- Attributes: Goddess of death, mourning, utilities, night and rivers
- Symbols: House, basket, kite, and mummies
- Place: Egypt
Nephthys or Nebthet is a Goddess of Night of ancient Egypt. Her parents are Nut and Geb, gods of heaven and earth, respectively. She is the sister of Osiris and Isis, and typically the two sisters were placed side by side in funerary rituals as protectors of the mummy. She was also the sister of Set.
This Goddess is known as the “Goddess of Utilities” or “Goddess of Excellence“, for some ancient texts describe her as representing divine assistance and protection. Her representation is almost identical to that of Isis, yet in her head is a basket on a column, representing the establishment of a house.
In some myths she is the mother of Anubis, an entity also related to death.
The Goddess Nephthys was usually also associated as Pharaoh’s nurse, healing him and protecting him from enemies, who were incinerated with the fire that came out of her mouth.
Due to her attributions and family, Nephthys was clearly seen as a morbid but crucial transitional force for the afterlife. Pharaohs, for example, became strong to face the journey after death because of the intersection of her and Isis. This same force can be applied to all of the dead. According to texts in the pyramids, the Goddesses made demons tremble with fear before her powers, and her spells were needed to guide the spirits through Duat, the land of the dead.
Two sides of the same coin
Nephthys was always put together of Isis in rituals, for they completed each other, but they were not necessarily the opposite of one another. We can see her as the transition to the eternal life, a different reflection of the same reality.
This Goddess also accompanied the Sun God Ra on his journey through the sky but at night and especially as he passed with his chariot through the Duat during dusk.
In tombs, Nephthys was placed on the head side while Isis was on the feet. Although Nephthys is very important and represented throughout Egypt, there is no specific cult for her.