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Author Topic: Ipet/Apet/Opet  (Read 1089 times)

Offline Redietankhesi

  • Country: us
« on: March 06, 2020, 11:54:05 pm »
recently, i've found myself in the presence of Who i believe is Ipet, an aspect of Taweret alongside other goddesses that were eventually absorbed under Taweret. i've searched all i can, but besides henadology, i can't find many sources with concise information on Ipet besides Her association to Taweret. would anyone be able to help me?
given ancient life.
call me rediankhesi or redi please!
finding a way.

Offline Asetmehheri

  • Shemsu
  • Country: ca
Re: Ipet/Apet/Opet
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2020, 11:43:10 am »
from: Geraldine Pinch, Handbook of Egyptian Mythology:

The male hippopotamus was feared by the Egyptians as a destructive force, but the female hippopotamus was respected as a fierce protector of her young and
the embodiment of the life-giving power of water. Several hippopotamus goddesses are known, such as Ipet (Opet), Reret, and Taweret (Taurt, Thoeris), but
they are probably just aspects of the same goddess. [I would disagree....]

This goddess could also manifest herself in dual or group forms. As Taweret (the Great One) she was usually shown with a combination of hippopotamus, lion, crocodile, and human features. This monstrous form was a popular type of amulet for 2,000 years and passed into other cultures as a protective genie.

The Egyptians saw hippopotami as water pigs rather than water horses, so Reret means “the sow.” This provides a link with the sky goddess Nut, who also had a sow form. All manifestations of the hippopotamus goddess were associated with the watery regions of the sky, the earth, and the underworld. She was sometimes equated with Hathor Mehet-Weret, the cow goddess who represented the fertile aspect of the primeval waters (the nun). Mehet-Weret, Nut, and the hippopotamus goddess could all be thought of as giving birth to the creator sun god. In the secret crypts of the Temple of Ipet at Karnak, the hippopotamus goddess was said to give birth to a solar form of Osiris who rose again as
Amun-Ra. In the Pyramid Texts, the reborn king is nourished by the sweet milk of Ipy (Ipet). During the Middle Kingdom and Second Intermediate Periods,
model hippopotami decorated with marsh flora were placed in tombs and temples. These may represent Ipet or Taweret as the goddess of the primeval marsh
where all life began and the dead hoped to be reborn.

The full breasts and belly on composite figures of Taweret are probably those of the inundation god Hapy,
rather than those of a pregnant woman. By the New Kingdom, Taweret “Mistress of Pure Water” purified, revived, and nourished the dead. The annual
Nile flood performed a similar service for the land of Egypt. A group of Reret goddesses were among the exotic beings who celebrated the return of the
Distant Goddess who brought the inundation with her. In some versions of this myth the returning solar lioness can be transformed into a hippopotamus goddess
when she reaches the marshy boundaries of Egypt.

Images on hippopotamus-ivory wands of the second millennium BCE may allude to this myth and its aftermath when the goddess gives birth to a divine
child who is destined to rule. Taweret is shown among other “fighters” savaging foreign captives, brandishing knives or torches, or holding the sa symbol of protection (see Figure 30). Her role as protector of the divine child is repeated in later temple reliefs showing the birth and upbringing of kings and gods. She usually appears in the birth chamber with the lion-dwarf Bes. On a magical
stela, Isis tells her son Horus that “a sow and a dwarf” were the protectors of his infant body. By the Ptolemaic Period, Taweret had the title Lady of the Birth House. Even great goddesses such as Hathor, Mut, and Isis sometimes took the grotesque form of the Great One when they acted as saviors of the innocent.

The guilty, however, could expect no mercy from hippopotamus goddesses. The female monster Ammut who devoured the souls of those who failed the
judgment of Osiris was a mixture of hippopotamus, lion, and crocodile. In the Hippopotamus constellation shown in Egyptian sky maps, Taweret and other ferocious deities eternally stand guard over Seth’s evil bull form. This stellar role may lie behind Plutarch’s statement that Thoeris (Taweret) was a concubine of Seth who deserted him to fight on behalf of his rival Horus.

References and further reading:
I. Nagy. “La statue de Thouéris au Caire (CG 39145) et la légende de la dèsse lointaine.”
In The Intellectual Heritage of Ancient Egypt, edited by U. Luft. Studia
Aegyptica 14. Budapest: 1992, 449–456.
M. Verner. “A Statue of Tweret (Cairo Museum no. 39145) Dedicated by Pabesi and
Several Remarks on the Role of the Hippopotamus Goddess.” Zeitschrift für
Ägyptische Sprache und Alterumskunde 96 (1969): 52–63
Primary sources:
PT 269; BD 137, 186; Medamud hymn; Astronomical ceilings; Metternich Stela;
I&O 19
"Aset has concern for/thinks of me"
Sat Aset-Serqet
Meryt Sekhmet-Hethert, Nebthet-Nit-Seshat her Heru-Wer
Zep-Tepi Class of 53

Offline Taynodjmettaweret

  • Shemsu
  • Country: us
Re: Ipet/Apet/Opet
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2020, 10:51:25 am »
Em hotep, Redi!  8)

Ipet is considered to be the oldest recorded individual out of the continuum of female hippo deities. She is rarely delineated from Taweret or Reret, but I've found in her iconography that she can occasionally be distinguished by her carrying a torch in one paw (hand?).

Ipet's torch is part of her funerary function, which seems to be unique to her until Taweret begins appearing in tombs and mortuary rituals much later. In fact, I would consider Ipet primarily a funerary deity:

  • In Pyramid Text utterance 269, Ipet serves as the mother of the dead king as he passes into the afterlife, suckling him.
  • In the Book of the Dead Spell 137b, Ipet uses her torch to scare away Set in the Duat (either from the deceased king or Ra's barque, I'm not sure off the top of my head).
  • In BOTD/Papyrus of Ani Spell 186, Ipet with her torch is shown in front of Hethert and behind an enshrined Sokar-Wesir (image linked later).

The torch strongly differentiates Ipet, the "mother of fire," from Taweret, "of pure water." During the Greco-Roman period, the Hellenes at Oxyrhynchus (Taweret's cult center) gave Taweret the epithet pyraithes, or fire-kindler; since this is an extremely late source at a time when Taweret was the singular name for all female hippo deities, I personally assume this is a name of Ipet, or Ipet-as-Taweret.

Reret, for the sake of discussion, is an astral deity who makes up the modern constellation Draco. She is strongly associated with Set because she subdues him in the heavens (binding him as a constellation) after the death of Wesir. And while Taweret subsumes the roles of all hippo goddesses in later times, she seems to be distinguished earlier as a deity of the waters of purification, as well as a deity of birth and fertility - she watches over the life of a human, while Ipet watches over death.


Hope that helped! Senebty! <3
Taynodjmet - "this sweet one of Taweret"
Sat Taweret, meryt Sobek-RaHeqat, her Banebdjedet
Devoted to Hermes and Dionysos
Fedw Diviner and Self-Care Keeper for Taweret

Offline Redietankhesi

  • Country: us
Re: Ipet/Apet/Opet
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2020, 02:19:22 pm »
this definitely helped! thanks all!
given ancient life.
call me rediankhesi or redi please!
finding a way.


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