Nut – The goddess of the sky and heavens



Nut is one of the most well-known goddesses in ancient Egyptian mythology. She was regarded as the goddess of the sky and heavens, and was often depicted in various forms throughout ancient Egyptian art. The importance placed on her as a deity in ancient Egypt is evident in how frequently she appears in different myths, stories, and allegories.

Brief Explanation of Nut as the Goddess of Sky and Heavens

Nut was believed to be responsible for overseeing all aspects of the sky and heavens. This includes everything from the sun, moon, stars, to winds, seasons, and weather patterns. She was also believed to be responsible for carrying Ra across the sky every day on his golden boat.

Nut’s immense power over natural phenomena made her an incredibly important figure for ancient Egyptians who were heavily reliant on agriculture. They believed that Nut’s blessings were essential for ensuring good harvests during times of plentiful rain and sunshine.

Importance of Nut in Ancient Egyptian Mythology

In ancient Egyptian belief systems, gods represented different forces or elements within nature that existed beyond human control. As one such powerful force- Nut commanded huge respect among worshippers who revered her as both a benevolent protector and someone capable of causing great harm.

The influence that Nut held over daily life is evident from how frequently she appears in different myths throughout ancient Egyptian mythology. For example- one story recalls how she helped Osiris by lending him her body so he could become fertile again after being killed by his jealous brother Set.

Throughout history- various forms of art such as sculptures- paintings- carvings have depicted this powerful goddess with great reverence- often showing her with outstretched wings spanning across entire landscapes or cosmos- signifying how vast her influence really was. Furthermore- due to her position as the goddess of the sky and heavens- she was often associated with divinity and the realm of gods- symbolizing how ancient Egyptians viewed her as a mediator between their world and that of higher beings.

Origin Story

Creation Myth Involving Nut and Geb

In ancient Egyptian mythology, the creation story was one of the most important tales that explained how the world and all its gods came to be. The story begins with a great primordial ocean, known as Nun, which existed before time itself.

From this ocean emerged Atum, who created the first pair of gods: Shu, god of air; and Tefnut, goddess of moisture. Shu and Tefnut went on to have two children: Nut and Geb.

Nut was associated with the sky while Geb represented the earth. It is said that they were inseparable for centuries until Shu intervened by separating them with his body.

How Nut Became the Goddess of Sky and Heavens

After being separated from her brother Geb, Nut became known as the goddess of sky and heavens in ancient Egyptian mythology. According to legend, it was said that when she stretched across the sky with her starry body , she gave birth to each day . She would then go on to swallow up each day at dusk before giving birth again at dawn.

In another version of this story, it is believed that Ra forbade Nut from having any children during any day or month in years that he reigned over Egypt as Pharaoh. However, Thoth used his cunning mind to gamble against Khonsu (the god of time) in a game for extra hours in a year which he then used to create five new days during which Nut could give birth.

Nut’s position as goddess of sky and heavens was solidified by these stories because she came to represent both time and space. Her vast body stretched across the entire sky providing shelter for those on earth while also maintaining balance in nature through her cycles.

The mythologies surrounding her creation are not only fascinating but also provide insight into the Egyptian mindset, which had a deep connection with the natural world. The stories of Nut’s creation show that even in ancient times, people were trying to understand the mysteries of nature and the universe around them.

The Role of Nut in Ancient Egyptian Society

Worship of Nut

Nut was an extremely important goddess in ancient Egyptian society, and her worship was central to the daily lives of many Egyptians. She was considered a protective deity, and people believed that by invoking her name they could ward off evil spirits and negative energy.

Her role as the goddess of the sky also made her an important figure in astronomy and astrology. One way that Nut was worshipped was through the construction of temples dedicated to her.

One such temple is located at Dendera, where she is depicted on reliefs adorning the walls. Her image also appeared on amulets, which were worn by people as a form of protection.

Importance in Daily Life

Nut’s role in ancient Egyptian society extended beyond religion and spirituality. She played an important role in daily life as well. For example, her association with the sky meant that she was closely linked to weather patterns and the annual flooding of the Nile River.

People turned to Nut for guidance during times of drought or excessive flooding, believing that she had power over these natural phenomena. Farmers would often pray to her for rain or good harvests, while sailors would invoke her name for safe voyages across the Nile.

Her association with fertility was also significant, as it was believed that Nut controlled the growth cycle of crops. In this way, she became associated with renewal and regeneration.

Overall, Nut’s importance in ancient Egyptian society cannot be overstated. As both a protective deity and a figure who played a vital role in daily life through her associations with weather patterns and fertility cycles, she had a profound impact on the culture and beliefs of this civilization for thousands of years.

Depictions in Art and Architecture

Overview of how Nut was portrayed in ancient Egyptian art

Nut was commonly depicted in ancient Egyptian art as a woman with dark blue skin adorned with stars. She was often shown arching over the earth, with her head on one side and her feet on the other, creating a protective barrier over the world. This image was often found on the ceilings of tombs or temples as a symbol of protection for the deceased.

Another common depiction of Nut showed her swallowing the sun each night and giving birth to it each morning. This represented the cycle of life and death, which was an important aspect of ancient Egyptian religion.

In some depictions, Nut could be seen wearing a solar disk headdress, further emphasizing her association with the sun. She could also be shown holding a scepter or ankh, symbols of power and eternal life.

Examples of temples and other structures dedicated to her worship

One famous temple dedicated to Nut is located at Dendera, situated north-west of Luxor in Upper Egypt. The Temple complex consists primarily of two structures: Temple of Hathor & Temple of Nectanebo II; which both illustrate various aspects related to Goddess Hathor (associated with music & dance) as well as goddess Nut (associated with sky).

At Karnak temple complex there is Chapel dedicated for Nut bult during 18th dynasty by Queen Hatshepsut that considered one fo most impressive construction projects ever undertaken by women leader. Another famous temple complex featuring depictions and worshiping place for Goddess nut particularly during New Year feast is Complex at Heliopolis built at 13th century BC.

Many tombs also featured depictions or references to Nut, such as those found in the Valley of the Kings. One tomb belonging to Pharaoh Seti I features an intricate ceiling painting depicting Nut swallowing the sun, surrounded by various gods and goddesses.

Other structures dedicated to Nut’s worship included stelae (stone slabs) and small shrines found throughout ancient Egypt. These were often erected by individuals seeking protection from the goddess or to offer her praise and thanks for her benevolence.

Legends and Stories

Retelling of Famous Myths Involving Nut, such as her Nightly Journey Through the Heavens

According to ancient Egyptian mythology, Nut was known for her nightly journey through the heavens, which lasted from dusk until dawn. This epic journey involved Nut swallowing the sun during sunset and then giving birth to it again at dawn.

The myth of Nut’s nightly journey is one of the most well-known stories in ancient Egyptian mythology and has had a significant impact on the culture of Ancient Egypt. One version of this story involves a dispute between Horus, god of kingship, and Set, god of chaos.

Set challenged Horus to leap over nine fields at once while carrying a heavy load on his back. Horus managed to accomplish this feat with ease, but when it was Set’s turn to make the jump, he failed miserably.

Humiliated by his defeat, Set decided to kill Horus and take his place as ruler of Egypt. To avoid detection by Set, Nut concealed herself within her father’s body for several months until she gave birth to five children: Osiris, Isis, Nepthys, Seth (also known as Typhon), and Horus.

When Ra discovered that his daughter had given birth to these children secretly without asking for his permission first he became very angry with her and cursed her so that she would never be able to give birth during any month or year. Nut’s nightly journey through the heavens therefore served two purposes: firstly it enabled Ra’s curse upon her children never come true since she was not technically giving birth during any month or year; secondly it allowed for time-keeping in Ancient Egypt since each time Nut swallowed or gave birth to the sun marked one day in their calendar.

Discussion on How These Stories Impacted Ancient Egyptian Culture

The story of Nut’s nightly journey through the heavens had a significant impact on Ancient Egyptian culture, both in terms of their religious beliefs and their understanding of the universe. The myth served as a way to explain the daily cycle of the sun and its movement across the sky from east to west.

In Ancient Egypt, Nut was seen as the protector of life and fertility and was often depicted in artwork with her arms stretched out over her children, symbolizing her role as a protective mother. The story of Nut’s nightly journey through the heavens was also used to teach moral lessons about perseverance and bravery, as shown by Horus successfully completing his challenge against Set.

Overall, Nut’s mythological stories played a crucial role in helping Ancient Egyptians understand their place in the universe, serving to explain natural phenomena such as day and night while also providing guidance on how to live virtuously. These tales have continued to influence modern culture and can still be found referenced in literature, film, art, music and other forms of media.


Nut’s legacy is vast and far-reaching, as her role in ancient Egyptian mythology has influenced countless cultures and individuals throughout history. One of the most significant ways in which Nut’s legacy lives on is through the continued study and reverence of ancient Egyptian religion.

Today, scholars around the world continue to examine the myths, stories, and religious practices surrounding Nut and other deities of ancient Egypt. But Nut’s influence isn’t limited to academia alone.

Her image and mythology have been incorporated into everything from literature to film to video games. The concept of a powerful female deity ruling over the sky has captured the imaginations of countless artists and creatives over the years.

The Influence on Modern Culture

Perhaps one of the most significant ways that Nut continues to influence modern culture is through her depiction in contemporary art. Many artists have created works inspired by Nut’s mythology, from paintings depicting her nightly journey through the heavens to sculptures depicting her as a powerful warrior goddess. In addition to visual art, Nut’s story has also found its way into literature.

Numerous novels have been written that incorporate elements of ancient Egyptian mythology, including stories about Nut herself. For example, Rick Riordan’s popular book series “The Kane Chronicles” features characters who are descendants of pharaohs and can communicate with gods like Nut.

Nut in Film & Television

Nut has also made appearances in popular films and television shows over the years. In 2016, she appeared as a character in “Assassin’s Creed Origins,” a video game set in ancient Egypt that follows a team of assassins attempting to protect their land from invaders.

Another notable appearance by Nut was in “Stargate SG-1,” a science fiction television series that explored themes related to ancient Egyptian mythology. In one episode titled “Revelations,” characters learn about an evil alien who masquerades as various gods, including Nut.

Nut’s Symbolism in Modern Life

Beyond her appearances in art and entertainment, Nut has also become a symbol of many different things in modern life. For example, some people see her as a symbol of power and strength, while others view her as representing the infinite possibilities of the sky.

Nut’s mythos has also been interpreted in various spiritual practices over the years. Some people incorporate Nut into their meditation or prayer practices as a way to connect with the divine feminine or to tap into cosmic energy.


Nut’s legacy extends far beyond ancient Egypt and continues to impact modern culture in numerous ways. Her role as a powerful goddess ruling over the sky resonates with people all over the world, and her mythology continues to inspire artists, writers, and creatives today. Whether she is viewed as a symbol of power or an embodiment of cosmic energy, Nut remains an important figure in both ancient history and contemporary culture alike.


Recap on importance of Nut as a goddess in ancient Egypt

Nut was an important deity in ancient Egyptian mythology, embodying the sky and heavens. She was revered by the ancient Egyptians as a powerful goddess who could control the natural world, and her presence was felt in every aspect of their daily lives. As one of the more prominent goddesses, Nut played a significant role in many myths and legends.

She was revered as an important part of creation, the mother figure to humans and gods alike. Her nightly journey through the heavens was seen as a symbol of renewal and regeneration, providing hope to all who worshipped her.

Final thoughts on her lasting impact

Nut’s legacy continues to this day, with many modern cultures drawing inspiration from her story and legend. Her status as a powerful female deity has provided inspiration for modern feminists seeking to rediscover their own power.

Additionally, Nut’s depiction in art has served as inspiration for countless artists throughout history. From ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs to modern-day paintings and sculptures, her image remains an enduring symbol of strength and beauty.

Nut stands out among the many gods and goddesses of ancient Egypt due to her unique status as both mother figure and powerful deity. Her story continues to inspire people around the world today, serving as a testament to the enduring power of mythology.

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Nut is usually depicted as a woman with elongated, arched body covered in stars, stretching from horizon to horizon, representing the sky. In some images, she is shown as a celestial cow.

Nut is associated with the sky, the heavens, and creation. Her symbols include stars, the sun disk, and the celestial cow, which represents her nurturing and life-giving qualities.

Nut did not have a dedicated temple, but she was worshipped in various temples throughout ancient Egypt, often in association with other deities, such as her husband Geb, the earth god, and her father Shu, the god of air.

Ancient Egyptians honored Nut through prayers, offerings, and rituals in temples where she was worshipped. They also depicted her in tomb paintings, where she was shown protecting the deceased and guiding their souls to the afterlife.

In the creation myth, Nut and her husband Geb were the first divine couple, giving birth to Osiris, Isis, Set, and Nephthys. Nut also swallowed the sun god Ra every night and gave birth to him each morning, symbolizing the cycle of day and night.