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Heget
 
To the Egyptians, the frog became a symbol of life and fertility, since millions of them were born after the annual inundation of the Nile, which brought fertility to the otherwise barren lands. Consequently, in Egyptian mythology, there began to be a frog-goddess, who represented fertility, named Heget (also Heqet, Heket), meaning frog. Heget was usually depicted as a frog, or a woman with a frog's head, or more rarely as a frog on the end of a phallus to explicitely indicate her association with fertility.     

She was worshipped in the areas where the Ogdoad cosmogeny gained favour, and so, like most deities in this cosmogeny, except for the eight members of the Ogdoad themselves, she was considered a child of Ra. Since she was associated with the nile, she was often considered to be the wife of Sobek, the Nile god. After the Ogdoad and Ennead merged, and Ra became Atum-Ra, it was sometimes said that as the bringer of life to the newborn, she had to be the wife of Shu, the creator of all gods in the Ennead except for Atum, his father.

Later, as a fertility goddess, associated explicitely with the last stages of the flooding of the nile, and so with the germination of corn, she became associated with the last stages of childbirth. This association, which appears to have arisen during the Middle Kingdom, gained her the title She who hastens the birth. Midwives often called themselves the Servants of Heget, and her priestesses were trained as midwives. Women often wore amulets of her during childbirth, which depicted Heget as a frog, sitting in a lotus. As goddess of the last stages of birth, she became considered the wife of Chnum, who formed the bodies of new children on his potter's wheel.

When the Legend of Osiris and Isis developed, it was said that it was Heget who breathed life into the new body of Horus at birth, as she was the goddess of the last moments of birth. As the birth of Horus became more intimately associated with the resurrection of Osiris, so Heget's role became one more closely associated with resurrection. Eventually, this association lead to her amulets gaining the phrase I am the resurrection, and consequently the amulets were used by early Christians. Finally, as the legend of Osiris' resurrection grew increasingly stronger, she became ever more aligned with Isis, and eventually becoming an aspect of her.     

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This article is copied from an article on Wikipedia.org - the free encyclopedia created and edited by online user community. Although the vast majority of the wikipedia encyclopedia articles provide accurate and timely information please do not assume the accuracy of any particular article. This article is distributed under the terms of GNU Free Documentation License.

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