Atum, finisher of the world
|Name in hieroglyphs|
|Major cult center||Heliopolis|
|Consort||Iusaaset or Nebethetepet|
|Children||Shu and Tefnut|
Atum (/ɑ.tum/, Egyptian: jtm(w) or tm(w); Coptic ⲁⲧⲟⲩⲙAtoum), sometimes rendered as Atem or Tem, is an important deity in Egyptian mythology.
Atum's name is thought to be derived from the verb tm which means 'to complete' or 'to finish'. Thus he has been interpreted as being the "complete one" and also the finisher of the world, which he returns to watery chaos at the end of the creative cycle. As creator he was seen as the underlying substance of the world, the deities and all things being made of his flesh or alternatively being his ka.
Atum is one of the most important and frequently mentioned deities from earliest times, as evidenced by his prominence in the Pyramid Texts, where he is portrayed as both a creator and father to the king.
In the Heliopolitan creation myth, Atum was considered to be the first god, having created himself, sitting on a mound (benben) (or identified with the mound itself), from the primordial waters (Nu).Early myths state that Atum created the god Shu and goddess Tefnut by spitting them out of his mouth. Atum did so through masturbation, with the hand he used in this act representing the female principle inherent within him. Other interpretations state that he has made union with his shadow.
In the Old Kingdom the Egyptians believed that Atum lifted the dead king's soul from his pyramid to the starry heavens.He was also a solar deity, associated with the primary sun god Ra. Atum was linked specifically with the evening sun, while Ra or the closely linked god Khepri were connected with the sun at morning and midday.
In the Book of the Dead, which was still current in the Graeco-Roman period, the sun god Atum is said to have ascended from chaos-waters with the appearance of a snake, the animal renewing itself every morning.
Atum is the god of pre-existence and post-existence. In the binary solar cycle, the serpentine Atum is contrasted with the scarab-headed god Khepri—the young sun god, whose name is derived from the Egyptian hpr "to come into existence". Khepri-Atum encompassed sunrise and sunset, thus reflecting the entire cycle of morning and evening.
Atum was a self-created deity, the first being to emerge from the darkness and endless watery abyss that existed before creation. A product of the energy and matter contained in this chaos, he created his children—the first deities, out of loneliness. He produced from his own sneeze, or in some accounts, semen, Shu, the god of air, and Tefnut, the goddess of moisture. The brother and sister, curious about the primeval waters that surrounded them, went to explore the waters and disappeared into the darkness. Unable to bear his loss, Atum sent a fiery messenger, the Eye of Ra, to find his children. The tears of joy he shed upon their return were the first human beings.
Atum is usually depicted as a man wearing either the royal head-cloth or the dual white and red crown of Upper and Lower Egypt, reinforcing his connection with kingship. Sometimes he is also shown as a serpent, the form he returns to at the end of the creative cycle, and also occasionally as a mongoose, lion, bull, lizard, or ape.
Atum's worship centered on the city of Heliopolis (Egyptian: Annu or Iunu). 68 ft (20.73 m) high red granite obelisk weighs 120 tons (240,000 lbs, 108,900 kg, 108.9 tonnes), the weight of about 20 African elephants.The only surviving remnant of Heliopolis is the Temple of Re-Atum obelisk located in Al-Masalla of Al-Matariyyah, Cairo. It was erected by Senusret I of the Twelfth Dynasty, and still stands in its original position. The
Nut, also known by various other transcriptions, is the goddess of the sky, stars, cosmos, mothers, astronomy, and the universe in the ancient Egyptian religion. She was seen as a star-covered nude woman arching over the Earth, or as a cow. She was depicted wearing the water-pot sign (nw) that identifies her.
Khepri is a scarab-faced god in ancient Egyptian religion who represents the rising or morning sun. By extension, he can also represent creation and the renewal of life.
Shu was one of the primordial Egyptian gods, spouse and brother to goddess Tefnut, and one of the nine deities of the Ennead of the Heliopolis cosmogony.. He was the god of peace, lions, air, and wind.
Tefnut is a deity of moisture, moist air, dew and rain in Ancient Egyptian religion. She is the sister and consort of the air god Shu and the mother of Geb and Nut. She was known as Tphenis to the ancient Greeks.
Heliopolis was a major city of ancient Egypt. It was the capital of the 13th or Heliopolite Nome of Lower Egypt and a major religious center. It is now located in Ayn Shams, a northeastern suburb of Cairo.
The Ennead or Great Ennead was a group of nine deities in Egyptian mythology worshiped at Heliopolis: the sun god Atum; his children Shu and Tefnut; their children Geb and Nut; and their children Osiris, Isis, Seth, and Nephthys. The Ennead sometimes includes the son of Osiris and Isis, Horus. It rose to importance in Dynasties V and VI and remained prominent in Egypt into its occupation by the Macedonian Ptolemaic dynasty established by Alexander the Great's successor in the area, Ptolemy I.
Iah is a lunar deity in ancient Egyptian religion. The word jˁḥ simply means "moon". It is also transliterated as Yah, Yah(w), Jah, Jah(w), Joh or Aah.
Hatmehit, or Hatmehyt in the ancient Egyptian religion was a fish-goddess in the area around the delta city of Per-banebdjedet. In ancient Egyptian art Hatmehit was depicted either as a fish, or a woman with a fish emblem or crown on her head. She was a goddess of life and protection.
Mnevis is the Hellenized name of an ancient Egyptian bull god which had its centre of worship at Heliopolis, and was known by ancient Egyptians as Mer-wer or Nem-wer.
The Eye of Ra or Eye of Re is a being in ancient Egyptian mythology that functions as a feminine counterpart to the sun god Ra and a violent force that subdues his enemies. The Eye is an extension of Ra's power, equated with the disk of the sun, but it also behaves as an independent entity, which can be personified by a wide variety of Egyptian goddesses, including Hathor, Sekhmet, Bastet, Wadjet, and Mut. The Eye goddess acts as mother, sibling, consort, and daughter of the sun god. She is his partner in the creative cycle in which he begets the renewed form of himself that is born at dawn. The Eye's violent aspect defends Ra against the agents of disorder that threaten his rule. This dangerous aspect of the Eye goddess is often represented by a lioness or by the uraeus, or cobra, a symbol of protection and royal authority. The Eye of Ra is similar to the Eye of Horus, which belongs to a different god, Horus, but represents many of the same concepts. The disastrous effects when the Eye goddess rampages out of control and the efforts of the gods to return her to a benign state are a prominent motif in Egyptian mythology.
The Bennu is an ancient Egyptian deity linked with the sun, creation, and rebirth. It may have been the inspiration for the phoenix in Greek mythology.
Iusaaset or Iusaas is a primordial goddess in Ancient Egyptian religion. In Egyptian texts, she is described as "the grandmother of all of the deities". This allusion is without any reference to a grandfather, so there might have been a very early, but now lost, myth with parthenogenesis as the means of the birth of the deities from the region where her cult arose near the delta of the Nile. There are many alternative spellings of her name, including Iusaaset, Iusaas, Juesaes, Ausaas, and Jusas, as well as in Greek Saosis.
Certain numbers were considered sacred, holy, or magical by the ancient Egyptians, particularly 2, 3, 4, 7, and their multiples and sums.
Ancient Egyptian deities are the gods and goddesses worshipped in ancient Egypt. The beliefs and rituals surrounding these gods formed the core of ancient Egyptian religion, which emerged sometime in prehistory. Deities represented natural forces and phenomena, and the Egyptians supported and appeased them through offerings and rituals so that these forces would continue to function according to maat, or divine order. After the founding of the Egyptian state around 3100 BC, the authority to perform these tasks was controlled by the pharaoh, who claimed to be the gods' representative and managed the temples where the rituals were carried out.
Ra or Re is the ancient Egyptian deity of the sun. By the Fifth Dynasty in the 25th and 24th centuries BC, he had become one of the most important gods in ancient Egyptian religion, identified primarily with the noon sun. Ra was believed to rule in all parts of the created world: the sky, the Earth, and the underworld. He was the god of the sun, order, kings, and the sky.
Ancient Egyptian creation myths are the ancient Egyptian accounts of the creation of the world. The Pyramid Texts, tomb wall decorations and writings, dating back to the Old Kingdom have given us most of our information regarding early Egyptian creation myths. These myths also form the earliest religious compilations in the world. The ancient Egyptians had many creator gods and associated legends. Thus the world or more specifically Egypt was created in diverse ways according to different parts of the country.
Geb was the Egyptian god of the Earth and later a member of the Ennead of Heliopolis. He had a viper around his head and was thus also considered the father of snakes. It was believed in ancient Egypt that Geb's laughter created earthquakes and that he allowed crops to grow.
Nebethetepet(nb.t-ḥtp.t) is an ancient Egyptian goddess. Her name means "Lady of the Offerings" or "Satisfied Lady". She was worshipped in Heliopolis as a female counterpart of Atum. She personified Atum's hand, the female principle of creation, but aside from that had little significance.
The Gate deities of the underworld were ancient Egyptian minor deities charged with guarding the gates of the Egyptian underworld.