Tawaret is the ancient Egyptian Goddess of fertility and childbirth, a protector of women and children and the Goddess of the annual Nile flooding, which brings with it, its’ fertile soil, which brings life to the Land. She is a Goddess of female sexuality.
Originally seen as evil and associated with the Northern sky (Nebetakhet), which was cold, dark and dangerous, She was known as the Mistress of the Horizon.
Over time, She became to be seen as nurturing and protective, with a ferocious streak when it came to protecting women and children.
She is also a Mother Goddess, who was associated with Hathor, as can be seen by Her wearing of Hathor’s solar disk, representing protection and life.
In ancient Egypt, hippos were seen as symbols of chaos and were killed in royal hunting parties. Female hippos, however, were seen as protection against the evil eye, turning away evil and misfortune.
Tawaret, whose name means “She Who is Great”, is depicted as a hippopotamus on two legs. She has the limbs and paws of a lion, the back and tail of a Nile crocodile and the body of a pregnant hippo. She is sometimes seen with human hair. As mentioned, She wears a solar disk headdress topped by two cow horns and Hathor’s solar disk. She carries “magic knives” to help ward off evil during labor. These daggers were made of ivory and carried depictions of the Goddess. She is sometimes seen holding scrolls of protection.
Amulets of Tawaret were worn by women, especially during pregnancy and labor. These amulets date back to 3000-2600 BCE.