- Nov 2016
The Egyptians came up with a strange variant of the relationship between mother goddess and son-god=bull and the resulting cycle of life. The idea of the bull god as son of the supreme mother goddess only emerged about 8,000 BCE in the course of the introduction of animal breeding, when the male contribution to female fertility was discovered, thus about 20,000 years after the Paleolithic invention of the mother goddess.Mother God and Bull God,
Now, in the 16th century BCE, at the beginning of the New Kingdom, Egyptian priests developed the idea of a self-generation of the Son-God, who in the meantime had advanced to become the supreme God, by fertilizing his own mother in order to be reborn by her. This concept of course seems illogical, but this was no reason for the Egyptians to reject it, on the contrary, it was theologically processed in many variations.
This type of god was called Kamutef, which means ´bull of his mother´, from which the derivation from Neolithic religion is easily recognizable. He originated from the ithyphallic god Min, who, as the adjective suggests, is characterized by an impressive genitalia. The basic idea is that the bull as fertility god, because of his origin as a god of cyclically dying vegetation, was thought to be mortal. The relation between vegetation and bull consisted in the idea of fertility. The connection is illustrated by the ancient practice of bull sacrifice, from whose blood or semen new animal and plant life was magically to emerge. Therefore, the idea of giving the god the possibility, as soon as he is dying, to create himself anew with the Mother Goddess, is understandable.
The proximity of the Christian idea of the Son sacrifice to the benefit of mankind to such concepts is obvious. In this sense, the Christian idea is only a cover version of the archaic motif of the bloody sacrifice of the Son God=bull.
The actual illogic of the Kamutef concept does not consist in the idea of a son fertilizing his mother in order to be recreated, but in the impossibility of a beginning: what was there first, the mother or the son (and later begetter)? The priests, however, did not care about resolving the dilemma, which anyway exists only if one presupposes a first cause.
The best known Kamutefs are Amun-Re, Min-Horus and Osiris. Min-Horus has either Hathor (originally) or Isis (later) as his mother, with whom he also reproduces. Also the vegetation and bull god Osiris, in other myths the father of Horus, is at the same time son and begetter of Isis. Amun-Re has Hathor as his mother and wife, with whom he begets himself.
One variant of the concept is the morning birth of the sun god Re from the womb of the goddess Nut and the evening return as a dying god (setting sun) into this womb, from which he is reborn the next morning.