Picture of Meshkhent


(Meshknenet, Meshkhenit)

In ancient Egypt, women squatted upon a pair of bricks when delivering their babies. Meshkhent was personified as a female head on top of a birth brick. She was a goddess who presided over and assisted with childbirth. Alternately, Meshkhent was shown as a woman with the symbol of a cow's uterus on her head.

After bringing a baby safely into the world, Meshkhent decided the future of the child. In a famous myth, Meshkhent was present at the birth of three brothers - triplets - and foretold that each would become Pharoah. These three babies grew up to be Pharoahs Userkaf, Sahure and Neferirkare; the first three kings of the 5th Dynasty. Meshkhent was also assisted at the birth of Queen Hatshupsut and predicted her glorious future. Meshkhent was said to be the consort of Shay, the god of fate.

Meshkhent was primarily associated with the birth of mortal babies, while the goddess Heqet was more closely associated with the births of royal and divine births.

Like other deities associated with birth, Meshkhent was also influential in the re-birth of people following death. She was often depicted in the Hall of Judgement, near the scales where the deceased's heart was weighed against the feather of truth. At the Judgement, Meshkhent would testify on behalf of the deceased and his good character.


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