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The Sphinx = Sekhmet
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Lutz
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2017 7:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dzama923 wrote:
... Though I have never seen a representation of a God with human head and animal body, besides the sphinx. Nefertum is close to this idea being a human head with the body of the lotus bush. ...

Where would you have seen such a representation of the god Nefertum? And, to save time, the well-known wooden figure from the tomb of Tutankhamun is not a representation of the god Nefertum. It identifies the young king with the sun god Ra, who was born from out of the ur-lotus, on the ur-isle (creation myths of Iunu / Heliopolis).

The earliest secured piece of evidence for Sakhmet is from the 5th Dynasty. It is a relief from the temple of king Ni-User-Ra in Abusir (see LÄ V - 1984 - Sachmet - Col. 324-325, Note 36 & 37).

The most representations show her with the head of a lioness and the body of a woman. The "Lexikon der Ägyptischen Götter und Götterbezeichnungen" (2002, Vol. VI, p. 556) mentions only a single representation from the Greco-Roman Period, in which the goddess appears as a lamentation woman with human head (and body).
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2017 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, ok. There is a picture accompanying the spell, "For being transformed into a lotus" showing a hieroglpyh of the lotus bush and human's head coming out of it. This papyrus picture was in the Book of the Dead. I assumed it was Nefertum. Thanks for clearing that up for me.
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Lutz
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Richard H. Wilkinson : The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt. - London : Thames & Hudson, 2003. - ISBN : 0500051208; 9780500051207. - 256 p., figs., ills. (some colour). - Page 26 - 29 :



I have only the German edition as book, and the English edition only as a scan in this not so perfect quality. But I think it is readilable ...
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 5:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool, this is interesting to me. It seems like the only anthropomorphic body of an animal is the lion.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dzama923 wrote:
... It seems like the only anthropomorphic body of an animal is the lion.

No.

Even if the shape of animal body with human head is certainly rare, there are also other examples. We see "Osiris, numerous of faces" sometimes with the body of a crocodile and human head (Coffin of Ank-rwtj, LP - 4th century BC, see Petrie, Hawara, Biahmu and Arsinoe, 1889, p. 21, Pl. II, today in Cairo and a small statue in Budapest, Museum of Fine Arts 51.329).

Also Sobek could be worshiped in this form (Nfr-rnpt, 19th Dynasty, TT 336, P.Brüssel MRAH E.5043). There are certainly other examples, if one searches ...
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2017 2:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, I had never heard that or seen Osiris depicted that in this way. I have seen a little statue in the MET of a crocdile body with a falcon head.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2021 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, so a necropost is better than no posts, I think.

The Great Sphinx is unlikely to be a depiction of Sekhmet for all the reasons posted previously. Generally it is assumed that the face is that of Khafre, and it may well be, but does it mean that the Sphinx is Khafre? I doupt it, as while the Giza monuments seem to point to megalomania, this is a modern conception and ignores the extrememly strong religous nature of the site. Thutmose IV names it as Hor-em-Akhet, and ties in all the names of the gods that constitute all the aspects of the Sungod, Khepri, Ra and Atum, he at one point also names the Sphinx as Khepri. This, I would think, is a very strong indication that the Sphinx is a solar symbol representing the Sungod himself, not Sekhmet, or any other god, and certainly not Anubis.

That the Great Sphinx has a human head has, I think, distracted some people, particularly in thinking that the Sphinx represents Khafre. The face may well be that of Khafre, and if he built it then I guess some vanity could come into play in giving his face to a god. But it may not even be vanity, for hidden out of sight in the tomb, Osiris can be given the face of the deceased king, as we see very clearly in KV62, and it indicates that Tutankhamun is becoming one with Osiris. There is no sign of Osiris in the Fourth Dynasty, but I suspect that the Sphinx is Atum, and the face of Khafre indicates that the king is becoming one with Atum. This fits theologically and stylistically with a human head for a god on the Sphinx. Neither Ra, Khepri or Horus, except as the child Hor-pa-khered, are ever depicted with a human head, but Atum is, and amongst the variations in his depictions we do see him wearing a nemes, uraeus and beard. The Great Sphinx may have represented all kings joining with the Sungod, not just Kahfre, as G1 may have a wider purpose than just for Khufu, but's that's another matter.

Some think the Sphinx to be one part of the double lion, but the double lion is never alone, and there is no second Sphinx facing West. Atum is associated with the Western Horizon, and while the Sphinx is at the Eastern edge of the necropolis, it is most certainly in the Western horizon. Atum, in the Pyramid Texts, is associated with the pyramids.

While The original Sphinx temple is at the foot of the Sphinx and faces East, this is a natural layout, it fits in with the landscape. It seems that nothing else was built at the site until the 18th Dynasty when Thutmose I builds a temple just off to the Northern side of the enclosure, not over it, so he must have known the extent of the enclosure. This temple was built so that it lines up with Heliopolis, as does the temple built by Amunhotep II, with it's front entrance lining up directly from Heliopolis to the head of the Sphinx. Another temple built later, and now lost except in a few photos from the early 20th Century, also seem to line up with Heliopolis. The SW to NE diagonals of the three Giza pyramids align with Heliopolis, though I do not know if that is simply a product of their location and being aligned to the cardinal points, though I suspect a link to Heliopolis is by design, not coincidence.

Everything about the Sphinx points to it being a solar symbol, and few doubt this anyway, and that it is linked, like the pyramids, to Heliopolis. Given that it is not the double lion, Anubis, Sekhmet, Khafre, even with his face, or Xargon XI, ruler of the galaxy 40,000 years ago, only Atum fits, even though he is never again, as far as I know, depicted as a sphinx.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2021 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why could it not be the double lion (Aker)?

Aker (the one beneath) seems to describe and fit the buried Great Sphinx.
Aker was in early form depicted as the torso of a single lion.

The depictions as two lions came later with one designated as Duaj ("yesterday") and the other as Sefer ("tomorrow").

The Great Sphinx that faces away from the pyramids could be regarded as looking towards tomorrow and yesterday by default would be behind it (with the pyramids).

I hadn't known about the double lion before your post but it seems conceptually to fit the site and locational context of the Great Sphinx.

So, Aker might be an aspect that is being represented.

The representation can complexly involve several different things that each contributes some informative concept or aspect.

I wouldn't exclude the double lion simply because a second lion sculpture is not present.

The concept of 'yesterday and tomorrow' can be represented by one figure.
Also, the mythical aspects of the double lion tell much about the complex of pyramids.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2021 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aker or Ruty could potentially be seen in the Sphinx, Aker as an entrance and guardian of the Duat, Ruty for it's solar aspects, and it could represent, among others, Atum, with which spell 17 from the CT he is associated, "Mine is yesterday, I know tomorrow". The problem here is that these representations and texts all date from no earlier than the PT of the late 5th Dynasty, though both double lion gods are known to have existed for a long time even before the 4th Dynasty.

So if the Sphinx were either of these gods, it would need to be explained why there is just the one sphinx, not two back to back, and, no matter both their associations with the necropolis and the sungod, are they of such importance that they warrant the huge effort to build the Sphinx. My opinion is that they are not important enough, but that the dead king as a manifestation of Atum is. But we are all groping in the dark here. What I try to do is see which version fits the best, and discard what I see as obvious blind alleys, Anubis for instance.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2021 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Consider that the pyramid sites at Abu Rawash is north of Giza pyramids and Zawyet el Aryan is to south.

They are related to Khufu by his son Dejedefre.

The conceptual relationship of 'yesterday and tomorrow' does not have to be applied strictly to time.

What is important are the concepts and what they inform about the pyramid complex.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 11, 2021 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The concept the Egyptians are referring to in the phrase is not that of linear time, but of cyclical time, the constant birth, death, and rebirth of the sun god. In the sense they use, time is irrelevant as what they describe is a transformation of one state of being to another and then back again.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2021 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ikon wrote:
The concept the Egyptians are referring to in the phrase is not that of linear time, but of cyclical time, the constant birth, death, and rebirth of the sun god.


I don't really get the point you are trying to make and I think you missed something.

Whether regarded to proceed cyclically or linearly, time in the human perception has three relative aspects or periods that are past, present and future.

Yesterday and tomorrow inherently involve a moment that is a relative present.

The point that I meant to make is that time always has past-present-future that (as a concept of relative position) can be related to spatial and directional positions.

Location or direction in time can imply location or direction in space (for a place to place reference).

(Yesterday, now, tomorrow) can serve as relative references to indicate

- (ahead, here, behind)
- (north, here, south)
- (east, here, west) etc.

Such references are like the double lion(s) that face in opposite directions with the solar disk between them.

The ancient Egyptian myths contain concepts for reference that are informative and each concept can have several different aspects that are to be considered for possible application.

Aker as a reference about time can be also a metaphor that informs about something that has nothing to do with time like relative opposites, relative positions or directions (about something or things at or related to the Giza pyramid complex).

Linear or cyclical events can occur within both linear or cyclical time.

Time is not events.

Recurrence of time or event is not always from recurrence of the other.

To repeat an event does not cause time to repeat.

To repeat time (whatever that means) does not cause an event to repeat.
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In the sense they use, time is irrelevant as what they describe is a transformation of one state of being to another and then back again.

I disagree.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2021 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ikon wrote:

...it could represent, among others, Atum, with which spell 17 from the CT he is associated, "Mine is yesterday, I know tomorrow".

Consider the statement, "Mine is yesterday, I know tomorrow".

What does it tell the reader or observer?

Well, the speaker is telling you something about his or her positional location that is between "yesterday" and "tomorrow".

So, where is the speaker? Where are "yesterday" and "tomorrow"?
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2021 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Yesterday" is Osiris, "Tomorrow" is Ra.

These words are spoken by the god known as the "Lord of All", usually seen to be Atum, but can just as well be Ra as much is interchangable.

So there is no human speaker saying anything about their physical position between the two points, and the god is in all of these positions.

Yesterday is death, tomorrow is life.

And on time. Of course the Egyptians had linear time, they had months and seasons and the regnal years of a king. But the gods are different, and the cycle of death and rebirth of the sun god had to perpetuated by ritual endlessly. So while life for mortals goes on and forward, the death and life cycle of the sun god is fixed in a loop that never changes, that cannot change. Of course they see the Sun rise every dawn and set every evening, and this progresses as the days, months and years roll by, but, apart from the newly dead becoming part of the cycle, what is happening is something like a "time bubble" we see in some horror and scifi movies, a "Groundhog day".

You say you disagree that what is occuring is a transformation from one state of being to another. That's odd, because the entire cycle is precisely about the transformation of death back to life. The rising sun is Khepri, for most of the rest of the day it is Ra-Horakhty, or just Ra, or just Horakhty, at it's setting it is Atum. The sun god in the Duat is just known as "flesh", and then, after being regenerated by Osiris, he reaches the end of the night and is reborn again as Khepri. Transformation after transformation without end.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 14, 2021 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ikon wrote:
"Yesterday" is Osiris, "Tomorrow" is Ra.

These words are spoken by the god known as the "Lord of All", usually seen to be Atum, but can just as well be Ra as much is interchangable.

So there is no human speaker saying anything about their physical position between the two points, and the god is in all of these positions.

I never said the speaker was human.
Consider: does Ra own 'yesterday? Is that his domain?
Does Osiris ever leave the underworld?
Which of the two owns 'yesterday'?

Quote:

Yesterday is death, tomorrow is life.

OK and still a reference about relative positions. A person or god can be in or at one or the other. Where is death and where is life?
Quote:

And on time. Of course the Egyptians had linear time, they had months and seasons and the regnal years of a king. But the gods are different, and the cycle of death and rebirth of the sun god had to perpetuated by ritual endlessly. So while life for mortals goes on and forward, the death and life cycle of the sun god is fixed in a loop that never changes, that cannot change.

The 'cycle' you describe is for events that repeat. Repetiition can occur in both linear or cyclical time.
Quote:

Of course they see the Sun rise every dawn and set every evening, and this progresses as the days, months and years roll by, but, apart from the newly dead becoming part of the cycle, what is happening is something like a "time bubble" we see in some horror and scifi movies, a "Groundhog day".

New people arise among the living, different worshippers (new to the gods).
They die and join the gods. Not really Groundhog Day repetition but yes the sun rises and sets in a regular cycle. It's more like a spiral staircase than a closed circle.

Quote:

You say you disagree that what is occuring is a transformation from one state of being to another.

I did not say that.
What I disagree with is your position that time is irrelevant 'in the sense they use'.
Time is fundamentally relevant to their ideas about order.
Their myths involve hours. They could have omitted any mention of hours.

Quote:

...he reaches the end of the night ...

So, where are yesterday and tommow?
The text and myths tell you.
That is one aspect of their purpose.
Osiris and Ra are not interchangeable. Osiris is a mummy.
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