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Queen Sobekneferu

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COVER: Volume V, Issue 3, Samhain 2010
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Oracle
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We Honor the Earth
The Berwyn Mountains of Poetic Adventure
The Coming of the Cailleach
An Isian Midwinter Meditation
Wenet the Swift One: Hare Goddess of Ancient Egypt
Awakening of Aengus Og and Tara Rite
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Ancient Egyptian Creation Myths
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Shadow Queen
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KaseySobekneferu.jpg
Statue of Queen Sobekkara Sobekneferu, 12th Dynasty

Queen Sobekkara Sobekneferu
 
By Kasey Conder, Pr. H.
Temple of Isis-Utah
Iseum of Muth
Lyceum of Auset and Heru em Aakhuti

 
 
Note on Sobek: Sobek was a god of peculiar ways sometimes being associated with the brutal nature of Set, but also being linked as assisting Isis and Nephthys at the birth of Horus, and saving Osiris’ body out of the Nile River.  Sobek is a mortuary god and a god of rebirth dealing with the deeper aspects of nature.  He is a fertility god makes the herbage green.  Sobek is the son of the Lower Egyptian Goddess Neith and shares a famous Temple with Horus at Kom Ombos.
 
Queen Sobekkara Sobekneferu was the last great ruler of the 12th Dynasty and Egypt's first female ruler.
 
During the 12th and 13th Dynasties the cult of Sobek developed much prominence causing numerous Pharaohs to take on the name of Sobek. 
 
The name of Queen Sobekneferu translates as ‘the beauties of Sobek.’
 
Queen Sobekneferu was the daughter of Amenemhet III and Queen Aat.  She is sometimes seen as the husband of her brother Amenemhat IV.  Her father enjoyed a long reign as Pharaoh while her brother, who preceded her, only served nine years. Queen Sobekneferu lasted only four years, though there may be a period of co-regency with Amenemhat IV before his death.
 
After the death of her husband/brother, she became Pharoah, as her consort, Amenemhat IV, had no heir.  Queen Sobekneferu gained the throne by the backing of the Priesthood of Sobek who felt she was the rightful ruler.
 
Queen Sobekneferu extended the labyrinth by her father’s pyramid in the Faiyum Oasis and created Shedet, a religious center in the city of Crocodilopolis.  Queen Sobekneferu kept the same capital city as other 12th Dynasty Pharaohs in Itjtawy. 
 
Queen Sobekneferu was a fascinating woman who invoked the shadowy nature of the God Sobek, while serving as Egypt’s first female ruler. Unfortunately there is not much evidence left about her, unlike another female ruler of ancient Egypt, Queen Hatshepsut.  Archaeologists still have not found the tomb of Sobekneferu. 
 
What we do know of Queen Sobekneferu comes down to us in the form of five existing statues, (where she is dressed in female and male attire), several beads, scarabs, and seals bearing her name, the Temple of Amenemhat III at Hawara, a Nile inundation record and Manetho. 
 
Though there may be a small amount of evidence left on her, wonder still grows about Egypt first Female Ruler, Queen Sobekkara Sobekneferu.  Queen Sobekneferu, ‘she who shows the beauties of Sobek,’ still definitely stirs something in the shadows of our imaginations, and in doing so, her legend lives on. 
 

 

References:

Shaw, Ian, editor, The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, Oxford University Press, 2000
 
http://www.aldokkan.com/egypt/sobekneferu.html
 
http://touregypt.net/featurestories/firstqueen.htm
 
http://www.thekeep.org/~kunoichi/kunoichi/themestream/sobek.html
 


About the Author: Kasey Conder is a priest and hierophant in the Fellowship of Isis. He is founder of Temple of Isis-Utah, Iseum of Muth and Lyceum of Auset and Heru em Aakhuti. He facilitates Public Goddess Services every second Saturday of the month in the city of Sandy, Utah. For more information please visit his website: http://www.geocities.com/rainbowwaters1982/templeofisisutah


Photo: http://thenilepharaoh.blogspot.com/2007/11/sobekneferu-first-certain-female-king.html

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