The Gods of Ancient Egypt -- The Ogdoad

The Ogdoad

The Ogdoad were eight deities who were the basis of the Egyptian creation myth during the Middle Kingdom. They were primarily worshipped in Heliopolis, but their aspects of the creation were combined in other areas with existing myths. Each one is a member of a masculine-feminine pair and each pair represents an aspect of the primordial chaos out of which the world was created.

They all came into being at the same time. Nun and Naunet represent the primordial seas, Kuk and Kauket represent the infinite darkness, Hu and Hauhet represent empty space, and Amun and Amaunet represent quintessence, or the secret powers of creation. The gods are usually depicted as men with the heads of snakes, the goddesses as women with the heads of frogs. Together they built an island in the middle of the vast emptiness and the egg that was placed upon it. From this egg, the sun god Atum was born, and he began the process of creating the world while the others withdrew.