The Egyptian God Atum
- Name: Atum
- Gender Male: Atum was a God
- Depiction / Description / Symbol: Atum was depicted with a solar, or sun, disk and a scarab beetle was his symbol. He was also sometimes depicted with the head of a falcon
- Jurisdiction: Atum was described as being God of Life, Reproduction and Virility
- The God Atum was later subsumed into the Sun God Ra and always depicted with a sun disk symbol
- Mythical Family or Relatives: Atum was believed to be the first of all the Gods, the Creator, who spat out the elements of moisture ( and became the Goddess Tefnut) and air (and became the God Shu).
The Egyptian the God Atum - Creation and Relatives
The early Egyptian priests evolved a creation myth, or Cosmogony, to explain how some of the Gods and Goddesses came into being. The early Egyptian priests then evolved a Family tree, the relatives of the main Egyptian Gods, like Atum, to explain how some of the Gods and Goddesses were related.
Information about the Egyptian God Atum
Atum was one of the Ennead, the collective name given to the nine original deities (Gods and Goddesses) of the cosmogony of Heliopolis (the birthplace of the Gods) in the creation myths and legends. The Egyptian God, Atum, was seen as the God of Life and Reproduction. The story of creation relates that the God Atum rising in the beginning from the primeval ocean called Nun to the first, conical-shaped, mound of earth. As Atum, the Lord of Creation, rose he spat out the elements of moisture (the Goddess Tefnut) and air (the God Shu). The twins Gods, Shu and Tefnut gave birth to the Earth God, Geb, and the Sky Goddess, Nut. The God and Goddess Geb and Nut had four children: Osiris, Isis, Seth and Nephthys. Incest was seen as an acceptable element in the lives of the Egyptian Gods and Goddesses, retaining the sacred bloodline.
Description & Depiction of the Egyptian God Atum - Part Human & Part Animal
The Egyptian Gods or Goddesses, such as Atum, were often depicted as being part human and part animal. In the description of the Egyptian God Atum he was most frequently depicted with the body of a human and with with the head of an animal - a Falcon or with a Scarab beetle symbol. In the Ancient Egyptian religion certain animals were seen as sacred as they believed that the Spirit of a God resided in these animals, such as the Falcon or Scarab beetle, which were revered and worshipped as reincarnated Gods during their lifetimes.
Temple of Atum
The Temples dedicated to Atum, the God of Life and Reproduction, were believed to be the dwelling place of this famous Egyptian God. Only the Pharaoh and the Priests of Atum were allowed inside the temple and the priests would undergo ritual purification in a deep stone pool before they entered the Inner Sanctum of the Temple. This not only cleansed them but also gave them contact with the primeval moisture of life. Ordinary Egyptians were only allowed to come to the gates, or forecourt, of the temple of Atum to pay homage and offer gifts to the God / Goddess. The Priests of Atum would collect the gifts and say prayers on behalf of the person in the confines of the temple. The priests of Atum, the God of Life and Reproduction, would conduct ceremonies, sacrifices and chant magical incantations, sometimes referred to as spells. The temple of Atum would consist of heavy gates which accessed a massive hall with great stone columns, and then a series of many other rooms through which processions of priests would pass. These rooms, or chambers, were lit by candles and incense would be burnt to purify the air of the Temple. The chambers gradually decreased in size, the lighting in the temple was deliberately and significantly reduced to create an atmosphere of deepening mystery until the priests reached the chapel and the shrine which contained the Naos. The Naos was the stone tabernacle inside the shrine which housed the great Statue of Atum, the God of Life and Reproduction.
The Statue of Atum
The large statue of the God Atum, the God of Life and Reproduction was situated in the inner sanctum of the Egyptian temple. The statue of Atum would have been depicted with the body of a man / woman and the head of Falcon or with a Scarab beetle symbol. This sacred statue, in the dwelling place of the God, was the embodiment of Atum. Food and drink would be offered to the God. The High Priest of Atum, would conduct ceremonies and offer prayers and incantations but there was another important priest, called the Medjty, who was responsible for the toiletries. The statue of Atum would have been washed and oiled. The statue was then dressed in fine linen and eye make-up, powder and rouge was applied and sacred oil rubbed on the forehead of the statue. The statue of Atum, with its head of the Falcon or with a Scarab beetle symbol, was only seen by ordinary Egyptians at important festivals when the effigy was paraded in magnificent processions.
The Egyptian God Atum
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