People have always been looking for a purpose and meaning in this life. The ancient gods were instrumental in giving people directions. The gods gave humanity a purpose and reason to live. Almost every religion had an astrological god. Egypt was one of them. It had an astrological goddess known as Nut. People referred to the goddess as the god of the sky. The god arose from the ennead Egyptian religion.
Nut’s parents were Tefnut and Shu. She had a husband whose name was Geb. Her husband Geb was also her sibling. Geb was the god of the earth. Together they gave birth to five kids namely Isis, Set, Osiris, Nephthys, and Horus. There are various symbols that people used to illustrate the nut goddess. One of them depicts her as a big sow with countless piglets suckling from her. Ancient Egyptians believed that the many piglets represent the starts in the sky. The other drawing depicts her as a pot which symbolizes the uterus. Her body’s picture was in a way that it formed a canopy over the entire earth. The cow figure on it is what created the heaven and the earth.
Who Was Nut To The Egyptians?
Nut was the counterpart of the male god of the Egyptians Geb. The drawings portray her as a naked woman covered in stars. She was initially in charge of the nighttime sky. With time, she took up the role of the whole sky at all times. Nut is among the most treasured gods of the Egyptians. Nut is also among the oldest gods of the Egyptians. The people in those times viewed her as a mother. History reveals that she used to give birth to the other gods who were in charge of other things.
Since she gave birth to the other gods, she became the mother figure of the people too. There is an Egyptian symbol that depicts her painting the lids of coffins of the dead. The people believed that she provided the deceased with protection in the afterlife. The people thought that when they died, she took them to the afterlife. Nut protected them by bringing them in into the star-filled sky. Once the deceased people were in the sky with her, she fed them refreshments such as wine and other foods. The belief led the people even to paint their tombs in dark blue stars. The stars drawn represented the presence of the protector goddess Nut.
Nut was the barrier that separated the cosmos and the chaos. In her, the people found peace. During daytime, the moon and the sun rotated across her body in providing light to the world. However, at night, Nut would swallow them up and then give birth to them the next day in the morning. That is how the cycle of day and night took place. She had four big toes where each one of them represented the directions in the earth. There was a toe for north, east, west, and one for the south.
The Myth about Nut
There is a myth created by Egyptians to describe the life of Nut. The story holds that once upon a time there was a great ruler by the name Ra. Ra was however worried about losing his throne to someone else. Nut was a potential threat to the throne that Ra held. So Ra in his fear banned Nut from ever having any children within the 360 days of the year at that time.
Since Nut wanted to have children with her husband Geb, she devised a way out. Nut sought advice from the respected Thoth, who was the god of wisdom behind Ra’s back. After some time of planning and crafting, the two came up with a perfect plan to allow Nut to have children. Thoth agreed with the god of the moon Khonsu that he would give Thoth some light from time to time. So when Khonsu was not shining, he lends Thoth little light from time to time.
Consequently, Khonsu managed to provide enough light that Toth needed. Toth used the light to create five extra days on top of the 360 days of the year. Nut was able to conceive five children in those extra days. She gave birth to Horus the god of war, Set, the god of desert and chaos, Isis, the god of magic, Nephthys the god of water, and Osiris, the god of the dead. When Ra realized what had happened, he separated Geb from Nut with the help of Nut’s father, Shu.
The Symbol of protection and its Origin
The most popular and sacred symbol held in high esteem by the ancient Egyptians was that of the ladder. Commonly referred to as ‘maqet,’ the symbol represents the protection that comes from Nut. One of the most compelling reasons behind the belief is the story of Osiris. Isis who is the daughter of Nut got married to her brother Osiris. On hearing the news, the other brother named Set sought to kill Osiris. So he murdered Osiris and cut his body into 14 pieces. Isis found Osiris and quickly put back his body parts. Since she feared the wrath of Set, she climbed up the ladder and ran to her mother’s protection. The Egyptians have since believed that the protection offered to Osiris is still offered to the other deceased members of the society.
Before having children, nut used to carry Ra the king with his chariot in her while he was traveling. She would birth Ra every morning in the continuous process of resurrection. Her strengths and ability are the ones that made Ra fear that her children might threaten his reign due to her power.