(Renenet, Ernutet, Termuthis), "She Who Rears", was
a cobra goddess of nursing or rearing children, fertility and
protector of the pharaoh. Known as the "Nourishing Snake",
she not only was a goddess who was sometimes shown nursing a
child, but she offered her protection to the pharaoh in the
land of the dead. In later times she was thought to be the
goddess who presided over the eighth month of the Egyptian
calendar, known by Greek times as Parmutit.
In the afterlife, Renenutet was seen as a fire-breathing
cobra who was liked to Uatchet (Uatch-Ura, Wadjet). The was
also seen by the Egyptians as the protector of the clothing
worn by the pharaoh in the underworld, and thus thought to
instill fear in his enemies. Because of this, she was also
linked to mummy bandages, offering them to the dead. In
Ptolemaic times, she was called "Lady of the Robes"
due to her association with clothing.
O Osiris-Pepi, I bring you the Eye of Horus which is in Tait,
this Renenutet-garment of which the gods respect, so that
the gods may respect you like they respect Horus.
En su pael de diosa de la fertilidad, a Renenutet se la
conocía como la "Señora de los campos fértiles" y
"Protectora de los graneros". She was thought to be
responsible for looking after the harvest (this was probably
because the Egyptians saw snakes hiding in the fields at
harvest time), especially in the city of Dja (Modern
Medinet Madi, Greek Narmouthis) where an annual festival
was dedicated to her where she was offered the best yields of
the crops. There was also often a shrine dedicated to her near
a wine press or vat, so she could receive the offerings of the
wine makers. She was both linked to Sobek
and thought to be linked with Isis
in her role as mother of Horus. She was believed to be the
mother of Nepri, god of grain. She was also linked to the
coming of the inundation
and to Hapi,
the god of the Nile:
As her name might suggest, she was also though to be the
goddess who gave a child his or her 'true name'. The Egyptian
for name - rn
- are the same hieroglyphs used at the start of Renenutet, and
so she could also be called "She who is in the Name".
To the Egyptians, as shown by the story of Ra's
secret name (which Isis
manages to find out, through trickery), if someone knew the
true name of a person, then that person has power over the
other - a name was very important to the ancient Egyptians.
-- Fórmula 635, Pirámide de Pepi II
It was believed that if both the image of the dead and the
name of the dead was obliterated, then the deceased's
souls would also be destroyed. It was because of this that
she also became a goddess of fortune. Her name, and the name
of the god of destiny, Shai, were often found together in the Book
of the Dead. Ramsses
II even called himself "Lord of Shai and Creator of
Renenutet". She was also seen in the Book of the Dead at
the judgement of the deceased together with Meskhenet, a
goddess of childbirth. Where Meskhenet
presided over the actual birth itself, Renenutet looked after
the newborn child; She offered her protection, nurtured the
child and gave the child his or her secret name.
Shai was originally the deity who "decreed" what
should happen to a man, and Renenutet, as may be seen from
the pyramid texts, was the goddess of plenty, good fortune,
and the like; subsequently no distinction was made between
these deities and the abstract ideas which they represented.
She was depicted either as a woman, a cobra or a woman with
the head of a cobra (and sometimes the head of a lioness),
wearing a double plumed headdress or the solar disk. Her cult
centre was located at Kom Abu Billo (Terenuthis, Tarrana) in
III and Amenemhet
IV founded the temple of Renenutet at Medinet Maadi - this
temple is one of the only temples left at Medinet Maadi, and
was dedicated to the triad of Renenutet, Sobek and Horus.
Later, the Ptolemaic
rulers added to and expanded the temple. Inside was a large
statue of the goddess with both Amenemhet III and IV standing
on either side of her. She was the protector of the Egyptian
people, the nurse of pharaohs and goddess of the secret name
of each Egyptian.
7 López-Cuevillas, F.: op. cit. p. 432:” Pra Babilonia vou 'Malaiá
quen me viu de pequena e non me matou”.
8 Ibid., p. 432 55.
, 4 , 5
, 6 , 7,
9, , 10, 11,
14 , 15
, 16 , 17