Shu – meaning “emptiness” and “he who rises up” – was one of the Ennead of Anu (Heliopolis) – the ancient rulers of Kemet. As NTR Shu, he was a personification of air. Shu was considered to be cooling and calming influence, and a pacifier. As NTR Ma’at (truth, justice and order), Shu was at times also portrayed as wearing an ostrich feather. Sometimes even four feathers. He also carries an ankh, the symbol of life.
Shu was the son of Ra (the son of Atum). With his wife TefNut (moisture), he was the father of Nut and Geb. His daughter Nut, was the sky goddess whom he held over the Earth (Geb), separating the two. In Kemet it was believed that if Shu didn’t hold his son and daughter (the god of the earth and the goddess of the sky) apart there would be no way life could be created.
Shu’s grandchildren are Ausar and Auset, Nebthet and Set. His great-grandsons are Anpu and Heru.
In much later myth, representing the terrible weather disaster at the end of the Old Kingdom, it was said that TefNut and Shu once argued, and TefNut left Lower Kemet for Nubia (which was always more temperate). But Shu quickly decided that he missed his wife. As TefNut had changed into a cat that destroyed any man or god that approached. Tehuti had to convince her to return, and he succeeded.