Tag Archive: set


Goddess Nephthys

“Nephthys” by Hrana Janto

“Nephthys’ themes are death, ghosts, rebirth and devotion. Her symbols are sunset and the hawk (Her sacred animal).  Just as Isis embodies life’s energies in Egypt, Her sister Nephthys is the force of death and reincarnation. Traditionally, Nephthys dwells in tombs, building and welcoming spirits into the afterlife. Her name means ‘death which is not eternal’, referencing the Egyptian belief in the soul’s rebirth to a new existence.

Following on the heels of Hallows and All Saints’ Day, All Souls’ Day honors the faithful departed. In early times children would go ‘souling’, collecting small cakes believed to rescue souls from purgatory.  In keeping with this idea, go out at sunset to honor Nephthys with a small cake or cracker. Leave this in a natural location and ask the Goddess to bring peace to any restless souls in Her care.

Oddly enough, Romans announced engagements today (likely as a way of stressing life’s continuance). So if you’ve been thinking of deepening a relationship, or making a commitment to a beloved project, this is one date that might suit the occasion.  Again, go outside at sunset, and as the sun slips behind the horizon pray to the Goddess. Tell Her your goal or speak your pledges in Her name. Ask Her to rejuvenate your determination so that tomorrow you might be born anew to your task or relationship.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“Nephthys” by C. Temares

This another duplicate entry in Patricia Telesco’s book.  Click here to read September 13’s original entry on the Goddess Nephthys.

 

 

 

 

Suggested Links:

Ashwood, Moonwater. Order of the White Moon, “Nephthys: Goddess of Transition“.

Crystalinks.com, “Nephthys“.

Goddess-guide.com, “Nephthys the Egyptian Goddess“.

Hill, J. Ancientegyptonline.co.uk, Nephthys“.

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines, “Nephthys“.

Seawright, Caroline. Touregypt.net, “Nephthys, Sister of Isis, Mistress of the House…“.

Touregypt.net, “Egypt: Gods – Nephthys“.

Wikipedia, “Nephthys

Goddess Nephthys

Appropriate in light of remembering 9/11 and the recent tragedies…

“Nephthys” by Hrana Janto

“Nephthys’s themes are death, spirits and rebirth. Her symbols are fire, baskets and Myrrh.  This Egyptian funerary Goddess had a hawk for a sacred animal. Together they guide and watch the souls of our loved ones in the afterlife. In Egyptian tradition, Nephthys lives in the east, where She can receive the rising sun, a symbol of the hopefulness she can instill and of resurrection.

Today was Nephthys’s festival day in ancient Egypt. As with other festivals for the dead, it was a time not only to propitiate the Goddess with offerings of aromatic incense like myrrh but also to satisfy any wandering spirits. If someone you care about passed away during the last year, burn some incense for this Goddess and leave a small basket filled with a token for her on your altar. This acts as a prayer to Nephthys to keep a watchful eye on that souls and grant them peace.

If you find your sense of hopefulness waning under everyday pressures, light a candle honoring Nephthys today, and every day, until you sense a difference in attitude. Try to choose a candle whose color represents hope and change to you (sprout green is one good choice). Inscribe the candle with a symbol of what you most need to turn things around so that this Goddess can shine dawn’s revitalizing light into your heart and begin relieving some of that heaviness.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

J. Hill from Ancient Egypt Online writes: “Nephthys was an ancient Goddess, who was referenced in texts dating back to the Old Kingdom. She was a member of the Ennead of Heliopolis as the daughter of Geb and Nut and the sister of OsirisIsis and Horus and the sister and wife of Set. When the Ennead and Ogdoad merged, Nephthys was given a place on Ra’s boat so that She could accompany him on his journey through the underworld. Nephthys is the Greek pronunciation of Her name. To the Ancient Egyptians She was Nebthwt (Nebhhwt or Nebthet) meaning ‘the Mistress of the House’. The word ‘hwt’ (‘house’) may refer to the sky (as in Hwt-hor, the ‘House of Horus’ – the name of Hathor), but it also refers to either the royal family or Egypt as a whole. The latter makes a great deal of sense as She was described as the head of the household of the gods and was thought to extend Her protection to the head female of every household. She was sometimes associated with Ptah-Tanen in representing Lower Egypt, while Khnum and Isis represented Upper Egypt.

It seems that She was originally conceived of as the female counterpart of Set. He represented the desert, while She represented the air. Set was infertile (like the desert that he represented) and was frequently described as either bisexual or gay and so Nephthys was often considered to be barren. As a Goddess of the air, She could take the form of a bird, and because She was barren She was associated with the vulture – a bird which the Egyptians believed did not bear children. The Egyptians thought that all vultures were female (because there is very little difference in the appearance of a male vulture), and that they were spontaneously created from the air. While the care shown by a mother vulture for her child was highly respected, the Egyptians also recognised that vultures fed on carrion and associated them with death and decay. As a result, Nephthys became a Goddess of death and mourning.

“Nephthys” by C. Temares

Professional mourners were known as the ‘Hawks of Nephthys’, in recognition of Her role as a Goddess of mourning. It was also believed that She protected Hapi in his role as of the Four sons of Horus (who guarded the organs stored in the four canopic jars). Hapi protected the lungs, and as a Goddess of the air Nephthys was his guardian. She was also one of the four Goddesses who guarded the shrine buried with the Pharaoh. She appears with Isis, Selkit (Serqet) and Neith on the gilded shrine of Tutankhamun, but was often depicted with IsisBast and Hathor in this role. Yet, She was also said to be the source of both rain and the Nile river (associating Her with Anuket) and was thought to protect women in childbirth (with the assistance of Her sister, Isis). Thus She was closely associated with both death and life.

“Nephthys” by ~deadheart82

Although She was technically infertile, later myths claimed that She was the mother of Anubis by either Osiris or Set (depending on the myth). This came about because Anubis’ position as the god of the dead was usurped by Osiris when the theologies of the Ennead and the Ogdoad merged. According to one myth Nephthys disguised Herself as Isis to get the attention of Her neglectful husband Set, but instead seduced Osiris (who apparently did not realise that it was Nephthys). An alternative myth made it clear that Nephthys intended to seduce Osiris from the beginning and drugged his wine to make Her task easier, while a less common myth held that She did trick Her husband into a brief daliance in order to concieve Anubis. It is suggested that this tale also explained the flowering of a plant in a normally barren area because Set apparently discovered the adultery when he found a flower left by his brother Osiris.

Isis and Nephthys were very close despite Nephthys’ alleged infidelity with Osiris (the husband of Isis) and Her marriage to Set (the murderer of Osiris). Nephthys protected the body of Osiris and supported Isis as She tried to resurrect him. The Goddesses are so similar in appearance that only Their headdresses can distinguish them and they always appear together in funerary scenes. Together Isis and Nephthys could be said to represent day and night, life and death, growth and decay. In Heliopolis, Isis and Nephthys were represented by two virginal priestesses who shaved off all of their body hair and were ritually pure.

Nephthys was usually depicted as a woman with the hieroglyphs of Her name (a basket on top of the glyph representing the plan of an estate) on Her head. She could also be depicted as a mourning woman, and Her hair was compared to the strips of cloth used in mummification. She also occasionally appears as a hawk, a kite or a winged Goddess in Her role as a protector of the dead. Her major centers of worships were Heliopolis (Iunu, in the 13th Nome of Lower Egypt), Senu, Hebet, (Behbit), Per-mert, Re-nefert, Het-sekhem, Het-Khas, Ta-kehset, and Diospolites.” [1]

 

 

Sources:

Hill, J. Ancientegyptonline.co.uk, Nephthys“.

 

Suggested Links:

Ashwood, Moonwater. Order of the White Moon, “Nephthys: Goddess of Transition“.

Crystalinks.com, “Nephthys“.

Goddess-guide.com, “Nephthys the Egyptian Goddess“.

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines, “Nephthys“.

Seawright, Caroline. Touregypt.net, “Nephthys, Sister of Isis, Mistress of the House…“.

Touregypt.net, “Egypt: Gods – Nephthys“.

Wikipedia, “Nephthys

Goddess Uto

“Snake Goddess” by dmarshallarts

“Uto’s themes are ecology , nature and magic. Her symbols are green items and snakes.  This ancient Egyptian Goddess bears a name that means ‘green one’. She embodies the earth’s regenerative force, specifically in its vegetation. Art often shows Uto in the form of a snake, ever transforming and renewing Herself and the earth. This tremendous magical power comes from being able to draw on the essence of creation and all that dwells therein. As she wields this beneficial energy, She inspires today’s activities by assisting our summer efforts to restore the planet.

I suspect this Goddess inspired the creation of World Environment Day in 1972, specifically to increase enthusiasm for global environmental causes and natural restoration. The United Nations continues to encourage its members to have special activities today that further earth-first thinking and world healing in all forms. So, put on something green today, get outside and get busy! Organize a recycling drive, pick up litter in a nearby park, plant some seedlings or trees, begin composting, make a donation to a reputable environmental group. Anything you can do to help restore the earth’s greenery honors and welcomes Uto’s regenerative spirit to the earth. Let Her guide you hands and efforts today, flowing through you with healthy energy, ministering to the earth.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“Wadjet” by Blade68

According to J. Hill, “Wadjet (Wadjyt, Wadjit, Uto, Uatchet, Edjo, Buto) was one of the oldest Egyptian Goddesses. Her worship was already established by the Predynastic Period, but did change somewhat as time progressed. She began as the local Goddess of Per-Wadjet (Buto) but soon became a patron Goddess of Lower Egypt. By the end of the Predynastic Period She was considered to be the personification of Lower Egypt rather than a distinct Goddess and almost always appeared with Her sister Nekhbet (who represented Upper Egypt). The two combined represented the country as a whole and were represented in the pharaoh´s ‘nebty’ name (also known as ‘the two ladies’) which indicated that the king ruled over both parts of Egypt. The earliest recovered example of the nebty name is from the reign of Anedjib of the First Dynasty.

Pharaoh crowned by Nekhbet and Wadjet

In the Pyramid Texts it is suggested that She created the first papyrus plant and papyrus swamp. Her link to the papyrus is strengthened by the fact that Her name was written using the glyph of a papyrus plant and the same plant was the heraldic plant of Lower Egypt.

According to another myth Wadjet was the daughter of Atum (or later Ra) who was sent Her as his ‘eye‘ to find Tefnut and Shu when they were lost in the waters of Nun. He was so happy when they returned that he cried and created the first human beings from his tears. To reward his daughter, he placed Her upon his head in the form of a cobra so that She would always be close to him and could act as his protector.

She was one of the Goddesses given the title ‘Eye of Ra‘ (connecting Her to BastHathorSekhment and Tefnut amongst others). In fact the symbol of the ‘Eye of Ra’ was often called ‘the Wedjat’. In this form She was sent out to avenge Her father and almost caused the destruction of mankind. Humanity was saved when She was tricked with some beer which had been dyed red with pomegranate juice to resemble blood.

There is also a suggestion that She was very closely linked to the principle of Ma´at (justice or balance). Before being crowned as king, Geb attacked and raped his mother Tefnut. When he went to take his place as pharaoh and put the Royal Ureas on his own forehead, the snake reared up and attacked the god and his followers. All of Geb´s retinue died and the god himself was badly injured. Clearly, his actions were against Ma´at and Wadjet was not prepared to allow him to go unpunished.

Wadjet is often described as an agressive deity while while Her sister Nekhbet was thought of as a more matronly protector. However, She also had Her gentler side. Wadjet was believed to have helped Isis nurse the young Horus and to help mother and baby hide from Set in the marshes of the delta. She was also considered to offer protection to all women during childbirth.

She (and Her sister) also protected the adult Horus from the followers of Set. Horus pursued them in the form of a winged sun disc and Nekhbet and Wadjet flanked him in the form of crowned snakes. This protection was also extended towards the pharaoh who wore the ‘Royal Ureas’ (serpent) on his (or her) forehead. From the Eighteenth Dynasty the queens also added one or two snakes to their headdresses representing Wadjet and Her sister.

Wadjet was associated with the fifth hour of the fifth day of the month and with ‘iput-hmt’ (Epipi), the harvest month of the Egyptian calendarFestivals were held in Her honour on the 10th day of ‘rh-wr’ (Mekhir) which was also called ‘the day of going forth of the Goddess’, the 7th day of ‘khnty-khty’ (Payni) and the 8th day of ‘Wpt-rnpt’ (Mesori). These latter two dates coincide roughly with the winter and spring solstices.

She was worshiped at the Temple of Wadjet, known as ‘Pe-Dep’. This temple was already long established by the Old Kingdom and is referred to in the Pyramid Texts. In this temple, Wadjet was linked with Horus. Wadjet was thought to be the wife of Hapi in Lower Egypt and was linked to Set in his role as a representative of Lower Egypt. She was sometimes described as the wife of Ptah and the mother of Nefertem, probably because She occasionally took the form of a lion like Sekhmet.

Her sacred animal was the cobra, and She was often depicted as either a rearing cobra, a winged cobra, or a woman with the head of a cobra.She was also depicted as a woman wearing the red crown of Lower Egypt. She often appears with Her sister Nekhbet who was in as a snake or woman. By the Late Period She was also associated with the ichneumon (a mongoose-like creature). This animal was known for its skill in killing snakes and was also sacred to Horus.  The Egyptians placed mummified ichneumon and shrew (small mice) inside statuettes of Wadjet which were interred with the dead. The two animals represented day (ichneumon) and night (shrew). She was also worshipped as a vulture Goddess. In Her form of the ‘eye of Ra’ She was depicted as a lion-headed woman wearing a solar disc and the Uraeus (cobra).” [1]

 

 

 

Sources:

Hill, J. Ancient Egypt Online, “Wadjet“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Becoming an Oracle, “The Ancient Egyptian Cobra Oracle“.

Crystalinks, “Wadjet“.

Ferrebeekeeper, “Per-Wadjet“.

Harris, Catherine C. Tour Egypt, “Wadjet, the Serpent Goddess“.

Seawright, Caroline.  Kunoichi’s Web Page, “Wadjet, Goddess of Lower Egypt, Papyrus, and Protector of Pharaoh…

Wikipedia, “Wadjet“.

Goddess Nut

“Queen of the Sky” by MyWorld1

“Nut’s themes are air and health.  Her symbols are a pot, turquoise, musk, a star, wind and cow images.  This great Egyptian sky Goddess bears a star-spangled belly that stretches over the earth like a protective atmosphere. Today She breaths on us with a late-March zephyr bearing health and well-being.  Legend tells us that when Ra went to escape the earth, Nut offered Her aid by becoming a huge cow who lifted him into heaven. When Nut found Herself dizzy from the effort, four gods rushed to Her aid. They later became the four pillars of creation – the four winds.

If the weather permits, I highly recommend a brisk, refreshing walk. Breathe deeply of the air, which has rejuvenating, healthy energies today. As you exhale, repeat the Goddess’s name, Nut, and listen as She responds in the breeze.

Any type of wind magic honors Nut, and it is certainly fitting today. If the wind blows from the west, sprinkle water into it for emotional healing. If it blows from the east, toss a feather out so it can return to you with healthy outlooks. If it blows from the north, sift a little soil into the wind to give fruitful foundations to a generating idea, and if it blows from the south, burn musk incense to manifest vital energy and a little passion.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“Nut’s name is translated to mean ‘sky’ and She is considered one of the oldest deities among the Egyptian pantheon, with Her origins being found on the creation story of Heliopolis. She was originally the Goddess of the nighttime sky, but eventually became referred to as simply the Sky Goddess. Her headdress was the hieroglyphic of part of Her name, a pot, which may also symbolize the uterus. Mostly depicted in nude human form, Nut was also sometimes depicted in the form of a cow whose great body formed the sky and heavens, a sycamore tree, or as a giant sow, suckling many piglets (representing the stars).” [1]

“Nut” by Lisa Hunt

“Nut is the Mother of Osiris, Horus the Elder, Seth, Isis and Nephthys. Her brother and husband is the earth-god Geb, and Their parents are Shu (air) and Tefnut (moisture). Nut and Geb were married in secret against the will of Ra, the one-time King of the Gods. When Ra found Them coupling, He had Shu the air-god violently seperate Them, forcing Geb to the earth, where His body’s contours became the hills, and lifting Nut into the sky (which implies that, like Lilith, Nut preferred the top position). Since then They have always been seperated, and Geb has been inconsolable.

Ra then forbade Nut to have Her children on any day of the year. But Thoth, god of wisdom, helped Her, by winning at gaming with the Moon. From His winnings–which were a little of the Moon’s light–Thoth made five extra days that were outside the year, and Nut was able to give birth to Her five children. These five days in the Egyptian calendar did not belong to any month, and with the twelve months of thirty days each brought the total of days up to 365 (and no, they made no allowance for leap-year, though they knew perfectly well.)

Like Hathor, who is also a sky-Goddess, Nut can take the form of a cow. She is also depicted as a slender woman whose arched body touches the earth with only the tips of Her fingers and Her tippy-toes, Her starry body forming the heavens. Nut’s fingers and toes were believed to touch the four cardinal points or directions of north, south, east, and west.

“Nut” by Hrana Janto

Ra once grew disillusioned with rebellious mankind, so Nut in the form of a cow lifted Him to heaven on Her back. Stretching higher and higher, She grew dizzy, and four gods (who represent the pillars of the sky) were needed to steady Her legs.” [2]

“Nut arches over the earth morning from between her thighs. She is the arching vault of the heavens, Her body sparkling with starlight. Through Her mouth the Sky-boat of the Sun passes each evening, from her vulva the it re-emerges and the day is reborn each morning. She retains some weather working functions; the thunder is Her voice.

As Mother Night, Nut represents the unconscious, luna, moon, feminine, the emotional body. Her glyph often depicts two crossed arrows against a leopard skin. Nut is associated with the element air, rainbows and sycamore trees.” [3]

“Nut is also the barrier separating the forces of chaos from the ordered cosmos in the world.  Because of Her role in saving Osiris, Nut was seen as a friend and protector of the dead, who appealed to Her as a child appeals to its mother: ‘O my Mother Nut, stretch Yourself over me, that I may be placed among the imperishable stars which are in You, and that I may not die.’ Nut was thought to draw the dead into Her star-filled sky, and refresh them with food and wine: ‘I am Nut, and I have come so that I may enfold and protect you from all things evil.’

“Nuit” by indigodeep

She was often painted on the inside lid of the sarcophagus, protecting the deceased. The vault of tombs often were painted dark blue with many stars as a representation of Nut. The Book of the Dead says, ‘Hail, thou Sycamore Tree of the Goddess Nut! Give me of the water and of the air which is in thee. I embrace that throne which is in Unu, and I keep guard over the Egg of Nekek-ur. It flourisheth, and I flourish; it liveth, and I live; it snuffeth the air, and I snuff the air, I the Osiris Ani, whose word is truth, in peace.'” [4]

 

 

 

Sources:

Crystalinks, “Goddesses Nut – Nuit“.

Took, Thalia. A-Muse-ing Grace Gallery, “Nut“.

Wikipedia, “Nut (goddess)“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Crystalinks, “Goddesses Nut – Nuit“.

GoddessGift.com, “Nut, Egyptian Goddess and the ‘Mother of All Gods’“.

Hill, J. Ancient Egypt Online, “Nut“.

Seawright, Caroline. Kunoichi’s Home Page, “Nut, Sky Goddess, Mother of the Gods…

Egypt World, “The Goddess Nut“.


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