Seraperion I & II (cont.)
By Antoine Gigal
Left: One of several blocked up entrances, Right: Granite sarcophagus in an alcove under restoration
But if you look at the whole picture, it's always about the same thing! And everything takes us back to Egypt. To help you understand why the Apis was related to the sign of Tanit, first look at Apis as he was usually represented, gilded with the solar disc between his horns; then now look at the sign of Tanit - the bull seen from the front represents the crescent moon (the horns), the sun (the disc that he was always adorned with) and the pyramid (his triangular snout). According to the Phoenicians, the whole thing was represented by a person raising his arms in prayer to the heavens. I should add that in the secret language of the Egyptian priests, the symbol of the sun meant "look at what is fixed (the divine)", and the symbol of the moon meant "look at what is changeable, mutable (the incarnation)". So we are faced with the notion of the animal being the very representation of prayer to the heavens, of the link with the divine, of the ladder to the sky. What other animal could serve so well as a link with the gods?
In addition, the design forms an Ankh cross with the central line split in two at the base, which some believe could be the Ankh sign of life in its very distant original form. A bull then as the symbol of life linked with the sky, linked with resurrection and better still, with ascension - we're just beginning to glimpse why so many important people have been interested in the Apis and the Serapeum. The rites surrounding the Apis were considerable. There was even a rite of baptism practiced in Rome much later, when the cult of Apis gained much success. This ritual was very similar to the Christian one.
What's even more significant, the word "bull" is pronounced "ka", exactly like another ka, the one that according to the ancient Egyptians represented a person's double and held their creative energy. Each living being had its own ka and the Egyptians said in the texts, "To die is to pass into your ka". It is no coincidence, everything is a deliberate game in Egyptian writing. The ka was represented in hieroglyphics by two arms raised to the sky, a symbol seen also in the hieroglyph of the bull. So in the symbolic role given to this animal the Egyptian priests revealed a favoured pathway to the divine and a means to reach eternity.
Left: Another blocked up entrance with an electric wire at the bottom, Right: Close-up of the electric wire