We tend to always find parallels with many things, so long as our minds are open enough. The same is true of me and polytheism. As a Buddhist, I am constantly amazed at how compatible some polytheist paths are with Buddhism. As a Buddhist, I recognise that mind arose from the transcendental Bodhi mind (bodhinirvana) and that, because of our karma after breaking from bodhinirvana, we are placed upon certain levels of existence: gods, demi-gods, humans, animals, demons. However, realising this, it is often applicable to mythological views of the world being created out of Chaos or some sort of primeval ocean of nothingness. In fact, that is how the Nun-Atum family begins: with this primeval ocean of nothingness.
In this rather short report, we will be using the actual Egyptian name and not the Greek names of the later, Ptolemic Dynasty. Therefore, Heliopolis will be Iunu, Osiris will be Wesir, Isis will be Aset, Horus the Elder will be Heru-wer, Set will be Set and Nephthys will be Nebt-het; Horus the Younger will be Heru-sa-Aset or his other titles beginning with Heru.
Unlike most Egyptologists from the Victorian or early-20th Century eras, we will not shy away from the true stories of how the gods came into being: sex. Indeed Egyptian religion is often complete with sex.
Nun: The Egyptians believed that the world began as a plane of nothing, just as most do. However, rather than believing this nothingness to be unimportant as one does with Christianity, Egyptians personified this nothingness into the form of a god, just as Buddhists do with the Buddhas Kuntuzangpo and Kuntuzangmo. Nun is literally the god of an all-expansive ocean and, with his female form Nunet, he represents everything with it. One could consider him the sky, but this will be more applicable after understanding how the world began according to the Atum line. He had no temples or cults but was often represented in the form of a lake at temples.
Atum: Atum was self arising and come out from nothingness (Nun). His name means “The Complete” and his titles reflect his role of being self-created and giving life to the rest of the gods: Self-Created One, Complete One, Lord of All, The Great He-She. It is said that when Atum came across the Benben mound, which Memphis believed to have been created by Ptah, he sat on it and began to masturbate. According to this myth, Atum created Geb and Tefnut by ejaculating into his mouth and spitting it back out. It was at that moment that Geb and Shu were created and that “space” as we know it, for you scientists – within our atmosphere, was formed.
Shu & Tefnut: When Shu & Tefnut were formed, the atmosphere as we know it was formed also. Essentially, both gods created an air bubble within the primeval waters of which we live in; this also explains the blue colour of the sky. Tefnut seldom appears in mythology, admittedly, as there are few resources in which she is depicted. However, when she does appear, she is a lion headed goddess crowned with the sun-disk. Her name literally means “that water” and she was considered to be the moisture in the atmosphere, as well as water in general as it was said that from her vagina pure water was created.
Shu plays a more important role in the world. As the air, we breathe him but he also holds up the primeval waters so that we can inhabit our air bubble. His name translates as “he who rises up” or “emptiness”, referring to the emptiness and cavity of the air. He wears an airy feather in which represents his role as personified air. He will play a more important role with his two children with Tefnut: Geb and Nut.
Geb & Nut: When Geb & Nut were born, they were said to be an inseparable union and would engage in constant sex. Perhaps this is why they will have four, or – by later accounts – five, children instead of the traditional two. Finally, Shu came and separated them from each other. Geb would become the earth and Nut would become the sky; an oddity in ancient mythologies in which the goddess was commonly associated with the earth and the god with the sky (Ouranos & Gaia).
Geb translates as “weak one” or “lame one” and was almost always depicted with Nut, if not Shu too, beneath her. Nut translates as “sky” and she was said to eat the solar barge in the evening and would have stars adorning her body. Nut could be portrayed in the form of a nude human, a cow, or a pig; the latter two in which she would be feeding or giving life to animals or humans.
Geb and Nut would have four or five children: Wesir (Osiris), Aset (Isis), Set, Nebt-het (Nephthys), and later Heru-wer (Horus the Elder). Heru-wer is debatable, as some name him simply as a form of Heru-sa-Aset (Horus), the son of Wesir and Aset, while others name him as the younger Heru’s uncle.
A more detailed report shall be made on the four (or five) children of Geb and Nut.
Please visit Wepwawet in order to learn more.