Egyptian Gods: Hequet

Hequet is Egyptian goddess of life, creation, childbirth and fertility. She often depicted as woman with the head of a frog or a frog at the end of the phallus or simply just a frog. This is because frogs symbolize life and fertility to Egyptians because the annual inundation of the Nile brings forth fertility to the barren lands and spawned millions of frogs. In temples, she mostly in her human, anthropomorphic form while in amulets, she is in her animal form. Her name can also be spelled as Heqet, Heqat, Hekit, Heket, Hegit, and Heget.

She is a child of the sun god, Ra. After Ra became Atum-Ra, she was the wife of Shu, the air and wind god. She is regarded as the “Eye of Ra” and the “Mother of Gods”.

As a fertility goddess, she is associated with the final stages of the inundation of the Nile River, the germination of corn and the final stages of a woman’s labor and childbirth. With this she gained the title “She Who Hastens the Birth” during the middle kingdom.

As legend has it, she is the wife and consort of Khnum, a southern god of creation. He created all life through his potter’s wheel and Hequet breathed life into every being before placing them into their mother’s womb. Together with other goddesses, they play a hand at how the life of each person would turn out to be. In fact, in Hatshepsut’s birth colonnade, both Khnum and Hequet are depicted with her holding the ankh (the symbol of life) to the infant Hatshepsut and his ka.

To honor her, to ask for her protection, and to ensure her help during labor, pregnant women often wear amulets and scarabs bearing her insignia (usually a frog on top of a lotus plant) and face. Her priestesses were believed to be expert midwives, as the goddess is known to be one. Midwives often call themselves “Servants of Hequet”. In the middle kingdom, ritual ivory knives and clappers were inscribed with her name in order to protect homes from evil, especially during childbirth.