Kadesh: Goddess of Sacred Sex
NAME: Kadesh, Qadesh, Qetesh, Qud Shu, Qedeshet.
SYMBOLS: Lotus blossoms, papyrus stems or snakes, lioness.
SYMBOLIZED: Sexual pleasure, sacred ecstasy, sacred marriage, fertility.
USUAL IMAGE: A nude human female, in some which in some later version are made to look as if she is wearing a red sheath dress like the goddess Hathor, depicted face forward (showing her to be of non-Egyptian origin, she stands on a lioness and holds in her right hand a lotus blossom and ether papyrus stems or serpents in her left.
HOLY DAYS: From sunset April 29 to sunset May 1st was the Egyptian Feast of the Sacred Marriage usually dedicated to Isis & Osiris, this was also a holiday for Kadesh.
She may have also had a part in a spring harvest festival dedicated to Min.
RELATIVES: Unknown. However the Egyptians of the 18th and early 19 Dynasty made the gods Resheph (also known as Reshef, Reshep, Reshpu, Reshap, Rashap, Reshef.) & Min her consorts showing them at times standing to the left and right of her on small shrines with open doors so they are level with her as she stands on a lioness, a symbol of female power.
FORM OF WORSHIP: Sacred sex, believed by some to be one of the origins of what would one day come to be known as Tantric yoga, may also have been one of the goddess what sacred temple prostitutes invoked.
SYNODEITIES: Hathor, Anat, Astarte
DETAILS: One way to tell a mythology from a living breathing spiritual path, is that the later, like a person, changes.
Some people in the revivalist movement of spiritual paths of the past become angry on finding changes in what they call the right way telling of a myth or in depictions of a God or Goddess.
The thing is, while those myth of old might have very popular versions that lasted a long time, they were seldom if ever exactly the same from place to place, and were certainy differnt over the years.
Like an animal species, or an individual human life, they changed over the years, often vastly, like their flesh and blood counterparts, only become unchanging when they die and become fossils.
Such was the case with ancient Syrian Goddess the Egyptians called Qadesh, her origins, and the stories that told how she came to be, as well as the tales she was a part of are lost to time, forgotten or changed so much they are as good as lost.
She however continued, becoming a part of ancient Egypt life sometime around 1570 BCE at the start of the 18th Dynasty, and lasting well into the 19th after 1250 BCE.
A Syrian goddess of sexual pleasure, sacred ecstasy & women’s power. she was adopted by the Egyptians and put into a triad with one of the oldest Egyptian deities Min, the supreme god of male sexuality, the eastern desert & lettuce, who was depicted as a mummy holding a whip in one hand, and his erect penis in the other, and fellow adopted Syrian god Reshep. a god of thunder, lightning and pestilence.(The ancient Egyptians being more than comfortable with what we would call kink it would seem.)
A minor goddess in the Egyptian pantheon, she was, none the less, very popular for centuries until she and her two companions faded from the lives of the people, or did she?
There is some evidence that the Eastern practice known today as tantric yoga may, at least in part, have found some of it’s inspiration in Egyptian sacred sex practices.
Whether this means Qadesh, or either of her two playmates from the New Kingdom are a part of the practice as it stands today I will not speculate on.