Wenet, The Swift One (Unnut, Lady of Unu)
Wenet was depicted either as a hare, or as a woman with a standard bearing a recumbent hare on her head, or as a woman with the head of a hare. According to Plutarch the Egyptians venerated the hare on account of its swiftness and keen senses, but the hare’s form was also taken by certain other deities who had associations with the Otherworld. In one of the vignettes of the Elysian Fields from the Egyptian Book of the Dead, a hare-headed god, a snake-headed god, and a bull-headed god sit side by side; a hare-headed deity also guards one of the Seven Halls in the Underworld. Wenet was sometimes also depicted in the form of a snake, a creature with clear Otherworld associations.
The Nome of Wenet, where the city of Khemenu was located, was the province of Hermopolis. The province was considered the “District of the Hare”, named after the deity Wenet.
Wenet was both the patron goddess of the area of Wenu, the 15th Upper Egyptian Nome and of the city of Thoth which is more commonly referred to as Hermopolis. These two deities are often paired in ancient Egyptian symbolism and art. Thoth is the scribe of the gods, credited with the invention of writing by the ancient Egyptians. Curiously, the hare deity in Mayan belief also invented writing.