Sunday, February 14, 2010

Goddess of the Week

Nut, the ancient Egyptian sky Goddess, is this week's Goddess pick; this is Her first appearance here. As sky mother, She is said to swallow the Sun every night, and give birth to Him every morning. She was commonly depicted as blue-bodied (or in a blue dress) spangled with golden stars. She is in myth one of an older generation of Deities, and one of the Heliopolitan Ennead, a group of nine Deities Who feature in the creation myths local to the ancient city of Heliopolis (ancient Iunu).

In the Heliopolitan legends, the creator God Atum ('the All') emerged from the primeval waters of Nun; he then gave 'birth' to two more Deities, either by sneezing or masturbating (though it's interesting to note that in the latter case certain priestesses were known by the epithet of 'The Hand of the God', meaning, there just isn't any way to get around the fact that birth requires some kind of female presence); these two Deities were the God Shu (the air God, 'Dry' or 'Parched') and the Goddess Tefnut (the moisture Goddess, Whose name means just that, 'Moisture'). These two coupled, and as a result Tefnut gave birth to Geb (the earth God) and Nut (the sky Goddess, Who is named after a type of water-vase, perhaps representing the uterus).

Now, Geb and Nut loved each other very much, and they spent much of their time coupling. But the sun-God Re feared being overthrown by a new generation of Deities; so He had Geb and Nut forcibly separated by Their father Shu, the air. So Nut was lifted away from Geb (yes, She was on top) to become the arch of the sky. Geb, for His part, was inconsolable (He always struck me as rather a sweetie). But for Re that wasn't enough: paranoid like many despots are, He forbid Nut from giving birth at all.

Well, that wasn't going to work, certainly not for Nut, nor for the harmonious workings of the Universe; and so Thoth (Egyptian Tehuti), the God of wisdom, gambled with the Moon and won five new days to add to the year, which at that time was measured in twelve nice even months of thirty days each. So Nut was finally able to give birth to five major Gods of the Egyptian pantheon, Osiris (Au Sar, the God of resurrection), Isis (Au Set, Goddess of power), Nephthys (Nebet-het), Set (God of chaos and the desert), and the elder Horus (Heru, the falcon God).

Nut was regarded as a universal protective mother Goddess. Besides being the mother of Osiris, Isis, Nephthys, Seth, and Horus the elder, She was in some ways considered the mother of the Sun, since She gave birth to Him every morning. Likewise She was sometimes thought to be the mother of the stars, as She (complementarily) swallowed them at daybreak, giving birth to them at evening. In this role She was compared to a sow, which are known for having large litters, as well as for sometimes eating their young.

This card this week then indicates a period of waiting, of a plan coming to fruition. It will come in its own time, like daybreak and babies do, and there is no use hurrying it. Prepare as best you can, and try to be patient as you keep on keeping on; but go easy on yourself, too, and give yourself what you need as you midwife this thing into the world. Trust, also, that it will work out fine, though you will probably want to keep alert and on your toes to your and its needs.

This could just be me up here in New England, but I am also connecting this with a certain impatience, one that is manifesting as When the Hel is Spring going to be here already? (Though I imagine that certain folks in the mid-Atlantic area are right there with me.) The answer, of course, is in due time.

So patience, then, and learning to appreciate and love the moment we are still in, is a big part of the lesson. This waiting time has its own beauty and wisdom, and it is still worth it to slow down, look it in the eye, and see what we can see.

Even if you're just too damned sick of snow.

Not that She gets much snow down in Egypt, I mean. What does She say, then?

Children. Go play. I am Light and Dark and Rhythm and Time, and I will take care of all of that. You need not worry. Do your own thing; believe it or not it is all in good hands, and the Wheel will turn whether there is a single Witch in the world or not; not, that is, that you are not a part of this splendid world, or that you do not belong here, or that you do not co-create the vibrancy and beauty of it all. But sometimes you just worry too much. Go play.

And kiss Geb for me.

She says that with such kindness.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

Nut has always been a favourite Goddess of mine. I once read a slight variation of the stars story, though. After Nut swallows the sun at nightfall, it travels through her body to be born the next morning from her vulva. Stars are the result of the sun shining through the pores of Nut's heavenly body as it moves through the Goddess into "birth position."

Dancing With Fey said...

I haven't read all of it (short attention span at the moment, unfortunately) but I did read Nut's message.

May I just say, I find that blowing bubbles unexpectedly at random times is a good way to play and maybe take a break from worrying about things.

Souris Optique said...

That is beautiful, thank you.:)

anonymousme said...

I've been a fan of your goddess deck for years - and only now discovered the blog! Love them both. Keep up the great work.

Caroline Tully said...

Gorgeous artwork! I love Nut too.