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Renenutet
 
In Egyptian 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 you,
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 stir again,
the shores are shining wonderfully,
and wealth and well-being dwell with them,
as it had been before.

    

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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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