Selqet: Ancient Egypt’s Scorpion Goddess

Editorial Note: This is the transcript of the presentation I gave on Saturday at the 25th Annual Fellowship of Isis in Chicago Goddess Convention. I added photos from my PowerPoint presentation and my references list.

Good afternoon, everyone, and thank you for joining us for this historic 25th anniversary Goddess Festival commemorated by the Chicago FOI Community! For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Anna Applegate, I’m an ordained Priestess, and as a Polytheist primarily dedicated to the Kemetic or Egyptian Pantheon of Gods in my personal spiritual practice, I am very excited to be talking to you about the mysterious and powerful Scorpion Goddess, Selqet. I love Her very much. She features prominently in my ancestor devotionals and in the Spirit Work that I do, and I am deeply honored to ritually invoke Her in our Main Liturgy this evening, “The Mystical Awakening of Scorpio and Kundalini.”  

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The Feast of Nit: Ancient Egypt’s Supreme Being as Divine Androgyne

Nit (pronounced Neet; also known as Net in Egypt and Neith to the Greeks) is among the oldest, most complex of the Neteru (Deities) known to us from ancient Egypt; according to nineteenth-century Egyptologist E.A. Wallis Budge, Her worship was widespread even in predynastic times (The Gods of the Egyptians, Vol. 1, p. 450). She was worshiped as Mut Ur, or “Mother Great,” long before the name of Aset (“Isis”) would fervently issue from the lips of devotees. Likened by the Classical author Plutarch to the Athena of the Greeks, Nit was renowned as a warrior goddess, famed for her death-dealing arrows.

Reverse of a 1994 Egyptian silver five-pound coin depicting Nit as warrior goddess. Her head bears the stylized crown of Lower Egypt.

Reverse of a 1994 Egyptian silver five-pound coin depicting Nit as warrior goddess. Her head bears the stylized crown of Lower Egypt.

Her cult center stood in the ancient Delta city of Saïs (the modern Sa el-Hagar), whose civic emblem bore Nit’s symbols of a pair of crossed arrows over a shield. She was to Saïs what Athena was to Athens: an unassailable Protectress. (Incidentally, the comparisons between the two goddesses don’t stop there; both are of probable Libyan origin.) Like the Roman Minerva, Nit was the seen as the inventor of the human craft of weaving; however, like the Norse Nornir (Goddesses of Fate), it’s clear that the weaving extends into metaphysical territory, indicating Nit’s power over fate or destiny.

Nit with the glyph of the weaver's shuttle atop Her head.

Nit with the glyph of the weaver’s shuttle atop Her head.

But what else would you expect from the Creator? Continue reading