Friday, February 10, 2012

C is for Cosmogony

This blog will be a bit easier this week. I decided to do a post on some of the Kemetic creation myths. There are different versions of the creation myth depending on the city and who the pharaoh was. Some of the more well known Kemetic creation myths are from Heliopolis, Memphis, Hermopolis, and Thebes.

[i]The System of Heliopolis[/i]
Atum(some say it was Ra) appeared from nun and with his hand took his seed into his mouth and then spit out Shu and Tefnut. Then from Shu and Tefnut came Geb and Nut.

Now I have read in a couple places that Nut and Geb made Ra and that Nut was supposedly "married" to Ra after She had Him but still loved Geb. That caused Ra to become angry and forbid Nut from having children during any day of the year. After hearing that Djehuty(some said it was Nut Herself) played draughts with the moon to win 70 seconds from each day to create 5 new days so Nut could give birth to Asar, Aset, Set, Nebet Het, and Heru Ur.

Then the story of Set murdering Asar takes place and Aset gives birth to Heru.

There are two different versions of the Ennead of Heliopolis:
Shu - Tefnut
Geb - Nut
Asar, Aset, Set, Nebet Het, Heru Ur

Other versions replace Heru Ur with Heru, sa Aset.

[i]The Gods of Memphis[/i]
Ptah - Creator and supreme lord
Nefertem - the Primeval Lotus
Sekhmet - the Terrible Lioness
Sokar - the God of the Dead

[i]The Gods of Hermopolis[/i]
There are actually several variations of the creation myth in Hermopolis. One version says that the four divine couples-Nun and Naunet, Amun and Amaunet, Huh and Hauhet, Kuk and Kauket(the Ogdoad of Hermopolis) that represented the basic negative characteristics of the primeval waters, came together to create the world but eventually died off. But from the duat they still make the world run.

Another version is that the "Great Cackler", the celestial goose, laid the Cosmic Egg that the world was hatched from.
A different version of this said the Cosmic Egg was laid by an ibis which lead people to believe Djehuty created the world since one of His forms is the ibis-headed God and He also had been connected to the Ogdoad(some myths said the Ogdoad were the offspring of either Amun, Shu, or Djehuty).

[i]The Gods of Thebes[/i]
Amun - "the Invisible One" - created by the spirits of Hermopolis and the sun God Ra at the same time
Mut - Amun's consort
Khonsu - the moon child of Amun and Mut

Source: Myth and Symbol in Ancient Egypt by R.T. Rundle Clark
Egyptian Myth: A Very Short Introduction by Geraldine Pinch

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