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Elusive Egyptian Goddesses: Seshat the Lady of Numbers

by Lesley Jackson

"Seshat", by Jeff DahlThe Ancient Egyptians, wise people, had goddesses aplenty but the fame of a few, such as Isis and Hathor, has overshadowed and absorbed many others. Like women, goddesses have not escaped being stereotyped but not all will fit the maiden-mother-crone model nor are they all earth focused. One of these is the scribal goddess Seshat.

The literal translation of her name is ‘female scribe’. Many of her epithets reflect this aspect of her, such as “lady of writing, the chief of the library”.1  Seshat is often considered the consort of Thoth, the god of wisdom and writing, or merely his female equivalent. Seshat frequently merits no more than a brief entry in the dictionaries of Egyptian deities. Many seem to pass her by, assuming her to be merely a cut-down, female version of the God of the Scribes and a very minor goddess long since eclipsed by her more glamorous, all-encompassing sisters; a footnote amongst the Egyptian goddesses.  Sometimes the footnotes are worth following up though and I have discovered that there is much more to Our Lady of Writing than appears at first sight. Read More...