Aah was a deity who supposedly represented the moon. He was associated with Thoth, Osiris, and Khonsu and was often linked with these three gods: accompanying Thoth, he was Thoth-Aah or Aah-Tehuti and linked to Osiris, he was called Osiris-Aah or Asar-Aah. As Thoth-Aah, he appeared as a crescent moon resting on a Thoth pedestal resting on a boat and as Asar-Aah/Osiris-Aah, he appeared as the moon crescent and solar disk on the head of Asar/Osiris. During early Egyptian religion, A'ah seems to have been far more important in his role of a lunar god than any of these three--after all "A'ah" is the Ancient Egyptian word for "moon" (his name also means "collar," "to embrace," and "defender"). Despite his being mentioned in the Book of the Dead as "the moon god [...] the dweller of the gods," his popularity faded and he became a shadowy figure later in his divine life.
A'ah ruled over the 360 day lunar calendar, which makes up the year.
In another version of the birth of Osiris, Horus, Isis, Nephthys, and Seth, Thoth played a dice game with A'ah (in the other version, he played with Silene, who was a moon goddess), won enough lunar light to make five extra days, and inserted them into the month of July (the month when the Egyptian New Year begins). These extra days allowed Nut to give birth to her five children, for Re had cursed her so that should could never give birth on any day of the year. Since these extra days were not included in his curse, Nut gave birth to Osiris, Horus, Isis, Nephthys, and Seth. The year has comprised of 365 days ever since.
Aah Tehuti was the name of Thoth when he was represented as a moon-god; Thoth's original importance was that of a moon-god. In this form, Aah Tehuti was human headed. As Aah Tehuti, Thoth became the new moon, signaling the beginning of time, a numeric element that was generally attached to Thoth anyway, he being the
measurer, particularly during the Judgment of Osiris. With various astrological elements being the ancients' primary way to measure time, it is no surprise that they considered the moon as the great regulator of the seasons, the great measurer of primitive life. Thoth in the form of Aah Tehuti follows this way of thinking. Furthermore, as a moon-god, Aah Tehuti (Thoth) had a minor connection with moisture and is alluded to in Chapter XCV of the Book of the Dead
as a rain- and thunder-god.
The eyes of Thoth (Aah Tehuti) represented the full moon as those of Ra did the afternoon sun. To make matters worser, the moon represented the left
eye of Ra, often called "the black eye of Horus" (conversely, "the white eye" is the sun), which refers to the cold half of the year when the rays of the sun are weak.
Abtu was one of many friendly and sacred deities who helped and protected Ra on his endless daily journey through the sky, from east to west and from dawn to dusk, and nightly voyage through the underworld, traveling ad infinitum
in the opposite direction. Abtu was one of
two pilot fish [Ant (also spelled "Anet") was his twin] who swam on one side (the front, in some cases) of the solar barque of Ra, alerting him of any forthcoming dangers (e.g. the serpent Apep).
Abtu is referred to in the Book of the Dead
, but should not be confused with another reference with the same name in said text, which happens to be what the Greeks called (and what moderns refer to as) Abydos, capital of the eighth nome of Upper Egypt, seat of the worship of Osiris (per asar
in Egyptian), terminus of the sun's daily course through the sky, and entrance into the underworld through a gap in a mountain (called peq
in Egyptian). The last two make the difference between the place and the deity a hard one to decipher.
The Afa were very minor gods of heaven, their name meaning "pleasing," which may or may not have any significance attached to them. Like the Utennu, not much is known about their heavenly roles.
Afra is a variant of the amalgamated god, Ra-Osiris (Ra was the sun god and Osiris was the lunar god). When the sun was
in the second part of Duat--called Urnes--it was called Afra. In this part of Duat, the gods of the first section
of Duat departed from Afra and did not see him until the next night. At this point, Afra traveled east to the Mountains of the
Sunrise. He passed through the Realm of Sokar; he met with Isis in the seventh hour; he passed over a series of lakes in
the tenth and the eleventh hours; and finally, he entered the tail and exited through the mouth of the great serpent, Ankh-neteru,
at the twelfth hour. At the moment Afra left the mouth of this serpent, he transformed into Kheper and represented the
rising of the morning sun.
Aker was perhaps the earliest known god of the earth (probably even earlier than the famed Geb). He was the deification of the horizon and his appearance reflected this attribute:
In his earliest form, he symbolized the borders between each day, originally depicted as a narrow strip of land with lion or human heads flanking back-to-back either side of it. At a later date, the heads became full-figured lions, sitting up in the same position as his early form: facing away from each other and separated by the hieroglyphic symbol for "horizon," the one lion representing "yesterday" (sauf
in Egyptian) and the other "tomorrow" (dua
). It is interesting that Aker was represented as two lions facing back to back, separated by a spit of land, because the sun reaches its peak in the zodiac of Leo, a lion. The Egyptians also referred to Aker as Ruti
. In Egyptian it meant "two lions", which is represented in the number of lions that comprise this deity.
The Egyptians associated Aker with the earth, the east, and the west horizons of the Underworld, where they were considered the guardian of the ingress and egress of this place. Aker was the opener of the portal to this domain for the sun's nightly voyage. The dead were said to have needed Aker's permission to enter the Underworld and those whose death was unfortunate were fortunate to receive an annulment from AKer of that which caused them to die (e.g. the extraction of poisons from the body if the decedent died at the hand of snakes or scorpions).
Aker was not only an important figure in the Otherworld, but also to the world of the living: in the same manner of his otherworldly duties, statues of Aker guarded the entrances to tombs and palaces, protecting those within from evil and malevolent spirits and beings.
He is most commonly found on a mummy's pillow or head rest in the form of a human, holding the headrest on his back.
Despite his apparent importance, Aker did not belong to any cult center, but his worship spanned until well into the Graeco-Roman era.
Originally identified as the concept for air, essence, and hidden power, Amaunet was later reverred as a significant goddess of these elements, representing them in the Ogdoad cosmogony with her male counterpart, Amun. She appears entirely as a cobra snake or as a snake-headed woman.
The Egyptians also reverred her as one of the many creator deities (in this instance, she is unusual, as most creator deities are gods, not goddesses). Like her male collegues of creation, she was sometimes considered a self-engendered deity, one who needed no one to procreate, a special feature of snakes, her theophany.
She was closely associated with Iusaaset (the shadow of Atum, the deity with which Amun was identified as he and Amaunet obtained greater roles in Egyptian religion) and was therefore regarded as the mother of creation, mother and grandmother of the gods, and owner of the Tree of Life. The Tree of Life was an acacia tree, found at the desert's edge, was one that promoted the emergance and return of life, and supported Amaunet's role as a mother-goddess: the Egyptians believed that the acacia was the oldest tree in existance, that it was located close to and north of Heliopolis, the birthplace of the gods. Its strength, hardiness, medical properties, and edibility were elements that made its importance that much greater.
Even though Amaunet achieved the role of wife to Amun, she was later displaced by Mut. Without a husband, she became associated with the moon and was sometimes represented in tombs, coffins, and sarcophagi in this role.
The main cult center to which she belonged was at Hermopolis Magna (Khmun, in Ancient Egyptian, which means "eight-town," referring to the Ogdoad, which consisted of four pairs of male-female counterparts).
Amenhotep appears in the form of a man, which is not surprising, given he was a mortal before his divine role. He was first
introduced into royal history when he played "stand-in" for Tuthmosis V (son of Amenhotep III) who was supposed to be
involved in his father's first heb sed
, but unexpectedly died just before, leaving the job to the high official of
Amenhotep III. As time went on, Amenhotep son of Hapu proved even more useful to king Amenhotep III: he became the king's
wise counselor, vizier, chief intelligence of the king's reign, and "scribe of recruits" during this ruler's archictectural
programmes, which surpassed in quantity those of the monuments of the Old Kingdom builders. His highest achievement was the quarrying
and transportation from Gebel el-Ahmar in the north in order to construct two colossal statues of the king, the modern name
of which is "the Colossi of Memnon." A rewards for his great achievements here and elsewere, he received the honor
of being interred in his own mortuary temple, next to that of Amenhotep III at Kom el-Hetan.
When Amenhotep son of Hapu became a minor god--this occurring well into the Ptolemaic Period--he was revered as a sage, magician,
and holy man. Because he had connections with Thebes, his cult center was located there. His statues at Karnak show the extent to his
popularity at this time: they are worn smooth, most likely the end result of thousands of pilgrims' hands touching it in the hopes of
coming into contact with him. One of the reasons people flocked to his statues at Karnak is his main role as deity was in healing.
Amen-Ra was an amalgamated god between two solar deities: Amun/Amen and Ra/Re. It was during Dynasty XVIII at Thebes when he
received his start. Here, he was worshipped with his great female counterpart, Mut. At this moment, he was considered the
general source of life and the universe, the "unknown" creator god, the king of the gods, and the maker of
men. Amen-Ra was probably the Egyptians' first attempt at creating a monotheistic religion before Akhenaten and his god, the Aten. One
theory is that, during the transition between rulers who revered Amun (such as those between Tuthmosis I, Hatshepsut, and Tuthmosis II)
and rulers who revered Ra (like Amenhotep II and his son, Tuthmosis IV), this amalgamation occurred in order to unite both the north,
from where Ra originated, and the south (Heliopolis), from where Amun originated. This was also an union between Karnak and Luxor
temples, where rulers who followed Ra and those who followed Amun reverred their gods, respectively.
In addition, Amen-Ra represented all characteristics of all the gods combined, except of Osiris; it was almost as if Osiris--the
god of the dead--was ignored.
The goose was said to have been sacred to and one of the forms of the amalgamated god.
Originally, Amentet was the first region of the Place of Reeds, which was a metaphysical place through which the deceased had to pass before becoming one with the gods. This region was ruled over by Menquet and was inhabited by the souls that lived off earth-offerings. Furthermore, the Egyptians believed that Amenit or Amentet was the name of the place where the sun set, the west bank of the Nile, where cemetaries and tombs are located and where the Egyptians believed the entrance to the land of the dead was situated. Even the later Christian Egyptians (Copts) used a word similar to "Amenti" ("Amend", which in Greek translates to "Hades"), to which they linked all the ideas their heathen ancestors associated with the Amenti of the Book of Coming Forth By Day (the Egyptian Book of the Dead). Amenti might have also been the name of a small district in Egypt, but it is without funeral or mythological importance.
"Amentet" was also the name given to the Underworld, the place where Re traveled during the night. This word might have meant "hidden one," which makes its connotation slightly confusing because this was the name of Amun, the male counterpart of a goddess whose name is very similar to Amentet's: Amaunet. According to one source, "Hidden One" further signified the meaning of the concept of air, which was an element that Amaunet embodied. Despite this confusing relation between the two goddesses, they should not be considered as one-in-the-same, as they are two separate entities.
In time, Amentet ("She of the West") became a goddess of the Afterlife, the personification of the Land of the West (in Ancient Egyptian, "Amenty" or "imnty"), the location where the souls of the dead dwelt, and the entrance into the Underworld. In addition, she was the goddess who took care of and guided the dead, standing at the entrance to the land of the dead, ready to welcome them to their Afterlife and provide for their regeneration/rebirth in this mystical place. One of the ways she made life after death a welcoming place was supplying the dead with food (like bread, an ancient and modern Egyptian staple) and water. Perhaps, it was best to have her play hostess to these souls, as she could see a great proportion of the gates to the Underworld because of where she dwelt: in an acacia tree (called the Tree of Life), on the edge of the desert. In depictions, there is often a goddess, half hidden behind the leaves of a tree, at the entrance to these gates who welcomes the dead with food and drink, the provision of which make the receiving decedent a "friend of the gods," following after them, never returning to the land of the living. This goddess is Amentet.
Given her ability to regenerate and allow dead souls to be reborn into the Afterlife by providing them with food and water, the Egyptians also revered her as a goddess of fertility and rebirth. In this representation, she was linked with other goddesses of fertility and rebirth like Hathor, Isis, Nephthys, Nit, Mut, and Nut. It was said that she was the daughter of Hathor and Horus, which is of significance in that she represented the setting sun, whereas Re-Horakhty (a form of Horus) represented the rising sun. She even became a composite deity, Hathor-Amentet, where her role was that of a solar goddess of the west with the ability to regenerate and welcome the newly dead. In this role, she was often depicted with the goddess of the east, Iabet, and was Re-Horakhty's partner. She might have had another male counterpart, as is evident in the Book of the Earth, where appear two male deities who welcome the sun. They are called iabtht
; therefore Amenteth may have been Amentet's consort or at the very least, the male personification of the west.
Being a goddess of the dead, her likeness was found in tombs and on coffins. How she was depicted was very significant to her multiple attributes: she was most often illustrated as being a beautiful woman, carrying a scepter and an ankh in her hands. The ankh represented life, something that Amentet provided to the dead souls whom she welcomed into the Afterlife, giving them provisions to promote their rebirth. She also wore a headdress comprised of two uneven poles (the longer of which was attached to her head, affixed to it by a headband); topped by a semi-circle; sometimes topped by either a hawk and feather, or just a hawk. The base of this headdress (two uneven poles, topped by a semi-circle) was the hieroglyphic symbol for the west, the standard of the west. Not only was this symbol employed for "west," but also derivatives like "western," and even words like "right" or "right hand." One of the elements that rest on the pedestal, a hawk, makes her connection to Re-Horakhty obvious, as does the feather (the normal ornament of Libyans that they fixed in their hair) because it too was the sign for the word "western," and the symbol that represented the goddess Ma'at, another deity to which Amentet was linked.
She was also depicted as a winged goddess, which linked her to Isis and Nephthys, who were sometimes seen as two kites, beating wind (or the breath of life) into a dead person, the most famous of such an action being chronicled in the myth of Osiris, where they bring him back to life after his having been killed by Seth.
Given her strong rapport with the west, it is no wonder she was worshiped in the western areas of the Delta; she was originally the goddess of the Libyan province to the west of Lower Egypt. The Ancient Egyptians also worshiped her at Hikuptah (Memphis or Mennefer), Abtu (Abydos), and in the Ipet-Resyt (Luxor)/Ipet-Isut (Karnak) region of Egypt.
Ammit is a goddess who appears in the form of many animals combined, which include the head of a crocodile, the front part
of a panther or a lion and the caboose of a hippopotamus. The main cult center to which she belonged was at Thebes. She is the
"Devourer of the heart at Judgment." You had better be good or she will eat your heart!
Amsu was a variant of Ptah-Sokar-Asar during Dynasty XXI. He was also part of a triune group with the goddess Qadesh and the
Amun is a god who appears in any of the following forms: a man with a double-plumed headdress, a ram or ram-headed man, a
goose, or a frog-headed man. The cult centers to which he belonged were the Temple of Karnak at Thebes and Hermopolis Magna.
His was known as the "King of gods." Just as Amaunet represented primeval essence and hidden power, so did Amun. During the
New Kingdom, Amun became the head of the state pantheon. Later on, he united with Ra to create the deity Amun-Ra. He
was also combined with the fertility god, Min, to form the god Amun-Min or Amun Kamutef ("Bull of his Mother"). Amun's name
means "the Hidden One" and one of his epithets is "mysterious of form." He was known at one point--during Dynasty XI--as
the consort of the vulture mother-goddess, Mut. Khonsu, the lunar deity, was their offspring.
Anat is a goddess who is in the form of a woman with a lance, axe, and shield. She also wore a tall crown
surmounted by feathers. She did not belong to any cult centers. She represented war and Syria-Palestine. As a goddess of war,
she was believed to protect the king in battle. Anat is a prime example of the Egyptian acceptance of foreign deities into
their pantheon of gods (remember, she represented Syria-Palestine and not Egypt). Like other benign goddesses, she held the titles
"Mother of All the Gods" and "Mistress of the Sky." At some point and time, she was considered the consort of Seth or the fertility
Anedjti was a form of Osiris and was absorbed into the Osirion cult at Abydos. In this form, Osiris was a fertility god, united
with Khentiamenti in agricultural celebrations.
On(o)uris (his Greek name) or Anhur (his Egyptian name) was a representative of the creative powers of humans.
He was also an Ancient Egyptian warrior/hunter god of the sun god Ra. His name means "Sky-bearer" and in his depictions he
carries a spear, dresses in an embroidered robe, and wears a four-plume headdress. Physically, he was depicted as a muscular
man with a beard; he would have to be muscular to be a warrior, wouldn't he? Being a warrior god, and in honor of him,
mock-battles were performed at his festivals. What is more, Onuris was considered the warrior aspect of Ra; with his connection
to Ra Onuris was also considered to be another solar deity. It was because of his solar connection as well as because of his
martial powers that he was addressed as the "Savior." He was called this especially during the New Kingdom. Onuris
was also the patron against enemies and pests, which was an extention of his warrior attributes. From the New Kingdom, to its
decline, to the later periods of Pharaonic Egypt, Onuris was worshipped at Abydos in conjunction with Shu, the personification
of air. Onuris also had a cult center at This.
Anti was one of many friendly deities who assisted Ra on his nightly journey through the sky. Anti was one of two pilot fish
who swam on either side of the solar boat of Ra. In another form--that of a falcon--he probably served the same
purpose, as he was considered a guardian deity in this form.
In addition, he was a local god of Middle Egypt, especially on the East side of the Nile, near Badari, where he was its patron deity.
The Greeks called Anti Antaeus and they considered him the patron of the Greek location Antaeopolis, what is called Qau today.
Evidence of Anti came from a tomb in Badari: it is a Dynasty II copper jug that bears the title "priest of Anti-hotep."
Such evident illustrates his importance to this area and during this period. It further shows that he had a cult and loyal
Another place where he was revered, other than at Badari, was at the 12th Nome of Egypt. Here, he had a temple dedicated to
Anpu (called Anubis in Greek) was an Egyptian god in the form of a jackal or a man with a jackal head. Priests who prepared
bodies for burial and conducted burial ceremonies were believed to have imitated Anubis by wearing jackal masks. He is associated with
cemeteries and embalming. He was the one to whom the Ancient Egyptians prayed in order to ensure the survival of the deceased in
the Afterlife. Anubis assisted in the Judgment of the Dead and accompanied the dead to the throne of Osiris for the widely
known ritual of the Weighing of the Heart. He had many names including "foremost of the westerners," "he who is upon his mountain,"
"Lord of the Sacred land," "the one presiding over the god's pavilion," and "he who is the place of embalming."
Anquet was another name for Anuket, who was another of Isis' forms when she was the goddess of fertile waters,
cultivated lands and fields, th harvest and food, and forces that make for growth and nourishment. Therfore, Anquet was responsible
for the launch of the spring season.
Antwey was a falcon god of obscure origin who most likely was worshiped during the Old Kingdom or before that, as royal marks
from this period, especially from the 5th province of Upper Egypt, have the same form as he does: that of two falcons.
In addition, Antwey was probably another form of Seth; he had definitely become an Ancient Greek god, called Anataios. According
to the Greeks, he was the king of Libya whom Hercules slew. In this form, Antwey (or Anataios) was associated with
Horus (another deity revered by both the Egyptians and the Greeks) who appeared in the form of a falcon.
Anuket is a goddess in the form of a woman with a tall plumed headdress and a papyrus sceptre (it could also have been the
sceptre, according to some depictions). The main cult center to which she belonged was at Elephantine. She was the goddess of
the Nile cataracts. She was also a hunter goddess.
Apet was the counterpart of Tauret, thus she was also a hippopotamus goddess who was worshipped at Thebes. She was considered
the mother of Osiris.
Apep (or Apophisis) was a god who appears in the form of a serpent. He was associated with the Underworld and
chaos and was the enemy of the sun god, Ra. Actually, Apep tried to prevent Ra from bringing the sun into the sky, so he and
Ra duked it out every day. Despite Apep's attempts, Ra always seems to win.
Apuat was another form of Anubis. In other instances, Apuat was another name for Anubis or Wepwawet, another jackal-headed
god. Nonetheless, he aided in guiding the dead through the Underworld.
Anubis was considered the opener of the northern roads and Apuat the opener of the southern roads. Both deities were thus
referred to as the "Opener of the Ways." Also, Anubis represented the summer solstice and Apuat represented
the winter solstice. When together, their eyes came to represent the four quarters of heaven and earth and the four
seasons of the year.
Arensnuphis was a god who appeared in the form of a man with a plumed crown. The main cult center to which he belonged was at
Philae. He was associated with Nubia and was referred to as the companion of Isis.
Asar is the Egyptian name of Osiris (Osiris is the Greek equivalent). This god was the earliest representation of Osiris
who appeared in the form of a man and was the god of agriculture.
Asar-Hap (or Osiris-Apis) was the amalgamated god between Osiris and Apis whose worship spanned Egypt and beyond. The Greeks
worshipped him more than the Egyptians did. The former culture gave him the more known name, Serapis. Furthermore, the Greeks identified
him with their deity of the Underworld, Hades. Both the Egyptians and the Greeks believed that Osiris-Apis was the male counterpart
Ash (or As) was the predecessor of Seth and was worshipped at the beginning of the First Dynasty. During this time, he was
revered as a god of the foundations of royal estates. At a later date, he was considered the protecting god of the western
desert and of all the oases in the western desert. Being so near Libya, he was occasionally called "Lord of Libya."
Because of his connections to the desert regions, he was associated with Seth who also had a role in these areas. What is
more, Ash and Seth shared similar physical characteristics. In time, especially during the Old Kingdom, Seth completely replaced
Being a relatively old deity (he probably dates to Pre-Dynastic times) he was considered the first deity to be depicted
in anthropomorphic form with an animal head. Sometimes, Ash appeared as a lion-headed man, at other times as a falcon-headed
man, and even as a cobra-headed man. During Dynasty II, under Peribsen, he appeared wearing the white crown of Upper
Egypt on an official royal seal of this ruler.
Just as the Shemsu-heru were minor gods of heaven, so were the Ashemu. However, their attributes are unknown.
Ashtoreth was probably another name for Ishtar, the goddess of protection and war, as she was considered a war goddess
who was mounted atop a quadriga, driving her horses over her foes and guiding the chariot of the king into battle. Thus, she was
revered as "the mistress of horses, lady of the chariot, and dweller in Apollinopolis Magna." Given her epithet,
it is easy to tell that she was worshipped during Dynasty XIX when the Hyksos introduced horses into Egypt.
Ashtoreth was also considered a moon goddess; she had a connection to the moon god, Aah. Areas where she was worshipped include
in the Delta and near the eastern quarter of Tanis; the latter area was dedicated to her.
Because she was a borrowed deity from Semitic Asia, some Egyptians considered her another form of Qadesh, the goddess of sexuality.
Because of her connections with such an attribute, she was further connected with and was considered another form of Isis
In depictions, she was lion-headed, illustrating her ferocity.
Astarte was a goddess who was depicted as a naked woman wearing the Atef-crown or bull's horns and riding on a horse. She seems to have
been interchangeable with Anat in that she, too, was a goddess of
war and represented Syria. She was particularly associated with horses and chariots and was the protector of the king. She
was regarded as the daughter of Ra or Ptah and was thought to be one of Seth's consorts.
The Aten, though sometimes considered to be the single god manifested by Akhenaten, was perhaps revered earlier than
that. One first sees this deity manifested during the reign of Amenhotep II, the father of Tuthmosis IV and husband of
Tiaa. During this time (Dynasty XVIII), the cults of Amun and those of Ra were in a trouble spot: with
rulers such as Tuthmosis I, Hatshepsut, and Tuthmosis II revering the god Amun, prime god of the south, and with such succeeding
rulers like Amenhotep II and Tuthmosis IV revering the god Ra, prime god of the north at Heliopolis, it was no wonder there
was such tension. Some scholars contend that the amalgamation between Amun and Ra was an attempt to unite both the north and
south, thus uniting the royal rule and smoothing over the political difference that fell between the transitioning of one
god-revering royal family to the next. Yet, other scholars contend that the Aten was a way to unite the two royal families
in order to create an easier transition; with the Aten as the main concept of a solar divinity, neither Amun nor Ra would
collide with each other in worship. However feasible either theories are, the choice is yours.
The following is one of the first theories of how the Aten appeared in the Ancient Egyptian religion. Despite its seemingly
godly start, the Aten was not a god in its own right at first: it was a solar manifestation without a doubt, but it was more the
sentient aspect of Ra, an idea that represented this sun god's body and made him, his light, and his energy visible. Some think
that the Aten was a representation of all the Egyptian deities, unity them under one symbol, the solar disc, that it was an
attribute to mother and father figure gods and to the deities who had the responsibility of the fertility of the universe,
as seen with the Aten's connection with Shu (light) and his twin sister-consort, Tefnut (air), two deities that some
believe Akhenaten and his wife, Nefertiti, represented, respectively.
The earliest of documents bearing reference to this new force in
the ancient world, as an independent manifestation of solar divinity, appears on a scarab beetle inscribed with hieroglyphs, which
belonged to Tuthmosis IV, that records the celebration and welcome to Egypt of a Mitannian tribe and perhaps a princess or two. The
last of the phrases written on the bottom of the scarab reads "...in order to make the inhabitants of foreign lands
like subjects to the rule of the Aten forever." Here, the hieroglyph that represents the Aten is a sort of solar disc,
which is similar to the symbol with which one associates Ra. Over time, the Aten became no longer a representation of an idea,
but of an image with characteristics becoming of Ra, the distinguishing difference between the two given by the Aten's
mantra: "Ra-Horakhty who rejoices on the horizon in his name of Shu"--light--"which is the sun
One of the first images of the Aten come in the form of a falcon that was crowned by a solar disc encircled by a snake, much
like Ra. Such an image appeared during the first years of Akhenaten when his nomen was still Amenhotep IV
and when depictions of him were those common during Amenhotep III's reign--slender in body, childish of face, and
without any apparent deformities--at the temple of Karnak: here a sandstone block depicts two scenes, where the Aten
is present in his solar disc-crowned falcon form at the left of Amenhotep IV who wears the khepresh helmet of war.
Perhaps the most luminescent site of the change between Amenhotep IV to Akhenaten--and thus the change between the
Aten as an embodiment of Ra to the Aten as the one and only true god--appears in the Theban tomb of Ramose, Amenhotep
III's vizier. Here one sees Amenhotep IV depicted in the style common to the age, beneath the montra of the Aten, to the
right of his own cartouche that reads "A-men-hotep, ruler of his dominion." There is another depiction of Amenhotep
and the Aten that gives one reason to believe that both the current ruler and this embodiment of Ra were going through dramatic
changes: here, Amenhotep IV is depicted in the Amarna style of grotesque exaggeration and appears below the Aten, no longer
represented as a falcon wearing a solar disc nor bearing his mantra and the Aten appears as a solar disc, from whose orb
arms extend, grasp, and hold before Amenhotep IV and Nefertiti's nose the hieroglyphic symbols of "life"
and "dominion." What is more, like the king himself, the Aten's many epithets are encased within cartouches,
an honor only bestowed upon a ruler and his queen, but never a deity--not even Amun, Ra, or Amun-Ra had that luxury!
One can tell that this is an early representation of the Aten, as Amenhotep IV's name within his cartouches read "A-men-hotep,"
but contain an added "god-ruler of his dominion," which hints at Amenhotep IV's philosophy: if
the king was the embodiment of a god, then so this god was also a ruler.
And it was this philosophy that led to the Aten's participation in certain celebrations of which no other deity has
ever had the pleasure, in particular, the king's hed sed
festival, a royal jubilee that made more solid the king's
right to rule, a rejuvenation of the king's power. When Amenhotep IV, who now has changed his name to Akhenaten, moved
to el-Amarna, he decorated a few of the walls within the city of Aketaten with images of the Aten. Here, the Aten was
worshipped by only the royal family and through the royal family the people worshipped the Aten.
Even though the Aten remained in depictions after Akhenaten's death, discreetly appearing in depictions of Tutankhamun,
the divinity and all that represented Akhenaten and his philosophies were literally effaced from Egyptian history. Only remnants
remain of this deity and the heretic king who revered it more than any other.
Atum was a god in the form of snake or a man with a nemes headdress or the Double Crown of Upper and Lower Egypt. The main cult center
to which he belonged was at Heliopolis. He represented totality and the sun and was known as the self-engendered creator god who rose
from the primordial waters of chaos, Nun, in order to bring the elements of the cosmos into being. His name means "the All". He was
the head of the Ennead and held the title of "Lord of the Limits of the Sky." He was regarded are a solar deity and later on was
united with Ra in order to form the combined deity, Ra-Atum. Atum was associated with kingship and was believed to lift the
dead king from his pyramid to the stars. Later on in his "career," he became the protector of not only the king but to all
dead people on their journey to the Afterlife. Animals that were sacred to Atum include the following: the lion, bull, mongoose,
lizard, and the dung beetle (or scarab).
Baal was the Ancient Egyptian god of the sky and storms and was associated with Syria. He was seen in the form of a man with
a pointed beard and a horned helmet, holding a cedar tree and a club or a spear.
Baba was the god of aggression and virility, especially those of the king. He represented the male reproductive organ that
symbolized the bolt of heaven's doors or the mast of the Underworld boat. He was is the form of a baboon. When he was at the
height of his most ferociousness, he was believed to murder humans and feed on their insides. He was believed to be able to
ward off snakes and to control darkness and turbulent waters.
Banebjedet--Ba-eb Djet, the Ancient Egyptian name for the sacred ram of Mendes, Mendes being the Grecian alternative to Ba-eb
Djet; the name was further derived to Banaded--was the god of virility and of the sky. His theophany and his appearance,
the sacred ram of Mendes--where his cult center was located--was sought after and then tested for its fitness to
see if it could serve as the representation of Ra, of Osiris, and of Ptha. For Osiris, this sacred animal was considered the
house of Osiris' soul. Later, Ba-eb Djet became a symbol of the god Amun.
To ward off evil, Ba-eb Djet was kept in the temple of Mendes; apparently, Thoth recommended this practice.
Ba-eb Djet's appearance was, then, that of a ram with large curved horns and wore an elaborate crown consisting of the
uraeus. It was this imatge that was depicted in statues and reliefs; Ba-eb Djet was a popular subject for such illustrations.
Bastet was the Ancient Egyptian cat-goddess. She appeared in the form of either a cat or a cat-headed woman. The main cult
center to which she belonged was at Bubastis. Although she was a local deity, she was held in great respect among the kings
of Egypt. Like Hathor and Sekhmet--the lioness goddess--she was regarded as the daughter of the sun god Ra. Being cat-like,
she embodied both the gentle and the fierce aspects of a feline. During the Later Period, the cat was thought to be the protector
of motherhood, thus Bastet became one of the honorary mothers of kings. In the earliest representations of Bastet--say the
2nd Dynasty-- she was depicted with the head of a lioness. The Later Period depicted her depicted as a woman with the head
of a cat, accompanied by her kittens. In addition, she was often shown carrying a sistrum, thus linking her with Hathor.
Bat was the Ancient Egyptian goddess of fertility and represented the stars. She appeared as a being with a human head, cow's
ears and horns and the body in the shape of a necklace counterpoise. She was a popular deity in Upper Egypt.
Be'by was another frightful monster who was responsible for devouring the guilty person who did not pass the test of
the weighing of their heart. Some believe that Ammit, the Devourer of the West, was responsible for this duty; this may be
so, but Ammit was also responsible for protecting Anubis, who kept track of the scale that held the feather of Ma'at
and the heart of the decedent.
Benu was the god of rebirth and represented the sun. He appeared in the form of a heron or a stork, wearing a plumed headdress;
he sometimes appeared without the headdress. The main cult center to which he belonged was at Heliopolis. As a sacred bird
of Heliopolis, the benu was closely associated with the solar deities Ra and Atum, and with the obelisk and benben stone.
Bes was a leonine dwarf, with lion's ears and mane, and a tail. Although he is listed here, among the names of the gods, he
is probably better described as a spirit or a benevolent demon rather than a god or a deity. As pictured left, he often wore
a feathered headdress and an animal pelt over his back, and held a sa amulet of protection. He could be seen either as a jovial
or as a ferocious character. He was the god of the household and childhood. He was often depicted playing musical instruments
and bobbing around, especially during childbirth.
Buchis was an Ancient Egyptian god who was the manifestation of Ra and Osiris. He appeared in the form of a bull. The main
cult center to which he belonged was at Armant.
Djehuty was another name for Thoth, the god of scribes and of writing.
Dua was a lion god who guarded and protected Ra when he entered the darkness of the Underworld. At the other end, when Ra
exited the darkness into light, Aker stood waiting.
Liker Aker, Dua was a lion who stood next to another lion. However, unlike Aker, the other lion of Dua was called Sef. Where
Dua represented "tomorrow," Sef represented "yesterday."
Duamutef is an Ancient Egyptian god who, in a canopic jar, protects the stomach and the upper intestines of the deceased.
The cardinal direction that he represents is the east. He appears with the head of a jackal. Duamutef is also one of the "Four
Sons of Horus" and is protected by Neith.
Duoau was a minor god of medicine. He was associated with treatments of eye diseases and was perhaps another for of Weret,
the protector of priest-physicians who treated such diseases.
Edjo was another name for Wadjet, the protective cobra goddess who appeared on the uraeus.
Geb is the Ancient Egyptian god of the earth and of fertility. Because he personified both aspects, he was often depicted
as green and was visualized with plants growing out of him. He was often depicted underneath the arched body of the sky-goddess
Nut--his sister and consort. Geb and Nut are the offspring of Shu and Tefnut and were lovers, forcibly separated by their
parents. He appears in the form of a man and sometimes in ithyphallic form. In addition, he is often depicted with a white-fronted
goose on his head or wearing the Red Crown of Lower Egypt. The main cult center to which Geb belongs is as Heliopolis. In
fact, he is one of the nine members of the Ennead of Heliopolis. However great Geb seems, he also has a dark side: he was
considered able to trap the dead in his body. Earthquakes were described as the "laughter of Geb".
Ha was the Ancient Egyptian god of fertility and of the desert regions, much like Min. Throughout most of Ancient Egyptian
periods, the ancients considered Ha as the defender of Egypt's borders and of the throne. Thus, he was also a protection
god. In the latter part of dynastic Egypt, the ancients honored Ha in the seventh Nome of Lower Egypt.
Hap was a bull quite like Apis; actually, Hap was the Egyptian name for the Grecian Apis. He was revered as a personification
of a god. He was the earliest form of bull-worship in Egypt, dating to the Second Dynasty, perhaps even to the First Dynasty,
thanks to Menes, the first king of Egypt.
Hapi was the Ancient Egyptian god of the Nile inundation. He appeared in the form of a man with pendulous breasts and rolls
of fat that emphasized his connection with fecundity. In addition, he wore aquatic plants on his head as a headdress. The
main cult centers to which he belonged were at Gebel el-Silsila and Aswan.
Hapy (different from Hapi) was the Ancient Egyptian god of the north and protected the lungs of the deceased. In canopic form,
he had the head of a baboon. Nephthys was the protector over this canopic jar. Hapy was also one of the "Four Sons of Horus".
Harsaiset was the most popular form of Horus and meant "Horus, the son of Isis."
Hatemehit was the female counterpart of the sacred ram of Mendes, Ba'eb Djet.
Hathor's name means "the House of Horus". She was the Ancient Egyptian goddess of love, fertility, sexuality, music, dance,
alcohol, sky, turquoise, and faience and of Byblos. As the goddess of the sky, she was regarded as a vast cow who straddled
the heavens, with her four legs representing the four cardinal points (north, east, south and west). She was considered a
mother goddess, especially of the kings and more specifically of Horus (the king was representative of Horus). She appeared
in the form of a cow or a woman with cow's ears. Her headdress could either be those with horns with a sun disc in between
or with a falcon on a perch. The main cult centers to which she belonged was at Dendera (during the Old Kingdom) and Deir
el-Bahri. An emblem of her cult at Dendera was the sistrum or rattle. Some of her titles include "Lady of the West", "Lady
of the Western Mountain", "Lady of Byblos", "Lady of Turquoise" and "Lady of Faience". Sometimes, Hathor is identified with
the Eye of Re', while at other times, she is associated as the sun god's daughter.
Hatmehyt was the Ancient Egyptian fish-goddess. The main cult center to which she belonged was at Mendes, near the Delta.
Her name means, "She Who is in Front of the Fish". She appeared in the form of a Lepidotus fish--common in the Nile--or as
a woman with a fish on her head.
Hau was an Underworld serpent against whom Osiris battles on his way through the second part of the Duat, called Urnes.
Hauhet was the Ancient Egyptian goddess of formlessness, flood force and of primeval waters. The cult center to which she
belonged was at Hermopolis Magna. Hauhet appeared in the form of a woman with a snake for a head. In the creation myth of
Hermopolis, Hauhet was one of the fundamental elements (primeval waters) that were necessary for creation. Her male counterpart
Hehu formed a union with his consort, Hehut. Both personified fire, one element necessary for creation.
Hehut was the consort of Hehu. Both personified fire, an element needed for creation.
Heka was a deity who personified divine magic. Not much is known about this deity, except for Heka's attributes being
one of three powers Pharaoh was purported to possess; the other two--divine knowledge and divine utterance--were
respectively personified by Sia and Hu.
Heket was the Ancient Egyptian goddess of childbirth. She appeared in the form of a frog-headed woman or entirely anthropomorphically
as a frog. The main cult center to which she belonged and where she was worshipped was at Qus. She, at one time believed to
be the consort of Khnum, acted as the divine midwife and was said to attend royal births.
Hemetch was a serpent deity, rather a demon, from Ancient Egyptian mythology. Along with Apophis or Apep and other Netherworld
demons, Hemetch waited to attack the decedents who trekked through Tuat or the Underworld. However, thanks to the plethora
of incantations provided in the even more plethoric mortuary texts, the dead could recite words that would protect him or
her from Hemetch and his many minions.
Evidence of this serpent deity's existence comes from the depictions in the pyramid of Wenis, one of the Fifth Dynasty
Heneb was the Ancient Egyptian god of grain and of agriculture. He was a relatively ancient god, appearing as a prominent
figure during the earlier periods of dynastic Egypt. However, once Osiris came on to the scene, Heneb's divine role
became non-existent; Osiris assumed popularity and became Egypt's prime patron of harvests and grains, along with other
minor deities with the same associations.
Henkhisesui was one of the four wind deities who was represented in the Egyptian and the Greek pantheon. Henkhisesui represented
the East wind and appeared in either of the following forms: in anthropomorphic shape with the head of a ram or as a ram-headed
beetle with wings.
Henmemet were souls of heaven that waited in the wings to become human beings. Their attributes are also unclear, but we do
know that the ancients believed that they lived upon grains and herbs.
Heptet was an Ancient Egyptian goddess who the ancients believed to be one of the cow nurses of Osiris, during the mystical
ceremonies of his rebirth or resurrection. In addition to her cow form, she was also depicted as a woman with the head of
a bearded snake.
Herishef was an Ancient Egyptian god who represented primeval force, the sun (solar) and was considered a creator. He appeared
in the form of a long-horned ram and wore an Atef-crown with a sun disc for a headdress. The main cult center where he was
worshipped was at Herakleopolis.
Horakhty was the Ancient Egyptian name for Horus when he was called "Horus of the Two Horizons." He later merged
with Ra at Heliopolis where his original identity was replaced by his identity of Ra-Horakhty.
Horbehudti was the name given to Horus of Edfu or Horus the Elder when he was worshipped at Edfu as the war captain of Ra,
the chief destroyer of the enemies of the sun god, and the sole force of good against that of evil. This name especially appears
in texts of Eduf, where he was originally the equivalent of Ra, but was later considered a separate god.
Hor-Nubti was another name for Horus the Elder. It was Hor-Nubti who was considered the one to vanquish Seth, foiling his
plan to take the throne.
Horu-Sema-Tawy was one of Horus' epithets after he successfully slew Seth. The name means "Horus, Unifier of the
Two Lands." Afterward, he established the authority of his father, Osiris, over all sacred realms and launched the cycles
of the sun.
Horus the Child
Horus the Child was the younger version of Horus, son of Isis and Osiris. As Horus the Child, the god was depicted as a young
boy, wearing the side-lock of youth, standing on crocodiles and holding snakes in either hand. Such a depiction illustrates
his ill fates that he had with his uncle Seth, who tried to kill him many times so that he could take his brother's--Osiris'--place
at the throne. During the contending between Horus the Child and Seth, snakes and scorpions bith the former, while he hides
from Seth, in the marshes. His is later cured of the poisons thanks to the milk of Hathor.
Horus the Elder
Horus the Elder was a god not to be confused with Horus the Child, with Horus, or with Horus the Younger. Horus the Elder
was the son of Geb and of Nut and was born on the second day upon the year.
The ancients considered his as the face of day, whereas Seth was the face of night. He was also considered one chief form
of the sun god Ra.
Horus the Elder had many epithets, including the Greek Harmachis, but Horus of Edfu is a more appropriate and nice distinction
between the other three Horus' and Horus the Elder. The confusion, especially between this god and Horus the Child,
is further complicated when one considers their rapport with Seth. However, it seems that Horus the Elder fought many battles
with Seth, whereas Horus the Child was actually responsible for vanquishing Seth.
Being connected with Edfu, it was only right that his place of worship was here. At Edfu, he was revered as "Lord of
the Forge-city" where he carried out the work of a blacksmith.
Horus the Younger
Horus the Younger was a form of Horus who was the son of this god [who was the son of Isis and Osiris] and the hippopotamus
goddess Rat-Tauit. Horus the Younger represented the earliest rays of the rising sun. The Greeks called Horus the Younger
Harpocrates to distinguish him from Horus the Elder.
It should be noted that Horus the Younger should not be confused with Horus the Child, as the latter was the younger version
of Horus, the son of Isis and Osiris.
Hor-Wer was another name for Horus the Elder, which means "Horus the Great." It was Hor-Wer who represented the
sky and whose eyes were the moon and the sun.
Hraf-hef was not really a deity, rather a divine being. His role was of ferryman of the celestial Lake of Eternity of the
Lake of Tuat--the Underworld. He appeared mostly in mortuary myths and texts. Another role he played was that of one
of the Forty-two Judges in the Judgment Halls of Osirs, where the Osiris and his companions judged the decedent, either allowing
or rejecting his or her entrance to the Afterlife. His role as one of these Forty-two Judges was to be convinced of the decedent's
righteousness and worth. In order to assure his convincing, priests provided the dead with litanies; magical ointments were
also used in tombs to provide as much protection at it could muster against the hotheaded ferryman. Those spells that worked
best were those from the collection of Net Spells.
Hu was the Ancient Egyptian god of divine utterance (this probably means "the word of god") and authority. He appeared in
the form of a man. In the photo--above--Hu is the second person, going from left to right. The person to the left of Hu is
the deceased king who also steers the boat. Although it was difficult to find a picture of Hu, this does not mean that he
was not important to the Ancient Egyptians. In fact, he was considered the creator of the soul of Osiris as well as of the
sun, using his breath to create each. What is interesting about Hu is his likeliness was said to be that of the Great Sphinx's.
Whehter or not this is true, the reasons behind this theory seem valid. Another theory of the likeliness of the Great Sphinx
is that it represents Djedefre, the brother of the 4th Dynasty king, Khafre. While both theories are valid, I certainly will
not impose either of them upon you. Instead, as the Greek historian of the mid-fifth century BCE, Herodotus, had done in his
work "The Histories", I will allow you to view both theories, and then choose from the two whichever you deem most true:
*Click here for theory 1
**Click here for theory 2
Hudet--or "Splendor"--was the winged form of Ra; in some instances he was a winged disc. In this form,
the god would strike at evil demons. Hudet was incorporated into the cult at Edfu.
Huh or Heh was the Ancient Egyptian god of formlessness, flood force, and infinity. Not only did he represent these aspects,
but also that of air. Sometimes Huh was identified with Shu and was a god of the wind who was linked to the four pillars that
held up the sky. He appeared in the form of either a man or a frog-headed man, holding and/or wearing on his head a notched
palm-rib--the hieroglyph representing "year"). The main cult center to which he belonged was at Hermopolis Magna. His consort
was the snake-headed goddess Hauhet and one of the elements necessary for creation to take place in the creation myth of Hermopolis
Magna. Huh was also one of the eight gods of the Ogdoad of Khmunu (~Hermopolis). In addition, he was believed to hold up the
solar barque of Ra and raise it up into the sky at the end of its voyage through the Underworld.
Hu-zayui was the god who represented the West wind and who appeared with the other wind deities in the Egyptian and the Grecian
pantheon. Hu-zayui appeared as a serpent-headed man with wings.
Ihy was the Ancient Egyptian god of music and dancing. He appeared in the form of a child, holding a sistrum and wearing the
"side-lock of youth". The main cult center to which he belonged was at Dendera. He was the son of Hathor, who is also associated
with the sistrum.
His name means "the One Who Comes in Peace". Some of his other titles include "Chancellor of the King of Lower Egypt", "First
One Under the King", "Administrator of the Great Mansion", "the High Priest of Heliopolis", "the Chief Sculptor", "Chief Carpenter,"
and "Hereditary Noble" (whew! I am out of breath ;) ). The main cult centers where he was worshipped were at Memphis and Thebes.
Before becoming a god, Imhotep was the architect of the Step Pyramid of King Djoser and was this king's vizier. Among his
other talents were those of doctor, scribe, sage, poet, astronomer, and chief minister. Although there are not a lot of facts
about Imhotep, there are some theories about his life on earth. He was born in a suburb of Memphis or came from the village
of Gebelein (south of ancient Thebes), his father was Kanofer and was an architect as well (it must run in the family), his
mother was Khreduonkh who came from a province of Mendes, and his wife was named Ronfrenofert.
His resting place is yet unknown, though, some believe it is located at Saqqara. During a dig here, a team of archeologists
accidentally found a cemetery of sacred animals.
Imsety was an Ancient Egyptian god, in canopic form. The stopper atop the canopic jar representative of Imsety is in the form
of a human head. Imsety protected the liver of the deceased and represented the south. Isis was protector over this canopic
jar. He was also one of the "Fours Sons of Horus" (Horus the elder that is). According to legend, Imsety, along with the three
other sons of Horus--Duamutef, Hapy and Qebehsenuef--was born from a lotus flower and was a solar god who was associated with
creation. Furthermore, Sobeck retrieved the four sons of Horus from the chaotic waters of Nun because of the orders set forth
by Ra. Anubis--god of mummification gave Imsety and his brothers the funerary duties of mummification, the Opening of the
Mouth and the burial of Osiris and of all men.
Ipy was a benign Ancient Egyptian goddess of magical protection and was considered a protective and nourishing deity. She
dominate form was that of a hippopotamus as well as that of a crocodile (the tail on her back--sometimes an entire crocodile
rested on her back), a human (her arms) and a lion (her legs and paws). Sometimes she was depicted with an enlarged belly
like that of a pregnant woman and with large pendulous breast. The main cult center at which she was worshipped was Thebes,
where she was believed to personify this city. Here, her temple, slightly west of the Temple of Khonsu, was part of the Karnak
complex. It was at this complex that one believed she gave birth to Osiris.
Ipy's name means "harem" or "favored place". In certain texts--namely in funerary papyri--she was called "Mistress of Magical
Protection". She is also referred to as "the Great Opet", causing her to become one in the same as Taweret, "the Great One".
Some texts even interchange Ipy with Taweret. In addition, she was referred to as the mother of Osiris, thus her appearances
in funerary papyri.
Ishtar was an Assyrian goddess of magical protection, sexuality, fertility and healing who the Ancient Egyptians considered
one among their own deities. She was considered a goddess of battle. She was depicted as a woman. The main cult center where
one worshipped her was at Thebes.
Isis was the Ancient Egyptian goddess of magic and was considered the mother of the kings and of Horus. You may notice that
Isis suckling Horus embodies the mother-and-child (Mary and baby Jesus) icon. She appeared in the form of a woman with a throne
or a solar disc between cow's horns headdress.
Sometimes, Isis was the personification of a throne. Contextually, the throne represents Isis' name, in hieroglyphs and her
lap was considered the Egyptian throne to the kings. As in the picture, Isis can also be seen with gigantic wings that symbolized
protection, especially to Pharaoh. She was part of the Ennead of Heliopolis. She was also the consort to Osiris and mother
to Horus; in this light, she came to be in the triad of Abydos with them. Concerning her magical characteristic, she was considered
able to heal and to transform herself into any guise at will. The main cult center where she was worshipped was at the Island
Temple of Philae (on the southern border of Egypt, near Aswan). Her popularity as a goddess did not stop in Egypt; her reputation
spread to Syria, Palestine, Greece, throughout the entire Roman Empire just until the start of Christianity. Some of her titles
include "the Great White Sow of Heliopolis" and "the Isis-cow which gave birth to the sacred Apis Bull of Memphis".
Jupiter-Ammon was the great oracle of Amen-Ra. The Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians alike traveled to his temple, located in
one of the oases of Libya. Those who consulted the oracle--on matters of state affairs or of private business--received
wordless responses; these responses would be in the form of nods, pointing, and arm movements. Well known figures of history
who paid Jupitor-Ammon a visit include Alexander the Great, Hannibal, and Lysander.
Kauket--or Keket--was the Ancient Egyptian goddess of darkness and obscurity. Well, she represented duality more than she
did a goddess, but was considered one nonetheless. On the other hand, she could also be related to the day in that she brought
in the night in place of the day. Essentially, she was the goddess of the night, just after sunset. She appeared in the form
of a snake-headed human. Above is a picture that shows the four frog gods and four snake goddesses of chaos of the Ogdoad
of Khmunu. One of the snake-headed goddess in the picture is Kauket.
Kauket's consort was Kek--or Kuk--and both played a role in the creation myth of Hermopolis Magna, with which she is associated.
Kebawet was an Ancient Egyptian goddess during the early periods of dynastic Egypt. The ancients called her "cold water
libations;" libations were essential elements to eternal bliss in the Underworld, thus Kebawet was essential in the
Underworld. Although she had such a role, she was not a very popular deity, so she did not have a cult or any other evince
Kerh was the male aspect of night and of chaos; he was one aspect of creation. His consort was Kerhet.
Kerhet was the female aspect of night and of chaos; she was one aspect of creation along with her consort, Kerh.
Horakhty was the Ancient Egyptian name for Horus when he Khentiamenti was another name for Osiris when he was revered as the
god of agriculture. He was worshipped at Abydos, where he united with the fertility attribute of Osiris named Andjeti. Under
the name of Khentiamenti, Osiris was called "Foremost of the Westerners."
Khepri was an Ancient Egyptian solar god who represented sunrise (when the sun first rises from the Underworld). He appeared
in the form of a scarab beetle or a man with the head of a scarab beetle. His name means "He Who is Coming Into Being". He
was also considered a creator. The scarab beetle that Khepri represents is symbolic because of the observed activities of
the scarab beetle: it rolled up it eggs into a dung ball, which, to the Ancient Egyptians, represented the sun, then, when
the babies emerged from the ball, one associated their birth to life emerging from the primeval mound. With this, scarabs
were representative of spontaneous creation.
Khepri was believed to do just the same as the scarab beetles, only, instead of a ball of dung, he rolled the sun from the
Underworld to the eastern sky, thus renewing the sun so as to permit life to thrive on earth.
Khnum was an Ancient Egyptian creator god who was associated with fertile soil. He was also considered the patron deity of
potters, of the annual inundation, and of the Nile cataracts. He could be represented as a ram-headed man or as the animal
itself (actually, the type of ram that Khnum respresents is the Ovis longipes which is one of the earliest domesticated animals
of Egypt). In Ancient Egyptian, "ram" stood for ba. Ba is representative for the concept that is equivocal to "personality"--that
which makes each person unique.
As a representative of potters, he was considered the maker of man and of woman, using a potters wheel and fertile soil to
create each. In fact, he was the creator in the creation myth of Elephantine. In addition, Khnum helped Ra travel through
the Underworld each night on the Solar Barque, which he both defended and created. In this representation of Khnum on the
Solar Barque, he was called Khnum-Ra and wore the sun disk of Ra.
The main cult center with which he is associated is on the island of Elephantine, at the first cataract at the southern border
of Egypt. Another temple associated with Khnum was located at Esna, where he was consort to Menhyt, a lioness-goddess.
Khonsu is the Ancient Egyptian god of the moon, also known as a lunar deity, who appears in the form of a child wearing a
headdress that is composed of a full and crescent moon. He was also usually depicted wearing tight-fitting garments or wrapped
in mummy bandages and holding a crook, flail, and scepter. In the late period, he became known as a god of healing, in addition
to his lunar association. His name means "wanderer" which most likely is a reference to the wandering of the moon across the
sky. In addition, he is the son of Mut and Amun and is part of the Egyptian Pantheon. The cult center where he and his parents
were worshipped was located in Thebes, in particular, at the Temple of Luxor. At Karnak to the south, Khonsu had a temple
within the temple of Mut that was dedicated to her.
Khut was an aspect of Isis when she was the goddess of light giving at the time of spring.
Khut was also the serpent who encircled the solar disc that Ra wore as a headdress.
Kuk was an Ancient Egyptian frog-headed god who represented the primeval aspects of life as well as darkness. He is also a
member of the Egyptian Pantheon. Above is a picture that shows four frog gods and four snake goddesses of chaos of the Ogdoad
of Khmunu of Hermopolis. One of the frog-headed gods in the picture is Kuk. The cult center to which he belonged as was worshipped
was at Hermopolis Magna. His consort was the snake-headed goddess, Kauket. With his consort, he played a role in the creation
myth of Hermopolis Magna.
Maa was a minor god of the senses; he was the god of sight. When depicted, he was of human form with an eye above his head.
Ma'at was the Egyptian goddess of social and religious order, truth, and justice. The form that she took is that of a woman,
wearing a headdress consisting of a single ostrich feather. This ostrich feather was not just for ornamentation, but played
an important role in the Weighing of the Heart ritual. This ceremony took place before Osiris, the god who brought judgment
to the deceased person presented before him. The feather of Ma'at was the object against which the deceased person's heart
was weighed; if the heart was heavier than the feather, then Ammit, "the gobbler", would devour it, preventing the deceased
from entering the Afterlife. If the heart was lighter or was the same weight as the feather, then the deceased was declared
"true of voice" and was allowed to enter the Afterlife. She was also depicted with large wings, as were most female deities.
During the Middle Kingdom, Ma'at was considered the nostril of Ra and during the New Kingdom (by the 18th Dynasty), she was
referred to as "daughter of Ra".
The term ma'at was the principle that united the Ancient Egyptian society and played a key role in Ancient Egypt religious
belief. This term also played a fundamental roll of the reigning king. While Ma'at the goddess represented order, truth and
justice, the term ma'at was translated as thus. What is interesting is the term existed before the goddess of the same name.
In order to recognize these abstract concepts in their system of beliefs, the ancients personified them, thus, the existence
of the term before the goddess.
Mafdet--also known as "the Runner"--was the Ancient Egyptian goddess who became popular starting during the Old Kingdom (the
1st Dynasty). During the New Kingdom, she was known to be the daughter of Amun and Mut. Mafdet was the protector against snakes,
scorpions and other dangerous animals. In addition, she was also known to protect against scorpion stings and snakebites,
which lead to her role as a mediator in healing rituals for those who were afflicted by such injuries. She was also known
to represent power. Her appearance as a panther, or as a panther-headed, women contribute to this representation. In some
instances, she wore her hair in braids that sometimes consisted of the snakes that she killed. Yet another example of her
representing power was the significance of her claws: the scratch of her claws was known to be lethal to snakes. With this
image, her claws became symbolic of the king's harpoon, decapitating the king's enemies in the Underworld.
Mandulis was an Ancient Egyptian solar god who had associations with Lower Nubia. He appeared as a man, wearing a headdress
decorated with ram horns, plumes, sun-discs, and cobras. He was worshipped at Kalabsha and at Philae.
Matit was an Egyptian goddess who appeared in the form of a lion. She was a particularly ancient goddess; evidence of this
came in the form of jars with her image on them, found in tombs, dating to the Early Dynastic Period. The area where she was
known was at Hierankopolis, where her cult center was located. She was also worshipped and had a cult center at Thinis [modern
Girga, a city north of Abydos].
Mau or Ma'au when in large form was a deity who lived in the mythical Persea Tree and who guarded Ra during his
nightly journey through the Underworld. This deity was responsible for cutting off the head of Apophis--one of the Underworld's
demons--when he tried to attack the sun-god.
Now, Mau was also the Egyptian world for cat and thus, the name of the feline deity who the ancients worshipped at Bubastis.
In addition, Mau was very sacred to Bast or Bastet--a feline goddess of Bubastis.
Mau-Taui was a guardian deity of the Judgment Hall, where the deceased--whose heart was weighed against the feather of
truth and justice of Ma'at--stood before Osiris and his fellow judges.
The ancients considered this deity a theophany--a personification--of the wise Thoth.
Mehen was an Ancient Egyptian god--most noted as the great mystical serpent that appeared in numerous cosmogonic and
religious texts. His soul duty was to protect the sun-god Ra when he traveled through the perils of the Underworld. Depictions
of Mehen show him coiled around the solar bark of the sun god. In some accounts, he appeared with a head on each end of his
body, all the better to bring greater protection to Ra, whose job it was to bring the sun to the sky every morning.
Mehurt was an Ancient Egyptian goddess, appearing in the form of a celestial cow. According to Ancient Egyptian legend, she
gave birth to the sky, on of her associations. Another of that which she represented was the spiritual river of the heavens.
Therefore, it is only appropriate that her name means "flooding waters" or "great flood." She was
also considered a protector of the deceased in various halls of trial and judgment. Even though she was not an overly worshipped
goddess, she did have connections with the cult of Isis.
Menhit was an Egyptian war goddess of Hierokonpolis. When depicted, she was of the form of a lioness who sometimes wore the
red crown of Lower Egypt. Because she was a war goddess, she was identified with Nit--or Neith--, who was another
war goddess of Lower Egypt. In addition, Menhit had connections to Sekhmet; she not only shared similar physical traits, but
also she shared a similar duty with Sekhmet. Where Sekhmet was known as "the Powerful One" who was responsible
for destroying mankind, Menhit was known as "the slaughterer."
Menhit was said to have had three consorts: Khnum, Montu, and Anhur. In addition, with Khnum, she had a son, Heka. Therefore,
she formed a triad and was worshipped with Khnum and with Heka at Latopolis--modern Esna. At Heliopolis, it was said
that Heka was the son of Atum and of Menhit. Ancient Egyptian history is not without uncertainties, apparently. Here, she
was identified with Isis and with Nit.
Menquet was a presiding goddess of beer; her name was most likely derived from a type of beer or that which housed beer. She
also ruled over the first region--called Amentet--of the metaphysical place called the Place of Reeds. Amentet was
the place where the souls that lived upon earth-offerings resided.
A particularly ancient diety, Min--his Grecian name--or Men(y)u--his Ancient Egyptian name--was the god
and patron of several things. First, he was considered the god of fertility and of generation. As such a deity, he appeared
in the form of a semi-mummified man, holding his erect phallus with his left hand; his right hand would be either raised or
holding a flail. He was also shown wearing a double plumed headdress with a ribbon streaming at the back. In some eras, he
was depicted as a warrior bull god. Attributing to his association to fertility, lettuce and an unidentified shape--most
likely a door or lightning bolt, a barbed arrow, or a pair of fossil shells--became emblems of the god and of his cult.
The genus of lettuce with which Min was associated was the Lactuca Satura Longifolia
, which secreted a milky-white
liquid when pressed. This substance was considered to resemble the semen of Min, further considered an aphrodisiac. Such a
genus of lettuce was incorporated into the legendary myth of the "Contendings of Horus and Seth." Hathor's
mild--representative of the liquid from this lettuce--was said to have healed Horus' eyes after they were
gauged out. Further in the story, Isis foils Seth's plan to sexually assault her son, Horus, by getting Horus to soak
a head of Seth's favorite snack--lettuce--with his own semen. Upon ingestion, Horus' semen would speak
from the belly of Seth, which it did; when the semen spoke from the aforementioned place, it informed the gods of the culprit's
plans to shame Horus from his throne.
Another of Min's emblems, which was considered sacred to the god, was the cypress tree, under which he was said to have
Yet another duty of Min was patron of the harvest and of travel in the deserts. He was also the protector of the mining regions
in the Eastern Desert, where his cult center at Koptos or Coptos was located. Here, he was called the "Lord of the Desert"
, the desert deity.
In addition to his cult center at Koptos, he had a cult center at Akhmim, which the Greeks called Panopolis
; the Greeks
identified their god Pan with the Egyptians' god Min. Another place where he was appreciated was in the Second Court
of the mortuary temple of Ramses III, at Medinet Habu. Here, the festival of Min was celebrated. One particular relief on
the rear wall of the North Colonnade shows the aforementioned ruler making an offering to the god; this ritual was connected
with the king's coronation, thereafter, white pigeons were released in all directions to spread the news. The festival
closes with the ceremonial cutting of the sheaf of corn, which was offered to Min; incense burning was also executed in celebration
of the god.
By the New Kingdom, Min was incorporated into the Amun cult; in some areas he merged with the sun god's son--Horus--and
was worshipped as Min-Horus. He was also combined with the sun-god himself, forming the amalgamated deity, Amun-Min or Amun-Kamutef,
which means "Bull of his Mother."
In some eras, Anat--the Syrian-Palestinian and Egyptian goddess of war--was considered the consort of Min. At other
times, Min was described as the son of Isis as well as her consort, with Horus as their son.
According to Herodotus, Min was the first legendary king of Egypt who founded Memphis. He was probably representative of Menes,
said to have been the first ruler of the First Dynasty--some refer to him as Narmer or Aha.
Meret--or Mert--was a goddess of song and of rejoicing. She was revered as such among the lower class citizens of ancient
Egypt; she was not really worshipped among the upper and royal classes, as they praised Isis more than they did Meret. In
later periods, she was the goddesses of the 8th hour of night. When depicted, Meret was of human form and wore a headdress
consisting of a lotus flower. In addition, she held toward the sky a bowl full of offerings.
Mertseger was an Ancient Egyptian goddess of Western Thebes, appearing in the form of either a cobra or a lion. In cobra-form,
she struck fear and respect into the hearts of the local villages of Deir el-Medina because of her supposed ability to cause
blindness and venomous stings. Where she is in lion-form, she is even more ferocious, as her responsibility was to chastise
evildoers. In order to lift the dreaded consequences of Mertseger's wrath, the evildoer in question was to call upon
her name, asking her to forgive them for all the sins they committed. Her area of residence was namely near Western Thebes,
at this ancient city's necropolis. Because of her location here, the epithet of "Peak of the West" was given
to her. The specific location of her home was said to have been on the rocky spur of Sheik Abd-el-Gurneh. Because of this
location--environ of the Theban necropolis--she was given the name of "Lover of Silence." One last sobriquet
of hers was "Lady of the Heaven." Both this and "Peak of the West" were name given to her in Egyptian
Meskhent was the Ancient Egyptian goddess of childbirth who appeared as two bricks with a human head or as a woman in full
glory. Atop this woman's head was a headdress consisting of a certain emblem, which could represent a number of things,
including a bicornate uterus or a forked uterus of a cow, two long palm shoots with curved tips or, a peshesh-kaf knife--a
flint fishtailed knife used to cut the umbilical cord. The bricks that composed most of her person were representative of
the bricks or seats that Egyptian women used during the final stages of childbirth. After an infant was born, Meskhenet--as
a goddess of destiny--carried out another of her duties: predetermining the lives of the newly made creatures. In addition,
it was on these bricks that their fates were inscribed; sometimes it was over these bricks their fates were recited. Yet another
role she played was that of attendant in the Judgment Halls of Osiris, where she supposedly pleaded on behalf of the decedent
to allow them into Paradise.
Mnevis, much like Apis, was a revered bull divinity who was the theopany of Ra; he was sacred to Heliopolis, the location
of his cult center. Because of his association with Ra, Mnevis was considered a solar deity; he was a sacred bull of the sun
god. In addition to this, he was associated with oracles, powers that be, divine persons of wisdom. Because of Mnevis'
cult's solar aspects, Akenaten--the heretic king of Dynasty XVIII--allowed ceremonies of the bull to
continue during the Amarna Period.
When depicted, Mnevis wore a sundisk and a uraeus on its horns. For a mnevis bull to become the sacred theopany of the sun
god, it had to be of a black color; without marking, such as spots of a different color, deformities, cuts, and the like;
and have tufts of hair on its body and on its tail.
At a provided sanctuary of the mnevis bull, it was mummified; companion cows and calves accompanied it. This is certain, as
such bulls were discovered in the area of Heliopolis, which is further evidence of similar respects for the apis and other
Montu--the theophany of Buchis--was an ancient Theban sun god of war/warfare. Relating to the Horus cult, he had
associations with this particular deity (Horus, of course). In fact, both gods were depicted as partial or complete falcon
configurations. Thus, it is quite probable to get the two mixed up. In addition to his physical appearance, Montu wore a double-plumed
headdress on his head, complete with sun discs.
Two locations where Montu was worshipped were at Karnak--at one of the many temples of this complex--and at Erment
(Hermonthis). The Dynasties during which he gained prominence--honored especially by kings--were the 11th and the
18th Dynasties, near the environs of Thebes, in the Upper Kingdom. Thus, it was during these two Dynasties that Thebes was
the capital of Egypt. How does this happen? Well, wherever the new ruling family resided or used to reside, the local deities
who shared the same location would come into prominence. The conquests and claiming of the ruling family to the throne resulted
in the prominence of Montu, as well as of Amun.
Mut was an Ancient Egyptian vulture goddess--the vulture being her theophany. She appeared as a woman with a human head,
wearing a double crown and with the feather of Ma'at at her feet. In the Myth of Heliopolis, she took the form of a
cow. She was associated with motherhood. In fact, her name means "mother." She was the mother of Khons(u)--actually,
she adopted him--and the divine consort or wife of Amun. Together, they made up the Triad of Thebes. How this union came
about is found in the myth of her cult at Heliopolis. It was said that she was the sky goddess that took on the form of a
cow. When Amun emerged, she allowed him to mount her back, whereupon he rod her to his divine destination. Later, when Mut
adopted Khonsu and became the wife to Amun, they formed the sacred Triad of Thebes.
There were many places where she, her son, and her consort were worshipped. One of these places was a temple at Thebes, dedicated
solely to her, where there was a sacred lake beside it. Boat shrines at the northwestern corner of the Luxor Temple were built
for the Theban Triad by Tuthmosis III and Hatshepsut. At the Hypostyle Hall at Luxor--noted for its 32 papyrus-bud columns--on
the east wall is a depiction of Amenhotep III making an offering to the triad. In addition, the trio is also seen on reliefs
found on the surface of the First Small Hypostyle Hall of the Ramesseum. Here, priests are shown carrying their sacred boats.
At the Hypostyle Hall of the mortuary temple of Seti I, the triad was worshipped. They were also worshipped at Tanis at the
Great Temple of Amun. There is a smaller sanctuary dedicated to Mut and to Khonsu, beyond the mud brick wall that surrounds
the temple. At Karnak, Mut has a temple dedicated to her, which lies south of the complex. It is within her temple that her
son's temple is located.
One last mention of the Theban Triad comes in the form of a festival, located near Deir el-Bahri, on the west bank of the
Nile. It was said that every year, during the second month of Shomu was a special festival called the Beautiful Feast of the
Valley, dedicated to Hathor. Images of the triad show them being carried in their sacred boats from Thebes to various sanctuaries
of Hathor, at Deir el-Bahri, as well as to royal mortuary temples on the west bank, to celebrate this festival.
Natch-ura was a goddess and was one of the female companions of Hapi, the Nile god.
Naunet was the snake-headed goddess whose main cult center was located at Hermopolis Magna. In the Creation Myth of Hermopolis,
she was one of eight figures who played a role in the creation of the known world (Egypt). She and her male counterpart or
partner--Nun--represented the primordial waters.
Nebetu'u was an Ancient Egyptian goddess who the ancients considered a form of Hathor. At Esna, where she was worshipped,
she was called "Mistress of the Territory."
Nebhat was a goddess of unknown attributes. She appeared as a dancing girl in myths.
Neb-hut--or the Grecian Nephthys--was an Ancient Egyptian goddess, to whom the desert regions were dedicated. Like other deities,
including Neith and Min, her name derived from Greek, meaning, in some eras, "Lady of the mansion" or "Lady
of the castle." In Egyptian, her name is Neb-Hut. Her name came from observations of her depictions: she usually appeared
as a woman or as a kite--a form of a bird--with a headdress, consisting of the hieroglyphic sign for "palace."
Another interpretation or description of her headdress is as follows: a basket on top of an enclosed wall of a large house.
With her name deriving from Greek, it is no wonder that she was one of nine members of a divine group whose name derives from
Greek as well: the Ennead, associated with the area of Heliopolis. Of course, there is also an Egyptian name for this group:
. Included in this group, other than Nephthys, was Atum, Shu, Tefnut, Geb, Nut, Osiris, Seth, and Isis. It
would not be surprising that this Heliopolian group consisted of relatives. This relation line goes as such: Shu (air) and
Tefnut (moisture)--like Adam and Eve of the Christian religion, the first beings who God created--were the offspring
of Atum, there only parent; Geb (earth) and Nut (sky) were the offspring of Shu and Tefnut; Osiris, Isis, Seth, and Nephthys
were the offspring of Geb and Nut. According to this line of relations, Nephthys was the sister of Seth, but she was also
considered his wife. Not in the Ennead was Anubis--the jackal-headed god of embalming--who was considered her son,
in later myth. Because of her relation to Anubis, it is only right that she played a part in mortuary customs. For one thing,
she was typically associated to the mortuary cult of Osiris, in every era. In addition, one the decedent was mummified and
encased in a coffin or in a sarcophagus of any type, Nephthys would hover about his or her head, protecting that area of the
coffin. Her sister, Isis, would be in charge of protecting the foot-end of the coffin. In relation to her protecting over
a mummy coffin, she was also the protective canopic deity of the baboon-headed canopic deity, Hapy, who guarded over the deceased's
Another of her characteristics was her skill in magic. Referring to the restoring of Osiris would nicely illustrate this claim.
In Lamentations--a literary text, recounting the death and the rebirth of Osiris--Nephthys, with the aide of her
sister, Isis, set out to restore their brother, after Seth--their other brother--slew him [see Death of Osiris].
Once they magically pieced Osiris together, they mourned, and then they mummified him.
Another reference to Nephthys comes from the origin of the 365 days that make up one year; this is a specific referent to
what the Ancient Egyptians called "the days upon the year." It goes as follows: Nut became pregnant by Geb, her
consort. Upon learning of this and of the possibility of competition with other gods, Re' cursed Nut, where she would
not be able to birth any children on any day of the year, which, at this point, consisted of 360 days. However, on days 361
through 365, Osiris, Isis, Seth, and Nephthys--Nut's previous son, Horus the Elder included--were born; it
was thanks to Thoth that their births from Nut were possible. The ancients said that in order for Thoth to do this, he beat
the moon in a board game. After, he won enough light to create these additional 5 days, or "days upon the year"
or "epagonmenal days" or "days of demons."
Evidences of Nephthys include a depiction of her on the Upper section of the West wall of chamber C of Nefertair's tomb
at the Valley of the Queens. This depiction shows Nephthys and Isis in the form of kites, at the head (in Nephthys'
case) and at the foot (in Isis' case) of the dead Osiris. According to the Creation Myth of Heliopolis, Nephthys and
Isis beat the air with their wings in order to enable Osiris to breathe again.
This same depiction is also found at the tomb of Sennedjem, whose career is not entirely certain, although he was referred
to as the "servant in the place of truth," at Deir el-Medina. In this depiction, Nephthys and Isis are shown,
beating the air to cause Sennedjem to be restored to life, as they did for Nefertari and for Osiris before him.
There is yet another depiction of this same scene incorporated into an openwork gold cloisonné pectoral of Psusennes I. Again,
it was Nephthy's and Isis' job to restore this king's life, so that he may join Osiris in Paradise.
One last depiction of Nephthys--not similar to the three proceeding instances, this time--show her and Isis, flanking
Osiris and moving across the Mound of Sokar, during the fifth hour of Ra's journey through the Underworld. This scene
was found on a 30th Dynasty sarcophagus, illustrating just how long she (and Isis and Osiris) was worshipped. In addition,
to illustrate how long she was worshipped, is should be mentioned that she was part of the ancient worship of Min--a
particularly ancient deity, said to have been the first king of Egypt.
Nefer-hor, meaning "Fair of Face," was an Ancient Egyptian god whose other form was of Ptah. Ptah, as Nefer-Hor
was worshipped at Memphis--where Ptah was considered its creator. It was not only to Ptah that the name Nefer-hor was
given, but to other deities throughout the span of dynastic Egypt.
Nefertem was the Ancient Egyptian god of the sun and was a part of the Egyptian Pantheon. He was the son of the god Ptah and
the goddess Sekhmet. In some areas, especially at Heliopolis, he is listed as the son of Bastet. At Buto, he was said to have
been the son of the cobra goddess, Wadjet. It was at Buto, as well as at Memphis, that his primary cult centers were located;
it was at these two sites that Nefertem was worshipped.
Nefertem most often appeared in the form of a young man. Because in some cases he was the son of Sekhmet, he was sometimes
depicted as lion-headed. The headdresses that he wore were various, just as were his parents. In some cases, he wore an open
lotus flower crown with feathers and ornaments; he could also be depicted wearing just a lotus headdress; sometimes a blue
lotus--Nymphaea Caerulea--was said to have grown out of his head; or his headdress could consist of two plumes and
two necklace counterpoises. In some depictions, a staff was included in the ensemble.
Perfumes were sacred to Nefertem; the ancients believed that he brought a fragrant flower to Ra to soothe him during a time
of suffereing. This fragrant flower was a lotus blossom--to which he was associated. There are many cases where a reference
to Nefertem's connection to the lotus blossom was recounted. For example, in one version of the Creation Myth of Hermopolis
Magna, a lotus--divinely personified as Nefertem--bobbed on the surface of the primordial waters. When the petals
of the blossom opened, the sun rose from it, representing Horus.
Other accounts of Nefertem can be found in the Lotus Legends--where he plays a cosmogonic role--and in the Pyramid
Texts of the Old Kingdom. In this latter record, he was referred to as "the lotus blossom which is before the nose of
Ra" [Utterance 266].
Other epithets of Neferetem include "Protector of the Two Lands" or khener tawy
, referring to Upper and
Lower Egypt, and "Lord of Perfumes," referring to his favor for sweet-smelling things.
Along with Hau, Nehaher was an Underworld serpent who tried to keep Osiris from traveling safely through the Underworld.
Nehbekau was a serpent deity who appeared during the creation of the world. At this moment, he was said to have swum in the
watery abyss of chaos, around the solar boat of Ra, with whom he was connected. His role is almost like that of Mehen, only
Mehen formed a protective barrier around the solar barque of Ra, when he traveled through the night sky. Because of the protective
role of Nehbekau, he was said to watch over both the dead and the living; he was especially useful in protecting the living
from snakebites. Because of this, he was used in magic spells and incantations that concerned snakebites. In addition to his
role as protector of the dead, he also was said to have united the kas of the dead of humans, of animals, and the like, making
them one with each other, thus, the meaning of his name, which was "He Who Unites the Kas."
Nehebkau, just like most of the serpent deities, appeared as a snake. Unlike most serpent deities, he had legs. At other times,
he was depicted with wings and with two snakeheads. Sometimes, he was depicted as a snake-headed man wearing the atef
Although Nehebkau did not have an official cult, he did have a festival celebrated in his honor. Such a festival occurred
during the fifth month, at the time of the beginning of the cultivation of the soil.
Evidence of this serpent god came from the Book of the Dead, where he is depicted making food offerings to whom he protects--the
Nehem Auit was one of the many Ancient Egyptian goddesses associated to Hathor; she was associated with Thoth as well. When
depicted, she was of the form of a woman who wore a sistrum headdress; her headdress could also consist of the pillar of Hathor.
Just as most of the Ancient Egyptian deities had many epithets, so did Nehem Auit; these epithets included "Deliverer
from Violence" and "the One Who Serves the Deprived." Both sobriquets, especially the first, refer to her
role as one who had the ability to repel evil spirits as well as curses. In all eras, she was revered as doing such a role
and she was most helpful to the living.
Nehes was yet another form of the many sun gods (which one is hard to say). Because of Nehes' association to the sun,
he was rightly called "the Awakened One" or "the Awakening", referring to the rise of the sun in the
eastern sky. The ancients considered this deity as a companion of Ra, thus he was most likely a form of Ra.
Neith, whose name is Greek for her Egyptian name of Nit, was part of the Egyptian Pantheon and was an Ancient Egyptian goddess
of many things. She was considered a creation goddess, being equated to Nun, representative of the primordial waters of chaos;
she was the goddess of the North, particularly of Sais and the Delta; she was also patron of the Libyans as well as of weaving.
That which concerns the last in the above is the emblem that represented Neith: in later eras, the hieroglyphic symbol--that
of two arrows crossed--represented the weaving shuttle. Thus, the ancients considered her as the patron of weaving. She
was also considered a funerary goddess, being linked to the linen of mummy bandages--because she was also the goddess
of weaving--and being the protector of Duamutef--the jackal-headed canopic jar that carried the small and upper
intestines and the stomach. In addition, the ancients considered her a mother goddess and, therefore they called her "Great
Cow," as were Mut and Hathor. However, she was most noted as being the goddess of hunting and of war/warfare. Being
a goddess of war, the Greeks later identified her with their goddess, Athena. She--Neith, not Athena--was revered
as "mistress of the bow...ruler of the arrows." Moreover, these arrows and bows were part of her depictions,
as was a shield.
In depictions of Neith, she was of human form and wore the Red Crown of Lower Egypt. In addition, she held a shield with an
emblem of crossed arrows as well as held a bow and arrows. In some depictions she also holds a papyri-form scepter.
Her main cult center was at Sais, in the Delta. The span of her who cult was extended through the Delta and the Faiyum regions.
During Dynasty XXVI--when Sais was the home of the ruling family and the capital of Egypt--Neith cam into prominence.
However, evidence has shown that she was worshipped and had a cult that dated to pre-dynastic times. Evince of this is the
finding of objects--dating from the First Dynasty--with her emblem of the shield with crossed arrows. During the
Old and Middle Kingdoms of pharaonic Egypt, female High Priests call hemet netjer or "wife of the god" served
the cults of Neith. At some of these cult centers, Neith and the triad of which she, her son Sobek and her consort Seth made
up were worshipped. However, not at all areas was Sobek considered her son, but in other areas, he was, as statues of her
were found with her suckling Sobek. Another area where a statue of Neith was found was at the Valley of the Kings, in Tutankhamun's
tomb: protecting one corner of the boy-king's golden shrine is Neith--at the other corners are Selkhet, Isis, and
Nekhbet was an Ancient Egyptian goddess. At times, she was depicted as a woman. She was also in the form of a woman with the
head of a vulture or in the form of a vulture with outspread wings. Sometimes, she was depicted wearing the White Atef-crown
or the White Crown of Upper Egypt; other times, she was depicted wearing a vulture headdress. Judging by her appearance, it
is evident to see that the vulture personifies her. More evidence of Nekhbet, the vulture goddess, appears in mortuary literature,
where she is illustrated as taking part in the birth of Osiris and inhabiting the primeval abyss--the waters of chaos
of Nun--before creation. She was also incorporated into jewelry: on a pectoral of Princess Meret--daughter of Senusret
III--where she is pictured at the top, hovering with outspread wings, above images of the king in the form of flanking
griffins, trampling his enemies. She was also found on the pectoral of Tutankhamun. One of a few architectural sites where
images of her are found is the Hypostyle Hall of the shrine of Hathor, at Dendera. Here, there is a large ceiling divided
into sevenths. It is on the middles band where a scene depicting Nekhbet--wearing the Upper and Lower Crown of Egypt
complete with sun discs; this image of her symbolizes the union of Hathor and Horus. On royal reliefs, she was commonly depicted
as a vulture, soaring above the head of the king, symbolizing protection--one of her many roles. It was said that she
was the patron and guardian of the Upper Kingdom from the earliest eras. In other eras, she was considered the wife of the
Nile god. In fact, she was addressed as the "daughter of the sun." In addition to being a guardian, she was also
the patron of nature and of childbirth.
Her cult center where she was worshipped was at el-Kab (aka Nekheb), giving her the meaning of her name, "she of Nekheb."
At this and at other cult centers, a water lily with a serpent entwined in stems adorned her pictures, referring to her role
in creation and in nature.
Nemty was a divine being from the 12th province of Upper Egypt and was a ferryman, much like Hraf-hef. However, Nemty was
the ferryman of the river to the life beyond and catered to the gods, whereas Hraf-hef was the ferryman of Tuat--the
Underworld--and catered to the souls of the dead.
Because he was identified with Horus, he too was depicted as a falcon-headed man. In addition, Nemty appeared in a boat; this
is obvious, as he was a ferryman.
According to one tale, Ra-Horakhty informs Nemty to withhold from permitting all persons who resemble Isis--who is not
supposed to attend a special divine meeting at an island called "the Island in the Middle." Hearing of this order,
Isis disguises herself as an old woman and tries to board the boat of the ferryman. At first, he does not allow her to board.
It is only after Isis offers him a gold ring as payment that Nemty permits her board. When she arrives at the meeting, she
puts an end to it, using magic. Because she is there, the gods present know that Nemty disobeyed the demand of Ra-Horakthy.
Thus, as punishment, the gods chop off all of his toes.
Neper was the Ancient Egyptian god of the harvest and of grain. Even though he was not a major deity, when depicted, he was
of the form of a man. He is a particularly ancient deity, being worshipped during pre-dynastic eras of Ancient Egypt. In later
periods, he was incorporated into the cult of Osiris, who was also a harvest and grain god.
Neser was another name for Sekhmet when she personified the destructive heat of the rays of the sun. The name means "flame"
and was thus appropriate for Sekhmet in this form.
Originally, Opet was an Ancient Egyptian goddess of eastern Thebes; she was this area's patron goddess. The ancients
might have worshipped her here; since there are no hard evidences of a cult center, it is difficult to be certain of this.
On other occasions, [Southern] Opet was the ancient name of Luxor, the area of Thebes in Upper Egypt, where the ancients paid
homage to the god Amun, during the New Kingdom.
Pakhet--or Pakht--was an Ancient Egyptian goddess, represented as a lioness. Because of her appearance, the ancients
considered her as the huntress of the desert--her original role. Furthermore, she was considered and known for her ferocity
against the enemies of Egypt--ferociousness being an obvious characteristic of this type of animal. She was also considered
a guardian of both the living and of the dead of Egypt.
By the start of Dynasty XIX, Hapshepsut built a shrine for the lioness goddess, located at Beni Hasan. This shrine was
one that the Greeks called Speos Artemidos
,thus associating Pakhet with their goddess, Artemis. This shrine is incorporated
in the entrance to the wadi in the Eastern desert, near the aforementioned location. The cult center at Beni Hasan was home
to female High Priests--called hemet netjer
or "wife of the god"--where they served and worshipped
the goddess. Further evidences of Pakhet come in the form of statues that guarded the gates of temples and of royal residences
of the Egyptian nation.
Dating before the pre-dynastic era, Ptah was the Ancient Egyptian creator god of Memphis and the chief deity of this city,
once the first capital of Egypt. Ptah was considered the only true god, the creator of all things divine and human, and the
one who the ancients call "the First of the gods." It was said that creation came from his will; when he spoke
from his hear, such things came about. In other words, the word of Ptah produced life; the tongue of Ptah announced what his
heart experienced. In addition, he was considered the one who created all the cosmogonic groups, such as Amun, Mut, and Khonsu,
the Theban triad. Given his role in Egyptian religion, he was more metaphysical than earth-dwelling, much like God of Christian
In his other form as Tatenen, he was revered as the creative urge for the world and for individual works of art, not unlike
his original form as Ptah.
Speaking of his connection to works of art, Ptah was considered the patron deity of craftsmen. At Deir el-Medina--a village
of craftsmen responsible for creating the tombs of the Valley of the Kings--he was considered an important figure, as
he protected these villages. At Memphis, those who watched over these craftsmen were High Priests of his cult and were called
the "Great Overseers of Craftsmen" or "Great Masters of Craftsmen;" in Ancient Egyptian, they were
called wer kherep hemw
. In addition to this patron duty, Ptah was considered the patron of all great architectural
monuments, beginning from the Old Kingdom, including the pyramids of Giza.
Ptah was also the source of ethical and moral orders in the world and thus was entitled with "the Lord of Truth."
Such a title spanned all eras of dynastic Egypt.
We now know of what Ptah was patron, next is a description of his appearance. From statues and from reliefs of this god, we
find him as a semi-mummified man of light complexion, wearing a beaded collar with a menat--sacred to Hathor--, a skull
cap, and sometimes holding the was-djed-ankh
scepter. The was-djed-ankh
scepter was actually a combination of
scepter), stability (djed
pillar), and life (ankh
symbol). It was during the Middle Kingdom
and beyond when an additional feature was added to Ptah's appearance: a straight beard.
During the Old Kingdom, Ptah became Ptah-Sokar, merging with Sokar [another funerary deity]; during the Late Period, Ptah
merged with Osiris, becoming Ptah-Sokar-Osiris or Ptah-Sokar-Ausar. Not much changed in Ptah's abilities after these
mergences other than his renewed connection with the Afterlife. Perhaps this amalgamation among Ptah et al was to modernize
an otherwise obscure, relatively old deity.
Since Ptah was a Memphite god, it is no surprise that his main cult center was located here. This Memphis cult center was
, which means "the mansion of the soul of Ptah." What is interesting about
this particular cult center is that its Ancient Egyptian name influenced the modern name of "Egypt." In addition,
close to his temple, there was a stall where his living-image--the sacred Apis bull--was kept. On its death, the
bull was mummified in an embalming house and was given a sacred burial. Ptah was not the only god worshipped at Memphis. In
fact, he was part of a triad, along with his consort, the lioness goddess Sekhmet, and his son, the lotus god Neferetem. It
was also believed that Imhotep and Astarte were Ptah's offspring. However, they were not part of the Memphite triad.
What is said about the Memphite cult center of Ptah--as it is true for most of the monuments of Ancient Egypt--is
that not much is left of the place; it was reduced to a rubble heap during the Arab invasion in the ninth century AD. The
location of the ancient site was used as a quarry when Cairo became the new capital of Egypt.
In addition to a cult center at Memphis, he was also honored in the great temple complexes of Amun, at Thebes, modern Luxor.
He was also worshipped at Karnak, where he had his own sacred temple along with the many tetmples that were dedicated to other
gods. At the Second Hypostyle Hall of Seti I's temple at Abydos, there are suites of rooms dedicated to Ptah's
other form, Ptah-Sokar.
Evidences of Ptah and all of his form include wooden, mummiformed, and hawk-headed figures of Ptah, which were placed in tombs
as part of the decedent's funerary equipment. Closely associating to these wooden figures is another evidence of Ptah,
rather of Ptah-Sokar-Osiris: little hollowed-out Ptah-Sokar-Osiris statuettes, which were similarly designed like a shabti/ushabti.
These statuettes were highly regarded as possessing magical powers. Like the hawk-headed wood figures, these were also fashioned
of wood, which were then painted and gilded. Inside these statuettes, the ancients placed papyrus rolls, which were then placed
in the coffin with the mummified particular.
Ptah-Sokar was an amalgamated god between the creator gods Ptah and Sokar. With this union, this god represented the union
of creative powers and of dark chaos. Because Ptah-Sokar was a god of the Underworld, he also had a connection with Osiris.
In fact, Ptah-Sokar was another form of Osiris, when he was considered the god of the night sun or the dead sun god.
Ptah-Sokar-Osiris--or Ptah-Sokar-Asar--was a triune deity, an amalgamated deity between Ptah, Sokar, and Osiris or Asar. This
deity sprang from Dynasty 21, most likely due to priestly influences.
Ptah-Sokar-Osiris was also considered another form of Osiris, who also took on the attributes of the following deities: Min,
the god of fertility; Amsu, the equivalent to this triune deity; and Kheper, the solar god who represented the morning sun.
Because of his rapport with Osiris, Ptah-Sokar-Osiris was known as "the triune god of the resurrection."
Qadesh, a Middle Eastern goddess--not to be confused with the Battle of Kadesh, that Ramesses II did not capture, but
where he launched an alliance between the Hittite and the Egyptians--was also an Ancient Egyptian deity who appeared
in the form of a naked woman, standing on the back of a lion. This minor goddess was associated with sacred ecstasy and sexual
Qebehsenuef was the falcon- or hawk-headed canopic deity who was in charge of protecting the mummified lower intestines of
the decedent; Selket, in turn, protected this canopic deity. He was just one of four protective canopic deities that made
up the group called the "Four Sons of Horus." Because of this deity, it is obvious that he played a role in mortuary
rituals. In addition to this mortuary role, he also represented the West cardinal point, associated with the dead and the
In the Pyramid Texts of the Old Kingdom, Qebehsenuef, along with his three brothers, was considered a "friend of the
king," assisting him into Paradise.
Depictions of the Four Sons of Horus found in temple paintings and in vignettes in the Book of the Dead show them as small-mummified
humans, each with his own assigned head.
In some depictions, especially those that show Osiris, illustrate them, standing upon an open lotus blossom.
Originally, a serpent goddess, Qebhet was a deity who the ancients thought of as the daughter of the mortuary god, Anubis.
They also considered her as the personification of "cool water," just like Kebawet. Personifying "cool water,"
she represented one of the vital elements requisite in the mythological eternal paradises, or more likely, in the Afterlife.
As far as cult centers go, hers were restricted to just a few Nomes of Egypt. During some periods of dynastic Egypt, Qebhet
was associated with various solar and Nile Cults.
Qebui was the minor North wind god who appeared as a four-headed ram with wings.
Ra-Horakhty was an amalgamated god between the sun god Re and Horakhty or Horus of the Two Horizons, also known as Horus the
Elder. Ra-Horus was another name for this god. He was worshipped at Heliopolis.
Ra-Asar--or Ra-Osiris--was an amalgamated god between the sun god Ra and the god of the Underworld, Osiris and appeared frequently with the head of a ram. This god was the equivalent of Afra, thus it was he who traveled through the Underworld, making his way through the hours of the night, toward
the rising sun. It was at one section of the Duat where Ra-Osiris played an important role: Ra, combined with the ba
of Osiris as one god (who "speaks with one mouth"), awakened the dead to renewed life and cared for the blessed and punished the damned. At this section, there were pits
of fire into which the pieces of tortured souls were thrown. This was the place of punishment of doomed souls, which was presided
by a throng of evil demon gods who superintended the destruction of and the torture upon the bodies of these souls. These
demon gods--appearing in human form and representing darkness, fog, wind and other elements of evil--were the enemies
of Ra-Osiris. When he approached these pits of fire, he would temporarily stop the torture of the doomed souls, by assaulting
the demon gods, using the rays of the sun, thus preventing them from further assaulting the guilty souls. Unfortunately for
these souls, they too would be pierced by the rays of light that emanated from Ra-Osiris.
Ra-Osiris is featured in Spell 180 of the Book of the Dead
, particularly where it is written in the tomb of Nefertari, of several 19th Dynasty royal officials, and of an anonymous queen who is buried in tomb no. 40 in the Valley of the Queens.
Ra-Tem was an amalgamated god of Heliopolis--where he was worshipped--between the sun gods Ra and Atum.
Rat-Tauit was a hippopotamus goddess who was worshipped at Hermonthis. She was also the mother of Horus the Younger and Horus
Renenutet or Renenet was an Ancient Egyptian cobra goddess of harvest and abundance. Closely related to these roles were her
associations to vineyards and to winemaking--of which she was a deity. A number of private Theban tombs, dating from
the New Kingdom, contain scenes of viticulture, with the presence of small shrines dedicated to her. In addition to the above
roles, she was also the goddess of good fortune, fate and of happiness; of fertility; and of nursing and childbirth. Because
of the latter in the preceding list, Renenutet was associated with Hathor. Concerning another matter, Renenutet was often
associated with Isis, perhaps because both were mother figures or had something to do with childbearing.
What is a goddess without a cult center? In Renenutet's case, her cult center was located in the Faiyum regions, far
out west; the temple here was erected during the Middle Kingdom.
Renpet, being a popular deity during the late periods of dynastic Egypt, was what the ancients considered the goddess of the
year--the Ancient Egyptian year, that is. Not only was Renpet a goddess, but also it was the Ancient Egyptian word for
"year." As a goddess, Renpet appeared in the form of a woman, wearing a plethora of symbols relating to crops
During some periods of Egypt, the ancients associated her with the solar cult of Sopdu, who was considered what the Greeks
called the Dogstar or the star named Sirius. This association was made manifest because Sopdu's role was to signal the
coming of the yearly inundation of the River Nile and Renpet was in charge of making the year happen.
Reret was another form of Isis as well as of Tauret. She was especially linked to Tauret because she appeared as a goddess
with the head and the body of a hippopotamus. In addition, Reret was considered to have the evil influence of Seth in restraint.
Because of this attribute, she was depicted as a woman holding the aspect of darkness binded by a chain. She was also the
goddess of the constellation of Draco.
Reshef or Reshep was an Ancient Egyptian god of war. He originated from Syria--he was an Amorite god, but the ancients
considered him as on of their own. When depicted, he was of the form of a bearded man who wore the White Crown of Upper Egypt.
At the front end of the crown was a gazelle head and at the back was a ribbon. No known cult centers were dedicated to this
Ret was the Ancient Egyptian goddess of the sun, depicted as a woman who wore horns and, naturally, the solar disk. She was
considered the female sun, as opposed to Ra, the male representation of the sun. Because of her connection with Ra, in that
they both personify the sun, the ancients believed that she was the consort or divine wife of Ra. In addition, the ancients
considered her the mother of all of the gods of the nation. The area where one worshipped her was located at Heliopolis or
Hermopolis, where the ancients worshipped Ra as well.
Saa was the god of touch and feeling; he was a god of one of the five senses. In addition, he personified human and divine
intelligence. Saa appeared as a human who wore atop his head rising parallel lines, which grew smaller as they ascended upward.
He was mentioned in the Theban Recension of the Book of the Dead, where he made an appearance at the Judgment Halls of Osiris.
Here, he stands among the gods who are in charge of the weighing of the heart of the decedent. In other instances, he was
one among Thoth and other gods who stood upon the solar boat of Ra.
Safekhet was an Egyptian goddess of learning, whose symbol was a palm leaf encircled by upside down horns. The sacred tree
in the "Great Hall" of Heliopolis was important to her, as it was on its leaves that she--or Thoth--wrote
the names of wealthy monarchs, especially of Pharaoh. This granted the person whose name was written upon the leaf immortality.
Sah was the Ancient Egyptian god who divinely personified the constellation of Orion. From the two shafts that run from the
burial chamber of the Great Pyramid, we can see that they are aligned with this constellation. It was in the direction of
Orion that the ancients believed the king's ba would go, after he ascended to take his place among the constellation
of the kings before him. Thus, it is no wonder that the Ancient Egyptian name for "spiritual body," which was
expected to emerge after death and continue to exist throughout eternity, was called sah
; it was after embalmment occurred
that the mortuary remains became the sah.
Satet was the Ancient Egyptian goddess of the hunt; in depictions, she carries bows and arrows, illustrating her association
to the hunt. She was also considered a goddess of fertility; at Aswan, she was associated with Khnum, master potter who created
humans from clay. She was also the protector of the Southern border--that which separated Egypt from Nubia. In fact,
Upper Egypt was called Ta-Satet or the "Land of Satet;" this section of Egypt may have been dedicated to her.
In addition, she was associated with the falling waters of the River Nile. It is near the First Cataract--an area of
dangerously rapid waters, infested with sharp rocks and such, making navigation of the Nile almost impossible--and near
Aswan that the island of Sehel is located. Covering its grounds are over 200 rock inscriptions, which served as illustrative
dedications to cataract and water deities, including Satet, Khnum, and Anuket. Such stones could have been placed here as
blessings to sailors on their hazardous journey into Nubia or as thanksgivings for a safe and successful return home. Such
inscriptions date from Dynasties 18 and 19. It is by this cataract that her cult center, at Elephantine, was located.
When depicted, Satet was of the form of a woman wearing both cows' horns and a conical crown or wearing a white crown
with antelope horns. Again, she often carried bows and arrows.
Sati was another form of Isis when she was represented and revered as the goddess who brought forth spring and caused the
flooding of the Nile.
Sati-temui was a terrible serpent deity who dwelled in the fourth region of the Place of Reeds--a metaphysical place
composed of seven halls through which the souls of the decedent had to pass in order to be received by a god. This serpent
god was said to prey on the dead who dwelled in the Duat.
Sef, along with his partner Dua, was a lion god who guarded and protected over Ra when the sun god began his journey through
the Underworld. Sef represented "yesterday;" Dua represented "tomorrow."
Sekhmet-Bast-Ra was an amalgamated deity between the feline goddesses Sekhmet and Bastet, along with the sun god Ra. Bastet
was said to typify the mild fertilizing heat of the sun, thus her connection with Ra. Sekhmet and Bastet were both feline
goddesses who were polar opposites; Bastet was the gentler side of the pair, whereas Sekhmet was the most vicious. Despite
this, they were amalgamated.
Sekhmet-Bast-Ra appeared as a man-headed woman with wings growing from her arms, with two heads of a vulture spring from either
side of her neck, and bearing claws of a lion. She was the goddess of the Eastern part of the Delta and was most likely worshipped
at Bubastis along with Bastet.
Selket was the Ancient Egyptian scorpion goddes--the scorpion being her theophany. Scorpions played a significant role
in Egypt--as they currently do--because they were a menace, contributing to many-a visit to the doctor for treatment
of a sting. It should be noted that there were--and are--two kinds of scorpions in Egypt: the darker and harmless
and the paler and poisonous Buthridae
Selket was a funerary deity as well as a protector over the canopic jar containing the lower intestines, which was guarded
by Qebehsenuef. In addition, she represented the west cardinal point. Because she was the guardian of the west, she was depicted
as a statues, keeping watch over the west corner of Tutankhamun's golden shrine; Nephthys guards the north, Isis the
south, and Neith the east. In addition to her protective capabilities, she protected the decedent's mummy; as an amulet,
Selket could protect the mummy.
Another role of Selket's came at the seventh hour of Ra's journey through the Underworld. At this hour, Ra comes
face-to-face with Apophis, the serpent demon, whose main goal was to swallow the sun. With Selket's help and of the
"Director of Knives," they further prevented Apophis from accomplishing his goal; Selket holds the demon's
head and the "Director of Knives" holds its tail.
Originally, Selket was associated with the god of primordial waters, Nun, and was worshipped in southern areas of Egypt. Later,
she became absorbed into the cult of Horus, where she became one of the guardians of the dead.
When depicted, she was of the form of a woman with a scorpion headdress or she had a scorpion's mid-section and hind
quarters, with a woman's head, shoulders, and arms, wearing a headdress with bull's horns and a sun disc.
Whichever scorpion is concerned, there were scorpion charmers, during ancient times, who were called kherep selket
or "the one who has power over the scorpion goddess;" a Lector Priest or a doctor could also be called such an epithet.
The local scorpion charmer, probably a snake charmer as well, cast spells and provided charms to ward off such creatures and
cure their bites. This, then, illustrates the intensity of scorpion bites.
Serapis was the Grecian name for the Egyptian Osiris Apis or Asar-Hapi. By the Ptolemaic Period, under Ptolemy I, Serapis
became a separate deity who both the Greeks and the Egyptians worshipped. His cult was originally located at Memphis, where
he was worshipped as Osiris-Apis. However, during the reign of the aforementioned ruler, the cult of Osiris-Apis was relocated
to Alexandria, where also his name was changed to Serapis and his appearance altered as well: he appeared as a matured man
with a beard and curly hair, in Hellenistic style, and atop his head was a basket of overflowing goods. The Greeks named his
Alexandrian temple Serapaeum. Here, he was revered as a hybrid deity, taking on both Greek and Egyptian attributes of the
following deities: Osiris and Apis; Zeus, Helios [Geb], Hades, Askelpios [Imhotep], and Dionysus. Thus, Serapis was a god
of the Underworld, of healing, and of fertility. He was also a god who protected sailors.
Seshat was the Ancient Egyptian goddess of measurement of time and of writing; writing was attributed to her, as she was the
wife of the god of the scribes, Thoth. In Dynasty XXI art, she was illustrated inscribing the leaves of the ished
with the names and the titles of the king as well as with the number of years in his reign; the latter illustrates her association
with measurement. One particular evince of this can be found at the mortuary temple of Ramses, better known as the Ramesseum.
At the First Small Hypostyle Hall, Seshat and Thoth are shown inscribing the name of Ramses on the leaves of the aforementioned
sacred tree; seated under this tree is Ramses. Such a depiction illustrated that Ramses was acknowledge as a worthy successor
of his predecessors. In addition to that, at the time of the king's coronation, Seshat was depicted writing the names
of the current king upon the sacred presea tree, with which she was associated.
Further acknowledging "the Mistress of the Books," she was depicted on one particular relief on the southern colonnade
at the temple of Hatshepsut, at Deir el-Bahri; she was the divine being who was said to have recorded all wares that Hatshepsut
and her entourage brought back with them to Egypt from Punt. In this colorful scene, Seshat keeps accounts of the weight of
all the gold from Punt; Horus is in charge of the scales that measure the gold.
Illustrating her duties to the measurement of time, temple reliefs from the New Kingdom show her participating in the sed
where she holds a notched palm rib, which symbolized the passing of time.
In some Old Kingdom depictions, Seshat records the number of foreign captives and the quantities of loot that was taken after
battles and raids.
In some eras, Seshat was also considered "the Mistess of Architects," probably because of the measurement factor
In order to know what Seshat looks like, here is a description: she was depicted as a woman wearing a panther skin robe--closely
related to what sem
priests wore. She also wore a couple of different headdresses: one consisted of plumes, which identified
her as the recorder of deeds; another headdress consisted of a single seven-pointed star on a pole, with or with an arching
Set'em was the Ancient Egyptian god of hearing who appeared in human form, wearing an ear atop his head.
The Seven Hathors
The Seven Hathors, equivalent precursors to the Fates of Greece, were believed to be able to tell the future of a newborn
Egyptian child, that they knew the exact moment of death of all Egyptians. It was the predicted hour of death of a person
and the luck of ill fortunes connected with this hour that determinded the person's destiny. If the child's destiny
looked lousy, then--as it was believed--the Seven Hathors could exchange any price born under unfavorable auspices
with a more fortunate child, thus protecting the well-being of the dynasty and the nation. Of what they were in charge, the
Seven Hathors illustrate exactly how concerned the ancients were when it came to lucky and unlucky fates of individuals.
The Seve Wise Ones
The Seven Wise Ones were the offspring of Mehurt, the celestial cow goddess; they appeared as seven hawks. Because Mehurt
was their mother, they were sometimes called the Seven Wise Ones of Mehurt. The ancients believed that these beings came from
the water, from the pupil of the eye of Ra. It was Ptah who created them, with the help of his consort, Sekhmet. When the
Seven Wise Ones were born, they flew skyward to join Thoth; together, they presided over learning and letters.
Shai was the Ancient Egyptian goddess or guardian of fate--or shoy
. She was yet another deity associated with
the mortuary cult and the Judgment Halls of Osiris. Her role here was attendant of the balance upon which the decedent's
heart was weighed against the feather of truth and justice of Ma'at.
Shay was an Ancient Egyptian god of destiny. Not too much is known about him; he had no known cult centers.
Shed--a deity worshipped at and originated from Thinis--was an Ancient Egyptian god, later a lord, of the deserts
and of Paradise; he took on the form of a young prince, hunting. Those that he hunted include serpents, scorpions, and crocodiles,
or all that which the ancients and most of the world's population consider dangerous. Because of this beneficiary role
throughout the entire span of dynastic Egypt, the ancients referred to him as "the Savior."
Shehbui was one of four minor wind gods; he represented the South wind. He appeared as a lion-headed man and--like his
brother wind gods--he was winged.
Shemsu-heru were special divine beings of heaven, known as the followers of Horus. In heaven, they waited upon Horus, protecting
him when protection was needed; they were essential to his welfare.
Shezmu was an Ancient Egyptian god from the Faiyum, were his cult center was located. The ancients considered him an Underworld
demon as well as the god of wine and of unguent-oil presses. When depicted he was of the shape of a man. Not much else is
known about this deity, as he was a relatively minor god.
Sia was the Ancient Egyptian god--appearing as a man--who personified divine knowledge and intellectual achievement.
Throughout the Old Kingdom, Pharaoh was believed to have the divine powers of Sia--which we know is knowledge--, of Hu
(divine utterance), and of Heka (divine magic); all of which were believed to be attributed to the creator gods.
Silene was an Ancient Egyptian moon goddess. She comes into play when the sky goddess Nut becomes pregnant and suffers a curse
of Ra, one that prevents her from giving birth. Enter Thoth, who challenges Silene to a game of tables. Knowing that she possessed
more light than the sun itself, Thoth managed to get her to wager some of it. She did and lost the game. This gave Thoth enough
light to create five additional days known as the days upon the year, the birthdays of Osiris, of Horus the Elder, of Seth,
of Isis, and of Nephthys--the children of Nut. After Silene loses some of her light to Thoth, her rays became weaker
that those of the sun.
Sokar or Seker was another god of Ancient Egypt who had more than one role. He was the god of creation of the Memphite necropolis,
which dates from the pre-dynastic period. Because he was a creator god, the Pyramid Texts refer to him as the "maker
of royal bones." In addition to his creation capabilities, he was also the god of the earth and of fertility. With this
role, Sokar was sometimes depicted as a mound of earth, surmounted by a boat that contained a hawk head; the hawk was his
theophany. In this form, he dwelled in the realms of the Underworld; from a 30th Dynasty sarcophagus, we know that Sokar represented
the in the fourth and the fifth hours of the night, which was called the "realm of Sokar." Another form of Sokar--the
less popular depiction of the god--was that of a large-headed, heavy-limbed pygmy who wore a beetle on his head--no
doubt a symbol of creation--, stood on a cabinet--probably to accommodate for his size--, and was surrounded
or attended by hawks. In addition to his relation to the hawk, he was considered a funerary deity and was associated with
death and the cemetery of Memphis, the location of his cult center; originally, he was the guardian of tombs.
Because of his aforementioned roles, he became of member of a trinity group at Memphis with Ptah and with Osiris, thus forming
the Memphite triune deity Ptah-Sokar-Osiris or Ptah-Seker-Asar. Being syncretized with Ptah meant that he and this god shared
the same consort, the lioness goddess, Sekhmet. In addition, because of his association with Ptah, he was considered as the
creation of Ptha, from whose heart and mind he came. Being syncretized with Osiris meant an influence on his appearance; he
took the form of a mummified man wearing a crown of horns, cobras, atef, and sun discs. At times, he was hawk-headed--another
appreciation to his theophany.
At his Memphite cult center, which dates before the First Dynasty, he was celebrated. To honor Sokar, devout worshippers strung
onionskins or whole onion buds round their necks. Such an object was utilized in the embalming process, to which Sokar was
associated, being a funerary god; it was over the eyes and into the ear of the body cavity that the embalmers put onions.
Such a step was most likely to contribute to disguise the foul smell of decay, as they are used today, although not for embalming,
rather for kitchen smells.
Evidence of Sokar's existence can be found in the form of a collection of litanies dedicated to him, in the Rhind Papyrus,
which dates from the 17th Dynasty, during the Second Intermediate Period. An unknown Theban scribe copied this papyrus, which
discusses fractions, calculus, and other mathematical knowledge of the era.
Sutekh was an Ancient Egyptian god most often referred to as a form of the god of chaos, Seth. Even though he was not a prominent
deity in ancient times, Ramesses II, Pharaoh of the 19th Dynasty, was devout to this god. During the delegation between the
Hittites and the Egyptians, Ramesses II called upon Sutekh in hopes of good weather when this delegation came to Egypt to
strengthen their coalition.
Tatenen--or Tenen--was an Ancient Egyptian god of vegetation or of the earth and was whom the ancients believed
was responsible for the emerging Nile silt from the receding floodwaters. The ancients also believed he emerged from the watery
abyss of chaos at the moment of creation. Upon entering the Overworld, he was said to have brought four important insignia
with him. These include two staffs to repel the serpent from the great primeval mound; one mace--called the "Great
White of the Earth Creator," believed to be endowed with magical powers and considered a deity in its own right--dedicating
it to the falcon; and the djed pillar. The latter was a symbol of stability, connected with the cult of Osiris throughout
Because of Tatenen's attribute to the earth, the primeval mound, and the receding of the Nile, he was given two names:
"Risen Land"--the meaning of his name--and "Revered One," according to temple texts. In
depictions, he was of the form of a man, wearing a double-plumed crown with ram's horns.
Tayet--or Tait--was yet another goddess of linen weaving; the type of linen could have been what the ancients called
"byssus." When depicted, she was in the form of a beautiful woman who carried a chest or chests full of mortuary
linen. With her mortuary connection, she was said to have aided Isis in wrapping the body of Osiris, after Seth slew him.
With this connection to Isis and her association with the cult of Osiris, she was called Isis-Tait. At Akhmin--the center
of industry--she was honored, so it is more than likely that she had a cult center here. However, this statement is pure
speculation on the part of your Webmistress.
Tenemyt was a presiding goddess of beer; her name was probably derived from the term used for a type of beer jar or beer itself.
To-Remu was a Nubian god of war, who the Egyptians believed fought off all threatening enemies of Egypt, especially during
times when Pharaoh was in battle. In addition, he was the protector of sacred places and, during the Greco-Roman era, he became
the protector of all magical rituals. He was also the protector of Ra--his father--when he traveled through the
night sky. Here, To-Remu helped fight off the evil monsters who obstructed the way. It was also during the Greco-Roman era
that he was revered as a god of storms and of winds. On a darker note, he was considered one of the executioners of Osiris.
During the New Kingdom, To-Remu became known and worshipped, especially at Leontopolis--near the 11th Nome of Egypt--as
well as at Bubastis, where he had a temple.
Because he was the son of Bastet, he appeared in the form of a lion-headed man who wore the atef crown and who held a knife.
Thus, it is no wonder that he was called "Wielder of the Knife." In addition, he was often shown in the midst
of devouring the enemies of Egypt.
Typhon or Typho was the Greek form of Seth. What is more, the name of the animal that was sacred to Seth was derived from
this Grecian name; the typhonean animal was this animal. It is not clear whether this animal was mythical or not; it was supposedly
of a red color and made a sound much like that of a donkey, the animal to which this animal was associated.
Unut was originally a snake goddess, known as "the swift one," but later, she was a hare-headed woman. She came
from the 15th province of Upper Egypt and shared a cult center with Thoth at Hermopolis. When she was in the form of a hare,
she was worshipped at the cults of Horus and of Ra. She may have been the knife wielding hare who was depicted decapitating
Apep, the Underworld serpent responsible for swallowing the sun. Despite this, she was rarely mentioned in texts and was seldom
Usert was a form of Isis when she was revered as the goddess of the fruitful earth.
Utennu were minor gods of heaven whose roles are little known.
Wasret was a popular deity during the start of Dynasty XII who was a Theban guardian goddess of precious metals, of
wealth, of mines, and of treasure. It was at Thebes--what the ancients called waset
, a very close resemblance
to the name of this goddess--where she was worshipped. Actually, it was at Karnak, at Thebes, where she was worshipped.
Here, it was believed that Wasret was the predecessor of Mut, forming a triad with Amon--her consort--and with Khonsu--her
son. In other instances, Wasret was said to be another form of Hathor and it was at her shrines that Wasret was worshipped.
When depicted, Wasret was most likely of human form, wearing a crown consisting of a was
-scepter--a symbol of
her name, "the Powerful"--and carrying weapons of some sort.
Wen-nefer was a name for Osiris when he was revered as "the Beautiful One."
Wepwawet was a jackal or a jackal-headed god--sometimes he was described as being a wolf. Because of his appearance,
he was assimilated into the cult of Anubis. In fact, both deities look very similar, but Wepwawet was called "the Opener
of the Ways," whereas Anubis was called "he who is in the place of embalming" or "Lord of Mummy Wrappings."
Wepwawet was considered to be a friend of Osiris and in some myths, he was said to pilot the sun boat as it traveled through
the chambers of the night; he might have also been considered a friend of Ra.
At Assiut was a cult center dedicated to Wepwawet and at many Nomes of Egypt, he was honored.
In addition, this god, according to the Pyramid Texts, was said to have "emerged from a tamarisk bush," thus associating
him to this sacred tree--also known as a willow; this tree was also associated to Osiris.
Weret was the Ancient Egyptian god of the sky who was often depicted on reliefs playing a harp. As the god of the sky, the
ancients considered the sun and the moon as his eyes; when there was no moon, the ancients believed that he was blind. Because
of this occurrence of blindness to Weret, the ancients believed to be the protector of priest-physicians who treated ailments
of the eye and the patron of blind musicians, who were mostly used to play for the gods because one was not allowed to look
directly upon them, thus being blind eliminated this mindset.
Evidences of Weret were found in hymns and litanies, where the ancients referred to him as "the Great One." Although
the ancients did not dedicate a cult center to just him, he did share and was identified with cult centers of Thoth and of
Horus, in various regions.
Werethekau appeared in two forms. The first was of a lioness with the body of a woman. In this form, she was considered another
form of Isis. Werethekau was said to have personified the ability to master supernatural powers and she had the ability to
manage witchcraft of all types. Thus, she was called, "She Who is Rich in Magic Spells." In addition, she was
said to have been the consort of Ra-Horakhty, who eventually overshadowed the popularity of this goddess. Because of her connection
to Ra, she was said to be depicted wearing the insignia of her consort--the sun disc--along with a rearing cobra.
Her other form was that of a cobra. In this form, she possessed all the attributes of herself in lioness form. Coiled bronze
snake wands were said to represent Werethekau, whose name, like her epithet, was "Great of Magic."
Werethekau was also another name for the rearing cobra upon royal crowns and headdresses.