Saturday, December 24, 2011


The goddess Nut was the daughter of Shu and Tefnut, and the wife of Seb, the Earth-god, and the mother of Osiris, Isis, Set and Nephthys, she was the personifaction of the heavens and the sky, and of the region wherein the clouds formed, and in fact of every portion of the reign in which the sun rose, and travelled from east to west. As a goddess of the late historical period in Egypt Nut seems to have absorbed the attributes of a number of goddesses who possessed attributes somewhat simular to those of herself, and the identies of several old nature goddesses were merged in her. In the Pyramid Texts {e.g., Unas, line 452} Nut appears as the regular female counterpart of Seb, who is described as the "Bull of Nut" i.e., he was either the father, or husband, or son, of the goddess ; her name is sometimes written without, the determinative for sky, e.g., in Pepi I, line 242, where it is said, "Nut hath brought forth her daughter Venus," Properly speaking, Nut, is the personifaction of the Fay-sky, i.e., of the sky which rests upon the two mountains of Bakhau and manu, that is, the Mountain of Sinset, but the Pyramid Texts prove that the Night-sky, and it seems as if this goddess and her male counterpart were entirely different beings from Seb and Nut, and had different names. In the text of Unas {line 557} we find mentioned the two gods Nau and Naut, who are, however, regarded as one god and there mentioned addressed accordingly. Thus it is said, "thy cake is to "thee, Nau and Naut, even as one who uniteth the gods and who "maketh the gods to refresh themselves beneath their shadow." In this passage {teta, line 218} we read of the "star Nekhekh in the Night-sky " on the other hand too much stress must not be laid upon the derterminative, because in the word, which seems to mean the "firmament strewn with the stars," the determinative is that of the Day-sky.

For the rest: Egypt: Gods - Nut
To the ancient Egyptians Nut (Nuit) was the personification of the sky (originally she was a goddess of just the sky at day, where the clouds formed) and the heavens. She was believed to be the daughter of the gods Shu and Tefnut, the granddaughter of the sun god Ra. Her husband was also her brother, Geb. She was thought to be the mother of five children on the five extra days of the Egyptian calendar, won by Thoth - Osiris who was born on the first day, Horus the Elder on the second, Set on the third, Isis on the fourth, and Nephthys the last born on the fifth day. The days on which these deities were born were known as the 'five epagomenal days of the year', and they were celebrated all over Egypt:

Osiris - an unlucky day

Horus the Elder - neither lucky nor unlucky

Seth - an unlucky day

Isis - a lucky day, "A Beautiful Festival of Heaven and Earth."
Nephthys - an unlucky day

She was shown in Egyptian artwork as a dark, star-covered naked woman, holding her body up in an arch, facing downwards. Her arms and legs were imagined to be the pillars of the sky, and hands and feet were thought to touch the four cardinal points at the horizon. Far underneath her lay the earth god, Geb, sometimes ithphallyic, looking up at his sister-wife. She was also described as a cow goddess, taking on some of the attributes of Hathor. Geb was described as the "Bull of Nut" in the Pyramid Texts. As a great, solar cow, she was thought to have carried Ra up into the heavens on her back, after he retired from his rule on the earth. At other times, she was just portrait as a woman wearing her sign - the particular design of an Egyptian pot on her head.
  • In one myth Nut gives birth to the Sun-god daily and he passes over her body until he reaches her mouth at sunset. He then passed into her mouth and through her body and is reborn the next morning. Another myth described the sun as sailing up her legs and back in the Atet (Matet) boat until noon, when he entered the Sektet boat and continued his travels until sunset.
As a goddess who gave birth to the son each day, she became connected with the underworld, resurrection and the tomb. She was seen as a friend to the dead, as a mother-like protector to those who journeyed through the land of the dead. She was often painted on the inside lid of the sarcophagus, protecting the dead until he or she, like Ra, could be reborn in their new life. In the Book of the Dead, Nut was seen as a mother-figure to the sun god Ra, who at sunrise was known as Khepera and took the form of a scarab beetle (at noon he was Ra at his full strength, and at sunset he was known as Tem (Temu, Atem) who was old and weakening):
  • Homage to thee, O thou who hast come as Khepera, Khepera the creator of the gods, Thou art seated on thy throne, thou risest up in the sky, illumining thy mother [Nut], thou art seated on thy throne as the king of the gods. [Thy] mother Nut stretcheth out her hands, and performeth an act of homage to thee.... The Company of the Gods rejoice at thy rising, the earth is glad when it beholdeth thy rays; the people who have been long dead come forth with cries of joy to behold thy beauties every day. Thou goest forth each day over heaven and earth, and thou art made strong each day by thy mother Nut....
    Homage to thee, O thou who art Ra when thou risest, and who art Tem when thou settest in beauty. Thou risest and thou shinest on the back of thy mother [Nut], O thou who art crowned the king of the gods! Nut welcometh thee, and payeth homage unto thee, and Maat, the everlasting and never-changing goddess, embraceth thee at noon and at eve....
    The gods rejoice greatly when they see my beautiful appearances from the body of the goddess Nut, and when the goddess Nut bringeth me forth.
She was also called on to help the deceased in one of the spells of the Book of the Dead:
  • THE CHAPTER OF SNUFFING THE AIR, AND OF HAVING POWER OVER THE WATER IN KHERT-NETER. The Osiris Ani saith:- Hail, thou Sycamore tree of the goddess Nut! Give me of the [water and of the] air which is in thee. I embrace that throne which is in Unu, and I keep guard over the Egg of Nekek-ur. It flourisheth, and I flourish; it liveth, and I live; it snuffeth the air, and I snuff the air, I the Osiris Ani, whose word is truth, in [peace].
There were many festivals to Nut through the year, including the 'Festival of Nut and Ra' and the 'Feast of Nut'. But, despite being a protector of the dead, she was a personification of the sky - a cosmic deity - and no temples or specific cult centers are linked to her.

Form: Egypt: Nut, Sky Goddess, Mother of the Gods, A Feature Tour Egypt Story
Symbols: stars, the night sky, cows
Cult Center: Heliopolis

The goddess Nut was the daughter of Shu and Tefnut and the wife of Geb, the earth god. She was the goddess of the daytime sky and the place where clouds formed. In later periods, she was no longer the goddess of the daytime sky, but of the sky in general.

The goddess was typically portrayed as a woman who wears on her head a vase of water . Many times she is shown as a woman whose hands and feet touch the ground so that her body forms a semi-circle. As such she represents the heavens. Her arms and legs represent the four pillars on which the sky rests. She is held up by her father Shu (the god of the air). Her husband Geb lies on the ground reclining on one elbow and his knees in the air. In this position he depicts the hills and valleys of the land. It was said that when Shu raised Nut (the sky) above Geb (the earth) he brought an end to chaos and if he ever left this position, chaos would return.
In one myth Nut gives birth to the Sun-god daily and he passes over her body until he reaches her mouth at sunset. He then passed into her mouth and through her body and is reborn the next morning. Another myth described the sun as sailing up her legs and back in the Atet (Matet) boat until noon, when he entered the Sektet boat and continued his travels until sunset.

Nut had four children with Geb. Osiris and his wife Isis, along with Seth and his wife Nephthys. The circumstances of their births is described in the The Story of Re. They were born on the five epagomenal days of the year (in Egyptian, "the five days over the year"). Every year these days were celebrated throughout Egypt.
  1. Osiris, this day was considered unlucky
  2. Horus the Elder, this day was described as either lucky or unlucky
  3. Seth, considered an unlucky day
  4. Isis, lucky day, called "a beautiful festival of heaven and earth."
  5. Nephthys, unlucky day
From: Egyptian Myths: Nut

Other Sites:

Nut, the sky
Nut, Goddess of Mystery
Nuit (Nut, Nwt, Nathor)
Nut, the Vault of Heaven
Nut -- info and Hrana Janto painting.
Nut, Goddess of the Sky
Images of the Egyptian Goddess Nut: Iconography and Meaning
Nut (Obscure Goddess Directory)

Also the House of Netjer's deity area of their forum has many threads about her, see here.

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