Guest author Nandani Felicia Bharrat writes Seshat and the Clitoris.
The name Thoth is familiar to most, but how many know of the Goddess Seshat?
Seshat the Goddess was actually the sole true creator of the hieroglyph. She is the goddess of wisdom and writing and Thoth is the decoder of this information to humanity. Thoth is the messenger much like the Greek god, Hermes—a transmutation made from Egyptian to Greek mythology. Hermes is also known as the Roman god, Mercury.
Seshat is sometimes depicted as wearing leopard print with a seven-pointed star leaf emblem above her head. Throughout spiritual histories of metaphysics, mythology and occult, the number seven has become a staple. Seven in numerology has esoteric properties associated with meditation. There are the seven rays of occult myths originating in 6th c. BCE, seven major chakras of ancient Tantra and Hinduism, and seven African powers within Obeah and Orisha worship of Yoruba, Afro-Cuban and Caribbean spiritual practices.
In tantra numerology, the seventh body is the cleansing and mastering of the auric field, the energetic layer of the physical self. A well-known auric protection visualization among psychics, channelers and yogis alike is to imagine an orb of light hovering approximately six inches above the crown chakra located at the top of the head. Through meditational visualizations the orb is strengthened in luminosity and serves as a protective energetic field for your auric body.
In my research, I have found that wisdom has a powerful and scholarly association when identified in masculine gods. At the same time, however, wisdom is also associated with deities such as Lakshmi in Hinduism, who is much like the roman Venus or Greek Aphrodite. All are goddesses of love, abundance and earthly delights as well.
This topic became of interest to me once I noticed the “upside down horns” depicted above Seshat’s seven-pointed star. It is said that her horns were originally turned upright much like goddess Hathor. but in later depictions this changed. Historians have also mapped her decline alongside the rise of male-centric cults developed in worship of Thoth. According to Professor and feminist author Carole R. Fontaine, as time went on, scribes managed to lower the ranks of the goddesses while re-writing the accounts and sacred texts.
It is also recorded in those times that Seshat’s wisdom was bestowed upon Pharaohs and scribes. If this is true, then they there were no others to question the authority or re-writing of these men.
(Note there were only a few female pharaohs under the protection and wing of Seshat, see List of Ancient Egyptian Queens)
The oldest knowledge we have of Seshat tells us that she created the hieroglyph system. “According to one myth, it was actually Seshat who invented writing, but it was her husband Thoth who taught the people to write.” [via]
There are many other instances where the goddess and female power and presence was slowly buried. Old reliefs depict Seshat with Queen Hatshepsut. She was pharaoh under protection and guidance of Goddess Hathor as well. She had a temple made for her. She was a peaceful queen but good at war. Her reign was almost completely erased, though, by her own son, Tuthmosis III. His reign was assumed to be a cleansing of the lineages’ long reign of female power. Queen Hatshepsut’s attempts to adorn herself in the male pharaoh garb, including a fake beard, in reverence to tradition did not save her from the stifling of her light that has happened relentlessly to Goddesses, females in authority and many artists, writers throughout our known history. Tuthmosis III, son of Hatshepsut’s half-brother / husband (his death left her to reign) was unfortunately not challenged or questioned, as he tore down her temples and removed all signs of her energy everywhere.
In relating back to the subject of goddesses of wisdom and their association with fertility and sex, there is also this. Up until very recently, the female sexual organs and sexual liberation was a taboo subject—and in some places it still is. Yet when we look deep into the history of ancient spiritual philosophies and culture we find that both the masculine and feminine were equally as important and revered for their godly and humanly qualities.
In the past few years we have finally incorporated the internal images of the clitoris! Never before was this taken into consideration or shown so publicly, and the clitoris is still censored or left out of scholastic textbooks.
In 2005 The American Urological Association published Dr. O’Connell’s reports on clitoral anatomy. The report itself states, “The anatomy of the clitoris has not been stable with time as would be expected. To a major extent its study has been dominated by social factors … Some recent anatomy textbooks omit a description of the clitoris. By comparison, pages are devoted to penile anatomy.” The report also mentions how seemingly impossible it is to understand the internal structure of the clitoris with just one diagram. Several are required to truly get a comprehensive understanding of it.
Alas, it wasn’t until as recent as 2009, French researchers Dr. Odile Buisson and Dr. Pierre Foldès gave the medical world its first complete 3-D sonography of the stimulated clitoris. They did this work for three years without any proper funding. [see]
Amazingly, if you look at the “upside down” horns on the head of Seshat you will see very clearly it is in th internal shape of the clitoris! I believe this is associated with her mental fertility and stimulation that led to the realization and creation of the hieroglyph. Here are a few other points to further connect the symbols. Seven chakra points were defined in a another not- so distant land where Tantra and pre-Hinduism were the reigning spiritual philosophies. The Chakras are basically energy points in the body governing and elevation of consciousness until one has attained a certain level of enlightenment.
Observe depictions of such ancient Hindustan gods like Chinnamasta, who is shown as a headless being spewing her own blood into the mouth of two nude devotees adorned in armbands and malas (prayer beads / sacred necklaces) who willingly drink from her. Below Chinnamastika’s feet, a couple lay in the throes of passion.
Now, upon studying the main chakra points you will notice that the lowest chakra governs the primal needs such as sex, breathe, food and so on. The blood spilling from a headless body is representative of an elevated consciousness that goes beyond the physical!
Once you have delved into the various myths, and spiritual paths and symbols you can easily find the similarities, the connection of metaphysical philosophies that correlate despite their distance in time or location. The seven-pointed star located above Seshat looks much like a tantra and chakra visualization of the protective light field.
In spiritual studies of this system, you are taught psychic protection. One tool in this process is envisioning a stream of light right above your head with a light shining out from its top, much like an orb. Cartoonish depictions of light are often made with points showing the rays exiting the center or the brightness. Here we could make the conclusion that this is a variation of that and upon it sits the internal shape of the clitoris! Let us consider, then, that the feminine may be a symbol of the connection of earth to astral or of the astral back to earth again! The cycle, or the infinity! With woman life begins and is given forth and the cycle may continue that way!
There are ways we can identify how ancient Egyptian gods and goddesses have changed throughout time. At first Seshat was Thoth’s daughter, but in later accounts she was his wife. And when cults followed Thoth more strongly, he was deemed the god of writing who created writing, rather than the interpreter. This may be direct evidence of a shift from goddess to god mentality.
We are limited in words but the symbols themselves do carry a potency.
Is there something to be said for less words? By this I mean, focusing on putting more potency and energy behind them rather than providing more of them. Take the hieroglyphic, since we are on that subject. They are pictures and symbols with great meaning and energy.
On a visit to the Brooklyn Museum I happened to see a 3d hieroglyphic. The Egyptians took a 2d sigil and manifested it into 3d! Statues and idols now have a new meaning to me. Symbols immortalize beliefs that can change from one society to another, one historian to another. But as we have come to more extensive acknowledgment and education on the female anatomy we can further explore the top of Seshats crowning symbol!
Excerpt on Wikipedia about Seshat:
“Seshat assisted the pharaoh in the “stretching the cord” ritual. This ritual is related to laying out the foundations of temples and other important structures in order to determine and assure the sacred alignments and the precision of the dimensions. Her skills were necessary for surveying the land after the annual floods to reestablish boundary lines. The priestess who officiated at these functions in her name also oversaw the staff of others who performed similar duties and were trained in mathematics and the related store of knowledge.
Much of this knowledge was considered quite sacred and not shared beyond the ranks of the highest professionals such as architects and certain scribes. She also was responsible for recording the speeches the pharaoh made during the crowning ceremony and approving the inventory of foreign captives and goods gained in military campaigns. During the New Kingdom, she was involved in the Sed festival held by the pharaohs who could celebrate thirty years of reign.” [via]
Thoth is no less important nor higher in rank than Seshat. As we approach a new dawn on this planet may the fear and subjugation of the feminine powers be put to rest. Let there be an end to violence against witches and women alike. And let us celebrate equality among the gods and people! Let us continue to research deeply, question history and uncover truth or at the very least keep an open mind.
Nandani Felicia Bharrat is an Indo-Guyanese Hindu-Witch, experimental artist and energy healer based out of Brooklyn, NY. Her business Kali MA: Triple Goddess Tarot and Healing is a center for Reiki healing, Meditation, Tarot Workshops and Divination services. She creates experimental film and visual art and founded the Portal Gallery, ongoing event/project that aims to diversify arts and performance in her hometown, Bushwick.
Under the moniker Kali, she is an ever-evolving healer-artist, with focus on intersectional feminism, womb healing, self realization, addiction, mental illness and trauma survivors. She is a certified Usui Shiki Ryoho Reiki Master, a Kundalini Kriya yogini, clairsentient psychic, channel, and self taught diviner.
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