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Different Kemetic mythologies and cosmogonies

Different Kemetic mythologies and cosmogonies

The Kemetic religion has variations depending on the territory where we are. Although there are common elements, there are some differences when it comes to explaining cosmogonic facts. For this reason, it is necessary to distinguish between the mythology of Memphis, Heliopolis, and Hermopolis (although there are more variants, these are the most important). Their situation was as follows:
MEMPHIS: It was the capital of nomo I (territorial division) of lower Kemet. It was founded by Pharaoh Menes (first pharaoh of ancient Kemet and founder of the first dynasty) in the third millennium before our era. During the first four Memphite dynasties it was the Kemetic capital until Pharaoh Seneferu (ruled between c. 2614 and 2579 B.C.) moved it to Giza (Gizeh on the map). After several changes of the capital, which were approaching or moving away from Memphis, after the arrival of the Ramsesides it became a symbolic city for Kemet, where it reached its greatest economic, social and political peak.
HELIOPOLIS: The so-called "city of the Sun" was a city of great political and religious power, centered its worship on the god Ra (this is thought to have occurred around the year 2400 b.n.e. → when the cult of Ra was established as the main one). The Heliopolitan Aeneas is undoubtedly the most important group of deities in the entire Kemetic pantheon. During the second dynasty, it was an important cultural center as far as astronomy was concerned. At the very least, the city was founded around the third millennium before our era, which is when it is named. Its maximum splendor arrived towards the middle of the second millennium before our era. Around 1300 B.C. it reached its maximum extension; the decline began during the first millennium until it was finally destroyed during the Persian invasion (c. 520 B.C.).
HERMÓPOLIS: The name of the city is due to the fact that in it they mainly worshipped the god Tehuti, who the Greeks identified with their god Hermes. It is famous for its ogdóada.
It was known as a rebellious city, since the doctrine imposed by the city of Heliopolis was little respected.
The mythology of Memphis: Ptah, the creative craftsman
Everything we know about the theology of Memphite today is found in a granite called the Shabaka stone. It was so called because it is known to have been commissioned by the Pharaoh Shabako whose mandate extended from approximately 714 to 702 BC, thus it belonged to the 25th dynasty of Egypt (c. 747 - 656 BC). Like almost all Egyptian relics, it is in the British Museum (EA 498).
According to what is known from the mythology of Memphis, in the beginning everything was an infinite sea, motionless, in complete silence ... but came Ptah, the "lord of magic", the creator god through the word and feeling and thought ( "from his heart and tongue") of the first gods. [1] So important are these two faculties, which themselves were divinized, personified in two geniuses called Sia (intelligence) and Hu (the power of speech, command, will). From Path were born or manifested:
- First Nun (chaos, that which existed before the form - was the god that was personified in the marine waters) and Naunet (goddess of the void and the primordial waters).
- He manifested himself in Huh and Hauhet (god and goddess respectively of eternity or of the great immensity).
- Niau and Niaut (the life or the spatial indetermination) or, depending on the tradition, under Amon and Amaunet (god and goddess of the hidden or of the solitudes).
- Then he appeared as Atum (representing totality: "He who has come to Exist by Himself", "The Father of all Gods" - demiurge function). He is the predecessor of the great Ra.
Some historians mention that besides using the word and the heart, he used Maat (order or justice in creating or shaping). Maat would be equivalent or close to the Greek Logos; a chapter will be devoted to it because of the philosophical implications of its meaning.
Apart from this function of creator, Ptah seems to have another aspect, especially in older writings he has been mentioned as the "patron" of the craftsmen - he was considered as the god who donated this kind of technique.
As we can see above, the Egyptian deities usually present their feminine equivalent, adding to their name the sound or the spelling "t". This is interesting because it means that they created a duality of the same element as a form of completeness, of order.
All this set of gods is common with that of Hermopolis, saving some difference.
As we have seen, the god Ptah is the main, the nine gods mentioned would therefore be their externalizations.  Although often appears as a creator god, the Egyptian notion of creator would be equivalent to the Platonic demiurge, the notion of creation ex nihilo is more implicit in the Christian Genesis.
Memphite mythology, in front of the rest of Egyptian mythologies, has an intellectual character. While the Heliopolitan and Hermepolitan mythologies demand physical elements to elaborate their cosmogony, the Memphite introduces two (or three) new elements: the art of creation through the word, the Word, and thought (if we add Maat's concept, it would also resort to order). Although in the Memphite mythology the god Tatnen is named (understood as we saw before - "The Emerging Earth"), it is clear that he has a role and a secondary weight in creation.
The theology of Memphis is a synthesis or mixture of the cosmogonies heliopolitan and hermopolitan, in the first case the eight divinities of the ogdóada would be the externalizations of Ptah, in the second case of the Aeneas would be or equivalent to "the teeth and lips of Ptah.
Although then presented to Ptah under various variants, here we have discussed the main forms.
As a curious fact, the name of Egypt is given by this deity, Homer used the word Egypt to designate the Nile River and surrounding civilizations. The temple of Ptah in Memphis or "the House of the Spirit of Ptah" was in Egyptian Hat Ka Ptah which was transcribed in Greek as Aigyptos.
The mythology of Heliopolis: Atum, the creator of the world
The cosmogony of Heliopolis begins by talking about the god Nun, as I said before is the chaos that existed before the form. This god represented the dark mass (the primordial sea) that contains the potential of everything). It is described as a sea without a beginning, without a surface that limits it, from it came out the god Ra or Atum, the creator. Ra or Atum was not a creature of Num, but came out was already in him in an inert form (Atum created himself through masturbation, saliva, tears, sweat, or other methods). Nun is represented as a bearded man with water up to his waist, holding over him the holy solar boat called Manjet.
As I have observed, there is no treatise that deals with the heliopolitan cosmogony and tradition as a whole, so I have resorted to several sources, some contradicting each other because Ra is named in several creation myths and it is difficult to differentiate whether a fragment enters into or is outside the heliopolitan tradition.
themselves with the head of a frog or a snake appear with the head of a bull and a cow.
According to the theology Memphite (for the understanding of the hermopolitan) the members of the Ogdóada are considered manifestations of Ptah; his seed of the ogdóada fell on a lotus flower from which emerged Nefertum.
Hence arose this variant of the cosmogony hermopolitan: In the beginning, Num emerged an island in which there was a pond where the rest of the gods of the ogdóada. The males ejaculated on a lotus flower. The next morning, when the lotus flower opened, a boy emerged who illuminated and organized all the things he created.According to his mythology, Ra, every day he travels his path: during the day he crosses the sky with the sacred boat mentioned above, and at night in Mesktet. According to the stages of his journey, one can find the manifestation of Ra in three different exteriorizations: Jepri at dawn, Herakuti  at noon, and Atum at nightfall. Although we can also find it under the names of Horus of Hekem or Horus of Harakhe.
Returning to the cosmogony Atum, the demiurge, manifested himself on a hill that emerged from the waters, the benben hill. Ra then created the first pair of gods, the god Shu and the goddess Tefnut (the personification of air and atmospheric humidity respectively). From this couple were born Geb and Nut (the earth and the sky). Geb and Nut, in turn, conceived four children: Asr, Ist, Set, and Nephthys. Asr joined with Ast and Set with Nephthys. This is the Heliopolitan Ennead, the group of nine gods composed of Atum (or Ra) and his descendants (the four pairs of gods).
The priests of Heliopolis imagined a divine dynasty formed by divinities of very diverse origins and its members followed one another as if it were a human dynasty. This cosmogony was the most accepted and important for the Kemetic people.
The gods of the Aeneas will be treated individually later.
Cosmogony of Hermopolis: Tehuti and the Egg
The hermopolitan cosmogony presents Tehuti as its creator god, like the demiurge. Thot is the god thanks to whom everything exists, together with the intervention of 8 gods. Those eight gods were called the Ogdóada. The gods of the ogdóada would be the manifestation of Thot, that's why they were called "the souls of Tehuti", they are organized into four couples: Num - Nunet (the primeval ocean), Heh - Hehet (the eternal), Kek - Keket (the shadow, the dark) and Amon - Amonet[2] (the hidden).
Male gods were represented as men with a frog's head and female ones with a snake's head.
From Num an island emerged, in which the gods planted an egg from which Ra emerged, who would be the demiurge that would organize all things in the world.
 "When only the first sea existed, Nun, high ground was formed above it. On this sacred hill of the first of the beginnings lay hidden the egg of the great domestic goose. And out of it came forth Amon when neither heaven nor earth was yet formed. Then there were neither men nor gods yet.
After Amon had hatched from the egg he created order out of the immense darkness and subjected the darkness itself so that the world could be seen clearly. Soon, after being called Ra, lord of light and darkness, he made the earth be populated with animals and living beings, gods, and men. But Amon ruled the world with the help of the eight divinities that he had created with Amaunet with great conformity and joy".
  1. Pir. 446, Book of the Dead 56, T. Pir. 1446 and Harris Papyrus 54.
The Lotus flower
There are other versions of the hermopolitan cosmogony: couples instead of presenting 

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