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A depiction of four common forms of the Djed, each being a different interpretation of Osiris, reborn as an evergreen tree.

In Egyptian mythology, Djed (LH:5), aka “tet” or "djed pillar" (LH:4), is the symbol of the reborn Osiris, conceptualized either as his backbone, his body in the form of an tamarisk tree (evergreen tree), our four papyrus stems, combined, thought of as the four pillars of heaven, thought to be symbol of stability.


Papyrus stems pillars

In c.1993, Jacobus Dijk suggested that Djed was representative of Shu (or Heh) holding the heaven (Nut).[1] This, however, doesn't make full sense, as artwork shows Shu standing on two feet, not four? Moreover, Nut holds herself up, with her two arms and two legs. Shu's job is to separate Geb and Nut, who are lovers.

The following diagram shows how four papyrus stem pillars, supposedly, conceptualized as the four pillars of heaven, can combine to yield the general shape of the djed pillar:[2]

Correctly, accordingly, the papyrus four pillars of the djed could, therefore, be representative of the two feet and two arms of Nut, as shown below:

Nut (four pillars).png

Just as Ra rides through or over Nut, so to might Osiris have to be reborn upwards to get to the Judgement Hall, in the afterlife, presumably in Nut?


The following are related quotes:

Nephthys is seen kneeling by the side of the Tet Djet H1.png, from which the disk of the sun is thrust upwards by the ‘living Ra’ Ankh (living Ra).png at sunrise.”
Wallis Budge (1904), The Gods of the Egyptians, Volume Two (pg. 255)

End matter

See also


  1. Gordon, Andrew H. and Schwabe, Calvin W. (2004). The Quick and the Dead: Biomedical Theory in Ancient Egypt (pgs. 114-; Dijk, pg. 115). Brill.
  2. Brown, Vincent. (2002). “The Concept of the Djed Symbol” (Ѻ),


  • Macquire, Kelly. (2020). “The Ankh, Djed and other Ancient Egyptian Symbols” (YT), World History Encyclopedia, Nov 30.

External links

Theta Delta ics T2.jpg