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Nephthys by Sue Perryman

Nephthys is an ancient Egyptian goddess, daughter of Geb, the Earth God and Nut, the Sky Goddess. Her siblings are Osiris, Isis, Horus the Elder and Set, who is also her husband. In some myths she is said to be the Mother of Anubis whose father is either Osiris or Set depending on the myth. Nephthys is the Greek pronunciation of her name. To the ancient Egyptians she was Nebthwt (Nebhhwt or Nebthet) meaning mistress of the House. As a daughter of Geb and Nut she was a member of the Great Ennead of Helipolis, a group of nine deities in Egyptian mythology worshipped at Heliopolis.

Nephthys was seen as a comforter of the bereaved, mourner, guide and guardian of the deceased. She protected Hapi, one of the four sons of Horus who guarded the four conopic jars of the dead. Hapi protected the lungs and as a Goddess of air she was often depicted as a Kite, or a woman with falcon wings.

Nephthys was very close to her sister Isis and so similar in appearance that in some images only their headdresses can distinguish them. Nephthys headdress is a hieroglyph for her name - a semi-circle on top of a square.

Despite being the wife of Set, Nephthys did not support him in his bid for power in the Osiris legends. She aided her sister Isis in mourning and collecting Osiris' scattered body parts to reconstitute his body.

As well as being a Goddess of death, Nephthys was also believed to be present at births, standing at the head of the bed comforting the Mother while Isis acted as midwife.

These conflicting roles made Nephthys a protective goddess who represents, life, death and rebirth. She was a devoted sister and friend to Isis and Osiris, goddess of boundaries and transitions and liminal goddess of twilight and the in-between places.

Burn Myrrh incense to honour and thank Nephthys for taking care of your loved ones and granting them peace in the Afterlife.


365 Goddess - Patricia Telesco

Image - Nephthys – Musée du Louvre, Paris, France

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