"If Danny DeVito was an Egyptian god"

BES – This diminutive Egyptian god presents a perfect opportunity for me to point out how the concepts that a deity is supposedly the patron of can change over time. During his centuries- long period of worship Bes was at various times  considered a lion god (his oddly shaped hairdo/beard combo is meant to be reminiscent of a lion’s mane), a patron of art and music, a protector of women in childbirth, a god who could cure infertility and a household god. In that last mentioned role Bes not only looked after children and their mothers, but he would safeguard the household by driving off evil spirits and by strangling potential dangers like snakes, lions and bears. (Oh my!) Because of his short stature and the fact that he was often depicted sporting an enormous erection he was sometimes called “the Egyptian Pan”,  but given his benevolent and constructive nature I would say he has more in common with the dwarfish Shinto deity Sukuna-Biko, the friend of Okuninushi. Bes wore a loincloth made of lionskin with the lion’s tail hanging down behind him (though originally he was presented as simply being part-lion just as Pan was part-goat). Bes is considered to date back longer than many of the other Egyptian deities because of the more primitive depictions of him in art, as well as the fact that many portraits of him are full-faced and not profile illustrations as with so many other Egyptian gods and goddesses.  (Either that or the artists thought it would be a bit overwhelming to draw that enormous erection in profile. I’m kidding!)



Filed under Mythology


  1. nice one – part 6 – it’s ALL YOURS my friend – we await with baited breath.

    • Okay, thanks for letting me know! I’m drawing a blank so far on how I should approach this.

      • midaevalmaiden

        I think you already realize it, but Ill say it just in case. Feel free to take liberties with any of the characters and go in any direction you please. Im sure Jo has as much anticipation as I. For knowing you, we also have complete blanks as to what you will write. LoL It’s exciting. I can picture you as the scolar, or perhaps Oberons advisor?

      • I’m still mulling over how I want to approach this. Sorry I’m blocking like this but it’s a really new type of writing for me.

  2. midaevalmaiden

    He is like Devito and Gary Coleman all rolled into one. Hes cute. I like the notion of household gods from Irish and russian tales. Leaving them a dish of vodka. Spirits for the spirit.

    • Hey, I like that “spirits for the spirit” line! I’ll eventually work my way around to that part of the world’s myths with my posts. Sounds like you’re into those!

  3. I would pay you to sit and teach me a comparative mythology course.

  4. I like Bes a lot more than some of the crazy, twisted deities you’ve written about in the past. Tiny but mighty, wasn’t he? The perfect proof that it’s not the size that matters 😉

  5. Duncan

    Your mythology psosts suck.

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