May 29, 2013

Making “star salt” for the Noble Lady

Posted in Creative Fire, Netjeru at 7:04 pm by

I swear, I do not go out of my way to look for really obscure Gods. The Names I already honor must be spreading rumors about me; either that, or I have a psychic door open somewhere.

Anyway, a couple of months ago I had one of those moments when I wake up with a Thing in my head. Last time it was the Phoenician Bast Oracle. This time it was something called “star salt.” What it was, I had no idea, but I had to make it. But first, I wanted to figure out where it was coming from. And after a combination of Twenty Questions with the Bast Oracle and some internet research, I finally narrowed it down. It was Opet-Nut.

The who? Nut at least is well known as the Goddess of the starry night sky, She who raises Ra into the sky in one myth, and in another swallows Him at dusk and gives birth to Him at dawn. Opet (aka Ipet; listed under Ipy at Henadology) is a hippopotamus-formed Goddess rather like Taweret. She was associated with protection and birth, and like other maternal Goddesses She was depicted nursing the King. She also has astral connections, being one of the Kemetic constellations. Her temple at Karnak, which was located in the Amun precinct near the Khonsu temple, featured a myth in which Amun dies as Wesir and is reborn through Opet-Nut as Khonsu (Arnold, 166). So yes, Opet-Nut is a traditional syncretization, although a very late one (Ptolemaic). Edward at Henadology cites a spell from the Leyden Papyrus that pairs Nut as “mother of water” with Opet as “mother of fire,” which is also a very interesting conjunction of the two. (Though as a hippopotamus Goddess She would seem to be watery, Opet’s attributes included candles or torches and incense offerings; thus fire.)

I did make the “star salt,” which ultimately consisted of salt, opalescent glitter, frangipani essential oil, powdered rose incense, and a pinch of natron “to make it brighter.” I offered it to Opet-Nut, then sprinkled it around and in my bed, and fell asleep embraced by the love of the Lady of Magical Protection.

Dua Opet-Nut!



Aly Abdalla, “The Cenotaph of the Sekwaskhet Family from Saqqara,” The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 78 (1992) 93-111. Stable URL:

Dieter Arnold, The Encylopedia of Ancient Egyptian Architecture (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2003).

Edward Butler, “Ipy,” at Henadology.

Jimmy Dunn/Jim Fox, “The Temple Opet (Ipet, Apet),” at

Robert K. Rittner, “O. Gardiner 363: A Spell against Night Terrors,” JARCE 27 (1990), 25-41. Stable URL:

Richard H. Wilkinson, The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt (New York: Thames & Hudson, 2003), 184.

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