Ancient Egyptian Goddess Nut, Goddess of the Sky
The ancient Egyptian sky goddess Nut is known by a legend that says her body created a vault or canopy over the earth. Her appearance in scenes and iconography as a woman whose body arches across the sky wearing a dress adorned with stars is very popular. Nut is said to have been the mother of Isis, Osiris. Nephthys and Seth, and she was the wife and sister of the god of the earth, Geb. There was a popular myth associated with the goddess Nut in ancient Egypt thought that Nut swallowed the Sun god Ra at the end of the day and gave birth to him again the next morning. The birth of the children of Nut is said to coincide with the five epagomenal days of the year and every year each of these five days was celebrated in Egypt.
More About Nut
Nut was the personification of the heavens and the sky. She was the daughter of Shu and Tefnut and the granddaughter of Atum or Ra who was often regarded as the creator god. The husband and brother of Nut was the earth god, Geb. She was even said to be the mother of Ra, the sun god. In one myth it’s said that Ra used the Atet (or Matet) boat to travel across her body until noon and then used the Sektet boat until sunset to go back.
Role And Representations Of The Goddess Nut
Nut was often referred to as a cow goddess who got some of the qualities of Hathor. It’s believed that when Ra became tired of ruling she took him up into the heavens on her back in the form of a cow. She is more commonly represented as a naked woman covered with stars and her body is held in an arch facing downwards. Her legs and arms are the pillars of the sky and her feet and hands touch the ground at four cardinal points on the horizon. Geb is often depicted beneath Nut. Because of her association with the rebirth of the sun, Nut became a mother-like figure and protector of the dead whose picture was painted on the inside lid of the sarcophagus in order to protect the mummy. There were many festivals dedicated in honor of Nut and celebrated throughout Egypt such as "the Festival of Nut and Ra" and the "Feast of Nut." Nut appears in numerous depictions, yet no temples or specific cult centers are linked to her.
The Most Important Myth About Nut
The myth of Nut swallowing the Sun god at the end of the day and giving birth to him again at the start of the next morning is very famous and many variations of the myth are told in Egyptian mythology.