C is for Creation


The ancient Egyptian's creation myths stemmed from their observation of nature, which helped them to understand their place in the cosmos. Therefore the Nile river, with its annual floods, was very important in these myths.

The Egyptians believed that in the beginning, there was only water, which they called Nu or Nun. This is represented by the Nile. Eventually the water would begin to recede, allowing small pieces of land to emerge. On the first day, the sun would rise over the first dry piece of land, and this was the beginning of all things.

There are two versions of the creation myth, both starting with the water. The lower kingdom creation myth suggests that Ra (the sun) came out of an egg which appeared on the surface of the water. Four children were brought forth by Ra, which became the gods Shu and Geb and the goddesses Tefnut and Nut. Shu and Tefnut became the atmosphere and stood on Geb, who became the earth, and in turn raised up Nut, who became the sky. Ra ruled over them all. Geb and Nut had two sons, Set and Osiris, and two daughters, Isis and Nephthys. Osiris succeeded Ra as king of the earth and was helped by Isis, his sister-wife. Set killed Osiris. The god Anubis became the god of embalming when he helped Isis to embalm Osiris' body. Isis resurrected Osiris with powerful charms, and he became king of the netherworld. Horus, the son of Osiris and Isis, defeated Set and became king of the earth.

The upper kingdom creation story is slightly different. Ra (the sun) gave birth to only Shu and Tefnut. Shu, who was the god of air, and Tefnut, who was the goddess of moisture, gave birth to Geb and Nut, the earth god and the sky goddess. Men were created from Ra's tears, but they proved to be ungrateful. Ra and a council of gods decided they should be destroyed, so Ra created Sekhmet to do this. She slaughtered all but a few humans when Ra relented, and tricked her into stopping.
Geb and Nut married, but this angered Ra and he ordered Shu to separate them. However, Nut was already pregnant, but she could not give birth as Ra had decreed that she couldn't give birth in any month of any year. She was helped by Thoth, the god of learning, who gambled with the moon for extra light, thus adding five extra days to the 360 day calendar. Nut was then able to give birth to Osiris, Horus, Set, Isis and Nephthys. Osiris became the symbol of good, while Set was the symbol of evil.

Comments

  1. That was a lot to take in, but still, extremely informative. So glad I found your blog on the theme reveal. :)

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  2. I don't think I've seen it explained so succinctly and clearly, thank you. I've always been a bit confused about ancient Egyptian creation myths.
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings

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  3. I can tell you have done some research on this topic. Well done.
    Great take on the A to Z Challenge
    Challenge Beyond
    I am challenging A to Zers to draw a simple picture with their mouth - try it!

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  4. Stopping over from SlimDoggy and the A to Z Challenge. Great post - love to read mythology, so this was a useful summary.

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  5. love your egyptian theme! the board game was so cool!
    and creation stories can be so creative!

    happy c day!

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  6. I love reading creation myths from around the world. Thanks for sharing this one! You did a great job of explaining it.

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  7. I always thought their creation myths were some of the best. The water theories are really fascinating. I love ancient Egyptian culture.

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  8. Hello Miss Laura . . . . . . . . DAMN I thought that was all true. I guess I can dismantle the Pyramid now.

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  9. I'm amazed at the research you must put into this series, to deliver such fascinating information. There are so many stories about creation, and this one is really interesting.

    MJ, A to Z Challenge Co-Host
    Writing Tips
    Effectively Human
    Lots of Crochet Stitches


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  10. That's the word I live for. Got to love Egyptian history! :)

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  11. I love your Egyptian Creation story. Very interesting.

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  12. How fascinating! I never knew the Egyptian creation myths. Thank you! :)

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  13. I was thinking I remembered all this stuff from my most recent history class, and then I recalled I was thinking of a different culture's mythology. There are so many, it's hard to keep track. I do love how their beliefs change with time and geography though. It's fascinating.

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  14. Now, I can say that I've read about the Egyptian creation myths. So much to learn. Thanks.

    The View from the Top of the Ladder

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  15. So much to learn- no way I'm going to remember it all. Remind to come back here the next time I'm doing research...

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  16. Oooh I'm always fascinated by creating myths so of course I enjoyed this! :)

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  17. Very cool and very interesting information about Egyptian myths.

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  18. Great information, love learning new things!

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  19. Great information post about the creation myths of Egypt. I am very unfamiliar with Egyptian mythology so I have to learn a lot. Incidentally, last week I read some very interesting things about the fight/war between Set and Horus.

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  20. That was confusing. I'll stick with the biblical version. Egypt has so many myths and exciting stories.

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  21. This is great! Thank you for sharing all of this. Are you studying ancient Egypt at the moment?

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  22. Well it appears there were storytellers back then too, huh? Great info and detail. Thanks!

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