(Nit, Neit, Net)
Symbols: bows and arrows, shields and weapons, Red Crown, weaving shuttle
Cult Center: Sais, Esna
Neith is one of the oldest Egyptian goddesses. Early in Egyptian history she was honored throughout Egypt. Later on, she was mostly recognized in her cult center of Sais.
She was sometimes depicted as a woman wearing the crown of the north and holding either a sceptre or a bow and two arrows. At other times she was shown as a woman wearing a shuttle (a tool used in weaving) on her head.
It is believed that she was originally a goddess of war (due to the bow and arrows imagery) and may have become later a goddess of weaving (when wearing the shuttle). She was occasionally shown suckling a crocodile who represented her son, Sobek. She was self-produced and the Egyptians believed she was of both a masculine and feminine nature. It was said that Neith gave birth to Re while she was still in the waters of Nun. Neith was the protectoress of Duamutef, the guardian of the deceased's stomach.
During the dispute between Seth and Horus for the throne of Egypt, the gods could not decide how to resolve the issue. They sent a letter to Neith requesting her advice. She suggested that Horus be made king and Seth be given two Semetic goddesses as consolation. All the gods (but Seth) agreed with the wisdom of her solution.
Her largest temple, Sapi-meht, was located at Sais, the capital of the fifth nome of Lower Egypt. In Upper Egypt, she was portrayed with the head of a lioness. Here her husband was Khnemu, the ram-headed creation god of the First Cataract, and her son was Tutu. Tutu was a form of the god Shu.