I once stumbled across someone asking fellow Kemetics, “So, which of the creation myths do you believe in?”
This is the wrong question.
The moment of creation is a touchstone. All things came into being – indeed, all things come into being – correctly aligned with ma’at. It is to this place that ritual and magic aspire, because if things are made so here, they are made so in all places and all times.
You can take the creation mythos as scientific allegory if it makes you happy – from the unknown/unknowable, a singularity emerges via some process we do not comprehend, which then differentiates into the variety of structures and processes we can observe (and many which we also cannot). The fact that each of the creation myths works well for that is kind of a triviality.
Instead, look at the process of creation. Look at the means by which you, as an individual human, are a full participant therein.
Consider the Memphite theology, in which Ptah conceives in His heart that which is given form by the declarations of His tongue. To have understanding and to speak it is, therefore, partaking of the nature of Ptah creating all things.
Consider Atum in the Heliopolitan theology, producing His children from His mouth (similar to the declarations of the tongue), or via autoerotic means. Again, the products of the voice – or via the possession of innate erotic power, a force which does not require a partner (or if it does, that ‘partner’ may be Iusaas, the Hand of God). To have an erotic nature is to partake of the creative nature of Atum.
Having spawned those children, meanwhile, Atum ‘put His arms about them as the arms of a ka, that His ka might be in them’. Ensouledness passes via embrace, and those of us who love pass the power of a soul to that which we love. To love and embrace, then, is also the creative nature of Atum.
Khnum, meanwhile, applies His skill as a potter to the making of people and their kau, while the rest of creation merely requires moulding – perhaps because one moulds the unformed to give it form, and then living beings must reside within the order, at a greater level of complexity and refinement. But to work with the hands as a maker is to partake of the creative nature of Khnum (who, in His association with the ram, also has powers of virile creation).
Consider Nit, who as I noted last week illumined the unformed chaos with the light from Her eyes, Who then declared that creation would be, and felt it good. Prayers ask for Her protection, for nourishment from Her breasts, for the Mother to look after Her child. Do we perceive? Then we partake of Nit’s creative power. Are we satisfied and pleased? Then, also, we partake of Nit’s creative power. Do we nurture, feed, and protect? In doing so, we are as Nit.
Consider the Ogdoad of Khmun (called Hermopolis by the Greeks), the powers of Secrets, Darkness, Infinity, and Formlessness, Who combined their powers to form an egg containing Knowability, Light, Boundedness, and Form, from which emerged the solar powers. When we combine our knowledge with others, transform it, and use it to generate something new, we claim the power later claimed by Djehwty when it was said that He laid that egg.
Which creation myth do you believe in?
How many and varied are the natures of creation.
Believe in what is.