Egypt Religion Part I

According to Cachedhealth, the religion of the Egyptians always remains one of the most complex subjects of that civilization. Sources abound, as we have said, but so far also fundamental documents, such as the texts of the sarcophagi, the Book of the Dead and others, are lacking critical editions. If we begin to shed some light in the intricate congeries of gods and myths that later syncretism has amalgamated, full darkness still reigns over the profound changes that occurred in such a long time. To examine the sentiments which in Egypt led men to worship certain objects, it is convenient to divide the divinities into two categories: 1. the gods who have a natural representation, such as fetishes, plants, animals, men; 2. the gods who have an ideal representation. Let’s examine the first group. One of the most notable fetishes was constituted by a shield and two crossed arrows, hoisted on a pole, later replaced by only the arrows in the cross, or by two arches enclosed within a leather case. He was already revered at the time of Mêne a Sais (Šā el-Ḥaǵar) in the western Delta; but due to the political importance of the city it had spread elsewhere. A temple during the ancient kingdom stood in the northern part of Menfi, hence the epithet to the goddess: “The northern wall of the Wall”. His name was Nḡrte, which later became Nḡjte, which the Greeks transcribed according to the local Neith dialect. The warlike character of the goddess is also revealed by another epithet that is given to her: “The outrider”. Parallel to the cult of arms is that of royal crowns in three forms: white, red and double. They were venerated in the chapels of the palace, they had priests and we have a liturgy of them. A column adorned with feathers and bands is the god Wéḫej “Column” in Cusae (el-Qūṣiyyah). A cow’s skull stuck to a pole, called Bá’je “Powerful” is the fetish of Diospolis Parva, perhaps also of Denderah. It then changed into a sistrum, the one made up of two horns surrounding a portal; so it is also seen on the head of the goddess Neḥmet-e‛we’je “Who helps the robbed” in Ermopoli. In the temple of Heliopolis a sharp stone was preserved, Ben “Pietra” or Bénben “Puntuto”, of which the upper extremity of the obelisks and the squat simulacra of the solar temples of the ancient kingdom were the reproduction. Perhaps it is something like the primitive god of Per-śópṭe (Ṣaft el-ḥinnā), judging by its name Šópte “Acuto”. Even the four bricks on which Egyptian women used to relieve themselves are considered a goddess, Meśhenje. In the city of Wet, not well located, perhaps in the twelfth name of Upper Egypt, an animal skin hung on a stick was worshiped, called Em-Wet “He who is in Wet”; a pole surmounted by a head, adorned with bandages and feathers, two hanging arms, of which the right holds the crosier, the left the scourge, is god in the name of Busiri, ‛Enṣete” Busiridiano “. A fetish of uncertain nature, probably a stone, is Min, god of Panopolis (Akhmīm); it may have been a pillar that of Coptic, Rḥeśe, before assuming the crude human form of early historical times. Traces of the cult of the scepter can be found in the official names of some provinces, the eliopolitano: “The scepter Ḥaqe ‘is well”, the oxyrinchite: “The two scepters We’bew”, the theban: “The scepter We’śe”; with the ideogram of the scepter are also written the divine names Jeg’ej, Je’e, Je’tet, for the last of which a priest is known. Mysterious is the emblem of a god Śeš’ew and a goddess Śeš’e,  formed by an object with seven points fixed to a pole and surmounted by two inverted horns. A divine banner is called Ġenw-śewe. The cult of trees was widespread: in Menfi a trunk with severed branches was venerated, the Ṣaṭ, qualified as “Augustus”; in Momenfi, a forest of je’em, a plant not yet identified; in the southern part of Menfi there was also a sacred sycamore; in Heliopolis the ješeṭ (plant not yet identified; in the southern part of Menfi there was also a sacred sycamore; in Heliopolis the ješeṭ (plant not yet identified; in the southern part of Menfi there was also a sacred sycamore; in Heliopolis the ješeṭ (Balanites aegyptiaca), on which the names of the kings were later written. In Per-śópṭe the nûbeś (jujube) was honored, from which it also took the name “Castle of the jujube”, and the plant keśbe, identified with the city god: “Śópṭe which is under its keśbe”.

For the moringa we find a similar expression: “He who is under his moringa”, which explains in a certain way the deification of the plant as if it were thought to be inhabited by an entity; but these are secondary developments, as is clear from the variety of gods with which the fetish is assimilated. For the Egyptian, the plant itself is something personal, as it appears when it serves in exchange for a dead person or bends the head or turns it.

Egypt Religion 1