The tradition of cult sacrifice, which has often appeared totems of the tribe, has come from ancient times, when people have not devised such complex explanations of the world as those relating to deities and spirits.
The connection with the animal world is so narrow that it never dies, but only passes into a new quality. For example, many deities have their own animal-duplicates in which they could have been incarnated, and their symbols also appeared.
Monotheism of ancient Egyptian religion, from the point of view of modern man, possesses all the features of fetishism. But we must well realize that the countless images of the gods in the Egyptian pantheon are merely manifestations of the different hypostases of the unified God and of his eternal divine essence. In this sense, it is possible to understand the meaning of the cult attributed in different regions of Egypt to the sun, the earth, the sky and some animals inhabiting these lands.
In ancient Egypt, though initially all gods were represented in the form of animals, and most of the gods were later portrayed in zoomorphic images – either totally or sometimes partially – the animals themselves never identified themselves with the gods and did not honor themselves as gods, except in those cases where a strictly defined animal is considered to be a “incarnation of the soul” of a god, such as the Mnevis black bull. Quite later, the Egyptian gods began to accept human images.
Sacred animals in Egypt 2The most common in ancient Egypt are the cults of the bull, ibis, falcon, hawk, cat, baboon, crocodile and scarab beetle. Cults to other animals were of a local nature. Often, an animal, considered sacred in one name, is not to be considered as such in another name where it could safely be killed. This has often led to a feud between residents of different areas.
The hunting of ibises, eagles and falcons was banned everywhere, and for the lions, for example, only in the days of the goddess Bastet’s feast. In some areas they killed crocodiles when they multiplied tremendously and became a danger to humans and animals.
The dead sacrificial animal, if his death came to a node that was the center of his cult, was embalmed, placed in a sarcophagus and handed over to the funeral traditionally carried out in the temple. The dead cats were buried in a special sacred tomb in Bubesti.
The Ibbis were sent to perpetual rest in Hermopolis. And the bulls buried in this place where they found their death, on the west bank of the Nile, while the dead cows were directly thrown into the river. Archaeological finds include sarcophagi and beetles, mongoose, snakes and fish.
Sacrifices in Egypt 3 In connection with the worship of the animals in ancient Egypt, there are a number of customs. In order to care for the animals of each breed, special officers were appointed – men and women, these positions being passed on by legacy from father to son.
Every inhabitant of the Egyptian cities with a special ritual declared his salvation to the sacred animal. After the prayer to the god to whom an animal was devoted, the Egyptian cut off his children, the whole head, half or only a third of the hair, and measured the cut hair with silver. As the hair weighed in silver, so much chopped fish was added to the animal feed.
During a fire the Egyptians did not care to quench the fire, but to save their sacred cats. Their sorrow on the dead animals was inconsolable. If a cat complained in a home, all his inhabitants shaved his eyebrows. If a dog was appealing, everyone cut their hair and shaved the hair all over his body.
Sacred animals in Egypt The cult of the Ancient Egyptian bull was primarily related to the fact that this species was used in farming. As the earth was blamed on it, the bull was considered to be the embodiment of fertility, and, respectively, the worship of those fertility gods who had a dominant significance in a certain area, merged with the cult of the bull.
The cow was also revered as giving food. Her cult, moreover, was connected with the cult of Isis and Hathor, and with the notion of heaven as a Heavenly cow.
The most revered bull was Apis (the Egyptian – Happi) – the Ka soul of the Pfah of Memphis, embodying the fertility and soul of Hapi-Nile and Ba Osiris as the god of the resurrected nature. It was assumed that Apis fertilized the Heavenly Cow, and she gave birth to a golden calf – the solar disk. After his death, the soul of Apis joins with Ba Osiris.
Interesting is the example of the splendid cult of Apis in Memphis. For a bull to be recognized as sacred, he must have certain characteristics known only to the priests.
After the death of Apis, the priests, after a long fast, began to search for the new Apis, which had a white triangle on its forehead, an emblem of an eagle on the side, a spot in the form of a growing moon, and under the tongue an image the beetle.
He had to be born of a cow that after his calving could not have another calf. As the entire Apis had to satisfy a total of 29 attributes. His search continued for 60 days. At Memphis Apis lived in an open barn at the temple of Ptah, where he received gifts from his worshiping Egyptians and made predictions.
By the time of the 19th Dynasty, each bull had its own tomb. Then Ramses II orders the bulls to be buried in a common necropolis, Serapetum. The origin of this name comes from the fact that the dead Apis was given the name Osor-Apis, from where the beasts of the Egyptian origin of the Greek name Serrapis.
The French archaeologist Auguste Mariet, following the exact instructions in the text of Strabo, discovered in 1851 in Sakara the legendary Serapeum – a long, long underground gallery with funeral chambers.
In it, the mummies of the sacred bulls are placed in monolithic sarcophagi of pink granite, limestone and basalt, reaching 4 meters in height and weighing up to 70 tonnes.
cats mythology, egypt, mythology, egyptian cat