Hymn to Nut, the Sky Goddess

A member of our community donated some wonderful artworks to the North Quabbin Sanctuary. One of these artworks is a depiction of the Sky Goddess Nut on papyrus. In thanks to our community, and to honor the Sky Goddess, I thought it would be appropriate today to share a hymn to Nut from the Pyramid Texts. The Pyramid Texts have been called the oldest religious literature in the world; carved on the walls of Old Kingdom pyramids and burial chambers.

Pepi I Meryre was the third Pharaoh of the 6th Dynasty of Egypt (circa 2450 BCE). He ruled for approximately 50 years and built seven pyramids at Saqqara – one for himself and six for his queens. The walls of Pepi I’s burial chamber, antechamber and much of the corridor leading to it are covered with the most extensive collection of Pyramid Texts from the Old Kingdom. The following is Pepi I’s hymn to Nut.

Pepi I

Hymn to Nut, the Sky Goddess

O Nut, you have extended yourself over your son the Osiris Pepi,
You have snatched him out of the hand of Set; join him to yourself, Nut.
You came, snatch your son; behold, you came, form this great
one like yourself.
O Nut, cast yourself upon your son the Osiris Pepi.
O Nut, cast yourself upon your son the Osiris Pepi.
Form you him, O Great Fashioner; this great one is among your children.
Form you him, O Great Fashioner; this great one is among your children.
Geb was to Nut. You did become a spirit.
You were a mighty goddess in the womb of your mother Tefnut
when you were not born.
Form you Pepi with life and well-being; he shall not die.
Strong was your heart,
You did leap in the womb of your mother in your name of “Nut.”
O perfect daughter, mighty one in your mother, who are crowned
like a king of the North,
Make this Pepi a spirit-soul in you, let him not die.
O Great Lady, who did come into being in the sky, who are mighty.
Who does make happy, and does fill every being, with your beauty,
The whole earth is under you, you have taken possession of it.
You have encompassed the earth, everything is in your two hands,
Grant you that this Pepi may be in you like an imperishable star.
You have associated with Geb in thy name of “Pet” (Sky).
You have united the earth in every place.
O mistress over the earth, you are above your father Shu, You have
the mastery over him.
He has loved you so much that he set himself under you in
You have taken possession of every god for yourself with his boat.
You have made them shine like lamps,
Assuredly they shall not cease from you like the stars.
Let not this Pepi depart from you in thy name of “Hert.”

                                                                                        ~ Pyramid texts of Pharaoh Pepi I


Allen, James Peter, and Peter Der Manuelian, eds. The ancient Egyptian pyramid texts. No. 23. Brill, 2005.

Budge, Ernest Alfred Wallis. The literature of the ancient Egyptians. Vol. 1. Library of Alexandria, 1914.

Redford, Donald B. The Oxford encyclopedia of ancient Egypt. Oxford University Press, 2005.