The Ennead (a word derived from Greek, meaning the nine)
were the nine most important gods
and goddesses in the early Egyptian mythology of Heliopolis.
This collection of gods was later copied by other cult centres,
where it was subject to mergers and changes. The gods of the
Great Ennead of Heliopolis are: Atum, the first god, and his
descendents - Shu, Tefnut, Geb, Nuit, Osiris, Isis, Set, and
From the primeval waters represented by Nun, a mound appeared.
Upon the mound sat Atum who had begotten
himself. Bored and alone, he masturbated (some think the myth
actually states he committed autofellatio), producing air
(Shu), and moisture (Tefnut).
Shu and Tefnut
in turn gave birth to the earth (Geb)
and the sky (Nuit), who initially were
engaged in eternal copulation. Shu separated
them, lifting Nuit into her place in
the sky. The children of Nuit and Geb
were Osiris, Isis,
Set, and Nephthys.
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