The Wanwt Priesthood

In ancient Egypt, administration of a temple administration were known collectively as Wanwt (wah-noot), commonly known among Egyptologists as priesthood. The word priest came from the Latin word presbyter meaning elder. The word priest has since been taken as an official position within churches to carry specific duties and powers that are not synonymous with the diversity of duties and responsibilities of the Wanwt of ancient Egypt. People in the Wanwt were carried their duties in a part time capacity as their daily life and culture. Greek historian Manetho constructed his Aegyptiaca History of Egypt in part through his joining the wanwt of a temple of Thoth in the delta city of Sebennytus Find here the documents for Wanwt training, ritual and duties of the Wanwt of an ancient Egyptian temple reconstructed from Egyptian archaeological and Egyptological sources. Access to documents and media are restricted by title of rank, which indicate the accomplishment of time and study. Documents and media are further categorized by use and administrative title

Titles of Rank


Pure Ones. All Wanwt are w’abw and thus is the beginning of training. A w’ab learns the ancient rituals of purification found in Egyptian archaeological and Egyptological records. Documents and accompanying media for understanding purification and ritual in an ancient Egyptian cultural context.

imya ra w’abw

Over the mouth of the w’abw. These are w’abw who have completed one year of training and service to Djaba’a (Djeba, Edfu) and the Natjar Har (Deity Horus). They carry the title of supervisor of w’abw. At this time, they may choose their patron for further study of rituals and characteristics of temple veneration for the deity. Access to components of irat wapat ra twt – Performance of the Opening of the Mouth of the image to organize reenactment of ritual with w’abw participants. Administration of ritual food offerings in an ancient Egyptian temple.

it Natjar

Father of the deity. This is for w’abw who have completed two years of study at Djaba’a. Itw Natjar in ancient times worked directly with the twt Natjar – Living Image of the deity. An it Natjar stood at the front of the twt during festival processions and took the oracular petition from a supplicant. Direction was then given to the festival boat bearers who kneel fore or rear to indicate the answer. Itw Natjar study the oracular techniques performed in ancient Egyptian temples. Continued studies of irat wapat ra twt. Introduction to administration of festival rites and ritual procession. Haka’a Sa’w – ancient Egyptian protective magic.

Ham/Hamat Natjar

Male/Female servant of the deity. Three years and the completion of duty to the Djaba’a temple and Har. Completion of training for the irat wapat ra twt, Festival ceremony, Daily rites. Haka’a ‘aHa’w – Combat magic within the cultural context of Ma”at – Universal rightness. Ham/Hamatw Natjar will have access to all the discovered knowledge to reconstruct an ancient Egyptian temple and the understanding to perform them in reconstructions and reenactments. Ham/Hamw Natjar may also stay within the ranks of Djaba’a and aid in the reconstruction of the temple.

Use and Administrative Title Categories

Çarya Habat – Over the Ritual Book

Known as a lector, the Çarya Habat makes the sacred recitations of the rituals in an ancient Egyptian temple. Through necrophonetics, Djaba’a provides research for reconstructing the role of the Çarya Habat. Understanding the language and phonetic translation utilized by the temple is paramount to serve as a Çarya Habat during a ritual. The phonetic transliteration system utilizes traditional Egyptological transliteration font with Coptic vowel /a/ found as ancient Egyptian vowels in proper names written in Akkadian during the Amarna New Kingdom.

Djad Madw – Recitations

While Egyptologists translate Dd mdw as words spoken, the word Dd has different cultural meanings depending on context. Djad Madw in temple ritual are performed as a liturgical recitations utilized for different ceremonies. Djad madw as a ceremonial or ritual recitation involved ritual singing as accompanied with musical instruments. Musical reconstructions are utilized for Djad Madw using ethnomusicology methods. Historica, Litanies, and praises are examples of Djad Madw used for rites and festivals.

Nat ‘a – ritual

While many duties in an ancient Egyptian temple did not include ritual, and as a human universal, many services a temple provided to the community were ritual to bring life, prosperity, and health. Components of ritual and cultural significance accompany the ritual.

Hatap rad Naswt – Offering the Pharaoh gives

This ritual offering formula was utilized to every Natjar deity at the Temple.

Irat wapat ra na twt – Performing the Opening of the Mouth of a Statue

Known also as Wapat ra irwya – Opening of the mouth and eyes, This ritual is most often performed at festivals and dedications to open the image of the being with the ka’ spirit. This was performed on both Djat – body of a deceased person as well as images of Natjarw as statues and carved into stone. The several stages of the ritual are reconstructed and analyzed individual for cultural understanding.

Inadj Har-ak – Hail to you Invocations

These recitations call the deity by their known names, also called epithets. In ancient Egypt, knowing and speaking the name of a person or deity invokes them to your presence. Their names and titles were thus recited to draw their power to the ceremony.

Haka’a – creative power

Commonly explained by Egyptologists as magic, the components of Haka’a are explained and further categorized as s’aw and ‘aHa’w.


Defensive, protective and healing Haka’a.


Combative Haka’a

Joining the Wanwt

Joining the educational program of the Wanwt provides more in depth knowledge and insight into this essential part of ancient Egyptian culture, with documents and articles of translations and structure of initiation, administration, and ceremony rituals

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