Basic Information

Alternative spellings: Wadjyt, Wadjit
Alternative names: Ouadjet, Uto, Edjo
Titles/Epithets: Green One [10] , Great of Magic, [12] the Devouring Flame, [4] Mistress of Awe, Mistress of Fear [13]
Translation: Similar to Egyptian words meaning 'freshness' or 'greenness' and 'papyrus' [6]
Type/Species: Great Serpent, Draconic Hybrid
Origin: Egyptian Mythology

About Wadjet

Wadjet became the tutelary deity of Lower Egypt, [12] referred to as the cobra goddess of Lower Egypt in the north. [7]

Wadjet originated in the twin towns of Pe and Dep, which by legend were the homes of the early kings of Egypt. [7] Pe and Dep earned the title "the house of Wadjet," and the Greeks later called this area Buto. [7] Thus, Wadjet was sometimes called the goddess of Buto, [10] and she was associated with the Nile Delta region from early times. [12]

Wadjet was the most important serpent-deity. [10] According to temple ritual, Wadjet was one of the four goddesses that guard the body of Osiris. [5]

Her sacred animal was the uraeus, which represented her. [10] Shrines to Wadjet were called per-nu, or 'house of flame.' [13]

The Nebty, the Two Ladies

The nebty (The Two Ladies or the Two Goddesses) were among the earliest deity pairings in Egyptian mythology. [2] Wadjet and Nekhbet were paired up as the nebty. [1] The Two Ladies evolved together to express ideas related to kingship and unity. [2]

Thus, Nekhbet was the goddess of Upper Egypt and the counterpart of Wadjet of Lower Egypt. [2] As Wadjet took on the destructive [8] power of the sun, while Nekhbet took on the light of the moon. [9]

Wadjet the Protector

She was one of Egypt's protective goddesses, [11] who, according to military inscriptions, stayed her enemies with fiery breath. Wadjet, the royal serpent, spewed flames in defense of the ruler. [13] She also protected the monarch in the form of the royal uraeus, which rulers often wore. [13] In this way, the Egyptians identified Wadjet with the red (or green) crown of Lower Egypt. [7]

Wadjet's description as a fire-spitting serpent with the title "Eye of Ra" came from several sources. [10]

According to one mythic recounting, Ra-Atum, the creator deity, lost his children in the darkness of the primeval waters, so he sent his Sole Eye to find them. By the time the Eye of Ra returned with the lost children, Ra-Atum had grown a new eye. [6] The Sole Eye became enraged, so he transformed her into a serpent with power over all other deities. Her fiery poison destroys anyone who challenged the sun god and rightful heirs. [6]

Thus, the Sole Eye [3] (or the Eye of Ra [4] ) was a separable, active force from the sun deity, even in the time of the primeval waters. [3] Sometimes the Eye of Ra was treated as a female variation of the sun god, but more often, she was seen as Ra's daughter. Depending on the mythic cycle, different goddesses took on this role, including Hathor, Tefnut, and Wadjyt. [3] In the fight against Apophis, the Sole Eye battled the monster under many names, including Bastet and Wadjet. [4]

Wadjet's Other Roles

In spite of her role as protector and destroyer, Wadjet related more to the world of the living. [12]

The first papyrus plant came from the body of Wadjet. [7]

The meaning of her name, greenness or freshness, referred to her ability to embody the constantly renewed vitality of vegetation. [6] In this way, she symbolized the forces of growth, [10] and she became associated with the marshes, one of the environments in Egypt where snakes were often encountered. [6]

Physical Description

Paintings often depict Wadjet as a rearing cobra. [8] Other times, Wadjet is seen as a woman with the head of a lioness [8] topped by the solar disc and uraeus. [10]

Quick Facts

  • Wadjet was the patron deity of Lower Egypt. [12]
  • She was the most important serpent-deity. [10]
  • She began as the Sole Eye of Ra, transformed into a powerful serpent with power over the gods. [6]
  • In the north, Egyptians referred to her as the cobra goddess of Lower Egypt. [7]
  • She was called the goddess of Buto. [10]
  • Her legends originated in the twin towns of Pe and Dep. [7]
  • She embodied the constant renewal of the vitality of vegetation. [6]
  • Wadjet was the royal serpent, and she spewed flames to defend her ruler. [13]
  • She was identified with the red (or green) crown of Lower Egypt. [7]
  • The nebty, or the Two Ladies, were the two goddesses Wadjet and Nekhbet. [1]
  • The first papyrus plant came from the body of Wadjet. [7]
  • Shrines to Wadjet were called per-nu, or 'house of flame.' [13]

Related Articles


  1. Wadjet, Goddess of Lower Egypt, Papyrus, and Protector of Pharaoh...
  2. Pinch 7
  3. Pinch 71
  4. Pinch 130
  5. Pinch 134
  6. Pinch 199
  7. Pinch 211
  8. Pinch 212
  9. Pinch 213
  10. Turner 503
  11. Willis 37
  12. Wilkinson [Complete] 226
  13. Wilkinson [Complete] 227

For more information on footnotes and references, please see the bibliography.