Egyptian Gods: Nefertum

Nefertum was an ancient sun god of Lower Egypt, who was originally considered to be an aspect of Atum. The name Nefertum also spelled as Nefertem, Nefer-Tem or Nefer-Temu, whose name means “Beautiful Atum”.

According to myth of creation, Nefertum was born from a blue lotus bud which arisen from the primal waters at the beginning of creation. It says that he represents the sunrise and created the mankind from his tears. Thus, associated Nefertum with the blue lotus and the scent of it with narcotic properties, which used for medical anesthetics effect in ancient Egypt.

Nefertum has given titles such as “He Who is Beautiful”, “The Young Atum” and “Water Lily of the Sun”. He was also associated with rebirth, both as a personification of the newborn sun and as the patron of many ingredients of the mummification process. A passage of the Book of the Dead says “Rise like Nefertum from the lotus, to the nostrils of Ra, and come forth upon the horizon each day”.

His appearance portrayed as a beautiful young man wearing the lotus flower on his head. Sometimes, he was shown with two feathers on his head and two ‘menet’ necklaces which symbolize fertility. Occasionally, he also depicted as a man with the head of lion or as a beautiful baby sitting in or on a lotus bud.

According to one myth, Nefertum was the son of Ptah, the god of creator and Sekhmet, the goddess of war. These three deities formed the Triad of Memphis. There is no cult center built for Nefertum, however the Egyptians often carried small statues of him as good luck charms.