The Ogdoad of Shmoun/Khmoun (Hermopolis Megale)


scene from the west wall (north side) of the Pronaos of the Temple of Hathor and Maat, West ‘Uaset’-Thebes:
(from left to right) Hathor “Sovereign of the West, the Eye of Ra, Lady of the Sky”;
and six of the eight Gods of the Ogdoad of Khmoun-Hermopolis Megale:
Kauke and Kek, Hauhe and Heh, Naune and Nun.
On the right (not visible in the photo because that part of the relief is in a museum of Berlin…) are represented also the other two Deities of the Ogdoad, Amon and Amaune together with Amon-Ra, worshipped by King Ptolemy VI, Queen Kleopatra III, and by Their son Ptolemy VII.

The Ogdoad of Shmoun/Khmoun (Hermopolis Megale) is the Oldest Company of Gods: the Gods of the Hermopolitan Ogdoad are the primeval Gods, the “Ancestors of the Gods”, “the Fathers and the Mothers Who came into being in the beginning, Who gave birth to Ra, Who created Atum”.
The Ogdoad is composed of four couples of Deities and They are also called ‘Hehu’, the “Infinites” (Coffin texts, spell 76):
-the God Nun and the Goddess Naune, the Gods of the Primeval Ocean;
-the God Heh and the Goddess Hauhe, the Gods of the Infinity (Brugsch equated Them with the Greek God Aion);
-the God Kek and the Goddess Kauke, the Gods of the Primeval Darkness;
-the God Amon and the Goddess Amaune, the Gods of the Primeval Power and Hiddenness.

The Almighty God Amon is one of the Gods of the Ogdoad, and at the same time He incorporates in Himself all the Gods of the Ogdoad: among His many forms, Amon is celebrated in this aspect as the “Black Bull” with eight aspects or hypostasis (the eight “Infinites”).


The God Nun is the God of the Primeval Waters and the Cosmic Ocean itself. Nun is the “Father of the Gods”, and all the springs, rivers, wells, lakes and other sources of fresh water, including the sacred lakes of the Temples, are His dominion and could be called “Nun”. Also the undulating enclosures of the Egyptian Temples represent Nun and His waters from which the Cosmos arises.

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