Ipy

(Ipet, Opet, Apet) Ipy is depicted in a fashion indistinguishable from Taweret (Thoueris), that is, as a female hippopotamus standing upright, with leonine paws and feet, the breasts and belly of a pregnant human female, and the back and tail of a crocodile. She is invoked in PT utterance 269 as “my mother Ipy” and asked to give her breast to suckle, with the result that “as for yonder land in which I walk, I will neither thirst nor hunger in it for ever.” Ipy’s name perhaps means ‘wet-nurse’ or ‘midwife’, from which came the word for ‘harem’, which is also the root of the name of the city Thebes, Ta-ipet, and Ipy may be to some degree the divine embodiment of Thebes itself, which is the ‘harem’ of Amun as his beloved and the receiver of his potency. Local cult made the temple of Ipy at Thebes out to be the place where Osiris was reconstituted. Ipy was frequently known as ‘Ipy the Great’, Ipet-Weret, from which came her Greek name, Epoëris or Ephuëris. A spell for divination by lamp in the Leyden Papyrus (col. VI, ll. 18-19) juxtaposes Nut, as “mother of water” to Ipy, as “mother of fire.” Similarly, the vignette (illustration) for BD spell 137B, “for kindling the flame” for the deceased, shows “Ipy, lady of magical protection” setting fire to a bowl of incense. An ostracon (inscribed pottery fragment) invokes Ipy as a protector against nightmares who massacres the demons responsible for them. Ipy also gives her name to the next-to-last month of the Egyptian calendar, Epiphi.

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One Response to “Ipy”

  1. […] and in another swallows Him at dusk and gives birth to Him at dawn. Opet (aka Ipet; listed under Ipy at Henadology) is a hippopotamus-formed Goddess rather like Taweret. She was associated with […]

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