Hu (mythology)

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Hu "ḥw"
in hieroglyphs
Hu (2nd figure from left of the image), the personification of breath and speech with a tongue symbol above his head along with Khepri (3rd figure from the left), Thoth (4th figure) and Isis (5th figure) guiding the deceased (1st figure on the left besides the god Hu) to the Duat

Hu (ḥw), in ancient Egypt, was the deification of the first word, the word of creation, that Atum was said to have exclaimed upon ejaculating or, alternatively, his circumcision, in his masturbatory act of creating the Ennead.

Hu (2nd serpent in centre) and Renenutet (3rd seated figure on the right)

Hu is mentioned already in the Old Kingdom Pyramid texts (PT 251, PT 697) as companion of the deceased pharaoh. Together with Sia, he was depicted in the retinue of Thoth, with whom he was also occasionally identified.

In the Middle Kingdom, all gods participated in Hu and Sia, and were associated with Ptah who created the universe by uttering the word of creation. Hu was depicted in human shape, as a falcon, or as a man with a ram's head.

In the New Kingdom, both Hu and Sia together with Heke, Irer and Sedjem were members of the fourteen creative powers of Amun-Ra. By the time of Ptolemaic Egypt, Hu had merged with Shu (air).


  • Wilkinson, R. H., Die Welt der Götter im Alten Ägypten. Glaube - Macht - Mythologie , Stuttgart 2003

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