Introduction - TefnutAncient Egyptian Myths and legends are full of interesting stories about the Egyptian Gods and goddesses. Tefnut, who was connected to both the moon and the sun, was the goddess of moisture. She often appeared as a human hybrid where she was represented as half human and half animal. When she appeared in this hybrid state, she usually had the head of a lioness and the body of a woman. Mythology says that Atum is the father of Tefnut and Shu, the god of air. The list of facts below will give greater insight into who the goddesses Tefnut is, what legends say about her, and why it was believed that her father's tears turned into the first humans.
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List of Facts about Goddess Tefnut
- Tefnut was one of thirty nine gods and goddess's of ancient Egypt that played a special role in the mythological history of ancient Egypt as well as the core of ancient Egyptian religion.
- Tefnut had a brother named Shu and together they had two children, Geb, the god of the earth, and Neb, the goddess of the sky.
- Ancient Egyptians often portrayed Tefnut holding Ankh, the symbol of eternal life, in ancient tombs, relics and temples.
- The ancient city of Leontopolis was where Tefnut and all the other lion-headed and cat-headed gods and goddesses were worshipped. She and her brother, Shu were worshipped together as a pair of lions in Taremu, the central area of the city which means "Lion's City" in Greek.
- Although she usually appeared as a half lion, half human, she sometimes appeared as a snake wrapped around a scepter.
- This goddess is said to have been the left eye of the sun god, Atum Ra while her brother was said to have been the right eye.
- Tefnut had four grandchildren according to Egyptian mythology. They were Set, Osiris, Nephthys, and Isis.
- The name Tefnut translates to "she of moisture".
- Heliopolis, one of the oldest cities in ancient Egypt, was where the Ennead, a group of nine deities, including Tefnut, were worshipped. The other eight deities were all part of the extended family of Tefnut.
- One legend says that Shu and Tefnut's father believed they disappeared into the waters of nun, a directionless abyss of water. When they returned, he was so happy to see them that he cried and his tears turned into the very first humans.
- Another legend states that Tefnut and her father had several disagreements leading to her leaving Egypt, where she'd been living with her father. She set out for Nubia and took with her the moisture and the water for all of Egypt. She eventually returned bringing the moisture back with her and in turn, joy to the people there.
- The Egyptian female counterpart of the sun god Ra was the Eye of Ra. It is said that Tefnut was given the ability to function in this role as an authoritative figure as well as mother, sibling, and daughter of the sun god.
List of Egyptian Goddess Tefnut's Responsibilities
- heaven and hell