Joshua J. Mark
published on 02 September 2009
One of the most important aspects in honoring the dead in ancient Egypt (as well as Greece and elsewhere) was their remembrance and no one wished to think of their departed loved one thirsting while awaiting trial before the great god Osiris in the afterlife. Qebhet, therefore, played an important role in the rituals of death in that she assured the still-living that their loved one was still cared for and, furthermore, that they themselves would also be when it came their own time to stand in the hall of judgement. Further, the ritual cleansing of the body of the corpse by clean water was a vital element in the burial of the dead and Qebhet symbolized this purification.
Qebhet is often pictured as a serpent or an ostrich bringing water. She was never worshipped to the degree of Isis or Hathor but was revered and respected and, at certain times, became associated with the Nile and cults which grew up in worship of the river.
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