With his twin sister Tefnut, the God of Water, and their offspring (the Earth God, Geb and the Sky Goddess, Nut) the four made up the quartet of major elements: earth, air, sky and water. The Egyptians believed that Shu was the second divine pharaoh who ruled after Atum Ra but he abdicated the throne, allowing his son Geb to rule, and Shu himself returned to the skies. The Egyptians believed that Shu was also the God of Punishment in the Land of the Dead and the bridge between life and death.
Description & Depiction of the Egyptian God Shu - Part Human & Part Animal
The Egyptian Gods or Goddesses, such as Shu, were often depicted as being part human and part animal. In the description of the Egyptian God Shu he was most frequently depicted wearing and ostrich feather but was also seen with the body of a human and with with the head of an animal - a Lion. In the Ancient Egyptian religion certain animals were seen as sacred as they believed that the Spirit of a God resided in these animals, such as the Lion, which were revered and worshipped as reincarnated Gods during their lifetimes.
The Egyptian the God Shu - Creation and Relatives
The early Egyptian priests evolved a creation myth, or Cosmogony, to explain how some of the Gods and Goddesses came into being. The early Egyptian priests then evolved a Family tree, the relatives of the main Egyptian Gods, like Shu, to explain how some of the Gods and Goddesses were related.
Temple of Shu
The Temples dedicated to Shu, the God of Wind and Air, were believed to be the dwelling place of this famous Egyptian God. Although no temples have been traced dedicated to Shu he was such an important God that small temples might well have built in his honor. Only the Pharaoh and the Priests of Shu were allowed inside the temple and the priests would undergo ritual purification in a deep stone pool before they entered the Inner Sanctum of the Temple. This not only cleansed them but also gave them contact with the primeval moisture of life. Ordinary Egyptians were only allowed to come to the gates, or forecourt, of the temple of Shu to pay homage and offer gifts to the God / Goddess. The Priests of Shu would collect the gifts and say prayers on behalf of the person in the confines of the temple. The priests of Shu, the God of Wind and Air, would conduct ceremonies, sacrifices and chant magical incantations, sometimes referred to as spells. The temple of Shu would consist of heavy gates which accessed a massive hall with great stone columns, and then a series of many other rooms through which processions of priests would pass. These rooms, or chambers, were lit by candles and incense would be burnt to purify the air of the Temple. The chambers gradually decreased in size, the lighting in the temple was deliberately and significantly reduced to create an atmosphere of deepening mystery until the priests reached the chapel and the shrine which contained the Naos. The Naos was the stone tabernacle inside the shrine which housed the great Statue of Shu, the God of Wind and Air.
The Statue of Shu
The large statue of the God Shu, the God of Wind and Air was situated in the inner sanctum of the Egyptian temple. The statue of Shu would have been depicted with the body of a man / woman and the head of Lion. This sacred statue, in the dwelling place of the God, was the embodiment of Shu. Food and drink would be offered to the God. The High Priest of Shu, would conduct ceremonies and offer prayers and incantations but there was another important priest, called the Medjty, who was responsible for the toiletries. The statue of Shu would have been washed and oiled. The statue was then dressed in fine linen and eye make-up, powder and rouge was applied and sacred oil rubbed on the forehead of the statue. The statue of Shu, with its head of the Lion, was only seen by ordinary Egyptians at important festivals when the effigy was paraded in magnificent processions.
The Egyptian God Shu
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