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Goddess Nephthys

  • 05 16, 2023

Goddess Nephthys | Mistress of the House |

Since she never appears separated from Isis, likely, she is even doubled. That the union with Seth is a later elaboration of the myth, born from the desire to have two symmetrical divine couples, is also demonstrated by the fact that Nephthys, as Seth's bride, appears dull.

Nephthys has a completely human aspect and is recognized only by the hieroglyphic symbol of the name she wears on her head (the plan of a building surmounted by a basket). In this aspect, Nephthys. appears, always in union with Isis, alongside the corpse of Osiris (and each dead person becomes an Osiris, thus having the right to the care of the two deities). Even in the scenes depicting the Hereafter, she appears, always paired with Isis, at the side of Osiris, depicted either on the throne as the god of the dead, or in a snake aspect, it guards the last door of the Underworld through which the sun will return to earth. These scenes are very frequent on the walls of the tombs, in the funerary scenes and papyri, and, sometimes, are found on the short sides of the sarcophagi, with the task of protecting Isis the chief and Nephthys.

Goddess of the Air in Ancient Egypt

There can be no doubt that the cult of Nephthys existed in the temple and large city of Herakleopolis. A nearby life-size statue of Nephthys (currently housed in the Louvre Museum) boasts an oddly altered inscription. The basalt image was originally placed in Medinet Habu, as part of the celebration of the pharaonic-era tradition of the Sed Festival, but was transferred at some point to Herakleopolis.

 

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Nephthys played several important roles in ancient Egyptian beliefs and rituals. She was regarded as a protective goddess, primarily associated with watching over the deceased and guiding souls in the afterlife. Additionally, Nephthys was considered a guardian of the pharaoh, offering her support and protection in their earthly rule. She was also associated with mourning rituals, particularly during funeral ceremonies and the process of mummification.

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