This fierce falcon surveys the Grand Court of the Edfu Temple, located midway between Luxor and Aswan. The falcon is the symbol of the Egyptian deity Horus in his aspect as the avenger of his father Osiris and the conqueror of Set, the god of the material world. Set and Horus were eternal antagonists in ancient Egypt, representing the principle of light (Horus) and that of darkness (Set). The victory of Horus over Set symbolizes the release of spirit from its imprisonment in matter—the triumph of the divine principle over the temporal and material.
The granite statue conveys unnervingly well the fierceness, might, and precision of the falcon that strikes silently and unpredictably, swooping down with incredible swiftness, then carrying its prey back up into the eye of the sun itself.
There is something majestic about the aloof and stern gaze of the statue, something laser-like that makes you feel vulnerable and frail as you sit underneath it. I fully experienced the energy of Horus and his temple in the inner sanctuary where, in semi-darkness and silence, I stood before the altar. There, the energy shaped itself as warm ruthlessness, the energy of constructive destruction. Horus the Avenger, I then understood, is that aspect of the divine which does away with the old, so the new could be born.