This week, a musing on gratitude inspired by an Ancient Egyptian rite called “The Five Gifts of Hathor”. Hathor was a goddess of the sky, fertility and agriculture. To ward off ingratitude, which was seen as the gateway sin to anger and rebellion, initiates were asked to look at their left hand and associate each digit with something for which they were grateful. What would your five be?  

The twist is that they were asked to use their left hand because this would always be visible to them in the field as they harvested the crops – which would almost certainly have belonged to someone else, as land ownership was concentrated and the great majority of the poor were unhanded labourers. Might they have looked instead at their right hand, holding the knife, and considered rising up to claim their fair share of what they didn’t have? 

You can read it all in the attachment. I’ve written at greater length than I usually do, including some questions about the dodgy verse in “all things bright and beautiful” about God making the “high and lowly”. You’ll notice this symbol “:) < — > (:” which is a signal to talk to someone (possibly yourself!) at various points. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts about this format and how you use it. 

For more philosophy about Ancient Egypt, check out our past resource on rules and confessions.

You can book any of many sessions for children over at www.p4he.org which is now the place to book all day and evening philosophy, debating and improv courses other than facilitation training.

Best wishes, 

Jason

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