mythology, the Ogdoad are the
eight deities worshipped in Hermopolis.
They were arranged in four male-female
pairs, with the males associated with
frogs, and the females with snakes:
Apart from their gender, there was
little to distinguish the male god
in a pair from the female goddess,
indeed the names of the females are
merely the female forms of the male
name. Essentially, each pair represents
the male and female aspect of one
of four concepts, namely water (Nu/Naunet),
and eternity (Huh/Hauhet).
Together the four concepts represent the primal fundamental
state of the beginning, they are what always was. In the myth,
however, their interaction ultimately proved to be unbalanced,
resulting in the arising of a new entity. When the entity
opened, it revealed Ra, the fiery sun, inside. After a long
interval of rest, Ra, together with the other gods, created
all other things.
There are two main variations on the nature of the entity
The original version of the myth has the entity arising from
the waters after the interaction as a mound of dirt, the milky
way, which was deified as Hathor. In the myth an egg was laid
upon this mound by a celestial bird. The egg contained Ra.
In the original version of this variant, the egg is laid by
a cosmic goose (it is not explained where the goose originates).
However, after the rise of the cult of Thoth, the egg was
said to have been a gift from Thoth, and laid by an Ibis,
the bird with which he was associated.
Later, when Atum
had become assimilated into Ra
as Atum-Ra, the belief that Atum
emerged from a (blue) lotus bud, in the
was adopted and attached to Ra.
|The lotus was said to have arisen
from the waters after the explosive
interaction as a bud, which floated
on the surface, and slowly opened
its petals to reveal the beetle, Khepri,
an aspect of Ra
representing the rising sun, immediately
turns into a weeping boy - Nefertum
whose tears form the creatures of
the earth. In later egyptian history,
as the god Khepri
became totally absorbed into Ra,
the lotus was said to have revealed
Ra, the boy,
straight away, rather than Ra
temporarily. Sometimes the boy is
identified as Horus,
although this is due to the merging
of the myths of Horus
and Ra into the
one god Ra-Herakty, later in egyptian
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