Goddess of the Stars

By Suzanne Corbie

In midwinter, we are better placed to view the night sky and its multitudes of stars. And so it is we look to the heavens to see the beautiful goddess Nut, the ancient Egyptian Goddess of the Stars, the cosmos, the heavens and the universe. In very ancient times, she was depicted with a waterpot, (her name Nut (nwt)was derived from the Egyptian word Nw, meaning water) representing the waters of life as a creatrix goddess. Nuts body forms the celestial Nile, the mirror of the earthly river that Egypt was so dependent upon.  Ra, the sun god, travels across the celestial Nile in his solar barque during the day and passes through it at night. Nut swallowed the sun god at the end of the day, giving birth to him the next morning and because of this myth, she was connected with the souls of the dead as they entered the afterlife and her image was often painted on the inside of the sarcophagus, as well as within the pyramids, sometimes with the prayer;

              O my Mother Nut, stretch yourself over me, that I may be placed among the imperishable stars which are in You , and that I may not die”.

Becoming a star seemed to represent a vision of life after death for the ancient Egyptians. Nut also  gave birth to Osiris, Isis, Set and Nephthys and she herself was sister and wife of the earth god Geb. They are often shown together, yet apart, being kept so by the God Shu, the god of air and Tefnut, the goddess of water and fertility, her parents. Her hands and feet are seen as the four cardinal points and her naked body is often depicted as filled with stars.

Over 4,000 years ago, her words echo across the centuries; “Be as an imperishable star that lives forever” , which later was heard by an English Magician, Aleister Crowley, writing in the Book of the Law “Every man and every woman is a star” and thus a whole new generation of devotees to this beautiful goddess was initiated. Crowley considered her “a conception immeasurably beyond allmen have ever thought of the Divine. Thus she is not the mere star goddess, but a far higher thing, dimly veiled by that unutterable glory”. What we see when we look to the stars is just a tiny fraction of the universe, her greater domain and within when we try to conceive of such concepts, we can only grasp the tiniest fragment of what she represents.

Nut is a  loving mother goddess, a creatrix who gives birth to the gods, a thousand lights in darkness and a guide as we travel on our own journey to the stars. She is endless and eternal, beyond polarities and we are invited to experience her through our own journey of life, allowing her light to penetrate our souls and her freedom to find our own orbits in the infinite possibilities that life offes us.