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Chaos (Gr.) The Abyss, the “Great Deep”. It was personified in Egypt by the Goddess Neїth, anterior to all gods. As Deveria says, “the only God, without form and sex, who gave birth to itself, and without fecundation, is adored under the form of a Virgin Mother”. She is the vulture-headed Goddess found in the oldest period of Abydos, who belongs, accordingly to Mariette Bey, to the first Dynasty, which would make her, even on the confession of the time-dwarfing Orientalists, about 7,000 years old. As Mr. Bonwick tells us in his excellent work on Egyptian belief—“Neїth, Nut, Nepte, Nuk (her names as variously read !) is a philosophical conception worthy of the nineteenth century after the Christian era, rather than the thirty-ninth before it or earlier than that”. And he adds: “ Neith or Nout is neither more nor less than the Great Mother, a yet the Immaculate Virgin, or female God from whom all things proceeded”. Neїth is the “Father-mother” of the Stanzas of the Secret Doctrine, the Swabhavat of the Northern Buddhists, the immaculate Mother indeed, the prototype of the latest “Virgin” of all; for, as Sharpe says, “the Feast of Candlemas—in honour of the goddess Neїth— is yet marked in our Almanacs as Candlemas day, or the Purification of the Virgin Mary”; and Beauregard tells us of “the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin, who can henceforth, as well as the Egyptian Minerva, the mysterious Neїth, boast of having come from herself, and of having given birth to God”. He who would deny the working of cycles and the recurrence of events, let him read what Neїth was years ago, in the conception of the Egyptian Initiates, trying to popularize a philosophy too abstract for the masses; and then remember the subjects of dispute at the Council of Ephesus in 431, when Mary was declared Mother of God; and her Immaculate Conception forced on the World as by command of God, by Pope and Council in 1858. Neїth is Swabhdvat and also the Vedic Aditi and the Purânic Akâsa, for “she is not only the celestial vault, or ether, but is made to appear in a tree, from which she gives the fruit of the Tree of Life (like another Eve) or pours upon her worshippers some of the divine water of life”. Hence she gained the favourite appellation of “Lady of the Sycamore”, an epithet applied to another Virgin (Bonwick). The resemblance becomes still more marked when Neїth is found on old pictures represented as a Mother embracing the ram-headed god, the “Lamb”. An ancient stele declares her to be “Neut, the luminous, who has engendered the gods”—the Sun included, for Aditi is the mother of the Marttanda, the Sun—an Aditya. She is Naus, the celestial ship ; hence we find her on the prow of the Egyptian vessels, like Dido on the prow of the ships of the Phœnician mariners, and forth with we have the Virgin Mary, from Mar, the “Sea”, called the “Virgin of the Sea”, and the “Lady Patroness” of all Roman Catholic seamen. The Rev. Sayce is quoted by Bonwick, explaining her as a principle in the Babylonian Bahu (Chaos, or confusion) i.e., “merely the Chaos of Genesis . . . and perhaps also Môt, the primitive substance that was the mother of all the gods”. Nebuchadnezzar seems to have been in the mind of the learned professor, since he left the following witness in cuneiform language, “I built a temple to the Great Goddess, my Mother”. We may close with the words of Mr. Bonwick with which we thoroughly agree “She (Neїth) is the Zerouâna of the Avesta, ‘time without limits’. She is the Nerfe of the Etruscans, half a woman and half a fish” (whence the connection of the Virgin Mary with the fish and pisces) ; of whom it is said: “From holy good Nerfe the navigation is happy. She is the Bythos of the Gnostics, the One of the Neoplatonists, the All of German metaphysicians, the Anaita of Assyria.”

Source: H.P.Blavatsky - The Theosophical Glossary