|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,
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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