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Fiche résumé :

Nom :  Le plus courant est Meretseger ou Mereretseger.
Mais j'ai trouvé aussi Mert-Sekert et Ta-Dehnet. Et Dehenet-Imentet ("Lady of the Peak of the West") + "She Who is on Her Mountain". (source)


Représentation : Une femme à tête de serpent, ou un serpent/cobra enroulé essentiellement. Apparemment on trouve aussi un scorpion à tête de serpent, ou un sphinx à tête de femme (ou une lionne?).

Domaines : Veille sur les sépultures et sur les morts.

Correspondances : voir la partie "en pratique".


Article wikipedia (ici)

Mereretséger (Celle qui aime le silence) est une déesse de la mythologie égyptienne protectrice des ouvriers de Deir el-Médineh, près de Thèbes.

Elle était représentée sous les traits d'un cobra royal femelle et définie comme « la fille de Maât, au cœur de la région sacrée ». Déesse du silence, elle ne révèle ses secrets qu'aux justes de voix (mȝˁ-ḫrw).

Elle est la protectrice des tombes, tapie dans la fraicheur et le silence qu'elle affectionne ; elle veille sur les morts. De tempérament doux, voire rassurant, Mertseger compte parmi les divinités que le peuple se plaît à adorer.

Elle porte également le nom de « la Cime », en référence à la montagne surplombant le village de Deir el-Médineh où elle résidait.


Symboles et culte de la déesse Mereretséger :

Son culte n'est attesté qu'à l'époque ramesside au Nouvel Empire et seulement sur le rive gauche thébaine.

Elle est souvent représenté sous la forme d'un serpent lové à tête de femme, ou plus rarement à tête de serpent. On lui connaît aussi l'aspect d'un sphinx à tête de serpent, ou encore un serpent ailé que coiffent trois têtes de femme, de serpent et de vautour. Sa tête est le plus souvent coiffé du serre-tête. Elle peut aussi porter un modius qu'entourent des uraeii. Deux plumes, un disque solaire, l'atef, la couronne rouge ou la couronne hathorique peuvent aussi la coiffer.

Ses symboles sont les serpents, en particulier les non-venimeux. Son élément est la terre, puisqu'elle est serpent. Ses couleurs sont le noir et le jaune.

Des fêtes essentiellement populaires lui sont dédiées, comme ce fut le cas à Deir el-Médineh.

Ses lieux de cultes les plus connus sont les nécropoles de la montagne thébaine, le village ouvrier de Deir el-Médineh, Deir el-Bahari et Esna.



Un article rigoureux et complet (ici)
Qui présente des stèles et leurs origines, le nom....

Meretseger was a local goddess of the Theban necropolis. The evidence of her cult is prominent especially during the New Kingdom. She was depicted as a cobra, a cobra with a female head or even a female with a cobra’s head. Occasionally she was depicted as a scorpion with a female head.

It literally means “She who loves silence”. She was thought to dwell on the 450-metre high pyramid shaped mountain that dominates the valley. Through this topographic connection she was sometimes also known as “The peak of the West” or “The Lady of the Peak”. (Shaw 1995, 184)

Meretseger was worshiped throughout the whole Theban necropolis but especially by the craftsmen of the village that was situated in a barren pocket in the western hills to the south east of the Valley of the kings (Reeves 1996, 22). The village is nowadays called Deir el-Medina. The community of craftsmen cut and decorated the New Kingdom royal tombs. They worshipped a wide range of deities from national gods such as Osiris, Ptah and Hathor, to deified kings and queens such as Amenhotep I. and Queen Ahmose-Nefertari. They also worshipped Asian gods who became popular in Egypt after the kings’ conquests in Asia – the war god Reshep and the fertility goddesses Kudshu, Anat and Astarte, who was also a goddess of love (Tvurci hrobu 1992, 17).

But the ever present danger of being bitten by the cobra which were, and still are, plentiful in the Theban desert made the veneration of a serpent a very important affair indeed. As in most cultures, the Egyptians regarded the snake as a source of evil and danger. Meretseger, the serpent-goddess, was worshipped in order to avert the danger posed by her physical manifestation. Prayers and offerings were made to her so that snake bites could be avoided or cured (Shaw 1995, 262).


The villagers had numerous small temples, chapels and shrines. Any individual chapel would have provided a local residence for the goddess and a locus for offerings to her (Pharaoh’s workers 1994, 90). The stelae dedicated to Meretseger did not come from villager’s tombs but rather from these small temples in which they offered their devotions to her.

One of the well-known votive stelae dedicated to Meretseger is the one of Neferabu with a Hymn to Meretseger. Neferabu was a moderately wealthy artist from Deir el-Medina who raised a large family and built a fine tomb for himself. The stela is a part of a collection at the Turin museum. Its number is 102. On the right side of this rectangular stela there is the goddess Meretseger depicted as a serpent with one human head and two serpent heads standing in front of an offering. On the left side of the stela there is the Hymn written in 17 columns. It contains Neferabu’s warning of Meretseger's powers. At the head of the hymn there is an expression of Neferabu’s thanks to Meretseger. Neferabu admits being ignorant and unwise and not distinguishing between good and bad. He sinned against the Peak. It attracted the goddess’s punishment. She had power over him. He promised to tell the workers to beware the Peak as the lion resides within it. Now he understood that whoever sins against Meretseger was going to be pursued. As he prayed to her, Meretseger came to Neferabu in the form of sweet wind and forgave him. Again he calls on all ears to listen to his warning (Lexa 1920, 280-281).

"The Peak, she strikes with the strike of a fierce lion when she is after the one who transgresses against her. I called out to my mistress and found her coming to me as a sweet wind, and she was merciful to me, after she let me see her hand. She turned to me in peace, and she made me forget the sickness that was in my heart. So the Peak of the West is merciful when one calls to her." (Lichtheim 1976, 107-108).

.... (voir l'article pour lire toutes les stèles)



Neb pour Semat Ankhti

La déesse Meretseger est la personnification de la montagne thébaine (dite aussi la "cime thébaine") qui était le point culminant, c'est à dire le plus haut, de la nécropole de Thèbes.

Étant donné qu'elle présidait en cet endroit, qu'elle était l'endroit, la nécropole, les artisans qui y travaillaient presque nuit et jour, la vénéraient, et surtout la redoutaient (en particulier vis à vis de ceux, parmi eux, qui pourraient être tentés de donner des informations sur l'emplacement des tombes prestigieuses, et y faciliter le pillage, dans le but de s'enrichir bien évidement)


(hiéro)

Il s'est élaboré autour de Meretseger un culte "du secret", un culte "du silence" à tel point qu'on l'appela comme ça, "celle qui aime le silence", en référence au fait qu'elle attendait non seulement qu'on respecte le silence des défunts, mais également qu'on ne parle surtout pas des sépultures disséminés dans la roche thébaine (son "corps"), afin de les préserver dans le silence de l'éternité. (les artisans des tombes connaissaient leur emplacement, il leur était absolument interdit de le révéler à qui que ce soit sous peine d'être puni de mort, mais aussi et surtout puni de châtiment divin)

On appelait aussi Meretseger "Celle qui entend tout", car on espérait qu'elle entendrait le murmure et même les pensées de ceux ou celles qui trahiraient le secret des tombes d'éternité, et leur permettrait un "juste châtiment", on la voyait alors parfois représentée d'oreilles à ses cotés (verbe sedjem = écouter)

Bien souvent, les serpents (abondants dans ces roches désertiques) pouvaient passer pour un "châtiment" de Meretseger, elle était donc crainte, et invoquée justement pour protéger des morsures de reptiles qu'on pouvait redouter en cet endroit hostile à l'homme.

On la représentait d'ailleurs souvent avec la tête d'un cobra
.


Henadology (lien source)

(Meresger) Meretseger, whose name means ‘She who loves silence’, is the Goddess of the Theban necropolis, the ‘Valley of the Kings’. She is particularly embodied in the mountain peak dominating the complex, from which she derives her common title ‘the Western Peak’. Meretseger is depicted variously as a woman with a serpent’s head, a serpent with a woman’s head, a serpent headed sphinx, or a serpent with auxiliary heads of a woman and a vulture, and with a similar diversity of crowns. Most of what we know of her cult comes from the testimonials of artisans who worked upon the royal tombs, who testify to her at once wrathful and forgiving nature. A sacred serpent appears to have been kept in honor of Meretseger, as is attested by the sarcophagus of one (Lexikon vol. 4, p. 80).

Helck, Wolfgang and Eberhard Otto, eds. 1973–. Lexikon der Ägyptologie. Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz.



Ancient Egypt Online (lien source)

Meretseger (Mertseger, Merseger, Mereseger) was the goddess of the necropolis at Thebes (Waset, in the 4th Nome of Upper Egypt). Her name means "She Who Loves Silence". She was believed to live on the mountian which dominates the skyline at Thebes and rises above the valley of the Kings and Queens. The mountain (known as "dehent") formed a natural pyramid, and the word for "pyramid" in Egyptian was "mr" which formed a pun on the first sylable of her name. She was given the epithet "She who is on her mountian" and was sometimes thought of as the personification of the mountain itself, and known as "Dehenet Imentet" ("Peak of the West"). She was often associated with Ptah, the patron of the workmen at Deir el Medina.

She was a protective deity, but was also greatly feared. The workmen of the necropolis left numerous stelae dedicated to her. They believed she would strike down anyone who desecreated a tomb as well as anyone who committed a crime or broke an oath. It was thought that she could cause immediate blindness or inflict a snake or scorpion bite on the guilty party. However, she was merciful and would cure anyone who repented and promised to atone for their actions. For example, a worker named Neferabu recorded that he had been punished by Meretseger for his sins. However, he confessed and did his best to make amends and the goddess forgave him and cured him of his affliction. These notions of "sin" and "repentance" were not common in Ancient Egypt. They believed in Ma'at (balance or order) and chaos rather than "good" and "evil" and no other deity rewarded atonement and punished sin in this manner.

Her worship was popular in Thebes and Deir el Medina (the workman's village near the Valley of the Kings) during the New Kingdom and a small temple to Ptah and Meretseger was built near by. However, she was so closely associated with the necropolis at Thebes that her worship was never established elsewhere. When the royal necropolis was abandoned during the Twenty-First Dynasty she drifted into obscurity.

Meretseger was usually depicted as a cobra or a cobra with the head of a woman, although sometimes she takes the form of a snake with three heads (a woman, a cobra and a vulture). She occassionally appears as a woman or a woman with the head of a cobra, although this is fairly rare.


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