Ancient Egyptian Gods & Goddesses

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In ancient Egyptian religion the gods and goddesses often appear in families of 3 or of 9. Every larger town had its inspired family to whom they built shrines. Many of the same divine names occur in multiple towns and divine families at the same time.

Ancient Egypt’s Gods were invisible to humans, but they were able to ascend to earth and inhabit statues or animals, and through these manifest their will to the priests, who then delivered the messages to ordinary people.

Ancient Egyptian Gods are represented as animals or humans, or half of each. The animal with which the god or goddess is identified often has some qualities that are connected with the divinity. moreover, they have different crowns to help characterize them.

Next is a list of some of the more significant gods and goddesses in ancient Egyptian religion:

Amun is the principal ancient Egyptian god of Thebes; he became increasingly important during the New Kingdom, and was eventually elevated to the role of a tutelary divinity in various parts of Egypt. He is represented wearing a crown with two long plumes.

Anubis is a male divinity with the head of a jackal; he presided over the funerary cult and was believed to have invented the technique of mummification. He accompanied the dead person to the hereafter and was therefore identified with Mercury during the Roman period.

Aten is the solar disc, and the source of life and heat. He is first mentioned as a divinity under Amenhotep III. However, it was during the sovereignty of Amenhotep IV – Akhenaten – that his cult, primarily instituted to counter the authority of the priesthood of Amun, was precisely codified and started to become far-flung in Egypt. When Akhenaten died the worship of Aten was suppressed.

Atum was the primordial solar divinity and the patron of Heliopolis. He was symbolized by the setting sun and was represented as a man wearing a double crown to symbolize his rule over the whole of Egypt.

Hathor was the incarnation of the quintessence of femininity, and was widely worshipped in many areas of Egypt. She is represented as a cow, or a woman with cow’s ears.

Horus was the son of Osiris and Isis. He is often represented as a falcon or a falcon-headed man. He was worshipped in various parts of Egypt and the reigning king was identified with this ancient Egypt god.

Isis was the wife of Osiris and the mother of Horus. She was widely worshipped throughout the Mediterranean in Roman times. During the pharaonic period she was pictured as a woman with a throne or a solar disc and two cow’s horns on her head.

Maat was the ancient egypt goddess of justice and the young woman of Ra. She is shown as a woman wearing an ostrich feather on her head. She represents the principal of order, which inspires the king as he governs the ostrich feather. She also appears as a counterweight to the dead person’s heart on Anubis’s weighing scale when the dead are judged.

Nephthys was the sister and wife of Seth. She was involved with her sister Isis in seeking and remaking the dismembered body of Osiris. She is represented as a woman with her own name in hieroglyphs on her head.

The ancient Egypt god Osiris was the brother and husband of Isis. He was born of the union between the sky goddess Nut and the earth god Geb. He became king of Egypt and was then killed by his brother Seth. He was worshipped as the king of the dead and represented as a mummy and with the Atef, a white crown with two ostrich plumes.

Ra was the sun god and was mainly worshipped at Heliopolis. He is shown as a man with the head of a falcon crowned with the solar discs.

Selqet was a scorpion goddess, and the protector of the king and the boat of the sun since the remotest antiquity. She is shown as a woman with a scorpion on her head.

Seth was the ancient Egyptian god of darkness, death, the desert and chaos. He killed his brother Osiris.


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