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Tefnut
Tefnut
(Ancient Egyptian: tfn.t) is a goddess of moisture, moist air, dew and rain in Ancient Egyptian religion.[1] She is the sister and consort of the air god Shu and the mother of Geb
Geb
and Nut.

Contents

1 Etymology 2 Mythological origins 3 Iconography 4 Cult centres 5 Mythology 6 References

Etymology[edit] Literally translating as "That Water",[2] the name Tefnut
Tefnut
has been linked to the verb 'tfn' meaning 'to spit'[3] and versions of the creation myth say that Ra (or Atum) spat her out and her name was written as a mouth spitting in late texts.[4] Like most Egyptian deities, including her brother, Tefnut
Tefnut
has no single ideograph or symbol. Her name in hieroglyphics consists of four single phonogram symbols t-f-n-t. Although the n phonogram is a representation of waves on the surface of water, it was never used as an ideogram or determinative for the word water (mw), or for anything associated with water.[5] Mythological origins[edit]

A menat (a musical instrument similar to the sistrum) depicting the goddess Tefnut
Tefnut
and her husband-brother Shu.

Tefnut
Tefnut
is a daughter of the solar god Ra-Atum. Married to her brother, Shu, she is mother of Nut, the sky and Geb, the earth. Tefnut's grandchildren were Osiris, (Wesir) Isis, (Aset) Set, Nephthys, (Nebthet) and in some versions, Horus
Horus
the Elder (Heru Wer). She was also a great grandmother of Horus
Horus
the Younger (Heru-sa-Aset). Alongside her father, brother, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchild, she is a member of the Ennead
Ennead
of Heliopolis. There are a number of variants to the myth of the creation of Tefnut and her twin brother Shu. In all versions, Tefnut
Tefnut
is the product of parthenogenesis, and all involve some variety of bodily fluid. In the Heliopolitan creation myth, the solar god Atum
Atum
masturbates to produce Tefnut
Tefnut
and Shu.[6]

Atum
Atum
was creative in that he proceeded to masturbate himself in Heliopolis. He took his penis in his hand so that he might obtain the pleasure of orgasm thereby. And brother and sister were born - that is Shu and Tefnut. Pyramid Text 527[7]

In some versions of this myth, Atum
Atum
also swallows his semen, and spits it out to form the twins, or else the spitting of his saliva forms the act of procreation. Both of these versions contain a play on words, the tef sound which forms the first syllable of the name Tefnut
Tefnut
also constitutes a word meaning "to spit" or "to expectorate".[7] The Coffin Texts
Coffin Texts
contain references to Shu being sneezed out by Atum from his nose, and Tefnut
Tefnut
being spat out like saliva. The Bremner-Rind Papyrus and the Memphite Theology describe Atum
Atum
masturbating into his mouth, before spitting out his semen to form the twins.[8] Iconography[edit] Tefnut
Tefnut
is a leonine deity, and appears as human with a lioness head when depicted as part of the Great Ennead
Ennead
of Heliopolis. The other frequent depiction is as a lioness, but Tefnut
Tefnut
can also be depicted as fully human. In her fully or semi anthropomorphic form, she is depicted wearing a wig, topped either with a uraeus serpent, or a uraeus and solar disk, and she is sometimes depicted as a lion headed serpent. Her face is sometimes used in a double headed form with that of her brother Shu on collar counterpoises.[9] During the 18th and 19th Dynasties, particularly during the Amarna period, Tefnut
Tefnut
was depicted in human form wearing a low flat headdress, topped with sprouting plants. Akhenaten's mother, Tiye
Tiye
was depicted wearing a similar headdress, and identifying with Hathor-Tefnut. The iconic blue crown of Nefertiti
Nefertiti
is thought by archaeologist Joyce Tyldesley to be derived from Tiye's headdress, and may indicate that she was also identifying with Tefnut.[10] Cult centres[edit] Heliopolis and Leontopolis
Leontopolis
(modern Tel el-Muqdam) were the primary cult centres. At Heliopolis, Tefnut
Tefnut
was one of the members of that city's great Ennead,[9] and is referred to in relation to the purification of the wabet (priest) as part of the temple rite. Here she had a sanctuary called the Lower Menset.[1] "I have ascended to you with the Great One behind me and <my> purity before me: I have passed by Tefnut, even while Tefnut
Tefnut
was purifying me, and indeed I am a priest, the son of a priest in this temple." Papyrus Berlin 3055[11] At Karnak, Tefnut
Tefnut
formed part of the Great Ennead
Ennead
and was invoked in prayers for the health and wellbeing of the Pharaoh.[12] She was worshiped with Shu as a pair of lions in Leontopolis
Leontopolis
in the Delta.[13] Mythology[edit] Tefnut
Tefnut
was connected with other leonine goddesses as the Eye of Ra.[14] As a lioness she could display a wrathful aspect and is said to escape to Nubia
Nubia
in a rage from where she is brought back by Thoth.[4] In the earlier Pyramid Texts
Pyramid Texts
she is said to produce pure waters from her vagina.[15]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Tefnut.

References[edit]

^ a b The Routledge Dictionary of Egyptian Gods and Goddesses, George Hart ISBN 0-415-34495-6 ^ Collier, Mark; Manley (1999). How to read Egyptian Hieroglyphs. Bill (Third impression ed.). London: British Museum Press. ISBN 0-7141-1910-5.  ^ "Tefnut". Henadology.  ^ a b The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt, Wilkinson, page. 183 ISBN 0-500-05120-8 ^ Betro, Maria Carmela (1996). Hieroglyphics: The Writings of Ancient Egypt. Abbeville Press. p. 163. ISBN 0-7892-0232-8.  ^ Hassan, Fekri A (1998). "5". In Lucy Goodison and Christine Morris. Ancient Goddesses. London: British Museum Press. p. 107. ISBN 0-7141-1761-7.  ^ a b Watterson, Barbara (2003). Gods of Ancient Egypt. Sutton Publishing. p. 27. ISBN 0-7509-3262-7.  ^ Pinch, Geraldine (2002). Handbook of Egyptian Mythology. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 1-57607-242-8.  ^ a b Wilkinson, Richard H (2003). The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt. Thames & Hudson. p. 183. ISBN 0-500-05120-8.  ^ Tyldesley, Joyce (2005). Nefertiti: Egypt's Sun Queen (2nd ed.). Penguin UK. ISBN 978-0140258202. Retrieved 17 January 2016.  ^ Hays, H.M (2009). Nyord R, Kyolby A, ed. "Between Identity and Agency in Ancient Egyptian Ritual". Leiden University Repository: Archaeopress: 15–30. hdl:1887/15716. Rite 25 from Moret, Le Rituel de Cult, Paris 1902  ^ Meeks, Dimitri; Christine Favard-Meeks (1999). Daily Life of the Egyptian Gods. Pimlico. p. 128. ISBN 0-7126-6515-3.  ^ The Routledge Dictionary of Egyptian Gods and Goddesses, George Hart ISBN 0-415-34495-6, ^ Watterson, Barbara (2003). Gods of Ancient Egypt. Sutton Publishing. ISBN 0-7509-3262-7.  ^ The Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts, trans R.O. Faulkner, line 2065 Utt. 685.

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Ancient Egyptian religion

Beliefs

Emanationism Isfet Maat Maa Kheru Mythology Numerology Paganism Pantheism Philosophy Polytheism Soul

Practices

Funerals Heku Mortuary temples Offering formula Temples Veneration of the dead

Deities

Ogdoad

Amun Amunet Heh Hauhet Kek Kauket Nu Naunet

Ennead

Atum Shu Tefnut Geb Nut Osiris Isis Set Nephthys

Aker Akhty Ammit Am-heh Anat Andjety Anhur Anput Anubis Anuket Apedemak Apep Apis Apt Aqen Arensnuphis Ash Astarte Aten Astennu Babi Banebdjedet Bastet Bat Bata Ba-Pef Bes Buchis Dedun Four sons of Horus

Duamutef Hapi Imset Qebehsenuef

Ha Hapi Hathor Hatmehit Hedetet Hedjhotep Heka Hemen Hemsut Heqet Hermanubis Hesat Horus Heryshaf Hu Iabet Iah Iat Ihy Imentet Imhotep Iunit Iusaaset Kebechet Khensit Khenti-Amentiu Khenti-kheti Khepri Kherty Khnum Khonsu Kothar-wa-Khasis Maahes Ma'at Mandulis Matit Medjed Mafdet Mehen Mehet-Weret Mehit Menhit Meret Meretseger Meskhenet Min Mnevis Montu Mut Nebethetepet Nebtuwi Nefertem Nehebkau Nehmetawy Neith Nemty Nekhbet Neper Pakhet Petbe Ptah Qebui Qetesh Ra Raet-Tawy Rem Renenutet Renpet Repyt Resheph Sah Satis Sekhmet Seker Serapis Serket Seshat Shai Shed Shesmetet Shezmu Sia Sobek Sopdet Sopdu Souls of Pe and Nekhen Tatenen Taweret Tayt Ta-Bitjet Tenenet Thoth

Hermes Trismegistus

Tjenenyet Tutu Unut Wadjet Wadj-wer Weneg Wepset Wepwawet Werethekau Wosret

Creatures

Aani Abtu Bennu Griffin Hieracosphinx Medjed Serpopard Sha Sphinx Uraeus

Characters

Dedi Djadjaemankh Rededjet Ubaoner

Locations

Neter-khertet Aaru Benben Duat Land of Manu The Indestructibles

Symbols and Objects

Ankh Atef Atet Book
Book
of Thoth Cartouche Crook and flail Deshret Djed Egyptian obelisk Egyptian pool Eye of Horus Eye of Ra Hedjet Hemhem crown Hennu Imiut fetish Khepresh Kneph Matet boat Menat Nebu Nemes Neshmet Ouroboros Pschent Scarab Seqtet boat Serekh Shen ring Tyet Ushabti Was-sceptre Winged sun

Writings

Amduat Books of Breathing Book
Book
of Caverns Book
Book
of the Dead Book
Book
of the Earth Book
Book
of Gates Book
Book
of the Heavenly Cow Book
Book
of Traversing Eternity Coffin Texts The Contendings of Horus
Horus
and Seth Enigmatic Book
Book
of the Netherworld Great Hymn to the Aten Litany of the Eye of Horus Litany of Re Pyramid Texts

Related religions

Atenism Gnosticism Hermeticism Kemetism Temple of Set

Book An

.