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Egyptian Myth: The Creation Epic
The Egyptian Creation Epic
Harmonized from various versions of the Mythos
by Aaron Leitch
In the beginning there was only the Nun: the great celestial waters of the Unmanifest; the depths of the nighttime sky. Swimming within this primordial Deep were the mighty Ogdoad: eight Gods who consisted of four Serpents, and four Frogs. There names were Nun and Nunet, deities of the watery abyss; Heh and Hehet, deities of infinite space; Kek and Keket, deities of darkness; and Amon and Amonet, deities of the invisible. These primordial Gods swam within the Waters, guarding the Great Egg that incubated the Creator.
In time, the Egg began to hatch. It split into two halves, dividing the waters of the Nun into the upper and lower, and making between them a space wherein the Creator could fashion the world.
From the Egg arose a single blue Lotus. It rose high above the darkness of the abyss, and opened it's great petals. Within it's golden heart rested a beautiful young God, the Creator Amen-Re, with one single finger pressed against His lips in Silence.
Light streamed from the body of this Divine Child, banishing darkness to the far reaches of the universe. Like a phoenix with flaming plumage He arose, uttering a cry that shattered the eternal silence. This was the first sound- the first Word- and that Word manifested as a living God. Thoth was His name: the Self-Created, the Logos, Wisdom.
Amon-Re then constructed an island for Himself to rest upon, and He surveyed the expanse of water around Him. He knew that He was alone, and soon found He could not bear the solitude. He longed for others to share the Light with Him.
Thus, He began his creation. In this He is known as Khephera, the God of Creation, the God of the Rising Sun. He brought order to the chaotic Ogdoad- setting Them in Their proper places- and it was thus the world came into existence. He accomplished this through the mighty power of the Divine Word, Thoth, and that power was yet another God: Ptah, the architect of the world and all of its creatures.
The first to be created was the Great Goddess Maat; Justice, Truth, the Judge and Balance of Dualities; for, duality is the law of the universe. Thoth took Her as His wife, and the two sustain the universe even unto this day; the Divine Word and Truth.
And more were created, in Their turn, by the thoughts of Amen-Re. He empowered Them with His word- by naming Them. First among Them were Shu, the God of Air, and Tefnut, the Goddess of Moisture.
Yet, Shu and Tefnut were quickly lost to Re in the waters of the abyss, and He was once again alone. He therefore took an Eye from His face and filled it with His own power. He called the Eye his daughter, Hathor, Goddess of the Sky, and sent Her out into the darkness to find His children.
The light of Hathor pierced the forces of darkness and Shu and Tefnut were quickly found and returned to Their Father. As a reward, Re set the Eye upon His brow in the form of the Great Cobra, the Uraeus Serpent. He swore an oath to Her that She would ever have power over His enemies, and in ages to come both Gods and men would fear Her.
Now Shu and Tefnut loved each other, and in time Tefnut gave birth to twins. The eldest was Geb, God of the Earth. The younger was Nut, Goddess of the Heavens. Re took the Star Goddess Nut for His wife, yet it was Geb for whom She yearned. It was Geb that She moved toward. The Earth and Sky, entangled in love, were intermixed and chaotic. The universe was formless; as if rebelling against order.
Re, unaware, stumbled upon this union of Geb and Nut. Angered at his unfaithful wife, He forced the lovers apart. He pulled the Sky far above the Earth, and held Them distant by force. He then set Shu between the lovers, upholding Nut in Her place to keep Them forever apart. It was thus that the Air came to reside between Sky and Earth.
Though Re's wrath against His wife was not yet complete. He further decreed that Nut, impregnated by Her union with Geb, should never give birth to Her young in any month of any year. Instead, They were to be locked within Her, never to see the light of day.
Nut mourned for Her loss; the loss of both Her lover and Her unborn children. Her lamentations reached even unto the ears of Thoth, the Self Created. He rushed to Her side, and dried Her tears. He soothed Her and spoke with Her, discovering the pain which inflicted Her. Thoth, who was the Lord of all magick and spells, knew that Re's decree could not be undone. Yet, he knew also that there was a way in which to relieve great Nut of Her suffering.
To this end, Thoth created the game of draughts, and challenged the Moon Goddess Silene; whose light then rivaled that of the sun. Thoth convinced Her to gamble a seventieth part of Her light for each day of the year. Being the Lord of Wisdom, He easily won from Her this light, and to this day the moon dwindles and darkens at certain periods. Thoth pieced together the light he had won- enough to fashion five whole days- and added them to the end of the 360-day lunar year.
These days did not rest within any month, nor any year, and thus Nut was able to bear Her children, one on each day. On the first was born Osiris. As he came into the World a Great Voice was heard throughout the heavens proclaiming that the Lord of Creation was born.
On the second day was born the great Elder Horus, whose right eye is the sun, and left eye the Moon. The Sky Goddess' name, Hathor, literally means "The Abode of Horus."
On the third day was born dark Set, the Lord of warfare and the burning deserts.
On the fourth day was born Isis, Goddess of Love, Magick, and Wisdom. The Great Lady of the heavens. Osiris took Her as His wife, and there was great love between Them.
Finally, on the fifth day, was born Isis' beloved sister Nephthys. The dark aspect of Her sister, She was taken by Set as His wife, but there was never love between Them at all. She, instead, remained always loyal to Her sister.
And thus is the birth of the Great Shining Ones, the Company of the Gods of Annu. They are the Ennead, the Great Company of Gods: Re; His children Shu and Tefnut, His grandchildren Geb and Nut, and His great-grandchildren Osiris, Isis, Set, and Nephthys. Many other Gods were also created by Re; and He filled the sky above the earth, and the abyss below it with spirits, demons, and lesser Deities.
Last of all was created Man and the other creatures of the earth. The mighty Khnem'u fashioned them upon His potter's wheel, and Re breathed into them the breath of life. Further, He made a land for them to dwell within, and named the kingdom Khemet (Egypt).
He protected the land with great barriers of desert, and created the river Nile so that it's waters would flood the land and rich crops would be plentiful. He also made other countries, and for them he created a Nile in the sky that would rain down its waters and sustain their life. He populated the world with all forms of animal, bird, fish, and plant; and gave them also the breath of life.
Each day Re walks through His kingdom, or sails across the sky in His Barque of Millions of Years (that is- the Ship of Eternity). To restrain the forces of darkness and chaos, He created the kingship; He then established Himself as the first and greatest King of Egypt and reigned for countless centuries in joy and peace.
But, alas, every evening the great primordial Lotus closes it's petals and sinks once more into the waters of the abyss. Darkness reigns throughout the Night until the young God within the Lotus is reborn. The forces of darkness were not conquered forever at the beginning of time; instead they surrounded the earth as serpents poised to attack the Sun God. The war between darkness and light sustains the world; and when it comes to a final end, so too will the world.