K is for the King

I’ve mentioned before that my god created a land of the dead for his two sons after they died, and that it is a temporary residence for most. When the land was new, the first of the dead chose the eldest son of the god as their king.

Sacred kingship has been and remains vital to many traditions—a good modern example is the role of the pharaoh/nisut-bity in Kemetic practice. A king or queen of the dead also appear in many, if not all, pantheons. Devotees of Hel, Osiris, Hades and/or Persephone, Baron Samedi, etc., are among some of the most devoted and outspoken in current pagan practice.

Yet the attributes of the eldest son differ from those of most mythological kings and rulers of the dead. His most noteworthy trait has never been his authority, but an open mind and thirst for knowledge. He is a scribe at heart, more Thoth than Osiris, and this changes the role of king in a subtle but important way.

The eldest son does not simply seek to protect and preserve the concrete, but also to protect and preserve the abstract. The Scholar-King of the Dead rules over archives and exchange, dialogue and debate, and his influence has meant a land of the dead that is ever changing, never static. Every new soul who enters the realm brings with them a wealth of memory and experience, more precious than rubies.

This is a simplification, of course, but true accuracy would take more than a blog post. I could write books on his near-messianic aspects of his cult. The dioscuric balance of the king and his brother will definitely be a topic for another day.

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