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A large stone statue of the Egyptian god Atum, 18th dynasty

Atum is one of the earliest and most important netjeru or gods known to the ancient Egyptian civilization. According to the Kemetic tradition, he created himself from the primordial waters, ascending from the abyss in the form of a snake. After this he created all other beings by various means, to relieve his loneliness. Humans came into existence from the tears of joy Atum wept when his lost children, Shu and Tefnut, returned home from exploring the watery abyss and then creating the rest of the world we live in. It is said that every being is part of the ka, the vital essence, of this god.

Since the sun was known to be essential in the process of creation, Atum was naturally a solar deity. He was especially associated with the evening or setting sun, while Ra personified the morning and midday sun. In addition to this, Atum was the father of the king of Egypt — any and all kings of Egypt, since each of them was the living manifestation of Atum’s great-great-grandson, Horus. Atum lifted the king’s soul from pyramid to heaven.

According to the Book of the Dead, Atum completes everything and finishes everything; this means that at the end of the creation cycle, he will destroy the world, returning it to the primeval watery abyss. In the meantime, he passes through the underworld every night after sunset, there fighting evil forces and protecting souls who need help navigating the way to the Egyptian afterlife paradise, the Field of Reeds.

Hoodoo psychic readers, spirit workers, and root doctors who practice in the North African religion of ancient Egypt or contemporary Kemetic Neo-Paganism, and who call upon the netjeru on behalf of clients, may petition Atum for matters of spirituality, healing and blessing, and protection from evil.


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