, but they did know about cosmic law and order,” Flynn says.
Going further, the artist suggests the Egyptian gods are the laws of nature in motion, including through waves. As you can see in the hieroglyphs representing the Neters shown earlier, you can see the zigzag wave pattern.
“The Neters are the divine processes by which nature is created,” he asserts. “Apart from manmade things, everything that exists in the entire universe is created in accordance with cosmic law, the Neters. And that is called nature.”
In the videos below, Flynn discusses the Neters while introducing Cosmic Laws. To him, the true wisdom of Egypt has been “buried beneath layer upon layer of false beliefs.”
The idea that Egypt worshipped multiple gods was “a coverup” that continues today due to the mistranslation of the Neters. It’s a “stumbling block” which has “corrupted the true integrity of the ancient teaching.” Indeed, the beliefs center around one Supreme Deity, thus the system is not polytheistic at all.
To find the truth, you must observe and respect the laws of nature. Sadly, that seems to be largely missing in today’s world. But, these ancient temple scenes depict Kings interacting and observing universal cosmic laws of nature. Perhaps, this is something our modern society truly needs to revisit? Could this be why our world today faces so many perils such as climate change today?
Clearly, we have not understood or appreciated a divine connection to nature. Instead, science has attempted to divorce itself entirely from such spiritual concepts, favoring stoic Darwinian evolution. What if learning the truth requires a combination of science and spirituality?
In the picture below, the King is meant to be anyone, including you.
“Always remember that you are the King,” says Flynn.
Above, the Neter on the right is Amun. The objects given are symbolic of being connected with nature. Once you begin seeing the Neters in this way, their true vital importance is revealed.
Video by Brian Flynn. Note: you may find the music distracting – but keep watching.
Ra, the Eye of Ra, Atum-Ra, and Hathor
In subsequent videos, Flynn goes further into the Neters, explaining how they apply to daily life. At the top of the hierarchy is Ra, “the principle behind all cosmic laws” depicted as a circle in a circle, again bringing us back to the essence of sacred geometry. The circle represents the neverending circle of creation, confined within time.
However, Ra can take on any form, including the Eye of Ra, representing “active, vigilant energy.” In other depictions, Ra is represented as the upright cobra, the Uraeus.
Why is the cobra everywhere under Ra? Perhaps, it shows the source, Ra emanating, radiating via waves. Those waves are the stuff of what most in the West call “Kundalini” but it was called Sekhem in Egypt long before .
The cobra is “a powerful serpent that can raise itself vertically and remember that snakes move with a wavelike motion,” he says.
Notably, the Goddess Hathor was known as the Eye of Ra. Thus, she is the “female counterpart to the male aspect of creation embodied in Ra,” notes World History Encylopedia. A form of the Eye of Ra is shown as “Hathor of the Four Faces,” a set of four cobras facing the cardinal directions.
For more about Hathor in the modern world, I would recommend listening to Ryan and Chris Bledsoe. Recently, Chris discussed Hathor and an unforgettable encounter you have to hear for yourself.
Vehicles for The Source
Similarly, when you look at the sun disc above the heads of the Neters, it means being “under the divine governance” of Ra, or love. Literally, it’s becoming “a vehicle of source energy.” If so, would we all consider ourselves vehicles for this source energy?
For example, when combined with Ra, Amun becomes “the hidden one,” Amun-Ra. As a vehicle for Ra, the Neter formed the Ogdoad of the city of Hermopolis with eight primordial deities with frog and snake heads. (The city of Hermes in Greek) It sounds very much like the scientific concept of primordial soup.
That’s a whole other discussion, but there is an Ogdoad of Egypt and the Gnostics, the earliest Christians. In Christian depictions, the symbol of Ra became the Halo.
Ra as the Source of All Love
Importantly, Ra is a place of radiant “pure, positive energy” and love.
“Love is the animating principle of life and every tiny particle in the universe if vibrating with it,” says Flynn.
To connect with this energy, one must observe, cherish, and respect nature. Perhaps, that’s why we feel so empty in our world filled with the clutter and refuse of manmade technology?
“So when you connect to the divine energy of Ra, you are directly connected to the source of all things, and love flows through you – freely,” says Flynn.
In other videos, the artist explores the meanings of individual Neters such as Atum-Ra, Ptah, and Khnum.