Also known as: Harpocrates
Harpokrates is the Greek name for Horus. (It’s a corruption of the Egyptian Har-Pa-Khered.) Harpokrates is a Hellenized vision of Horus. The Greeks did not approve of animal-human hybrid deities and so Harpokrates has shed his associations with falcons and instead appears exclusively as the Divine Child.
According to Egyptian myth, Isis was destined to bear a miraculous, magical child with her true love and brother, Osiris. When Osiris died before she conceived, Isis refused to accept that the prophecy was wrong or moot. Instead, Isis, world’s greatest sorceress, worked her magical skills to revive and restore Osiris long enough to conceive her predestined baby. In Greek versions of this myth, sometimes Serapis replaces Osiris. Isis, Harpokrates, and Serapis were venerated together in an Alexandrian Mystery tradition.
Harpokrates’ birth defied all odds. Harpokrates affirms life against all odds. His image was used to create healing potions. He is the spirit who removes all obstacles. He is the promise of salvation: the potential savior of the world in the form of a small boy. Veneration of Harpokrates spread from Egypt to Greece and Rome. He may be the prototype for the various Divine Children now so beloved in Christianity, for example the Infant of Prague or the Holy Child of Atocha.
Iconography: He is a beautiful, radiant small boy wearing the side lock of youth or a crown. He often has one finger pressed to his lips as if cautioning silence.
Planet: Sun (Harpokrates is the newborn sun that rises each day.)
See also: Horus; Isis; Osiris; Serapis and the Glossary entry for Mystery
From the Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses– Written by Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.