The Goddesses

Deity of the Day for July 28th is Nephthys

Deity of the Day

Nephthys

Nephthys /ˈnɛpθɨs/ (Greek: Νέφθυς) or Nebthet /ˈnɛbˌθɛt/ (Arabic: نيفتيس Nyftys) is a member of the Great Ennead of Heliopolis in Egyptian mythology, a daughter of Nut and Geb. Nephthys was typically paired with her sister Isis in funerary rites because of their role as protectors of the mummy and the god Osiris and as the sister-wife of Set.

Nephthys is the Greek form of an epithet (transliterated as Nebet-het, and Nebt-het, from Egyptian hieroglyphs).The origin of the goddess Nephthys is unclear but the literal translation of her name is usually given as “Lady of the House,” which has caused some to mistakenly identify her with the notion of a “housewife,” or as the primary lady who ruled a domestic household. This is a pervasive error repeated in many commentaries concerning this deity. Her name means quite specifically, “Lady of the [Temple] Enclosure” which associates her with the role of priestess.

This title, which may be more of an epithet describing her function than a given name, probably indicates the association of Nephthys with one particular temple or some specific aspect of the Egyptian temple ritual. Along with her sister Isis, Nephthys represented the temple pylon or trapezoidal tower gateway entrance to the temple which also displayed the flagstaff. This entrance way symbolised the horizon or akhet.

At the time of the Fifth Dynasty Pyramid Texts, Nephthys appears as a goddess of the Heliopolitan Ennead. She is the sister of Isis and companion of the war-like deity, Set. As sister of Isis and especially Osiris, Nephthys is a protective goddess who symbolizes the death experience, just as Isis represented the (re)birth experience.

Nephthys was known in some ancient Egyptian temple theologies and cosmologies as the “Useful Goddess” or the “Excellent Goddess”. These late Ancient Egyptian temple texts describe a goddess who represented divine assistance and protective guardianship.

Nephthys is regarded as the mother of the funerary-deity Anubis (Inpu) in some myths. Alternatively Anubis appears as the son of Bastet or Isis.

As the primary “nursing mother” of the incarnate Pharaonic-god, Horus, Nephthys also was considered to be the nurse of the reigning Pharaoh himself. Though other goddesses could assume this role, Nephthys was most usually portrayed in this function. In contrast Nephthys is sometimes featured as a rather ferocious and dangerous divinity, capable of incinerating the enemies of the Pharaoh with her fiery breath.

New Kingdom Ramesside Pharaohs, in particular, were enamored of Mother Nephthys, as is attested in various stelae and a wealth of inscriptions at Karnak and Luxor, where Nephthys was a member of that great city’s Ennead and her altars were present in the massive complex.
Triad of Isis, Nephthys, and Harpocrates. Early Greco-Roman. Walters Museum

Nephthys was typically paired with her sister Isis in funerary rites because of their role as protectors of the mummy and the god Osiris and as the sister-wife of Seth.

Less well understood than her sister Isis, Nephthys was no less important in Egyptian Religion as confirmed by the work of E. Hornung, along with the work of several noted scholars.

“Ascend and descend; descend with Nephthys, sink into darkness with the Night-bark. Ascend and descend; ascend with Isis, rise with the Day-bark.”

Pyramid Text Utterance 222 line 210.

In the funerary role, Nephthys often was depicted as a kite, or as a woman with falcon wings, usually outstretched as a symbol of protection. Nephthys’s association with the kite or the Egyptian hawk (and its piercing, mournful cries) evidently reminded the ancients of the lamentations usually offered for the dead by wailing women. In this capacity, it is easy to see how Nephthys could be associated with death and putrefaction in the Pyramid Texts. She was, almost without fail, depicted as crowned by the hieroglyphics signifying her name, which were a combination of signs for the sacred temple enclosure (hwt), along with the sign for neb, or mistress (Lady), on top of the enclosure sign.

Nephthys was clearly viewed as a morbid-but-crucial force of heavenly transition, i.e., the Pharaoh becomes strong for his journey to the afterlife through the intervention of Isis and Nephthys. The same divine power could be applied later to all of the dead, who were advised to consider Nephthys a necessary companion. According to the Pyramid Texts, Nephthys, along with Isis, was a force before whom demons trembled in fear, and whose magical spells were necessary for navigating the various levels of Duat, as the region of the afterlife was termed.

It should here be noted that Nephthys was not necessarily viewed as the polar opposite of Isis, but rather as a different reflection of the same reality: eternal life in transition. Thus, Nephthys was also seen in the Pyramid Texts as a supportive cosmic force occupying the night-bark on the journey of Ra, the majestic sun god, particularly when he entered Duat at the transitional time of dusk, or twilight. Isis was Ra’s companion at the coming of dawn.

Nephthys plays an important role in the Osirian myth-cycle.

It is Nephthys who assists Isis in gathering and mourning the dismembered portions of the body of Osiris, after his murder by the envious Set. Nephthys also serves as the nursemaid and watchful guardian of the infant Horus. The Pyramid Texts refer to Isis as the “birth-mother” and to Nephthys as the “nursing-mother” of Horus. Nephthys was attested as one of the four “Great Chiefs” ruling in the Osirian cult-center of Busiris, in the Delta and she appears to have occupied an honorary position at the holy city of Abydos. No cult is attested for her there, though she certainly figured as a goddess of great importance in the annual rites conducted, wherein two chosen females or priestesses played the roles of Isis and Nephthys and performed the elaborate ‘Lamentations of Isis and Nephthys’. There, at Abydos, Nephthys joined Isis as a mourner in the shrine known as the Osireion. These “Festival Songs of Isis and Nephthys” were ritual elements of many such Osirian rites in major ancient Egyptian cult-centers.

As a mortuary goddess (along with Isis, Neith, and Serqet), Nephthys was one of the protectresses of the Canopic jars of the Hapi. Hapi, one of the Sons of Horus, guarded the embalmed lungs. Thus we find Nephthys endowed with the epithet, “Nephthys of the Bed of Life,” in direct reference to her regenerative priorities on the embalming table. In the city of Memphis, Nephthys was duly honored with the title “Queen of the Embalmer’s Shop,” and there associated with the jackal-headed god Anubis as patron.

Nephthys was also considered a festive deity whose rites could mandate the liberal consumption of beer. In various reliefs at Edfu, Dendera, and Behbeit, Nephthys is depicted receiving lavish beer-offerings from the Pharaoh, which she would “return”, using her power as a beer-goddess “that [the pharaoh] may have joy with no hangover.” Elsewhere at Edfu, for example, Nephthys is a goddess who gives the Pharaoh power to see “that which is hidden by moonlight.” This fits well with more general textual themes that consider Nephthys to be a goddess whose unique domain was darkness, or the perilous edges of the desert.

Nephthys could also appear as one of the goddesses who assists at childbirth. One ancient Egyptian myth preserved in the Papyrus Westcar recounts the story of Isis, Nephthys, Meskhenet, and Heqet as traveling dancers in disguise, assisting the wife of a priest of Amun-Re as she prepares to bring forth sons who are destined for fame and fortune.

Nephthys’s healing skills and status as direct counterpart of Isis, steeped, as her sister in “words of power,” are evidenced by the abundance of faience amulets carved in her likeness, and by her presence in a variety of magical papyri that sought to summon her famously altruistic qualities to the aid of mortals.

The Ramesside Pharaohs were particularly devoted to Set’s prerogatives and, in the 19th Dynasty, a temple of Nephthys called the “House of Nephthys of Ramesses-Meriamun” was built or refurbished in the town of Sepermeru, midway between Oxyrhynchos and Herakleopolis, on the outskirts of the Fayyum and quite near to the modern site of Deshasheh. Here, as Papyrus Wilbour notes in its wealth of taxation records and land assessments, the temple of Nephthys was a specific foundation by Ramesses II, located in close proximity to (or within) the precinct of the enclosure of Set. To be certain, the House of Nephthys was one of fifty individual, land-owning temples delineated for this portion of the Middle Egyptian district in Papyrus Wilbour. The fields and other holdings belonging to Nephthys’s temple were under the authority of two Nephthys-prophets (named Penpmer and Merybarse) and one (mentioned) wa’ab priest of the goddess.

While certainly affiliated with the “House of Set,” the Nephthys temple at Sepermeru and its apportioned lands (several acres) clearly were under administration distinct from the Set institution. The Nephthys temple was a unique establishment in its own right, an independent entity. According to Papyrus Wilbour, another “House of Nephthys of Ramesses-Meriamun” seems to have existed to the north, in the town of Su, closer to the Fayyum region.

Another temple of Nephthys seems to have existed in the town of Punodjem. The Papyrus Bologna records a complaint lodged by a prophet of the temple of Set in that town regarding undue taxation in his regard. After making an introductory appeal to “Re-Horakhte, Set, and Nephthys” for the ultimate resolution of this issue by the royal Vizier, the prophet (named Pra’emhab) laments his workload. He notes his obvious administration of the “House of Set” and adds: “I am also responsible for the ship, and I am responsible likewise for the House of Nephthys, along with a heap of other temples.”

As “Nephthys of Ramesses-Meriamun,” the goddess and her shrines were under the particular endorsement of Ramesses II. The foundations of the Set and Nephthys temples at Sepermeru finally were discovered and identified in the 1980s, and the Nephthys temple was a self-sustaining temple complex within the Set enclosure.

There can be little doubt that a cult of Nephthys existed in the temple and great town of Herakleopolis, north of Sepermeru. A near life-sized statue of Nephthys (currently housed in the Louvre) boasts a curiously altered inscription. The basalt image originally was stationed at Medinet-Habu, as part of the cultic celebration of the Pharaonic “Sed-Festival,” but was transferred at some point to Herakleopolis and the temple of Herishef. The cult-image’s inscription originally pertained to “Nephthys, Foremost of the Sed [Festival] in the Booth of Annals” (at Medinet-Habu), but was re-inscribed or re-dedicated to “Nephthys, Foremost of the [Booths of] Herakleopolis.” A “prophet of Nephthys” is indeed attested for the town of Herakleopolis in the 30th Dynasty.

Nephthys was considered the unique protectress of the Sacred Phoenix, or the Bennu Bird. This role may have stemmed from an early association in her native Heliopolis, which was renowned for its “House of the Bennu” temple. In this role, Nephthys was given the name “Nephthys-Kheresket,” and a wealth of temple texts from Edfu, Dendera, Philae, Kom Ombo, El Qa’la, Esna, and others corroborate the late identification of Nephthys as the supreme goddess of Upper Egyptian Nome VII, where another shrine existed in honor of the Bennu. Nephthys also was the goddess of the “Mansion of the Sistrum” in Hwt-Sekhem (Gr. Diospolis Parva), the chief city of Nome VII. There, Nephthys was the primary protectress of the resident Osirian relic, of the Bennu Bird, and of the local Horus/Osiris manifestation, the god Neferhotep.

Nephthys was most widely and usually worshipped in ancient Egypt as part of a consortium of temple deities. Therefore, it should not surprise us that her cult images could likely be found as part of the divine entourage in temples at Kharga, Kellis, Deir el-Hagar, Koptos, Dendera, Philae, Sebennytos, Busiris, Shenhur, El Qa’la, Letopolis, Heliopolis, Abydos, Thebes, Dakleh Oasis, and indeed throughout Egypt. In most cases, Nephthys found her typical place as part of a triad alongside Osiris and Isis, or Isis and Horus, or Isis and Min, or as part of a quartet of deities. It is perhaps in this way that Nephthys best fulfilled her role as an important national deity whose ideal function was to provide powerful assistance to her associates in a great variety of temple cults—a truly “Useful” and “Excellent” goddess, as her primary epithets reflect.

Source:
Wikipedia

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Deity of the Day for July 21 is Ceres, Goddess of the Grain Fields

Deity of the Day


Ceres

Goddess of the Grain Fields

 

During the classical age of the Roman Empire, the main industry was farming. A reliable and huge food supply was necessary as the population of the ever-expanding Roman Empire grew. Roman society was divided into several groups – there were the patricians, who were typically the landowners, and involved in policy and decision-making. There were also plebeians, who were average people who worked in shops and as craftsmen or laborers.

Finally, there were slaves, and the slaves were the backbone of the Roman farming industry.

Vast numbers of slaves were required to maintain the millions of acres of crops that were grown to feed the Roman people – remember, the Roman Empire at one point boasted almost seventy million people. That was about a fifth of the world’s population at the time. Because grain was a high-yield crop, well-organized agriculture could keep the populace from starving.

Ceres was the goddess of grain, specifically maize, and of the harvest season. According to Roman legend, she was the one who taught mankind how to farm. She is associated with agricultural fertility and a bountiful harvest.

Offerings and sacrifices were made to Ceres by landowners, and she was called upon during the summer months to watch over the crops and protect them from drought, insects, and flooding.

Ceres’ story parallels that of the Greek goddess Demeter. In the Roman telling of the tale, Ceres had a daughter named Proserpine, who was taken away by Pluto to the underground.

Ceres searched everywhere but was unable to find her beautiful daughter, and as she grieved for her missing child, she was so upset that all of the crops stopped growing. As a great famine struck, Ceres discovered that Proserpine was in fact with Pluto. He agreed that Proserpine could spend six months of the year with her mother, and six with him in the underworld. Each year when Proserpine returns to Pluto’s realm, the land grows cold and the crops wither and die. In the spring, she returns, and Ceres brings life to the land once more.

Today, we still use Ceres’ name as part of our regular vocabulary – crunched up gain is called cereal in her honor.

 

Source:
Author: Paganism/Wicca Expert

Website: Article found on & owned by About.com

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The Goddess Creed

The Goddess Creed

 

I believe in Goddess the Mother All Mighty
Creatrix of the heavens and earth
And in all women
Who were conceived of Her love
Born of our sacred mothers
Suffered under patriarchy
Were crucified, died, and were buried
We descended into the underworld
The third day we arose again
We integrated with our new selves
And we now sit with Goddess our Mother
And we judge no one
I believe in the Holy Mother
The maiden, mother, crone
Forgiveness toward others
The celebration of the body
And everlasting renewal of life
So Mote It Be
(c) 2008 Danu Gray Wolf
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Goddess For Today: Thmei

4th of July Comments

Goddess For Today: Thmei
Independence Day (United States)

Themes   Freedom; Justice; Honor; Divination; Balance; Equality; Foresight; Morality
Symbols   Scales or Balanced Items:  Ostrich Feathers

About Thmei:  This Egyptian Goddess of Law and Mother of virtue watches over human conduct, looking for right action, wise decisions,
ethical dealings, and just outcomes.  On a broader scale, she also tends to matters of universal law, that we might learn its patterns, internalize
its ideals, and then use this awareness throughout the year.

In some instances, Thmei is considered a prophetic Goddess to call on in determining the outcome of any course of action, especially legal ones.
Egyptian art depicts Thmei bearing a single ostrich feather, the symbol of truth with self and others.

To Do Today:  Celebrate your personal independence, and break free from any constraints that seem unjust or
unethical, asking Thmei for the power and courage to endure. To make a Thmei charm that draws equity into all
your dealings, find a portable token that, to you, represents balance, harmony, and fairness.  Put this on your
bathroom scale, saying, Balance and harmony within this shrine, Thmei, make impartial dealings mine!
Carry this token with you, or leave it in the area where you feel inequity or discord exists.
)0(
By Patricia Telesco ~ From “365 Goddess” and GrannyMoon’s Morning Feast

 

Courtesy of GrannyMoonsMorningFeast

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WOTC Extra (a) – The Divine Feminine

Witchy Comments The Divine Feminine

Many Wiccans believe that the Divine is both feminine and masculine, so they venerate the Goddess and God. The Goddess is symbolized by Mother Earth. Concern for the environment and “green” practices demonstrate respect for the Goddess, who is manifest in all of nature. It’s no accident that movements honoring the Earth and the Goddess evolved simultaneously. Indeed, many Witches believe that unless Goddess energy reawakens within each of us and in the world as a whole, the planet may be destroyed.

Witches often depict the Goddess in three stages that represent the three phases of a woman’s life: maiden, mother, and crone. Celtic art illustrates this tripart nature as three interlocking pointed loops called vesica piscis, which symbolize the opening to the womb. Others show the feminine trinity as three phases of the moon: waxing, waning, and full.

The Only Book of Wiccan Spells You’ll Ever Need (The Only Book You’ll Ever Need)
Marian Singer; Trish MacGregor

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Let’s Talk Witch – Honoring and Invoking Deities

Witchy CommentsHonoring and Invoking Deities

Many witches believe that divine assistance is always available to you and that Gods and Goddesses gladly offer their guidance, help, and energy to humans to use for positive purposes. Some view divine beings as higher aspects of human consciousness, which can be accessed and activated through magickal means.

Ask First!

If you want to connect with a particular entity, first ask that god or goddess to listen to your request and come to your aid. One theory states that deities will not interfere with your own free will— you must ask them sincerely for help.

If you aren’t used to considering a divine being as a partner in your spiritual and practical pursuits, you may wonder how to go about petitioning your favorite god or goddess for assistance. Here are a few suggestions:

Make an offering of some sort to the deity. Burning incense is a popular offering, although you may wish to choose an offering that more specifically corresponds to the nature of the deity whose help you seek.

Place a figurine of the chosen deity on your altar and focus your attention on it.

Use an oracle, such as tarot cards or runes, to access divine wisdom and open your mind to messages from the deities.

Pray.

Meditate.

Light a candle in honor of the deity you wish to petition.

Design and perform a ritual to the deity.

Write your request on a slip of paper, then burn it.

Choose a crystal or gemstone that relates to the deity. Carry the stone in your pocket and touch it periodically.

Plant herbs or flowers in honor of the god or goddess. Choose plants that correspond to the deity’s nature and your intent, such as roses for love or mint for prosperity.

 
The Only Book of Wiccan Spells You’ll Ever Need (The Only Book You’ll Ever Need)
Marian Singer; Trish MacGregor

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Deity of the Day for June 22nd – Olwen, Welsh Goddess

Deity of the Day


Olwen

Welsh Goddess

(Welsh) [O-loon] Also Olwyn. A daughter of the king of the Giants, Ysbadadden. Her name means “the golden wheel”, which makes some see her as an opposing force to Arianrhod of “the silver wheel”. Her other nickname was “Lady of the White Tracks” because wherever she walked the trefoil plants commonly called shamrocks would pop up. This indicated that she may have been a Triple Goddess unto herself with several other associations long lost to us.

The hero Culhwch was a suitor of Olwen’s who went on a mythic journey to find her after her father, who knew he would die if their marriage took place, hid her. In this part of the myth she is the May Queen, a partner of the new sacrificial God who takes the place of the old one

Olwen also had adventures in faeryland after she was captured by horse riding faeries. She was rescued by her father after a year and a day of captivity. (May Queens are often linked to the faery kingdom.)

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Deity of the Day for June 13th is Minerva Roman Goddess of Wisdom

Deity of the Day

Minerva

Roman Goddess of Wisdom

 

Areas of Influence: Minerva was the Goddess of wisdom and crafts.

Only in Rome was she worshiped as the Goddess of war.

This Goddess represented the application of intellect to everyday tasks. As the Goddess of wisdom she was accredited with inventing spinning, weaving, numbers and music. Her attributes were so numerous that Ovid described her as the “Goddess of a thousand works.”
She is also the patron of Goddess of medicine.

Origins and Genealogy: The name of this Goddess is said to be of Etruscan origin.

Her parents were Jupiter and Métis. Elements of the myths surrounding her birth however have been poached from Greek Goddess Athena, as she too is born fully grown, from her father’s head.

She was considered third among the Gods and Goddesses and was part of the Capitolian triad alongside Juna and Jupiter.

Strengths: Wisdom, creativity and strength.

Weaknesses: Out of touch with emotions.

Minerva’s Symbolism

The Roman Goddess of wisdom is depicted in full battle dress with a coat of mail, a helmet and a spear.

Sacred Animal/Insect: Owl and the spider.

Sacred Plants: Her sacred plants were the olive, mulberry and alder trees.

Festivals: The main festival celebrating this Goddess took place March 19th – 23rd.

A smaller festival occurred later in the year on the 13th of June.

Greek Equivalent: Athena

Minerva’s Archetypes

The Teacher/ Inventor:

The Teacher and Inventor communicates knowledge, experience and wisdom.

In it’s shadow aspect, the Teacher may manipulate and mislead their students by indoctrinating them with negative beliefs and destructive behaviours.

This is Minerva’s primary Archetype as she teaches humans how to spin and weave. She is also accredited in Roman mythology for inventing numbers and medicine.

The Warrior:

Archetype represents physical strength, and the ability to protect and fight for your rights and those of of others.

The shadow side of the Warrior reflects the need to win at all costs, abandoning ethical principles to prove your supremacy.

Although Roman mythology borrows heavily from it’s Greek counterparts, it is only in Rome that Minerva is worshipped as the Goddess of war, despite always being depicted in full battle dress. This is why I have ranked this Archetype as only of secondary importance for this Goddess.

How To Work With These Archetypes

The Teacher/Inventor:

This Archetype may suggest a love of passing on wisdom and learning to others.

This Goddess wise counsel can also be called upon to help you see a way through any present difficulties or to help you to master a new skill.

The shadow aspect of this stereo type is also a reminder that whenever we find ourselves in a teaching or mentoring role we must aim to be a positive role model, encouraging others to reach their full potential.

The Warrior:

If you are drawn to work with this Goddess you may require her Warrior spirit to help you to stand up for your rights and set firm personnal boundries. This Goddess can be a great stereotype to work with if you want to take control in your life, and wish to no longer play the role of the victim.

You may also wish to call upon this Goddess to champion the cause of others.

Conversely this Goddess may appeal to you if you have a very strong sense of self and are proud of the victories you have achieved. The shadow side may be asking you to reflect honestly on the cost of these victories. Have they been at the expense of others or your principals?

 

 

Source:

The Goddess-Guide.com

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