Meretseger


n Egyptian mythology, Meretseger (also spelt Mertseger), meaning 'she who loves silence', was a cobra-goddess, who was originally a personification of the dangers of the desert.

Since the first syllable of her name is the same as that in the word pyramid, it became thought that she lived on top of (or was) the pyramid-shaped mountain which overlooked the Valley of the Kings, where the pharaohs' tombs were located.

This localisation ultimately prevented her becoming anything more than a local deity, and when the valley ceased being in use, so she also, ceased being worshipped.

As a cobra, she spat poison at anyone who tried to vandalise or rob the royal tombs. She was also the patron deity of the many workers who built these tombs, and punished those workers who committed crimes, but healed those who repented. In art she was portrayed as either a coiled cobra, or as a woman-headed cobra, or rarely as a triple headed cobra, where one head was that of a cobra, one of a woman, and one of a vulture.



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