What caught our attention about Egyptian gods was that there were so many of them and they each served their own purpose. The Egyptian gods each were used to explain a certain aspect of nature, such as the sun, stars, or rain.
Nut and Geb
The sky is Nut’s body, arching from horizon to horizon. Geb is the Earth, lying beneath her. During the day, Nut and Geb are separated, but each evening Nut comes down to meet Geb and this causes darkness. If storms came during the day, it was believed that Nut had come closer to the earth.
Nut was married to the King of the Gods, Ra, but she was in love with Geb. When Ra found out, he was angry and said that Nut could not give birth to any children during the 360 days of the year. Nut was unhappy and asked the God of Wisdom, Thoth, to help. At this time, the Moon was as bright as the Sun. Thoth got some light from the Moon, so now the Moon gets bigger and smaller each month. With this light, Thoth made five new days, so now the year is 365 days long. Nut gave birth to her five children, on these five days. When Osiris, the oldest, was born, a loud voice said “The lord of all the earth is born.” Seth, his brother, was born hating Osiris.
Ra is the sun god, and the King of all gods. He is a falcon crowned with a sun disk or a man with a falcon’s head.
Ra was the God of the Sun. He sailed across the heavens in a boat called the ‘Barque of Millions of Years’. A crew of many gods joined him on this daily journey. The boat would sail through the twelve provinces, representing the twelve hours of daylight. At the end of each day Ra was thought to die and sailed on his night voyage through the Underworld, leaving the Moon to light the world above. The next dawn, he was born again.
The Longest Day Few of God's miracles cause protests in the 'scientific' community like the account of Joshua's long day - when God made the sun and moon to stand still. But science and modern technology have done more to verify this fact than they have to refute it. Common sense would say it is impossible for such a major disruption to occur and not totally destroy the precise, perfect balance in ...
It was not always smooth sailing on these ships. During the day Ra had to fight his chief enemy, a snake named Apep. Ra was usually won these battles. However, on stormy days, or during an eclipse, the Egyptians believed that Apep had been victorious and swallowed the sun.
Hathor was the goddess of joy, motherhood, and love. She looked after all women. She was the goddess of music and dancing, as well. Dead women were identified with Hathor, as men were identified with Osiris. Sekhmet is the goddesses of the sun. She is a woman with a lion’s head.
But she had another side as well, as Sekhmet, the Eye of Ra, the destructive Sun Goddess. The Egyptians knew that the Sun brought life, but they also knew that in the desert, the Sun could kill you.
Ra, the Sun God, was angry with mankind, because they laughed at him. He said that he’d send down his anger as Sekhmet, the Eye of Ra. She went down to Earth, killing men, and drinking their blood. She started to frighten Ra, who only wanted to punish Mankind, not destroy them all. So he dyed some beer red, to look like blood. When Sekhmet saw the beer, she was thristy for blood, so she drank it all, got drunk and went to sleep. When she woke up, Ra persuaded her to stop killing Mankind.
Isis was the great mother-goddess. She is recognized by the throne on top of her head. She was the wife of Osiris and protected her son Horus against his enemy Seth.
She was also a great healer and magician. She got her magic powers by a trick. Ra was the greatest of the gods and he kept his power in his secret name, which only he knew. He had started to grow old, and sometimes he dribbled. Isis collected some of his saliva and made it into a snake. She hid the snake where Ra would walk. When Ra trod on it, it bit him, and Ra screamed in pain. All the gods gathered round, but none could heal him. Isis said, “If you tell me your secret name, this will give me enough magic power to heal you.” Ra didn’t want to do this, but eventually the pain was so bad that he had to. Isis healed him, and ever since then she has the magic powers that Ra had.
... goddess) is portrayed with the ordinary headdress of a woman, but with the uraeus over her forehead. As the wife of Osiris, Isis ... goddess) is portrayed with the ordinary headdress of a woman, but with the uraeus over her forehead. As the wife of Osiris, Isis ... the Nile.The sun too with its daily re-birth and death was associated with Osiris. His rivalry with his brother Seth, the god of storms ...
Osiris is shown as a man with a beard wearing white mummy wrappings. His crown is the white crown of Upper Egypt surrounded by red feathers. He holds the symbols of supreme power, the flail and crook. His skin is green to represent vegetation. He was the God of the Dead. You would expect that such a god would be gloomy or even evil, but the Egyptians thought about death a lot. They mummified their dead and buried them with their belongings so they could enjoy themselves in the afterlife.
This story begins on Nut and Geb’s page. Osiris ruled over the Egyptians and taught them farming. His brother Seth had always hated him, and wanted to kill him. Seth made a beautiful box, like a coffin, made to the exact measurements of Osiris. Then Seth invited Osiris and other people to a great feast. When everyone had finished eating, Seth displayed the box, and said that he’d give it to anyone who fitted inside. Everyone tried, but only Osiris fitted. While he was still inside, Seth and his friends quickly slammed on the lid and threw the box in the Nile river.
Seth (or Set) is shown with an animal’s head with a long curved pointed snout, slanting eyes, and square-tipped ears. Sometimes he has a forked tail. No-one seems to know what the animal is. Aardvark, antelope, ass, camel, fennec, giraffe, greyhound, jackal, jerboa, long-snouted mouse, okapi, oryx and pig have all been suggested! Seth was the God of the desert, storm and violence, which are all enemies of the fertile, properous, narrow valley of the Nile. His sceptre has his head of top and his tail at the other end. Several other gods seem to carry this sceptre as well. Can you find them?
This story begins on Nut and Geb’s page. Seth had killed Osiris by tricking him into a coffin, which he threw into the Nile. When Osiris’ wife Isis heard about this, she started searching desperately for her husband’s body, to bury it properly. She asked everyone she met and finally some children told her where it was. Isis mourned for her dead husband. Then she hid the body, while she went back to look after her son Horus, still a baby. Seth was terrified that Isis might be able to bring Osiris back from the dead, since she was a great magician. So Seth found where she had hidden the body and cut it into pieces, which he scattered up and down the Nile. Now Isis had to find all the scattered pieces of Osiris. Whenever she found a piece, she buried it there and built a shrine. This means that there are lots of places in Egypt where Osiris was buried! Osiris himself became the King of the Dead, and all Egyptians hoped they would join him after death.
To me it makes no difference that Isis is female. I think she still follows Joseph Campbell's concept of the hero and the hero’s journey. Even though Isis’s story differs from the hero’s journey she is still a hero according to the people of Egypt. On page 14 of our text World Mythology, Donna Rosenberg states “Isis was a human being as well as a goddess. Her persistent search for the body of ...
Horus is shown as a hawk, or a man with a hawk’s head and the crown of all Egypt. This makes him look similar to Ra, but Ra is crowned with the sun disk. Horus’ crown is made of two parts. The white part is the crown of Upper Egypt (in the south) and the red part is the crown of Lower Egypt (including the Nile delta).
Together they show that Horus ruled all Egypt. During their reign, Pharoahs identified themselves with Horus. After they died, they became Osiris.
This story begins on Nut and Geb’s page. When Horus was a baby, his father Osiris was killed by Seth. Horus and his mother Isis hid in the papyrus reeds in the delta of the Nile until Horus grew up. The he went to war with Seth to get his father’s crown and kingdom. The battles raged for a long time. Once Seth managed to blind Horus by taking out his eye and tearing it to bits, but Thoth, the God of Wisdom, managed to heal the eye. Eventually, Horus won the war, and Seth was driven out into the Sahara Desert.
The Eye of Horus, healed by Thoth, was an amulet, or magic charm. But the Ancient Egyptians also used it to describe fractions. The diagram shows which part of the eye showed which fraction. So means a half. If you add them up, you find they come to 63/64. The Egyptians said that the missing 1/64 was made up by Thoth’s magic! Wouldn’t you like a bit of Thoth’s magic when your sums don’t come out right?
Thoth invented hieroglyphs, the picture writing of Ancient Egypt. He was the measurer of the earth and the counter of the stars, the keeper and recorder of all knowledge. The ibis is a bird rather like a stork, with long legs and a long beak, which it uses for prodding in the mud to find small fish. It was a symbol of wisdom and learning because it always looks down and has a beak shaped like a pen.
The Book of Thoth had two spells in it. If you read the first spell aloud, you would be able to understand every beast and bird, and summon the fishes in the sea. If you read the second spell, you could bring the dead to life. Prince Setna, the son of a Pharoah, knew the book was hidden in a royal tomb in the City of the Dead. With his brother Anhurerau, he broke into the tomb of Neferkeptah. When they found the burial chamber, they saw the mummy of Neferkaptah, and his wife and young son. The wife spoke to them, and warned them against taking the book of Thoth. She said that her husband had stolen the Book from Thoth, and had read the spells, but Thoth was angry and had drowned her and her son in the Nile, and Neferkeptah had then killed himself. But Setna ignored her and moved towards the Book. The mummy of Neferkaptah sat up and said “Play me at four games of draughts. If you win, you can take the Book.” Setna was terrified, but agreed. He played the first game, and lost. He started to sink into the ground, up to his ankles. Then he lost the next game, and sunk up to his hips. As he was losing the third game, he shouted to his brother, “Run and fetch my magic amulets. Only they can save me!” He then sank into the ground up to his chin. His brother ran out of the tomb. Setna played the fourth game as slowly as he could, trying desperately not to lose, but the mummy was too good at draughts. Just as he had nearly lost for the final time, his brother Anhurerau returned with the amulets, and put them on Setna’s head. The spell was broken, and Setna grabbed the Book of Thoth, and ran as hard as he could out of the tomb.
As Egypt grew and flourished to a powerful and rich nation, itleft behind for today's historians, clues and artifacts of a oncedistinctive, well established and structured society. The Clues and artifacts shows historians the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt, which signified the beginnings of a civilized era centred around the Nile. Egyptian Mythology The unification of Egypt occurred around ...
As Setna tried to read the Book, he saw a beautiful woman walking past. He fell in love with her, and tried to persuade her to marry him. She demanded that he kill his existing wife and children. Completely besotted with her, he agreed. When he had done this, she vanished, and he was appalled at what he had done. But he discovered that it was all a dream. He realized that he was being punished for stealing the Book of Thoth, and next time it might not be a dream, so he returned the Book to the tomb of Neferkeptah and resealed the burial chamber. Ever since then, no-one has seen the Book of Thoth.
The magic amulet may have been a scarab. The scarab or dung beetle makes a ball of dung by rolling it along the ground, and then lays its eggs in it. The Ancient Egyptians imagined a scarab rolling the sun across the sky.
Amen, The Hidden One (Amon, Amun, Ammon, Amoun) Amen's name means "The Hidden One." Amen was the patron deity of the city of Thebes from earliest times, and was viewed (along with his consort Amenet) as a primordial creation-deity by the priests of Hermopolis. His sacred animals were the goose and the ram. Up to the Middle Kingdom Amen was merely a local god in Thebes; but when the Thebans had ...
Anubis and Ma’at
Anubis invented embalming to embalm Osiris, the first mummy. He was the guide of the dead. Ma’at was the Goddess of justice, order and truth.
The Ancient Egyptians believed that when you died, you traveled to the Hall of the Dead. There Anubis weighed your heart against the feather of Ma’at. First, he steadied the scales to make the weighing fair. If your heart was heavier than the feather then it was eaten by a demon. We still talk of “a heart as light as a feather” to mean care-free, and “heavy-hearted” to mean sad.
The feather of Ma’at was an ostrich plume. She wore it on her head. The chief justice of Egypt began court hearings by wearing the feather of Ma’at. Judgment was symbolized by handing the feather to the successful party in token of a favorable decision.
Amun was an important god, but there are no stories about him. He was considered to be the creator of all things.
Amun is sometimes spelled Ammon. The fossil ammonites are called after him, because he sometimes has a ram’s head, and ammonites are shaped like ram’s horns.
Tutankhamun’s name contains the name of Amun. It also contains the Ankh, which means Life. His name means “Long life to Amun.”
The ankh was a very important amulet or magic charm. Many of the pictures of Egyptians gods show them holding amulets.