Mut “Goddess of Soul Protection” was a mother goddess worshipped in ancient Egypt. Her name means mother in the ancient Egyptian language. Mut had many different aspects and attributes that changed and evolved greatly over the thousands of years of ancient Egyptian culture. Mut was considered a primal deity, associated with the primordial waters of Nu from which everything in the world was born. Mut was sometimes said to have given birth to the world through parthenogenesis, but more often she was said to have a husband, the solar creator god Amun-Ra. Although Mut was believed by her followers to be the mother of everything in the world, she was particularly associated as the mother of the lunar child god Khonsu. At the Temple of Karnak in Egypt’s capital city of Thebes, the family of Amun-Ra, Mut and Khonsu were worshipped together as the Theban Triad.
Mythology Mut was the consort of Amun, the patron deity of pharaohs during the Middle Kingdom (c. 2055–1650 BC) and New Kingdom (c. 1550–1070 BC). Amaunet and Wosret may have been Amun’s consorts early in Egyptian history, but Mut, who did not appear in texts or art until the late Middle Kingdom, displaced them. In the New Kingdom, Amun and Mut were the patron deities of Thebes, a major city in Upper Egypt, and formed a cultic triad with their son, Khonsu. Her other major role was as a lioness deity, an Upper Egyptian counterpart to the fearsome Lower Egyptian goddess Sekhmet.
Depiction In art, Mut was pictured as a woman with the wings of a vulture, holding an ankh, wearing the united crown of Upper and Lower Egypt and a dress of bright red or blue, with the feather of the goddess Ma’at at her feet. Alternatively, as a result of her assimilations, Mut is sometimes depicted as a cobra, a cat, a cow, or as a lioness as well as the vulture. Relief of the Goddess Mut, c. 1336–1213 B.C.E., 79.120, Brooklyn Museum Before the end of the New Kingdom almost all images of female figures wearing the Double Crown of Upper and Lower Egypt were depictions of the goddess Mut, here labeled “Lady of Heaven, Mistress of All the Gods”. The last image on this page shows the goddess’s facial features which mark this as a work made sometime between late 18th Dynasty and relatively early in the reign of Ramesses II (reigned c. 1279–1213 BC)