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Author Topic: Wepwawet and the wolf  (Read 816 times)

Offline Painted Leopard

  • Remetj
  • Country: us
Wepwawet and the wolf
« on: September 03, 2019, 06:02:04 pm »
It occurs to me as I look at the Kemet.org description of Wepwawet that the association to the wolf may be due to syncretism on the Hellenic end. In exploring the Hellenic cult of Apollon I had once come across a reference from Diodoros Siculus in which he addressed Apollon in Egypt in a manner that suggest Wepwawet to me. There are certainly some connections that make it a logical association outside the common association with Heru-sa-Aset. Apollon is a wolf deity and a martial deity and connected to the grave prior to his solar cult in later periods. It is possible that Hellenic assertions that Wepwawet as a wolf springs from this Hellenic syncretism.
How much and to what degree should I allow this to influence me?
Do you see Wepwawet as a jackal or a wolf in your relationship with him?
I confess that he seems quite different from Yinepu that leads me more to wolf than jackal in my own brief experiences, but I am not so certain that I would carve it in stone.
Anyway just an observation and my general curiosity of which way do members here swing....wolf or jackal?

Offline Nesiwepwawet

  • Shemsu
  • Country: ca
Re: Wepwawet and the wolf
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2019, 07:05:25 pm »
I have both Jackal and Wolf imagery meant to represent Him, however with me at least, He far prefers Jackal imagery in the traditional form (frustrating as it is hard to get your hands on just the right item, I have to settle with one choice piece that is precisely what I want, and the rest may be more Yinepu than I'd like but... Wepwawet understands)

The most recognizable symbol of Wepwawet in specific, separate from Yinepu, is that of a thin, standing Jackal, typically with (though sometimes without) the shedshed and uraeus.

Coloring doesn't matter one lick as Wepwawet was as much a black Jackal as any other 'color appearance', and many of the instances where people claim he was colored grey or some lighter color can actually be attributed strictly to the original color having been lost or flaked away over many, many years (though there are a possible few actual instances where the color appears different -- still He appears just as much Black). And Wepwawet can still be represented as the Jackal-headed man as well.

I've never felt the 'wolf' calling too too much as a result that He calls me more to traditional imagery, however I still am personally attracted to the Wolf aspect and He has explained to me that this draw I feel is One in the same with Him.

(Side-note: Wepwawet is the most talkative God [words are few and far between but very loud and to the point] that I've ever met, and good thing too, because I don't pick up on subtlety all that well  ::) )

None of this is to say you cannot use other imagery, such as that of the wolf or the coyote, to represent Him. If it speaks to you, and if it speaks to Him, then why not? There are other interesting ties between Wepwawet and wolf imagery, such as that of Lycopolis (Greek; city of wolves), though there's some back-and-forth reading on that subject, and as well the Egyptian Jackal itself is also known as the "African wolf".

But still, for me? It is Jackal all the way for the most part :)
« Last Edit: September 03, 2019, 07:14:44 pm by Nesiwepwawet »
Nesiwepwawet - "Belonging to Wepwawet"
sat Wepwawet-Yinepu
meryt Hethert-Sekhmet her Amun

Offline Painted Leopard

  • Remetj
  • Country: us
Re: Wepwawet and the wolf
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2019, 07:14:54 pm »
Thank you, that is incredibly helpful. I will have to see which he seems to present more to me in my relationship with him. It seems to switch up a lot, but then I am still fairly new in my practice comparatively :)

Offline Shezatwepwawet

  • Moderator (Kemetic Orthodox Q&A)
  • W'ab Priest - Lay Clergy
  • Country: us
Re: Wepwawet and the wolf
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2019, 08:25:36 pm »
Nesi said just about everything I would have said on the matter. I will add that I don't get Dad much as a wolf but it does sometimes happen. (and I have other deities connected with dogs and/or wolves so that gets fun.) But He's a God and if He also likes going for that form, I'm not about to object.
Senebty,
Zat (She who makes Sekhmet laugh)
Sau apprentice | Fedw | The Library | zat@kemet.org

Sat Wepwawet-Yinepu her Hekatawy Alexandros (AUS) meryt Seshat-Nit-Nebthet her Heru-wer her Aset-Serqet

Offline Tatuayinepu

  • Shemsu-Ankh
  • Country: us
Re: Wepwawet and the wolf
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2019, 11:26:47 pm »
I got a lot of wolf/jackal in my earlier days with Yinepu, and occasionally will get Wepwawet as a large wolf.
Tatuayinepu "The one Yinepu sustains"

Child of Yinepu-Wepwawet and Hekatawy Alexandros I (AUS); Beloved of Sekhmet-Hethert, Heru Sa Aset, Set, and Heru wer

Sau Apprentice/Fedw diviner for Yinepu and Sed/Fundraising Team

Offline Bezenwepwy

  • Divined Remetj
  • Country: gb
Re: Wepwawet and the wolf
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2019, 10:18:53 am »
As everyone else has said, if Wepwawet presents to you as a wolf, that’s all good and fine. That’s entirely different to someone saying, “oh, but the Ancient Egyptians saw him as a wolf!” This is something I’ve written about fairly extensively elsewhere and if you are interested in reading through some of it, this is as good a starting place as any: https://bigbadjackal.tumblr.com/post/142349103315/is-wepwapwet-a-wolf-and-if-he-isnt-gray-then

In short, I am very much in the jackal camp.
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 Painted Leopard

  • Remetj
  • Country: us
Re: Wepwawet and the wolf
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2019, 04:21:24 pm »
Thank you! This pretty much reinforces my thoughts that it is likely a syncretic thing (which is not a bad thing in and of itself). It certainly is clarifying. Very much appreciated.
The blog link was also very informative! Thank you Bezenwepwy.

Offline Senytmenu

  • Shemsu-Ankh
  • Country: us
Re: Wepwawet and the wolf
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2019, 11:50:15 am »
Checking in after a long absence, and this caught my attention...

From what I've gleaned through my study, experience and personal gnosis, Wepwawet manifests mainly as a wolf to me.  He is dual-aspected with Yinepu, and I've heard Him refer to Yinepu as his "little brother" in saq. Indeed, Wepwawet is thought to be one of the oldest of Egyptian deities, and it's speculated that His original pre-Dynastic animal form was a regional species of wolf.

This is not to say that Wepwawet can't be experienced as a jackal, especially since He became synchronized with Yinepu later on. Netjer reaches out to each of us according to our needs, and this includes symbolism, especially since wolves have been regarded negatively in various cultures (e.g. Western fairy tales) and may be frightening to some people.

So, wolf or jackal? I believe Wepwawet can be both. "It's all good, it's all God." :)
Senytmenu (The Two Endure)
Sat Sekhmet & Wepwawet
Meryt Bast, Set & Aset
Heri-seshta Sekhmet

Offline Tasedjebbast

  • Shemsu
  • Country: us
Re: Wepwawet and the wolf
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2019, 03:48:18 pm »
Isn’t the Egyptian jackal actually really a subspecies of wolf anyway?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egyptian_wolf
Daughter of Bast-Mut & Hekatawy Alexandros (AUS)
Beloved of Yinepu, Sekhmet, Set, Heru-wer, and Aset

Offline Sedjfaiemitui

  • Shemsu
  • Country: us
Re: Wepwawet and the wolf
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2019, 04:35:28 pm »
African Golden "Wolves" (Canis anthus), Golden Jackals (Canis aureus), and Grey Wolves (the myriad Canis lupus species) are genomically distinct. They're relatives, but in a looser sense than many realize, and if you saw them all next to each other, you'd likely assume the Golden Jackal was a Vulpes species if anything, not a Canis species. Their relation isn't necessarily determined so much by how "directly" they're descended (and for starters, jackals don't "come from" the Etruscan Wolf, Canis etruscus, of the early Pleistocene), but in dental-morphological ratios and in how many chromosomes they have and so on. One of the situations unique to the genus is how many species may interbreed successfully, but people mistake that for "then they all must be equally WOLVES-wolves and descend from some one true wolf species." But I digress.

The only extant "true wolf" species anywhere near Egypt is the Arabian wolf, Canis lupus arabs, which is endemic to the Levant and the Arabian Peninsula.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2019, 04:43:37 pm by Sedjfaiemitui »
"Endowed by Two Fathers"
𓁣 𓁠
Sat Set her Amun-Re-Banebdjedet
Meryt Herishef, Wesir-Narefy, Heru-Wer, her Yinepu

Offline Sedjfaiemitui

  • Shemsu
  • Country: us
Re: Wepwawet and the wolf
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2019, 04:42:50 pm »
*Duplicated my edit. Whoops!
"Endowed by Two Fathers"
𓁣 𓁠
Sat Set her Amun-Re-Banebdjedet
Meryt Herishef, Wesir-Narefy, Heru-Wer, her Yinepu

Offline Tai'awepwawet

  • Shemsu-Ankh
  • Country: gb
Re: Wepwawet and the wolf
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2019, 03:44:02 am »
Basically, just because scientists say it is, doesn't mean layfolk would ever recognise it as such in the field. Nor that you would necessarily recognise Him as one in a dream or vision, even if that's what he was technically taking the form or abstracted form of. I'm not sure about anyone else here, but I'm not checking Wepwawet's teeth to see which wild canid he is :o

All of which isn't to say that how you "get" Him isn't legit. I commissioned an artist who works with animal spirits, and sometimes deities, to draw him a long while back, and she did him as Ethiopian Wolf. That was a real Mind Blown moment for me, and it's a appearance I've associated strongly with him ever since. But it's not "canon" and I don't expect anybody else to get it. If you get him as wolf, or grey, or white, that's cool! I get him as a jackal in various shades of brown usually, most often a rich caramel brown. I don't think it falls under "canon" but nothing has to be canon here to be a legit and wonderful way of experiencing the Gods.
Meset Wepwawet
Meryt Serqet, Bast, Ra-Heruakhty, her Hethert-Amenti
Child of (Hekatawy Alexandros)|
Fedw and Tarot Diviner • Sau Apprentice • Self-care Hethert-Amenti Advocate
𓇼𓃧𓆫𓃠𓅊𓁥𓇼

Offline Sedjfaiemitui

  • Shemsu
  • Country: us
Re: Wepwawet and the wolf
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2019, 07:18:57 am »
More to the point, I feel, is that Modern taxonomies and ANE taxonomies were/are vastly different (crocodiles are fish; bats are birds; lions and dogs and foxes and jackals and wolves are of one dense family — though on lions and cats versus dogs and wild canids, Egyptians appear to have deviated some from Mesopotamian consensus), and fixating on the Modern minutiae distracts wildly from the point when we’re examining ANE cultural/religious elements and trying to better understand ANE Gods.

Certainly, I am no adversary to scientific inquiry. It’s perfectly fine and encouraged to know for the sake of knowing, for purely historicist purposes (in which case, what mummified remains there have been, that I’ve read studies about, have been ID’ed as Canis aureus and C. a. lupaster, not Canis lupus arabs or similar. With living specimens of C. l. arabs especially, we have so much admixture with feral dogs and certain other African wild canids that muddles our hoped-for picture of “what were these canids like anciently? How would they have been regarded?”). But historicist “knowing” is not the same as *understanding,* and it’s nowhere near the be-all and end-all of the matter.

While many animals are fairly clearly identifiable in ANE art, some representations are hyperstylized, ambiguous, and/or Mysterious purposively. (The Set-animal is another fantastic example, in every sense of that word, but not the only one: it’s a chimeric simulacrum.) I personally don’t get the impression that the differences we now make between foxes, jackals, coyotes, and wolves, etc., (which, NONE of what “true wolves” exist in the Near East and Africa are of the great size, skeletal and muscular density, and color of European and North American wolves) were of great import, if indeed any such distinctions truly existed in the Egyptian mind as they do within the Modern Western mind. The finer points of Evo Bio are absolutely meaningful elsewhere and in other ways, but not to the semiotic values of the distinctive iconographic canid representing Gods like Wepwawet and Yinepu and Duamutef and so on. Whether or not we can make a connection between X representation and Y real-life animal doesn’t change Who it represents, when, and what it’s supposed to mean to us.

That you can identify it and know what and to Whom it relates . . . That’s really all that matters and was probably all that was intended. 😊

This is yet another dimension to the Gods’ transcendence: beyond Them, none of Their iconography, none of Their theophanies, HAVE to relate to any one, real, material creature. It can be and is self-contained, self-revealing, and it is far, far more than being some literal object reducible to “it’s a Vulpes species” or “it’s a Canis species” (and with canids like C. aureus and C. aureus lupaster, their particular categorical positioning very likely may change again. Taxonomy has been greatly helped and honed by the emergence of Genetics, yet at its Early Modern core it nevertheless remains an uncertain science of “what is a true X and how do we group like with like properly?” It’s atomization with diminishing returns and quiet Post-Aristotelian epistemic terror management all the way down 😉).
"Endowed by Two Fathers"
𓁣 𓁠
Sat Set her Amun-Re-Banebdjedet
Meryt Herishef, Wesir-Narefy, Heru-Wer, her Yinepu

 


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