The Secret Life of Words: Amen

AMEN. Magic word interpreted as “let it be” in Hebrew, used to evoke divine response to a prayer. Such words often began as deities’ names. This may have originally invoked the Egyptian god Amen (Amun), “the Hidden One” – the sun in the belly of his Mother before his rebirth at sunrise.Its hieroglyphic symbol meant a pregnant belly.

Barbara G. Walkers, “The Women’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets”

When I find myself in need of comfort, I love to listen to The Beatles’ song Let It Be. I am always touched by the song’s profound message of acceptance and peacefulness. The story behind the song actually resonates with the symbolism of the Great Goddess as the great comforter. Paul McCartney was going through a very rough patch when he had a dream in which his late mother, whose name was Mary, and who had died when Paul was 14, appeared:

So in this dream… my mother appeared, and there was her face, completely clear, particularly her eyes, and she said to me very gently, very reassuringly: “Let it be.” It was lovely. I woke up with a great feeling. It was really like she had visited me at this very difficult point in my life and gave me this message: Be gentle, don’t fight things, just try and go with the flow and it will all work out.

I am aware that scholars are debating whether the word amen actually originates from the name of the Egyptian god. But I am really fond of this theory. Amun’s name meant “the hidden one,” his name might have originated from a word which meant “water,” which reinforces his symbolic connection with the Great Mother. He was often depicted as a ram or a ram-headed man, which of course suggests Aries, the first sign of the Zodiac: a divine child that emerges out of the waters of the collective unconscious (like the sun rising every morning). In the Pyramid Texts he is said to “protect the other gods with his shadow.” I think Amun is symbolic of the dark, shadowy moments right before the dawn, when there is no way of telling what will be born, and we can just open ourselves to the new by saying “let it be.”

Image

Vladimir Kush, Sisyphus

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31 Responses to The Secret Life of Words: Amen

  1. ~Felicia~ says:

    Wow… Great post. I love it! I have never heard that scholars are debating whether the word amen actually originates from the name of the Egyptian god??? So interesting!!!
    ~~~Felicia

  2. ptero9 says:

    Yes, I, too was not aware of that connection, or debate either! I love the story and tie-in to Paul as well.
    And this..”I think Amun is symbolic of the dark, shadowy moments right before the dawn, when there is no way of telling what will be born, and we can just open ourselves to the new by saying “let it be.” Oh yes, there is something preciously promising, or sometimes forboding about the dawn that we submit to everyday, Amen Monika!

    • Thank you, Debra. As a girl in Poland I had to go to church regularly and I always loved the word Amen, had a special connection with it. Some esoteric thinkers also connect it with Aum.

  3. great post. I think of Paul’s mom when I hear the song, which also offers me solace. Based on your description, I am wondering if Amen would then relate to Pisces, Neptune or waxing crescent moon?

    amen indeed!

  4. Don says:

    Love the story of Paul McCartney. Yes, I too, warm to your description of “Amum.” To let it be is to acknowledge that there is no way which we can know what will be born. It’s a scary but adventurous way to live, perhaps the only way to live.

  5. Yaz says:

    This was wonderful. This is a morning when I have to say ‘let it be’. This was a roundabout, very interesting way to remind me of that.

  6. Stuff Jeff Reads says:

    Excellent post. Your interpretation of the connection between “the hidden one” and the Great Mother reminds me of the kabbalistic idea of the Shekhinah, or the feminine aspect of the godhead that is now hidden. In fact, the Greek “Apocalypsis” means the uncovering of that which is hidden. I believe the the true apocalypsis will be the unveiling of the divine feminine and the godhead will be revealed as a dyad, containing the divine masculine and feminine.

    As always, thanks for a great post. Cheers!

  7. Landlooper says:

    Excellent post indeed. The story and works of Abd’el Hakim Awyan are complementary:

    http://landlooper.wordpress.com/2013/09/06/the-land-of-osiris/

  8. Erik Andrulis says:

    Had never heard of Amun, so thanks for the education. I was further unaware of the historical basis of Let it Be, so thanks for sharing that, too. Always nice to learn. I am always learning about Myself – all of those things I already know but seek to know anew.

  9. james369 says:

    A wonderful post Monika. I’ve always sensed a profound beauty in the word “Amen”. It has great power, which of course we project onto it, but the fact that so much beauty can be contained in a single word is a wonder in of itself.
    Warm wishes,
    James.

  10. Let’s hope this is a pregnant period. :/

  11. shreejacob says:

    Loved the post!!
    When reading the quote that started your post, I was thinking of the song Let It Be..and you mentioned it too…which is totally awesome 😉
    I remember a couple of weeks ago I was worried about something and driving to work the song Let It Be came on the radio. In a country like Malaysia which is an Islamic country it’s not often or should I say rarely do songs like these slip into the airwaves…and it did..and I was comforted 🙂
    I too like the idea that the word came from the Egyptian god, it makes sense in a way because a long time ago during the birth of Christianity a lot of different aspects of Greek, Roman and even Egyptian thoughts were used…weren’t they?

    The birth of the sun from the mother’s womb story of Amun reminded me of Carl Jung’s thoughts when he wrote about the second Adam…second coming from the Revelations!

    • Thank you! Great comment, as usual. You are right of course about Christianity taking over ancient myths, then busily covering it up. Thanks for bringing up Jung – he is always welcome.

  12. Hi Monika. I think you missed the word ‘true’, as I remeber it from my Christi an education and as ‘Amen’ is used in the bible and means in Hebrew, it’s: ‘let it be true (and sure)’ and not ‘let it be’.
    Would have been better maybe, but in my memory the Christian belier is also not that accepting, at least the calvanistic way of live is not.
    I think ‘Aum’ is much more ‘let it be’ 🙂

    • Hi Mart, glad you sometimes return to the community! About the word ‘amen,’ if we only look at its meaning in Hebrew and we forget what we learnt from the patriarchal church establishment, we’ll see that at the root of the word there is a meaning ‘so be it,’ ‘let it be,’ but also ‘verily,’ so you are right about pointing out its connection to truth. But it is not human truth, but perhaps some hidden order of things. Lastly, what I express in my writing is my inner truth, some private lightbulb moments. Amen is a very mysterious word, and I am sure it predates Christianity. As far as I can remember, this word always struck a deep chord with me. I do not claim to present any factual knowledge here, just emotionally coloured intuitions. 🙂 Have a great day, Monika

  13. reikiheidi says:

    I love this! Amun – Amen, entirely possible. I love delving further into the history and unravelling our myths. Te horns you mention as Aries?… COULD also be the original horned God, from whcih a lot of deities seem to have sprung… even before the Horned God was Horned Shiva, called Pashupati… from whence, possibly, came Shiva, & seperately in the West, the male deity Horned God. It’s very interesting when you link it back.

  14. aaremo says:

    Interesting! I loved the Paul Mccartney story (new appreciation for that song now :)). I hadn’t heard about the Egyptian God connection. I once heard that ‘amen’ was related to or derived from ‘om’…aum – amen? Who can say?

  15. Reblogged this on Raw Life Wizard (™) and commented:
    I was just contemplating the relationship between “amen (judeo-christian)” “amin (muslim)” “Amen-ra (Egyptian)”, and the name “Ramona” (move the R before the last “a”) the other day. Your is very timely in my spiritual journey. Subscrbed

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