Ancient Egypt / Religion / Gods /
Renenutet was a protective and nurturing goddess. In the Old Kingdom she shared the responsibility of protecting the king in the afterlife together with Wadjet. She was also associated with the bandages of the mummy.
Over time she became the harvest goddess, and the wife of Geb. In some versions of the Osiris myth, she is identified with Isis. In the Late Period, she became associated with fate and destiny, being able both to decide the length of a person's life and many of the events.
Renenutet was represented as a fire-breathing cobra, often looking identical with Wadjet. The two goddesses would eventually have their personalities merged. Above her cobra-head, there was a sun disk and horns with two tall feathers.
Occasionally, she was depicted as a woman with a snake's head.
She was especially popular in the city of Dja in Fayoum Oasis (now known as Medinet Madi), where she formed a triad with Sobek and their son, Horus. In this setting she was the goddess of nourishment. She also had a cult centre at Terenuthis in the Nile Delta.
She was also venerated as a grain goddess, then as the mother of Nepri, a variant of Osiris.
She was celebrated with a festival when crops were sown and again when they began to ripen.
Her popularity as a goddess was so strong that not only did she survive well into Greek religion, by then called Thermouthis, but she even became defined as a saint in Christianity.
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