Procession of Nebtu

Procession of Nebtu

Today is the last day of Peret, the ancient Egyptian season of growing; tomorrow is I Shomu I, the first day of the first month of Shomu, the beginning of the harvest and the heat. Today is also marked, on the Kemetic Orthodoxy calendar, as the Procession of Nebtu.

According to Henadology, Nebtu is a little-known consort of Khnum; Her name means “mistress of the region/district,” which sounds like as much a title as a proper name. A litany at Esna involving Her seems to indicate that She was regarded as a goddess of plant growth, especially edible plants, and so linked to the nourishment that comes from the land. With that understanding, it makes perfect sense for Her to enjoy a procession today, walking on the cusp between peak growth and first harvest.

Yesterday, I enjoyed a dinner with my partner and a new friend, who contributed fresh vegetables to our homecooked meal; today, my breakfast was leftover veggies, and half my dinner was a fresh salad. I did not know about Nebtu until I looked at my calendar and found the Henadology article on Her, well after both meals, but I would like to thank Her nonetheless for the green, delicious food I have had yesterday and today.

Hail, Nebtu, Lady in Green!
May You bless our fields,
which grace our tables with crops,
which satisfy our bellies!
I give thanks to You
for every green thing I eat
and for the fertility of the land.
Dua Nebtu!