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The Children Of Nut, Lady Of Heaven

The Children Of Nut, Lady Of Heaven

This is an African legend about how Ra the sun god was replaced by Osiris.

Ra was the sun god who made himself mortal to rule the world of men as the first Pharaoh. For years he ruled well and the harvests were bountiful and men honored him.

As it is natural, Ra grew old and men no longer respected him. He feared someone taking his throne. He longed to know what the future held.

Ra spoke the word ‘Thoth’ and this brought the god of wisdom into being. Thoth could speak prophecy and Ra asked him what the future held. Thoth said, ‘Another ruler of Egypt will replace you. He will be the son of Nut, the goddess of the sky.’

Ra was furious. He had to prevent his happening at any cost. He cursed Nut, saying, ‘Nut will not give birth on any day of the year, neither on any night.’ At that time, the year was only 360 days.

Nut was heartbroken and she went to Thoth for advice. Thoth agreed to help her on the condition that she should marry him. Nut, who secretly loved Thoth, agreed.

Thoth knew that he could not change Ra’s curse, but he thought of a way round it. He went to Khonsu the moon-god, gave him beer and honey, and played draughts with him long into the night. Thoth played cleverly and the bets ran ever higher. Eventually Khonsu forced to bet a piece of his own light.

Thoth eventually won enough of Khonu’s light to make five extra days. Now the year had 365 days.

Having lost a lot of light, Khonsu could not shine fully every night. Every month he was forced to wane to a sliver of light and slowly was back to his full glory.

Nut and Thoth had five children on the five new days, so avoiding Ra’s curse. Osiris was born on the first day and a loud voice was heard all over the world, saying, ‘The lord of all the earth is born.’ Then Horus, Set, Isis and Nephthys arrived on the following days.

In time, Osiris grew and became a mighty king, replacing Ra as Thoth had predicted.

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