The Sa was a commonly used amulet in the Middle Kingdom of ancient Egypt and literally represented “protection”. We’re not entirely sure what the Sa was exactly- some people think it was a life-preserver of sorts, others think that it was a rolled up herdsman’s shelter (Wilkinson, Reading Egyptian Art, 197). Regardless of what the Sa actually was, it became a symbol used largely for protective purposes- and that protection could range from childbirth to traveling and was often held by deities such as Tawaret and Bes.
For this project, we’re going to create a Sa out of fabric that you can use to protect yourself, your family, or whatever you want. The supplies you’ll need are:
- Fabric (I chose red)
- Cordage or yarn in whatever color you’d like
- Markers (I chose black)
You will want to start by cutting your fabric into a rectangular shape. Make sure that you have enough space to write your petition onto the fabric and keep in mind how tall you’ll want your Sa to be- because you’ll want to cut the fabric to about double that length.
Once the fabric is cut, decide what you’d like protection over or from. The fabric will serve as a vehicle of protection- so you’ll want to imbue it with your needs. You could anoint your fabric with oils, cleanse it with salt or natron, leave it outside to soak up solar or lunar juju, or you could leave it in your shrine case for a predetermined amount of time- whatever will help your situation and needs.
For my particular situation, I chose to write a series of sigils onto the fabric. Like with any amuletic practices, I mentally focused while writing and made sure to keep my mind on the task at hand.
The cordage is the next step. You can choose whatever colors or numbers you prefer. I would recommend not making your braids too thick, or it could cause problems with rolling up the Sa later. If braiding isn’t your thing, you could easily take a few cords and tie a series of knots into the threads with numbers that correspond to your needs.
In this case, I chose colors and numbers that corresponded to various members of my family. I braided up the the cords and knotted each end. Like with the fabric, you could choose to anoint each cord with oil or allow them to soak up energies as you see fit. Feel free to get creative with preparing the materials that you’ll be using to make your Sa.
Then, you will want to lay your braid/cordage onto the edge of the fabric like so:
And you will slowly wrap the braid up into the fabric like this:
It can take a few tries to get the fabric tightly wound around the braid inside. Once the fabric is fully wrapped around the braid, I held it like this:
You will take another section of cordage and tightly wrap it around the joint of the Sa. You can use whatever colors you like, tie as many knots as you like, or create bows if that works best for you. In the end, I ended up with this:
You could also wrap the cordage around the body of the Sa, if you wanted. Many traditional representations do have multiple knots tied around the loop of the amulet. Alternatively, you could tie another loop at the top of your Sa so that you could wear it on a necklace.
Place the Sa wherever you will feel its benefits. If it’s for protection while traveling- place it in the car. If its for your child, perhaps placing it in their pocket or backpack would work well. If its for your house, you could place it on the hearth, or a central location where the family gathers and mingles.
If anyone out there makes their own Sa, I’d love to hear how it turns out!
Other examples of this in action:
Other Devo Magix Posts: