Tuesday, August 2, 2011

New Year's Eve

Tomorrow is Wep Ronpet. Today is the last on the "days upon the year." This day belongs to Nebt-het (Gr. Nephthys), and honestly, I've never understood Her much. But being in the Kemetic community, even if it's only online, I'm learning more about this vague goddess who seems to always be in Aset's shadow.

She's wife to Set, who is one of my beloveds. She is associated with death, and her hair is often described to be like mummy wrappings. She's necessarily associated with vultures, which, in the ancient Egyptian mind, were always female, and simply created out of thin air (literally).

While containing all these aspects that make her "spooky", and great fodder for a Halloween costume, She is identified by two hieroglyphs on her head - "basket" and "house." She's a household goddess. It seems that the ancient Egyptians honored death in their own home, next to fearsome protective deities like Bes and Taweret.

Of course, Nebt-het is also depicted and called upon in tombs, with Her sister Aset, since they both were the ones who found the cut-up body of Wesir and put him back together again, making the first mummy. Her wings protect the mummies of kings alongside those of Aset. She also was nurse-maid to Heru-sa-Aset (young Horus), which put Her at odds with her own husband. Set wanted the throne that Heru got.

I don't know if I will ever understand this Lady of Mourning, but I just might visit a cemetery today.


  1. I think Hemet said in a teaching chat that in a birth scene, Aset is shown at the mothers feet to receive the new life, and Nebt-Het is shown at the mothers head, to embrace her if something goes wrong.

    In the Duat, they are shown with Nebt-Het at the feet, to "birth" her into the Duat, and Aset is at her head.

  2. That would make a lot of sense. My mother is a midwife, and she always told me that a woman comes closest to death when she's giving birth.