Nephthys – Silent Goddess of the Shadows

Nephthys by Jeff Dahlby Lesley Jackson

Take any book of Ancient Egypt and look for Nephthys in the index, more likely than not it will read ‘see Isis and Nephthys’. Why isn’t Nephthys viewed as a goddess in her own right? She doesn’t appear to have been worshiped on her own and there is no evidence for any cult centre or temples dedicated to her.

At first glance Nephthys can appear as a passive victim and, dare I say, a bit too quiet and uninteresting. Does Nephthys personify the perpetually unappreciated or is she merely a shadow side of her globally recognised, illustrious sister Isis? Certainly she is seldom portrayed on her own and is usually mentioned in the same breath as Isis. They are referred to in terms such as the Twin Sisters and the Two Kites and are depicted as physically identical twins, distinguishable only by their headdress. A longer second glance is required to discern the essence of Nephthys.

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