The Egyptian Gods are deities that are part of the mythology of Ancient Egypt. These deities were omnipresent and metamorphic that influenced the elements and controlled nature. The best known cult was that of Isis and Osiris. The Egyptians believed that they had populated all of Egypt as well as instructed the peasants with farming techniques.
Religion in Ancient Egypt
In ancient Egypt the religion was polytheistic, this means that the Egyptians worshiped various gods with varying roles and characteristics. They were worshiped throughout and outside Egypt, some even to Europe.
The Egyptian gods have much in common with men: they can be born, grow old, die; besides having a name, feelings and body that must be nurtured.
However, these very human aspects hide an exceptional nature: their precious material body is endowed with transformative power and their tears can give birth to beings or minerals.
There are aspects of these gods in various combinations: fully human, fully animal, with the body of man and animal head, with the whole animal in place of the head (the scarab, for example) or with the human head.
Interestingly, there were wars between the Egyptian cities which had rival gods.
Major Egyptian Gods and Their Meanings
First god of the pantheon, Ra-Tuna is responsible for the creation of the world. Represented by the sun, it is described in many ways, the most common being the face of a bird of prey. The Egyptians believed that their king (Pharaoh) was the embodiment of Ra.
Ra’s descendant, Osiris is the eldest son of the couple Geb and Nut. He reigned over the earth as the first Pharaoh of Egypt.
Osiris’ sister-wife, Isis was protective, godly, and related to magic. With Osiris had the son Horus.
God of chaos, Set is responsible for wars and all darkness. In the shape of the anthill, he killed his brother: Osiris.
Sister-wife of Set and after Osiris’s death, she separated from her husband and joined her grieving sister Isis.
Son of Osiris and Isis, Horus is depicted with a hawk head and body of man. It is the protector of pharaohs and families. He fought Set for the throne of the chief god of Egypt after the murder of his father Osiris.
Guardian goddess of women and protector of lovers. Hathor is Horus’s wife, represented with the head or ears of a cow.
Jackal-headed, Anubis was born of the union of Osiris and Nephthys. He was responsible for mummification by embalming his father’s body.
Some texts evoke him as the son of Ra, while others, such as Set. Patron of the Moon, of wisdom and healing, Thoth has the head of a bird.
Linked to fertility, Bastet is the goddess of fertility, sexuality and childbirth. With cat head and human body, she is considered the protector of women.
Lioness-headed goddess, Sekhmeth is the daughter of Ra and therefore reflects the destructive aspect of the Sun.