Heket (also spelt Hekat and Heqet) is the Egyptian goddess of fertility and is associated with pregnancy and childbirth.
Heket is seen in ancient drawings and artwork as a woman with a frog’s head, and is often seen carrying knives. These knives are usually thought to be tools of Heket severing the binds that keep a soul connected to life events at the time of death.
It could be that Heket is pictured as having a frog’s head because frogs emerged in massive numbers from the River Nile mud and these huge numbers of frogs would represent fertility and abundance in the shape of frogs.
Heket is a very old Goddess dating back possibly to Pre-dynastic periods (that means before 3000 BC approximately) in Ancient Egypt.
Heket was a popular Goddess, and because of this Temples were being built and dedicated to her as late as the Ptolemaic Period. The Ptolemaic period was the last dynasty of Ancient Egypt and they ruled from approximately 305 BC to 30 BC. Heket also became linked with the God Horus, and it is thought that through her association with Horus she became known for life and fertility after death.
Heket was also mentioned in the Pyramid Texts when she apparently helped a God ascend into the Sky. See below extraction:
Osiris, ithyphallic and bearded, in mummied form, lying upon his bier; over his feet and his body hover two hawks. At the head kneels Hathor, "Mistress of Amentet, who weepeth for her brother," and at the foot is a frog, symbol of the goddess Heqet, beneath the bier are an ibis-headed god holding the Wedjat [Eye of Horus or Ra], two serpents, and the god Bes.
-- Wallis Budge, E.A. 1904, Gods of the Egyptians: Volume 2, p. 136
Original article: http://www.thekeep.org/~kunoichi/kunoichi/themestream/heqet.html#.
© Caroline Seawright
Heket is often described as being the wife of the potter god Khnum. Khnum is usually shown as having a Ram’s head and his job was to create humans from the Nile mud. According to ancient lore, Khnum made children on his potter’s wheel and inserted them into their mother’s bodies. Then, Heket his wife, breathed a Ka into the body. This Ka is what made the body become alive and so the body and spirit were brought into existence.
Women in Ancient Egypt wore amulets of Heket during childbirth.
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