, pub-5063766797865882, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 Nut Sky Goddess Facts ~ Ancient Egypt Facts

March 1, 2012

Nut Sky Goddess Facts

Nut Ancient Egyptian Sky Goddess
Nut Goddess was almost always depicted as a woman with remarkable j physical proportions. Most of the drawings showed her nude, with j large breasts and detailed anatomy. Nut Goddess was pretty and appealing. If she wore any headdress, it was a vase of water, and her name derived from the phonetic sound of the word for vase. Sometimes she was shown standing in a sycamore tree, her symbol, pouring out water to purify the souls of the dead.

Nut Egyptian Goddess
The myth that was basic to her explains her relationship with the sun. Nut Goddess was supposed to give birth daily to her son, the sun. He then passed over her body until he reached her mouth, whereupon she ate him, and he disappeared until it was time for him to be born again the next morning. This myth was frequently represented in Pharaonic ceiling paintings, such as that of the temple at Dendera or the tomb of Ramses VI at Luxor. Here she is shown nude; her limbs and trunk so extraordinarily long that her body covers in some paintings-the outline of three edges of the ceiling.

Her hands begin in one corner and her arms take up the length of one wall. The second and third wall-lengths are taken up by her body and legs respectively, with her feet reaching to the end of the third wall. The sun, in the form of a ball, is depicted rolling over her body from the point of birth to her mouth, where it was to be eaten. Elsewhere, Nut’s ceiling appearance is more symbolic: in the Pyramid of Unas at Saqqara it is made up of thousands of small stars, creating a sky-like background for the hieroglyphics, which form part of the Pyramid Texts.

Another version of this myth is again concerned with Nut Goddess eating her own children. This story tells how the stars followed Ra into the mouth of their mother, and thereby disappeared during the daytime. Geb became angry at the thought of his wife eating her own children and he quarreled with her, comparing her to “the sow that eats her piglets.” Her father, Shu, however, intervened and sent a message to Geb not to be angry. Shu insisted that the eating of the children each morning assured that they would be born again that evening and would therefore survive safely.

Nut Goddess was often connected with Hathor, the cow goddess. In one myth Ra had fallen into serious trouble with the residents of earth. Nun advised him to mount the back of Nut Goddess in her cow form and ride away through the sky to escape the anger of the humans. In typical drawings of this story, the boats of Ra can be seen beside her front legs where they join her body, and also to the rear beside her udder. Ra himself rides in the foremost of the two boats. Nut’s belly is lined with stars, and Shu stands under her supporting the sky. This one scene illustrates four different concepts of the sky held by ancient Egyptians: the woman, the cow, the ocean (through which the boats sail), and the ceiling over Shu that must be supported.

The Pyramid Texts were full of prayers to Nut Goddess to provide protection for the dead, since the gods flying daily through the sky in their boat were under her protection, as were the souls of the dead. As a sign of this role for Nut Goddess, many sarcophagi have her image carved on the undersides of their lids. While the dead person lies there eternally, he looks up at the personification of the sky. As a result, one of her many names was “the great protect tress.” Examples of this image of Nut Goddess can be found in both the Egyptian Museum and the British Museum.

Nut’s greatest role, however, was as the mother of the main body of gods in the Great Ennead. Myths told us that she and Geb, the earth, entered into an embrace each night; and the Pyramid Texts told us that the earth was an island that lay between the legs of Nut Goddess. The inevitable result was that she gave birth to the major gods of the next generation. For this Nut Goddess was known in the Coffin Texts as “she with the braided hair who gave birth to the gods.”!

In her capacity as the sky, the protector of men and gods, the ocean through which Ra made his daily journey, and the mother of the gods, Nut Goddess was one of the most highly revered of the Great Ennead. She was probably depicted in more different scenes and myths than any of the others, yet her personal power was small. She served and protected others more powerful than herself.

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