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Title: Egyptian Gods and Goddesses
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DuchessRaven
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(Date Posted:01/24/2009 4:18 PM)
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 ~Egyptian Gods and Goddesses~
 
 
 
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RE:Egyptian Gods and Goddesses
(Date Posted:01/24/2009 4:24 PM)

 
Aah
Aah (like "awe"), was an old moon god in charge of the moon-year (12x30 days). Besides "moon" his name meant "collar", "to embrace" and "defender".
His duties were shadowy and he was seen as a moon crescent often with sun disk upon it (two pictures left). He accompanied mainly Thot and Khons, but also others. Rarely he was upon the head of a sitting Osiris with whom he was known in texts as Osiris-Aah. He could be seen as Thoth-Aah with a crescent upon a pedestal standing in a boat (picture above). He took part in "The Book of the Dead" where he was quoted in a prayer presenting himself by saying: "I am the moon-god Aah, the dweller among the gods". His most famous roll in Egyptian mythology was in a tale where he gambled with Thoth and made him help the pair Nut and Geb
to raise a family.

 
Ahy
Ahy was the god and protector of music of musicians and he came from a family of very high position in the old extensive Egyptian pantheon.
 
He was depicted as a very young man with short cut hair except for his long curly hair-lock which hung down over his cheek, meaning he was still a child. He wore a small diadem with the cobra Buto*. In his right hand he held a decorated sistrum which was a common rattle-instrument to make rhythmic sounds. It's the same object that some- times can be seen on top of the head of goddess Hathor* who was his mother and in whose temple in Dendera he had his cult. His father was the well known falcon god of Upper Egypt - Horus.

 
Aker
Aker (also Akeru, Akerui) guarded the sunrise and sunset and the passage for the solar boat of Re on its journey across the sky. He also took the deceased in front of the court of 14 judges in the Underworld.
He was seen as two sitting male lions and between them was the sign Akhet for horizon showing the sun rising (or setting) in the mountains. The western peak (left) was called Manu and the eastern Bakhu and together they supported the whole sky (blue line top) .
 
The two lions face both ways meaning saying goodbye to the old day and welcoming a new one and their names thus were "Yesterday" and "Today", in Egyptian Sef and Duau.
Aker had no temples of his own like the main gods since he was more connected to the primeval concepts of the very old earth powers.
He also guarded the gate to the Underworld and opened it for those who were ready to enter the Court of Osiris in the Judgment Hall.
The worshipping of lions took place in the town of To-Remu, called Leontopolis (Liontown) by the Greeks. It was situated fifty km north of Heliopolis.

 
Amentet
Amentet (Ament, Iment -it, -et) was originally the place for the setting sun but with time she became the hostess in the next world. She took care of the dead and guided them to their new homes and supplied them with food and water. She personified the world beyond - "Land of the West" - Amenty. From her shelter in a tree at the desert edge she had a good view over the gates to the underworld. Her looks were of a woman with object on her head. A falcon, an ostrich feather and the sign for "west" (in picture right). She was linked to the main goddesses an occationally she could have wings. Her parents were Horus and Hathor and she represented the setting sun, in pair with Re-Horakthy (the rising sun).

 
Ammut
Ammut was a female demon from the Underworld who took care of punish- ment of sinners. She had a crocodile's head, a lion's mane, the front part of a leopard to rear of a hippo- potamus. All were very dangerous animals to people and feared by the Egyptians in all times. Ammut sat at the Osiris Court in the Underworld where the heart of the deceased was put on the scales against the feather of Ma'at. If it was heavy by sins, Ammut would swallow it at once and the soul became restless forever and this was called: "to die a second time". Thus one of her names was "The Devourer". She did not have a cult of her own (understandably), since she was a monster that people should fear if their deeds during life hadn't been by the rules of Maat - honest, fair and truthful.

 
Amon
Amon was originally a local god from Thebes and became popular in the New Kingdom when kings from there came to power. His name meant - "the hidden one", suggesting that he once had been an invisible natural spirit of some sort. He was thought to be self-created and was incorporated with the old myths of how the whole world originally came to be. Texts from the Old Kingdom mention him as connected with the force of life and tell about his female counter- part called Amonet. His lofty position gave him the humble title "lord of all gods". Many statues and temples were erected for his cult and kings used his name in theirs. He was dressed simply, depicted as a good-looking young man with two feathers upon a red crown. His animal was a ram.

 
Amsit
Amsit was a member of the quartet "The Four Sons of Horus" who protected all the entrails stored in canopy jars after the dead had been mummified. His brothers were: Qebehsennuf, Duamentef and Hapy, and the liver from the dead was guarded by Amsit.
Beginning during the New Kingdom the jars that originally were made of clay with simple stoppers of mud became artful sculptures of stone showing the protectors themselves. Craftsmen sculptured out the image of the god's head on top (picture left). The only duty of Amsit was taking care of this part of the body and he was depicted as a mummy with the head of a bearded man (picture left bottom and right top). Amsit was under constant protection of Isis.

 
Anat
Anat (Greek: Anaitis), goddess from the old nomad society taking care of all fertility, hunting, sexuality, and war. Came from the Phoenician coast and was imported in the late Middle Kingdom as wife to Anedjti. In dynasty 17 she became a member of the Theban pantheon but Egyptian deities like Hathor and Nephthys put her in the shadows. Her cult centre into Christian times was in Busiris, capital of province 9 in Lower Egypt. with a peek during dynasty 19 when pharaoh Ramesses II made her his personal guardian in battle. On her head she could wear a stylised cow's uterus (left) or the white Atef-crown (right). 

Anedjti
Anedjti was from the nomad times. Patron of domesticated animals and possibly a forerunner to Osiris. Was from province nine of Lower Egypt where his cult centre was in its capital Busiris (Anedjt). Regalia: shepheard's crook and flail. On his head was a stylistic cow's uterus (left). Known already in pyramid text from dynasty four representing the eastern provinces. Connected to Osiris during the New Kingdom. He sometimes was seen as Anedjti-Osiris with a white crown or feathers plus the regalia - flail, crook and staff (right). In this fashion he dwelt in the Underworld and was responsible for the rebirth of the dead individuals in their afterlife. Later he joined the family of Re as a member of the "ennead" of nine gods. His wife and female counterpart: goddess Anat.

Anhur
Anhur (Greek: Onouris) "Sky Bearer", a solar god from the Abydos area, and the city of Sebennytos. He was another form of Horus the Elder (Heru) but was also worshipped in conjunction with Shu, known as Anhur-Shu. He was the violent side of Re called "Killer of the Enemies" and as such depicted with his arm raised. Sometimes he was in Re's sun-bark with a lance in his hand. He stood for creative powers and was protector against all enemies and pests. His mother was Heret (Hathor) and his wife Mehit. Anhur was a basically benign god, warlike in order to be helpful. He was widely popular during the New Kingdom and thereafter in Abydos in the south.

 
Ankhet
Ankhet (Greek: Anukis) came from the city Aswan where she protected the first cataract against southerners (though her own headgear looks southern).
She was the daughter and consort to Khnum and formed the "triad of Elefantine" with her sister Satet. She was protector of fresh water and made the annual fertilisation of the Nile by the in-flowing mud/water from the south. Her popularity was quite constant over the years and extra high when Egypt held the Lower Nubian territories. Her crown had ostrich plumes and her animal was the gazelle. Above right she is seen breast-feeding the pharaoh.

 
Antewy
Antaios was the Greek name of the very old Egyptian deity Antewy of obscure origin. He was in the oldest times depicted as two falcons and there are royal marks from before the first dynasty in this form (above right).
Province number five in Upper Egypt had during the whole history as its symbol two falcons like the ones above left, though sitting beside each other, which was the normal artistic form of depiction. The location, north of today's Qift (Koptos), is where the earliest Egyptian history is thought to have emerged.
 
Antwey was an Egyptian form of their god Set and the Greeks called him as their own god Anataios.
Greek myths said that he was the king of Libya and was slain by Heracles (Hercules) who was, in one tale, connected to Egypt.
Antaios was thought to be an aspect of Horus as a single falcon since the old Egyptian deity had split himself in half around the advent of the New Kingdom. Horus was a very popular god among the Greeks, and their temple to him in Edfu is still standing.

 
Anti
Anti was a local god from the regions of Middle Egypt.
He was worshipped on the east bank of the Nile especially in the old culture area of Badari and was possibly an old patron there since long before written records. Exactly was his line of duty was then is not known, but a fair guess is that his was a guardian of some sort.
His image was a falcon sitting in a boat.
The Greek called him Antaeus and the place of his cult centre, today's Qau, was the town having his name i their own form - Antaeopolis.
The oldest written records with Anti's name mentioned is from a Badari tomb from the second dynasty where a ewer made of copper was inscribed with the title: "priest of Anti-Hotep". (Illustration published by Brunton 1927).
This shows that he was by then a well established deity with a cult and priest of his own, a cult to be continued through Egyptian history in Per Nemty, capital of nome (province) number twelve in Upper Egypt, where he had a temple.
In later times (the Middle Kingdom and onwards) he had colleagues among the national gods who were depicted in a similar way as he was, like Re and Nemty.

 
Anubis
Anubis (in Greek) was an old god who took care of the cemeteries and from c. dynasty five considered to be the son of the solar god Re.
Later he was connected to the vast Osiris cult and became his son with the goddess Nephtys.
 
Depicted as a jackal or a man with a jackal's head, he was originally a god from Abydos in Upper Egypt. He guided the deceased to the next life via the court of Osiris in the Underworld. He was the one who took care of embalmings and was the subject of the mortuary prayers in funerals. His fame was constantly on top during all periods of the long Egyptian history.

 
Apep
The gigantic serpent Apep was the symbol of all devilries that fought the sun god Re every day and tried to stop his journey in the sky.
He dwelt in the cosmological waters chaos or was hiding below the surface of the Nile.
 
On cloudy days the Egyptians were afraid that Apep had won and they made extra offerings in the temples.

Texts describing rituals how to overthrow Apep have been found and everyone took part in the chase, even the wicked god Set who was seen depicted when spearing him from Re's solar boat when he was jumping up from the water.
Though he was defeated every day he rose every morning in strength, ready to fight again, and the struggle kept on for ever.

 
Apis
Apis (in Greek) was the old bull god of Memphis and his cult was integrated with those of the triad Ptah-Sokar-Osiris. One bull was chosen from marks on its body and theologically he was considered to have been born by a virgin cow impregnated by the local creator god Ptah. The animal was well fed and all measures were taken for its well-being. As long as the Apis was well the livestock of the country was thought to be the same. After 25 years of priestly care it was ritually slaughtered by drowning and the search for a new one began. Parts of the bull were then eaten in a sacramental meal and the rest of the body was embalmed. Worshipping bulls is known since cattle breeding began c. 7000 B.C.

 
Asar-Hap
Asar-Hap (Greek: Sarapis or Serapis) was a amalgam of a deity made of Osiris (Asar) and Apis (Hap) as he showed himself at the local shrines.
Every province temple and cult area along the Nile Valley had its own version and about 200 names are known giving an idea how wide spread the Osiris cult was in this time, from big towns down to villages. In the common Apis-version (left) he wore a bull's head with a big sun disc and the standing cobra in the middle. He was introduced as late as during the Ptolemaic era around 300 BC. and became a unique almost monotheistic god for six centuries in Alexandria, where he was venerated in form of the Greek main god Zeus.

 
Ash
Ash was during the first dynasties connected to the foundations of royal estates. Later he was also protector of the western desert and all oases and sometimes called "Lord of Libya". His written history goes back to the early dynastic times and he was the very first god ever to be depicted with a human body and an animal's head. In the second dynasty during the rule of king Peribsen he was thus shown on sealings wearing the white crown of Upper Egypt. As caretaker of the desert areas he was very alike (almost identical to) Set, who also had duties in these areas. Apart from his possibly three different heads (falcon, lion and cobra) he could also weare Set's pig like one (top right). By the advent of the Old Kingdom his fame was declining and thereafter his rival Set replaced him for good.

 
Aten
The old cult of the sun took a bizarre turn for a period of about fifteen years during the 18th dynasty around 1340 BC. The eccentric king Amenhotep IV then took the name Akhenaten, built a new capital and declared that just a single deity should be worshipped - the sun disk Aten, depicted with rays like arms giving life, peace and equality to all. It could also have wings like the old symbol of Re and was praised mainly by hymns, poems and offerings of fruit and flowers and was known for a couple of generations back, possibly as another form of Re-Horakhte. It now became the symbol of a slightly pacifistic view of life and had no human form. All other gods were banned and their temples closed or their priests "converted" to Aten. After the king's death the cult collapsed, the capital was abandoned and all moved back to Thebes. Religious life and all activities in the temples (especially the state cult of Amon) went back to normal again.

 
Atum
Atum ("The Completed One") was a creator god at Heliopolis and one of the "Nine deities", of Lower Egypt. He created every- thing (himself too) through mas- turbating or spitting as the first god on earth, and from one of his hands he made woman. He embodied the setting sun and was reborn every morning as the god Kheper. He could be seen in many forms, like a cat or an eel with a royal crown. His body was considered the parts of all physical matter and he was mostly seen as a man. When he was combined with his local colleague Re he became Atum-Re. His wife was Nebhethotep (possibly sometimes called Akusaa), a rare deity who like him symbolised the setting sun.
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RE:Egyptian Gods and Goddesses
(Date Posted:01/24/2009 4:27 PM)

 
Hedjwer and Babi
Baboon gods had existed in Egypt from before written history. Hedjwer was depicted on a first dynasty ivory label and possibly on the Narmer Palette. Baboons were common as gifts in graves from the earliest times and in dynasty three a white baboon may have represented the royal ancestors in a depiction together with king Djoser.
During the Old kingdom virility god Babi ("bull of the baboons") appeared and he stood for male dominance and also had a violent temper and could kill on sight. On his menu was human entrails. People protect themselves against him by spells but also made curses on others where Babi was the supposed executer. Funerals texts helped the dead to get his power in the afterlife. Later baboons were symbols of Thoth, and his character attracted kings who through worshipping hoped they would gain a suitable personality of authority, manly strength and wit.

 
Banebdjedet
The god Banebdjedet meant "Spiritual Lord of Djedet", i.e. the capital of nome 16 in the Delta, called Mendes by the Greeks. He represented the "spirits" of four mayor gods: Re, Shu, Geb and Osiris and was venerated as a ram or depicted in a rather bizarre way as a man with a head from each of the divinities he stood for.
He was known from the Old Kingdom and his main duty was to protect his home town.
 
His cult reached its peek during dynasty 29 and lasted through the Greek period. Sometimes a royal residence in town put glory to his name.
His wife was his colleague the local fish goddess Hat-Mehit and they had a son: Harpakhrad, also considered to be the son of Isis.

 
Bast or Bastet
Bast was an old cat goddess venerated in Bubastis, capital of the 18th province in Lower Egypt. She protected pregnant women and was patroness for singing, music and dancing and thus very popular.
The rays of the sun were also symbols of hers. She was seen as a woman with a cat's head, or just a sitting cat but originally wore a lioness' head. In depictions she can be seen as a cat with a mask of a lioness (with rounded ears) in her hand. Many mummified Bastet cats have been found from all times and amulets and figurines depicting her were common. Her festival was very popular since she also was protector of love, joy and pleasure. During the New Kingdom she had a lion-headed son with the god Ptah: the war god Maahes.

 
Bat
Bat (sometimes Bata) was an old goddess of fertility from Upper Egypt depicted as a cow, woman, or a human face with horns and a cow's ears. Sometimes she was seen with stars like the celestial cow Sopdet. In the Narmer Palette she is present in the upper corners. Her name might be the female form of Ba (the soul) and the pyramid texts say that the deceased king identifies himself with "Bat with her two faces". Her main cult was in Hut-Sekhem, today's Hiw and the capital of province number six. Its standard was the sistrum which was Bat's own cultural object.
In the Middle kingdom she was superseded by Hathor from the next-door province (#7) who took over her characters and personal regalia.

Especially Hathor's aspect Heret with frontal projection was just like those from the earliest times. Bat was very seldom seen in art like sculptures, paintings and reliefs, but appeared in jewellery in amulets for protection. After the beginning of the New Kingdom she was never seen or mentioned any more.

 
Bennu
Bennu was a manifestation of the god Osiris as a bird. He symbolised the eternal life and resurrection and sometimes he had a man's body. Originally the bird was a phoenix-like heron who burned himself to death every day (at sunset) in his own sheltering tree at Heliopolis in Lower Egypt and the next morning he stood up alive in his own ashes. He was incorpoarted in to the solar cult of Re and could be seen as a heron with the sun disc over his head (in the style of Re) or an Atef-crown with feathers (Osirian fashion) like in the pictures left and above right. His regalia was the same as Osiris' and he wore a white or blue mummy dress under a long transparent coat.

 
Bes
The dwarf Bes was a demigod from Babylonia and was imported to Egypt during the 18th dynasty (1550-1300 BC.). From being a war god in his homeland in Egypt he became a protector against evil spirits and misfortune. He was depicted in a sometimes androgyne way full face with a bearded large head, bow legs and sometimes a bushy tail. His scared off the destructive powers and his tools to accomplish that were various musical instruments like rattles to make a din, swords and knives.
He aided Taueret as a midwife. When a child was born he would stay by the cradle and entertain it. As protector of the royal house, he became a very popular household deity for all Egyptians. He had a plumed crown and wore the skin of a lion or panther and was also the patron of fashion.
Sometimes he wore the mane of a lion and in a few pictures he is looking rather female possibly by the (possibly misread) name Beset.

 
Buchis
Buchis (Egyptian: Bekh) from Armant (Hermonthis) in province fourth of Upper Egypt was one of three great bull cults in Egypt (besides Apis/Memphis and Mnervis/Heliopolis). His cult was continued by the Greeks and after them by the Romans and it lasted until almost 400 A.D. Buchis was a manifestation of Osiris and Re and was also linked to the local god of war and his companion Mentu and later also Amon.
 
Like Apis (see him) from the northern old capital Memphis a unique looking bull was chosen from a specific pattern of a black head and a white body and was considered a real Buchis and thereby the representation of the two gods Osiris and Re.
Just like in Sakkara the bulls were mummified and put to a final rest at a special cemetery (Latin: Bucheum). In Armant two new local features were added: their cow-mother was buried too and the body was fixed in a standing position on a foundation made of wooden planks.

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RE:Egyptian Gods and Goddesses
(Date Posted:01/24/2009 4:29 PM)

Djed
Djed was the oldest symbol of the four pillars of Osiris and had a deep religious and symbolic meaning to the Egyptians.
 
The late form as an ugly fat man(?) with 4 pillars upon his head was an imported Asiatic style of depiction. Djed-pillars are known from the second dynasty and it's possible that Osiris originally was shown in this way before he appeared within a human body in dynasty five. The pillars may show a bundle of papyrus stalks tied together or a part of the human spine. Among other things they stood for "stability" and "continuity". In the pyramid texts they were impersonal divine powers and Ptah's staff was partly made of them. In one version of the well known
Myth of Osiris he was transformed into lumber and in reliefs made during dynasty 18 the king is shown erecting four wooden pillars.

 
Duamutef
D(T-)uamutef was one of the "The Four Son of Horus" who protected the entrails stored in canopy jars after the dead had been mummified. His brothers were: Hapy, Qebehsennuf and Amsit and the stomach was guarded by Duamutef. The jars that originally were made of clay became artful stone sculptures showing the protectors themselves. He was seen as a man or a white mummy with a jackal's head. Jackals were connected with the dead, cemeteries and mummification from the earliest times in Egyptian history and the colleagues of his in the same field were: Khentamentiu* (his brother) and Anubis* (his uncle). He was under constant protection by the goddess Neith.

 
Ernutet
Ernutet (Greek: Termouthis) was from the Faiyum province in northern Upper Egypt and was very important as the patroness of the harvest. She was called "Lady of the fertile land and granaries" as she was watching over production and storing of grain. She also looked after good fertility among humans and animals and was the goddess of linen and good fortune. She also protected children and gave them nourishment and their destiny. Upon her head was a cobra and she had a daughter: Nepri, who was the goddess of grain. At Osiris' court she sometimes attended the weighing of the hearts of the dead. She had a temple in Medinet Madi (Faiyum) built in dynasty XII. In Greco-Roman times she was often seen as Isis* with a snake's head, or a snake with a woman's head.

 
Geb
Geb was the old earth god. He came from Heliopolis in Lower Egypt and was the father of Osiris and all the others gods except Atum and Nut. He held the throne of Egypt first of all and at the end of his life he let his son Osiris take over the ruling.
Every new pharaoh claimed to be a descendant of Geb and at the coronation he had to get his permission to enter office. He also represented the valleys and mountains and was often depicted lying on the ground or with a goose over his head as he was said to have laid a cosmic egg that contained the sun. Nickname: "the great Cackler" and his laughter could start earthquakes. His wife was his own sister Nut.
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RE:Egyptian Gods and Goddesses
(Date Posted:01/24/2009 4:34 PM)

 
Hapi
Hapi was the god of the Nile itself, the very incarnation of wealth and the symbol of the life-giving fertile mud over the fields. He dwelled in a cave near the first cataract where he was fed by crocodiles and frogs who wanted to assure themselves that the river Nile shouldn't run dry. He was always depicted as a big fat man covered with (blue, black or green) mud from the river, offering fruits and flowers and carrying the symbols of the two Kingdoms: the Lotus and Papyrus. His festival was held in all parts of the country in the late summer when the flooding began, and his popularity was for obvious reasons constant through all times. His wife was the goddess Nekhbet.

 
Hapy
Hapy was one of the "Four Sons of Horus" who protected the entrails stored in canopy jars after the dead had been mummified. His brothers were: Qebehsennuf, Duamentef and Amsit, and the guard of the lungs was Hapy (note: not to be confused with the Nile god Hapi).
The jars that originally were made of baked clay with simple stoppers of mud, were developed with time into stone sculptures showing the protectors themselves at the top (picture left). Hapy only took care of this part of the body and he was also depicted as a mummy with the head of a baboon (picture top right). He was under the protection of Nephthys.

 
Harpakhrad
Harpakhrad, also Heru-Pa-Khret (Greek: Harpokrates) meant "Horus the child" and he was also seen as a baby at the breast or as a naked infant sitting in the lap of his mother Isis. In Mendes, the capital of nome 16 of Lower Egypt, he was the son of the town protector Banebdjedet and the local fish goddess Hat-Mehit. Another depiction shows him as an infant boy with big, innocent eyes, engaged in sucking his finger (see pictures). He had many names and shapes in the more than forty provinces (nomes) where he was appearing in local forms. He had a shaved head with a big lock of hair hanging from the right side. The Greeks considered him the god of secrecy and discretion, misinterpreting the gesture of his finger as meaning: keep quiet!

 
Hathor
The cow goddess Hathor (Athyr in Greek) protected music, dancing, love and had seven forms. Wife to the sacred bull Buchis*. She and Horus protected the royal couple and she attended at the arrival of the dead king into the next world. On her head (left) was seen her favourite musical instrument - a sistrum rattle. On top of pillars she was seen as Heret - a woman's head (inserted left) with a cow's ears. In the Old Kingdom the pharaohs were often shown with Hathor at their side. Sometimes she was combined with Isis as Isis-Hathor with a woman's head. One of the still standing temples of her cult is at Dendera in Upper Egypt.

 
Hat Mehit
Hat- (also Het-) Mehit was an unusual goddess and the foremost of the very few taking care of the rare cult of fish. She came from Mendes, capital of nome16 in Lower Egypt. Her husband was Banebdjedet and their son was Harpakhrad. She was seen as a woman with a fish above her head and her name meant "she who is in front of all the fish" indicating that she was the fish-goddess from the mythological start when Egypt was said to emerged out of the water Nun. She could be seen as just a fish and cults of these were unusual in Egypt but in Esna was an old sanctuary to the big Nile perch (Lates Niloticus). This free supply of protein from the Nile was not disturbed by the fluctuating climate (floods) like cattle breeding and agriculture was.

 
Heh
Frog god Heh came from Hermopolis in Upper Egypt. He stood for indefinite time and long life. With his wife Hauhet he was one of four original pairs of reptiles supported to life by the creator Thoth. Heh could hold two braches (the Renpets) of the Persea palm where the years of time had been carved in. This was the old traditional way the Egyptians used kept track of the years passing by. At the bottom of each staff was a ring (sometimes with a frog) - the sign for eternity or an infinite number. Heh had no temples as he represented an abstract spirit from the dawn of time when Egypt was created coming up from the water. He was connected with the god of the air - Shu, and sits in simple clothing (left) on a stool formed like the Egyptian hieroglyph for "gold" - nub, a depiction of a golden necklace.

 
Heka
Heka stood for all magic, supernatural powers and miracles and was patron of wizards and physicians. He helped Re on his daily journey across the sky by keeping monsters away who wanted to hinder him from getting forward.
Commoners turned their prayers to him to fix their problems when other gods had failed. Medical doctors were under his spell and they were called "priests of Heka". His regalia was two snakes and these animals are mentioned in the Bible as used by Egyptian wizards at the court of the pharaoh. Even today the symbol of medicine is a snake. He was son of the war goddess Menhit and Khnum and those three formed the triad of Latopolis (Esna) in Upper Egypt. He also had a temple in Heliopolis (north of today's Cairo) where he was said to be son of the local creator god Atum.

 
Heket
The goddess Heket was known already during the pyramid era in magical texts. With time she was connected to growth, and fertility in general as frogs were due to the fact that they produced hundreds of eggs and tadpools. She also stood for eternity and her amulets protected all women when giving birth. Magical knives had her image to protect the homes. She was the wife of Heh and gave all creatures the breath of life before they were placed to grow in their mother's womb. She helped Osiris to rise from the dead and was taken as a form of Hathor, and called the mother of Horus the Elder. Her centre of worship was in nome five of Upper Egypt in the old towns Qus (Parva) and Gesy.

 
Heptet
Heptet was a snake goddess participating in the vivid cult and surrounding myths of Osiris in the Underworld. Her main duties were connected to the resurrection of her master and looking after his mummy to secure it for his rebirth into the next world, the "Field of Reeds", looking just like the land along the Nile. For protection against enemies she had daggers in her hands and the opponent might have been the king's brother Set, who was a constant threat to his eternal life. (See The Myth of Osiris).
When she was depicted with a human body (picture left) she wore a snake's head and sometimes with a beard. Like her master the Atef-crown was upon her head too or occasionally just the solar disk and horns with an erected cobra. A very alike looking/sounding serpent-goddess was Hertept or Hetep-Sekhus. In the "Book of the Dead" she was caretaker of Osiris' mummy too, and was sometimes seen in pair with Heptet as two snakes lying under his bier.

 
Herishef
Herishef was a local deity of fertility from the old town of Henen-Nesut (in Greek: Herakleopolis), the capital of province 20 in Upper Egypt. He was known from the first dynasty around 3.200 BC. and then he possibly was a god of creation. His name means "he who is upon his lake" and this might indicate that he once came from the nearby Faiyum basin. In pharaonic times he was a man with the head of a ram and in periods he was associated with Re, with the sun disc on his head, or Osiris, wearing the Atef crown (pictures). His temple from 2.100 BC, was enlarged in dynasties 18-19 when he was thought to be an aspect of Horus and Amon. At the site has been found a statuette of him made of solid gold (above right).

 
Heptet
Heptet was a snake goddess participating in the vivid cult and surrounding myths of Osiris in the Underworld. Her main duties were connected to the resurrection of her master and looking after his mummy to secure it for his rebirth into the next world, the "Field of Reeds", looking just like the land along the Nile. For protection against enemies she had daggers in her hands and the opponent might have been the king's brother Set, who was a constant threat to his eternal life. (See The Myth of Osiris).
When she was depicted with a human body (picture left) she wore a snake's head and sometimes with a beard. Like her master the Atef-crown was upon her head too or occasionally just the solar disk and horns with an erected cobra. A very alike looking/sounding serpent-goddess was Hertept or Hetep-Sekhus. In the "Book of the Dead" she was caretaker of Osiris' mummy too, and was sometimes seen in pair with Heptet as two snakes lying under his bier.

 
Horakhte
Horakhte, somtimes Harakhty -e, meaning Horus the Younger (Hor) standing at the horizon (akhet) in the morning as a manifestation of Re. He was written about in the pyramids texts (Old Kingdom) as a dog being connected to the dead pharaoh. Instead of wearing the double crown as protector of the two countries, he usually wore the solar disc (symbolising Re) above his head to underline his aspect. He had his cult centre in the old religious solar city of Heliopolis in Lower Egypt. Sometimes it is hard (even impossible) to separate him from Re with whom he also joined in an amalgam and became the god Re-Horakhte a very popular god during the New Kingdom and onwards.

 
Horemakhet
Horemakhet ("Horus at the Horizon", meaning the sun) was a symbol of resurrection, linked to the setting sun, which was reborn every morning. He was also a manifestation of the god Re-Horakhte (see this god) and connected to the very old gods Kheper and Atum. He first appeared during the New Kingdom. He was identified with the Great Sphinx at Giza, where he also was venerated in a temple of his own (possibly the only of its kind in Egypt). His very "own" shape was a sphinx (as seen in the picture above). His was very popular during the dynasties 18-19 and called upon as "the good father".

 
Horus
Horus (in Greek) was a sky and solar god from Upper Egypt from before the unification and one of the oldest gods in the Egyptian mythology. He was the personal symbol of the local ruling pharaohs to whom he gave protection and courage.
Soon he became the common Horus (the Elder: Heru and the Younger: Hor) and originated lots of combined deities like Har-pakhrad, Har-Wer etc, which had wide spread cults all over the Nile Valley. He defeated all evilness in the world (symbolically) by
defeating Set who had killed his father Osiris. His twin sister was Bast and he was sometimes seen as a child being breast fed sitting in the lap of his mother Isis. In his aspect Horakhty he was combined as Re-Horakhty.

 
Hu and Sia
Hu was a minor (though important) god who helped Re to fight the evil spirits during his daily voyage over the sky in his solar boat (picture above). Hu was created by Re out of blood coming from his penis and was protector of divine utterance and voice of authority and command. As such he saw that the kings' royal authority maintained in the Afterlife. He had no temples of his own, but had a cult at Giza where the great sphinx was recognized as his image.
 
Sia (Saa) was the spokesman and herald of Re and stood at the bow of his bark. He and Hu were the "Eyes of Horus". Sia stood for the mind of perceptive, divine touch, deep feeling, perception and also understanding, as Hu was the master of fine scant and relish. Together they were the tongue and heart of Ptah, marking the importance the Egyptians gave the artesians and craftsmen.
Sia had his name mentioned in the "Book of the Dead" where some rituals are described in his name. A special duty of his was to protect the private parts of the dead.
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RE:Egyptian Gods and Goddesses
(Date Posted:01/24/2009 4:36 PM)

 
Imhotep
Imhotep was a genius human that became a true god after his death in about 2600 BC. As chief architect under king Djoser (third dynasty) he created the first monumental building in history made of hewn stone: the step pyramid in Sakkara. Few written records come from his own time and his background is not known. (Some say he was the son of Djoser). He was also the prime minister, chief physician, high priest, philosopher and a poet. He was worshipped for 2500 years as the god of medicine when the Greeks and the Romans adopted his thoughts and spread it. Considered first child of god Ptah and goddess Nut he brought to man knowledge of healing and medicine.
He protected science and was seen as man dressed in a simple way sitting with his studying material. His tomb has not yet been found, but it is likely to be somewhere in Sakkara.

 
Isis
Isis (in Greek) was from Lower Egypt and stood for love, magic, motherhood, children, medicine and peace. She was first mentioned in writing in dynasty five pyramid texts and survived almost unchanged through Egyptian history. People ask her to make marriages happy, and with time she also joined the Osiris cult as his consort. She was the goddess with a throne upon her head and her name simply meant "seat". A popular motif was her sitting and nursing her son Horus giving him a meal (picture right). Like Hathor she could also wear the sun disc within two cow-horns and a cobra. Her parents were Nut and Geb, and she was sister to Osiris, Set and Nephtys. Her temples were found all over Egypt and her very popular worshipping was continued by the Greeks and Romans.

 
Khentamentiu
The god Khentamentiu was protector of the old royal cemetery in Abydos in Upper Egypt and is attested for already at the time of the unification of the lands around 3100 B.C. He was a jackal with a bushy tail. In the yellow box (picture) from a first dynasty seal, he is flanking the name of (the dead) king Narmer. Sometimes he was called "the Foremost of the Westerners" meaning the most distinguished of the gods on the other side of earthly life. In the Middle Kingdom he became connected to the cult of the great god of the Underworld - Osiris.
He was mentioned as the protective god of the dead, ruling the world of the tombs and was also identified (mixed up) with two other jackals - Anubis and Wepwawet. Unlike them he was never depicted with a human body.

 
Kheper
The old god Kheper ("to become") was the god of creation or more pricisely - the rebirth when he embodied the solar disk of Re raising again every morning. Thus the scarab was symbol of creation and family happiness and was seen on jewellery and often placed on mummies. The Egyptians saw this beetle roll balls of dung, which became the symbol of the sun disc and identified with Re and stood for renewal, and transformation. His name was taken into the kings' names and he was depicted in two human ways (pictures) or just as a scarab. No cult of his is known from the Old Kingdom, but scarab-amulettes appear from the oldest times.

 
Khnum
Khnum was the old god of creation and came from the island of Elefantine at Aswan where he guarded the first cataract. His consort: Satet and daughter: Anqet, making the "triad of Elefantine". In a legend he created mankind and all other living creatures, on his potter's wheel from mud from the Nile. He was popular nation wide from dynasty three and his cult also spread southwards. He was usually seen as a man with a ram's (rarely a lion's) head with a feathered (Atef) crown, horns and the sun disc, or just horns and a single feather.

 
Khons
Khons was a local moon god from Thebes. He stood for healing and was popular from the New Kingdom when he replaced Mentu as son of Amon and Mut and his name meant - pathfinder. He appeared in seven forms and was associated with the two gods Re and Thoth. His image was of a young man in a mummy dress with his head shaven and wearing a false black children's hair-curl and sometimes also a beard. He carried a crook, flail and a thick staff (left) and could also be seen as the combination Khonsu-Re (right) with a falcon's head. In both cases he wore the same items upon his head: the moon crest like a boat with the red sun disc on top. He had the ability to help people in need and he was called upon whenever somebody got sick.
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RE:Egyptian Gods and Goddesses
(Date Posted:01/24/2009 4:41 PM)

 
Máahes
Máahes (Mahes) son of Bastet, was a god of war and a protector of sacred places. He was lord of the horizon and manifested the heat of summer and fought all aggressors threatening Egypt and was also seen as one of Osiris' executioners.
He first appeared in the New Kingdom and had the title "Wielder of the Knife". He was a lion-headed man with a sword (or knife) and sometimes wearing the atef-crown. Every day he helped Re in his solar bark in the sky to fight the monsters in their way, and protected the pharaoh when he was in battle. His roots were at Leontopolis (Greek: Liontown), in nome eleven of Lower Egypt and he also had a temple in Bubastis. During the Greco-Roman era he was also the god of storms and winds (like Set) and protected all magical rituals.

 
Maát
The goddess Maát stood for the good spiritual ideals and human behaviour in old Egypt. She was also the patroness of harmony, justice, truth and cosmic order. She had a roll in the funeral cult, and in the Osiris court of Justice she put her ostrich feather in the scale of balance with the heart of the deceased. If he had been living according to her norms the heart was light and he would pass, if not the heart was eaten up by the evil monster Ammut*. Máat was depicted as a woman, and in her hair she wore the feather of truth (its name was Máat). Sometimes she was kneeling with outstretched arms like wings. During the New Kingdom many pharaohs started to incorporated her name in their titles and claimed that they lived according to her rules.

 
Mafdet
Mafdet was a very old catlike goddess who was depicted in the Pyramid texts as killing a snake. Her fame came mainly in the Old Kingdom and not so much is known about her except that she stood for (official) power. She could appear as a lynx, a leopard or a cheetah, but normally she was shown as a woman dressed in a cat's skin. She fought snakes and scorpions and evildoers in general and could be seen as a cat climbing up a pool (by some said to be used for executions), and if so thereby manifesting the judicial authority (picture left). In the early New Kingdom she is also depicted attending in the Judgment Hall, perhaps to take care of the legal consequences. Her name can possibly mean "runner" and she is mentioned on the Palermo Stone from the fifth dynasty. She was somehow identified with the dwarf god Bes. Her parents were (at least in the New Kingdom) - Amon and Mut.

 
Mehen
Mehen was an old mytholgical serpent which participated in various kinds of texts in Egypt both in a religious and a cosmological context. He was purely good and showed it every day by making way for the sun in the sky being carried by devine bearers. His duty was carried out by waching and preventing all and everything from stopping Re's solar boat in the sky. He could be seen as a man with a head of a serpent carrying a spear and standing in the prow.
He could be a snake coiling around the cabin and protected it with his body. Boats and snakes were depicted from the oldest times and when the myth of Re was formed Mehen got a place to fights alongside Set each day and night to protect the journeys of Re. A common enemy was the huge snake Apep.

 
Mehurt
Mehurt was a celestial cow that gave birth to the sky and was daughter to Amon and Mut. She represented the spiritual river of heaven and the water chaos where life had started. As associated with the cult of Isis, she was protector of the deceased in the Underworld. Her cult centre was at Kalabsha 50 km south of Aswan.

 
Menhit
Goddess from Hierokonpolis connected to war and in early dynastic sealings a lioness with three bent pools in her back. Possibly then guarding sacred places and often depicted at the national shrine of Upper Egypt. Was close to Sekhmet in her looks and line of duty. Her name ment "slaughteress" and she had three husbands: Khnum, Mentu or Anhur and a son, Heka, and with Khnum they formed the "Triad of Latopolis" (Esna). In Heliopolis the tradition said that Atum was the father of her son and Menhit herself was identified with Isis and also Neit, the war goddess of Lower Egypt, whose red crown she sometimes wore.

 
Mentu
Mentu was a god of war and the sun from Armant in Upper Egypt. He was known already around 3.000 BC. and was attached to the cult of Horus. He wore three plumes on his head and carried a spear and sometimes his head was of a falcon or a bull. When he was combined with the mighty sun god he was seen as Mentu-Re with the sun disk (right). His companion was the local bull Buchis and his wife was Menhit. He became known all over Egypt during the eleventh dynasty when kings called Mentuhotep praised him in their military struggles to reunite Egypt. Afte that his fame declined quite rapidly.

 
Meret
Meret had a main roll in daily life of ordinary Egyptians, but was not officially venerated in the same proportions.
She was the goddess of song and rejoicing, and popular mostly among ordinary people and not so much in the upper classes who preferred the more famous Isis* to whom they built temples. On Meret's head was usually seen a plant from lotus flower and she often had an offering bowl in her hands which she reached up to the sky. A princess from the Middle Kingdom had the name Meret and her cache of jewellery was found at Dashur in the 1880s. Stories (probably from later times) tell that she stood for the eighth hour of the night.

 
Meretseger
Meretseger (Mert-, Mere-) "She who loves silence" was protector of the necropolis at Thebes in Upper Egypt. She was a serpent with a woman's face or a woman with a face of a standing cobra or a single scorpion with a woman's head like the goddess Selkhet.
Sometimes she was a coiled cobra and she stood at post on the high mountain overlooking the royal cemetery and had help from her local colleague Tauret. She could often be seen as a coiled cobra and figurines of her were often put into tombs for protection against robbers. She was a judging goddess fair to those who had been good and punishing them who had not. Her name was in hieroglyphs written by a single letter - a picture of a snake.

 
Meskhenet
Meskhenet (Mesenet) meant "birthing place" and she was the goddess of birth, presided over the birthplace acting like a midwife for animals as well. She was personified by the birthing brick that the Egyptian women squatted on while giving birth (picture left above). She was also depicted as a woman with a stylistic cow's uterus on her head, just like the godess Anit* (picture left bottom). She was also goddess of fate and could read the destinies of children. All through infancy she guarded the babies using protective powers and she was associated with the frog godess Heqet*. She also appeared in the Osiris Court in the Underworld when the heart of the deceased was being weighed before the final verdict. She was next to the scales as a human headed birthing brick where she would testify to the character of the newly dead, since she had given them their destiny when they were born.

 
Min
Min (in Greek) was an old god of fertility and harvest. Before dynasty one he had his cult in Koptos where two huge statues of him (c. 2,6 m tall) were found in the 1890s. From the 18th dynasty onwards he was mostly the combination Amon-Min (left). His special marks were two: an erected phallus and his arm lifted to a flail. He usually wore a white mummy suite (left) or was just as an ordinary man (like in picture right) and sometimes he wore two long plumes or the red royal crown of Lower Egypt (picture left). He was also protector for people travelling in the desert. In the spring people had a harvest festival to his honour and he was popular through all times.

 
Mut
Mut from Thebes in Upper Egypt was the wife of the god Amon(-Re). Her fame started during the New Kingdom and her name Mut simply meant - mother. The mythology about her moved to Heliopolis where she was said once to had changed from a goddess of the sky, into a cow. In Thebes she ha a temple and though she had no special domain to protect in daily life, her popularity was constant as wife to the state god Amon. She had adopted the ram-god Khons and became a member of the high ranked sacred triad of Thebes. She was seen wearing the double crown on her head with a hair ornament like a lying golden vulture (picture left) and sometimes she had a vulture's head.

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RE:Egyptian Gods and Goddesses
(Date Posted:01/24/2009 4:43 PM)

 
Nefertem
Nefertem (Beauty of Tem) was a form of Re and symolised the rising sun. His parents were Ptah and Sekhmet. He could be seen as a mummy with arms and hands free, a cat or a lion. Other stories says he was the son of Bastet, or had no parents at all, but coming from a lotus flower. As a lion-headed man he was called "Restrainer of the Two Lands", and protector of Egypt. He was mostly seen as a man wearing a lotus-crown or a single lotus sometimes with two plumes. His staff could be seen topped with feathers. He was also patron of healing, beautification, perfumes and fine aroma. His cult was performed in the homes where ordinary people worshiped him and carried small statuettes of him as good luck charms. With his parents he formed the so called "Triad of Heliopolis".

 
Nehebkau
Nehebkau was a serpent god who participated in the creation of the world when he swam around the solar bark of Re in the watery chaos.
All Egyptians (dead and alive) were protected by him, especially from sickness through snake bites. Thus ordinary people used him in magic spells and had his festival in the fifth month, just when the cultivating of the soil had begun. His looks was of a snake with legs (picture right) sometimes with wings and two heads, or a man with a snake's head and Atef-crown (left). His name meant "He Who Unites the Kas" and he put together the double (Ka) from the dead with those of animals, plants and even stones to a multi-natural form. He had no official cult but was mentioned in "The Book of the Dead" and could be seen holding containers, making food offerings to the deceased. From the very start he was connected to Re.

 
Nit
Nit (Greek form: Neit) was the war goddess from the town of Sais who protected Lower Egypt, soldiers and hunters. In the New Kingdom she stood guard at the king's bier and in some provinces Sobek was her son where she was shown nursing a crocodile. Her cult never got further south than the Faiyum, and in her home town she was said to be the sole creator of all other gods. She was patroness of virginity and virgins and also cared for weaving. She wore the red crown of Lower Egypt and her weapons were the bow and the arrows. A shield with two crossed arrows was her sign and was seen stylised upon her head (right). In the New Kingdom she became the mother of Re and in Memphis she protected the royal crown.

 
Nekhbet
Nekhbet was the very old patroness of Upper Egypt from the time before dynasty one.

She was personified by a vulture, the town-god of Nekhen opposite the Nile at Hierakonpolis. She was protecting the kings and was sometimes called "the daughter of the sun" without being involved in the sun cult. Later taken into the Osiris myth she was present at the water of chaos before creation, and became a deity over nature and protector of women at childbirth. She was depicted as a woman (or a vulture) wearing the white crown and sometimes she had a vulture's head. She was often seen with the cobra goddess Wadjet, her sister and counterpart from Lower Egypt. Her husband was Hapi*, her plant was a water lily (symbol of Upper Egypt) and her name meant: "she from Nekheb".

 
Nemty
 
Nemty ("He who travels") came from province nr 12 in Upper Egypt and was the ferryman who carried the gods over the river to the life beyond. He was assimilated with Horus and was depicted as a falcon-headed man in a boat (left). In a tale Re-Horakhte told him not to ferry any woman resembling Isis over to "The Island in the Middle" where some gods had an important meeting. Isis came disguised as an old woman and asked to be carried across to bring a bowl of porridge to a young herdsman, but Nemty refused even after being offered to eat. But when he got a golden ring from her finger he took her across. She then disturbed the convention by using witchcraft and the gods punished Nemty for his disobedience by cutting off all his toes. His name appears in a few royal names and one is Merenre I Nemtyamsaf, a pharaoh from dynasty six.

 
Nephthys
Nephthys (in Greek) was a popular and often depicted goddess said to master magic, was attached to the mortuary cult and had the entire desert as her domain. She was a part of the cult of god Min, and was sister to Isis and Osiris. She was married to the evil Set and was usually called upon by the name "the lady of the house". She mostly wore a long dress and on her head she had the sun disk with a the hieroglyph for "castle" topped by a bowl. This last object could be alone on her head and makes it possible to single her out her from other goddesses in similar clothing. She was a popular motif for artists and popular during the Greco-Roman period. Her husband was Set and their son Anubis.

 
Nun
The snake god Nun was the personification of the swampy water chaos (called Nun) from which the world emerged. From it came four couples of serpents and frogs who represented - water, infinite time, darkness and void.
According to this myth from Hermopolis in Upper Egypt finally formed during the last period of the Middle Kingdom, Nun kept the solar boat of Re floating by holding it up, and onboard were the first gods (se also Hu and Sia). Somtimes Kheper, the holy beetle, was in the middle holding the sun disk of Re, thereby symbolising resurrection and creation of the daylight in the morning. Nun's wife was Nunet (also spelt Naunet, picture left). She was more obscure than her husband and could be seen as a snake-headed woman who ruled the watery chaos also thought to be the high seas.

 
Nut
Nut was the old sky goddess and wife (and sister) to Geb and mother to Horus the Elder, Set, Isis and Nephtys. Often depicted blue and covered with stars and stretched out like the arch of heaven supported by her father Shu (above). She had a vase on her head and could be the cow of the sky, or a sow eating up she stars in the morning and giving them birth in the evening. Every morning the gave birth to Re seen as sun disk above a bewinged scarab (Kheper). People asked her to protect their dead relatives, but she had no temples. She was called: "She with a thousand souls".
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RE:Egyptian Gods and Goddesses
(Date Posted:01/24/2009 4:45 PM)

 
Osiris
Osiris (in Greek) was king of the Underworld and originally a god of agriculture and nature. His origin is disputed and he first appeared during dynasty five. In Heliopolis he was said to be son of Re and he represented the dead king. Minor gods were taken into his vast cult and many legends were told about him. The common Myth of Osiris is about his death (murdered by his brother Set) and resurrection. He was the chief judge in the court at the threshold to the next life, where all the dead citizens were trying to come through to Paradise. He always wore a mummy-dress and was brother to Isis, Hor (Horus the elder), Set and Nephthys. His parents were Geb and Nut.

 
Pahket
Pahket had features from the lioness Sekhmet (mainly) and the northern cat Bast. Cult centre and rock cut temple at Beni Hasan in Middle Egypt where tombs with mummified cats and falcons have been found as she also was called Hor-Pakhet as connected to Horus.
Also identified with forms of Isis and Hathor. Looks: a woman with the head of a lioness (or cat), easily to be mixed up with her elder "sisters". Her name meant "tearer" and "she who snatches" and one title she had was 'Goddess at the Mouth of the Wadi". She was thought to give inner strength to people, especially to women. Was called "night huntress with sharp claws" and "Lady of Sept (Sirius star)". She was a Middle Egyptian form of the fire-goddess Sekhmet, and called upon for protection against all evil spirits and to destroy the enemies of Egypt.

 
Ptah
Ptah was the old smith- and creator god of the Memphis region, and probably a conflation of two very old deities: Tatenen and Sokar. Called "The First of Gods" and was the patron of all craftsmen. Among some other gods he was creator of mankind, and could create life by just using words. He stood for good moral and order based upon the 4 Djed-pillars of stability, (seen in the upper part of his staff). His temple in Memphis was called the "Mansion of the soul of Ptah", which in Egyptian was Hekuptah, later to be corrupted by foreigners to "Egypt". In Heliopolis he was forming a "triad" with his wife Sekhmet and their son Nefertem. He was dressed in a white mummy-outfit.

 
Ptah-Sokar
The old god Ptah-Sokar was a composite of Ptah from Memphis and his local colleague the falcon god Sokar. With time the triad Ptah-Sokar-Osiris was composed. Figurines of them were put in the tombs looking like a mummy-shaped man with the sun disk, corkscrew ram-horns and plumes or the atef-crown. These statues often contained a copy of spells from The Book of the Dead.
Ptah-Sokar was mostly seen as a man with the plumed crown (pictures) and carrying the ankh-sign and sometimes the big staff with the dejd-pillars belonging to Ptah.

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RE:Egyptian Gods and Goddesses
(Date Posted:01/24/2009 4:47 PM)

 
Qadesh
Qadesh was a minor female deity of Syrian origin which was imported during the eighteenth dynasty, when Egyptian kings expanded their Empire along the Mediterranean coast over the whole Middle East region. Her looks in frontal position clearly show her foreign roots (see also Bes and Anat). As being a reminiscent of the Persian goddess Anahita she stood for love and sexual ecstasy and pleasure, and she was put into a triad with another Syrian deity (warrior and thunder god Reshpu*) and the indigenous fertility god Min. She was originally depicted as a nude woman holding flowers as symbols of eroticism and fertility standing on the back of a lion. In Egyptian art she adopted the female traditional all-long dress with suspenders (see picture). She was always put in the shadows by her older Egyptian rival and competitor Hathor, who had the same line of duty.

 
Qebehsennuf
Qebehsennuf was one of the "Four Sons of Horus" and his only duty was to protect the entrails of the dead and store them in his canopy jar after that the body had been mummified. His brothers were: Hapy, Duamentef and Amsit and the intestines were guarded by Qebehsennuf. With time (beginning in the New Kingdom) the jars that originally were made of clay with simple stoppers of mud, became artful stone sculptures showing the protectors themselves. Craftsmen made jars of alabaster and other materials, decorated the sides and sculptured out the image of god's head in the top. He was depicted as a mummy with the head of a falcon and his work was under constant protection of the goddess Selket.

 
Re
Re was the old solar-god from Heliopolis and a mayor deity all over Egypt. He was travelling over the sky in his boat every day with his life-giving sundisc. He stood for life, rebirth, children, health, virility etc, and the myths about him were several. His cult was pushed forward during the fifth dynasty when the pharaohs took the title - son of Re, and this should last to the very end of Egyptian history. During the New Kingdom he was combined with Amon and became Amon-Re and Horus as Re-Horakhte. In later times he got a wife called Ret, and she looked just like Hathor. One of the many aspect of him was called Atem.

 
Re-Horakhte
Re-Horakhte, or Re-Harakhty ("Re-Horus at the horizon") was a combination of the sun god Re from Lower Egypt and Horakhty who was an aspect of the falcon god Horus from Upper Egypt.
Besides his fancy Atef crown, he could weare the sun disk upon his head and he first turned up in the New Kingdom at Heliopolis as the "Sun at the horizon in the morning", like the goddess Amentet in the evening, with whom he made
a pair. Popular during dynasties 18-20, and pharaohs buried in the Valley of Kings at Thebes are depicted paying truibute to him. Rameses II's famous temple at Abu Simbel was dedicated to him (and two other gods). His wife was the lion-goddess Urthekau.

 
Reshpu
Reshpu was a god of war from the Syrian coast which got popular in the east Lower Egypt (delta) during the 18th dynasty. He was seen as a warrior (see also Anat) though he was known as the lord of destructive fire/thunder.
His cult centre was in the town of Het-Reshpu and never spread southwards. The flock of supporters gave him fancy titles like "Lord of Heaven", "Governor of all the Gods". The white crown sometimes seems to have been put over his old Asiatic turban which shows at the base (picture right). At his forehead was seen the head of a gazelle, indicating that he once may have had basic duties like protector of hunting. His name, if the form Reshef is correct, meant lightning.
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RE:Egyptian Gods and Goddesses
(Date Posted:01/24/2009 4:51 PM)

 
Satet
Satet, goddess of fertility from the first cataract at Assuan where she poured out the water over Egypt every year when the star Sirius (Dog star) was visible for the fist time over the horizon. From During the Kingdom her husband was the province chief - Khnum, and with her sisters Ankhet they formed the "Triad of Elephantine". Upper Egypt was sometimes called "The Land of Satet". She was patroness of hunting and wore the white crown with gazelle horns and as protector of the country she carried a bow and arrows. She washed the bodies of the dead to purify them before entering the afterlife.

 
Sekhmet
Sekhmet (in Greek: Sachmis) was the popular fire-goddess, daughter of Re and associated with plagues and famines. Her husband was the old god Ptah* of Memfis an her popularity was parallel to his, that is - through all the 3000-years of Egyptian history. In some places she was considered to have healing functions. She and Hathor once almost wiped out all humanity when Re told her to punish all those who had forgotten him. She was shown as a woman with a head of a lioness and sometimes with the sun disc and/or a cobra ont top of her head. Herself, her husband and son Nefertem* formed the "Triad of Heliopolis". She had power to destroy Egypt's enemies, killing them with the rays of the sun that she sometimes carried along.

 
Selket
Selket from southern Egypt was known from the Old Kingdom. She stood for medicin, magic and protected the king. Connected to Nun and the scorpion was her animal. Helped Re by binding up hostile demons and watched over childbirths. In the New Kingdom taken into the cult of Horus, and with time becoming the guardian of all dead. She sent seven of her scorpions to protect Isis from the evil god Set and stood and protected (picture top right)
Qebehsenuf the son of Horus who guarded the embalmed intestines of the deceased. She also healed the poor persons who
accidentally had been stung by her fearful crawling animals.

 
Seshat
Seshat from Lower Egypt was the old goddess for science, the current of time, recording in general and art. Protector of architecture and adviser to the king when founding new temples and at his coronation she wrote down all his titles. Her crooked measuring stick symbolised one year, or time in general. At its end was sometimes attached a frog and a cartouche meaning: thousands of (or infinite) years.
She was also called "mistress of books" as the "patroness" of Egyptian bureaucrats. Her dress was of leopard's skin and on her head was an upstanding Persea tree with two hanging horns or sometimes plumes and a star. Other regalia were: a knotted stick and a staff.

 
Seth
Seth (in Greek) was an old god of winds and storms and an evil spirit of destruction and disorder. His cult was by the desert routes and in dynasty two his name appeared in the king's title and supporters of his and Horus caused civil instability. He had many forms: a pig like animal, a pig, a black hippo, a dog with an erected or arrow-like tail, a crocodile or a man with red hair and eyes wearing a red robe. In the New Kingdom he reached fame again, now as the god of war with temples of his own. Kings (like the Setis) took his name. He was also a god of love(!) and popular in amulets. He sometimes symbolised Lower Egypt in pair with Horus (Upper Egypt). In the Myth of Osiris he murdered his brother Osiris and was sentenced to pull Re's boat across the sky every day and fight those trying to stop it.

 
Shesmu
Shesmu was a god/demon from the underworld who beheaded sinners by orders from Osiris. He was the patron of perfumed oils for beauty and embalming and also of wine making. Known from pyramid texts and in "The Book of the Dead" he was called "The Lord of the Blood". Shown when giving wine to a thirsty man and throwing the sinners' heads into the wine press. With time his good sides came more in the foreground and he was said to be the deliverer of perfumed oil to Re. His cult was old and strong in the Faiyum, Dendera and Edfu. He could be a man (left), sometimes with a lion's head or just a falcon. Linked with the setting (red) sun, the evil snake Apep and the good gods Nefertem (perfume) and Thoth (wisdom). His blood (symbolically the red wine) gave pharaoh his strength.

 
Shu
Shu (meaning: void) was the very old god of the cool and dry air, who separated the earth from the sky. In that capacity he was responsible for making the wind. He was often shown standing up supporting his mother sky goddess Nut as a vault over the whole horizon on the command of the sun god Re. Together with his twin sister Tefnut (humid warm air) he was a member of the old family in Heliopolis. Sometimes he was sitting on a throne (picture right) wearing a crown with plumes and horns topped with a sun disc. Normally he was a man wearing a band with a feather (picture left) but in some provinces he could also show himself as a lion.

 
Sobek
Sobek (or Sebek), a crocodile god from Faiyum who was born from the watery chaos when the world was created. He symbolised the physical strength of the king, and was bodyguard for other colleagues protecting them from all evil. He stood for eternal time and in the pyramid texts he was the son of Neith. At the end of the Middle Kingdom kings from the Faijum wore his name and tried to make his cult the state religion. In Kom Ombo his temple still stands. In some places he was equalled with the disorderly Set since the Egyptian feeling about crocodiles was ambivalent. When wearing the sun disk upon his head he was a manifestation of Re, called Sobek-Re.

 
Sokar
Sokar (also Seker) was an old god from before the dynastic time who originally was the protector of tombs in Memphis and later also patron of the workers who built the tombs and made objects for mummifications. With time he was taken into the cult of his local colleague Ptah and was then said to have emerged from the heart of his divine creation.
Later he became a manifestation of the resurrected Osiris in an annual festival at Thebes and was given a mummy dress (at right) and joined the triad - Ptah-Sokar-Osiris. On very rare occasions he could be seen as a dwarf with a big head. His animal was the falcon and he was usually depicted as a man with a falcon's head and the white crown of Upper Egypt with plumes, the Atef-crown.

 
Sopdet
The goddess Sopdet personified the Dogstar (today called Sirius) whose first appearance over the north horizon announced the advent of the annual flooding of the Nile and thus the New Year.
In the First Dynasty she was thus called in texts: "The bringer of the New Year and inundation".
Pyramid texts say that the king united with his sister Sopdet who gave birth to the morning star and guided him to the "Celestial Field of Rushes" (next life). She could be a cow or wearing the white crown with horns (like Satet) with a star atop. In the New Kingdom she was connected to fertility and identified with Isis. Her festival was in late July and her cult centre (together with her husband Sopdu) was in Kesem, capital of province 20 of Lower Egypt.

 
Sopdu
The god Sopdu (also Sopd, Sopedu) came from the twentieth province (nome) in Lower Egypt.
Just at the eastern border in the delta was the capital which also had his name - Per-Sopdu.
Mentioned in the Pyramid Text to have something to do with the teeth(!) of the deceased. His main duty was guarding the frontier against intruders and his "logo" in hieroglyphic writing was "foreign countries" or "enemies" as a stylised silhouette of mountains (see picture left). In the Middle Kingdom he was linked to Horus under the combined name: Har-Sopdu and shown as a crouching falcon (like in the nome standard above right). As a human he had two falcon's feathers upon his head and wore the so called shemset-girdle. Apart from carrying the usual regalia he had a long axe (see picture). His female counterpart and wife was his local collegue Sopdet, like him patron of the nome capital.
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RE:Egyptian Gods and Goddesses
(Date Posted:01/24/2009 4:54 PM)

 
Tatenen
Tatenen was a seldom depicted and very old god from the Memfis area usually portrayed as a young man.
He represented the Earth and was born in the moment it rose from the water chaos. He personified Egypt and was an aspect of Geb. With his staff he repelled the evil serpent Apep from the Primeval Mound and had a magical mace dedicated to the falcon. That mace was in some places venerated as "The Great White of the Earth Creator". He also brought the Djed-pillars of stability to Egypt and was combined with the god Ptah as Ptah-Tenen. He wore a similar Atef-crown (picture left), as his local colleague Ptah-Sokar and can be confused with him. Among his duties was protection of vegetation and thus he sometimes could be portrayed as a man with green complexion. He could also (symbolically) be a she and called: "the mother who gave birth to all the gods". His father was the creator god Khnum, who made him on his potter's wheel of mud from the Nile at the moment of creation of Earth itself.

 
Tauret
Tauret (in Greek: Thueris) came from Thebes and she took care of childbirth, children and motherhood. By the names Apet (or Ipet) she watched over of the local cemeteries and she had daggers to scare away thr enemies of Egypt.
Sometimes she had a Sa-amulet (left) for protection (originally a sailor's life belt made of reed). Her fame began in dynasty 17 and lasted to throughout Egyptian history. She was a hippo with the lower jaw from a crocodile and sometimes she had a cow's ears (right). Her paws and mane were from a lion and she could wear a queen's robe. As a goddess of fertility she was often pregnant and poems were written praising her beauty. She can be seen as a parallel to the mother goddess Mut.

 
Tefnut
Tefnut (Greek: Tphenis) was the goddess for rain, dew and moister and was the second to be made by Atum next to her twin brother Shu, the air god.
With their children earth-god Geb and sky goddess Nut, they made a quartet of earth, air, sky and water. She could have a lion's head, a woman in white clothing or a lioness. In Heliopolis she was in the solar-cult of Re and his
Ennead and in other places connected to Maát. Sometimes she was equalled with Mehurt - the cow of heaven, and as such mother of all celestial bodies. Her husband was an obscure god named Tefen.

 
Thoth
Thoth was the old god of wisdom, learning, fantasy, writing, wit, speaking and inventions. He recorded and as a baboon he checked (or "adjusted") the result at the "Balance of Truth" at the court of Osiris. He wore the head of an ibis-stork and carried his writing tools, was associated with the moon (on his head), protected physicians and knew of magic. He had a part in the Myth of Osiris and was called "the Silent Being", an irony to his protection of spoken words. His festival "Lord of Heavens" was held at the New Year (c. July 20). In the capital Khemenu (Hermopolis) of province 15 of Upper Egypt, where he was the local main diety venerated as a creator.

 
Unut
Unut was an old prehistoric deity that originally had the form of a snake and called "The swift one". She came from province 15 in Upper Egypt and was worshipped with Thoth at the capital Hermopolis. Later she got a woman's body and a hare's head. She was taken into the cult of Horus and later by Re. There were five hieroglyphic signs of her (right) but she was otherwise rarely spoken of in literature and inscriptions. A very exceptional sculpture of her has been found by American archaeologists and is probably the only one of its kind found so far. Her name was taken in to the highest royal position just once in the long Egyptian history. The only king with her name was Unas from dynasty five (see him at "Kings - History" at top of the page).

 
Urthekau
Urthekau (sometimes also Werethekau) was the lion headed goddess who seldom was written about or depicted in reliefs or on papyrus etc. though she belonged to the "inner circle" of the gods. She had a lot of competition on the feline side from first of all the trio Bastet*, Tefnut* and Sekhmet* but also others.
Urthekau was concidered to be another form of the goddess Isis and as such sometimes called "She Who is Rich in Magic Spells" where her name was personifying the ability of mastering supernatural powers. The vast popularity of her husband Re-Horakhte during the New Kingdom somewhat overshadowed his wife Urthekau whose ability was said (possibly in later tales) to manage wichcraft of various kinds. Her husband's insignia (the sun disc) was on her head too, together with an erected cobra.
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RE:Egyptian Gods and Goddesses
(Date Posted:01/24/2009 4:56 PM)

 
Wadjet
Wadjet (Greek: Buto or Edjo) was one of Egypt's oldest goddesses. She was the serpent mother who protected Lower Egypt (the delta in the north) and had possibly once come from a location just south of Tanis. New kings had to claim the throne from her at their coronation. She was associated with Hathor and had a minor roll in the Osiris myth and cult. The cobra was the symbol of Lower Egypt and she was sometimes seen with her Upper Egyptian counterpart, her sister the vulture goddess Nekhbet ("she from Nekheb"), the pair thus represented the two united states. She could also be seen as a cobra with the red crown or the sun disc upon her head and sometimes with wings.

 
Wasret
Wasret ,"The Powerful", was a guardian goddess from Thebes (in Egyptian: Waset). She got popular nation wide during dynasty 12 when three kings took the name Sen-wosret, (in Greek: Sesostris) meaning - "The man (son) of Wasret". She had no temples of her own as she was considered to be another form of Hathor and thus venerated in her shrines. She could wear a tall crown (looks unknown) or carry weapons and have the Was-sceptre upon her head standing for "power" and relating to her name. She was thought to once have been the precursor of Mut as the consort of Amon in the Karnak temple at Thebes. Some tales (age and origin not known) say that she also could watch over precious metals, wealth, mines, and treasures in general.

 
Wepuat, Upuaut
Wepuat, Upuaut (in Greek: Ophios) was a cemetery god from  Lykopolis  in  province
# 13 of Upper Egypt whose name meant "opener of the way" (to the underworld) and probably he was a spiritual force in the battle field. He was dressed as a solider and his standard was carried in royal processions.
The Narmer Palette shows one, and this is possibly his. In funerals and in the annual feast of Osiris at Abydos he also took part and his statue was placed by the tomb to watch over the deceased to whom he opened the gates to the life beyond. He was the son of Anubis and possibly identical to a jackal god in earliest times called Sed.

 
Weret
Weret was a god of the sky. In some records, like various religious texts, he was referred to as (like others) as "The Great One".
His origin probably goes back to prehistoric times where he likely had been a local deity somewhere.
From the Middle Kingdom his cult was combined with those of Thoth and Horus, and his quite small and unusual congregation of fans had no temples of their own during the Egyptian dynastic history.
His eyes were symbolically the sun and the moon and during cloudy dark nights, he was thought to be blinded. He was thus the protector of the priest physicians in the temples who treated people from the eye sickness "Trakom egyptiensis" which made people lose their vision permanently.
Consequently he was the patron of blind musicians and was sometimes depicted playing the harp (left).
(Headgear in picture [horns/moon/sun] is fictive).

 
Wasret
Wasret ,"The Powerful", was a guardian goddess from Thebes (in Egyptian: Waset). She got popular nation wide during dynasty 12 when three kings took the name Sen-wosret, (in Greek: Sesostris) meaning - "The man (son) of Wasret". She had no temples of her own as she was considered to be another form of Hathor and thus venerated in her shrines. She could wear a tall crown (looks unknown) or carry weapons and have the Was-sceptre upon her head standing for "power" and relating to her name. She was thought to once have been the precursor of Mut as the consort of Amon in the Karnak temple at Thebes. Some tales (age and origin not known) say that she also could watch over precious metals, wealth, mines, and treasures in general.
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