Patron of: protection against snakes, scorpions and other dangerous animals.
Appearance: a woman with the head of a cheetah, her hair braided and ending in scorpion tails. Sometimes she wears a headdress of snakes.
Description: The ancient Egyptians revered felines as sacred for many centuries apparently, as Mafdet is a very old goddess, dating to around the First Dynasty. She was prayed to for protection against scorpion stings and snakebite, and invoked in healing rituals for those who had been afflicted by such.
Mafdet, "the runner", was a panther goddess whose ferocity prevails over snakes and scorpions. the scratch of her claws is lethal to snakes, so symbolically the harpoon of the king becomes Mafdet's claws for decapitating his enemies in the Underworld. When Mafdet is described as leaping at the necks of snakes, the imagery seems to suggest her form takes on that of a mongoose. In one epithet, Mafdet wears braided locks, probably a reference to her displaying the jointed bodies of the scorpions which she has killed.
Worship: As her cult was incredibly ancient but supplanted by that of Bast, it is unknown how widespread Mafdet's cult was.
Who are we?
Tour Egypt aims to offer the ultimate Egyptian adventure and intimate knowledge about the country. We offer this unique experience in two ways, the first one is by organizing a tour and coming to Egypt for a visit, whether alone or in a group, and living it firsthand. The second way to experience Egypt is from the comfort of your own home: online.