Anuket

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In Egyptian mythology, Anuket—"the embracer"—(or Anqet or Gk: Anukis) was the goddess of the Nile River and was worshipped at Elephantine Island, alongside Khnum and Satis. Anuket’s name holds reference to the embracing and nourishing of the fields by the Nile river—some of the titles of Anukis were “Nourisher of the Fields,” “She Who Shoots Forth,” and “Giver of Life.” The two tributaries that fed flood waters to the Nile were thought to be the arms of Anuket.

This water goddess was worshipped for her fertility and nurturing nature. Sacred symbols of Anuket were arrows and the cowrie shell, which resembles a vagina. Praised for her speed and nimble grace, Anuket was often pictured as a gazelle, or as a woman with the head of a gazelle. The water goddess’ link to the gazelle was probably because the Egyptians saw these animals often around water.

When the Nile started to rise, the Festival of Anuket began. The Egyptian people threw coins, gold, jewelry, and precious gifts into the river in thanks for the life-giving water—thus the riches that the Nile had given the Egyptians were ritually returned to their source. In several parts of Egypt, fish were sacred and could not be eaten. However, during the Festival of Anuket, this taboo was lifted. Anuket was described as the “Giver of Life, and of All Power, and of All Health, and of All Joy of the Heart.” Sometimes she was pictured as a woman holding a tall papyrus scepter and wearing a crown of feathers.

References

  • Wikipedia. (2005). Anuket. Retrieved on 03/01/2005.

Document Source

  • This page was originally sourced from Thelemapedia. Retrieved May 2009.