View Full Version : Wadjet/Buto {Goddess of the Week}

March 18th, 2008, 05:52 PM

In Egyptian mythology, Wadjet (Egyptian w3ḏyt; also spelt Wadjit or Wedjet which means, goddess, and in Greek, Udjo, Uto, Edjo, and Buto among other names), was originally the ancient local goddess of the city of Dep which became part of the city that the Egyptians named Per-Wadjet (House of Wadjet) and the Greeks called Buto, a city that was an important site in the Predynastic era of Ancient Egypt and the cultural developments of ten thousand years from the Paleolithic to 3100 B.C. She came to be the patron and protector of Lower Egypt and upon unification with Upper Egypt, the joint protector and patron of all of Egypt with the goddess of Upper Egypt.

As the patron goddess, she was associated with the land and depicted as a snake-headed woman or a snake—usually an Egyptian cobra, poisonous snakes which were common in the region—sometimes she was depicted as a woman with two snake heads and at other times, a snake with a woman's head.

Her oracle was located in the renowned temple in Per-Wadjet that was dedicated to her worship and gave the city its name. This oracle may have been the source for the oracular tradition that spread to Greece from Egypt. The Going Forth of Wadjet was celebrated on December 25 with chants and songs. An annual festival held in the city celebrated Wadjet on April 21. Other important dates for special worship of her were, June 21, the Summer Solstice, and March 14. She also was assigned the fifth hour of the fifth day of the moon.

Wadjet was closely associated in the Egyptian pantheon with Bast the fierce goddess depicted as a lioness warrior and protector, as the sun goddess whose eye later became the eye of Horus, the eye of Ra, and the Lady of Flame. Per-Wadjet also contained a sanctuary of Horus and much later, Wadjet became associated with Isis.

Eventually, she became the patron goddess and protector of the whole of Lower Egypt. As goddess of Lower Egypt, she became associated with Nekhbet, depicted as a white vulture, who held the same position in Upper Egypt. When the two parts of Egypt were joined together, there was no merger of the deities as often occurred, both goddesses were retained because of the importance of their roles and they became known as the two ladies, who were the protectors of unified Egypt. After the unification the image of Nekhbet joined Wadjet on the crown, thereafter shown as part of the uraeus.

The ancient Egyptian word wadjet signifies blue and green. It also is a name for the Eye of the Moon later becoming the Eye of Horus and the Eye of Ra as additional deities arose. Indeed, in later times, she was often depicted simply as a woman with a snake's head, or as a woman wearing the uraeus. The uraeus originally had been her body alone, which wrapped around or was coiled upon the head of the pharaoh or another deity.

Depicted as a cobra she became confused with Renenutet, whose identity eventually merged with hers. As patron and protector, later Wadjet often was shown coiled upon the head of Ra, who later became the Egyptian chief deity, in order to act as his protection, this image of her became the uraeus symbol used on the royal crowns as well.

Another early depiction of Wadjet is as a cobra entwined around a papyrus stem, beginning in the Predynastic era (prior to 3100 B.C.) and it is thought to be the first image that shows a snake entwined around a staff symbol. This is a sacred image that appeared repeatedly in the later images and myths of cultures surrounding the Mediterranean Sea.

Her image also rears up from the staff of the "flag" poles that are used to indicate deities, as seen in the hieroglyph for Uraeus above.

An interpretation of the Milky Way was that it was the primal snake, Wadjet, the protector of Egypt. In this interpretation she was closely associated with Hathor and other early deities among the various aspects of the great mother goddess, including Mut and Naunet. The association with Hathor brought her son Horus into association also. The cult of Ra absorbed most of Horus's traits and included the protective eye of Wadjet that had shown her association with Hathor, and her son.

When identified as the protector of Ra, who also was a sun deity associated with heat and fire, she sometimes was said to be able to send fire onto those who might attack, just as the cobra spits poison into the eyes of its enemies. In this role she was called the Lady of Flame.

She later became identified with the war goddess of Lower Egypt, Bast, who acted as another figure symbolic of the nation, consequently becoming Wadjet-Bast. In this role, since Bastet was a lioness, Wadjet-Bast often was depicted with a lioness head.

When Lower Egypt had been conquered by Upper Egypt and they were unified, the lioness goddess of the Upper Egypt, Sekhmet, was seen as the more powerful of the two warrior goddesses. It was Sekhmet who was seen as the Avenger of Wrongs, and the Scarlet Lady, a reference to blood, as the one with bloodlust. She is depicted with the solar disk and Wadjet, however.

Eventually, her position as patron led to her being identified as the more powerful goddess Mut, whose cult had come to the fore in conjunction with rise of the cult of Amun, and eventually being absorbed into her as the Mut-Wadjet-Bast triad.

When the pairing of deities later occurred in Egyptian myths, since she was linked to the land, after the unification of Lower and Upper Egypt she came to be thought of as the wife of Hapy, a deity of the Nile, which flowed through the land.

From: Wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wadjet)
Wadjet (Udjat; G/R Edjo, Buto) - "She Who is Green" Cobra-Netjer associated with both the land of Lower Kemet itself and its protection, and the protection and symbolism of the Red Crown (Nit), Wadjet is often depicted as a full cobra, or as the head of the cobra, rearing up in protection on the forehead of Netjeru and rulers. On depictions of the Udjat, She is often accompanied by Nekhbet, the vulture-Netjer of the South, and symbolizes one half of the Two Lands which make up Kemet politically. Her head was mounted on the nemes-headdress of rulers alongside Nekhbet's vulture-head (witness the beautiful cobra on the forehead of King Tutankhamen's funerary mask, called a Uraeus), and a crown surmounted by many tiny uraeii was worn by many chief queens or consorts. Nubian kings and queens would continue the use of the Uraeus as a royal symbol, planting two cobra-heads on the brows of their crowns and royal headbands. Very infrequently, and probably related to Her role as the "Eye of Ra" (divine vengeance), Wadjet, like Sekhmet, is depicted with the head of a lioness.

From: Kemet.org (http://www.kemet.org/glossary/wadjet.html)
Main center of worship: Per-Wadjet/Buto, 5th Nome, Lower Egypt

Festivals: (dates not historically verified)
25th December - 10 th Mechir - Going Forth of Wadjet singing in Heliopolis
21st April - 7th Payni - Feast of Wadjet
21st June - 8th Mesore - Summer Solstice, Wadjet Ceremony

From: here (http://www.philae.nu/akhet/NetjeruW.html#Uadjet)(some other info there too)

Other Sites: (I'll post more later)

Wadjet, Goddess of Lower Egypt, Papyrus, and Protector of Pharaoh... (http://www.thekeep.org/%7Ekunoichi/kunoichi/themestream/wadjet.html)
Wadjet (http://www.ancientegyptonline.co.uk/wadjet.html)
Wadjet, The Serpent Goddess (http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/wadjet.htm)
Wadjet (http://findagoddess.com/display.php?HERNAME=Wadjyt) (has her titles and some other info)
Temple Of Wadjet (http://rds.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0oGkllwOOBH2VUAp1hXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTE0NTIyMGhoBHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDMjkEY29sbwNzazEEdnRpZANRUlcxXzExM w--/SIG=12ans3uqh/EXP=1205963248/**http%3a//www.geocities.com/SoHo/Veranda/7491/wadjet.html)

March 18th, 2008, 10:11 PM
I must say, I think that sculpture of Wadjet is so cute!
I want one (a replica, that is).

March 24th, 2008, 08:37 PM
Very interesting info, and I agree the sculpture does look cool too.

For some reason, I think snake deities are quite cool.