Family Deities: Bes

Thanks for joining us for another Families’ Deity! We’re exploring deities that tie into families and family values, or who are important to the family unit or children in some way. This month, we are exploring the protective God, Bes

Who is Bes?
Bed is the Egyptian guardian deity of mothers, children and childbirth. He was considered a household god who was said to be so ugly he warded away evil and snakes and he attended births in the role of protector. He was also seen as a god of music and merriment.

Bes appears in art from circa 1500BC where it can be seen on temple walls in Thebes and as decoration in birth houses. He was depicted as being small and stocky with short arms and legs, a large beard and having a lions mane, ears and tail. He wore a crown of plumed ostrich feathers and is seen carrying, a short sword or tambourine.

Bes was adopted by Greco-Roman culture too and later became regarded as a defender of everything deemed as good.

Why is Bes one of our family deities?

Bes is included in the families’ pantheon because he is household god of protection and defender of mothers, children and good things such as family. He is also unusual in looks showing that beauty is only skin deep and it’s how we act that counts. Bes was a much-loved deity because of his good acts.

Honouring Bes

You could honour Bes in situations of childbirth, at baby showers, or for household, family, or protection of children in general. Statues, art, carvings, or talismans could be placed in the house especially in children’s rooms. Tambourine playing could also be a way to honour Bes.

Bes Correspondences

The most notable correspondence for Bes is the symbol SA which means protection.

Bookmark our blog to follow our series on Families’ deities and share your own experiences or insights into Artemis on our Children and Families Facebook group!