(Sobeq, Sochet, Suchos, Sebek, Sobk,Sobki, Soknopais)

Sobek was a god of the Nile (which was believed to have come from his sweat) who gave life to vegetation and fertility to the land. The "Lord of the Waters" was believed to have risen from the primeval waters of Nun to create the world. One tale says that Sobek laid his eggs on the bank of the waters, starting the creation process. He was thus a fertility god, "He Who Made the Herbage Green".

Neith is the mother of Sobek, known as the crocodile god. He was venerated as one who restored sight to the dead, who revived their senses and who protected them from Set (who attacked those souls who traveled through the land of the dead).

He is a revered as a guardian deity, and bodyguard to Ra and Set. He gives strength and fortitude in times of need. He also protected the pharoh from all harm, especially evil magic.

According to legend, Sobek was a fourfold deity. He represented the four elemental gods, Ra of fire, Shu of air, Geb of earth, and Osiris of water. He is depicted as a crocodile man with the head of the beast, wearing a plumed head dress with solar disc and horns like those of Amon-Ra. In his hands he carries a sceptre and the ankh.

Originally, Sobek was probably a dark god who had to be appeased to give the people his protection against crocodiles. Sobek had a dark streak that stayed with him for the time he was worshiped. Despite the different attitudes of people to the god, he was still worshipped for his guidance and protecton.

During the 12th centry Sobek was most popular in the city of Arsinoe, considered the cult center, located in lower Egypt. The Greeks renamed the city Crocodilopolis. Ancient Egyptians would keep crocodiles in the pools and temples. They ornamented the crocdiles with jewels in honor of their beloved god. The people worshipped him in order to appease him and the crocodiles, to insure the furtility of themselves and their crops.

In Egypt,the renamed city of Kom Ombo is 30 miles North of Aswan. This was once the sanctuary for a large number of crocodiles, and the center of worship for Sobek. It is still standing and open to the public for viewing but shows that it was shared with the green war god Horace. The temple is unique in that it consists of twin parts that are attached but completely separate. Each temple has its own entrance, halls and chapels.

Sobek was incorporated into the cult of Amun. Amun was a chief god in the New Kingdom of Egypt. With his wife, Mut and his son, Khonsu, the sacred family was formed with Amun as the head. They were known as the Theban Triad. Amun was also associated with the sun god, Re. He was venerated with as the god Amun-Re. During this time Sobek was worshiped as the manifestation of Amun-Re.

During the 12th and 13th Dynasties, the cult of Sobek was given particular prominence as the names of such rulers as Sobekhotep and Sobekneferu indicate. Sobekneferu (1799-1795 BC) was the sister (and maybe the wife) of Amenemnhat IV (1808-1799 BC) was the last ruler of the 12th Dynasty. There were eight rulers of the 13th Dynasty with the birth name of Sobekhotep, including Sobekhotep II Amenemhat (c. 1750 BC), Sobekhotep III Sekhemrasewaqdjtawy (c 1745 BC) and Sobekhotep IV Khaneferra (c. 1730-1720 BC)

A brief section from the Book of the Dead shows the reverence for this god:

"I am Sobek, who dwelleth amid his terrors. I am Sobek, and I seize {my prey} like a revening beast. I am the great Fish which is in Kamui. I am the Lord to who bowings and prostrations are made in Sekhem.

–The Book of the Dead, The Chapter of Making the Transformation

into the Crocodile God.

Information gathered from www.touregypt.com and www.wikipedia.org.


author bio:

Michelle is a member of the yahoo group Witches_of_the_dark.

She was a Pentecostal christian for 15 years and and for the last 3 has been following an eclectic pagan path based on Egyptian and oriental beliefs from her past lives. Comments, questions can be sent to her at [email protected]