mythology, Renenutet (also transliteration
as Ernutet, and Renenet) was the anthropomorphic
deification of the act of gaining
a true name, an aspect of the soul,
during birth. Her name simply meaning
(she who) gives Ren, with Ren being
the egyptian word for this true name.
Indeed, it was said that a newborn
had Renenutet upon their shoulder
from their first day, and she was
referred to as (she who) rears, and
Lady of the robes (referring to birth-robes).
Her cult was centered in Terenuthis.
Her name could also be interpreted in an alternate way, as
renen-utet, rather than ren-nutet, consequently having the
more esoteric meaning - nourishment snake. As a nourishment
snake, Renenutet was envisioned, particularly in art, as a
cobra, or as a woman the head of a cobra. This secondary meaning
also lead to her being considered the source of nourishment,
thus a goddess of the harvest; gaining titles such as Lady
of granaries, and Lady of fertile fields. The importance of
the harvest caused people to make many offerings to Renenutet
during harvest time, leading to her being seen as a goddess
of riches and good fortune.
As the goddess of nourishment, she was sometimes seen as
the wife of Sobek, who represented
the fertility of the annual flooding of the nile, which was
the source of the ability to have harvests. However, more
usually, she was seen as the mother of Nehebkau,
who was the deification of another important change concerning
parts of the soul - the binding of Ka and Ba, who was additionally
also seen as a snake. When considered the mother of Nehebkau,
Renenutet was seen as a wife of Geb,
who represented the earth, since it was from earth that snakes
appear to arise.
As a snake-goddess over the whole of Lower Egypt, she was
later increasingly confused with Wadjet,
Lower Egypt's protector, and another snake goddess. Eventually
Renenutet was identified as a form of Wadjet,
whose gaze was said to slaughter enemies.
The Hymn of Renenutet says:
I will make the Nile swell for
without there being a year of lack
and exhaustion in the whole land,
so the plants will flourish, bending
under their fruit.
The land of Egypt is beginning to
the shores are shining wonderfully,
and wealth and well-being dwell
as it had been before.
and Goddesses Menu
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