In the theology of the Ennead of Heliopolis, there is recognition of a time before there was anything. It was thought there was a creative potential in the primeval water, which was personified as the self-generated Nun. From the waters emerged Atum, the source of all creation, often depicted as the sun god Re-Atum who produced Shu and Tefnut when he masturbated or spat.
Ennead means a group of 9, but often the list is larger, including wives, offspring, and a splitting up of Atum-Re into two separate deities. Here are the basic 9.
- Atum (the spirit that lived inside Nun before creation)
- Shu (male created by Atum-Re)
- Tefnut (sister of Shu)
- Geb (Earth god - Shu and Tefnut's male offspring)
- Nut (Sky goddess - Shu and Tefnut's female offspring)
- Osiris (god of the dead - son of Geb and Nut)
- Seth (evil brother of Osiris - son of Geb and Nut)
- Isis (wife/sister of Osiris and mother of Horus)
- Nephthys (goddess of the dead - wife/sister of Seth)
- Vincent Arieh Tobin, J. Gwyn Griffiths, Olaf E. Kaper "Myths" The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt (2001).
- David Leeming. "Ennead" The Oxford Companion to World Mythology (2004).