Thoth or ‘Djeheuty’ in Ancient Egyptian – can be represented under two forms:
~ Sacred ibis (a large wading bird with a long down-curved bill, long neck, and long legs.)
Thoth as ‘lord of the sacred words’ gave to the Egyptians the knowledge of how to write by picture symbols, hieroglyphs could always possess a magical force. Scribes regarded themselves as ‘followers of Thoth’. They were a privileged class and, according to one hymn to Thoth, the eye of the baboon watched out for scribes who abused their skill by applying it to illicit self-gain.
Thoth represented to the Egyptians the embodiment of all scientific and literary attainments, being in command of all ‘the sacred books in the house of life’. The house of life was a revered resource centre accessible only to scribes, containing a wealth of knowledge on papyri under the protection of Thoth. Examples were medical manuals, mathematical problems and instructional documents on social etiquette. The idea of Thoth transmitting wisdom, too secret for profane eyes, to a few initiates (notably to scribes in charge of temple libraries) comes across in the Middle Kingdom story set centuries before in the reign of King Khufu (Dynasty IV) about a magician called Djedi: Djedi knows the number of the secret chambers in the sanctuary of Thoth, powerful knowledge not even possessed by the pharaoh himself.
Source: George Hart. “The Routledge Dictionary of Egyptian Gods & Goddesses 2nd Edition.” 2005.
Today in Medieval History —> On this day January 13, 1128, Pope Honorius II declared the Knights Templar to be an army of God.
Led by the Frenchman Hughes de Payens, the Knights Templar organization was founded in 1118. Its self-imposed mission was to protect Christian pilgrims on their way to the Holy Land during the Crusades. The Templars took their name from the location of their headquarters, at Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.
Sekhmet was a powerful war goddess of Egypt, the destroyer of pharaoh’s enemies, called “She Who Is Powerful.” Sekhmet was a lioness deity, the consort of Ptah and the mother of Nefertem and Imhotep in Memphis. A daughter of the god Re, Sekhmet struck at evildoers and spread plagues. She also healed the righteous. Her clergy- men were physicians and magicians.
Sekhmet had a popular role among the rulers of Egypt, as she was believed to bring about the conception of the pharaohs. In the form of a cobra she was called Mehen, and she possibly came from Nubia (modern Sudan) in the early eras. She was also called the “Eye of Re.”
Her statues normally depicted her as a woman with a lion’s head, and at times she wore a sun disk on her head. In this form she was a warrior manifestation of the sun, causing flames to devour the enemies of Egypt. In some eras, the gates of Sekhmet’s temples were opened as a signal of the onset of a military campaign. Amenehmet III (1844–1797 B.C.E.) included 700 statues of Sekhmet in his mortuary temple in Dashur.
Source: Margaret R. Bunson, “Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt.” 2002.
Miyamoto Musashi, Japan’s greatest samurai’s 21 Rules to Live by:
1. Accept everything just the way it is.
2. Do not seek pleasure for its own sake.
3. Do not, under any circumstances, depend on a partial feeling.
4. Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world.
5. Be detached from desire your whole life long.
6. Do not regret what you have done.
7. Never be jealous.
8. Never let yourself be saddened by a separation.
9. Resentment and complaint are appropriate neither for oneself nor others.
10. Do not let yourself be guided by the feeling of lust or love.
11. In all things have no preferences.
12. Be indifferent to where you live.
13. Do not pursue the taste of good food.
14. Do not hold on to possessions you no longer need.
15. Do not act following customary beliefs.
16. Do not collect weapons or practice with weapons beyond what is useful.
17. Do not fear death.
18. Do not seek to possess either goods or fiefs for your old age.
19. Respect Buddha and the gods without counting on their help.
20. You may abandon your own body but you must preserve your honour.
21. Never stray from the Way.”
~ Miyamoto Musashi
Shōkadō bentō (松花堂弁当) —>The traditional lunch box covered with a lid, that originates from the Early Edo Period. It is named after Shōkadō Shōjō (松花堂昭乗, 1584-1639), a monk, calligrapher, tea ceremony master and poet. He used divided boxes to carry and organize materials needed for calligraphy, and eventually also used them to carry his lunch. This style of a black or red lacquered wooden or plastic box is now commonly used to present bento meals in restaurants. These lunchboxes were originally made for storing tobacco and paints.
Today in Suffragette History —> On November 12, 1815, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, spokesperson for the rights of women, was born in Johnstown, New York. Stanton formulated the philosophical basis of the woman suffrage movement, blazing a trail many feared to follow.
Stanton’s verbal brilliance combined with the organizational ability and mental focus of her lifelong collaborator Susan B. Anthony made the two women a formidable resource to the early cause.
Although Stanton served as president of the “radical” National Woman Suffrage Association and its successor the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA), she found it Increasingly difficult to maintain her leadership role. Interestingly, her agenda was far more radical than that of many younger, more conservative feminists.
Stanton’s belief that organized religion subjugated women alienated some supporters. In The Woman’s Bible, she brought considerable notoriety upon herself by criticizing the treatment of women in the Old Testament.
“The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world…wherever we turn, the history of woman is sad and dark, without any alleviating circumstances, nothing from which we can draw consolation.”
~ Elizabeth Cady Stanton, “Declaration of Sentiments.”
Sources: Library of Congress
Pictured: Elizabeth Cady Stanton, seated, and Susan B. Anthony, standing.
Pictured: Draft of Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s “Woman’s Bible” circa 1895