Atum-Re

 

Atum (the All) was the cosmic creative impulse behind the Laws of Becoming—the Divine creative force manifesting in the solar disc of the sun, Re. From Atum-Re issued the elements and dimensions of the physical universe, the laws of which were personified by his children, the gods, which the ancient Egyptians called the neters.

 

Shu & Tefnut

 

Shu, and his sister and wife, Tefnut, symbolized  the material substance that issued from Atum-Re’s desire to manifest and experience Himself through specific corporeal forms—air and light, heat and moisture. The personification of air, Shu was depicted as a man wearing the feather of Maat tucked into his hairband as he separated the earth from the sky. Tefnut embodied the warm and nourishing humidity that is as vital to life as Re’s burning energy. Tefnut was depicted as a woman with the head of a lioness wearing the solar disc on her head. The couple was most commonly represented as the two lions of the horizon, the Ruty. The lion facing west was “yesterday” and the lion facing east was “tomorrow”. The Ruty symbolized the division of the One into two that engendered the dimensions of time and space. Shu and Tefnut personified the birth of opposing forces which mysteriously work together to create life as we experience it. By way of the first sexual act, Tefnut bore Shu two children—the masculine earth, Geb, and the feminine sky, Nut.

 

Geb & Nut


Brother and sister as well as husband and wife, Geb and Nut were born together and separated by their father, Shu. Geb resisted the parting by furiously twisting and turning and spitting out flames that formed mountains and deserts. Geb most often took the form of a man lying on his back with one knee bent as he held himself up with one arm. His erect phallus reached up toward his sister—the magical womb of incarnation. Known to Hatshepsut as Mother Nut, the sky goddess arched over Geb, her body burning with stars and her fingertips resting on one horizon as her toes perched on the other. From Geb and Nut issued Osiris, Seth, Isis and Nepthys—the neters of the human soul.


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