EGYPTIAN: ANGET By jenmommabear

Anqet (Anuket, Anukis, Anket)

Cult Center: Elephantine

Anqet was the goddess of the island of Sahal, near the First Cataract of the Nile. She was shown as a woman who wears a crown of ostrich feathers. Her sacred animal was the gazelle. She was the daughter of Satet, the wife of Khnemu. Together, the three deities formed the Triad of Elephantine, the principal deities of that city.

Anqet was originally a water goddess from Sudan. Her name meant, "to embrace" which was interpreted to mean that her embrace during the annual Nile floods fertilized the fields. Later, she became a goddess of lust, whose attributes and cult were obscene. However, her cult's origins can be traced back to the Old Kingdom. She is closely associated with Nubia. She is not an imported goddess though.

Her worship was common throughout northern Nubia and the center of her worship was the island of Sahal, near Aswan. There she was called the "Lady of Sahal" (Nebt Satet). Anqet's temple at Sahal was called "Amen-heri-ab".

Anqet, The Embracer, Goddess of Fertility and the Nile at Aswan...

Anqet (Anket, Anuket, Anjet, Anukis) was an Old Kingdom goddess related to the Nile in the Aswan area. She was 'She Who Embraces', a name indicating that she was probably thought to hold the Nile in her arms, and thus was related to the banks of the Nile as well. Originally a daughter of the sun god Ra, she became either the wife or the daughter of Khnum. She was also a goddess of the hunt whose sacred animal was the gazelle.

Anqet was generally depicted as a woman wearing a tall headdress made either of reeds or of ostrich feathers, often holding a sceptre and the ankh symbol. The headdress was probably of Nubian origin. She was, very occasionally, shown in the form of a gazelle. The water goddess' link to the gazelle was probably because the Egyptians saw these animals always around water. As a huntress, she was probably thought to be fleet of foot and agile like the gazelle.

As 'She Who Embraces' she represented the banks of the Nile and the islands in the Aswan area. Her specific islands were Setet Island (Sehel Island) and Abu (Elephantine) island. It is probable that she was of Nubian origin and that she was a goddess of everything south of the Egyptian border, but she had been worshiped by the First Cataract since the Old Kingdom. It is to be noted that she was also worshiped throughout northern Nubia, and was not a goddess confined to Egypt itself. Because of this, she was given the title of "Mistress of Nubia".

Despite being the daughter of Ra, during the New Kingdom she was placed in the Abu triad with Khnum and Satet, as either the daughter or wife of the god. It is probable that she was already linked with the goddess Satet - inscriptions from earlier times had her name along side that of Satet - and when Satet was paired with Khnum, naturally Anqet went with her. Together the three water-related deities were thought to protect the Nile's cataracts, especially near the First Cataract and the islands in the Aswan area. This was the area that the Egyptians believed was the source of the Nile, where it flowed up from the underworld and into the land of Egypt

Anqet's temple on Setet Island was called as "Amen-Hery-Ab" ('Amen's Heart is Content') where she was known as nbtsatt foreign determinative the 'Lady of Setet Island'. Her temple on Iat-Rek (Philae) island was called "Per-Mer" ('House of Love'). At "Per-Mer" she was identified with Nephthys due to Satet's links with the goddess Isis and Khnum's link with Osiris. However both goddesses were connected with Isis, taking on the attributes of fertile waters as well as being a form of the star Sirius (the goddess Sopdet).

The yearly inundation of the Nile could also be linked to her name - the water of the Nile could be seen as 'embracing' the fields it floods. She was linked to nourishment and fertility, offering life-giving waters to the land.

She was also a nourisher not only of the land, but of the pharaoh as well. She has been shown suckling a young Ramses, while being described as the 'Giver of Live, and of All Power, and of All Health, and of All Joy of the Heart'. Probably because of her status as a fertility goddess, she became a goddess of lust by the Greek and Roman periods, and was related to things of a very sexual nature.

Anqet was a goddess of the whole Aswan area - of the islands in the Nile and of the First Cataract - and also a goddess of Nubia - the land to the south of Egypt. She was a goddess of the waters of the Nile, a goddess of fertility, who was thought to embrace the river. Linked to both Ra and Khnum, she was a huntress and a water goddess. She was a protective deity, one who gave life to the pharaoh and the whole land of Egypt itself.