Saturday, May 3, 2014

Seshat – Goddess of Knowledge and Cannabis

UPDATE 10/15: Seshat is included in the new book Tokin' Women: A 4000-Year Herstory.

Seshat (also spelled Safkhet, Sesat, Seshet, Sesheta, and Seshata) was the ancient Egyptian goddess of mathematics, creative thought, knowledge, books and writing (her name means "she who is the scribe"). Sister to Bast and daughter/sister/wife to Thoth or the moon god Djehuti, the Egyptians believed that she invented writing, while Thoth or Djehuti taught writing to mankind.

Often depicted in coronation ceremonies wearing a leopard-skin garment, Seshat's emblem is a seven-pointed hemp leaf in her headdress. Pharaoh Tuthmosis III (1479-1425 BCE) called her Sefket-Abwy (She of Seven Points). See more pictoral evidence.

In this relief (below), she wore her Seven Pointed Leaf to perform the equivalent of laying the cornerstone of the Great Pyramids – "stretching the cord" to mark the direction of true north, calculated by the stars, with a rope made from hemp. It is perhaps hemp's psychoactive effect that is acknowledged in the saying that, "Seshat opens the door of heaven for you."

Seshat and the Pharaoh "Stretch the Cord"
She was associated with Isis in the Late period, and was scribe to Hathsheput, the female Pharoh of the 18th dynasty. The Greeks demoted her to a muse, and in Phaedrus, Plato gives over to Thoth the invention of arithmetic and letters.

Seshat's name has been given to the Global History Databank at the Evolution Institute and is the name of the African Women's Autobiography project.

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