Heliopolis creation myth

Heliopolis creation myth 4
The basics of Heliopolis creation myth, with rescripted Jewish creation myth characters (see: god character equivalents) shown adjacent, according to which the sun god Atum [turned Adam], or Ptah (during Memphis creation myth (2800BC) recension), who at the time was closely associated with Ra (Atum-Ra), arose out of the primordial flood, i.e. god Nun [turned Noah], and then self-engendered the pair: Shu (air) [turned Joshua] and Tefnut (moisture), who self-engendered Geb (earth) [turned Joseph] and Nut (sky), who self-engendered the sibling pairs: Osiris [turned Abel] & Isis [turned Sarah] and their sun Horus [turned Seth] and Set [turned Cain] & Nephthys.
In creation myths, Heliopolis creation myth, the thought product of scholars of the Egyptian city of Heliopolis (c.3100BC), aka the “city of the sun”, posited that the universe resulted according to the process in which Atum, the sun god, emerged from the primordial ocean to create Shu, the god of air, and Tefnut, the goddess of moisture, from his bodily fluid, which contained both male and female elements necessary for creation. Their union, in turn, produced Geb, the earth god, and Nut, the sky goddess, who also married and produced Isis, Osiris, Set and Nephthys. [1]

The gist description of the Heliopolis creation myth, in the point when Atum or Atum-Khepri, i.e. Atum in the form of the morning sun beetle (Khepri), is described as follows:

“To say: O Atum-Khepri, when thou didst mount as a hill; and didst shine as bnw of the ben (or, benben) in the temple of the "phoenix" in Heliopolis; and didst spew out as Shu, and did spit out as Tefnut; (then) thou didst put thine arms about them, as the arm(s) of a ka, that thy ka might be in them. Atum, so put thine arms about N.; about this temple, about this pyramid, as the arm (s) of a ka; that the ka of N. may be in it, enduring for ever and ever. O Great Ennead who are in Heliopolis: Atum, Shu, Tefnut, Geb, Nut, Osiris, Isis, Set, Nephthys.”
— Anon (c.2500BC), Pyramid Text, Utterance 600 (Ѻ)(Ѻ)

Alternatively, Pyramid Text Utterance 527 (Ѻ) states that “Atum took his phallus in his grip and ejaculated through it to produce Shu and Tefnut”. This is an example of dual myth parallelism that runs through Egyptian mythology, meaning that two previously competing theories were incorporated into the text, as different points of view, so to say, which thus carried over, in its monotheistic reformulations, into Jewish mythology and Christian mythology. The following, whatever the case, is a genealogy of creation and the gods according to Heliopolis creation myth, labeled according to its 8 main steps of creation: [4]

Heliopolis creation myth (8 steps)

Four Elements (Egyptian philosophy)
Above is a general visual of how the Egyptians conceived the origin of things, namely water came first, out of which land arose, from the tip of which fire or the sun burst forth. This was a three element theory at first, then it became a four element theory.
Over time, as religio-political power shifted, the Egyptian creation myths, as dominate state religions, changed as follows:

0. Pre-Dynastic creation myth | 3500BC | Supreme god: Horus
1. Heliopolis creation myth | 3100BC | Supreme god:
Atum or Atum-Khepri (Pyramid Texts, 2500BC)
Atum-Ra (Coffin Texts, 2100BC) / Ennead
2. Memphis creation myth | 2800BC | Supreme god: Ptah
3. Hermopolis creation myth | 2400 BC | Supreme god: Ogdoad
4. Thebian creation myth | 2050 BC | Supreme god: Amen
5. Amarnan creation myth | 1300BC | Supreme god: Aten
6. Saite recension | 670BC | Book of Dead (canonized)
7. Biblical creation myth | 500BC | Supreme god: El-Yahweh-Amen
8. Muslim creation myth | 700AD | Supreme god: Allah

In 100AD, El-Yahweh-Amen, rescripted the father of Jesus [Osiris-Horus], became rendered, via Hebrew to Greek to Latin transliteration effects, as "God" or more generally as "Lord [Yahweh] God [Elohim] Almighty [El] Amen [Amen]".

Together, these nine gods, Atum and his eight offspring, came to referred to as the Heliopolis “ennead”, from the Greek ἐννεάς, meaning a collection of nine things:

Atum model

These nine gods soon became anthropomorphized, as shown adjacent, or in some cases anthropomorphized with animal parts; a logic rooted in the historical belief that a "bird", the only animal with the ability to fly, carried the sun disc through the sky, hence: bird-human god depictions followed, and other animal-god morphs thereafter.

A depiction of the Heliopolis creation myth as shown on the papyrus of Nespakashuty, made in the 21st Dynasty (943-1077BC), where Nut arches naked over her consort Geb, the earth god: [1]

Heliopolis creation myth

Atum (Luckert)In 2002, Karl Luckert, in his 62-min video lecture, entitled Out of Egypt: an Other Son, states the following about the Heliopolis creation myth: [3]

Heliopolitan Theology

Every schoolbook tells us that the ancient Egyptians worshipped the sun. This statement is true, but superficial. It would be better to say that they recognized the sun as life-giving and life-sustaining entity, and for this reason they learned to think, and to explain, everything in terms of light and shadows cast by the Sun. The Sun became their key to understanding the remainder of what exists. Creation reoccurs with every sunrise—as the world around us reappears anew.

Atum rises as primeval hill and sends forth Shu, to fill Tefnut’s space with life. You cannot see Shu, but you can rise with him, at sunrise, and breathe his air. You cannot see Tefnut, but you benefit from how she keeps Chaos away. She sees to it that clouds do have an underside, and that there is space for you to live underneath. Saying the same thing a little more abstractly, Shu and Tefnut are radiated, or emanated, from the original Source, Atum. His rays continue to travel far away from the Source until they arrive at the low intensity level where we live. We live in a realm between light and darkness — between life and death. In our boundary region, where light and shadows interplay, there we “live and move and have our being,” for a while. Yes, by the grace of the radiant energy of Atum we appear here for a while.


In 2400BC, when Hermopolis became the state capital of the Egyptian, the Hermopolis creation myth became the dominate creation myth (see: religio-mythology transcription and syncretism), wherein the god Ra (or Re) became merged with Atum, into the Re-Atum or Atum-Ra.

Horus Anubis lineages
A diagram showing the deity cousins Horus and Anubis lineage and how this connects to the seven days of Biblical creation. (Ѻ)
Linked to Heliopolis creation myth, in later years, was the myth of Osiris, aka the “passion of Osiris”, according to which Osiris, the highly esteemed king of Egypt, was murdered by his jealous brother Seth, then restored to “life”, by the combined powers of Isis and Nephthys, after which he entered the underworld to become the judge of the dead while his son, Horus, avenged his death to become the next king of Egypt. [1]

The following are related quotes:

“The prominence in the texts of Asclepius, a thinly-disguised Imhotep, suggest an association with Heliopolis ... Although even the Pyramid Texts fail to set out the beliefs of Heliopolis systematically, why should we expect them to? After all, the people who mattered—the priests and worshipers—were already familiar with their own religion. The Texts do, however, allow the core theology and cosmology behind them to be reconstructed. The most successful attempt is found in Karl Luckert’s Egyptian Light and Hebrew Fire (1991), which isolates two related aspects: the overall understanding in the origins and nature of the cosmos, and its relationship to human beings.”
— Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince (2013), The Forbidden Universe: the Occult Origins of Science [2]

See also
Memphis creation myth
Hermopolis creation myth
Thebian creation myth
Religio-mythology transcription and syncretism

1. Oakes, Lorna and Gahlin, Lucia. (2002). Ancient Egypt: an Illustrated Reference to the Myths, Religions, Pyramids and Temples of the Land of the Pharaohs (§:Heliopolis creation myth, pgs.126-27, 198, Papyrus of Nespakashuty, pg. 290). Hermes House.
2. (a) Picknett, Lynn and Prince, Clive. (2013). The Forbidden Universe: the Occult Origins of Science and the Search for the Mind of God (pg. #). Skyhorse Publishing.
(b) Luckhert, Karl. (1991). Egyptian Light and Hebrew Fire: Theological and Philosophical Roots of Christendom in Evolutionary Perspective. SUNY Press.
3. Luckert, Karl. (2002). Out of Egypt: an Other Son (62-min) (Ѻ). Publisher.
4. Thims, Libb. (2019). Human Chemical Thermodynamics: Chemical Thermodynamics Applied to the Humanities Sociology, Economics, History, Philosophy, Ethics,
Government, Politics, Business, Religion, and Relationship (pdf). Publisher.

External links
Heliopolis (ancient Egyptian creation myths) – Wikipedia.
Heliopolis creation myth – EgyptHoliday.com.

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