Monday, June 4, 2007

Nut, the sky goddess.

So where do we go to when we die? The other day my 7 year old son said to me "Hey Mum, you know when you're dead, like I mean when you're in the place you were before you are born..."

"Yes..." says I, "But I'm not sure we should classify that as being dead. I think its more like being in outer space..."

Which brings me to Nut, the sky goddess. Currently having a bit of a revival as Nuit, the main goddess of Aleister Crowley's religion of Thelema, Nut is the ancient Egyptian personification of the vault of the sky. Daughter of Shu, the air, and Tefnut, moisture, Nut is the Great Sky whose laughter is thunder and whose tears are the rain. Nut was associated with death, the dead were believed to become stars in the body of the goddess. It is interesting how this idea has re-appeared today with Crowley's dictum, "Every man and every woman is a star." Nut was often depicted on the inner lid of ancient Egyptian sarcophagi. Here is an example from the Ptolemaic period (332-30 BCE) and a drawing of it as well which is easier to see.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

She is also a wonderful foil for all that essentialist ecofeminist sky god earth goddess manichaen carry on. Nothing beats an awareness of historical specificity when dealing with rampant idealogues.