Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964623 | Print ISBN: 9781412936361 | Online ISBN: 9781412964623| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
In the traditions of ancient Egypt, the deity Shu represented air, breath, and the atmosphere. As the god of air and sunlight, Shu's name means “the one who rises up,” which is related to the idea that breath and air rise. Shu is a celestial force alongside Tefnut, Geb, and Nut. Created at the beginning of the universe in the narrative of creation, Shu is an essential element in the Heliopolis theology. The terrestrial level of created beings, Ausar, Auset, Set, and Neb-het, came after the creation of the celestial deities. It was believed that Shu and Tefnut were the progenitors of Geb and Nut. Shu was normally depicted as a man dressed in a beautiful headdress fashioned as a plume. Although Shu is recorded in the Pyramid Texts and the Coffin Texts , it is not until the New Kingdom that temples and priests dedicated to Shu appear in ...