Geb was one of the few earth deities in mythology that was male. He was often pictured with a goose or viper around his head and was known as the father of snakes - and the word for snakes meant 'sons of earth'. Tombs were known as 'Geb opening his jaws' and he was part of the tribunal of judges in the weighing of the soul against Ma'at's feather. While his laughter was said to cause earthquakes, and he could be known to withhold his blessings, resulting in barren land - Geb was seen as a benevolent god. Grain was said to sprout from his ribs. His healing powers were expansive, and in one text, Osiris compels Geb to restrain malicious spirits responsible for causing fevers and illness.