The Egyptian Goddess Nut

Areas of Influence: The Egyptian Goddess Nut was the Goddess of the night sky. Other variations of her name include Nuit, Newet and Neuth. Her star clad body arches over the Earth becoming the star studded heavens.  At the end of each day she swallows Ra, the sun God whole, birthing him to the world to start each new day. 

Originally when Ra first wanted to escape the realms of the earth, she transformed into a giant cow and lifted him to the heavens.  Four Gods came to her rescue when she no longer had the strength to hold him. These Gods became the four pillars of creation, also known as the four winds.

Nut was also known as “she who holds a thousand souls,” as not only did she save Osiris but she draws the dead to her refreshing them with food and wine.

Other names epithets include “she who bore the Gods,” as she gave birth to the main Egyptians Gods and Goddesses and to Ra at the beginning of each day. 

Birth and Genealogy: Nut is the daughter of Shu and Tefnut. 

Geb is both her brother and husband, together they have four children: Osiris, Set, Isis and Nephthys.  In some versions of the story a fifth child Arueris is also mentioned. She struggled to give birth to these children as the Ra cursed her because of her relationship with her brother. He refused to allow her to give birth during any month of the year. Nut sought Thoth’s help who tricked the moon into adding five extra days to the year to allow her to give birth. For this reason she was called upon by women in childbirth to protect them and their unborn off-spring.  

Goddess Nut's Symbolism

The Egyptian Goddess Nut is often depicted as a naked woman covered in stars. These stars were painted on tomb ceilings to guide the dead towards her. .

Her hieroglyph contains a pot representing the womb. A special ladder known as the maqet is also associated with this goddess as it was used to help Osiris escape. 

Sacred Animal:  Depicted as a giant cow or a sow suckling piglets.

Sacred Plant: The sycamore tree, linked to her role in aiding the dead as this tree symbolizes both divinity and eternity.

According to  the eminent Egyptian archaeologist Dr Hawass Zahi a new image of Nut, the Goddess of the night sky. has recently been discovered on the ceiling of the tomb of Djehuty. The ceiling is also covered with passages from the Book of the Dead, re-confirming her important role as a funerary Goddess.

Archetype of The Egyptian Goddess Nut

The Mother:

The Mother is a life-giver and the source of nurturing, devotion, patience and unconditional love. The ability to forgive and provide for her children and put them before herself is the essence of a good mother.

In its shadow aspect the Mother can be devouring, abusive and abandoning. The shadow Mother can also make her children feel guilty about becoming independent and leaving her. It is not necessary to be a biological Mother to have this stereotype. It can refer to anyone who has a lifelong pattern of nurturing and devotion to living things.

The Egyptian Goddess Nut, overcomes Ra's curse and gives birth to the main Egyptian Gods and Goddesses. She also saves her son Osiris and protects and nurtures the souls of the dead. 

How to Work With This Archetype

It is not necessary to be a biological mother to have this Archetype. It can refer to anyone who has a lifelong pattern of nurturing and devotion to living things.

You are exhibiting the features of the shadow Mother if you smother your children and are over protective.

Encourage independence and allow children to make mistakes but be available to give care and advice when it's needed.

The other shadow Mother is the one that abandons her children, or is so busy that she has no time for nurturing her young.