Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964623 | Print ISBN: 9781412936361 | Online ISBN: 9781412964623| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
The significance as well as the symbolic, mythological, mathematical, and esoteric meaning of the number 7 varies throughout Africa. In ancient Egyptian, the word for 7 is sefhet , or Seshat. Seshat is the feminine counterpart of Thoth. She is the mistress of measure and the passage of time. Her emblem is the flower with seven petals or leopard skin. She was a personal deity of the pharaoh and therefore was not worshipped by the populace. Seshat was invoked at the stretching of the cord ceremony, a ritual performed by the pharaoh during the laying of a temple's foundation. The association of the number 7 with wisdom comes with Seshat's title “Foremost of Libraries” and her role as guardian of her husband Thoth's books. Among the Bambara and Dogon, 7 is the number of harmony. It signifies the harmony of the male or masculine, represented by the number 3, with ...