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A Bull's Birth

The Serapeum - Saqqara - The Places

A Bull’s Birth

Only one Apis Bull was born to be given to the Egyptian People at a time. The search for this animal commenced on the death of the previous Apis Bull whose body had died but whose spirit or Ka had changed to a younger model.

A flash of lightning would have enabled the Apis Bull’s mother to conceive him and after birth she would no longer conceive any further offspring. Mother of Apis was known as the “Isis Cow” and was revered within her lifetime.

The Bull was chosen to become a deified Apis Bull when it presented a certain list of criteria.  These are, a calf who:

            Was black with a white diamond shape on its forehead

            Was blessed with the image of the eagle or vulture on its back

            Had double the hairs on its tail compared to the others   and

            Had the sign of the Scarab under its tongue

Once located, the Apis Bull was delivered to the Temple at Memphis – see below – in a specifically designed Boat suitable for a Deity’s transportation.

Life and Worship in Memphis

A Temple of Apis, “the Manifestation of Ptah”, was assembled in Memphis, according to classical historians, near the Great Temple of Ptah, although the structure is yet to be found.

This was a Religious Temple with 2 Chambers; 1 for Apis and 1 for his mother. Herodotus confirmed that the Temple had a Peristyle columned Courtyard with large statues and was Erected during the reign of Pharaoh Psamtik I of the 26th Dynasty who built the Greater Vaults of the Serapeum.

A live Apis Bull was housed in the Temple and people watched his daily actions through a window in the Temple Wall. These actions were then interpreted as prophecies for the people by one of the Temple’s Priests.

His breath could cure the sick and his mere presences blessed those passing with unrivalled strength.

During Festivals the Bull would be honoured with his own parade throughout the streets.