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Bast and Sekhmet- the misconception
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Meritsekhmet
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Joined: 23 May 2004
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Location: Lost in the sands of Kemet...

PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2004 8:55 am    Post subject: Bast and Sekhmet- the misconception Reply with quote

I read a post here saying Sekhmet and Bast were "sisters"...this is a misconception. Sekhmet was linked her Het-Hert (Hathor)...[Trust me I have been interested in Ancient Egypt since I was 5, have read countless books and websites and my religion is Kemetic Reconstructalist...and Sekhmet is one of my patron dieties...] Here is some info about it:

"However at no time in the history of Kemetic religion were Sekhmet and Bast associated in a "sister-sister", "mother-daughter", "aunt-niece" or "big bad lioness/nice kitty" context." (http://www.per-bast.org/bast/essay9.html)

Summary of the "Eye of Ra" (where Het-Hert became Sekhmet and then Het-Hert again) [Het-Hert is Hathor]
"A famous myth involving Het-Hert in Her vengeful aspect as Sekhmet is that of the Destruction of Mankind. There are a number of versions of it found in various royal tombs in the Valley of the Kings at Thebes. In this story, Her Father Ra dispatches Het-Hert as His Eye in order to punish the transgressions of mankind, who had become willful and rebellious. Hethert turns into the lioness Sekhmet for this task, slaying men and leaving them in pools of blood in the deserts to where they had fled. In the process She becomes overzealous and nearly wipes out humanity. In order to stop Her, Ra sends for His high priest at Iunu (Heliopolis) to obtain red ochre from Elephantine, which is ground and mixed with beer. Seven thousand jars of this mixture are spread over the land of Kemet, turning it into what looks like a sea of blood. When Het-Hert awakens in the morning and sees it, She begins drinking voraciously. In the process, She becomes quite intoxicated and is unable to continue slaughtering. She is coaxed to return to Her benign aspect of Het-Hert, and mankind is saved." (http://www.hethert.org/eye.htm) [notice there is no mention of Bast...]

"For example, Het-Hert (Hathor) is mostly concerned with prosperity, love, joyfulness and motherhood; She becomes Sekhmet when swift action is required to defend Her children from enemies. Sekhmet is an aspect of Het-Hert, but a Name in Her own right, with a unique appearance and traits." (http://www.seshat.org/seshat/page5.html)

"Hathor, as the Eye of Ra, "becomes" Sekhmet in the story "The Destruction of Mankind". Engraved into one of the shrines of Tutankhamen's tomb, the story tells how Hathor, at the request of her father (Ra), turns into Sekhmet in order to punish humans for transgressing against him. When she nearly wipes out all of humanity, Ra tries to stop her and, failing in that, contrives to get her drunk, whereupon she immediately forgets what it was she was doing and goes back to being Hathor. Hathor also appears as a minor character in "The Contendings of Horus and Seth". Her father (Ra) falls into a black mood so Hathor sets forth to cheer him up. Removing her clothing, she dances around his throne until he smiles again." (http://www.sgcstargate.com/Hathor.html)


".. As Sekhmet, she [Het-Hert] represents the fiery burning rays of the Sun that can cause the crops to grow as well as the deserts to spread."
(http://www.het-herumusic.com/page%201a.htm)


**

So as you can see, there is no link between Sekhmet and Bast-as sisters or other halfs- Long ago, people linked them because they are both Feline dieties and both Bast and Sekhmet (and many others) were given the title "Eye of Ra" so they assumed they were "sisters"...hopefully this will help clear up the misconception on here and such. It really annoys me when people get it wrong...but I guess its not their fault, but the original person who said it way back...
Smile
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PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2004 8:55 am    Post subject: Advertisement

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Kiya
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2004 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Who said they were sisters? No you are right, they are mearly connected in that they were both, at times, portrayed as lionheaded. Then again so was Tefnut and Mut at times.
The Godess of Love rules!Smile I have a tatoo of Hathor's name in hieroglyphs tatooed on my stomach:-)
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PharoahKel
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haha! Thats cool Kiya
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Ankhesenpa-aten
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2004 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes!! Hathor rocks!! You should've seen my xanga site a few months ago, it was pretty and Egypt-ified (if it's not a word, it is now! Very Happy ) But now it's not egyptian anymore, it's Stargate-ified. If you still want to check it out it at www.xanga.com/themadhathor. Mwah! Very Happy
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Maya
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 25, 2004 5:55 am    Post subject: Hmm..depends on what kind Egyptian cult you studied Reply with quote

Sekhmet and Bastet are sisters if you follow the "All life springs from Ra(Amun)" tradition. If you hold that other Gods are the creator gods, such as Ptah, then I can see how you believe how Bastet and Sekhmet are not related.
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Si-amun
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 25, 2004 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a personal belief that almost all Gods were interlinked in one way to each other. We have to be careful about the Egyptian use of the word sister I think. Does it mean literally the child of my parents, or has it been used to imply a deep spiritual tie between two "different" deities? My personal belief is that Hathor, Isis, Bast and Sekhmet are all linked closely, perhaps being the different attributes of what the Egyptians worshipped in their own society. If we look at them Isis is the devout wife, Hathor is the devout mother, Bast is the entertainer and Sekhmet is the protectoress and devout daughter. These four goddesses, in my opinion are the personification of what the Egyptians sought to be the perfect "female" form. Each is distinctly different but As Hathor and Isis are linked closely (rarely do you find a temple to one without the inclusion of the other), Bast and Sekhmet are also linked as are Sekhmet and Hathor. The four goddesses to me are solely the different attributes of a single goddess which may have been lost in her original form.
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rich
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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The link between bastet and sekhmet is a very easy mistake to make

Hathor and Sobek bare Buto
Buto marries Anubis
Buto has 2 children. One is nekhebet(vulture-goddess)
The other i am unsure about... it is either bastet(cat goddess) or Semerkhet(nefertum)

Semerkhet marries bastet.

Because of this marriage to semerkhet, bastet is sometimes referred to as sekhemket. Kind of nice that with the rhyming you get nekhebet, sekhemket, and semerket.

Because sekhmet is a lion-goddess, and sekhemket was a cat-goddess, they got merged later in egyptology.
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Psusennes I
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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Meritsekhmet, I hate to dissilusion you, but there are several texts in which Bast is indeed described as being sisters, and indeed occasionally they are refered to as being the same person by the Egyptians. This is however only the case in certain myths and and certain times. This is shown by statues found at Per-Bast, which show Sekhmet on the facade and Bast on the reverse. Furthermore the titles of relationship such as 'son' and 'brother' and so on had deeper symbolic meaning than they do today. For example, quite freqently the Pharaoh's titulary states that (seemingly contradictarily) that his mother is both Isis, Hathor and Nut, as well as a host of other deities as his father. Obviously these must be fanciful, and bear some special meaning rather than actual implying the Pharaoh's true mother.

Please do not quote Kemetic Reconstructionalist websites as valid sources, because they can be gravely misleading. Perhaps modern Egyptians believe that there are fixed traits and descendencies here, but in actuality we are discussing a religion that evolved over more than 5, 000 years. Gods were assimilated and altered continuously, and beliefs varied greatly across Egypt from time to time. It annoys me when people assume that their is only one way of looking at things, without accounting for all the facts.
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rich
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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2005 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What the heck is a "Kemetic Reconstructionalist website?" I made my own family tree of the gods. I'd be interested in seeing one of these websites if you have a link to share. The horus line is very complicated... I'd like to see what someone else has for it.

Sekhmet/Sekhet is wife of Ra/Soker/Seker
There son is Geb/Narmer who marries Nut/Herneith (daughter of Shu/Tephnuit)
They have 3 sons, Osiris / Horus / Seth

Following the Seth line, like I did before, gets you to Bast.

Seeing a statue with 2 cat goddesses on it doesn't necessarily make them sister/same person.

The gods and goddess seem to be all of the early pharoahs until the pyramids are built.
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Si-amun
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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2005 11:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How then do you explain Horus being worshipped before he is "born" as a Pharaoh?
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rich
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PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2005 3:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Please elaborate. I have Geb/Narmer/Menes at ~3150BC and Horus Over The Horizon immediately after him. Are you trying to say that there is evidence that Horus was warshipped in Pre-dynastic Egypt? 3600-3200BC? Or are you claiming that Ra and Horus over the Horizon are the same god? They do have different wives (Sekhmet vs Isis).
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Psusennes I
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PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2005 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did you even read our posts? You obviously have a very limited understanding of the way in which the Egyptian Pantheon functions. It isn't as simple as the Athenian God system, with each God having an incredibly fixed function and family tree. Instead the Egyptian Pantheon functions almost like a Henotheism. Many Gods overlap in their fields of influence (why am I even bothering to type this out again! It's not as though your going to read it), many Gods have the same duties, wives, names, husbands and even are described as one another in their titularies. Sekhmet for example is described as "Hetheret en sepeh" (Hathor in Anger), despite that fact that the Gods are obviously not the same.
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rich
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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2005 3:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Did you even read our posts? "
-- Which one? Send a link.

"You obviously have a very limited understanding of the way in which the Egyptian Pantheon functions. It isn't as simple as the Athenian God system, with each God having an incredibly fixed function and family tree. "
-- Athena is a terribly complex goddess... not very straight forward at all.

In greek mythology you have multiple people named herucles, etc.... with different sets of parents. Greek has a lot more influences because of political instability... whereas Egyptian History is much more stable.

In some ways, Egyptian is more straight forward than Greek mythology.

In other ways because Egyptian history is older, more has been forgotten. There is also a lot of bad information... and there are fables where gods interract from previous generations... sometimes a story is just a story. It's like that in Greek History, too.


"Instead the Egyptian Pantheon functions almost like a Henotheism. Many Gods overlap in their fields of influence (why am I even bothering to type this out again! It's not as though your going to read it), many Gods have the same duties, wives, names, husbands and even are described as one another in their titularies. Sekhmet for example is described as "Hetheret en sepeh" (Hathor in Anger), despite that fact that the Gods are obviously not the same."
-- Hathor is especially misunderstood, with people mis-translating pictures of Buto and Nekhebet as hathor. Also, I believe the "Hathor in Anger" quote belongs to Heqet, the frog goddess and not sekhmhet.

Send some links with evidence of these gods being warshipped in pre-dynastic times.

ps... I like the picture of the Scarab and Bird.... Qaa and Huni?
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Psusennes I
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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2005 9:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't want to go into Greek Mythology because it is complicated, not because the pantheon itself is elaborate, but rather because the educated citizens of Greece did not actually for the majority of their later history believe in their deities. Philosophers certianly abandoned the state religion from the earliest times, and there are references to the athiestic public in all but the earliest Greek prose.

You say that political instability contributed to the changing deities in Greece, but you fail to see that, as I have said in my previous two posts, exactly the same thing happened in Egypt. Sekhmet is not a 'true' predynastic deity, and rather she evolved from other Gods worshipped in areas of Egypt that were conquered or overrun. Furthermore that quote is correct, and I cannot find evidence for Heqet having any names in her titulary that correspond to her being a form of Sekhmet- even if she did you would only be reinforcing my pont that the Egyptian pantheon is almost a monaltrous henotheism.
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rich
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PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2005 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wasn't sekhmet the wife of Ra? If Sekhmet wasn't pre-dynastic that would mean that Ra wasn't either, right?

You could make an argument that with Ra, Sekhmet, Shu, and Tephnuit that you have the 4 elements... but I haven't seen anyone make that argument, or show evidence of it.

I will have to investigate if het-heret is the same goddess as heret-hor / seret-hor.


Last edited by rich on Sun May 15, 2005 2:01 pm; edited 3 times in total
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