Grave Moss & Stars

Posts Tagged ‘seshat’

God Bios: Seshat (Seshet, Sesheta)

Please note, lovely readers: All of this is a work-in-progress. It will change as I continue digging through books and other sources. Do not take this as a rock-solid encyclopedic entry at any point. :)

Hail Seshat, She of the Golden Scrolls and Infinite Ink!

attributes

– libraries
– all forms of writing and notation
— said to have invented writing (whereas Djehuty gave it to humanity)
— census
— accounting
— record-keeping
— recording lives and deeds of men on the leaves of the sacred persea tree
— recording the pharaoh’s speeches
— recording the inventory of foreign captives and goods
– involved in starting the foundations of major building projects (“stretching of the cord” ceremony)
— architecture
— surveying
– astronomy
– mathematics
– history

appearance

– a woman dressed in the long skirt and leopardskin of a Sem (funerary) priest
— the leopard/cheetah spot pattern of the Sem garb represented the stars, a symbol of eternity, and was associated with the night sky
– crowned by a seven-pointed star or rosette, crowned by downturned horns or a bow
— the horns/bow may be related to a crescent moon shape and thus to Djehuty, Her father or consort
– holding a palm stem, which is notched to denote years (especially the years of the pharaoh’s life/reign)
– holding other tools, such as the knotted cords used to survey land and buildings or a stake and mallet

relationships

– equated with Nebt-het and Nit
– consort to Djehuty (Thoth)
– daughter of Djehuty
– sister of Djehuty
– occasionally considered “just” a female aspect or version of Djehuty
– mother of Hornub, “gold Horus”
— linked to Aset (Isis)

epithets

– The Female Scribe (meaning of Seshat)
– The Seven-horned (Sefkhet-abwy)
– Mistress of the House of Books
– Mistress of the House of Architects
– Lady of Builders
– Foremost in the Library
– Mistress of Books
– Mistress of Potters

notes

– Seshat was the only female depicted in the act of writing, though others have been shown holding scribe implements.
– Spell 10 of the Coffin Texts states “Seshat opens the door of heaven for you.”
– She had priests, but no formal temple.

primary sources

– Egyptian Mythology: A Guide to the Gods, Goddesses, and Traditions of Ancient Egypt (Geraldine Pinch)
– Nebt-het: Lady of the House (Tamara Siuda)
– The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt (Richard Wilkinson)
– The Routledge Dictionary of Egyptian Gods and Goddesses (George Hart)
– The Ancient Egyptian Prayer Book (Tamara Siuda)