Egyptian Goddesses

Like the gods, Egyptian goddesses ranged from minor to important deities. They also harbor divine powers and have larger-than-life personalities. Some are strong, independent, and have their own powers, while others are affiliated with Egyptian gods who are often their fathers, brothers, or husbands.

For many ancient Egyptians the world was viewed as a big, frightening place filled with chaos that was either man-made or created by the natural world. In ancient Egyptian stories, the wrath and destructive powers of people and the elements were often embodied in the gods. The Egyptian goddesses were also assigned superhuman powers. However, they were frequently portrayed with exaggerated feminine traits as caregivers, protectors, and nurturing spirits. Many were also mothers themselves. In ancient times, the goddesses’ feminine personality traits were represented in animals. While men were associated with ferocious creatures like wolves, snakes, and demons, Egyptian goddesses were depicted as more docile creatures like cats. There were a few exceptions, however, especially as women earned more respect and recognition in society.

Of the concepts named in Egyptian literature, one of the most common is creation. It involves both gods and goddesses, but the two genders play very different roles. While men were associated with conceiving children and ruling as kings, women acted as servants, mothers, and protectors. Their role is not unlike that of a queen, which is more subservient than a king and plays his supporting role. Many goddess wives or daughters served protective roles of shielding their husbands or fathers from harm. As mothers, they were associated with rebirth and perpetuating life on earth.

Over time, society’s advancements influenced the role of the goddesses. Just as the role of the gods was shaped by Egypt’s political climate, the power of the goddesses changed based on Egyptian citizens’ evolving views of women. In later texts, Egyptian goddesses are often seen accumulating power and control in places beyond their hometowns. Some goddesses are even considered the most respected and celebrated of all godlike figures with cult followings, festivals, and temples in their honor.

This page contains a list of the names of Egyptian goddessess and their roles. It will be updated regularly with additions and correction.

Amunet

Amunet was able to procreate without a male partner, as Egyptians believed snakes did, and is correspondingly sometimes depicted as a cobra. She was also viewed as a sky or air goddess.

Anput

The female aspect of Anubis, Anput was goddess of the dead, and like Anubis was sometimes shown as having the head of a jackal.

Anuket

Anuket was a goddess of the Nile, and was tied to the enrichment and cultivation of the fields. She is sometimes shown as a gazelle.

Bastet

A cat or lion-headed goddess, Bastet was a protector of the home, and also a goddess of sensual pleasure. Bastet was a popular goddess in Egypt, and was a daughter of Ra and Isis.

Hathor

One of the most popular or famous deities in Egyptian mythology, she was the goddess of love, beauty and femininity. She was often viewed as having cow horns or the head of a cow.

Heket

Heket was a goddess who was associated with birth and fertility, who was often depicted as a frog or having the head of a frog.

Isis

Kebechet

Daughter of Anubis, she was the goddess of embalming water or fluid, and purification. She was sometimes represented as a snake.

Ma’at

Menhit

Menhit was another Egyptian war goddess who was represented as a lion. Her origins stemmed from Nubia, a region located between central Sudan and southern Egypt.

Mut

Mut was a mother goddess who rose to prominence in the New Kingdom. She took on the attributes of several deities. She was viewed as a creator / primordial goddess, and was often shown with either vulture or lion features.

Nephthys

Protector goddess who symbolized transitional death. She was the mother of Anubis and was often linked to funerary processions.

Nekhbet

Nekhbet was one of the oldest deities, and was celebrated as a creator goddess. She was referred to as ‘mother of mothers’, and was believed to be a creator of the world. She was a white vulture goddess, and is often depicted as having wings or a vulture headdress.

Nut

Known in Egyptian mythology as goddess of the sky, Nut was often represented as a cow or as having a human body and the head of a cow. Nut was also at times depicted as arching over the sky and heavens over her husband Geb.

Pakhet

Pakhet, which meant ‘she who tears or scratches’, was a huntress and a goddess of war. She was represented as a lioness or as having the head of a lioness, and was known to wander the desert seeking prey. Pakhet was only popular in certain regions.

Qetesh

An Egyptian fertility and nature goddess, Qetesh originated in Canaan, and wasn’t popular until the Middle and New Kingdoms. She was particularly associated with sensual and sexual pleasure, and was often depicted face forward, instead of head turned sideways.

Raet

Raet was the female aspect of Ra, and was therefore viewed as the sun or solar goddess. She was also referred to as Raet-Tawy, which meant ‘Raet of the Two Lands’ or ‘Raet of the Unified Lands’. She was often shown as having a sun between cow horns on her head.

Sekhmet

Tawaret

Tawaret was a fearsome protector goddess, with attributes of hippopotamuses and crocodiles. She was associated with protecting mothers, children and childbirth.

Tefnut

Tefnut was the goddess of moisture and rain, and was created when Atum, the creator god, spit her out of his mouth. She was often shown as a lioness or as having the head of a lioness.

Wadjet

Wadjet was an old and regional goddess, specifically associated with the city of Dep. As time progressed, she became slightly more popular in lower Egypt, but never became extremely well-known. She was sometimes represented as a snake or as having the head of a snake, and is sometimes referred to as the ‘serpent goddess’.
Later, she also became affiliated with the mongoose.

 

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