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Author Topic: Shapeshifting in Ancient Egypt?  (Read 10546 times)

Shapeshifting in Ancient Egypt?
« on: June 01, 2011, 01:18:00 pm »
Being the animalistic shaman that I am, I dive into shapeshifting and learning all I can about the mysteries of animals. Even outside of Egyptian worship I connect with goddesses that are or run with animals (Epona - horse, Artemis - for bears, deer, wolves and hounds).

Shapeshifting has come a bit easy for me in meditation though it reflects in my day to day life now. If I don't watch it I make noises or move in an odd way to people. Even other animals around me know I'm changing, some are okay with it, but others, like a horse I've ridden a lot, are nervous.

What brought me to serach for Sekhmet was the form I assume, the lioness. It came easiest, and I tried others like one of my allies is a snake, but I could not grasp the idea of snake movements. My snake I should try another form that reflected myself. It was a lioness. It was when a large lioness appered to me in my meditation and became another teacher for the lioness inside me.

What I would like to know is were their history or myths of shapeshifting? I thought maybe because of the abundance of animal-like or headed gods and goddesses if humans wanted to awake the animal inside them. Were there priests and priestesses that would perform shapeshifting, or animal dances?

If anyone has any information to share I would like to widen my knowlegde of it to gain better control over myself.
"Have you ever noticed that thunder sounds like the roars of a lioness?"

Offline Sedjemes

  • Semer-Wati
  • Shemsu-Ankh
  • Country: us
Re: Shapeshifting in Ancient Egypt?
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2011, 04:13:55 pm »
Hotep Ratha,

No there are no texts or evidence of any shapeshifting or even belief therein in ancient Egypt. Animals were connected with certain gods (not all gods have any animal forms generally connected with them) is more about what that animal represents--for example, jackals were often seen around the necropoli, so they became associated with guarding that area and hence associated with Yinepu.

Senebty
Sedjemes
Khenmetaset ("Aset Gladdens")
Sedjemes ("She listens")
Daughter of Aset-Serqet, Meryt Ra her Sekhmet
Heri-Sesheta Aset-Serqet

Offline Bezenwepwy

  • Divined Remetj
  • Country: gb
Re: Shapeshifting in Ancient Egypt?
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2011, 05:57:17 pm »
Hi Ratha,

I'd respectfully disagree with what Sedjemes has said. I think parts of the Pyramid Texts definitely suggest there may have been some sort of shapeshifting tradition. In them, the King transforms various parts of himself. He gains the face of a jackal, etc etc. I have not yet read it, but I believe Naydler's "Shamanic Wisdom in the Pyramid Texts" goes into exactly this sort of thing. It is next on my reading list.

I am sure there are many other examples as well, but I am not well versed in them. Transformation is a big theme in AE however, the gods can transform, the deceased can transform... I would be very surprised if the motif didn't carry through to into the practices of magicians and priests.
 
There are other things in the AE religion which I find to be quite 'shamanic' in nature and tone. (Using the term shamanic often seems to devolve into an arguement of semantics, but I think everyone knows what is meant.) But I'm not sure you will find any KO acknowledgement of them.

Sorry I can't be of more specific help. :)
On the Temple Steps - My amulet shop.
Per-Sabu.org - More jackals than you can shake a stick at.
Big Bad Jackal - Another jackal-laden venue.

Offline Sedjemes

  • Semer-Wati
  • Shemsu-Ankh
  • Country: us
Re: Shapeshifting in Ancient Egypt?
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2011, 06:08:42 pm »
Hotep

I had not thought about the Pyramid Text references. I don't however necessarily believe they have to do with that kind of shapeshifting, personally.

But that's not to say one can't take what one wishes from that. It makes no difference one way or other in faith-practice. THat means, one can think it took place, or not, and either is ok.
Khenmetaset ("Aset Gladdens")
Sedjemes ("She listens")
Daughter of Aset-Serqet, Meryt Ra her Sekhmet
Heri-Sesheta Aset-Serqet

Re: Shapeshifting in Ancient Egypt?
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2011, 06:17:00 pm »
Any sort of shapeshifting is fine. I always like to know what they thought about it and if they practice it or believe in full transformation (which I'm still on the fence about at this point in time).

Both of your arguements and very good and thank you for the information you both provided to me ^w^

Wonder what others have to say about this.
"Have you ever noticed that thunder sounds like the roars of a lioness?"

Re: Shapeshifting in Ancient Egypt?
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2011, 06:41:03 pm »
The Papyrus of Ani has a spell for   transforming into a swallow, the sacred bird of Hethert.

If your definition of "shaman" is someone who acts as a go-between between the spirit world and this one, who does healing, divination, etc, then "shaman", Heka-practitioner, and Priest have overlapping functions. I'll admit the whole tribal association of the word "shaman" threw me off to begin with.

The Naydler Shamanic Wisdom book is sitting on my "to be read" stack as well, but I'm letting Temple of the Cosmos percolate a bit before tackling the newer one. I think part of his thesis is that the things we see in the funeral literature reflect things that the enlightened person would prepare for during their lifetime. There are times when one takes on the role of one of the names "I am Shu," etc. And you might be transformed in the spiritual realm instead of literally doing a physical werewolf-style transformation.

At this point, it's a fascinating read, but it's a level of things that I won't be messing with for a long time, if at all. Developing relationships with the Names, getting the rituals down, and doing simple Heka, and studying everything looks like enough to keep me busy.
Kemetic Reconnaissance Blog
Shrine Beautiful Inspiring, Enchanting Sacred Spaces.
Kemetic Roundtable Kemetic bloggers giving their perspectives on beginner questions.

Offline Shezep_shuty

  • Country: us
Re: Shapeshifting in Ancient Egypt?
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2011, 08:13:29 pm »
So far, anyone I've met who has talked about physical transformation has been full of it. I'll concede that anything is possible, but that's one thing I put into the highly unlikely category. Your life is here and now, and that's how Netjer likes it.

But mental and spiritual transformations are a different story. There's a lot to be learned there about who you are and who you might become.
Kemetic Mystic
Heru-sa-Aset is my copilot.

Online Raheri

  • Shemsu-Ankh
  • Country: us
Re: Shapeshifting in Ancient Egypt?
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2011, 07:46:03 am »
Em hotep everyone!

I have read some articles in the past regarding the tekenu. Some reports state that the tekenu might have actually been a priest going into a shamanistic trance to commune with the recently deceased individual, preparing and helping them through the afterlife. Egyptologists are still undecided on the exact function of the tekenu and there is not much research out their to be found, but this is one of my passions in Egyptology.

  Here is a short description of the tekenu.

Senebty,
Raheri
Son of Wesir | Heri-sesheta

"O my heart which I had from my mother,
Do not rise up agianst me as a witness in the presence of the Lord of Things;
Do not bring up anything agianst me in the presence of the Great God, Lord of the West."

Offline Niheri

  • Shemsu
Re: Shapeshifting in Ancient Egypt?
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2011, 09:53:24 am »
Em hotep, Ratha!

What an interesting question. I can't really add anything to what others have said already, but I was intrigued when you mentioned that your horse was getting upset sometimes. (I used to work with horses). Some animals are very sensitive to mood changes, and some, I believe, can see things that we can't, (although this can be rationalised as their being more sensitive to atmospheric changes, and things like that).

I haven't come across anything in my reading so far that would point specifically to a belief in actual shape-shifting, but it would be interesting to see if anyone else has discovered anything.

Raheri - thank you for the link to the article about the tekenu: I had never heard of them before, but it was interesting. It made me wonder about the animal-hide "totem" thing connected with Yinepu, (sorry, I know there is a word for it, but it eludes me at the moment). Very intriguing - I will have to investigate more!:).
Daughter of Wepwawet-Yinepu

Beloved of Set and Amun-Ra.

Offline Bezenwepwy

  • Divined Remetj
  • Country: gb
Re: Shapeshifting in Ancient Egypt?
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2011, 10:03:10 am »
Em hotep Jet

You mean the imiut. I've read a decent amount about it, so if you have any questions, just PM me. I'll see if I can't further your investigation a bit more. :)
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 pm by Bezenwepwy »
On the Temple Steps - My amulet shop.
Per-Sabu.org - More jackals than you can shake a stick at.
Big Bad Jackal - Another jackal-laden venue.

Re: Shapeshifting in Ancient Egypt?
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2011, 01:34:49 pm »
Wow some neat things to think about and look at. Thank you so much everyone ^w^ so far your comments are pretty neat. Though it seems the priests worked on the dead a lot it seems.
"Have you ever noticed that thunder sounds like the roars of a lioness?"

Re: Shapeshifting in Ancient Egypt?
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2011, 04:58:04 pm »
Hey! I'd be interested in that as well!  :D
Timu

Sat Aset, meryt Wepwawet her Renenutet


Offline NiankhSekhmet

  • Shemsu-Ankh
Re: Shapeshifting in Ancient Egypt?
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2011, 05:19:32 pm »
Just from observing some of what has happened in saqu I would say that there very much is a sort of shape-shifting element. Whether that is inherrent thoughout what we know or can prove egyptologically is another issue. However, I have seen those who saq certain Names take on aspects that don't necessarily make them into those animals, but certainly there are traits that are there that are not otherwise.  Is the shape shifting an actuality or as much a metaphor as other anthropomorphic aspects of Netjer?

Interesting question and topic.
NiankhSekhmet
Sat Sekhmet-Mut/HetHert
Meryt-Amun (Beloved of Amun)
Heri Seshta Sekhmet-Mut / HetHert

Re: Shapeshifting in Ancient Egypt?
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2011, 11:49:17 pm »
As regards to your desired snake transformation, the dead have vast knowledge. More specifically I recommend you attempt to speak with the being Apophis. If anyone or any being could help you in that area it would be Apophis for your desired serpent form.
I know how to transform and manipulate Ka, but the physical body's form I have no knowledge of. However I do not believe in impossibilities, thus you have my support.
[color:#0000BB] The Order of The Manzazuu
Necromancy High Magister[/color]

Offline Siwy

  • Shemsu
  • Country: us
Re: Shapeshifting in Ancient Egypt?
« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2011, 03:06:38 am »
Menesinpu, the unthing of which you reference is the Uncreated. It is not Ma'at, it is isfet, and that's what should not be in our lives.  There are several other snake dieties (i.e. Wadjet, Renutet(sp?)) that could be asked.

I'm sorry if I am coming off strong, I'm just alarmed that you'd suggest asking isfet.
Siwyenbast "announce to Bast"

Sat Bast, Meryt Djehuty, Wesir, Heruakhty.

Things, as well as the gods are always dynamic, never static.  Things change, and to be static is no better than being eaten by monsters.
Don't just BE, DO!

 


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