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Ancient Egyptian deities: Shesemtet
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Shesemtet

also Smithis, Shesmetet etc.
 
    Shesemtet, Szm.tjt (MdC transliteration Szm.tjt), was an ancient lion-headed sky-goddess and Eye of Re and as such a protective deity at times called upon to perform magic in order to combat death causing demons. She was associated with the shesmet-girdle, a belt symbolizing divine power and worn by Sopdu and by kings of the Early Dynastic Period and the Old Kingdom, and her name may have derived from it.
    She was closely associated with Bastet, Wadjet, and Sakhmet with whom she guarded the body of Osiris[1] and merged with them during the Old Kingdom, but never quite lost her independent existence throughout ancient Egyptian history. In the mortuary temple of Sahure the three lion goddesses are united:
Bastet, mistress of Ankhtawy, [Sakhmet], Shesemtet, she who causes her bAw [5] to be revealed, mistress of xabs.
Jan Bergman, Ba as Form of Divine Manifestation in Ancient Egypt
David Lorton's translation of “BA som gudomlig uppenbarelseform i det gamla Egypten,” Religion och Bibel 29, 1970, pp. 55-89.
    As a maternal deity Shesmetet was the mother of the king in the Pyramid Texts Pt 262, where the king appears as a star between the thighs of the ennead. As second mother Sakhmet is mentioned. [3]
To say the words : ‘Unas is a great one. Unas came out between the thighs of the Divine Ennead. Unas was conceived by Sekhmet. It is Shesemtet who gave birth to Unas (as) to a star with sharp (spd) front (hA.t), with wide stride, which brings provender for the road of Re every day. Unas has come to his throne which is over (tp.t) the Nebti-goddesses, and Unas appears (xaj) as a star.’
Utt. 248, 262
As the formerly royal beliefs about life and death became widespread among the population at large, she became mother and protector of all the deceased. [4] In some magical texts she was called Mistress of Punt, [2] which may point to her origin. [4]
    Originally she seems to have had the shape of a woman, since the 5. dynasty, under the influence of her association with Bastet she became a lion-headed deity. At times she was shown sporting four heads, apart from her own those of Wadjet, Bastet and Sakhmet.


[1] Geraldine Pinch, Egyptian Mythology, Oxford University Press US, 2004, p.134
[2] J. F. Borghouts, Ancient Egyptian Magical Texts, Brill 1978, p.12
[3] Harco Willems, The Coffin of Heqata, Peeters Publishers, 1996, p.254
[4] George Hart, The Routledge Dictionary of Egyptian Gods and Goddesses, Routledge 2005, p.146
[5] bA.w: pl. of bA
 

 
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