© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.

Heqat (Heket) Sightings

  • Multiple Frogs of the Pyramid Texts 2346BC - 2182BC

    Heqat appears in the Pyramid Texts, early Egyptian religious books, both by herself and also as a group of frog goddesses called "The Heqats" (kind of like her backup band) helping Hapy, god of the Nile, to keep Egypt green.

  • A Knife in the Dark 2135BC - 1691BC

    When you needed protection in ancient Egypt, you called a magician. Part priest, part doctor, and all wizard, these magicians would trace a circle in the dirt floor of your house, saying prayers to Heqat and other gods who were carved on the wand they made the tracing with.

  • She Who Hastens the Birth 2135BC - 1691BC

    Heqat is associated with unborn babies, childbirth, and the first few crucial minutes of a child's life. Her priestesses, called the Servants of Heqat, train to be midwives and help Egypt's women bring babies safely into the world.

  • The Tale of the Three Magicians 1992BC - 1804BC

    One of the stories of magicians included in Papyrus Westcar is about the birthday of three pharaohs: Userkaf, Sahure, and Neferirkare Kakai of the (much earlier) Fifth Dynasty. According to the story, a bunch of gods disguised as midwives—Isis, Nephthys, Meshkhenet, Khnum, and Heqat—helped at their birth. Because gods were present, they made sure Rudjedet (their lucky mom) was okay. Too bad the current pharaoh, Khufu, wasn't happy to learn the news.

  • Shaping the Pharaoh 550BC - 1293BC

    Several pharaohs in Dynasty 18, including Hatshepsut (one of the few female kings) and Amunhotep III, put up reliefs showing their divine birth inside several temples in and around Luxor. Heqat and Khnum are shown creating little images of the kings' souls to be placed inside their mothers and then leading the queens to the nursery to give birth to their special royal children.

  • Pharaoh, Can You Spare a Drink? 1271BC

    In a beautiful painted relief on the walls of the famous Abydos temple of Osiris, Seti I offers wine to Heqat. For obvious reasons, she appears in human form to accept. You wouldn't realize it was her if you couldn't read the hieroglyphs of her name. Without her froggy face, Heqat looks just like her friend Hathor.

  • Petosiris's Gift 301BC

    A rich priest of Thoth named Petosiris watched a festival of Heqat in his town. A parade carrying her statue mysteriously stopped at a place where her temple had once stood but had been washed away by a Nile flood. Petosiris took it as a sign that she wanted her temple fixed. So he gave money for it to be rebuilt with a floodwall so it couldn't wash away. When he died, Petosiris made sure this story was put inside his tomb, so Heqat wouldn't forget his kindness when it came time for his final judgment. Smart guy.

  • The Frog of Resurrection 1 - 100

    According to Greek-style Osiris myths, Heqat helped Horus the Younger breathe when he was born. Tiny frog statues were dedicated to her as the one who helped Horus survive and Osiris be resurrected. These frogs, carved with the phrase "I am the Resurrection," reminded early Christians of Jesus's teaching of the same phrase—so Heqat's frog became a Christian symbol. Fancy that.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...