The ancient Egyptians believedin many different gods andgoddesses. Each one with theirown role to play in maintainingpeace and harmonyacross the land.
Ra• King of the Gods• Sun god• Falcon head with a sun on top.• He was the most important god ofthe ancient Egyptians.• The ancient Egyptians believedthat Ra was swallowed every nightby the sky goddess Nut, and wasreborn every morning.• He constantly had to fightmonsters(Sebau, Nak, and Apep)• The phoenix is one of his symbols
Osiris• God of the earth andvegetation• Gave Egypt civilization.• Married his sister, Isis• Osiris rules Egypt and heleaves Isis in charge when heis gone• Set and 72 conspirators killhim by chopping him up intopieces• Isis found almost all thepieces and put him backtogether (making the missingpart out of clay)• King of the afterlife• Usually shown as a bearded,mummified human withgreen skin and wearing theatef crown. His hands comeout from the mummywrappings and hold the flailand crook.
Horus• Falcon headed• Son of Isis and Osiris• He became divine protector and god ofevery pharaoh.• He was closely linked with the pharaohsin whose hands the administration ofthe whole land of Egypt was placed.• In a battle a between Horus and hisuncle Seth, Horus’s eye was torn out,shredded and thrown in the sea. Thothretrieved and fixed the eye. He thengave the healed eye to his dead father.He then tried to heal his father with theeye. It was a symbol of healing andpower.
Seth• God of evil, thedesert, storms, andchaos• Seth was the god ofchaos.• Seth representedeverything thatthreatened harmony inEgypt.• In Egyptian times Sethmurdered hisbrother, Osiris, and thenscattered the pieces allover the land.• He appeared with aforked tail with clovenhooves with largepricked ears, a snoutand a monstrous head.Although he sometimestook the shape offrightening animals.
Nephthys• Wife of Seth• Lady of the Mansion• Woman with headdressshowing her namein hieroglyphics• Protective goddess ofthe dead.• Sister of Isis and Osiris,and the sister/wife ofSeth. Nephthys wasalso the mother ofAnubis.• She is often shown oncoffins, or in funeraryscenes.
Anubis• Son of Nephthys and either Setor Ra – adopted servant of Isis• Head of a jackal• Guides the dead to theunderworld and weighs theirheart (bad deeds make yourheart weigh more)• God of embalming• Works with Osiris in theunderworld
Isis• Shown as a a woman wearinga vulture head-dress and thesolar disk between a pair ofhorns• Isis was a protective goddess.She used powerful magicspells to help people in need.Isis was the wife of Osiris andthe mother of Horus.• Created the cobra and usesthe cobra bite to make Rareveal to her his secret name• The purest example of theloving wife and mother• Since each pharaoh wasconsidered the livingHorus, Isis was veryimportant.
Thoth• Moon god• Head of an ibis• Scribe (records theweight of the hearts inthe underworld)• Invented writing• god of writing andknowledge.• The ancient Egyptiansbelieved that Thothgave them the gift ofhieroglyphic writing.Thoth was alsoconnected with themoon.
Bast• Cat-headed• Goddess of love, sex, and childbirth• Cats are sacred (many catswere mummified in herhonor
Bes• Popular, householdgod• Dwarf• Frightens evil spiritsaway• Hangs out withTaweret, a goddessof childbirth (she isscary looking)• Roman soldiers woreamulets with hislikeness forprotection
Hapy• God of the Nile floods• Keeps the land and river fertile• He has long hair, large breasts,and a protruding stomach (allsymbols of fertility) and also abeard and is blue• In some areas, he wasworshipped over Ra
Neith• A mother goddess• Invented childbirth• Created gods, humans, and animals• Warrior goddess• Once she spit into the Nile and thisspit turned into Apep, a serpentwho lives in the underworld andtries to eat Ra each night
Some gods and goddesses tookpart in creation, some broughtthe flood every year, someoffered protection, and sometook care of people after theydied. Others were either localgods who represented towns, orminor gods who representedplants or animals.
The ancient Egyptiansbelieved that it wasimportant to recognize andworship these gods andgoddesses so that lifecontinued smoothly.
• McCall Henrietta, Gods & Goddesses in the DailyLife of the Ancient Egyptians, 2002, HodderWyland.• Ashworth Leon, Gods and Goddesses of AncientEgypt, 2006, Evans publishing Group.• ww.markville.ss.yrdsb.edu.on.ca/• www.cyark.org/AncientEgyptian• www.ancientegypt.uk.co
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