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kheper-i kheper kheperu kheper-kuy m kheperu n Khepri kheper m sep tepy...

"[when] I became, the becoming became, I have become the becoming [the form] of Khepri who came into being on the First Time...

...when I became, the transformations became, all the metamorphoses coming to pass after I had become."

translated Lucy Lamy, Link to Amazon com Egyptian Mysteries, p.14

In hieroglyphic writing kheperrepresents not only the sacred scarab "but also all the metamorphoses or transformations of which it is the symbol, as wll as the idea of becoming, in general.  The word kheperthus means "to become" in all possible verbal forms, while Khepriis the entity embodied in the sun as it rises in the morning, when darkness becomes light."  Lucy Lamy, Egyptian Mysteries, p.14 (Art and Imagination series, Thames and Hudson, 1981)

"Khepera was a form of the rising sun, and was both a type of matter which is on the point of passing from innertness into life, and also a dead body which is about to burst forth into a new life in a glorious form.  He is depicted in the form of a man having a Palaeos com beetle for a head, and this insect was his type and emblem among ancient nations, because it was believed to be self-begotten and self-produced; to this notion we owe the myriads of beetles or scarabs which are found in tombs of all ages in Egypt, and also the Greek islands and settlements in the Mediterranean, and in Phoenecia, Syria and elsewhere.  The seat of Khepera was in the boat of the sun, and the pictures which present us with this fact only illustrate an idea which is as old, at least, as the Pyramid of Unas, for in this monument it is said of the king
"He flieth like a bird, he alighteth like a beetle upon the empty throne in thy boat, O Ra."
In the XVIIIth dynasty Queen Hatshepset declared herself to be "the creator of things which come into being like Khepera,"  and in later times scribes were excedingly fond of playing upon the word used as a noun, adjective, verb, and poper name."
--- E. A. Wallis Budge, pdf adobe acrobat file - online book The Egyptian Book of the Dead pp.cix-cx
Dover Publications, New York, 1967

some links

on-line documentphotos Beetles As A Religious Symbol - by Yves Cambefort - an excellent coverage - looking at the significance of the scarab in the mythology of many different cultures

Wikipedia link Sacrab artifact and Scarab beetle at Wikipedia

There is also external link a type of robot called Khepera - interesting as it is in itself it has nothing to do with the sacred scarab  ;-)

Kheper index page
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page modified 8 November 1998, last revised 21 July 2009