|Bes The God of Protection|
Bes, was an Egyptian deity worshipped with great affection and widespread popularity, by millions of people that lived during the New Kingdom era of 1555 BC to 1069 BC. He was the god of protection, safety and dance and was most popular as a household protector, especially of mothers at childbirth. He would ward off evil spirits by dancing and making noise like a jester.
The Phoenicians adopted Bes from their neighbours the Egyptians, and exported his cult around the Mediterranean as they traded peacefully with different cultures. When they first discovered Ibiza in 680BC they honoured the island by naming it after Bes. The Phoenician term for the cult of Bes was Ibosim, which down through the centuries gradually became I-bez-a……..the Island of Bes.
Because he was considered a good spirit, Bes became associated with sexual pleasure, dancing and good times. He was worshipped for fertility and healing purposes along with his wife Beset, who watched over women during childbirth.
Christianity also dabbled in the cult of Bes. In northern Italy, the patronage of Saint Bessus was associated with Bes. Saint Bessus was part of the Theban Legion, whose followers were martyred for their Christian faith when they refused to sacrifice to the Roman Emperor Maximian (of Gladiator fame) in the third century.
Today, it seems that the island of Bes and the spirit of his cult, are alive and well, as Ibiza welcomes legions of young party people, that descend on the Island every summer to dance and partake in pleasurable activities associated with his good nature and providence.
Many Holidaymakers return year after year, drawn back to the island by a secret, liberating and energising force that many Ibiza veterans, including myself, will claim is present and is recognised by people that can tap into its unique, warm and simmering undercurrent.
Ibiza comes to you………… not the other way round.