Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Calendar Entry #20: Wadjet Ceremony

We continue our journey through the Cauldrons Calendar feast/festival/holidays.

A Wedjat/Udjat 'Eye of Horus' pendant - Jon Bodsworth
Wadjet was a local goddess of Per-Wadjet, an important place in terms of the Predynastic era of Ancient Egypt, who became the patron goddess and protector of Lower Egypt.  She is usually depicted as a snake-headed woman or as a snake (usually a cobra) and her name means "the papyrus-coloured (blue/green) one" which is a general  term for a cobra.  One Pyramid Text said that the papyrus plant came from Wadjet. 
Wadjet is associated with Nekhbet, who was depicted as a white vulture.  Where Wadjet was protectress of Lower Egypt, Nekhbet was protectress of the Upper.  The two goddesses stayed separate and distinctive (even when the Upper and Lower were unified) as the 'two ladies' were seen as the protectors who brought Egypt together. You can see on the image of the Wadjet, above, that you have both Nehkbet's vulture and Wadjet's cobra. 
The Wadjet Ceremony coincides with the northern hemisphere's Summer Solstice.  As the 'lady of flame' she was the protector of Ra, often depicted as a cobra coiled around his heard.  As a solar deity, the Eye of Wadjet was the original name for the Eye of Ra and the Eye of Horus.  The Eye of Wadjet was known to ward off evil, which ties in nicely to her protector role.  This day marks 35 days of purification before the next flood season. 

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