posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 06:56 AM
"The Apis bull is unique as he is the only Egyptian deity represented solely as an animal, and never as a human with an animal's head—perhaps,
because from the earliest of Egyptian religious practices, they were animals sacrificed to the cow goddess and represented the resurrected, renewal of
life (Hapy and later Osiris).
Apis was originally the Herald (wHm) of Ptah, the chief god in the area around Memphis. As a manifestation of Ptah, Apis also was considered to be a
symbol of the pharaoh, embodying the qualities of kingship.
The bovines in the region in which Ptah was worshipped exhibited white patterning on their mainly black bodies, and so a belief grew up that the Apis
bull had to have a certain set of markings suitable to its role. It was required to have a white triangle upon its forehead, a white vulture wing
outline on its back, a scarab mark under its tongue, a white crescent moon shape on its right flank, and double hairs on its tail.
The bull which matched these markings was selected from the herd, brought to a temple, given a harem of cows, and worshipped as an aspect of Ptah. His
mother was believed to have been conceived by a flash of lightning from the heavens, or from moonbeams, and also was treated specially. At the temple,
Apis was used as an oracle, his movements being interpreted as prophecies. His breath was believed to cure disease, and his presence to bless those
around with virility. He was given a window in the temple through which he could be seen, and on certain holidays was led through the streets of the
city, bedecked with jewelry and flowers."