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Debbrah
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Post by Debbrah » Sun May 09, 2004 8:42 am

Stormy wrote: Bast was not a goddess of the moon until Her association with Artemis. Prior to this time she was know as an "eye of Ra" which is much more strongly related to the sun.




I haven't studied the egyptian pantheons in as much depth as others(in part because they are very layered). I have read enough that that raises some questions I hope (since some of you just proved you have studied it) you can answer.



First, doesn't the story of Skhemet also have her created from the eye of Ra? Wouldn't that be a connection that might explain the later identification?



Also, I've seen quite a lot which has one eye solar, one eye lunar... Do you know when this came about? Is it a later development or earlier? I know I've read things explaining why the eye associated with Horus is the right eye instead of the left: solar vs lunar.
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Post by Stormy » Sun May 09, 2004 9:43 am

More from my vast store house of research (when I really want to know about something I tend to pick it to pieces from every angle I can find ;) )

First, as to a reference of being created from the eye of Ra, this is something that comes up again and again all through Egyptian mythos - if you look hard enough you can trace almost any of the Egyptian gods and goddesses to a link with Ra and/or one of his eyes.



Previous to Ptolemaic influences on Egypt the moon was always related to a male god--Heru (it being His left or "weak" Eye), Djehuty, Iah, Khonsu, and Wesir in particular.

Other modern myths have gone further, stating that in antiquity Bast was accredited with the title of "Left Eye of Ra" (in reference to the moon), a title that has to yet to be proven to actually exist in Kemet. As the daughter of the Creator, Bast is much more strongly related to the sun -- as His Eye -- than the moon.

Bast is one of several gods/goddesses who are known as the "Eye of Ra", a title that denotes a god Who functions as a protector or avenger. Since the earliest of times She has been associated with the king. Pyramid Texts 892 name Her next to the king as the, "Knowledge through which death cannot approach too closely." She also serves as his protector, a trait that is common in many other feline gods such as Mafdet -- (lit. "the Runner") protector of Pharaoh's chambers -- and Sekhmet -- destroyer of the King's enemies.


OK, now as for Horus himself and his associations...

The name "Horus" is a general catchall for multiple deities, the most famous of whom is Harseisis (Heru-sa-Aset) or Horus-son-of-Isis (sometimes called Horus the Younger) who was conceived after the death of his father, Osiris, and who later avenged him. In all the Horus deities the traits of kingship, sky and solar symbology, and victory reoccur. As the prototype of the earthly king, there were as many Horus gods as there were rulers of Egypt, if not more.

Horus the Elder's city was Letopolis, and his eyes were thought to be the sun and moon. When these two heavenly bodies are invisible (as on the night of the new moon) he goes blind and takes the name Mekhenty-er-irty, "He who has no eyes". When he recovers them, he becomes Khenty-irty, "He who has eyes". A warrior-god armed with a sword, Horus could be especially dangerous to those around him in his vision-deprived state, and during one battle in particular he managed to not only knock off the heads of his enemies but of the other deities fighting alongside him, thus plunging the world into immediate confusion that was only relieved when his eyes returned.


I hope that helps clear up a bit of the confusion, I'm actually really pressed for time right now or I dig up even more of my reference materials.



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Post by Lotus » Tue May 11, 2004 11:04 am

I have read it both ways, actually.

You see thousands of years of a continuously changing religion is translated. The tales and legends of Egyptian gods changed due to who was in power and when over Egypt.

During the Reign of Seti I the Egyptian god Set was a positive deity until the Babylonians invaded and he became associated with foreigners and the west. This is but an example of this.

I must be honest that I have never worked with Bast of Sehkmet. There is a tale of a black lotus that Bast used to become (maybe joined with)Sehkmet. A mistranslation or bogus...I don't know.

Thank you for clearing that up. My question then is why are the goddesses combined falsely and described as an aspect of the other? Where did this tale or rumor or bogus originate?

Let me know,

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Post by Stormy » Tue May 11, 2004 11:55 am

From my research their being combined seems to be simply a matter of bad translation and/or assumptions being made as well as the fact that there is, as you said, a lot of different information even in the ancient writings.

And as I mentioned before, a lot of it has to do with the new age worshippers of Bast or Sekhmet wanting to make the Bast or Sekhmet that fits them so they pick and choose and combine from the many different sources. I don't know that you can actually say that they are wrong, as this could just be a new modern "face" of Bast/Sekhmet, but I prefer to stick with the more historical and more carefully translated descriptions of Bast.



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