Geb, the earth god: His role in creation and his association with the pharaohs

In the vastness of the Egyptian pantheon, Geb occupies a special place as god of the earth. A source of fertility, guarantor of cosmic order and father figure to the pharaohs, his presence weaves its way through the creation myths and daily life of ancient Egypt. This article takes you on a journey of discovery of Geb, outlining his essential role in the mystical world of the ancient Egyptians.


Geb, figure of Egyptian cosmogony

Creation myths

  • Geb's role in the birth of the world: Geb is at the origin, spreading out like fertile soil on which the first beings will take root.
  • The Divine Family - The Enneads of Heliopolis**: Integrated into the Ennead, Geb is one of the nine primordial deities, situating his place in the celestial chessboard.

Geb and the delimitation of the cosmos

  • Geb, the earth, and Nut, the sky: His union with Nut, the celestial vault, illustrates the intrinsic link between heaven and earth.
  • The Breath of Shu - Separation**: Their father Shu intervenes, leaving between them the space necessary for the creation of the world.

The attributions of Geb, god of the earth

Geb as source of fertility

  • Patron of farmers and harvests: Geb blesses crops, making him the god to whom farmers turn for an abundant harvest.
  • Fertility rituals and ceremonies** : Ancient Egyptians organized numerous rituals in his honor, hoping to capture his benevolence.

Geb and justice

  • The judge of souls in the afterlife: In the afterlife, he is the one who weighs hearts against the feather of Ma'at.
  • Fairness and the maintenance of cosmic order (Maat): Associated with Maat, Geb is a pillar of universal balance.

Geb and the pharaoh

The pharaoh as incarnation of Geb

  • The concept of earthly power: The pharaoh, seen as the living incarnation of Geb, embodies his authority on Egyptian soil.
  • The rituals of incarnation: Dedicated ceremonies celebrate this link, solidifying the sovereign's divine legitimacy.
  • Pharaonic succession and Geb: The concept of Rex Nemorensis can be seen as a resonance with Pharaoh's sacrificial and renewable role.
  • The concept of the god-king: Through Geb, the pharaoh is further anchored in his role as mediator between men and gods.

Iconographic representations of Geb

Artistic representations in ancient Egypt

  • Iconography and symbology: Geb is often illustrated as a reclining man, with plants symbolizing his fertile nature.
  • Geb in temples and tombs: His figure adorns many sacred places, testifying to his importance in Egyptian devotion.

The artistic evolution of Geb's representation

  • Regional and dynastic variations: Geb's appearance varies, reflecting the diversity of worship practices throughout the ages.
  • Modern interpretations: Today, his image still inspires, recreated through various forms of art and media.

Geb's legacy in Egyptian culture

Geb in religion and daily practices

  • Influence on popular beliefs: Geb remains present in people's hearts, influencing their beliefs and daily actions.
  • Geb in liturgical and magical texts: Invocations and prayers mention him, hoping to draw on his vital force.

Geb's influence on post-pharaonic civilizations

  • The reprise of his traits in folklore characters: Geb lives on through mythical and legendary figures, extending his essence into folklore.
  • Geb in occultism and neopaganism: His archetype is evoked in neopaganist and occultist circles, testifying to his spiritual perennity.


Geb, with his roots deeply rooted in ancient mythology, continues to nourish the imagination and Egyptological research. This article has outlined the contours of his primordial role, from earth god to father of the pharaohs, and highlighted the richness of his legacy.


  • Primary sources : Ancient texts, from hymns to funerary inscriptions, offer direct access to an understanding of Geb.
  • Secondary sources : Today's egyptologists are busy interpreting these sources, gradually revealing the secrets of Egypt and its deities.