|The Henu barque in the Shetit shrine, in tomb TT45 (source http://www.osirisnet.net)|
Sokar and the Shetit Shrine
"Sokar (or Sokaris), falcon god of the Memphite necropolis, is a divinity who also appears in the Pyramid Texts of the Old Kingdom. He was a god of the land and funerals, who intervened in the deceased's nocturnal metamorphis in the underground world (where he circulates in his Henu barque) resulting in his rebirth.
He guards Ro-setau, designated as the entry to the underworld of the necropolis.
Soon, Sokar was associated with Ptah, the creative potter god, also of Memphis, in a Ptah-Sokar single entity and, from the middle of the Middle Kingdom, Osiris joined them in the Ptah-Sokar-Osiris entity which would last until the Late Period. The three combined major entities being mythologically responsible for creation - metamorphosis - rebirth. This association also allows the cult of Sokar to have a link with the Osirian sanctuaries of Middle and Upper Egypt. The festivities of Sokar in the month of Khoiak thus became the real cosmic force of the year in Thebes in the New Kingdom
Sokar is mostly called Lord of the Shetit Shrine and all religious places dedicated to Sokar are called Shetit. His name evokes the entrance of sloping passageways or caves, perceived as a passage towards the underground world, the place of transformation. After his death, the limbs of Osiris were placed in the Shetit shrine or in the divine pavilion (Jumilhac papyrus - a Ptolemaic papyrus about 9m long, preserved in the Louvre Museum). In the Book of the Amduat, the domain of Sokar, corresponds to the 4th and 5th hours of the night. It links the alliance between the funerary mountain and the necropolis dug into the rock. It is described as a dry and sandy domain in which three paths lead to the cave of Sokar. The god's body is "the one who is on his sand" before being the sun emerging from the water." (source http://www.osirisnet.net)