Under Neith


When reading The Serpent’s Shadow, I was intrigued by the character of Neith, a hunting goddess I hadn’t heard of before. Apparently she’s actually a quite old deity who took several forms and duties throughout the history of Egypt. She was initially the patron of Sais, also known as Zau, a city in Lower Egypt. Her symbol was two arrows crossed over a shield, implying a connection with hunting and/or warfare. Later, she came to be associated with the primordial sea, and she was sometimes identified as the mother of Ra, and as an androgynous figure. More famously, however, she was said to be the mother of the crocodile god Sobek. The resemblance of her symbol to a loom was presumably what began her association with weaving, and she was affiliated with the mummification process as well. She apparently had skill as a mediator, as the other gods would turn to her to settle disputes.

In Serpent’s Shadow, Rick Riordan combines her aspects as a huntress and a weaver, and has her specialize in woven traps. She’s also an apocalyptic survivalist, thinking there’s a vast conspiracy in which most of the other gods are involved, and stockpiling food and water. She agrees to help out the Kanes, but only after Sadie and Walt manage to survive being hunted by her. She’s a good example of the dangerous allies the Kanes have to make to combat Apophis. It appears that some myths make Neith the creator of Apophis, but this didn’t come into the story. Incidentally, the name Neith was proposed in the seventeenth century as the name of a moon of Venus, but it turned out to be an illusion.

This entry was posted in Authors, Egyptian, Kane Chronicles, Mythology, Rick Riordan and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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