Hethert-Nut

Hethert-Nut

Please note, lovely readers: All of this is a work-in-progress. It will change as I continue digging through books and other sources. Do not take this as a rock-solid encyclopedic entry at any point. :)

Hethert-Nut is a syncretization of Hethert (Hathor, Egyptian goddess of love, music, and joy) and Nut (Nuit, Egyptian goddess of the sky), combining many parts of Their mythologies and characteristics into a blended goddess. In particular, Hethert-Nut is Hethert-as-sky and Nut-as-cow, which is the place where They overlap as independent deities – Nut has been depicted as the Celestial Cow, as well as a woman, and Hethert’s very name means the House of Heru, and that House is the sky (befitting, since Heru Himself is a sky deity). Hethert has other forms, such as Hethert-Sekhmet (Hethert-as-lion) and Hethert-Mut (Hethert-as-queen), but Hethert-Nut is distinct from these, inasmuch as any Kemetic deity is ever truly distinct from one another. (Because ancient Egyptians viewed Netjer as Divinity overall and Netjeru as specific gods or Names as manifestations of Netjer, it’s not uncommon to see some Netjeru combined and greeted as one, simply because everything is already one at the source anyways.)

The Book of the Celestial Cow is one of Hethert-Nut’s primary myths. In the Book, Ra calls to Nut to become a cow and lift Him aloft, away from earth and into the heavens, where He can safely watch over the world. She does so, and when Her legs begin to shake from the height, Shu, the god of air, comes to support Her belly, and the eight Heh gods come to brace Her legs.

Hethert, Nut, and Hethert-Nut have all been known to act as Mehet-Weret, the Great Flood, as well. Thanks to the flexibility of Kemetic monolatry (where God is God but also gods) and polyvalent logic, Mehet-Weret can be Herself, or a form of Hethert, Nit, Nut, Hethert-Nut, or some or all of Them. Nut’s role in the Book of the Celestial Cow is mirrored by Mehet-Weret, Who gives birth to the sun and lifts Him as a sun disc atop Her head, between Her horns, to keep Him safe and carry Him through the waterways of the sky.

Because of this, the following bio will include references to the goddesses that can take the form of Mehet-Weret, as They can all play a part in Hethert-Nut’s iconography and identity, as well. I’ve tried to be as clear as possible; if you’ve got anything to add (or correct), please do speak up!

attributes

– the sky at all times of day (Hethert, Nut)
– the colors rich gold (Hethert), dark blue (Nut), and royal purple (personal experience)
– music, both the creation of and the playing of/listening to (Hethert)
– holding the sun god (as a sun disk) aloft in the sky, between Her horns (Nut, Mehet-Weret)
– water (Mehet-Weret, Nit)
— inundation (Mehet-Weret)
— the waterway of the heavens, sailed on by the sun and the pharaoh (Mehet-Weret)
— the Nun (primordial waters from which life arose) (Mehet-Weret, Nit)
– Eye of Ra and/or Eye of Heru, the Wedjat
— the sun as the Eye of Ra (Hethert, Mehet-Weret)
— the moon as the Eye of Heru (Hethert, Mehet-Weret)
– birth/rebirth (Nut, Mehet-Weret, Hethert)
— rebirthing the dead into the afterlife (Mehet-Weret)
—— welcoming them there (Hethert, Nut, Mehet-Weret)
—— holding the blessed dead as stars (Nut, Mehet-Weret)
—— refreshing the dead with/as Her sycamore tree (Hethert, Mehet-Weret, Nut)
– fertility and motherhood (Hethert, Nut, Mehet-Weret)
— protector of children and mothers (Hethert, Nut)
— goddess of childbirth (Nit, Mehet-Weret, Hethert, Nut)
— transmitting the power to rule to the pharaoh via Her milk (Mehet-Weret)

forms

– a cow
— with this coloration or this one
— with a sun disk between Her horns
— with a uraeus
— with a menat (a sacred musical necklace that has a counterweight at the back)
— lying on a reed mat
— with a blanket draped across Her back
— with a flail or crook
– a cow-headed woman
— with a sun disk and horns headdress
– a beautiful woman
— with cow ears
– a sycamore tree (Hethert, Nut)

relationships

– syncretization of Hethert (Hathor) and Nut
– equated to/takes the form of Mehet-Weret (as do Hethert, Nut, and Nit)
– wife of Heru-wer (Horus the Elder) as Hethert
– mother of Ihy as Hethert
– daughter of Ra as Hethert
– sister and consort of Geb as Nut
– mother of Set, Heru-wer, Aset (Isis), Nebt-het (Nephthys), and Wesir (Osiris) as Nut
– mother of Ra as Mehet-Weret
– linked to Nebt-het via the -het in Their names indicating the sky
– circular loop of Hethert and Nut -> Mehet-Weret -> Nit -> Nebt-het -> the aforementioned -het link to Hethert
– mother of “the Seven Wise People,” local deities of Tebas, a city near Karnak and Luxor, as Mehet-Weret

epithets

– Roughly, anything related to Hethert being the sky, Nut being a cow, the Celestial Cow, and/or Mehet-Weret.
– The Cow Who Gave Birth To Ra (Nit, Mehet-Weret)
– The Celestial Cow / The Heavenly Cow (Hethert, Nut)
– Lady in the Sky (Hethert)
– Lady of the West (Hethert, Mehet-Weret)
– She Who Protects (Hethert, Nut)
– Coverer of the Sky (Nut)
– She Who Holds A Thousand Souls (Nut)
– Tjentet, the Pre-Eminent Cow (Hethert)
– The Brilliant One in the Sky (Hethert)
– The Divine Cow (Hethert)
– The Great Cow Who Protects Her Child (Hethert)
– Great Wild Cow (Hethert)
– Mistress of Cows (Hethert)
– Mistress of the Flood (Hethert, Mehet-Weret)
– The One Who Rises from the Primordial Waters to the Heavens (Hethert)
– The One Who Rises in the Sky (Hethert)
– The Primordial One (Hethert)
– Lady of the Stars (Hethert, Nut)

things of/for Hethert-Nut

snippets from the Book of the Celestial Cow
The Book of the Celestial Cow: A Theological Interpretation by Edward P. Butler
the first painting I did for Her
the song I wrote to/for Her
the pendant I sculpted/painted for Her
the second painting I did for Her; She prefers the Mehet-Weret look over my original interpretation :)
pondering the intersection of Hethert-Nut and Nebt-het
Urania Sings, by Emerald Rose, which I find perfect for Hethert-Nut (lyrics)
Hethert as Cow
– an article about Cow Deities in Ancient Egypt

O beauteous one, O cow, O great one,
O great magician, O splendid lady, O gold of the gods!

~ from a hymn to Hethert in the temple of Dendera