Having found lists of obscure/obsolete color names and rounded out the alphabet with a few simply-charming-to-me colors, each day, I’ll introduce a color and a swatch I’ve painted and then write about whatever comes to mind as I muse about the day’s color. Fair warning, my mind is a non-linear traveler, so who knows where my contemplations will take us.
I is for… Ibis – pale apricot
Other than being noted as an obsolete, archaic color name for a pale apricot, finding much additional information has proven challenging. And I have to confess I’m baffled by the association of a pinkish color with the bird Ibis. There are, of course, Scarlet Ibises, but they are bright and colored equivalently to flamingos. It’s true immature White Ibis can have pinkish bills and legs and that many birds undergo color changes of their bare unfeathered parts during the breeding season, apparently as a signal of mating eligibility. So perhaps that’s where the connection is. But it does perplex me.
The etymology of the word ibis: Middle English ibin, from Latin ībis, from Greek, from Egyptian hbj.]
The ancient Egyptian root doesn’t surprise me, and I know it because of my strong interest and devotion to the ancient Egyptian god, Thoth – one of the oldest worshiped Egyptian deities, often depicted as a man with an ibis-head.
One of his Egyptian names was Djehuty, which means “He who is like the Ibis.” According to one origin story, Thoth was born from the lips of Ra at the beginning of creation and was known as the “god without a mother.” In another story, Thoth is self-created at the beginning of time and, as an ibis, lays the cosmic egg that holds all of creation.
The sheer number of powers attributed to Thoth is extraordinary. He is said to be the inventor of writing, the creator of languages, scribe, creator of the calendar, god of wisdom, keeper of the Akashic Records, and interpreter, adviser, and messenger of the gods. He is also known as architect, and inventor of mathematics and sacred geometry.. Since he was the god of the moon, he had celestial functions and replaced the sun god, Ra, in the sky at night. He was a powerful magician and healer.
He is considered the author of spells in the Book of the Dead and assisted the funerary deities as a messenger and bookkeeper for them. He was responsible for recording the verdict of the heart-weighing ceremony that determined if the person was able to continue on to the Afterlife. If the person’s heart (spirit) balanced with Ma’at’s Feather of Truth, they passed. However, if the heart was heavier than the feather, then the person did not pass. Thoth always provided guidance for the deities and regulated common everyday complaints, and created new laws. Thoth suggested that if a problem couldn’t be solved, then a group should get together as an assembly and discuss it.
He was an interpreter, adviser, and messenger of the gods as well, and it is in this guise the Greeks worshiped Hermes, and the Romans worshipped Mercury.
I have a lovely bracelet depicting Thoth as an ibis, created by artist and sacred jewelry maker David Weitzman.
Shifting gears, another book on my reading list this year is Hiroshi Yamamoto’s The Stories of Ibis. Here’s a blurb about it: “In a world where humans are a minority and androids have created their own civilization, a wandering storyteller meets the beautiful android Ibis. She tells him seven stories of human/android interaction in order to reveal the secret behind humanity’s fall.” It was recommended to me because I’m such a fan of A Psalm for the Wild Built (book one of the Monk and the Robot series). And frankly, it sounds like the perfect read as we begin wading into the waters of A.I.
So what are your thoughts? If the ibis isn’t your favorite bird, what is? Are you a devotee of Thoth, Hermes, or Mercury? Ever feel like you’re a messenger? Imagining an improved reality with A.I. or entertaining darker thoughts, or are you holding at a neutral point? Do tell – you know I’d love to hear.
Don’t get me started on the AI… actually have a couple of posts coming up Thu/Fri, so watch out! The Royal Ibis in Sydney have to be watched… they are as bad as pigeons and seagulls for snatching one’s lunch!!! YAM xx
I’ll look for your posts. And keep an eye on my lunch should I ever run into a Royal Ibis.
I’m not really a bird watcher but I do like this color.
I do too.
All I can say is I love your bracelet. Oh, and I learnt a lot of new things.
And I can say, I’m delighted you stopped by Linda. 🙂
I would not naturally associate that pale peachy color with the bird in is; I wonder if there is some association with a newly hatched in is having pinky down, or with color of its feet or meat(?) It’s definitely one of those things that makes me go “hmmm…”
Those are not bad speculations. But I think this one will remain firmly in the hmm category.
Ibis is a very pretty color.
It is, isn’t it?
Just happy to read your posts and get my fill of mythology, obscure words and nature– neatly packaged in your unique style:)
Thank you, Arti, for your always kind words.
Never heard of that colour either but it has a nice ring to it…
Just looked for Tales of Ibis – wow! so expensive £515 in one place £166 on Amazon, but I settled for the Kindle version at £5.99!
After the challenge, I am planning to do a personal evaluative journey into AI…
Oh goodness – I think the ebook was a sound choice. And your upcoming exploration sounds fascinating.
That’s a beautiful color; I love flowers of that coral/peachy shade. I thought at one time that I could wear it, but I can’t. I look much better in vibrant colors.
Sometimes we have to take colors we love in little doses in our clothing. Or, as always, delights me, in our bouquets.
Very interesting information about Thoth – he was a master of all.
Great post. I’ve not heard of the colour, but I’ve heard of Thoth!
It’s been such a joy for me to discover these obsolete color names and wonder about their past usage.
Wow, that’s very interesting to learn about the ibis color. I’d never heard of that one. I imagine Thoth being super jazzed about the Rosetta Stone.
I love “Psalm for the Wild-Built,” so I’ll have to check out “Stories of Ibis.”Alphabet of Alphabets: Infant’s Insects
Oh, I love that Anne – yes, I imagine Thoth would indeed be jazzed about the Rosetta Stone. I’m looking forward to getting into the Ibis book as well.