Shu-god of wind

Egyptians created gods for nearly every aspect of their lives. Concepts that were deemed important to their society, became represented through deities. The Egyptians lacked an explanation as to why the sky goddess Nut would not just fall onto the earth. To make sense of this separation, the god Shu was created as the god that holds up the sky.

 

Shu was the embodiment of the air surrounding the world. He was responsible for fog, wind, and clouds. The god was created by a breath of air from the nostrils of Atum. Egyptian creation myths name Atum as the first god and the creator. Shu also had an important place in the creation story. He was the god that made it possible to create an environment suitable for life. Egyptians feared that if the sky fell to earth, life would be destroyed or be unable to exist.

 

As the god that helps bring life to the world, Shu’s corresponding symbol is the Ankh which represents life. He also wears an ostrich feather on his head to symbolize light. As a representation of duality, Shu was to be overthrown by the darkness. Apep, a god representing darkness and destruction sought to take Shu’s position as the divine Pharaoh. Shu defeated Apep, but was left wounded and his son Geb took over his position as divine pharaoh.

 

Having been wounded, Shu returned to his task of holding up the sky. Everyday Shu would fight off the snake Apep to allow the sun to rise and to bring on the night. His protection over Ra allowed for day and night to arrive. His position was important to the Egyptians as he created the space between the sky and earth where they lived. Despite the fact that no temples were specifically dedicated to the god Shu, Egyptians still considered him a valuable diety as part of their creation story.