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June, 2018

Meet the Gods: Bes

 

 

Merry meet.

Bes was an Egyptian god who brought comfort and protection to mothers and children. The somewhat comical, somewhat sinister-looking bearded dwarf looks human but is often also portrayed as part animal – generally a lion with a mane and tail, or with wings. He has a plump body, bow legs, prominent genitals and is sticking out his tongue. He is always shown facing forwards, unlike most Egyptian Gods who are shown in profile. On occasion, Bes is wearing a plumed headdress or a crown, and carrying a rattle, drum, tambourine or knife.

 

 

Also known as Bisu and Aha, he was a deity and a demonic fighter. A god of war, “he was also a patron of childbirth and the home, and was associated with sexuality, humour, music and dancing,” according to ancientegyptonline.co.uk. “Although he began as a protector of the pharaoh, he became very popular with every day Egyptian people because he protected women and children above all others. He had no temples and there were no priests ordained in his name. However, he was one of the most popular gods of ancient Egypt and was often depicted on household items such as furniture, mirrors and cosmetics containers and applicators as well as magical wands and knives.”

Apparently, he got the name Aha, meaning fighter, because he could kill lions, bears and snakes with his hands. Although labeled a demon, there he was not considered evil, but rather, drove evil spirits away.

Laboring mothers would call on Bes for help. It is said he would stay on after birth to protect and entertain the child, and that when a baby smiled for no apparent reason, it was because Bes was making funny faces for them.

 

 

Using dance and music, he would also chase away bad spirits during sex and sleep. That’s why he could be found carved into the legs of beds – to protect people during the night when they were most vulnerable.

Egyptians would put a statue of him near the door to protect their home from evil spirits wanting to cause harm. He appeared on the walls of temples and homes, and was on thousands of amulets and charms, protecting people from the dangers of everyday life such as menacing animals and food going bad.

 

 

Bes is the first subject to be identified in early Egyptian tattoos, according to “Tattoo: Symbol and Meanings,” by Jack Watkins.

Performers often had tattoos of Bes because of his association with dancing and music. It is also thought that sacred prostitutes may have had a tattoo of Bes placed near their pubic area in order to prevent venereal diseases, but it is also possible that the tattoos related to fertility,” Watkins wrote.

Bes’ wife, Beset, was the female version of himself. Images of them naked were painted on walls.

Merry part. And merry meet again

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About the Author:

Lynn Woike was 50 – divorced and living on her own for the first time – before she consciously began practicing as a self taught solitary witch. She draws on an eclectic mix of old ways she has studied – from her Sicilian and Germanic heritage to Zen and astrology, the fae, Buddhism, Celtic, the Kabbalah, Norse and Native American – pulling from each as she is guided. She practices yoga, reads Tarot and uses Reiki. From the time she was little, she has loved stories, making her job as the editor of two monthly newspapers seem less than the work it is because of the stories she gets to tell. She lives with her large white cat, Pyewacket, in central Connecticut. You can follow her boards on Pinterest, and write to her at woikelynn at gmail dot com.

 

A Woman’s Place…

October, 2017

In present day, there are now many different paths to feminism and there are those who believe that certain things, such as women working in the sex trade, pornography, etc. are being empowered by such work.

I would put myself out there to say that I disagree, and that I know many other women who identify as feminists who are right there with me, to say nothing of the many women who have worked as prostitutes and in pornographic movies who have gone on to write about their experiences and how it was so NOT empowering, but humiliating, demeaning and degrading to them, not only as women, but as human beings.

Recently, while scrolling through my news feed on Facebook, I came across this photo:

With its’ bright colors, it immediately brought to mind that this was geared for younger girls. I posted it on the feminist page that I own/admin on Facebook. While most of the comments seemed to echo my own personal opinion, there were a couple that mentioned “taking back the word”, that it was “empowering” to wear something like this, or that the site selling these specifically mention being for “mature” adults.

Now, etymologically speaking, the origin of whore is not what is has come to mean. The following come from the site “word-ancestry.livejournal.com

“Today’s word can be traced all the way back to the prehistoric Indo-European root ka- ‘like, desire.‘ Interestingly, this word seems to have split into several different meanings. For the first, the word evolved into a younger Indo-European root karo which in turn led to Latin carus ‘dear‘ and Old Irish cara ‘friend.’ From this we get English caress, charity, and cherish, all of which have (or can be have) very wholesome and endearing definitions. The second path created another later Indo-European root, kamo, which eventually became Sanskrit kamah ‘love’ that we are all familiar with from the Kamasutra. Finally, at least for this discussion, the third route is the one in which today’s word developed. From prehistoric Indo-European ka came proto-Germanic khoraz/horaz, the feminine form of which was khoron/horon. Eventually this became Middle Dutch hoere, Old High German huora, Old Norse hora, Gothic hors, and Old English hore. As a side note, except for the Old English word which meant ‘whore, prostitute, harlot,’ the other cognates had the definition of an adulteress. Old English hore was in use prior to 1100 C.E. and continued on into Middle English. It was not until 1535 that there is record of the spelling changing to whore, and as of yet there is not much evidence as to why the change occurred.”

As can be seen, the root of the word originally meant “desire”, “dear” or “friend”, and the other root would mean an adultress, which is not necessarily what is meant by “whore” in today’s vernacular. Much like the word “virgin”, which originally meant a “free woman”, and not a woman sexually untouched, the word “whore” has come to mean something quite different. The original meanings of both words can no longer be reclaimed from patriarchy, so entrenched have their current meanings become in our society and culture, making the “taking back the word” argument, a moot point.

In looking through the site that sells these chokers, which I will not name, I have found them also to be made with the words “baby”, “baby girl”, “slut”, “daddy’s girl”, “yes, daddy”, as well a some with small pacifiers, dildos and vaginas, along with various Playboy bunnies, etc. The majority of them are made in bright pastel colors designed to attract younger girls.

Young women and girls need to be taught their worth, their value. Items such as this devalue and demean them, keep them tied to patriarchy’s idea of the only thing a woman can be……whore, slut. Words such as this are meant to bring women down, not raise them up.

It is up to older women to teach the younger what their value is, not only to the world, but to themselves. They have power, they have divinity through the Goddess, they are their own Sovereign beings, and this is what should come through in how they carry and project themselves to the world, not proclaiming themselves to be “whores” in the current sense of the word. As women reclaim their own sexuality, they should not lose their self-worth or their self-respect.

*Disclaimer: The opinions in this article are of the author only and do not represent the views or opinions of PaganPagesOrg as a whole.

 

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About the Author:

Susan Morgaine is a Daughter of the Goddess, Witch, WriterTeacher, Healer, and Yogini. She is a monthly columnist with PaganPages.org Her writings can be found in The Girl God Anthologies, Whatever Works: Feminists of Faith Speak” and Jesus, Mohammed and the Goddess, as well as Mago Publications She Rises, Volume 2, and “Celebrating Seasons of the Goddess”. She has also been published in Jareeda and SageWoman magazines. She is a Certified Womens Empowerment Coach/Facilitator through She is the author of “My Name is Isis, the Egyptian Goddess”, one in the series of the “My Name Is………” children’s books published by The Girl God Publications. A Woman International, founded by Patricia Lynn Reilly. She has long been involved in Goddess Spirituality and Feminism, teaching classes and workshops, including Priestessing Red Tents within MA and RI. She is entering her 20th year teaching Kundalini Yoga and Meditation, being a Certified instructor through the Kundalini Research Institute, as well as being a Reiki Master. She is a member of the Sisterhood of Avalon. She can be found at https://mysticalshores.wordpress.com/ and her email is [email protected]

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