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God of healing and beauty
the Memphite god Nefertem with a water-lily headdress as a symbol of fragrance and beauty.
Major cult center Memphis
Symbol the water-lily
Personal Information
Parents Ptah and Sekhmet or Bast
Siblings Maahes (in some accounts)

Nefertem (/ˈnɛfərˌtɛm/; possibly "beautiful one who closes" or "one who does not close"; also spelled Nefertum or Nefer-temu) was, in Egyptian mythology, originally a lotus flower at the creation of the world, who had arisen from the primal waters.[1] Nefertem represented both the first sunlight and the delightful smell of the Egyptian blue lotus flower, having arisen from the primal waters within an Egyptian blue water-lily, Nymphaea caerulea. Some of the titles of Nefertem were "He Who is Beautiful" and "Water-Lily of the Sun", and a version of the Book of the Dead says:

"Rise like Nefertem from the blue water lily, to the nostrils of Ra (the creator and sungod), and come forth upon the horizon each day."

Nefertem the child comes from his earth father Nun's black primordial waters, and his sky mother is Nut. When he matures, he is Ra.

Nefertem was eventually seen as the son of the Creator god Ptah, and the goddesses Sekhmet and Bast were sometimes called his mother. In art, Nefertem is usually depicted as a beautiful young man having blue water-lily flowers around his head. As the son of Bastet, he also sometimes has the head of a lion or is a lion or cat reclining. The ancient Egyptians often carried small statuettes of him as good-luck charms.



  1. ^ Nefertem page at Ancient Egypt: the Mythology retrieved June 21, 2008.

Further reading[edit]

  • Morenz, Siegfried; Schubert, Johannes (1954). Der Gott auf der Blume: Eine ägyptische Kosmogonie und ihre weltweite Bildwirkung (in German). Verlag Artibus Asiæ.