Wednesday, November 23, 2011



Symbols: ram, potter's wheel
Cult Center: Elephantine, Esna
Myths: "the Seven Years Famine"

Khnemu was one of the oldest gods of Egypt. The Egyptians' views of him changed somewhat through Egyptian history. He always was an important god and he remained so even in some semi-Christian sects two to three centuries after the birth of Christ! His symbol was the flat-horned ram and was depicted as a ram-headed man who wears the White Crown on his head. Khnemu was originally a water-god, and as such he is shown with water flowing over his outstretched hands and wearing a jug on his head above his horns. His name comes from the root, khnem, "to build".

It was believed that he built the first egg from which the sun sprang. Khnemu also made the gods and he sculpted the first man on a potter's wheel and he continued to "build up" their bodies and maintain their life. Khnemu built up the material universe (with Ptah) under the guidance and direction of Thoth. As the architect, he had seven forms:

1. Khnemu Nehep, "Khnemu the Creator"
2. Khnemu Khenti-taui, "Khnemu, governor of the two lands"
3. Khnemu Sekhet ashsep-f, "Khnemu, weaver of his light"
4. Khnemu Khenti per-ankh, "Khnemu, governor of the House of Life"
5. Khnemu Neb-ta-ankhtet, "Khnemu, lord of the Land of Life"
6. Khnemu Khenti netchemtchem ankhet, "Khnemu, Governor of the House of Sweet Life"
7. Khnemu Neb, "Khnemu, Lord"

Khnemu was worshiped from Thebes to Philae, but the principal sanctuaries were at the First Cataract (Elephantine and Philae).

From: here
Worshipped in the form of a ram in early New Kingdom, later as a man with a ram's head. At Elephantine he was guardian of the source of the Nile and thought to cause the inundation. He and his consort Satis and their divine child, Anuket, made up the Elephantine Triad.

More important, he was a creator god, an aspect of the procreative power of the ram and the life-giving Nile. In this capacity he shaped the child on his potters´ wheel and then implanted it in the mother's womb. Even the gods he created in this way. He was 'Father of fathers', 'Mother of mothers' and assisted at birth together with Heket, the goddess of birth.

At Esna he was the creator of all beings and gods; Re - the sun, Nut - the skies; , Shu - the air; Osiris - the netherworld and Geb - the earth were all included in Khnum. Khnum being depicted as a fourheaded ram as thought to depict this.

Main center of worship:
Abu/Elephantine 1st Nome, Upper Egypt

Other places:
Iunyt/Latopolis/Esna 2nd Nome, Upper Egypt
Kom-El-Deir (opposite), 2nd Nome, Upper Egypt

Festivals: (exact dates not historically verified)
22nd January - 8th Pamenot - Day of making way for Khnum

From: here
In Egyptian mythology, Khnum (also spelled Chnum, Knum, or Khnemu) was one of the earliest Egyptian deities, originally the god of the source of the Nile River. Since the annual flooding of the Nile brought with it silt and clay, and its water brought life to its surrounds, he was thought to be the creator of the bodies of human children, which he made at a potter's wheel, from clay, and placed in their mothers' wombs. He later was described as having molded the other deities, and he had the titles Divine Potter and Lord of created things from himself.

In certain locations, such as Elephantine, since Khnum was thought of as a god pouring out the Nile, he was regarded as the husband of Satis (who did much the same), and the father of Anuket, who was the personification of the Nile. In other locations, such as Her-wer (Tuna el-Gebel perhaps), as the moulder and creator of the human body, he was sometimes regarded as the consort of Heket, or of Meskhenet, whose responsibility was breathing life into children at the moment of birth, as the Ka. Alternatively, in places such as Esna, due to his aspect as creator of the body, they viewed him as the father of Heka, the personification of magic, and consequently as the husband of Menhit.

Originally one of the most important deities, when other areas arose to greater prominence, it was the secondary function, as potter, that became his whole realm of authority, and instead, the Nile was considered the god Hapy, who was the Nile god in the more powerful areas. Khnum's name derives from this secondary association, – it means builder. However, Khnum's earlier position as 'moulder' of the other deities, leads to him being identified as Ra, or more particularly as the Ba of Ra. Since Ba was also the word for a Ram, he became thought of as having a Ram's head, but he really has a bull's head.

In art, he was usually depicted as a bull-headed man at a potter's wheel, with recently created children's bodies standing on the wheel, although he also appeared in his earlier guise as a water-god, holding a jar from which flowed a stream of water. However, he occasionally appeared in a compound image, depicting the elements, in which he, representing water, was shown as one of four heads of a man, with the others being, – Geb representing earth, Shu representing the air, and Osiris representing death. Some think this is a depiction which may have had an influence on Ezekiel and Revelations, as Khnum had a Ram's head, Shu sometimes appeared with a Lion's head, Osiris was a human, and Geb had a goose on his head.

The worship of Khnum centred on two principal riverside sites, Elephantine Island and Esna, which were regarded as sacred sites. At Elephantine, he was worshipped alongside Anuket and Satis as the guardian of the source of the River Nile. His significance led to early theophoric names of him, for children, such as Khnum-khufwy – Khnum is my Protector, the full name of Khufu, builder of the Great Pyramid. Due to his importance, as an aspect of the life-giving Nile, and also the creator, Khnum was still worshipped in some semi-Christian sects in the second or third centuries.

From: Wiki

The Egyptian ram god who makes the Nile delta fertile and suitable for agriculture. He is considered the creator of humans, because he makes children from clay and places them in the wombs of the mothers. He is usually depicted as ram or a man with the head of a ram. He was worshipped on Elephantine Island, together with the goddesses Anuket and Satis. He was also worshipped in Esna, (ancient Latopolis, south of Luxor) with his wife, the lion goddess Menhit, and their son Hike (the god of magic). In Esna, a temple dedicated to Chnum can still be found.

From: here
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