Egyption Cosmology

Egypt’s creation stories offer several versions of the creation of the world. These creation stories were found on pyramids, papyrus leaves and stones written in sacred hieroglyphic writings. These writings, when deciphered, tell us about the beginnings of the cosmos.

According to one Creation Myth, everything began with the infinite dark ocean of Nun, which contained all the seeds of life in it. The Supreme Creator Re, thought himself into existence and from his breath he created Shu (air) and Tefnut (moisture) from his saliva. His breath produced air and his saliva gifted moisture to the universe.

Re, the Supreme Creator, then caused the waters of Nun to recede and out of it emerged an island. Later, he called forth from Nun all the living creatures and gave them names.

Shu and Tefnut, who were caused by the breath and saliva of Re, mated and produced two children;  Geb and Nut. Earth and Sky respectively. Geb and Nut further eloped which angered Shu. Shu’s anger lead Him to pull Nut up and away from Geb. Nut’s arched body formed the dome of the sky, whereas Geb became the earth and Shu became the air in between.

Shu, further commanded pregnant Nut to not to give birth in any of the 360 days of the year. God Thoth came to help Nut, through a game he played with moon and He won enough of the moon’s light to add five more days to the three hundred and sixty days of the calendar. Then, Nut was able to produce a child on each of these five days. These five days are known as ‘Five Epagomenal Days of the Year’ or ‘Epagomenal Days’.

Nut bore Osiris, Horus, Seth, Isis, and Nephthys. Osiris was the Egyptian God, who represented the afterlife and was assasinated by his brother Seth for the Kingdom. Seth’s cruelty knew no bounds as he tore Osiris’s body into pieces. Later these pieces were rescued by Isis for a burial under the temple.

Seth became the king of Egypt but his kingship was challenged by Horus, who was the mythological son of Osiris. Seth lost the battle and was sent in exile where he became the God of Storms. Isis mummified Orisis and hence named as the God of the Dead. And the throne stayed with Horus, from whom then the Pharaohs descended.

This is how the Egyptian Cosmology wraps itself. Starting from the Dark oceans to the alteration of days and nights through Nut who gives birth to sun each day and sets when the sun reaches Nut’s mouth. With the story of Gods who created and and re-created further in the cosmos where Re will rule until the end of times, and where eventually all will return to Nun.

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