Kebechet (Qebehet)


In ancient Egyptian mythology, Kebechet (also known as Qebehet, Kebhut, Kebehut, Qebehut, and Kabechet) was the goddess of freshness. She was the daughter of Anubis (Anpu) and his consort Anput and was thought to assist her father in his role as the god of embalming. She was particularly associated with embalming fluid used during the mummification process.

Her name includes the root of the ancient Egyptian word “kbch” which means “to offer libations” or “to purify” and the root of the word “wt” which refers to the place of embalming (and appears in Anubis’ epithet “imy wt” – he who is in the place of embalming). However, her name also resembles the word “qebeshu”, which means “cold water”. As a result, her name is usually translated as “cooling water”.

Kebechet was often depicted as a snake, sometimes with a body of stars. She was also depicted as a woman with the head of a snake. Occasionally, she takes the form of an ostrich, linking her to the goddess of Ma’at who represented justice or balance and was involved in the judgement of the dead.

Copyright J Hill 2010