Ogdoad

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Meaning of Name:

"Eight-fold"



The Ogdoad were a group of eight deities that existed before the creation of the world. They were arranged in four female-male pairs, the females being associated with cobras and the males being associated with frogs. They were Naunet and Nun, Amaunet and Amun, Kauket and Kek, Hehet and Heh. Apart from their gender, there was little to distinguish the female goddess from the male god in a pair; indeed, the names of the females are merely the female forms of the male name, and vice versa. Essentially, each pair represents the female and male aspect of one of four concepts of creation, the primordial waters (Naunet and Nun), air (Amaunet and Amun), darkness (Kauket and Kek), and eternity (Hehet and Heh).


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Between and from themselves, the Ogdoad created a mound that rose from the primeval waters, and on this they formed an egg from which Ra, the sun god, emerged. Following creation, the Ogdoad ruled the earth during a Golden Age. Later they retreated to the Duat where they were responsible for the flow of the Nile and the rising of the sun each day.



Important Terminology