Amonet,Amaunet, Amentet, Amentit, Imentet, Imentit, and Ament Amunet Ament - Ra
Goddess of the Underworld
With so many names, there is a lot of confusion as to who this deity is and who was her consort. She was a deity having several different characteristics during the long history of Ancient Egypt. Initially they all seem to agree that she is the "greeter" of the dead. Some suggest that Aken, who is the patron of the ferryboat that carries the souls of the dead to the underworld became her consort. Seems to make sense. But then others believe, that Amun had the honour. Which also makes sense, due to the fact they both belonged to the Ogdoad. Amun and Ament have the secret powers of creation. As Amunwas increasingly identified as a significant god, rather than mere concept, so Ament became increasingly identified as a distinct female goddess, eventually being said to be Amun's wife. I have read that there is a hymn inscribed on a temple wall in the Great Oasis that Ament had all the attributes, of the goddess Neith. She is shown as Ament-Ra, the wife of Amun, who in this context is a local god in Apt. She appears as a ram headed goddess nursing Horus. In time, Ament was usurped by the goddess Mut.
Another legend in Egyptian myhtology, "Amentet" is where the sun sets and the dead come into contact with the deities; a "hidden" place. When the deceased souls encountered the deity they had worshipped while alive, and if they knew the "magic words" necessary for entry, they were granted admission to Ra's sunboat for the journey through the Underworld. At dawn, they were allowed to roam around until sunset when they again continued their journey.
Putting that aside for now, I will write what I do know.
She was worshiped in the western areas of the Delta, Memphis, Abydos and Luxor and Karnak. In the tomb scenes here, you see her with a hawk, or ostrich feather, on her head. The standard of the West is usually a half circle sitting on top of two poles of unevenlength, the longer of which is tied to her head by a headband. Often a hawk or an ostrich feather is seen sitting on top of the standard. Occasionally, she is shown wearing just the hawk on her head.
As I mentioned, most believe that she is the greeter of the dead. Her name as Ament, means "hidden", from the word Amenti, Land of the West. Land of the setting sun, is where the dead assemble waiting for Ra's boat to pass.
As Amentet, this name I believe means "She of the West", leading most to believe that she originated from Libya.
Others have said that as the sun set in the West, it was associated with death and the netherworld where Ra traveled during the night.. The name Amentet referred to both the west bank of the Nile and to the world of the dead, and the dead were sometimes knownas "Westerners". Originally, Amenti (or Amentet) was considered to be the place where the sun set at the entrance to the netherworld, but the name was soon applied to cemeteries and tombs across Egypt. Amentet - 'She of the West' - was therefore the goddess of not only the land of the dead, but also of the entry to the underworld, and of the west itself.
Using the name of Amentet or Imentit, from what I understand, was used to refer to her role as goddess in the underworld. She is thought to have lived "hidden" in an acacia tree at the edge of the desert overlooking the "World Gates" to the underworld. Some say this tree was near Heliopolis, where bread was provided for the surrounding population duringwinter when their food supplies were limited. It is also interesting to note, some scholars say that when Amun became regarded with greater importance and his identity increasingly overlapped with that of Atum, Ament,asthe female aspect, became increasingly identified with Iusaaset. Iusaaset was seen as the mother and grandmother of the deities. The tree's strength, hardiness, medicinal properties, andedibility resulted in the acacia tree being considered the tree of life. It's location was said to be the birthplace of all of the deities. Hence, as the mother, and grandmother, of the deities, Iusaaset was said to own this tree.
Ament was often depicted in tombs and coffins, protecting the dead. She meets the souls of the recently deceased and offers them bread and water before escorting them into the kingdom of the dead. Some stories say that if they accepted the offerings they were bound to pursue the gods and live in the realm of Osiris never returning to the land of the living. This sustenance that Ament provides, revitalises them and prepares themfor therebirth of their souls and the trials they would face on their way to the "field of reeds" (paradise). Thus she is also a fertility goddess, who was often represented by other fertility-related goddesses such as Hathor, Isisand Nieth, Mut, and Nut. She was also connected with Nephthys and Ma'at. As the goddess Hathor-Amentet, she was a solar goddess of the west, paired with Ra-Horakhty, who was believed to regenerate and welcome the newly deceased. She was sometimes depicted with Iabet, the goddess of the east. She is often illustrated as a queen occasionally carrying a sceptre and the ankh of life. On her head she wears the sign representing the west (a semi circle on top of one long and one short pole) and a feather and or a hawk. In thedepictions in coffins she is often given wings, and in her association with Isis and Nepthys she was depicted as a kite. According to some myths was the daughter of Horus and Hathor.
I can't remember for the life of me where I found this information, I thought I would include it;"Amunet was the female aspect of an abstract concept for air and invisibility and aspect of Hathor. This deity was without gender, but divided between Amunet and Amunforfemale and male aspects. They were the two aspects of the primordial concept of airand invisibility in the Ogdoadcosmogony. This included eight deities worshipped as pairsin Hermopolisduring what is called the Old Kingdom, the third through sixth dynasties, extending from 2,686 B.C. to 2,134 B.C.
Of the name for primordial air meaning, (one who) is hidden, the female aspect is Amunet and the male aspect is Amun. As the deity became more significant, eventually both aspects of the abstract concept were depicted as independent deities and identified as a pair.
As with all goddesses in the Ogdoad, Amunet was depicted either as an Egyptian cobrasnake, or as a snake-headed woman. The male deities in the Ogdoadgenerally were depicted with the head of a frog. Amaunet was said to be the mother who is father, implying that she was a creator who needed no male to procreate, reproducing a sexually through parthenogenesis (A form of reproduction in which an unfertilized egg develops into a new individual, occurring commonly among insects and certain other arthropods.) The Egyptians thought that animals without sexual dimorphism(Sexual dimorphism is the systematic difference in form between individualsof different sex in the same species. Examples include color (specifically referred to as sexual dichromatism), size, and the presence or absence of parts of the body used in courtship displays or fights, such as ornamental feathers, horns, antlers or tusks.), such as snakes, were all female."
And from another source;"When Amunet later was displaced as Amun's consort by Mut, she retained her own individual characteristics. Amun went through many changes and became the patron deity of Thebes and rose to become the most important deity in that city and, for a while, the country.
While continuing to represent the air and the invisible, Amaunet was said to have become associated with Iah, the moon, and was depicted in association with the Moon on tombs, coffins, and sarcophaguses. Other say when she was later displaced as Amun's consort by Mut, she was said, as representing the air, to have become the lesbian consort of Iabet, the moon itself."
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