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Origins of the Deities

Gods

Exiting the Primordial Chaos and Creating the World

The Primordial Chaos

The Egyptian Realm needed to exit this Chaos in order to create their World. The Primordial Chaos can be visualised as violent and turbulent never-ending waters. When the Egyptian Realm was birthed from the Primeval Waters it established the concept of Ma’at and the Origin of Life itself.

In one version of the Origin Myth, the original 8 Egyptian Gods, known as the Ogdoad who reside in the Primeval Waters combine their forces and by the Magic of the Heka, the Sun is birthed allowing some of the Waters to “dry”, forming the first “island”.

Looking at this non-metaphorically, the image could be invested in the real-world view of dry land emerging through the Nile Waters when the Floods recede each year.

The God Atum emerges from the Primeval Waters at this point to produce the 9 Deities who form “The Ennead” or the Key Deities to birth the elements needed to be formed in the Egyptian Realm.

Creating The World: By Day

“The Arching Sky” is the highest part of the Egyptian Realm, ruled by the Goddess Nut. Immediately underneath it is “The Floating Air”, ruled by the God Shu, where the Sun, God Ra’s, Daily Journey takes place.

At the start of every day, Ra is born in the East through the Akhet, the Horizon, after he has eaten all other deities; and, at the end of each day, Ra dies in the West through the Akhet.

The Akhet is the slither on the Horizon where Egyptians believe that their Field of Reeds is located, and where the Ancestors reside if they lived a Ma’at formed lifetime.

Under the Akhet is “The Ordered Earth”, ruled by the God Geb, a flattened piece of the Land which in the Egyptian Realm means the livable green pastures either side of the Nile before the encroaching desert.

Lastly, “The Duat” or the Underworld, residing below “The Ordered Earth”. The Duat also chases round the edges of the Arching Sky, the Floating Air and the Ordered Earth. Importantly the Duat appears briefly between the Air and the Earth, around the Akhet or Horizon.

An interpretation of the Created World by Day

Creating The World: At Night

As during the Day, “The Arching Sky” is the highest, immediately underneath it is “The Floating Air”, followed by the Akhet, “The Ordered Earth” and finally “The Duat”.

The difference at night is that the Sun God Ra travels through the Duat from the West, where he dies, to rise again in the East at the Akhet.

Ra’s nightly journey on his Solar Barque is with the assistance of his fellow Deities and Deified Pharaohs who he spits back out, having swallowed them at Dawn. The Deities are shown at Night in the Stars and ensure that Ra is born to rise again. This proves to the Egyptians where the other Deities are during the Day when the stars are no longer visible to them by eye.

An interpretation of the Created World at Night

How Pharaoh’s were appointed to be deified

During the Middle Kingdom and the New Kingdom, Egyptians looked to verify the connection between their Pharaoh and their Deities. The answer appears that God Amun is the father of the Pharaohs who are born to the Royal Wife; acting through Pharaoh’s body to initiate conception. This is specifically shown to be the case for Pharaoh’s Hatshepsut, Amenhotep III and Ramesses II, who each depicted their own conception in Temple reliefs. This religious link permits Pharaoh’s Regal Rule and provides the reasons as to how the Pharaoh would intercede between humanity and their Deities, and why Pharaoh had to ensure Ma’at was upheld throughout Egypt.

 

Image Right – Relief from Luxor Temple showing Pharaoh Amenhotep III making offerings to God Amun and then receiving the approval to be Pharaoh through being gifted the Pharaonic Regalia by the God Amun in return

Entering the Primordial Chaos

The Egyptian Realm after a number of myriad solar creation cycles is due to end, as explained in the Coffin Texts and the Book of the Dead.

God Atum takes centre stage and describes how he will one day dissolve the order and return it to its Primordial Chaos.

Leaving no explanations as to when, how and why this will occur, Atum states that the only survivors will be himself and Osiris.

Meaning that perhaps the Egyptian Realm will rise again in a similar fashion at a later date.