February's Love Stories: Mother's Love

 February is the month that I am writing about love and sex in the ancient world. The first story is about mother's love for her children .

"I am Nut, and I have come so that I may enfold and protect you from all things evil."

The ancient Egyptians celebrated this time of year as the Feast of the Goddess Nut, whose birthday falls on February 2 (Gregorian calendar). According to the Book of the Dead, Nut was seen as a mother-figure to the sun god Ra, who at sunrise was known as Khepera and took the form of a scarab beetle.

Nut also spelled Nuit or Newet) was the Goddess of the Sky in the Ennead of Egyptian mythology. The Goddess Nut protected the earth, which she and Geb encompassed, against the chaos and darkness above her. Nut was married to Ra,  the God of the Sun and Ruler of the Gods. The Goddess Nut is widely known for her magnificent beauty and incredible kindness. Nut's loving and giving nature was obviously extensive. It led into having affairs with Thoth, the God of Divine words and Knowledge, and Geb, the God of the Earth, her twin brother.
When Re discovered the Goddess Nut's infidelity,  he was furious with her.  Ra was a strong ruler but he feared anyone taking his throne of Egypt. In his anger he pronounced a curse that Nut, who was pregnant at the time, would not give birth in any month of any year!

Desolate and despairing that she would never be a mother (not to mention that the endless pregnancy), Nut turned to her lover Thoth for words of comfort.

What man can stand to see a woman cry? Not Thoth. He quickly soothed her by promising to find a solution to Nut's dilemma.  And this he did! With his divine powers of persuasion, Thoth “persuaded” Khonsu, God of the Moon, to gamble with him.

The stakes were high. It was agreed that for each round that Thoth won,  he would be rewarded with a bit of the Moon's light. The games continued for months on end, and, eventually,  Thoth had managed to win enough light to create five entire new days. . Since these days were not part of the year, Nut could have her children.

Nut wasted not a precious moment of those blessed days, giving birth to a different child on each of the five days. Hence, Nut came to be  called  the  "Mother of the Gods".

First born was a son she named Osiris. He was the son of Re and later became the god who was to rule all of the earth. After she had given birth to Osiris, she asked Thoth and Wadjet, a snake goddess whose sister is Nekbet, to protect him from Ra's wrath.

Second born was Seth, God of the Desert and Chaos. His father was Geb.

The Egyptian Goddess Isis, Goddess of Life, was born on the third day. Her father was Thoth.

Fourth born was Horus the Elder: Son of Ra

Last to be born was Nephthys, Goddess of Death and Darkness: Her father was Thoth

When Ra found out, he was furious. He separated Nut from her new husband Geb for all eternity. Her father, Shu, was to keep them apart. Shu lifted Nut up, separating her from her brother, at least during the daytime. Still, Nut did not regret her decision.


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