God Shed and Goddess Bat – Protection and Success

The God Shed was known as “The Savior” and his powers included saving or protecting the Egyptians from personal harm caused by mortal enemies and danger presented by deadly animals, poison and sickness. Shed was invoked by hunters and soldiers as “He Who Rescues” and “The Enchanter.” He was lord of wild animals and weapons and therefore could control both to protect a person who invoked his name. He was also sought in protection against magic spells cast by one’s enemies and possibly against demons or ghosts. The rise of “The Savior” name came during the Amarna period (c. 1400 BCE) when he became a popular household god for ordinary people.

Shed was depicted as a young prince overcoming snakes, lions and crocodiles. He carried a quiver of arrows and held serpents in his hands. Shed was associated with the “Sa” symbol which was used as an amulet or good luck charm and meant “protection of young life.”

Bat (or Bata) was an Ancient Egyptian cow goddess associated with fertility and success. She is one of the oldest Egyptian goddesses dating from the early Predynastic Period (c. 6000-3150 BCE) and she is quoted in the Pyramid Texts as saying “I am Praise; I am Majesty; I am Bat with Her Two Faces; I am the One Who Is Saved, and I have saved myself from all things evil.” Her dual faces represent her ability to see both the past and future, and it is also possible that the two faces represent the two banks of the Nile or both Upper and Lower Egypt.

Bat is depicted as a cow or a woman with cow ears and horns and is most probably the image at the top of the Narmer Palette (c. 3150 BCE) as she was associated with the king’s success. She was originally a deification of the Milky Way (which was compared to a pool of cow’s milk). Her name is the feminine form of the word “ba”, the name of one of the major elements of the soul.

Bat was associated with the Ankh and with the Sistrum; the center of her cult was known as the “Mansion of the Sistrum.” The sistrum is an ankh-shaped musical instrument and was the musical instrument used in sacred and magical Egyptian ceremonies. Bat was therefore viewed as a goddess of music which associated her with joy, pleasure, and fertility.

She is mentioned in the Coffin Texts, Spell 334: Becoming The Sistrum Player; “… before the sun was firm on the horns, before the face of Bat was knit on.” and in Spell 441 “O Bat, my name is ‘Isis in the sealed place’.”

On January 5th and 6th we honor Shed and Bat.