A Brief History of the Egyptian Goddesses - Bastet, Isis and Nut


Although belief had a profound influence in their culture development, the ancient Egyptians relied more on faith than an actual set of what would be considered religious belief. Before we get into Egyptian Goddesses, let us begin at the beginning, with their myth of creation.

At one time only the ocean existed. An egg--or flower, depending on the version--came up out of the water and the Sun God Ra was born. Ra conceived four children; The Gods Geb and Shu and the Goddesses Tefnut and Nut Shu and Tefnut rose to become the atmosphere, while Nut became the sky. Geb became the earth.

After creation, there came the myriad of Gods and Goddesses which made up the Eyptian faith. Among them was the Eyptian Goddess Bastet, a Sun Goddess who became popular in the second dynasty. She was the Goddess of the sun and everything warm. Admired for her strength and agility, she is represented as a woman with the head of a cat.

Isis, Egyptian Goddess of all, is reminiscent in mythology of Hera, queen of the Gods in Greek mythology. She is the most well recognized goddess of the Egyptian faith and is worshipped to this day all over the land. She is worshipped for her magical abilities and her power over mankind, choosing to take life with the bite of a serpent or have mercy on those who repent by uttering the original name of Ra and driving out the poison. Having the gift of articulate speech as a gift from Isis, it was thought that the dead could go anywhere in the Underworld. This also brought the Goddess worship as not only the queen of all, but the queen of all dead as well.

The Egyptian Goddess Nut is also worshipped throughout Egypt. Nut is depicted as the original mother earth goddess and had many children. The hieroglyph for her name has her wearing a pot on her head, also depicted at times as a womb. She is the Goddess of the sky, and comes down at night to visit her brother Geb, bringing darkness.

The Egyptian Goddesses each have their own area of the world to attend to, and the more popular deities still have working temples to them in Egypt. There are so many that students of Egyptian mythology and religion spend entire years studying on their various temples and practices. There is much to learn about the ancient Egyptian Gods and Goddesses. Perhaps they look over us even today.