Nebt-het

(Nebet-het; G/R Nephthys) - “Mistress of the House” Nebt-het, the “Friend of the Dead,” is first seen in Old Kingdom funerary literature riding the “night boat” of the underworld, meeting the deceased king’s spirit and accompanying him into “Lightland.” Her hair is metaphorically compared to the strips of cloth which shroud the bodies of the dead. Nebt-het was associated with funerary rituals throughout Kemetic history and today is venerated not as Death itself, but as the companion who gives guidance to the newly deceased, and as a Lady With Wings who comforts the deceased’s living relatives. She is in most myths the youngest daughter of Nut, sister of Aset and Wesir and the sister-consort of Set. In later periods Nebt-het is also considered the mother of Yinepu, a primordial form of the lord of the dead who later became subservient to Wesir in the cultic myth. To our current knowledge, Nebt-het did not have her own cult or temples in Kemet until the Ptolmaic-Roman period; however, as Her name is merely a title (the same title given to the eldest woman in any Kemetic household), it is possible that Nebt-het may be a specialized form of another Name; probable candidates in House of Netjer and other Egyptological research include Bat (as she is called the “Lady of Het,” or “Nebt-het”) and Nit (with whom Nebt-het is paired in the canopic shrine quadrants, as Aset is with Serqet, Who is sometimes seen to be an aspect of Aset).

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