With ties to both life and death, earth deities of ancient Egyptian myths play an important role in the belief system of the civilization. The terrain of Egypt was brutal yet lush enough for growth at the same time. The Nile River provided fertile soil for the people, while he intense heat and dryness of the desert posed issues for inhabitants. In this article, you will learn about some of the ancient Egyptian deities associated with the earth.
One of the most significant of earth deities regarding Egypt was Geb, who was the consort of the sky goddess Nut. When Geb and the sky goddess bonded, they produced five new gods. He was viewed as the personification of Earth itself. The Egyptians viewed Geb as the force that gave life to all animals on Earth. There is a myth that tells of Geb mourning the death of animals until Nut explains that there was a cycle of death and rebirth. It was his new understanding that when an animal died, it would go back into his body.
Since Geb was called the Great Pharaoh and seen as the father of Osiris, pharaohs were said to rule from “the throne of Geb”. In artistic depictions, Geb is portrayed as a sexually aroused man who gazes intently at Nut, who is above him in the sky. However, Geb is also related to death and the ancient Egyptians see him as responsible for putting poisonous snakes on the earth and causing earthquakes to erupt. Some sorcerer in Egypt believed that they could control venomous snakes by asking Geb for protection. However, the association between Geb and snakes may have come from a falling out with Ra , the sun god and creator deity.
Some believe that Geb wanted to take over the throne of Ra at one point. A myth states that Ra created poisonous snakes when he sent a fiery serpent to bite Geb and drive him away. As a consequence, Geb has been herding snakes.
Without the tools that the Egyptian god Ptah created, no one would be able to tend to their land. Known as one of the smartest of all ancient Egyptian gods, Ptah also served as the god of architecture, engineering, craftsmanship, and building.
It is said that whenever a sculptor during ancient Egypt times create a clay statue representing a deity, they would ask Ptah to breathe some life into it. In artistic depictions, the god is seen wearing a skullcap and is sometimes covered in mummy wraps.
Another earth deity of the ancient Egyptians was Imhotep , a god of architecture and philosophy. Others view him as a healer who knows of secrets regarding magic and medicine. The god was known to appear in the dreams of people in the form of a scarab beetle. The connection with the scarab beetle comes from the insect’s habit of rolling balls of dung to give birth to a new beetle. The beetle emerged from the dung from hatched eggs, but the Egyptians viewed this behavior as the Earth creating life.