Keket

Keket (or Kauket) in egyptian mythology was a primordial goddess, one of eight Egyptian deities composing the ogdoad in the Hermopolitan Theological System who represented chaos.

Her consort was Kek.

She is one of the four feminine deities who had serpent heads representing their affinity for the depths of the earth.

When paired with Kek, the couple epitomized the primordial darkness. Anthropomorphized as a baboon she is depicted as greeting the rising sun. A.G.H.

 

Kauket Egyptian Goddess

Keket, also known as Kauket, is an ancient Egyptian goddess from the group of deities known as the Ogdoad in the Hermopolitan cosmogony. Her role and attributes are deeply entwined with the concept of primordial chaos and darkness in Egyptian mythology.

 

Role in Egyptian Mythology

  • Primordial Goddess: Keket is considered a primordial deity, belonging to the Ogdoad, a group of eight gods and goddesses who existed before the creation of the world.
  • Representation of Chaos: She represents the ancient aspect of chaos or darkness, a fundamental element in the Egyptian creation myths.

 

Association with the Ogdoad

  • Hermopolitan Theological System: In this system, the Ogdoad consists of four pairs of deities, each pair representing different aspects of the primeval universe.
  • Consort Kek: Keket is paired with Kek, her male counterpart. Together, they symbolize the primordial darkness that existed before creation.

 

Iconography and Symbolism

  • Serpent-Headed Deity: Keket, like the other female deities of the Ogdoad, is often depicted with the head of a serpent, symbolizing her connection to the earth and the underworld.
  • Baboon Representation: In some representations, Keket is anthropomorphized as a baboon. This form is seen greeting the rising sun, a symbol of the emergence of order from chaos with the dawn of creation.
  • Epitome of Primordial Darkness: The pairing of Kek and Keket epitomizes the concept of the darkness that pervaded before the ordered world came into being.

 

Cultural and Theological Impact

  • Creation Myths: Keket plays a crucial role in the Egyptian understanding of creation, where the chaos and darkness she represents are essential precursors to the ordered universe.
  • Symbol of Transition: Her imagery related to the rising sun indicates the transition from primordial chaos to the structured world, underscoring the Egyptian perception of balance and cyclical renewal.

 

Modern Interpretation

  • Archetypal Figure: In modern interpretations of Egyptian mythology, Keket is often seen as an archetypal figure representing the unknowable and formless aspects of the universe before creation.
  • Influence on Art and Culture: The mythos surrounding Keket and the Ogdoad continues to inspire interest in ancient Egyptian religion and cosmology.

Sources:

Grimal, Pierre, Larousse World Mythology, Secaucus, New Jersey, Chartwell Books, 1965, p. 32
Jordan, Michael, Encyclopedia of Gods, New York, Facts On File, Inc. 1993, p. 132