Nut, the sky goddess and her association with the maternal divinity: Representations of Nut suckling the stars

At the heart of the mythical Egyptian firmament, the goddess Nut fascinates with her celestial aura. Worshipped for enveloping the world in her starry mantle, Nut embodies infinity and watches over cosmic order. This article explores Nut's rich symbolism, particularly her essential role as a maternal deity. We look at mythological accounts, artistic representations and the cult dedicated to her, to better understand her place in Egyptian history.


Origins and mythology of Nut

Etymology and meaning of the name Nut

Nut (or Nout) is a name shrouded in mystery. In ancient Egyptian, it evokes the sky, the vault of heaven. It is the daytime and nighttime covering of the world, representing both the protective barrier and the domain of the stars.

Creation legends and mythical tales associated with Nut

According to Egyptian beliefs, Nut was separated from her brother and husband Geb, the earth, by the air god Shu at the behest of Atum. This separation created the space for life to exist between earth and sky.

Role and importance in the Egyptian pantheon

Nut is a keystone in the Egyptian pantheon, governing the cycles of life and death. She is the mother of the luminaries, begetting the sun each morning so that it may be reborn again after its nocturnal passage through her celestial body.

Nut as maternal deity

Nut as mother of the stars and deities

It is in her role as universal nurturer that Nut shines brightest. Nursing the stars, she is often described as the progenitor of many gods, including Osiris, Isis, Set and Nephthys.

Nut's symbolic associations with motherhood

Divine motherhood is a central theme in Nut's veneration. Her arms extended in a protective gesture symbolize the reception and sublimation of souls.

Ancient texts evoking Nut in a maternal role

The Pyramid Texts bear witness to her nurturing role, where she offers meals to the departed kings to guarantee their eternity among the stars.

Representations of Nut

Iconography and symbolism

In Egyptian art, Nut is frequently depicted stretching out over the world, her body filled with stars, in a protective embrace.

Nut nursing the stars: a cosmological interpretation

Nursing the stars is a metaphor for celestial regeneration and universal perpetuity according to Egyptian cosmology.

The importance of the starry vault in tombs and temples

The starry vault was omnipresent in Egyptian architecture, as in the tombs, where it represented paradise and a path to the afterlife.

Artistic variations of Nut through the ages

From the New Kingdom to the Late Period, representations of Nut evolved, but always retained this link with the cosmos and maternal protection.

The cult of Nut within Egyptian society

Festivals and rites in honor of Nut

The festival of Nut, celebrated on New Year's Eve, was associated with regeneration and renewal.

Nut in Egyptian daily life

Nut also influenced the Egyptian calendar and daily practices such as agriculture and navigation.

Egyptian royalty often identified with Nut, seeing in his celestial authority a model of governance.

International comparisons

Parallels with other celestial deities in world mythologies

Nut shares similarities with other figures such as Ouranos in Greece or An in Mesopotamia.

The concept of the maternal deity in different cultures

The figure of the universal mother can be found in many cultures, from the Neolithic Great Goddess to the Virgin Mary in Christianity.

References to Nut in modern art and literature

Nut still inspires artists and writers today, eager to capture its protective and nurturing essence.

Nut in the media and entertainment

In video games, comic strips or TV series, Nut makes frequent appearances, underlining the enduring interest in ancient Egypt and its deities.


Summary of key aspects concerning Nut and its association with divine motherhood

Nut embodies the beauty of the night sky, the promise of rebirth and the tenderness of a maternal protector.

Nut's enduring impact on spirituality and symbolism

Nut's legacy endures, evoking the eternal link between the human condition and the mysterious spectacle of the cosmos.


  • Comprehensive list of academic works and primary sources on Egyptian mythology and the goddess Nut.


Illustrations and artistic representations of Nut

  • Gallery of images capturing Nut's splendor through various artistic periods.
  • A map of places of veneration and temples dedicated to Nut in ancient Egypt.

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