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Meer over Mafdet

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Meer over Mafdet

Berichtdoor tiamat » za 14 jan , 2006 14:33

Patron of: protection against snakes, scorpions and other dangerous animals.

Appearance: a woman with the head of a cheetah, her hair braided and ending in scorpion tails. Sometimes she wears a headdress of snakes.

Description: The ancient Egyptians revered felines as sacred for many centuries apparently, as Mafdet is a very old goddess, dating to around the First Dynasty. She was prayed to for protection against scorpion stings and snakebite, and invoked in healing rituals for those who had been afflicted by such.

Mafdet, "The Runner", was a panther goddess whose ferocity prevails over snakes and scorpions. the scratch of her claws is lethal to snakes, so symbolically the harpoon of the king becomes Mafdet's claws for decapitating his enemies in the Underworld. When Mafdet is described as leaping at the necks of snakes, the imagery seems to suggest her form takes on that of a mongoose. In one epithet, Mafdet wears braided locks, probably a reference to her displaying the jointed bodies of the scorpions which she has killed.

Mafdet was depicted in the Pyramid texts as killing a snake. Her fame came mainly in the Old Kingdom and not so much is known about her except that she stood for (official) power. She could appear as a lynx, a leopard or a cheetah, but normally she was shown as a woman dressed in a cat's skin. She fought snakes and scorpions and evildoers in general and could be seen as a cat climbing up a pool (by some said to be used for executions), and if so thereby manifesting the judicial authority.

In the early New Kingdom she is also depicted attending in the Judgment Hall, perhaps to take care of the legal consequences. Her name can possibly mean "runner" and she is mentioned on the Palermo Stone from the fifth dynasty. She was somehow identified with the dwarf god Bes. Her parents were (at least in the New Kingdom) - Amon and Mut.

Worship: As her cult was incredibly ancient but supplanted by that of Bast, it is unknown how widespread Mafdet's cult was.

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Geregistreerd: za 14 jan , 2006 13:29

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