The Info List - Wadjet

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(/ˈwɑːdˌdʒɛt/ or /ˈwædˌdʒɛt/; Egyptian wꜢḏyt "green one"),[1] known to the Greek world as Uto (Οὐτώ//ˈuːtoʊ/ or Βουτώ/ Buto
/ˈbuːtoʊ/) among other names, was originally the ancient local goddess of the city of Dep (Buto).[2] It became part of the city that the Egyptians named Per-Wadjet
(House of Wadjet) and the Greeks called Buto
(Desouk now),[3] which was an important site in the Predynastic
era of ancient Egypt and the cultural developments of the Paleolithic. She was said to be the patron and protector of Lower Egypt
Lower Egypt
and upon unification with Upper Egypt, the joint protector and patron of all of Egypt "goddess" of Upper Egypt. The image of Wadjet
with the sun disk is called the uraeus, and it was the emblem on the crown of the rulers of Lower Egypt. She was also the protector of kings and of women in childbirth. As the patron goddess, she was associated with the land and depicted as a snake-headed woman or a snake—usually an Egyptian cobra, a venomous snake common to the region; sometimes she was depicted as a woman with two snake heads and, at other times, a snake with a woman's head. Her oracle was in the renowned temple in Per-Wadjet
that was dedicated to her worship and gave the city its name. This oracle may have been the source for the oracular tradition that spread to Greece from Egypt.[4] The Going Forth of Wadjet
was celebrated on December 25 with chants and songs. An annual festival held in the city celebrated Wadjet
on April 21. Other important dates for special worship of her were June 21, the Summer Solstice, and March 14. She also was assigned the fifth hour of the fifth day of the moon. Wadjet
was closely associated in the Egyptian pantheon
Egyptian pantheon
with the Eye of Ra, a powerful protective deity. The hieroglyph for her eye is shown below; sometimes two are shown in the sky of religious images. Per-Wadjet
also contained a sanctuary of Horus, the child of the sun deity who would be interpreted to represent the pharaoh. Much later, Wadjet
became associated with Isis
as well as with many other deities. In the relief shown to the right, which is on the wall of the Hatshepsut
Temple at Luxor, there are two images of Wadjet: one of her as the uraeus sun disk with her head through an ankh and another where she precedes a Horus
hawk wearing the double crown of united Egypt, representing the pharaoh whom she protects.


1 Etymology 2 Protector of country, pharaohs, and other deities 3 Associations with other deities 4 Other uses 5 See also 6 Footnotes 7 References 8 External links


wȝḏyt in hieroglyphs

cobra+Sun in hieroglyphs

ḏt "cobra" in hieroglyphs

The name Wadjet[5] is derived from the term for the symbol of her domain, Lower Egypt, the papyrus.[6] Her name means "papyrus-colored one",[7] as wadj is the Ancient Egyptian word for the color green (in reference to the color of the papyrus plant) and the et is an indication of her gender. Its hieroglyphs differ from those of the Green Crown (Red Crown) of Lower Egypt only by the determinative, which in the case of the crown was a picture of the Green Crown[8] and, in the case of the goddess, a rearing cobra. Protector of country, pharaohs, and other deities[edit]

- Eye of Horus in hieroglyphs

Eventually, Wadjet
was claimed as the patron goddess and protector of the whole of Lower Egypt
Lower Egypt
and became associated with Nekhbet, depicted as a white vulture, who held unified Egypt. After the unification the image of Nekhbet
joined Wadjet
on the crown, thereafter shown as part of the uraeus. The Ancient Egyptian word Wadj signifies blue and green. It is also the name for the well-known Eye of the Moon.[9] Indeed, in later times, she was often depicted simply as a woman with a snake's head, or as a woman wearing the uraeus. The uraeus originally had been her body alone, which wrapped around or was coiled upon the head of the pharaoh or another deity. Wadjet
was depicted as a cobra. As patron and protector, later Wadjet often was shown coiled upon the head of Ra; in order to act as his protection, this image of her became the uraeus symbol used on the royal crowns as well. Another early depiction of Wadjet
is as a cobra entwined around a papyrus stem, beginning in the Predynastic
era (prior to 3100 B.C.) and it is thought to be the first image that shows a snake entwined around a staff symbol. This is a sacred image that appeared repeatedly in the later images and myths of cultures surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, called the caduceus, which may have had separate origins. Her image also rears up from the staff of the "flag" poles that are used to indicate deities, as seen in the hieroglyph for uraeus above and for goddess in other places. Associations with other deities[edit]

as Wadjet-Bast, depicted as the body of a woman with a lioness head, wearing the uraeus

An interpretation of the Milky Way
Milky Way
was that it was the primal snake, Wadjet, the protector of Egypt. In this interpretation she was closely associated with Hathor
and other early deities among the various aspects of the great mother goddess, including Mut
and Naunet. The association with Hathor
brought her son Horus
into association also. The cult of Ra absorbed most of Horus's traits and included the protective eye of Wadjet
that had shown her association with Hathor. When identified as the protector of Ra, who was also a sun deity associated with heat and fire, she was sometimes said to be able to send fire onto those who might attack, just as the cobra spits poison into the eyes of its enemies.[10] In this role she was called the Lady of Flame. She later became identified with the war goddess of Lower Egypt, Bast, who acted as another figure symbolic of the nation, consequently becoming Wadjet-Bast. In this role, since Bast was a lioness, Wadjet-Bast was often depicted with a lioness head. After Lower Egypt
Lower Egypt
had been conquered by Upper Egypt and they were unified, the lioness goddess of Upper Egypt, Sekhmet, was seen as the more powerful of the two warrior goddesses. It was Sekhmet
who was seen as the Avenger of Wrongs, and the Scarlet Lady, a reference to blood, as the one with bloodlust. She is depicted with the solar disk and Wadjet, however. Wadjet, Horus, Ra and Sekhmet
were connected to the eclipsing binary Algol in the Calendar of Lucky and Unlucky Days of papyrus Cairo 86637.[11] Eventually, Wadjet's position as patron led to her being identified as the more powerful goddess Mut, whose cult had come to the fore in conjunction with rise of the cult of Amun, and eventually being absorbed into her as the Mut-Wadjet-Bast triad. When the pairing of deities occurred in later Egyptian myths, since she was linked to the land, after the unification of Lower and Upper Egypt she came to be thought of as the wife of Hapy, a deity of the Nile, which flowed through the land.[12] Wadjet, as the goddess of Lower Egypt, had a big temple at the ancient Imet (now Tell Nebesha) in the Nile
Delta. She was worshipped in the area as the 'Lady of Imet'. Later she was joined by Min and Horus
to form a triad of deities. This was based on an Osiriac model identified elsewhere in Egypt.[13] Wadjet
is not to be confused with the Egyptian demon Apep, who is also represented as a snake in Egyptian mythology. Other uses[edit] The Nazit Mons, a mountain on Venus, is named for Nazit, an "Egyptian winged serpent goddess".[14] According to Elizabeth Goldsmith, the Greek name for Nazit was Buto.[15] See also[edit]

Ethnoherpetology Eye of Horus Mehen Serpent (symbolism) Snake
goddess Snakes in mythology Unut Uraeus


^ Also spelled Wadjit, Wedjet, Uadjet or Ua Zit ^ Wilkinson, Early Dynastic Egypt, p.297 ^ Wörterbuch der ägyptischen Sprache, 1, 268.18 ^ Herodotus ii. 55 and vii. 134 ^ Wörterbuch der ägyptischen Sprache, 1, 268.17 ^ Wörterbuch der ägyptischen Sprache, 1, 263.7–264.4 ^ J. A. Coleman, The Dictionary of Mythology: A–Z Reference of Legends and Heroes ^ Wörterbuch der ägyptischen Sprache, 1, 268.16; ^ Wörterbuch der ägyptischen Sprache 1, 268.13 ^ Curl, The Egyptian Revival, p.469 ^ Jetsu, L.; Porceddu, S. (2015). "Shifting Milestones of Natural Sciences: The Ancient Egyptian Discovery of Algol's Period Confirmed". PLOS ONE. 10 (12): e.0144140 (23pp). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0144140.  ^ Ana Ruiz, The Spirit of Ancient Egypt, p.119 ^ Vincent Razanajao, D'Imet à Tell Farâoun : recherches sur la géographie, les cultes et l'histoire d'une localité de Basse-Égypte orientale. (English synopsis) ^ "Nazit Mons". Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.  ^ Goldsmith, Elizabeth Edwards. Life Symbols as Related to Sex Symbolism. Putnam. p. 419. 


James Stevens Curl, The Egyptian Revival: Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt
as the Inspiration for Design Motifs in the West, Routledge 2005 Adolf Erman, Hermann Grapow, Wörterbuch der ägyptischen Sprache, Berlin 1963 Ana Ruiz, The Spirit of Ancient Egypt, Algora Publishing 2001 Toby A. H. Wilkinson, Early Dynastic Egypt, Routledge 1999

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Wadjet.

has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Buto.

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