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05:01
7861 a58f 500

jnsch:

Egyptian religion was not a form of zoolatry, or animal worship. The Egyptian sages recognized animals as ‘functional types’ as the embodiments of principles (recognitions to which, despite our
science, we still pay common verbal homage: the ‘sly’ fox, the ‘greedy’ pig, the ‘jealous’ dog, etc. No one would dream of saying he or she felt ‘free as an elephant’ but ‘free as a bird’ makes sense to anyone anywhere, though the elephant is strictly speaking no less free).

In Egypt, the bird represented the principle of volatility, ultimately
‘spirit’. And the Ba, the spirit of a man, or woman, was drawn as a bird with a human head, an interesting exception to a rule that is otherwise only broken by the figure of the Sphinx  — which is not Egyptian in origin, but older. Note the two right hands on the defunct, her role in this case, is entirely active; two left hands on her Ba.

- John Anthony West, from Serpent in the Sky:  High Wisdom in Ancient Egypt (1979)

Reposted bysiriusminervawtfpanteracaptaincrunch

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