Saturday, November 19, 2011


Symbols: sistrum, menet necklace
Cult Center: Dendara

Ihy was the child of the cow-goddess Hathor. He was depicted as a young naked boy wearing the sidelock of youth, and usually carrying a sistrum or menet necklace. Ihy's name means "sistrum-player" or "musician" and he was the personification of the jubilation experienced while playing Hathor's divine musical instruments.

At Hathor's temple in Dendara, Caesar Augustus built a mammisi, or birthing house. On the walls of the mammisi are scenes celebrating Ihy's conception and birth. In the Coffin Texts and the Book of the Dead, Ihy was called the "lord of bread" and said to be "in charge of beer." This has been interpreted to mean that Ihy was connected to religious offering and ritual celebrations of Hathor.

From: here

Ihy was a young god personifying the jubilation emanating from the sacred rattle.

The name of Ihy was interpreted by the Egyptians as "sistrum-player" which was the raison d'etre of this god. The sistrum was a cultic musical instrument used primarily (but not exclusively) in the worship of Hathor, mother of Ihy. At Dendera temple Ihy is the child of the union of Hathor and Horus and is depicted as a naked young boy wearing the sidelock of youth and with his finger to his mouth. He can hold the sacred rattle and necklace (menat).

In the temple complex the birth house or "mammisi" was a sanctuary where the mystery of the conception and birth of the divine child Ihy was celebrated. His name is rarely found outside the confines of Dendera temple, though for example, we occasionally find it in spells of the Coffin Texts or Book of the Dead where he is called "lord of charge of beer", a possible reference to the celebrations of Dendera deliberately requiring a state of intoxication on the part of the acolyte in order to communicate with Hathor.

From: here
Ihy is a god in ancient Egyptian mythology who represents the ecstasy of playing the sistrum. His name may mean "sistrum player", referring to his function, or "calf", alluding to his relationship with the cow goddess Hathor who was often said to be his mother. Other goddesses might be called his mother, however, including Isis, Sekhmet, and Neith. The god Horus was usually said to be Ihy's father, although at times Ra took that role instead. Ihy was depicted as a nude child with his finger to his mouth. He was worshiped alongside Horus and Hathor at Dendera.

From: Wiki
Ihy was known since the Old Kingdom, when a shrine was built to him and to Hathor at Dendera, in the 4th Dynasty by Khufu. His name probably means 'sistrum player' or 'musician' and he was the personification of the joy and jubilation which was associated with the use of the sistrum in rites and worship. It is believed that his name could also mean 'calf', considering his mother Hathor´s bovine aspect.

Ihy was the son of several deities:

At Dendera, where he is most frequently mentioned, he was the son of Hathor, he is here depicted as a naked young boy wearing a sidelock of youth and with his finger in his mouth, denoting childhood. Sometimes he is holding the sistrum or the menat necklace, his symbols as well as his mother Hathor´s. He can also appear with the uraeus around his head.

At Edfu he appears as Harsomptus, son of Hathor and Horus the Elder, the reslut of the Festival of the Beautiful Reunion which was celebrated once a year when Hathor traveled from Dendera to Edfu to join her spouse Horus.

He was sometimes called the son of Isis, Nehptys and Sekhmet and though Horus was most often seen as his father, even Re had this position.

Ihy was a deity associated both with music and sometimes with the afterlife. In the Coffin Texts and the Book of Going forth By Day, he is called the 'lord of bread and 'in charge of beer' probably alluding to the offerings but perhaps also associating him with the intoxication with went along with the worship of Hathor . This might seem strange but remember him being the son of Hathor who also had a funerary aspect.

In the mammisi at Dendera, built by Nectanebo I , his divine birth - and the king´s - seems to have been enacted in the form of mystery plays in 13 acts. He was also celebrated as the divine son of Hathor at the later mammisi built here by Casear Augustus.

From: here

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