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A Pagan’s Guide to Sheeps

By Amalasuntha

The snow makes the fields look lovely at this time of year, but sadly the white snow makes the sheep look off white, to put it kindly. I see them everywhere across Derbyshire, and they just seem to be part of the landscape rather than an animal we actively farm for meat, milk, skins and wool (and very occasionally keep just for the breed itself). I wasn’t a big sheep breed identifier, knowing previously that they have a leg at each corner, live in fields, come in any colour you like so long as it’s black or white… After a visit to the Lakes, I am proved wrong and thought I’d share my new knowledge with you all about sheeps

Sheep appear in mythology and the ancient world with amazing regularity. The sheep is one of the oldest domesticated breeds, and so it’s unsurprising that many of the ancient civilisations valued it so much.

The ancient Sumerians, approximately 4000 BC to 2000, who are thought to have developed the first form of writing in the ancient world (Cuneiform script) immortalised sheep through religion in the form of gods and goddesses whose sphere of activity was to guard and represent flocks. The most prominent and powerful was Duttur sheep goddess and protector of flocks, a Mother Goddess of both Dumuzi, also Lord of shepherds and the flocks, and Gestinanna although an oracular goddess associated with the interpretation of dreams also has associations with sheep and shepherding. The Sumerians had huge flocks of sheep, and sheep were important for meat and clothing for the entire population, sheep were the most important part of the economy as they were in many ancient cultures.

Read the original article at: Chesterfield Pagans

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