5. The Tyet “Symbol of Feminism”
The ancient Egyptian Symbol Tyet Also known as Tjet, Tiet/Tyet, known as the knot of Isis or the blood of Isis, looks a lot like the Anka symbol except for its arms curved down. The symbol dates to the old Kingdom (2613 – 2181 BC) and represents the female genitalia. It was used as a funerary amulet made of a red stone or glass and was associated with many Ancient Egyptian Goddesses as well as Isis. It stands as a symbol for the female reproductive organs, and the goddess Isis in her role as the universal mother. The Tyet was combined with the Djed to offer the complete union of feminine power and masculine power. The symbol was also linked to the Nephthys with the concepts of Burial and resurrection. It symbolizes the ideas of eternal life and resurrection. It is often paired with the Ankh offering the protection and security of both Isis and Osiris. In the New Kingdom of Egypt (1570 – 1050 BC) when Egypt reached its full glory, and the cult of Isis reached its peak the symbol became very famous. Note: The Tjet is an ancient Egyptian symbol for life, feminine power, security, protection, regeneration, love, blood & health. The symbol also reflects the concepts of Life and death as it represented the female sanitary during menstruation.
Tyet amulets came to be buried with the dead in the early New Kingdom of Egypt (c. 1550–1070 BC). The earliest examples date to the reign of Amenhotep III, and from then until the end of dynastic Egyptian history, few people were buried without one placed within the mummy wrappings, usually on the upper torso. Ancient Egyptian funerary texts included many passages describing the use of different types of amulets and include spells to be recited over them. Chapter 156 of the Book of the Dead, a New Kingdom funerary text, calls for a tyet amulet made of red jasper to be placed at the neck of a mummy, saying “the power of Isis will be the protection of [the mummy’s] body” and that the amulet “will drive away whoever would commit a crime against him.” Such amulets were often made of red jasper or similarly colored materials, such as carnelian or red glass. However, many others were made of green materials such as Egyptian faience, whose color represented the renewal of life. Another type of knot is sometimes called the “Isis knot”: a large knot in a mantle worn by Egyptian women from the Late Period onward. It is associated with Isis because it often appeared on statues of her in Hellenistic and Roman times, but apart from the name it is not related to the tyet. The tyet can be compared with the Minoan sacral knot, a symbol of a knot with a projecting loop found in Knossos, Crete.