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Forms of Mut


Forms of Mut

We have already seen that the originally obscure god Amen was, chiefly through the force of political circumstances, made to usurp the attributes and powers of the older gods of Egypt, and we can see by such figures of the goddess as those described above that Mut was, in like fashion, identified with the older goddess of the land with whom, originally, she had nothing in common. Thus the head of the lioness which projects from one shoulder indicates that she was identified with Sekhet or Bast, and the vulture heads prove that her cult was grafted on to that of Nekhebet, and the double crowns show that she united herself all the attributes of all the goddess of the South and North. Thus we find her name united with the names of the other goddesses, e.g., Mut-Temt, Mut-Uatchet-Bast, Mut-Sekhet-Bast-Menhit, and among her aspects she included those of Isis, and Iusaaset. Locally she usurped the position of Ament, the old female counterpart of Amen and of Apet, the personification of the ancient settlement Apt, from which is derived the name "thebes" {Ta-apt ; she was also identified with the goddess of Amentet, i.e., Hathor is one of her as lady of the Underworld ; and with the primeval goddess Ament, who formed one of the four goddesses of the company of the gods of Hermopolis, which was adopted in its entirety by the priests of Amen for their gods ; and with the predynastic goddess Ta-urt. or Api {or Apt, ; and, in short, with every goddess who could in any way be regarded as a "mother-goddess." The center of the worship of Mut was the quarter of Thebes which was called Asher, or Ashrelt, and which probably derived its name from the large sacred lake which existed there ; the temple of the goddess, Het-Mut, with its sanctuary, was situated a little to the south of the great temple of Amen-Ra. From the inscriptions which have been found on the ruins of her temple we find that she was styled "Mut, the great lady of ashert, the lady of heaven, the queen of the gods, and that she was thought to have existed with Nu in primeval time. She was, moreover, called "Mut,,who giveth birth, but was herself not born of any,". Here also we find her associated with several goddesses, and referred to as the "lady of the life of the two lands," an "lady of the house of Ptah, lady of the heaven, queen of the two lands,"etc. The great temple of Mut at Thebes was by Amen-hetep III, about B.C.1450, and was approached from the temple of Amen-Ra by an avenue of sphinxes, the southern half of the building overlooked a semi-circular lake on which the sacred procession of boats took place, and at intervals, both inside and outside the outer wall of the temple enclosure were placed statues of the goddess Mut, in the form of Sekhet, in black basalt, Another famous sanctuary of Mut was situated in the city of Pa-khen-Amet, and the capitol of the nome, Sma-Behutet, the Diospolites of Lower Egypt.


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