The 'Two Ladies'

Ancient Egyptian Gods for kids - The Two Ladies - Nekhbet and Wadjet

History of ancient Egypt surrounding the Two Ladies: Nekhbet, the vulture goddess and Wadjet the cobra goddess

The Two Ladies
Discover the legends and myths and religious beliefs surrounding the Two Ladies. The ancient Egyptian gods referred to as the Two Ladies were Nekhbet, the white vulture goddess and guardian of Upper Egypt (south) and Wadjet, the Egyptian cobra goddess, the protector of Lower Egypt.

Following the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt, Wadjet and Nekhbet were paired together to form the Two Ladies - the protectors of the united land of ancient Egypt.  In Ancient Egyptian texts, the term 'Two Ladies' is a religious euphemism for Wadjet and Nekhbet. Additional facts and information about ancient Egypt, and its mysterious gods and goddesses, is also available via:

Egyptian Gods and Goddesses

Who were the Two Ladies?
The names of the two ancient goddesses who were paired together following the unification of ancient Egypt were Wadjet and Nekhbet.

  • Nekhbet was the Egyptian white vulture goddess and protector of Upper Egypt in the south of the country in the Nile Valley
  • Wadjet was the snake or cobra goddess and protector of Lower Egypt in the north of the country in the Nile Delta region

The combined powers and attributes of the Two Ladies produced highly effective protectors of the unified Egypt and the Two Ladies are prominent on one of the most iconic images of ancient Egypt - the 'Eye'. There are several names are applied to the 'eye' symbol: the Eye of Horus, the All-seeing Eye and the Eye of Ra. The 'Eye' was one of the most important and potent Egyptian Symbols representing royal power, protection and good health. In the following image the 'Eye' is guarded by the vulture goddess Nekhbet who wears the crown that represented Upper Egypt and the cobra goddess Wadjet who wears the crown that represented Lower Egypt. 

Eye of Horus

The All-seeing Eye guarded by the Two Ladies

The Two Ladies Profile & Fact File

Facts about the Two Ladies - Nekhbet and Wadjet
The following facts and profile provides a fast overview of the Two Ladies:

The Two Ladies: Nekhbet

Names: Nekhbet. Alternative Names: Nekhebit, Nekhebet, Nechbet

Nekhbet was the white vulture goddess

Roles: The function of Nekhbet is described as being the vulture goddess and protector of Pharaohs

Status: Nekhbet had her own cult center at Buto. Wadjet as the cobra goddess of  and Nekhbet the vulture goddess were referred to as the "Two Ladies"

Symbols: The Vulture, White Atef crown of Upper Egypt, the lotus and the round Shen ring

Cult Centers: Nekheb

Titles: The "Mother of Mothers, who hath existed from the Beginning", "Daughter of the sun", "White One of Nekhen" and one of "Two Ladies"

Names in Hieroglyphics:

Two Ladies Hieroglyph

Two Ladies:

Translation of Hieroglyphics for Nekhbet: Papyrus stem, letter B (leg), and Nekhebet symbol of the vulture

The Two Ladies: Wadjet

Names: Wadjet. Alternative Names: Uto, Buto, Edjo

Wadjet was the snake or cobra goddess

Roles: The function of Wadjet is described as being the cobra goddess and protector of Pharaohs

Status: Wadjet had her own cult center at Buto. Wadjet as the cobra goddess of  and Nekhbet the vulture goddess were referred to as the "Two Ladies"

Symbols: The Uraeus rearing cobra, the ankh, papyrus, the Red Crown (Deshret) of Lower Egypt

Cult Centers: Buto

Titles: The "Lady of Flame", "Creatrix of the World" and one of "Two Ladies"

Names in Hieroglyphics:

Two Ladies Hieroglyph

Two Ladies:

Translation of Hieroglyphics for Wadjet: Papyrus symbols, cobra, bread (giver of food), egg symbolizing female and Wadjet symbol of rearing cobra

'Two Ladies' - Nekhbet & Wadjet

'Two Ladies' - Nekhbet & Wadjet

The Two ladies

The Unification of Ancient Egypt & the 'Two Ladies'
In approximately 3100BC, Lower and Upper Egypt were united when King Narmer defeated the army of Lower Egypt. Nekhbet was originally the white vulture goddess of the white crown of Upper Egypt in the south and Wadjet was the goddess of the red crown of Lower Egypt in the north. The 'Two Ladies' represented the unification of Nile Delta region of Lower Egypt and the Nile Valley region of Upper Egypt. The role of Nekhebet, was seen as a meeker and motherly defender of Egypt whilst the role of Wadjet was seen as a forceful defender. The picture of the Two Ladies, as protective winged goddesses, adorns the ceiling of a temple in Kom Ombo (Ombus). Nekhebet wears the White Atef crown of Upper Egypt (south) and Wadjet wears the Red Crown (Deshret) of Lower Egypt.

Red Crown (Deshret) of Lower Egypt (north)
worn by Wadjet

'Two Ladies' - Nekhbet & Wadjet

White Atef crown
Upper Egypt (south)
worn by Nekhbet

The Decline of the Two Ladies and the Rise of Mut
When Memphis became the new capital of Egypt its priests justified its new status by developing a different version of the creation myth and new gods associated with Memphis (Ptah, Sekhmet and Nefertem) came into prominence. In the period known as the New Kingdom the Two Ladies were eventually 'absorbed' by the powerful Mother goddess Mut. Mut is often depicted wearing the Royal Vulture Crown consisting of a feather headdress with its wings spread round her head in the act of protection, adorned by a Uraeus - the combined symbols of the 'Two Ladies'.

Facts about the Two Ladies in ancient Egyptian History and Mythology
Discover interesting information and research facts about the Two Ladies, the guardian goddesses of Egypt. The facts about the Two Ladies provides a list detailing fascinating additional info to increase your knowledge about the Two Ladies in Egyptian Mythology and history.

History, Mythology and Facts about Nekhbet

Fact 1: According to some myths Wadjet and Nekhbet were sisters

Fact 2: Nekhbet was paired with Wadjet and the goddesses were referred to as the 'Two Ladies' and represented the unification of the lands of ancient Egypt

Fact 3: Wadjet wears the Red Crown (Deshret) of Lower Egypt in the north of the country

Fact 3: Nekhbet wears the White Atef crown of Upper Egypt in the south of the country

Fact 4: Wadjet was the patron goddess of the Upper Egypt city of Buto

Fact 5: Nekhbet was the patron goddess of the Upper Egypt city of Nekheb (modern day El Kab), from which her name derives.

Fact 6: The symbols of Wadjet were the Uraeus rearing cobra, the ankh, papyrus and the Red Crown (Deshret) of Lower Egypt

Fact 7: The symbols of Nekhbet were the Vulture, the White Atef crown of Upper Egypt, the lotus and the round Shen ring

Fact 8: The Uraeus, the rearing cobra symbol of Wadjet represented the absolute power and authority of the gods and the Egyptian monarchy

Fact 9: One of the symbols of Nekhbet was the Lotus or water lily which symbolized the sun, of creation, rebirth, regeneration & represented Upper Egypt.

Fact 10: The Egyptian Vulture associated with Nekhbet was also called the White Scavenger Vulture, which was white, with black feathers in the wings. The ancient Egyptians viewed vultures as being excellent models of motherhood.

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