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2009 10- 28 JTL
Jackal God of Abydos
In late Egyptian mythology, Wepwawet (also rendered Upuaut, Wep-wawet,
Wepawet, and Ophois) was originally a war deity, whose cult centre was Asyut in
Upper Egypt (Lycopolis in the Greco-Roman period). His name means, Opener of the
Ways. Some interpret that Wepwawet was seen as a scout, going out to clear routes
for the army to proceed forward. One inscription from the Sinai states that Wepwawet
"opens the way" to king Sekhemkhet's victory.
It was not unusual in ancient Egypt for more then one god to take the same form, with
similar functions as another god. Wepwawet (Ophios, Upuaut), called the son of Isis,
was one of several Egyptian deities to take the form of a canine, today often
incorrectly identified as a wolf. Egyptologists now believe that he was more likely
associated with the jackal, though he is often depicted with a gray or white head.
Wepwawet originally was seen as a wolf deity, thus the Greek name of Lycopolis,
meaning city of wolves, and it is likely the case that Wepwawet was originally just a
symbol of the pharaoh, seeking to associate with wolf-like attributes, that later
became deified as a mascot to accompany the pharaoh. Likewise, Wepwawet was
said to accompany the pharaoh on hunts, in which capacity he was titled (one with)
sharp arrow more powerful than the gods.
Over time, the connection to war, and thus to death, led to Wepwawet also being
seen as one who opened the ways to, and through, duat, for the spirits of the dead.
Through this, and the similarity of the jackal to the wolf, Wepwawet became
associated with Anubis, a deity that was worshiped in Asyut, eventually being
considered his son. Seen as a jackal, he also was said to be Set's son.
Consequently, Wepwawet often is confused with Anubis. This deity appears in the
Temple of Seti I at Abydos.
In later Egyptian art, Wepwawet was depicted as a wolf or a jackal, or as a man with
the head of a wolf or a jackal. Even when considered a jackal, Wepwawet usually
was shown with grey, or white fur, reflecting his lupine origins. He was depicted
dressed as a soldier, as well as carrying other military equipment - a mace and a
bow. For what generally is considered to be lauding purposes of the pharaohs, a later
mythos briefly was circulated claiming that Wepwawet was born at the sanctuary of
Wadjet, the sacred site for the oldest goddess of Lower Egypt that is located in the
heart of Lower Egypt. Consequently, Wepwawet, who had hitherto been the standard
of Upper Egypt alone, formed an integral part of royal rituals, symbolizing the
unification of Egypt.
In the late pyramid texts, Wepwawet is called "Re who has gone up from the horizon,"
perhaps as the "opener" of the sky.
In the later Egyptian funerary context, Wepwawet assists at the Opening of the mouth
ceremony and guides the deceased into the netherworld.
Like Anubis, Wepwawet was also a funerary deity, and was one of the earliest of the
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God and Goddesses
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gods worshipped at Abydos. Early on, Wepwawet's worship paralleled that of
Khentyamentiu, but when Osiris absorbed that god's attributes, Anubis filled his
funerary role. However, with the rise of the solar cult, particularly during the 12th
Dynasty, Osiris was limited to the underworld and the local god and lord of the
cemetery at Abydos was filled by Wepwawet, who gained the titles, "Lord of Abydos"
and Lord of the Necropolis".
Other cult centers for Wepwawet included Quban, el-Hargarsa, Memphis, Sais and
particularly the thirteenth ancient nome of Upper Egypt. This is the location of modern
Asyut, which the Greeks called Lycopolis. This may be the origin of the
misinterpretation of Wepwawet as a wolf, for Lycopolis can be interpreted as the
"Town of the Wolf".
Wepwawet's name means "the opener of the ways (or Roads)". We believe this refers
to his role in leading the deceased through the underworld as a protector. This
attribute of the god is well established in New Kingdom funerary texts such as the
Book of Going Forth by Day Book of the Dead, and the Book of That Which Is in the
Underworld (Amduat). Wepwawet was also thought of as the messenger and
champion of royalty. Like Shu, he was also referred to as the "one who has separated
the sky from the earth.
Wepwawet's image is generally portrayed with a uraeus and a hieroglyph that has
been described as representing the king's placenta, surmounting a standard known
as a shedshed. The famous mace of Narmer shows such a standard in use as early
as the First Dynasty. It is possible, given this context, that early on Wepwawet was a
warlike deity and that in war, he also "opened the way" for the Egyptian army.
Wepwawet's standard was carried preceding the king from the palace or temple
during processions, and during the New Kingdom, Wepwawet's standard even
preceded that of Osiris. In fact, Wepwawet's standard symbolized Upper Egypt in
royal processions, while Lower Egypt's counterpart was the Apis bull of Memphis.
However, one inscription provides that he was born in the sanctuary of the goddess
Wadjet at Buto in the Nile Delta, though this was most likely politically inspired,
considering that all evidence points to his Upper Egyptian origins.
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Serpent Goddess of Justice, Time, Heaven and Hell
Wadjet (Wadjyt, Wadjit, Uto, Udjo, Uatchet, Edjo, Buto) was the predynastic cobra
goddess of Lower Egypt, a goddess originally of a city who grew to become the
goddess of Lower Egypt, took the title The Eye of Ra, and one of the nebty (the 'two
ladies') of the pharaoh. 'She of Papyrus/Freshness' rose from being the local goddess
of Per-Wadjet (Buto) ("The House of Wadjet (Papyrus/Freshness)") to become the
patron goddess of all of Lower Egypt and 'twin' in the guardianship of Egypt with the
vulture goddess Nekhbet. These two were the nebty (the 'two ladies') of the pharaoh
and were an example of Egyptian duality - each of the two lands had to have its own
patron goddess. Wadjet was the personification of the north.

Often shown as a rearing cobra, she was a protector of the pharaoh, ready to strike
and kill his enemies. She was also depicted as a woman-headed cobra, a winged
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cobra, a lion-headed woman, or a woman wearing the red crown of Lower Egypt. She
was often shown together with Nekhbet who was in an identical form - as a snake or
woman - or paired together with Wadjet as a snake and Nekhbet as a vulture.
Wadjet is primarily a snake-headed protector of Lower Egypt - the delta region.
However, the ancient people of northern area worshiped Wadjet as a vulture
Goddess. Wadjet was revered as the goddess of childbirth, and protector of children,
and in later years she became the protector of kings. Wadjets role was often seen as
a forceful defender, while her sister, Nekhebet, was seen as the motherly defender.
This contrast provided the counterpoint seen in many of the Egyptian deities. The
symbol of justice, time, heaven and hell, Wadjet is one of the oldest Egyptian
Often shown as a cobra, or as the head of the cobra, Wadjet can be seen rearing
from the forehead of the rulers. Evidence of her protection is most notable upon the
funerary mask of Tutankhamen. Occasionally, she has been shown in the guise of
her "eye of divine vengeance" role, as a lioness. In later years, the royal crowns were
often decorated with two or more depictions of cobras in deference to her role as
While Wadjet was sometimes depicted as the lioness-headed goddess, she was
often seen in the image of a mongoose, represented on the funeral urns of ancient
Egypt. The mongoose was revered as her sacred animal. Along with the shrew
mouse, they were mummified and entombed in statuettes of the goddess. It is
believed that the mongoose, and the shrew mouse were representative of the day
and night cycle. The mongoose representing daylight, and the nocturnal shrew
mouse representing night.
Many Egyptian deities were associated with specific hours, days, and months, and
Wadjet was no different. Her time was considered to be the fifth hour of the fifth day
of the month, or lunar cycle. Interestingly enough, December 25th, on the Egyptian
calendar, was considered to be the "going forth of the Goddess," while April 21st was
her feast day. The many days when Wadjet is honored culminate during her month,
Epipi, the harvest or summer month. This corresponds to mid-May through mid-June
on the Gregorian calendar.
Legend has it that Wadjet was the daughter of Atum, the first god of the Universe. He
created her as his eye. Her purpose was to search the Universe for his lost sons,
Tefnut and Shu. Wadjet did find his sons, and Atum was so happy to see them that he
cried. It is said that those tears made humans. As a reward, Atum placed Wadjet
upon his head in the form of a cobra. There she would be feared and respected by all
the gods and men.

The goddess Wadjet appears in the form of the living Uraeus to anoint your
head with her flames. She rises up on the left side of your head and she
shines from the right side of your temples without speech; she rises up on
your head during each and every hour of the day, even as she does for her
father Ra, and through her the terror which you inspire in the spirits is
increased ... she will never leave you, are of you strikes into the souls which
are made perfect.
- The Book of the Dead

She became a goddess of heat and fire and this enhanced her role as a protector
goddess - with such fierce powers she could use not only poison but flames against
the enemies of the pharaoh. Along with her link to this power, she became connected
with the 'Eye of Ra', and was thus also connected to the other goddesses who took
this title - Bast, Tefnut, Sekhmet, Hathor, Isis, and her 'twin' in duality, Nekhbet. Along
with this form, she took the form of a lioness, as did many of the other 'Eye of Ra'
goddesses. In this form she wore the solar disk of Ra - linking her to the sun - with
the uraeus (the rearing cobra) as her headdress.
In the story of Horus and Set, when Horus is trying to find and rout the followers of
Set, Horus pursued them in the form of a burning, winged disk, attended by both
Nekhbet and Wadjet as crowned snakes, one on each side of him. This, too, linked
her with the pharaoh, as the Egyptians believed that the pharaoh was the living
Horus. She not only protected Horus in his fight, but she also protected the pharaoh
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from childhood until death. As protector, she was known as "The August One, the
Mighty One".
Her main sacred animal was the cobra, but by the Late Period she was assigned yet
another sacred animal - the ichneumon, a mongoose-like creature known for its
ability to kill snakes and crush crocodile eggs. There are examples of a Late Period
coffin of an ichneumon with an image of Wadjet seated on top of the coffin:
The ichneumon became a sacred animal of the lion-headed goddess Wadjet as a
result of religious developments of the Late Period, when local traditions were
frequently linked, and new mythic associations were established. The deities of the
Delta cities of Khem (Letopolis) and Per-Wadjet became associated through myth,
and the ichneumon - a sacred animal of Horus of Khem - became a sacred animal of
the goddess Wadjet of Per-Wadjet.
Unlike other sacred animals ... ichneumons were occasionally placed in statuettes of
the lion-headed goddess Wadjet. The most common type depicts the goddess seated
on a throne, usually crowned by the uraeus - the rearing fire-spewing cobra at the
king's brow, with which Wadjet was identified. The throne, or a base attached to it,
which was usually hollow, contained the mummified ichneumon.
- Coffin of an Ichneumon, The Israel Museum

By dynastic times, Wadjet was more a personification than an actual goddess and so
she was often used (with Nekhbet) as a heraldic device around the sun disk or the
royal name and were part of the royal insignia. The earliest found representation of
the nebty title was in the reign of Anedjib, a pharaoh of the 1st Dynasty. From the
18th Dynasty onwards, she began to be represented as protecting the royal women
in the form of one of the twin uraei on the headdresses of the queens.
Isis retreated to the papyrus swamps after she has conceived her child, and she
remained hidden in them until her months were fulfilled, when she brought forth
Horus, who afterwards became the "avenger of his father"; Set never succeeded in
finding her hiding place, because the great goddess had found some means whereby
she caused the papyrus and other plants to screen her from his view, and the
goddess Wadjet visited her and helped her retreat.
Yet Wadjet also had a nurturing side, as did Nekhbet. Wadjet was believed to have
helped Isis nurse the young Horus as well as help hide them in the swampy delta
area of the Nile - as the goddess of Lower Egypt, she was also a personification of
the papyrus-filled delta - and helped to keep the two safe from Set, who wanted to kill
Horus and claim the throne for himself.
Another link to her more gentle side was her link with nature - in the Pyramid Texts it
said that the papyrus plant emerged from her, and that she was connected to the
forces of growth. It was also believed that she created the papyrus swamps herself.

Wadjet was thought to be the wife of Hapi, in his Lower Egyptian aspect. She was
also linked to Set in his role of god of Lower Egypt. She was also believed to be the
wife of Ptah and mother of Nefertem (in place of Sekhmet or Bast), by the people of
Per-Wadjet, probably because of her later form of a lioness. She was the goddess of
the eleventh month of the Egyptian calendar, by Greek times known as Epipi.
She was worshiped at the Temple of Wadjet, which was referenced to by the name
'Pe-Dep', in the Pyramid Texts, and was by that time believed to be both very old and
famous. It was believed that even at early times, the Egyptians linked Wadjet with Isis
and the god Horus, and that both of these deities were also worshiped in the town of
Per-Wadjet, which was divided into two parts - Pe and Dep:

... Pe-Dep was a city with two distinct divisions, in one of which Wadjet-Isis
was worshiped, and in the other Horus, and that Horus dwelt in Pe, and
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Wadjet-Isis in Dep.
- The Gods of the Egyptians, E. A. Wallis Budge
From local goddess of a predynastic town to the goddess of Lower Egypt, Wadjet
became one of the symbols of Egypt. From the personal protector of the pharaoh and
she who bestowed the red crown to the pharaoh, she also became the symbol of
rulership. And from the goddess of papyrus and the Delta to the 'Eye of Ra', she took
on the role of protector of the ruler. She was worshiped as a goddess as well as
being the personification of the north, the cobra goddess who was one half of a
manifestation of the idea of duality that was a basis of Ma'at "which the goddess
Wadjet worketh". Not only was she a goddess, but she was one part of the land of
Egypt itself.

In the modern world, Wadjet has once again surfaced as the goddess of an intriguing
game that allows the players to explore ancient Egypt. The game is introduced, 'Your
destination is the Valley of the Kings where you will experience a world of burning
desert heat and blinding sandstorms. You will know the intrigue, the secrets, and the
dangers that lie in every step through the dark corridors of the ancient tombs, as you
search for the stolen treasures of the Pharaoh. But beware, the cobra goddess
Wadjet has guarded the royal kings and their treasures for over 3000 years. She
awaits your intrusion.' This interpretation of the goddess holds true to the images we
see of her throughout ancient history.

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Trees in Ancient Egypt
2009 10- 28 JTL
Egypt's land before the dawn of history was teeming with trees. Of these trees are the
petrified forests that are near the Giza pyramids and beside El Mokattam plateau.
Egyptian Pharaohs planted trees and took care of them. They brought ebony wood
from the Sudan, pine and cedar from Syria. Egyptian Pharaohs planted sant trees,
sycamore, lotus fruits and willow.
At the time of the Crusades, Egypt had paid more attention to cultivating wood trees,
to build marine fleet. There were 20,000 feddans of trees cultivated on both sides of
Nile from Gerga to Aswan. The Ayobians planted forests in Upper Egypt from Beni
Swif to Assuit. By the end of the Crusades, there were little attention paid for planting
wood trees, until Mohamed Ali El Kabeer took the reign of Egypt. He was concerned
about planting wood trees to build the Egyptian fleet.
At present there is great attention paid to cultivating trees on the farms' borders, road
sides, canals, drainage, around villages, on the sandy hills near the Mediterranean
shores, especially the multi-purposes trees, such as sycamore, mulberry, lotus
among others.
These trees give fruits and are wind shields; providing shade, air purification,
producing wood for the purposes of carpentry, fuel and making coal.

The History of Sycamore in Egypt
Sycamore trees have been cultivated since a very long time. Pharaohs called them
Nehet. The oldest sycamore tree in Egypt is in Matarria and is known as Virgin Mary
Tree. Sycamore tree lives long and bears sun exposure and humidity. Ancient
Egyptians used them in making the wood monuments, such as the statue of the chief
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of the village from the Fourth Dynasty. In the time of Mohamed Ali El Kabeer,
sycamore tree was used in making the bases for artillery units.
Sycamores exist in all Egyptian districts of Delta and Upper Egypt, also in the oases.
It is considered a popular fruit in villages. Sycamore wood has special characteristics
if immersed in water. It is used frequently in making water wheels, water wells and
also agricultural tools. These trees are beautiful and shady, so they are cultivated on
wide road sides.
Sycamore is an ever green large tree. Its height reaches 20 meters, when it is fully
grown. Its branches spread horizontally over a diameter ranging 15-20 meters,
therefore it is planted in 15-20 meters spacing. The fruit is carried on special
branches that come from green branches. Flowers appear in sycamore when the age
of the tree is ranging from 5 to 6 years old. Sycamore fruit is like fig in form and
There are three main seasons for sycamore: the first season in the beginning of April,
the second in the beginning of May and the third in the beginning of June. The fruit
continues meagerly, especially in winter and autumn. An operation is usually run for
fruits called circumcision in the early morning or afternoon when the age of the fruit
ranges for 20 to 25. They make splits in the tops of fruit whose diameter extends from
1.5 to 2 cm2.
As the sycamore doesn't give seeds in Egypt so its proliferation is effected by
transplants planted at the end of February and in March. This is the appropriate time
for proliferation of trees. Sycamore grows fast under conditions of earth humidity.
When the tree reaches the age of proliferation, the cultivators make circle around the
tree by beating. Kinds of sycamore are:

The Turkish sycamore which is huge and is horizontally proliferated. The
leaves are broad, with short neck. The fruit is large in size with 4.5 cm
diameter which ranges from 6 to 7 cm and the color is carnation and its taste
is good.
The Dog Sycamore is called Arabian. It proliferates less than the first kind. Its
fruit is small in size, pear-like in form with fade color. The harvest is late as
compared to the Turkish sycamore.

The Lotus Tree
The original native place of lotus tree is south Europe and Hemallaya moutons north
of China. It is naturally grown in Egypt in the Sinai peninsula, Elba mouton, Nubia,
besides Ethiopia and the Arabian peninsula.
One of the largest valleys in Sinai is known as the Valley of Lotus, as it is cultivated in
Egypt since the oldest ages. It was known to the Egyptian Pharaohs as Nebes. In the
past in Egypt, lotus fruit was cultivated in all houses, in their court yards. Lotus trees
nowadays grow in Upper Egypt.

The Doom Tree
The original native country of doom is the Congo. It is also grown up in the desert of
Hegaz. Doom trees are planted on the Nile banks in Nubia, and the Dakhela and
Kharja Oases, also in Dendara, facing Qena, Aswan and in the Sudan in Kerdefan.
Doom cultivation flourished at the days of Pharaohs. It was called "Mama en Khenet".
Doom trees were formed with the monuments in the age back to 1500 years BC.
Doom tree branches are used as ceiling for buildings, because they are stronger than
palm tree branches, as they are closely mixed and interlaced. Doom is able to bear
the effect of water. The Pharaohs used doom tree branches during boat trips on the
River Nile.

The Mulberry Tree
The origin of Mulberry in Egypt is the north of China. From there, its trees moved to
Central Asia, Afghanistan, north of India, Pakistan, Iran and the Middle East. The
word mulberry is likely to be originally Indian, but then moved to Persian and Arab.
There was more interest in mulberry at the days of Mohamed Ali El Kabeer.
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Tree Goddesses
2009 10- 28 JTL
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At various locals in the in the ancient world, trees were associated with different gods,
and Egypt was certainly no exception. We know of no trees, or for that matter other
vegetation in Egypt that was honored as specific gods as were bulls or rams, for
example. Nevertheless, various vegetation was connected to gods and goddess in
one way or another, or generally to Egyptian religion and specifically the afterlife.
There were several deities that were associated with trees, a rare commodity in
Egypt. Horus was associated with the acacia, while Osiris and Re were tied with the
willow and the sycamore, respectively. Osiris was sheltered by a willow after he was
killed, and for example, the The Book of the Dead describes two "sycamores of
turquoise" growing at the point on the eastern horizon where the sun-god rises each
morning. Re was also associated with the ished tree. Also, Wepwawet was paired
with the Tamarisk, and the symbol of the god Heh was a palm branch, while not
surprisingly, we have both Thoth and Seshat, the two deities associated with writing,
inscribing the leaves of either the ished (or persea) tree with the Royal Titulary and
the number of years in the pharaoh's reign.

However, none of these mail deities were associated with trees nearly as much as a
number of female deities. The sycamore specifically was regarded as a manifestation
of the goddesses Nut, Isisand Hathor, who was even given the title, "Lady of the
Sycamore". In fact, this title has been interpreted to relate to a specific and
particularly old tree that once stood to the south of the Temple of Ptah at Memphis
during the Old Kingdom.
The Sycamore tree was of special significance in Egyptian religion. It was the only
native tree of useful size and sturdiness in Egypt, and perhaps very significantly, most
often grew along the edge of the desert, which would have also placed it near or in
the necropolises.

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Tree Goddess from the tomb of Pashedu in the Valley of the Kings

There were also a number of minor tree goddesses who were depicted in a number
of ways. There were simply images of trees labeled as goddesses as well as fully
anthropomorphic personifications of tree goddesses. Perhaps the most unusual
representation is that of the upper body of a goddess rising from the trunk at the
center of a tree, or sometimes a tree sprouting out of the head, such as in the case of

Many representations were made depicting Hathor, Nut or some other goddess
reaching out from a tree to offer the deceased food and water. Sometimes only the
arms of the goddess were shown providing food or water and in the tomb of
Tuthmosis III, the king is shown being nursed at the breast of "his mother Isis" in the
form of a sycamore tree. Hathor had an especially important role in the afterlife of the
deceased. In tomb depictions, the deceased, frequently accompanied by his wife,
was shown sitting under or near the branches of a tree, with Hathor sprouting from
the trunk, enjoying the fruit and drink offered by this goddess. An excellent example
of such a representation is in the Theban tomb of Sennedjem.
Scenes and inscriptions clearly show a link between the tree-goddess, the symbol of
renewal, and the dead in the form of the avian Ba, for as a bird, the soul of the dead
was attracted to, and nourished by the tree.
Notably, the identification of several maternal deities as tree goddesses also meant
that burial in a wooden coffin was viewed as a return to the womb of the mother

Today in Egypt, trees have not altogether died out as religious symbols, for their
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remains at least several sites where trees have modern religious significance,
associated with, for example, the Holy Virgin Mary.
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God of the Moon, Magic and Writing
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The Key of Life
Thoth's other names include Djehuty, Jehuti, Tahuti, Tehuti, Zehuti, Techu, or Tetu,
Lord of the Khemenu. One of Thoth's titles, "Three times great, great" was translated
to the Greek (Trismegistos) making Hermes Trismegistus.
Thoth was considered one of the more important deities of the Egyptian pantheon,
often depicted with the head of an Ibis. His feminine counterpart was Seshat. His
chief shrine was at Khemennu, where he led the local pantheon, later renamed
Hermopolis by the Greeks (in reference to him through the Greeks' interpretation that
he was the same as Hermes) and Eshmunen in Coptic. He also had shrines in
Abydos, Hesert, Urit, Per-Ab, Rekhui, Ta-ur, Sep, Hat, Pselket, Talmsis, Antcha-
Mutet, Bah, Amen-heri-ab, and Ta-kens.

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Thoth and Seti at Abydos
Thoth and the Eye of Ra
He was considered the heart and tongue of Ra as well as the means by which Ra's
will was translated into speech. He has also been likened to the Logos of Plato and
the mind of God (The All).
Thoth, like many Egyptian gods and nobility, held many titles. Among these were
"Scribe of Ma'at in the Company of the Gods," "Lord of Ma'at," "Lord of Divine
Words," "Judge of the Two Combatant Gods," "Judge of the Rekhekhui, the pacifier
of the Gods, who Dwelleth in Unnu, the Great God in the Temple of Abtiti," "Twice
Great," "Thrice Great,"" and "Three Times Great, Great."
Thoth has been involved in arbitration, magic, writing, science and the judging of the
In the Egyptian mythology, he has played many vital and prominent roles, including
being one of the two deities (the other being Ma'at) who stood on either side of Ra's
boat. In the underworld, Duat, he appeared as an ape, A'an, the god of equilibrium,
who reported when the scales weighing the deceased's heart against the feather,
representing the principle of Ma'at, was exactly even.

Depictions of Thoth
In art, Thoth has been depicted in many ways depending on the era and on the
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aspect the artist wished to convey. Thoth was usually depicted with the head of an
ibis, deriving from his name, and the curve of the ibis' beak, which resembles the
crescent moon. Sometimes, he was depicted as a baboon holding up a crescent
moon, as the baboon was seen as a nocturnal, and intelligent, creature. The
association with baboons led to him occasionally being said to have as a consort
Astennu, one of the (male) baboons at the place of judgment in the underworld, and
on other occasions, Astennu was said to be Thoth himself.

He also appears as a dog faced baboon or a man with the head of a baboon when he
is A'an, the god of equilibrium. In the form of A'ah-Djehuty he took a more human-
looking form. These forms are all symbolic and are metaphors for Thoth's attributes.
The Egyptians did not believe these gods actually looked like humans with animal
heads . For example, Ma'at is often depicted with an ostrich feather, "the feather of
truth," on her head , or with a feather for a head.
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Thoth on his throne
Cairo Museum: Thoth, Sobek and Wadjet ... remind one of penguins.
Letter X = Above and Below
Thoth and Seshat
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The Tree of Life
Thoth was thought to be scribe to the gods, who kept a great library of scrolls, over
which one of his wives, Seshat (the goddess of writing) was thought to be mistress.
He was associated by the Egyptians with speech, literature, arts, learning. He, too,
was a measurer and recorder of time, as was Seshat. Many ancient Egyptians
believed that Seshat invented writing, while Thoth taught writing to mankind. She was
known as 'Mistress of the House of Books', indicating that she also took care of
Thoth's library of spells and scrolls.

Seshat is the Goddess of Libraries
all forms Writing
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and the Measurement of Time.
Thoth The Scribe
Thoth became credited by the ancient Egyptians as the inventor of writing, and
alphabets (ie. hieroglyphs) themselves. He was also considered to have been the
scribe of the underworld, and the moon became occasionally considered a separate
entity, now that Thoth had less association with it, and more with wisdom. For this
reason Thoth was universally worshipped by ancient Egyptian Scribes.
[Thoth the Scribe, wrote the story of our reality then placed it into grids for us to
experience and learn through the alchemy of time and consciousness.]
Thoth became credited as the inventor of the 365-day (rather than 360-day) calendar,
it being said that he had won the extra 5 days by gambling with the moon, then
known as Iabet, in a game of dice, for 1/72nd of its light (5 = 360/72). When the
Ennead and Ogdoad systems started to merge, one result was that, for a time, Horus
was considered a sibling of Isis, Osiris, Set, and Nephthys, and so it was said that
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Hathor/Nuit had been cursed against having children during the (360) day year, but
was able to have these five over the 5 extra days won by Thoth.
Thoth was a master magician
The Egyptians credited him as the author of all works of science, religion, philosophy,
and magic. The Greeks further declared him the inventor of astronomy, astrology, the
science of numbers, mathematics, geometry, land surveying, medicine, botany,
theology, civilized government, the alphabet, reading, writing, and oratory. They
further claimed he was the true author of every work of every branch of knowledge,
human and divine.
Egyptologists disagree on Thoth's nature depending upon their view of the Egyptian
pantheon. Most Egyptologists today side with Sir Flinders Petrie that Egyptian religion
was strictly polytheistic, in which Thoth would be a separate god.
His contemporary adversary, E. A. Wallis Budge, however, thought Egyptian religion
to be primarily monotheistic where all the gods and goddesses were aspects of
the God Ra, similar to the Trinity in Christianity and devas in Hinduism. In this view,
Thoth would be the aspect of Ra which the Egyptian mind would relate to the heart
and tongue.
His roles in Egyptian mythology were many. Thoth served as a mediating power,
especially between good and evil, making sure neither had a decisive victory over the
The ancient Egyptians regarded Thoth as One, self-begotten, and self-produced. He
was the master of both physical and moral (ie. Divine) law, making proper use of
Ma'at. He is credited with making the calculations for the establishment of the
heavens, stars, Earth, and everything in them. Compare this to how his feminine
counterpart, Ma'at was the force which maintained the Universe. He is said to direct
the motions of the heavenly bodies. Without his words, the Egyptians believed, the
gods would not exist. His power was almost unlimited in the Underworld and rivaled
that of Ra and Osiris.
Thoth has played a prominent role in many of the Egyptian myths. Displaying his role
as arbitrator, he had overseen the three epic battles between good and evil. All three
battles are fundamentally the same and belong to different periods. The first battle
took place between Ra and Apep, the second between Heru-Bekhutet and Set, and
the third between Horus, the son of Osiris, and Set. In each instance, the former god
represented order while the latter represented chaos. If one god was seriously
injured, Thoth would heal them to prevent either from overtaking the other.
Thoth was also prominent in the Osiris myth, being of great aid to Isis. After Isis
gathered together the pieces of Osiris' dismembered body, he gave her the words to
resurrect him so she could be impregnated and bring forth Horus. When Horus was
slain, Thoth gave the formulae to resurrect him as well. Similar to God speaking the
words to create the heavens and Earth in Judeo-Christian mythology, Thoth, being
the god who always speaks the words that fulfill the wishes of Ra, spoke the words
that created the heavens and Earth in Egyptian mythology.
This mythology also credits him with the creation of the 365 day calendar. Originally,
according to the myth, the year was only 360 days long and Nut was sterile during
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these days, unable to bear children. Thoth gambled with Khonsu, the moon, for
1/72nd of its light (360/72 = 5), or 5 days, and won. During these 5 days, Nut gave
birth to Kheru-ur (Horus the Elder, Face of Heaven), Osiris, Set, Isis, and Nepthys.
In the Ogdoad cosmogony, Thoth gave birth to Ra, Atum, Nefertum, and Khepri by
laying an egg while in the form of an ibis, or later as a goose laying a golden egg.

Thoth in the Book of the Dead
Thoth also went by the name of Tehuti,
the ruler of Atlantis
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was originally the deification of the moon in the Ogdoad belief system. Initially, in that
system, the moon had been seen to be the eye of Horus, the sky god, which had
been semi-blinded (thus darker) in a fight against Set, the other eye being the sun.
However, over time it began to be considered separately, becoming a lunar deity in its
own right, and was said to have been another son of Ra. As the crescent moon
strongly resembles the curved beak of the ibis, this separate deity was named
Djehuty (i.e. Thoth), meaning ibis.
Thoth became associated with the Moon, due to the Ancient Egyptians observation
that Baboons (sacred to Thoth) 'sang' to the moon at night.
The Moon not only provides light at night, allowing the time to still be measured
without the sun, but its phases and prominence gave it a significant importance in
early astrology/astronomy. The cycles of the moon also organized much of Egyptian
society's civil, and religious, rituals, and events. Consequently, Thoth gradually
became seen as a god of wisdom, magic, and the measurement, and regulation, of
events, and of time. He was thus said to be the secretary and counselor of Ra, and
with Ma'at (truth/order) stood next to Ra on the nightly voyage across the sky, Ra
being a sun god.
Thoth became credited by the ancient Egyptians as the inventor of writing, and was
also considered to have been the scribe of the underworld, and the moon became
occasionally considered a separate entity, now that Thoth had less association with it,
and more with wisdom. For this reason Thoth was universally worshipped by ancient
Egyptian Scribes. Many scribes had a painting or a picture of Thoth in their "office".
Likewise, one of the symbols for scribes was that of the ibis.
During the late period of Egyptian history a cult of Thoth gained prominence, due to
its main centre, Khnum (Hermopolis Magna), also becoming the capital, and millions
of dead ibis were mummified and buried in his honor. The rise of his cult also led to
his cult seeking to adjust mythology to give Thoth a greater role.
Thoth was inserted in many tales as the wise counsel and persuader, and his
association with learning, and measurement, led him to be connected with Seshat,
the earlier deification of wisdom, who was said to be his daughter, or variably his wife.
Thoth's qualities also led to him being identified by the Greeks with their closest
matching god Hermes, with whom Thoth was eventually combined, as Hermes
Trismegistus, also leading to the Greeks naming Thoth's cult centre as Hermopolis,
meaning city of Hermes.
It is also viewed that Thoth was the God of Scribe and not a messenger. Anubis was
viewed as the messenger of the gods, as he travelled in and out of the Underworld, to
the presence of the gods, and to humans, as well. Some call this fusion Hermanubis.
It is in more favor that Thoth was a record keeper, and not the messenger. In the
Papyrus of Ani copy of the Egyptian Book of the Dead the scribe proclaims "I am thy
writing palette, O Thoth, and I have brought unto thee thine ink-jar. I am not of those
who work iniquity in their secret places; let not evil happen unto me." Chapter XXXb
(Budge) of the Book of the Dead is by the oldest tradition said to be the work of Thoth
There is also an Egyptian pharaoh of the Sixteenth dynasty of Egypt named Djehuty
(Thoth) after him, and who reigned for three years.
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Center of Worship
During the late period of Egyptian history a cult of Thoth gained prominence, due to
its main centre, Khnum (Hermopolis Magna), in Upper Egypt also becoming the
capital, and millions of dead ibis were mummified and buried in his honor. The rise of
his cult also lead to his cult seeking to adjust mythology to give Thoth a greater role,
including varying the Ogdoad cosmogony myth so that it is Thoth who gives birth to
Ra/Atum/Nefertum/Khepri, as a result of laying, as an ibis, an egg containing him.
Later it was said that this was done in the form of a goose - literally as a goose laying
a golden egg. The sound of his song was thought to have created four frog gods and
snake goddesses of the Ogdoad who continued Thoth's song, helping the sun
journey across the sky.

Thoth was the 'One who Made Calculations Concerning the Heavens, the Stars and
the Earth', the 'Reckoner of Times and of Seasons', the one who 'Measured out the
Heavens and Planned the Earth'. He was 'He who Balances', the 'God of the
Equilibrium' and 'Master of the Balance'. 'The Lord of the Divine Body', 'Scribe of the
Company of the Gods', the 'Voice of Ra', the 'Author of Every Work on Every Branch
of Knowledge, Both Human and Divine', he who understood 'all that is hidden under
the heavenly vault'. Thoth was not just a scribe and friend to the gods, but central to
order - ma'at - both in Egypt and in the Duat. He was 'He who Reckons the Heavens,
the Counter of the Stars and the Measurer of the Earth'.
42 Books of Thoth
Thoth as Hermes in ancient Greece complied the Hermetic Text referred to him as
Kore Kosmu. What he knew, he carved on stone [mataphor of physical plane] then
hid most of the information. The sacred symbols of the cosmic elements he hid away
using the secrets of Osiris, keeping and maintaining silence, that younger ages of the
cosmic time clock might seek them out. Thoth was said to have succeeded in
understanding the mysteries of the heavens and to have revealed them by inscribing
them in sacred books which he then hid here on Earth, intending that they should be
searched for by future generations but found by those of the bloodline.
Some of these sacred books are referred to as the 42 Books of Instructions or the 42
Books of Thoth which describe the instructions for achieving immortality plus 2 more
books kept separately. The dating of the books is somewhere between the third
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century BC and the first century AD. Their influence has been tremendous on the
development of Western occultism and magic. Neo-pagan witchcraft contains many
rituals and much esoteric symbolism based upon Hermetic writings.
According to one legend Hermes Trismegistus, who was a grandson of Adam and a
builder of the Egyptian pyramids, authored the books. But, more probably the books
were written by several succeeding persons. According to legend, the books were
initially written on papyrus.
A chronicler of pagan lore, Clement of Alexandria, stated thirty-six [36] of the
Hermetic books contained the entire Egyptian philosophy; four [4] books on astrology;
ten [10] books called the Hieratic on law, ten [10] books on sacred rites and
observances, two [2] on music, and the rest on writing, cosmography, geography,
mathematics and measures and training of priests. Six [6] remaining books
concerned medicine and the body discussing diseases, instruments, the eyes and
women. Most of the Hermetic books - along with others - were lost during the burning
of the royal libraries in Alexandria. The surviving books were secretly buried in the
desert where they are presently located. A few initiates of the mystery schools,
ancient secret cults, allegedly know their location. What remains of the surviving
Hermetic lore has been passed down through generation and published in many
Most important of all are three works.

The most important and oldest is The Divine Pynander. It consists on 17
fragments all in one work. Within these fragments are many of the Hermetic
concepts, including the was divine wisdom and the secrets of the universe
were revealed to Hermes and the way in which Hermes established his
ministry to spread this wisdom throughout the world. The Divine Pynander
apparently was revised during the first centuries AD but lost none of its
meaning due to incorrect translations.

Poimmandres or The Vision is the second book of The Divine Pynander and
perhaps the most famous. It relates Hermes' mystical vision, cosmogony, and
the secret sciences of the Egyptians as to culture and the spiritual
development of the soul.

The third work - Hermes Trismegistus is the wisdom of the Hermetica - the
Emerald Tablets of Thoth. It's all about alchemy, time and consciousness.
The Emerald Tablets of Thoth
This file links to ....
The 12 Pyramids of Thoth
Sacred Journey, Music and Meditation
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The Book of Thoth
The Book of Thoth - 'M' & 'W' Reversed
Thoth, Time, Thought, Geometry and Reality
Reality is myth, math, and metaphor. It is a consciousness computer experiment in
time and illusion created by thought consciousness. The name Thoth means
'Thought' and 'Time'. Thoth was the master architect who created the blueprint of our
reality based on the patterns of sacred geometry or 12 around 1.
It is here, in the duality - duat - underworld - chaos - void - place of creation 'outside
the box' of our experience - reflected in gods and goddesses, the landscapes of
Egypt including the pyramids and temples - that we experience until we evolve in the
alchemy of time and consciousness.

Thoth's Chamber
Fibonacci Sequence
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Thoth created a grid program of experience - electromagnetic in nature to allow for
the bipolar aspects of linear time and illusion. Thoth constructed a pyramidal shaped
vehicle which personifies the nature of reality. He placed half above - "As is Above" in
the nonphysical and half below "As is Below" thus creating the sands of time - the
hourglass - the X Box - at the center of the planet where it all began and will all
evolve at Zero Point a time or place where all comes into balance.

Thoth was the 'god of the equilibrium' and considered depictions of him as the
'Master of the Balance' to indicate that he was associated with the precession of the
equinoxes - a time when the day and the night were balanced.

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Thoth and the Pyramids
In one role or another
Thoth played a crucial part in the design
orientation and mythology
of many famous ziggurats
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pyramids and temples.
Thoth and Hidden Knowledge
It is written in several ancient texts that Thoth wrote a
major work of scriptural importance that would one day be found.
Thoth allegedly wrote books in which he set forth
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fabulous knowledge of magic and incantation then concealed them in a tomb.
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Tefnut (Tefenet, Tefnet) was the lunar goddess of moisture, humidity and water who
was also a solar goddess connected with the sun and dryness (more specifically, the
absence of moisture). She was the daughter of the creator god, mother of the twin
sky and the earth deities and the 'Eye of Ra' as well as a creative force as the
'Tongue of Ptah'. Her name itself is related to water - tf is the root of the words for
'spit' and 'moist'. Her name translates to something like 'She of Moisture'.
Tefnut was generally shown as a woman with a lion's head, or as a full lioness. She
was occasionally shown as a woman, but this is rare. She was shown with the solar
disk and uraeus, linking her with the sun. She was often shown holding a sceptre and
the ankh sign of life.
Related to moisture, she was also linked to the moon, as were other deities of
moisture and wetness. She was originally thought to be the Lunar Eye of Ra and thus
linked to the night sky as well as to dew, rain and mist.
As with other water deities, she took on some form of a goddess of creation. As the
'Tongue of Ptah', she was one of the gods in Mennefer (Hikuptah, Memphis) who
helped Ptah - that city's main god - with creation by carrying out his will. Yet in the
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cities of Iunu (On, Heliopolis) and Waset (Thebes) she was more of a female form of
her husband-brother Shu, whose main task was to start the sexual, creative cycle
and give birth to Shu's children.
Atem is he who masturbated in Iunu. He took his phallus in his grasp that he might
create orgasm by means of it, and so were born the twins Shu and Tefnut.
- Pyramid Text 1248-49
Tefnut and Shu - god of dry air - were the children of Atem (a form of the sun god
Ra), who in turn created the twins Nut and Geb. Originally, though, rather than being
paired with Shu, she had been paired with a god called Tefen. Other than his name,
little is known about this Tefen. It seems, though, that he and Tefnut were linked
together in connection with the goddess Ma'at:
"Tefen and Tefnut have weighed Unas and Ma'at has listened, and Shu has born
- Pyramid Text of Unas
During the Middle Kingdom Tefnut became connected to Ma'at, and as such this
goddess is sometimes seen assisting Shu in his task of holding Nut above Geb. More
often he is alone in the task.
"O Amen-Ra, the gods have gone forth from thee. What flowed forth from thee
became Shu, and that which was emitted by thee became Tefnut ... thou was the lion
god of the twin lion gods (Shu and Tefnut)."
- The Gods of the Egyptians, E. A. Wallis Budge
One story says that Shu and Tefnut went to explore the waters of Nun. After some
time, Ra believed that they were lost, and sent the his Eye out into the chaos to find
them. When his children were returned to him, Ra wept, and his tears were believed
to have turned into the first humans.
Not only was the sun god her father, but she also took on the aspect of the sun - no
longer the moon - as the 'Eye of Ra', the 'Lady of the Flame' and the 'Uraeus on the
Head of all the Gods':

Tefnut was thought to have been the upset goddess who fled into Nubia, taking all of
her water and moisture with her. Egypt soon dried, and the land was in chaos while in
Nubia, Tefnut turned herself into a lioness and went on a killing spree in her anger at
her father, from whom she had fled. Eventually Ra decided that he missed her, and
wanted her back. Ra sent Thoth and Shu to get her, and they found her in Begum.
Thoth began at once to try and persuade her to return to Egypt. In the end Tefnut
(with Shu and Thoth leading her) made a triumphant entry back into Egypt,
accompanied by a host of Nubian musicians, dancers and baboons. She went from
city to city, bringing back moisture and water (the inundation), amid great rejoicing,
until finally she was reunited with her father, and restored to her rightful position as
his Eye.
This story also explains how the goddess of moisture could also be the goddess of
dryness, heat and the negative aspects of the sun. The people believed that without
her water, Egypt could dry and burn in the sun. So she took on the form of a lion - as
did the other goddesses with the 'Eye of Ra' title - and was also strongly linked to the
As the 'Eye of Ra' she was also linked to Bast, Sekhmet, Hathor, Isis, Wadjet and
Nekhbet. This story is very similar to another tale of the 'Eye of Ra', where Sekhmet
slaughters mankind before getting drunk, returning to heaven and turning into the
sweet goddess Hathor.
At Iunet (Dendera) there was a portion of the city named after her - "The House of
Tefnut" . She was worshiped in connection with the Ennead at Iunu, and in her lion
form at Nay-ta-hut (Leontopolis).
Despite Akenaten's distaste for the gods of Egypt, he and Nefertiti used Tefnut and
Shu for political purposes. They depicted themselves as the twin gods in an apparent
attempt to elevate their status to that of being a living god and goddess, the son and
daughter of the creator, on earth. Akenaten was not a monotheist - despite raising the
Aten above all other gods, and attempting to quash the worship of some other deities,
Akenaten did not drop all links with other deities. Ra, Shu, Tefnut, Thoth, Ptah and
Hathor were still prominent gods in Akenaten's religion.
Tefnut was both the Left (moon) and the Right (sun) Eyes of Ra, representing both
heavenly sources of light that the ancient Egyptians saw, and thus she was a
goddess of both the sun and dryness, and the moon and moisture. She was one of
the original deities - one of the Ennead - in the various versions of creation, and she
was the first mother, according to these stories. Even though she was not as popular
as her daughter Nut, or her granddaughters Nephthys or Isis, the Egyptians knew
that without her, Egypt would descend into chaos. It is no wonder that they equated
her with the goddess Ma'at.
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In Egyptian mythology, Taweret (also spelt Taurt, Tuat, Taueret, Tuart, Ta-weret,
Tawaret, and Taueret, and in Greek, "Thoeris" and Toeris). Her name means One
Who is Great. When paired with another deity, she became the demon-wife of Apep,
the original god of evil. Since Apep was viewed as residing below the horizon, and
only present at night, evil during the day then was envisaged as being a result of
Taweret's maleficence.
As the counterpart of Apep, who was always below the horizon, Taweret was seen as
being the northern sky, the constellation roughly covering the area of present-day
Draco, which always lies above the horizon. Thus Taweret was known as mistress of
the horizon, and was depicted as such on the ceiling of the tomb of Seti I in the Valley
of the Kings.
In their art, Taweret was depicted as a composite of all the things the Egyptians
feared, the major part of her being hippopotamus, since this is what the constellation
most resembled, with the arms and legs of a lioness, and with the back of a crocodile.
On occasion, later, rather than having a crocodile back, she was seen as having a
separate, small crocodile resting on her back, which was thus interpreted as Sobek,
the crocodile-god, and said to be her consort.
Early during the Old Kingdom, the Egyptians came to see female hippopotamuses as
less aggressive than the males, and began to view their aggression only as one of
protecting their young and being good mothers, particularly since it is the males that
are territorially aggressive. Consequently, Taweret became seen, very early in
Egyptian history, as a deity of protection in pregnancy and childbirth. Pregnant
women wore amulets with her name or likeness to protect their pregnancies. Her
image could also be found on knives made from hippopotamus ivory, which would be
used as wands in rituals to drive evil spirits away from mothers and children.

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In most subsequent depictions, Taweret was depicted with features of a pregnant
woman. In a composite addition to the animal-compound she was also seen with
pendulous breasts, a full pregnant abdomen, and long, straight human hair on her
As a protector, she often was shown with one arm resting on the sa symbol, which
symbolized protection, and on occasion she carried an ankh, the symbol of life, or a
knife, which would be used to threaten evil spirits.
As such a protector, Taweret also was given titles reflecting a more positive nature,
including Opet (also spelt Ipet, Apet, and Ipy), meaning harem, and Reret (also spelt
Rert, Reret, seen as the offspring of Nut).
As the hippopotamus was associated with the Nile, these more positive ideas of
Taweret allowed her to be seen as a goddess of the annual flooding of the Nile and
the bountiful harvest that it brought. Ultimately, although only a household deity, since
she was still considered the consort of Apep, Taweret was seen as one who
protected against evil by restraining it.
When Set fell from grace in the Egyptian pantheon, as a result of being favoured by
the (xenophobically) hated Hyksos rulers, he gradually took over the position of Apep,
as the god of evil. With this change away from Apep, Taweret became seen only as
the concubine of Set. She was seen as concubine rather than wife, as Set already
was married to the extremely different goddess, Nephthys, to whom no parallels
could be drawn. It then was said that Taweret had been an evil goddess, but changed
her ways and held Set back on a chain.
As the goddess of motherhood, Taweret was eventually assimilated into the identity
of Mut, the great-mother goddess.
In Egyptian astronomy, Taweret was linked to the northern sky. In this role she was
known as Nebetakhet, the Mistress of the Horizon - the ceiling painting of the
constellations in the tomb of Seti I showed her in this capacity. She was thought to
keep the northern sky - a place of darkness, cold, mist, and rain to the Egyptians -
free of evil. She was shown to represent the never-setting circumpolar stars of Ursa
Minor and Draco. The seven stars lined down her back are the stars of the Little
Dipper. She was believed to be a guardian of the north, stopping all who were
unworthy before they could pass her by.
In all of the ancient Egyptian astronomical diagrams there is one figure which is
always larger than all the rest, and most frequently found at the center of what
appears to be a horizontal parade of figures. This figure is Taweret "The Great One",
a goddess depicted as a pregnant hippopotamus standing upright. It is no mystery
that this figure represents a northern constellation associated, at least in part, with
our modern constellation of Draco the dragon.
In the Book of the Dead Taweret, the 'Lady of Magical Protection', was seen as a
goddess who guided the dead into the afterlife. As with her double nature of protector
and guardian, she was also a guard to the mountains of the west where the
deceased entered the land of the dead. Many of the deities relating to birth also
appear in the underworld to help with the rebirth of the souls into their life after death.
She was thought to be the wife of a few gods, mostly because of her physical
characteristics. She was linked to the god Sobek, because of his crocodile form.
Occasionally Taweret was depicted with a crocodile on her back, and this was seen
as Taweret with her consort Sobek. Bes, because the Egyptians thought they worked
together when birthing of a child, was thought to be her husband in earlier times.
At Thebes, she was also thought to be the mother of Osiris, and so linked to the sky
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goddess Nut. Another part of this theology was that it was Amen, who became the
supreme god rather than Ra, who was the father of Osiris. It was believed that Amen
came to Taweret (called Ipet at this particular time) and joined with her to ensure the
renewal of the cycle of life. Ipet herself had become linked with the original wife of
Amen, Amaunet (invisibility). It was at Karnak that she was believed to have given
birth to Osiris. In later times, Ipet was assimilated by Mut who took her place as the
wife of Amen and mother goddess.
Plutarch described Taweret as a concubine of Set who had changed her ways to
become a follower of Horus. In this form, she was linked to the goddess Isis. It was
thought that the goddess kept Set's powers of evil fettered by a chain. This is
probably because she was a hippo goddess while Set was sometimes seen as a
male hippo. The male hippopotamus was seen by the Egyptians as a very destructive
creature, yet the female hippopotamus came to symbolise protection. This is probably
why Set was, in later times, regarded as evil while Taweret was thought to be a
helpful goddess, deity of motherhood and protector of women and children.
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The Egyptian god Tatenen, sometimes written as Tatjenen, symbolizes the
emergence of silt from the fertile Nile after the waters of the inundation recede. The
meaning of his name is uncertain but may possibly mean "the rising earth" or "exalted
He is usually depicted as entirely human (though with the beard of a god) in
appearance, though he may be shown wearing a twisted ram's horn with two tall
plumes (ostrich feathers), sometimes surmounted with sun disks, on his head.
However, his face and limbs are often painted green in order to represent his
connection as a god of vegetation. Furthermore, he could also be a she. One papyrus
in the Berlin Museum calls Tatenen "fashioner and mother who gave birth to all the
While we are not entirely certain of his origin, he may likely have been an originally
independent deity at Memphis. He also seems to have had some close associations
in Middle Egypt near modern Asyut. However, at Memphis he seems to have been a
deity of the depths of the earth, presiding over its mineral and vegetable resources,
though even as early as the Old Kingdom he had become entwined with Ptah as
"Ptah of the primeval mound", viewed as a manifestation of that well known deity of
Egypt's capital. Hence, we find him in an important role associated with the creation
of the world as formulated on the 25th Dynasty (Nubian) Shabaka Stone of Memphite
How he became associated with the Egyptian concept of creation is unsure, but
several theories have been put forward. One theory holds that he was the counterpart
at Memphis of the idea of the "high sand" or primeval mound (benben) of the
Heliopolis theology. Other theories hold that:
- Tatenen was the arable land that was reclaimed at Memphis from papyrus swamps
through irrigation projects.
- He was a very specific piece of land at Memphis, submerged by the annual flood
that, after it receded, reappeared.
- Tatenen was a personification of Egypt and an aspect of Geb, the earth god.
Regardless, as a creator god (Ptah Tatenen) he held the title, "father of the gods" and
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was thus both the source and ruler of all gods. Ptah as Tatenen is the one who begat
the gods and from whom all things proceeded. Thus, we find in the "Hymn to Ptah":

"Hail to thee, thou who art great and old, Ta-tenen, father of the gods, the
great god from the first primordial time who fashioned mankind and made the
gods, who began evolution in primordial times, first one after whom everything
that appeared developed, he who made the sky as something that his heart
has created, who raised it by the fact that Shu supported it, who founded the
earth through that which he himself had made, who surrounded it with Nun
[and] the sea, who made the nether world [and] gratified the dead, who causes
Re to travel [thither] in order to resuscitate them as lord of eternity (nhh) and
lord of boundlessness (td), lord of life, he who lets the throat breathe and gives
air to every nose, who with his food keeps all Mankind alive, to whom lifetime,
[to be more precise] limitation of time and evolution are subordinate, through
whose utterance one lives, he who creates the offerings for all the gods in his
guise the great Nun (Nile, in this case), lord of eternity, to whom
boundlessness is subordinate, breath of life for everyone who conducts the
king to his great seat in his name, 'king of the Two Lands'."
Of course, it must be noted that this hymn is specifically directed to Ptah as Tatenen.
But in this guise he seems to have created everyone. Even Imhotep, after his
deification, was also associated with Tatenen through Ptah. In a small temple
dedicated to this great thinker of ancient Egypt, we find Imhotep described as "threat
one, son of Ptah, the creative god, made by Tatenen, begotten by him and beloved
by him..."

Though Tatenen is most closely associated with Ptha, we do find assimilation with
other gods, including Osiris, Sokar in their function as earth deities, and later with
Khnum. Also, in the Books of the Netherworld he is closely associated with Re.
During the New Kingdom he became particularly important, taking on a protective
role towards the royal dead, guarding the kings and their family in their path through
the Underworld. For example, in the tomb of Amunhirkhopshef in the Valley of the
Queens, on the West Bank of Thebes (modern Luxor), Ramesses III, the father of
Amunhirkhopshef is depicted in a scene where he asks Tatenen to look after his
young son. In fact, in the Book of Gates, Tatenen personifies the entire area of the
netherworld, protecting the deceased in the Beyond. He is able to rejuvenate the sun
on its nocturnal journey. In the Litany of Re, however, another Underworld book, he is
listed as the personification of the phallus of the dead king.
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Sobek (also called Sebek, Sochet, Sobk, Sobki, Soknopais, and in Greek, Suchos)
was the deification of crocodiles, as crocodiles were deeply feared in the nation so
dependent on the Nile River. Egyptians who worked or travelled on the Nile hoped
that if they prayed to Sobek, the crocodile god, he would protect them from being
attacked by crocodiles.[1] The god Sobek, which was depicted as a crocodile or a
man with the head of a crocodile was a powerful and frightening deity; in some
Egyptian creation myths, it was Sobek who first came out of the waters of chaos to
create the world.[1] As a creator god, he was occasionally linked with the sun god Ra.

Most of Sobek's temples were located "in parts of Egypt where crocodiles were
common." Sobek's cult originally flourished around Al Fayyum where some temples
still remain; the area was so associated with Sobek that one town, Arsinoe, was
known to the Greeks as Crocodilopolis or 'Crocodile Town.' Another major cult centre
was at Kom Ombo, "close to the sandbanks of the Nile where crocodiles liked to
bask." Some temples of Sobek kept pools where sacred crocodiles were kept: these
crocodiles were fed the best cuts of meat and became quite tame. When they died,
they were mummified and buried in special animal cemeteries. In other areas of
Egypt, however, crocodiles were dealt with by simply hunting and killing them.
Gradually, Sobek also came to symbolize the produce of the Nile and the fertility that
it brought to the land; its status thus became more ambiguous. Sometimes the
ferocity of a crocodile was seen in a positive light, Sobek in these circumstances was
considered the army's patron, as a representation of strength and power.
Sobek's ambiguous nature led some Egyptian to believe that he was a repairer of evil
that had been done, rather than a force for good in itself, for example, going to Duat
to restore damage done to the dead as a result of their form of death. He was also
said to call on suitable gods and goddesses required for protecting people in
situation, effectively having a more distant role, nudging things along, rather than
taking an active part. In this way, he was seen as a more primal god, eventually
becoming regarded as an avatar of the primal god Amun, who at that time was
considered the chief god. When his identity finally merged, Amun had become
merged himself with Ra to become Amun-Ra, so Sobek, as an avatar of Amun-Ra,
was known as Sobek-Ra.
In Egyptian Art, Sobek was depicted as an ordinary crocodile, or as a man with the
head of a crocodile. When considered a patron of the pharaoh's army, he was shown
with the symbol of royal authority - the uraeus. He was also shown with an ankh,
representing his ability to undo evil and so cure ills. Once he had become Sobek-Ra,
he was also shown with a sun-disc over his head, as Ra was a sun god.
In myths that appear extremely late in Egyptian history, Sobek is credited with
catching the four sons of Horus in a net, as they emerged from the waters of the Nile
in a lotus blossom. This motif derives from the birth of Ra in the Ogdoad cosmogony,
and the fact that as a crocodile, Sobek is the best suited to collecting items upon the
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Shu (Su) was the god of dry air, wind and the atmosphere. He was also related to the
sun, possibly as an aspect of sunlight. He was the son of the creator god, father of
the twin sky and the earth deities and the one who held the sky off of the earth. He
was one of the gods who protected Ra on his journey through the underworld, using
magic spells to ward off Ra's enemy, the snake-demon Apep. As with other protector
gods, he had a darker side - he was also a god of punishment in the land of the dead,
leading executioners and torturers to kill off the corrupt souls. His name might be
derived from the word for dryness - shu, the root of words such as 'dry', 'parched',
'withered', 'sunlight' and 'empty'. His name could also mean 'He who Rises Up'.

He was generally depicted as a man wearing an ostrich feather headdress, holding a
sceptre and the ankh sign of life. Sometimes he is shown wearing the sun disk on his
head, linking him to the sun. Occasionally, when shown with his sister-wife Tefnut, he
is shown in lion form and the two were known as the "twin lion gods". At other times,
he was shown with the hind part of a lion as his headdress, linking him to his leonine
form. Mostly, he was shown with his arms raised, holding up the goddess Nut as the
sky, standing on the body of Geb. One story says that Shu and Tefnut went to explore
the waters of Nun. After some time, Ra believed that they were lost, and sent the his
Eye out into the chaos to find them. When his children were returned to him, Ra wept,
and his tears were believed to have turned into the first humans. Shu was created by
asexually or by spitting, the first born of the sun god. He seems to be more of a
personification of the atmosphere rather than an actual god.

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That is my daughter, the living female one, Tefnut,
who shall be with her brother Shu.
Life is his name, Order is her name.
[At first] I lived with my two children, my little ones,
the one before me, the other behind me.
Life reposed with my daughter Order,
the one within me, the other without me.
I rose over them, but their arms were around me.
- Spell 80, Coffin Texts
As a god of the wind, the people invoked him to give good wind to the sails of the
boats. It was he who was the personification of the cold northern winds; he was the
breath of life - the vital principle of all living things. His bones were thought to be
clouds. He was also called to 'lift up' the spirits of the dead so that they might rise up
to the heavens, known as the 'light land', reached by means of a giant 'ladder' that
Shu was thought to hold up.

...Shu, the 'space', the light cavity in the midst of the primordial darkness. Shu
is both light and air, and as the offspring of god he is manifest life. As light he
separates the earth from the sky and as air he upholds the sky vault.
-Myth and Symbol in Ancient Egypt, R. T. Rundle Clark

Despite being a god of sunlight, Shu was not considered to be a solar deity. He was,
though, connected to the sun god as one who was thought to bring Ra (and the
pharaoh) to life each morning, raising the sun into the sky. During his travels through
the underworld, he protected Ra from the snake-demon Apep, with spells to
counteract the serpent and his followers. He participated in the judgement of the
deceased in the Halls of Ma'ati as the leader of aggressive, punishing beings who
were to eliminate the ones not worthy of the afterlife.

The chapter of not perishing and of being alive in Khert-neter: Saith Osiris Ani:
"Hail, children of: Shu! Hail, children of Shu, [children of] the place of the
dawn, who as the children of light have gained possession of his crown. May I
rise up and may I fare forth like Osiris."
The chapter of not going into the block: Saith Osiris Ani: "The four bones of my
neck and of my back are joined together for me in heaven by Ra, the guardian
of the earth. This was granted on the day when my rising up out of weakness
upon my two feet was ordered, on the day when the hair was cut off. The
bones of my neck and of my back have been joined together by Set and by
the company of the gods, even as they were in the time that is past; may
nothing happen to break them apart. Make ye [me] strong against my father's
murderer. I have gotten power over the two earths. Nut hath joined together
my bones, and [I] behold [them] as they were in the time that is past [and I]
see [them] even in the same order as they were [when] the gods had not
come into being in visible forms. I am Penti, I, Osiris the scribe Ani,
triumphant, am the heir of the great gods."
The Book of the Dead, Chapters XLVI and XL
He also was believed to hold up Nut, the sky goddess and his daughter, above his
son the earth god Geb. Without Shu holding the two apart, the Egyptians believed
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that there would be no area in which to create the life they saw all around them. The
Egyptians believed that there were also pillars to help Shu lift up the sky - these
pillars were on the four cardinal points, and were known as the 'Pillars of Shu'.

Shu hath raised thee up, O Beautiful Face, thou governor of eternity. Thou
hast thine eye, O scribe Nebseni, lord of fealty, and it is beautiful. Thy right eye
is like the Sektet Boat, thy left eye is like the Atet Boat. Thine eyebrows are
fair to see in the presence of the Company of the Gods.
The Speech of Anubis (from the Papyrus of Nebseni)
The Egyptians believed that Shu was the second divine pharaoh, ruling after Ra.
Apep's followers, though, plotted against him and attacked the god at his palace in At
Nub. Despite defeating them, Shu became diseased due to their corruption, and soon
even Shu's own followers revolted against him. Shu then abdicated the throne,
allowing his son Geb to rule, and Shu himself returned to the skies.

I am Shu. I draw air from the presence of the Light-god, from the uttermost
limits of heaven, from the uttermost limits of earth, from the uttermost limits of
the pinion of Nebeh bird. May air be given unto this young divine Babe. [My
mouth is open, I see with my eyes.]
-The Chapter of Giving Air in Khert-Neter (From The Book of the Dead)
There are no known temples to Shu, but despite Akenaten's distaste for the gods of
Egypt, he and Nefertiti used Tefnut and Shu for political purposes. They depicted
themselves as the twin gods in an apparent attempt to elevate their status to that of
being a living god and goddess, the son and daughter of the creator, on earth.
Akenaten, not the monotheist that most believe him to be, put out the belief that Shu
lived in the sun disk. At Iunet (Dendera), though, there was a part of the city known
as "The House of Shu" and at Djeba (Utes-Hor, Behde, Edfu) there was a place
known as "The Seat of Shu". He was worshiped in connection with the Ennead at
Iunu, and in his lion form at Nay-ta-hut (Leontopolis).

Shu was the husband of his twin, the goddess Tefnut, son of the sun god Atem-Ra
and father to the earth god Geb and the sky goddess Nut. As such, he was one of the
gods of the Ennead. Shu was identified with the Meroitic god Arensnuphis, known as
Shu-Arensnuphis. He was also identified with the war god Onuris, known as
His links with Onuris are probably because the two gods had wives who took the form
of a lioness (Mehit was the wife of Onuris), and both gods were thought to have
brought their consorts back from Nubia. In Shu's case, when Tefnut went off in anger
to Nubia, Ra sent both him and Thoth to get her, and they found her in Begum. Thoth
began at once to try and persuade her to return to Egypt. In the end Tefnut (with Shu
and Thoth leading her) made a triumphant entry back into Egypt, accompanied by a
host of Nubian musicians, dancers and baboons.
Egypt's second divine ruler, Shu was one of the great Ennead. A god of the wind, the
atmosphere, the space between the sky and the earth, Shu was the division between
day and night, the underworld and the living world. He was a god related to living,
allowing life to flourish in Egypt with his breath of life. He was the bridge between life
and death, both a protector and a punisher in the afterlife. To the Egyptians, if there
was no Shu, there would be no life - Egypt existed thanks to Shu.
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Shezmu, alts. Shesmu, Schezemu, Schesmu, Shesemu, Shezmou, Shesmou,
Sezmu, Sesmu, is the ancient Egyptian demonic God of execution, slaughter, blood,
and wine. Like many of the gods of Ancient Egypt, Shezmu was of a complex nature.
He had qualities of both light and darkness, but this was not the reason that he was
known as a 'demon'. To the Egyptians, demons were not necessarily evil in nature.
Often they were quite helpful. Instead, the term demon was given to Shezmu
because he was one of the lesser deities, and due to his relation to The Underworld.
Though he wasnt as popular as many of the others, he was quite important.
Shezmu was the demonic god of red wine, slaughter, and sometimes perfumes or
oils. The link between blood and the crimson color of wine is clear. Shezmu was
known to destroy wrongdoers, gruesomely putting their heads in winepresses to
remove the blood. He was known as the 'Executioner of Osiris'. Shezmu followed the
commands of The God of The Dead, and therefore was sometimes given the title
Slaughterer of Souls. He initially seems to be a fierce underworld deity, but
Shezmu was quite helpful to the dead. Although he was a harsh executioner of the
wicked, he was also a great protector of the virtuous. Shezmu offered red wine to
those who had passed on. Other than wine, he was in charge of earthly objects such
as embalming oils, and perfumes.
Among the gods, his job was to use the bodies and blood of the dead to create
sustenance for Unas. Osiris was the one who ordered the use of the wicked ones
blood to be turned to wine. He was sometimes given the title Demon of the Wine
Press. On a darker note, Shezmus affinity with the color red linked him to evil.
Crimson was a feared and hated color among the Egyptians. Not only is it the
universal color of blood, and therefore death, but it was the color of the god of chaos,
Seth. Since it was also the color of the setting sun, red was associated with the
coming darkness and the reign of Apophis the serpent demon.
Like many other Egyptian deities, Shezmu was sometimes depicted as a man or a
man with the head of a falcon. To link him further with blood and destruction, he took
the form of a man with a leonine head. This perhaps was a bridge between him and
Sekhmet, the goddess of vengeance. Furthermore, he is associated with Nefertem
through both his appearance and the connection with perfumes.
Shezmu seemed to be both represented as a great evil and an entity of good. In
many places he is held in high regards by the god Osiris, and is worshipped as a
protector god. However, he was also feared as the unyielding punisher of the
damned. His greatest cult was centered in Faiyum, but his worshippers were also
widely distributed in Dendera and Edfu.
Due to its color, red wine became strongly identified with blood, and thus Shezmu
was identified as lord of blood. Since wine was seen as a good thing, his association
with blood was considered one of righteousness, making him considered an
executioner of the unrighteous, being the slaughterer of souls. When the main form of
execution was by beheading, it was said that Shezmu ripped off the heads of those
who were wicked, and threw them into a wine press, to be crushed into red wine,
which was given to the righteous dead.
Beheading was commonly carried out by the victim resting their head on a wooden
block, and so Shezmu was referred to as Overthrower of the Wicked at the Block.
This violent aspect lead to depiction, in art, as a lion-headed man, thus being known
as fierce of face. In later times, Egyptians used the wine press for producing oils
instead of wine, which was produced by crushing under foot instead. Consequently,
Shezmu became associated with unguents and embalming oils, and thus the
preservation of the body, and of beauty.
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In Ancient Egyptian mythology, Set (also spelled Seth, Sutekh or Seteh) is an ancient
god, who was originally the god of the desert, Storms, Darkness, and Chaos.
Because of the developments in the Egyptian language over the 3,000 years that Set
was worshipped, by the Greek period, the 't' in Seth was pronounced so
indistinguishably from th that the Greeks spelled it as (Seth). The exact translation of
Set is unknown for certain, but is usually considered to be either (one who) dazzles or
pillar of stability, one connected to the desert, and the other more to the institution of
Seth was the god of the desert, and necessary chaos. Set also was viewed as
immensely powerful and carried the epithet, "His Majesty", shared only with Ra.
Another common epithet was, of great of strength, and in one of the Pyramid Texts it
states that the king's strength is that of Set. As chief god, he was patron of Upper
Egypt (in the South- upstream), where he was worshiped, most notably at Ombos.
The alternate form of his name, spelled Setesh, and later Sutekh, designates this
supremacy, the extra sh and kh signifying majesty.
In art, Set was mostly depicted as a mysterious and unknown creature, referred to by
Egyptologists as the Set animal or Typhonic beast, with a curved snout, square ears,
forked tail, and canine body, or sometimes as a human with only the head of the Set
animal. It has no complete resemblance to any known creature, although it does
resemble a composite of an aardvark, a donkey, and a jackal, all of which are desert
The main species of aardvark present in ancient Egypt additionally had a reddish
appearance due to thin fur, which shows the skin beneath it). In some descriptions he
has the head of a greyhound. The earliest known representation of Set comes from a
tomb dating to the Naqada I phase of the Predynastic Period (circa 4000 BC3500
BC), and the Set-animal is even found on a mace-head of the Scorpion King, a
Protodynastic ruler.
The Was ("power") scepters represent the Set-animal. Was scepters were carried by
gods, pharaohs, and priests, as a symbol of power, and in later use, control over the
force of chaos (Set). The head and forked tail of the Set-animal are clearly present.
Was scepters are often depicted in paintings, drawings, and carvings of gods, and
remnants of real Was scepters have been found constructed of faience or wood.

Conflict between Horus and Set
The myth of Set's conflict with Horus, Osiris, and Isis appears in many Egyptian
sources, including the Pyramid Texts, the Coffin Texts, the Shabaka Stone,
inscriptions on the walls of the temple of Horus at Edfu, and various papyrus sources.
The Chester Beatty Papyrus No. 1 contains the legend known as The Contention of
Horus and Set. Classical authors also recorded the story, notably Plutarch's De Iside
et Osiride.
These myths generally portray Osiris as a wise king and bringer of civilization, happily
married to his sister, Isis. Set was envious of his younger brother, and he killed and
dismembered Osiris. Isis reassembled Osiris' corpse and another god (in some myths
Thoth and in others Anubis) embalmed him. As the archetypal mummy, Osiris reigned
over the Afterworld as judge of the dead.
Osiris' son Horus was conceived by Isis with Osiris' corpse, or in some versions, only
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with pieces of his corpse. Horus naturally became the enemy of Set, and many myths
describe their conflicts. In some of these myths Set is portrayed as Horus' older
brother rather than uncle.
The myth incorporated moral lessons for relationships between fathers and sons,
older and younger brothers, and husbands and wives.
It has also been suggested that the myth may reflect historical events. According to
the Shabaka Stone, Geb divided Egypt into two halves, giving Upper Egypt (the
desert south) to Set and Lower Egypt (the region of the delta in the north) to Horus, in
order to end their feud. However, according to the stone, in a later judgment Geb
gave all Egypt to Horus.
Interpreting this myth as a historical record would lead one to believe that Lower
Egypt (Horus' land) conquered Upper Egypt (Set's land); but, in fact Upper Egypt
conquered Lower Egypt. So the myth cannot be simply interpreted. Several theories
exist to explain the discrepancy. For instance, since both Horus and Set were
worshiped in Upper Egypt prior to unification, perhaps the myth reflects a struggle
within Upper Egypt prior to unification, in which a Horus-worshiping group subjected a
Set-worshiping group.
What is known is that during the Second Dynasty, there was a period in which the
King Peribsen's name or Serekh - which had been surmounted by a Horus falcon in
the First Dynasty - was for a time surmounted by a Set animal, suggesting some kind
of religious struggle. It was ended at the end of the Dynasty by Khasekhemwy, who
surmounted his Serekh with both a falcon of Horus and a Set animal, indicating some
kind of compromise had been reached.
Regardless, once the two lands were united, Seth and Horus were often shown
together crowning the new pharaohs, as a symbol of their power over both Lower and
Upper Egypt. Queens of the 1st Dynasty bore the title "She Who Sees Horus and
Set." The Pyramid Texts present the pharaoh as a fusion of the two deities. Evidently,
pharaohs believed that they balanced and reconciled competing cosmic principles.
Eventually the dual-god Horus-Set appeared, combining features of both deities (as
was common in Egyptian theology, the most familiar example being Amun-Re).
Later Egyptians interpreted the myth of the conflict between Set and Osiris/Horus as
an analogy for the struggle between the desert (represented by Set) and the fertilizing
floods of the Nile (Osiris/Horus).

Savior of Ra
As the Ogdoad system became more assimilated with the Ennead one, as a result of
creeping increase of the identification of Atum as Ra, itself a result of the joining of
Upper and Lower Egypt, Set's position in this became considered. With Horus as
Ra's heir on Earth, Set, previously the chief god, for Lower Egypt, required an
appropriate role as well, and so was identified as Ra's main hero, who fought Apep
each night, during Ra's journey (as sun god) across the underworld.
He was thus often depicted standing on the prow of Ra's night barque spearing Apep
in the form of a serpent, turtle, or other dangerous water animals. Surprisingly, in
some Late Period representations, such as in the Persian Period temple at Hibis in
the Khargah Oasis, Set was represented in this role with a falcon's head, taking on
the guise of Horus, despite the fact that Set was usually considered in quite a
different position with regard to heroism.
This assimilation also led to Anubis being displaced, in areas where he was
worshiped, as ruler of the underworld, with his situation being explained by his being
the son of Osiris. As Isis represented life, Anubis' mother was identified instead as
Nephthys. This led to an explanation in which Nephthys, frustrated by Set's lack of
sexual interest in her, disguised herself as the more attractive Isis, but failed to gain
Set's attention because he was infertile. Osiris mistook Nephthys for Isis and they
had conceived Anubis resulting in Anubis' birth. In some later texts, after Set lost the
connection to the desert, and thus infertility, Anubis was identified as Set's son, as
Set is Nephthys' husband.
In the mythology, Set has a great many wives, including some foreign Goddesses,
and several children. Some of the most notable wives (beyond Nephthys/Nebet Het)
are Neith (with whom he is said to have fathered Sobek), Amtcheret (by whom he is
said to have fathered Upuat - though Upuat is also said to be a son of Anubis or
Osiris), Tawaret, Hetepsabet (one of the Hours, a feminine was-beast headed
goddess who is variously described as wife or daughter of Set), and the two
Canaanite deities Anat and Astarte, both of whom are equally skilled in love and war -
two things which Set himself was famous for.

Set in the Second Intermediate and Ramesside Periods
During the Second Intermediate Period, a group of Asiatic foreign chiefs known as
the Hyksos (literally, "rulers of foreigns lands") gained the rulership of Egypt, and
ruled the Nile Delta, from Avaris. They chose Set, originally Lower Egypt's chief god,
the god of foreigners and the god they found most similar to their own chief god, as
their patron, and so Set became worshiped as the chief god once again. When
Ahmose I overthrew the Hyksos and expelled them from Egypt, Egyptian attitudes
towards Asiatic foreigners became xenophobic, and royal propaganda discredited the
period of Hyksos rule. Nonetheless, the Set cult at Avaris flourished, and the Egyptian
garrison of Ahmose stationed there because part of the priesthood of Set at Avaris.
The founder of the nineteenth dynasty, Ramesses I came from a military family from
Avaris with strong ties to the priesthood of Set. Several of the Ramesside kings were
named for Set, most notably Seti I (literally, "man of Set") and Setnakht (literally, "Set
is strong"). In addition, one of the garrisons of Ramesses II held Set as its patron
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deity, and Ramesses II erected the so-called Four Hundred Years' Stele at
Pi-Ramesses, commemorating the 400 year anniversary of the Set cult in the Delta.
Set also became associated with foreign gods during the New Kingdom, particularly
in the Delta. Set was also identified by the Egyptians with the Hittite deity Teshub,
who was a storm god like Set.

Demonization of Set
Set was one of the earliest deities, with a strong following in Upper Egypt. Originally
highly regarded throughout Kemet as the god of the desert, a political faction inspired
an initial disparaging of Set's name and reputation. Kemet was originally split into two
kingdoms: Upper ruled by Horus (and later Ra), Lower by Set.
Set's followers resisted a unification of the Upper and Lower kingdoms of Egypt by
the followers of Horus/Ra (with the followers of Osiris and Isis). This political split was
echoed in the Osiris & Isis myth, and subsequent battle with Horus. The followers of
Horus thus denigrated Set as chaotic and evil. By the 22nd Dynasty, Set was equated
with his old enemy, Apep, and his images on temples were replaced with those of
Sobek or Thoth. Most modern popular misconceptions of Set come from Plutarch's
secondary source interpretations of Set (via the writings of Herodotus et al.), long
after Set's demonization (circa 100 A.D., Roman Period in Egypt).
Set was further demonized immediately after the Hyksos Period, the evidence from
the Nineteenth Dynasty proves that this is a more complex picture.
Some scholars date the demonization of Set to after Egypt's conquest by the Persian
ruler Cambyses II. Set, who had traditionally been the god of foreigners, thus also
became associated with foreign oppressors, including the Achaemenid Persians,
Ptolemaic dynasty, and Romans. Indeed, it was during the time that Set was
particularly vilified, and his defeat by Horus widely celebrated.
Set's negative aspects were emphasized during this period. Set was the killer of
Osiris in the Myth of Osiris and Isis, having hacked Osiris' body into pieces and
dispersed it so that he could not be resurrected. If Set' ears are fins, as some have
interpreted, the head of the Set-animal resembles the Oxyrhynchus fish, and so it
was said that as a final precaution, an Oxyrhynchus fish ate Osiris' penis. In addition,
Set was often depicted as one of the creatures that the Egyptians most feared,
crocodiles, and hippopotami.
The Greeks later linked Set with Typhon because both were evil forces, storm deities,
and sons of the Earth that attacked the main gods.
Nevertheless, throughout this period, in some outlying regions of Egypt Set was still
regarded as the heroic chief deity; for example, there was a temple dedicated to Set
in the village of Mut al-Kharab, in the Dakhlah Oasis.

Set was worshipped at the temples of Ombos (Nubt near Naqada) and Ombos (Nubt
near Kom Ombo), at Oxyrhynchus in upper Egypt, and also in part of the Fayyum
More specifically, Set was worshipped in the relatively large metropolitan (yet
provincial) locale of Sepermeru, especially during the Rammeside Period. There,
Seth was honored with an important temple called the "House of Seth, Lord of
Sepermeru." One of the epithets of this town was "gateway to the desert," which fits
well with Seth's role as a deity of the frontier regions of ancient Egypt. At Sepermeru,
Set's temple-enclosure included a small secondary shrine called "The House of Seth,
Powerful-Is-His-Mighty-Arm," and Ramesses II himself built (or modified) a second
land-owning temple for Nephthys, called "The House of Nephthys of Ramesses-
There is no question, however, that the two temples of Seth and Nephthys in
Sepermeru were under separate administration, each with its own holdings and
prophets. Moreover, another moderately sized temple of Seth is noted for the nearby
town of Pi-Wayna. The close association of Seth temples with temples of Nephthys in
key outskirt-towns of this milieu is also reflected in the likelihood that there existed
another "House of Seth" and another "House of Nephthys" in the town of Su, at the
entrance to the Fayyum.
Perhaps most intriguing in terms of the pre-Dynasty XX connections between temples
of Set and nearby temples of his consort Nephthys is the evidence of Papyrus
Bologna, which preserves a most irritable complaint lodged by one Pra'em-hab,
Prophet of the "House of Seth" in the now-lost town of Punodjem ("The Sweet
Place"). In the text of Papyrus Bolgona, the harried Pra'em-hab laments undue
taxation for his own temple (The House of Seth) and goes on to lament that he is also
saddled with responsibility for: "the ship, and I am likewise also responsible for the
House of Nephthys, along with the remaining heap of district temples".
It is unfortunate, perhaps, that we have means of knowing the particular theologies of
the closely connected Set and Nephthys temples in these districtsit would be
interesting to learn, for example, the religious tone of temples of Nephthys located in
such proximity to those of Seth, especially given the seemingly contrary Osirian
loyalties of Seth's consort-goddess. When, by Dynasty XX, the "demonization" of
Seth was ostensibly inaugurated, Seth was either eradicated or increasingly pushed
to the outskirts, Nephthys flourished as part of the usual Osirian pantheon throughout
Egypt, even obtaining a Late Period status as tutelary goddess of her own Nome (UU
Nome VII, "Hwt-Sekhem"/Diospolis Parva) and as the chief goddess of the Mansion
of the Sistrum in that district.
Yet, it is perhaps most telling that Seth's cultus persisted with astonishing potency
even into the latter days of ancient Egyptian religion, in outlying (but important)
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places like Kharga, Dakhlah, Deir el-Hagar, Mut, Kellis, etc. Indeed, in these places,
Seth was considered "Lord of the Oasis/Town" and Nephthys was likewise venerated
as "Mistress of the Oasis" at Seth's side, in his temples esp. the dedication of a
Nephthys-cult statue). Meanwhile, Nephthys was also venerated as "Mistress" in the
Osirian temples of these districts, as part of the specifically Osirian college.
It would appear that the ancient Egyptians in these locales had little problem with the
paradoxical dualities inherent in venerating Seth and Nephthys as juxtaposed against
Osiris, Isis & Nephthys. Further study of the enormously important role of Seth in
ancient Egyptian religion (particularly after Dynasty XX) is imperative.
The power of Seth's cult in the mighty (yet outlying) city of Avaris from the Second
Intermediate Period through the Ramesside Period cannot be denied. There he
reigned supreme as a deity both at odds and in league with threatening foreign
powers, and in this case, his chief consort-goddesses were the Phoenicians Anat and
Astarte, with Nephthys merely one of the harem.
0 , H: 1020
2009 10- 28 JTL
Seshat is the feminine consort/counterpart/wife/child of Thoth the Scribe, he who
wrote the story/program of humanity's journey through time. She is a Magician, as is
Isis, Thoth, Hermes, etc. Seshat bore the title 'Egyptian Fairy Godmother'. Her magic
wand, with its seven pointed star, was the symbol which represented the source of all
creative ideas, consciousness. Her powers of cause and effect for any affectation
were legendary before the founding of Egypt.

Seshat was the essence of cosmic intuition, creating the geometry of the heavens
alongside Thoth. In Egyptian mythology, Seshat was originally the deification of the
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concept of wisdom, and so became a goddess of writing, astronomy, astrology,
architecture, and mathematics.

As reality is based on duality, one could consider Seshat the feminine aspect of
Thoth. The Egyptians believed that she invented writing, while Thoth taught writing to
mankind. She was known as 'Mistress of the House of Books', indicating that she also
took care of Thoth's library of spells and scrolls. She is the patron of libraries and all
forms of writing, including census and accounting work. Seshat was the only female
that has been found (so far) actually writing. Other women have been found holding a
scribe's writing brush and palette - showing that they could read and write, but these
women were never shown in the act of writing itself. As goddess of writing, she was
seen as a scribe, and record keeper, and her name itself means (she who) scrivens
(i.e. she who is a scribe).
The name Sashet, Seshet or Sesheta means
'The Female Scribe', 'Sesh" meaning scribe.
She was an architect building by the
measurements of sacred geometry.
She wears a leopard skin dress.
The symbol over her head is a seven-pointed star or a rosette above
which is a pair of inverted cow's horns suggesting a crescent moon.
Her headdress was also her hieroglyph which may represent either a stylized flower
or seven pointed star on a standing goddess that is beneath a set of down-turned
horns. The horns may have originally been a crescent, linking Seshat to the moon
and hence to her spouse, the moon god of writing and knowledge, Thoth.
Safekh-Aubi (Sefekh-Aubi) is a title that came from Seshat's headdress, that may
have become an aspect of Seshat or an actual goddess. Safekh-Aubi means 'She
Who Wears the Two Horns' and relates to the horns that appear above Seshat's

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In art, she was depicted as a woman, with a stylized papyrus plant above her head,
symbolizing writing, since the Egyptians wrote on a material derived from papyrus.
The plant, her symbol, was shown having 6 spurs from the tip of the central stem,
making it resemble a 7 pointed star. After the association with Thoth, who had
originally been a moon god, the stylized papyrus was shown surmounted by a
crescent moon, which, over time, degenerated into being shown as two horns
arranged to form a crescent shape between them. When the crescent symbol had
degenerated into the horns, she was sometimes known as Safekh-Aubi, meaning
(she who) wears the two horns.
Usually, she is also shown holding a palm stem, carrying notches to denote the
recording of the passage of time. She is frequently dressed in a leopard-skin, a
symbol of funerary priests, because the pattern of the skin represents the stars, both
a symbol of eternity, and associated with the moon.
From the Second Dynasty onwards, she helped ritualized laying of the foundations of
temples and the ceremony known as the stretching of the cord (referring to the
mason's line used to measure out the limits of the building). She was known as
Mistress of the House of Architects. She was personal god of the king, aiding and
assisting him. She was said to record all of his preceedings and his
As the divine measurer and scribe, she was believed to appear to assist the pharaoh
in both these practices. It was she who recorded, by notching her palm, the time
allotted to him by the gods for his stay on earth, and during the New Kingdom, she
was involved in the pharaoh's jubilee festival - the Sed festival. She also assisted the
pharaoh in the stretching the cord ritual, as well as recording the speeches the
pharaoh made during crowning, and the inventory of foreign captives and goods
gained in military campaigns.

The Pyramid Texts reference Seshat as 'The Female Scribe' and 'The Lady of the
House'. Nephthys is also referred to in the Pyramid Texts as 'Seshat, Foremost of
Builders'. Some call Seshat the Egyptian goddess of the dead, daughter of Geb and
Nut, sister of Isis, Osiris and Seth. According to one tradition, she was also the
mother of Anubis by Osiris.
Her principal sanctuary was at Heliopolis. Along with Isis, she was one of the
guardians of the corpse of Osiris. Depicted in human form wearing a crown in the
form of the hieroglyph for house. Sometimes depicted as a kite guarding funeral bier
of Osiris. No temple has ever been found in her name. But in a temple constructed
during Hatshepsut's reign, queen Hatshepsut is shown directing Thoth to speak to
Seshat to get the answers to his questions. On the Slab Stela of Prince Wep-em-
nefret, from the Fourth Dynasty, he is mentioned as the 'Overseer of the Royal
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Scribes', 'Priest of Seshat'. Supposedly at a later time, the priesthood of Thoth took
over the priesthood of Seshat.

"Seshat, Great Lady of the House of Books, also known as Sefkhet-abwy, the Silicon
Goddess, the Glass Cat and Our Lady of Mathematics. Among the Inner Sphere
superintelligences there exist an archetypal attractor, Seshat, providing a shared
interface to trans-singularity mathematical and notational understanding."
0 , H: 286
2009 10- 28 JTL
Goddess of divine retribution, vengeance, conquest and war.
In Egyptian mythology, Sekhmet (also spelled Sachmet, Sakhet, Sekmet, Sakhmet
and Sekhet; and given the Greek name, Sacmis), was originally the warrior goddess
of Upper Egypt. She is depicted as a lioness, the fiercest hunter known to the
Egyptians. It was said that her breath created the desert. She was seen as the
protector of the pharaohs and led them in warfare.
Her cult was so dominant in the culture that when the first pharaoh of the twelfth
dynasty, Amenemhat I, moved the capital of Egypt to Itjtawy, the centre for her cult
was moved as well. Religion, the royal lineage, and the authority to govern were
intrinsically interwoven in Ancient Egypt during its approximately three thousand
years of existence. Sekhmet also is a solar deity, often considered an aspect of the
Goddesses Hathor and cats Bast. She bears the solar disk, and the Uraeus which
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associates her with Wadjet and royalty. With these associations she can be construed
as being a divine arbiter of Ma'at (Justice, or Order), The Eye of Horus and
connecting her with Tefnut as well.
Upper Egypt is in the south and Lower Egypt is in the delta region in the north. As
Lower Egypt had been conquered by Upper Egypt, Sekhmet was seen as the more
powerful of the two warrior goddesses, the other, Bast, being the similar warrior
goddess of Lower Egypt. Consequently, it was Sekhmet who was seen as the
Avenger of Wrongs, and the Scarlet Lady, a reference to blood, as the one with
bloodlust. She also was seen as a special goddess for women, ruling over
menstruation. Unable to be eliminated completely however, Bast became a lesser
deity and even was marginalized as Bastet by the priests of Amun who added a
second female ending to her name that may have implied a diminutive status,
becoming seen as a domestic cat at times.
Sekhmet became identified in some later cults as a daughter of the new sun god, Ra,
when his cult merged with and supplanted the worship of Horus (the son of Osiris and
Isis, who was one of the oldest of Egyptian deities and gave birth daily to the sun). At
that time many roles of deities were changed in the Egyptian myths. Some were
changed further when the Greeks established a royal line of rulers that lasted for
three hundred years and some of their historians tried to create parallels between
deities in the two pantheons.
Her name suits her function and means, the (one who is) powerful. She also was
given titles such as the (One) Before Whom Evil Trembles, the Mistress of Dread, and
the Lady of Slaughter.
Sekhmet was believed to protect the pharaoh in battle, stalking the land, and
destroying the pharaoh's enemies with arrows of fire. An early Egyptian sun deity
also, her body was said to take on the bright glare of the midday sun, gaining her the
title Lady of Flame. It was said that death and destruction were balm for her warrior's
heart and that the hot desert winds were believed to be her breath.
n order to placate Sekhmet's wrath, her priestesses performed a ritual before a
different statue of the goddess on each day of the year. This practice resulted in
many images of the goddess being preserved. It is estimated that more than seven
hundred statues of Sekhmet once stood in one funerary temple alone, that of
Amenhotep III, on the west bank of the Nile.
Sekhmet also was seen as a bringer of disease as well as the provider of cures to
such ills. The name "Sekhmet" literally became synonymous with physicians and
surgeons during the Middle Kingdom. In antiquity, many members of Sekhmet's
priesthood often were considered to be on the same level as physicians.
She was envisioned as a fierce lioness, and in art, was depicted as such, or as a
woman with the head of a lioness, who was dressed in red, the colour of blood.
Sometimes the dress she wears exhibits a rosetta pattern over each nipple, an
ancient leonine motif, which can be traced to observation of the shoulder-knot hairs
on lions. Tame lions were kept in temples dedicated to Sekhmet at Leontopolis.
To pacify Sekhmet, festivals were celebrated at the end of battle, so that the
destruction would come to an end. During an annual festival held at the beginning of
the year, a festival of intoxication, the Egyptians danced and played music to soothe
the wildness of the goddess and drank great quantities of beer ritually to imitate the
extreme drunkenness that stopped the wrath of the goddess - when she almost
destroyed humankind. This may relate to averting excessive flooding during the
inundation at the beginning of each year as well, when the Nile ran blood-red with the
silt from upstream and Sekhmet had to swallow the overflow to save humankind.
In 2006, Betsy Bryan, an archaeologist with Johns Hopkins University excavating at
the temple of Mut presented her findings about the festival that included illustrations
of the priestesses being served to excess and its adverse effects being ministered to
by temple attendants.
Participation in the festival was great, including the priestesses and the population.
Historical records of tens of thousands attending the festival exist. These findings
were made in the temple of Mut because when Thebes rose to greater prominence,
Mut absorbed the warrior goddesses as some of her aspects. First, Mut became
Mut-Wadjet-Bast, then Mut-Sekhmet-Bast (Wadjet having merged into Bast), then
Mut also assimilated Menhit, another lioness goddess, and her adopted son's wife,
becoming Mut-Sekhmet-Bast-Menhit, and finally becoming Mut-Nekhbet. These
temple excavations at Luxor discovered a "porch of drunkenness" built onto the
temple by the queen Hatshepsut, during the height of her twenty year reign.
In a later myth developed around an annual drunken Sekhmet festival, Ra, by then
the sun god of Upper Egypt, created her from a fiery eye gained from his mother, to
destroy mortals who conspired against him (Lower Egypt). In the myth, Sekhmet's
blood-lust was not quelled at the end of battle and led to her destroying almost all of
humanity, so Ra tricked her by turning the Nile red like blood (the Nile turns red every
year when filled with silt during inundation) so that Sekhmet would drink it. However,
the red liquid was not blood, but beer mixed with pomegranate juice so that it
resembled blood, making her so drunk that she gave up slaughter and became an
aspect of the gentle Hathor.
After Sekhmet's worship moved to Memphis, as Horus and Ra had been identified as
one another under the name Ra-Herakhty - when the two religious systems were
merged and Ra became seen as a form of Atum, known as Atum-Ra - so Sekhmet,
as a form of Hathor, was seen as Atum's mother as Hathor had been the mother of
the sun, giving birth anew to it every day. She then was seen as the mother of
Nefertum, the youthful form of Atum who emerged in later myths, and so was said to
have Ptah, Nefertum's father, as a husband when most of the goddesses acquired
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counterparts as paired deities.
Although Sekhmet again became identified as an aspect of Hathor, over time both
evolved back into separate deities because the characters of the two goddesses
were so vastly different. Later, as noted above, the creation goddess Mut, the great
mother, gradually became absorbed into the identities of the patron goddesses,
merging with Sekhmet, and also sometimes with Bast.
Sekhmet later was considered to be the mother of Maahes, a deity who appeared
during the New Kingdom period. He was seen as a lion prince, the son of the
goddess. The late origin of Maahes in the Egyptian pantheon may be the
incorporation of a Nubian deity of ancient origin in that culture, arriving during trade
and warfare or even during a period of domination by Nubia. During the Greek
occupation of Egypt, note was made of a temple for Maahes that was an auxiliary
facility to a large temple to Sekhmet at Taremu in the delta region (likely a temple for
Bast originally), a city which the Greeks called Leontopolis, where by that time, an
enclosure was provided to house lions.
Other Countries
In Tibet Sekhmet is known as Senge Dong-ma, lion-headed dakini, "Guardian of the
Secret Tantric Teachings". She is called Simhavaktra, in India where she also has a
male reflection in the lion-headed incarnation of Vishnu, Narasimha. Pure shakti, she
is doubtless a close relative to lion-mounted Durga, "Keeper of the Flame". Another
Egyptian name for Sekhmet is Nesert, the flame. In the ancient Near East she was
called Anat, Ashtoreth and Astarte.
Various Depictions
Sekhmet from the temple of Mut at Luxor, granite, 1403-1365 BC
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The warrior goddess Sekhmet, shown with her sun disk and cobra crown
Limestone fragment from the valley of Sneferu (Dynasty IV) at Dahshur
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Golden Royalty and Alchemy

As with the Goddess Isis, Sekhmet seems to have been reinvented in the twentieth
century. Although she is still regarded as a powerful force, to be approached with
respect and caution, we can perceive a 'watering down' of her aspects. In Ancient
Egypt she was dangerous and ferocious, the bringer of plagues and retribution, the
fire of the sun God's eye. This was no benign figure, who could be adored and
worshipped as a gentle mother.
Today many women view Sekhmet as a source of strength, independence and
assertiveness, and commune with her frequency when these attributes need to be
augmented or instilled. To some Sekhmet has become the symbol of the modern
woman. She is approached as a healer, bringer of justice and as a guardian or
protector, but the emphasis has shifted. It seems a natural progression that Sekhmet
has transformed from what was almost a force of chaos into an icon of immanent
female power.
0 , H: 953
2009 10- 28 JTL
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In one of his many forms, Ra has the head of a falcon and the sun-disk of Wadjet
resting on his head.
Ra (pronounced as Rah, and sometimes as Ray) is an ancient Egyptian sun god. By
the fifth dynasty he became a major deity in ancient Egyptian religion, identified
primarily with the mid-day sun, with other deities representing other positions of the
sun. Ra changed greatly over time and in one form or another, much later he was
said to represent the sun at all times of the day.
The chief cult centre of Ra first was based in Heliopolis (ancient Inunu) meaning "City
of the Sun." In later Egyptian dynastic times, Ra was merged with the god Horus, as
Re-Horakhty (and many variant spellings). When his worship reached this position of
importance in the Egyptian pantheon, he was believed to command the sky, the
earth, and the underworld.
He was associated with the falcon, the symbol of other sun deities who protected the
pharaohs in later myths. After the deities were paired with pharaohs, the children of
Hathor were considered to be fathered by Ra.
Although not the contemporary view, E. A. Wallis Budge (1857-1934) claims that Ra
was the one god of Egyptian monotheism, of which all other deities were aspects,
manifestations, phases, or forms.
Ra should be pronounced as 'rei'; hence the alternative spelling Re rather than Ra.
The meaning of Ra's name is uncertain, but it is thought if not a word for 'sun' it may
be a variant of or linked to 'creative'. As his cult arose in the Egyptian pantheon, Ra
often replaced Atum as the father, grandfather, and great-grandfather of the deities of
the Ennead, and became a creator of the world.
Up until the mid-twentieth century, theories of Egyptologists postulated that the
Heliopolis priesthood established this pesedjet at Heliopolis in order to place their
local sun-god Ra above all other deities such as Osiris. Many Egyptologists now
question this.
It appears almost certain, rather, that the Great Ennead - the nine deities of Atum,
Geb, Isis, Nut, Osiris, Nephthys, Seth, Shu, and Tefnut - first appeared during the
decline of Ra's cult in the sixth dynasty, and that after introduction of the new
pesedjet the cult of Ra soon saw a great resurgence until the worship of Horus
gained prominence.
Afterward worship focused on the syncretistic solar deity Ra-harakhty (Ra, who is
Horus of the Two Horizons). During the Amarna Period of the eighteenth dynasty,
Akhenaten introduced worship of another solar deity Aten. The deified solar disc
represented his preferred regional deity as he attempted to lessen the influence of
the temple of Atum. He built the Wetjes Aten (Elevating the Sun-disca) temple in
Annu. Blocks from this temple later were used to build walls to the medieval city of
Cairo and are included in some of the city gates. The cult of the Mnevis bull, an
embodiment of Ra, had its centre here and established a formal burial ground for the
sacrificed bulls north of the city.
In the later myths Ra was seen to have created Sekhmet, the early lioness war
goddess who becomes Hathor, the cow goddess after she has sufficiently punished
mankind as an avenging Eye of Ra.

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This changes the themes of much earlier myths into aspects of his and he is often
said to be the father of both, and brother, to the god Osiris. Afterward nearly all forms
of life supposedly were created only by Ra, who called each of them into existence by
speaking their secret names and eventually humans were created from Ra's tears
and sweat, hence the Egyptians call themselves the "Cattle of Ra."

Ra shared many of his symbols with other solar deities, in particular Horus, usually
depicted as a falcon. In artwork Ra primarily is depicted as a man wearing a
pharaoh's crown (a sign of his leadership of the deities) and the wadjet sun disk
above his head. Often he had a falcon's head, as does Horus. In later myths about
Ra, the sun is portrayed differently according to the position of the sun in the sky.
This was an early theme in Egyptian myths, with different names assigned to the sun
depending upon its position in the sky. At sunrise he was the young boy Khepri, at
noon the falcon-headed man Harakhty, and at sunset the elder Atum. This constant
aging was suggested by some later Egyptians as the reason Ra stayed separate
from the world and let Osiris or Horus rule in his place. This idea often is coupled with
the myth in which Isis is able to trick an elderly Ra, having ruled on earth as a human
pharaoh, into revealing his secret name, and thus the secret of his power. Ra
subsequently lost his power, resulting in the cult of Isis and Osiris to rise in
The Bennu bird (Phoenix) is Ra's ba and a symbol of fire and rebirth. The wadjet sun
disk, also shown as the hieroglyphic Ankh, symbolizes the life given by the sun.
Obelisk represents the rays of the sun and was worshiped as a home of a solar god.
Pyramids, aligned east to west, Falcon; Bull; a cobra commonly seen wrapped
around the sun disk, the form of the goddess Wadjet, who often was depicted as an
Egyptian cobra, an animal thought only to be female and reproducing through
Some traditions relate that the first wadjet was created by the goddess Isis who
formed it from the dust of the earth and the spittle of Atum. The uraeus was the
instrument with which Isis gained the throne of Egypt for her husband Osiris. As the
sun, Ra was thought to see everything.
Together with Atum, Ra was believed to have fathered Shu and Tefnut who in turn
bore Geb and Nut. These in turn were the parents of Osiris, Isis, Set (also known as
Seth), and Nephthys. All nine made up the Heliopolitan Ennead.

For the Egyptians, the sun represented light, warmth, and growth. This made sun
deities very important to Egyptians, and it is no coincidence that the sun came to be
the ruler of all. In his myths, the sun was either seen as the body or Eye of Ra.

Journey of Re traveling through the Underworld
in his solar barque,
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a journey he undertakes every night
Primordial Serpent and Sun Boat
Ra was thought to travel in a sun boat (The Boat of the Millions) to protect its fires
from the primordial waters of the underworld it passed through during the night. Ra
traveled in the sun boat with various other deities including Set and Mehen who
defended against the monsters of the underworld, and Ma'at who guided the boat's
course. The monsters included Apep, an enormous serpent who tried to stop the sun
boat's journey every night by consuming it. The Ra myth saw the sunrise as the
rebirth of the sun by the goddess Nut and the sky, thus attributing the concept of
rebirth and renewal to Ra and strengthening his role as a creator god.

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In the Pyramid Text, Re is perpetually resurrected in the mornings in the form of a
scarab beetle, Khepri, which means the Emerging One. He rides on the primordial
waters, called Nun, in his sacred bark (boat) along with a number of other deities
across the sky, where at sunset he becomes Atum, the "All Lord". At sunset, he is
swallowed by the goddess Nut, who gives birth to him each morning again as Khepri.
Therefore, the cycle continued with birth, life and death.
Early in his myths Ra was said to be married to Hathor and they were the parents of
Horus. Later his myths changed Hathor into Ra's daughter. This featured prominently
in the myth often called The Story of Sekhmet, in which Ra sent Hathor down to
punish humanity as Sekhmet.
Ra had 4 children:
Nut (sky) - Shu - Tefnut - Geb (Earth)
Nut and Geb created 4 children:
Set- Osiris - Isis - Nephthys
Isis and Osiris created - Horus
As with most widely worshiped Egyptian deities, Ra's identity was often confused with
others as different regional religions were merged in an attempt to unite the country.
Amun Re

Amun was a member of the Ogdoad, representing creation energies with
Amaunet, a very early patron of Thebes. He was believed to create via breath,
and thus was identified with the wind rather than the sun. As the cults of Amun
and Ra became increasingly popular in Upper and Lower Egypt respectively
they were combined to create Amun-Ra, a solar creator god. The name
Amun-Ra is reconstructed). It is hard to distinguish exactly when this
combination happened, but references to Amun-Ra appeared in pyramid texts
as early as the fifth dynasty. The most common belief is that Amun-Ra was
invented as a new state deity by the (Theban) rulers of the New Kingdom to
unite worshipers of Amun with the older cult of Ra around the eighteenth

Atum-Ra (or Ra-Atum) was another composite deity formed from two
completely separate deities, however Ra shared more similarities with Atum
than with Amun. Atum was more closely linked with the sun, and was also a
creator god of the Ennead. Both Ra and Atum were regarded as the father of
the deities and pharaohs, and were widely worshiped. In older myths, Atum
was the creator of Tefnut and Shu, and he was born from ocean Nun.
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Atum Ra

In later Egyptian mythology, Ra-Horakhty was more of a title or manifestation
than a composite deity. It translates as "Ra (who is) Horus of the Horizons". It
was intended to link Horakhty (as a sunrise-oriented aspect of Horus) to Ra. It
has been suggested that Ra-Horakhty simply refers to the sun's journey from
horizon to horizon as Ra, or that it means to show Ra as a symbolic deity of
hope and rebirth.
Osiris and Re-Horakhty
Khepri and Khnum

Khepri was a scarab beetle who rolled up the sun in the mornings, and was
sometimes seen as the morning manifestation of Ra. Similarly, the
ram-headed god Khnum was also seen as the evening manifestation of Ra.
The idea of different deities (or different aspects of Ra) ruling over different
times of the day was fairly common, but variable. With Khepri and Khnum
taking precedence over sunrise and sunset, Ra often was the representation
of midday when the sun reached its peak at noon. Sometimes different
aspects of Horus were used instead of Ra's aspects. In Thelema's Liber Resh
vel Helios, Ra represents the rising sun, with Hathor as the midday sun and
Tum as the setting sun.[citation needed]

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Ra rarely was combined with Ptah; the sun "crosses" over Ptah in the
underworld before Ptah is reborn, thus there would be no sun-ray when this
happens. Other combinations can and do exist: The rising sun with sun ray,
the noon sun with sun ray, and sitting sun with sunray. But as per the
Memphite creation myth he was often said to be Ptah's first creation, through
his divine will, especially when associated with Atum or Amun.

His local cult began to grow from roughly the second dynasty, establishing Ra as a
sun deity. By the fourth dynasty the pharaohs were seen to be Ra's manifestations on
earth, referred to as "Sons of Ra". His worship increased massively in the fifth
dynasty, when he became a state deity and pharaohs had specially aligned pyramids,
obelisks, and solar temples built in his honor.
The first Pyramid Texts began to arise, giving Ra more and more significance in the
journey of the pharaoh through the underworld.
The Middle Kingdom saw Ra being increasingly combined and affiliated with other
deities, especially Amun and Osiris.
During the New Kingdom, the worship of Ra became more complicated and grand.
The walls of tombs were dedicated to extremely detailed texts that told of Ra's
journey through the underworld. Ra was said to carry the prayers and blessings of
the living with the souls of the dead on the sun boat.
The idea that Ra aged with the sun became more popular with the rise of The New
Kingdom. Eventually, during the reign of Akhenaten (mid 1350s-1330s), the worship
reached the level of "uncompromising monotheism"
Many acts of worship included hymns, prayers, and spells to help Ra and the sun
boat overcome Apep. Though worship of Ra was widespread, his cult center was in
Heliopolis in Lower Egypt. Oddly enough, this was the home of the Ennead that was
believed to be headed by Atum, with whom he was merged. The Holiday of 'The
Receiving of Ra' was celebrated on May 26 in the Gregorian calendar.
Though Re lived on in various forms into the Greco-Roman period, his worship
gradually deteriorated during the fist millennium. This decline was probably due to the
weakening of the kingship under various foreign rulers. Though he continued to be a
part of Egyptian theology, he was no longer a part of the peoples living faith. Devotion
to Re became more and more limited to priests of the temple.
The rise of Christianity in the Roman empire caused an end to worship of Ra by the
citizens of Egypt, and as Ra's the popularity suddenly died out, the study of Ra
became purely for academic knowledge even among the Egyptian priests.
In the News ...
A Case for Mistaken Identity Thunderbolts - December 26, 2007
Ra was often lauded as "Lord of the Circles" and as "he who entereth [or liveth] in the
circle." He was described as "the sender forth of light into his circle" and as the
"Governor of [his] circle."
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Creation through Consciousness
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Amphibious Gods
Ptah fashioned the universe through harmonics and thought. He helped the dead on
their travels through the afterlife allowing them to transform into his divine figure. He
allowed the dead to be like the living after death with the Opening of the Mouth
ceremony. The Apis bull was his sacred animal, more of a representation of his soul
on earth who gave fertility and rebirth to the people.

The bull's main sanctuary was near the temple of Ptah in Mennefer, near the bull's
embalming house where he became linked to Osiris after death. Herodotus wrote that
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the Apis bull was conceived from a bolt of lightning, it was black with a while diamond
on his forehead, the image of a vulture on his back, double hairs on his tail and a
scarab mark under his tongue. The lightning was thought by the Egyptians to be Ptah
in the form of a celestial fire, who mated with a heifer. With a creation god as his
father, the bull was believed to be a fertility symbol. The heifer that produced the bull
was venerated as a form of the goddess Isis. There was only one Apis bull at a time,
and the cult of the Apis bull started at the beginning of Egyptian history. While alive,
the bull was known as the 'Spokesman' of Ptah and his 'Glorious Soul'.
Ptah was worshipped throughout all of Egypt, his cult centers were Memphis and
In Egyptian mythology, Ptah (also spelt Peteh) was the deification of the primordial
mound in the Ennead cosmogony, which was more literally referred to as Ta-tenen
(also spelled Tathenen), meaning risen land, or as Tanen, meaning submerged land.
It was said in the Shabaka Stone, that it was Ptah who called the world into being,
having dreamt creation in his heart, and speaking it, his name meaning opener, in the
sense of opener of the mouth. Indeed the opening of the mouth ceremony, performed
by priests at funerals to release souls from their corpses, was said to have been
created by Ptah. Atum was said to have been created by Ptah to rule over the
creation, sitting upon the primordial mound.
In Memphis, Ptah was worshipped in his own right, and was seen as Atum's father, or
rather, the father of Nefertum, the younger form of Atum. When the beliefs about the
Ennead and Ogdoad were later merged, and Atum was identified as Ra (Atum-Ra),
himself seen as Horus (Ra-Herakhty), this led to Ptah being said to be married to
Sekhmet, at the time considered the earlier form of Hathor, Horus', thus Atum's,
Since Ptah had called creation into being, he was considered the god of craftsmen,
and in particular stone-based crafts. Eventually, due to the connection of these things
to tombs, and that at Thebes, the craftsmen regarded him so highly as to say that he
controlled their destiny. Consequently, first amongst the craftsmen, then the
population as a whole, Ptah also became a god of reincarnation. Since Seker was
also god of craftsmen, and of reincarnation, Seker was later assimilated with Ptah
becoming Ptah-Seker.

Ptah-Seker gradually became seen as the personification of the sun during the night,
since the sun appears to be reincarnated at this time, and Ptah was the primordial
mound, which lay beneath the earth. Consequently, Ptah-Seker became considered
an underworld deity, and eventually, by the Middle Kingdom, become assimilated by
Osiris, the lord of the underworld, occasionally being known as Ptah-Seker-Osiris.
The origin of Ptah's name is unclear, though some believe it to mean 'opener' or
'sculptor'. As a god of craftsmen, the later is probably correct. He was a patron of the
arts, protector of stonecutters, sculptors, blacksmiths, architects, boat builders, artists
and craftsmen. His high priest was given the title 'Great Leader of Craftsmen', and his
priests were probably linked to the different crafts.
Ptah's importance may be discerned when one learns that "Egypt" is a Greek
corruption of the phrase "Het-Ka-Ptah," or "House of the Spirit of Ptah."

In art, he is portrayed as a bearded mummified man, often wearing a skull cap, with
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his hands holding an ankh, was, and djed,, the symbols of life, power and stability,
respectively. It was also considered that Ptah manifested himself in the Apis bull.
In the Memphite theology, Ptah is the primal creator, the first of all the gods, creator of
the world and all that is in it. He is the artificer, the creator god, according to the
priests of Memphis, the ancient capitol of Egypt. Ptah is not created, but simply is.
The Egyptians believed that Ptah was a god who created everything from artifacts to
the world egg to the other deities themselves. The Opening of the Mouth ceremony
was believed to have been devised by him.

Opening of the Mouth Ceremony
When an ancient Egyptian died, he was not buried into the ground, mourned and
then forgotten. Nor was his grave simply visited at certain times and some token
words spoken over it, so that once again he is forgotten until next visit. The ancient
Egyptians believed that ritual existed which would bring sensory life back to the
deceaseds form, enabling it to see, smell, breathe, hear, and eat, and thus partake
of the offering foods and drinks brought to the tomb each day.
Priests would recite hymns such as this one, for Pa-nefer:

"Awake!..May you be alert as a living one, rejuvenated every day, healthy in
millions of occasions of god sleep, while the gods protect you, protection being
around you every day."
Once the deceased was rejuvenated back with all his senses, he could also interact
and watch over the family members, affecting their lives. Letters have been found
attesting to the continued contact, or at least, belief in the continued contact, between
deceased and living. Letters such as this one, from the scribe Butehamun to his
deceased wife Ikhtay, where he asks her to intercede with the Lords of Eternity on his
behalf. "If you can hear me in the place where you are ... it is you who will speak with
a good speech in the necropolis. Indeed I did not commit an abomination against you
while you were on earth, and I hold to my behavior."
The Opening of the Mouth ceremony was an important ritual in both funerary and
temple practice. It originated as a ritual to endow statues with the capacity to support
the living ka, and to receive offerings. It was performed on cult statues of gods, kings,
and private individuals, as well as on the mummies of both humans and Apis bulls. It
was even performed on the individual rooms of temples and on the entire temple
The effect of the ritual was to animate the recipient (or, in the case of a deceased
individual, to re-animate it). The ritual allowed the mummy, statue, or temple, to eat,
breathe, see, hear and enjoy the offerings and provisions performed by the priests
and officiants, thus to sustain the ka or soul spark - spirit.
The earliest Old Kingdom textual references to the ceremony date to the early 4th
dynasty, to the Palermo Stone and the decoration of the tomb of the royal official
Metjen. At this time, the ritual seems to have been performed solely to animate
statues, rather than to re-animate the deceased.

Marriages and Children
Ptah was married to either Bast, Sekhmet or Wadjet. His union with Bast was thought
to have produced a lion-headed god called Mihos, while Nefertem was his son by
either Sekhmet or Wadjet. Different towns believed that Ptah was married to their
goddess, and thus the confusion with his family ties. Mennefer had a triad consisting
of Ptah, Sekhmet and Nefertem.
The architect of the Saqqara Step Pyramid, Imhotep, after he became deified, came
to be regarded as the son of Ptah. As father and creator of the gods, the deities he
created first were Nun and Naunet and the nine gods of the Ennead. The nine were
Atum, Shu, Tefnut, Geb, Nut, Osiris, Isis, Set, and Nephthys who were considered to
be both the teeth and lips of the mouth of Ptah and the semen and the hands of Tem.
He was linked to two other Mennefer gods - Ta-tenen and Sokar. Ta-tenen (known as
Ptah-Ta-tenen when the two were combined) was an earth god connected with the
primeval mound as it rose from the waters of Nun while Sokar was a god of the
necropolis. This reinforced Ptah's aspects of a god of creation and a god of the dead.
Ptah-Sokar was also connected with Osiris, and known as Ptah-Sokar-Osiris. Statues
of the three-in-one god showed a mummiform man wearing the sun disk, corkscrew
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ram horns and long plumes or the atef crown. These statues often contained a copy
of spells from The Book of the Dead.
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In Egyptian mythology, Pakhet, meaning "She who Tears" (also spelt Pachet,
Pehkhet, Phastet, and Pasht) is considered a synthesis of Bast and Sekhmet, ancient
deities in the two Egypts who were similar lioness war deities, one for Upper Egypt
and the other for Lower Egypt. The range of the two cults met at the border between
north and south, near al Minya (now known as Beni Hasan), and here the similarity of
the goddesses led to a new form arising in the merged cultures.

Origin and Mythology
She is likely to be a more ancient regional lioness deity, Goddess of the Mouth of the
Wadi, related to those which hunted in the wadi, near water at the boundary of the
desert. Another title is She Who Opens the Ways of the Stormy Rains, which
probably relates to the flash floods in the narrow valley, that occur from storms in the
area. By the time Pakhet appeared in the Egyptian pantheon, during the Middle
Kingdom, Bast came to be considered less as a fierce lioness, becoming more
gentle, as a domesticated cat could be. Consequently, Pakhet's character lay
somewhere between the later gentleness of Bast and the ferocity of Sekhmet. Her
strength was considered an inner, rather than outer, quality, while retaining all the
potential capabilities of the war goddess, if needed. As with Bast and Sekhmet, she
also is associated with Hathor and thereby, is a sun deity as well, wearing the solar
disk as part of her crown.
It became said that rather than a simple domestic protector against vermin and
venomous creatures, or a fierce warrior, she was a huntress, perhaps as a wildcat,
who wandered the desert alone at night looking for prey, gaining the title, Night
huntress with sharp eye and pointed claw. While this desert aspect led to her being
associated with desert storms, as was Sekhmet. She also was said to be a protector
of motherhood, as was Bast. In art, she was depicted as a feline-headed woman, or
as a feline, often depicted killing snakes with her sharp claws. The exact nature of the
feline varied between a desert wildcat, which was more similar to Bast, or a lioness,
resembling Sekhmet.

Temples near al Minya
Her most famous temple was an underground, cavernous shrine that was built by
Hatshepsut near al Minya, among thirty-nine ancient tombs of Middle Kingdom
nomarchs of the Oryx nome, who governed from Hebenu, in an area where many
quarries exist. This is in the middle of Egypt, on the east bank of the Nile. A location
on the east bank is not traditional for tombs, the west was, but the terrain to the west
was most difficult. A more ancient temple to this goddess at the location is known, but
has not survived. Hatshepsut is known to have restored temples in this region that
had been damaged by the Hyksos invaders.
Its remarkable catacombs have been excavated. Great numbers of mummified cats
have been found buried there. Many are thought to have been brought great
distances to be buried ceremonially during rituals at the cult center. Some references
associate this goddess as, Pakhet-Weret-Hekau, (Weret Hekau meaning "she who
has great magic"), implying the association with a goddess such as Hathor or Isis.
Another title found is, Horus Pakht, the presence of many mumified hawks at the site
would further the association with Hathor who was the mother of Horus, the hawk, the
pharaoh, and the sun.
Her hunting nature led to the Greeks, who later occupied Egypt for three hundred
years, identifying Pakhet with Artemis. Consequently, this underground temple
became known to them as, Speos Artemidos, the Cave of Artemis, a name that
persists even though the goddess is not Egyptian. The Greeks attempted to align the
Egyptian deities with their own, while retaining the traditions of the Egyptian religion.
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Next, Egypt was conquered by the Romans, just after 30 AD, and they retained many
of the Greek names. Christians and other religious sects occupied some parts of the
site during the Roman Empire period. Arab place names were established after the
Hatshepsut and her daughter Neferure have been identified as the builders of a
smaller temple dedicated to Pakhet nearby, which was defaced by subsequent
pharaohs. It was completed during the reign of Alexander II and now is called, Speos
Batn el-Bakarah.
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God of Resurrection, The Underworld and The Judge of Dead
Patron of: the Underworld, the dead, past Pharaohs, agriculture (old form), fertility
(old form)
First child of of Geb and Nut
Brother of Seth, Nephthys, and Isis who was also his wife.
Father of Horus by Isis
Father of Anubis by Nephthys
Osiris (Asar, Aser, Ausar, Ausir, Wesir, or Ausare) was an Egyptian god, usually
called the god of the Afterlife.
Osiris is one of the oldest gods for whom records have been found; one of the oldest
known attestations of his name is on the Palermo Stone of around 2500 BC. He was
widely worshiped until the suppression of the Egyptian religion during the Christian
era. The information we have on the myths of Osiris is derived from allusions
contained in the Pyramid Texts (ca. 2400 BC), later New Kingdom source documents
such as the Shabaka Stone and the Contending of Horus and Seth, and much later,
in narrative style from the writings of Greek authors including Plutarch and Diodorus

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Osiris was not only a merciful judge of the dead in the afterlife, but also the
underworld agency that granted all life, including sprouting vegetation and the fertile
flooding of the Nile River. The Kings of Egypt were associated with Osiris in death -
as Osiris rose from the dead they would, in union with him, inherit eternal life through
a process of imitative magic. By the New Kingdom all people, not just pharaohs, were
believed to be associated with Osiris at death if they incurred the costs of the
assimilation rituals.
Osiris was at times considered the oldest son of the Earth god, Geb, and the sky
goddess, Nut as well as being brother and husband of Isis, with Horus being
considered his posthumously begotten son. He was later associated with the name
Khenti-Amentiu, which means 'Foremost of the Westerners' a reference to his
kingship in the land of the dead.

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Osiris was usually depicted as a green-skinned (green was the color of rebirth)
pharaoh wearing the Atef crown, a form of the white crown of upper Egypt with a
plume of feathers to either side. Typically he was also depicted holding the crook and
flail which signified divine authority in Egyptian pharaohs, but which were originally
unique to Osiris and his own origin-gods, and his feet and lower body were wrapped,
as though already partly mummified. The wrapped depiction takes us to Amphibious

Anubis, Thoth, Osiris and Ma'at - Funerary Scene
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Weighing of the Feather
Eye Symbology
The All Seeing Eye
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It's all about death and resurrection.
Early Mythology
When the Ennead and Ogdoad cosmogenies became merged, with the identification
of Ra as Atum (Atum-Ra), gradually Anubis (Ogdoad system) was replaced by Osiris,
whose cult had become more significant. Anubis was said to have given way to Osiris
out of respect, and, as an underworld deity. Anubis was Set's son in some versions,
but because Set became god of evil, he was subsequently identified as being Osiris'
son. Abydos, which had been a strong centre of the cult of Anubis, became a centre
of the cult of Osiris. Because Isis, Osiris' wife and sister, represented life in the
Ennead, it was considered somewhat inappropriate for her to be the mother of a god
associated with death such as Anubis, and so instead, it was usually said that
Nephthys, the other of the two female children of Geb and Nut, was his mother.

Father of Horus
Later, when Hathor's identity (from the Ogdoad) was assimilated into that of Isis,
Horus, who had been Isis' husband (in the Ogdoad), became considered her son,
and thus, since Osiris was Isis' husband (in the Ennead), Osiris also became
considered Horus' father. Attempts to explain how Osiris, a god of the dead, could
give rise to Horus, who was thought to be living, led to the development of the Myth
of Osiris and Isis, which became a central myth in Egyptian mythology.
The myth described Osiris as having been killed by his brother Set who wanted
Osiris' throne. Isis briefly brought Osiris back to life by use of a spell that she learned
from her father. This spell gave her time to become pregnant by Osiris before he
again died. Isis later gave birth to Horus. As such, since Horus was born after Osiris'
resurrection, Horus became thought of as representing new beginnings, and
vanquished Set. This combination, Osiris-Horus, was therefore a life-death-rebirth
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deity, and thus associated with the new harvest each year. Afterward, Osiris became
known as the Egyptian god of the dead, Isis became known as the Egyptian goddess
of the children, and Horus became known as the Egyptian god of the sky.
Ptah-Seker (who resulted from the identification of Ptah as Seker), who was god of
re-incarnation, thus gradually became identified with Osiris, the two becoming
Ptah-Seker-Osiris (rarely known as Ptah-Seker-Atum, although this was just the
name, and involved Osiris rather than Atum). As the sun was thought to spend the
night in the underworld, and subsequently be re-incarnated, as both king of the
underworld, and god of reincarnation, Ptah-Seker-Osiris was identified.

Ram God
Since Osiris was considered dead, as god of the dead, Osiris' soul, or rather his Ba,
was occasionally worshipped in its own right, almost as if it were a distinct god,
especially so in the Delta city of Mendes. This aspect of Osiris was referred to as
Banebdjed which literally means The ba of the lord of the djed, which roughly means
The soul of the lord of the pillar of stability.

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One of his symbols is the djed pillar.
The djed, a type of pillar, was usually understood as the backbone of Osiris, and, at
the same time, as the Nile, the backbone of Egypt. The Nile, supplying water, and
Osiris (strongly connected to the vegetation) who died only to be resurrected
represented continuity and therefore stability.

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The Great Pyramid
Osiris was linked to the constellation Orion (Sahu in Egyptian).
Osiris, Pyramids of the Giza Plateau, Belt Stars of Orion
As Banebdjed, Osiris was given epithets such as Lord of the Sky and Life of the (sun
god) Ra, since Ra, when he had become identified with Atum, was considered Osiris'
ancestor, from whom his regal authority was inherited. Ba does not, however, quite
mean soul in the western sense, and also has to do with power, reputation, force of
character, especially in the case of a god.
Since the ba was associated with power, and also happened to be a word for ram in
Egyptian, Banebdjed was depicted as a ram, or as Ram-headed. A living, sacred
ram, was even kept at Mendes and worshipped as the incarnation of the god, and
upon death, the rams were mummified and buried in a ram-specific necropolis.
As regards the association of Osiris with the ram, the god's traditional crook and flail
are of course the instruments of the shepherd, which has suggested to some
scholars also an origin for Osiris in herding tribes of the upper Nile. The crook and
flail were originally symbols of the minor agricultural deity Anedijti, and passed to
Osiris later. From Osiris, they eventually passed to Egyptian kings in general as
symbols of divine authority.
In Mendes, they had considered Hatmehit, a local fish-goddess, as the most
important deity, and so when the cult of Osiris became more significant, Banebdjed
was identified in Mendes as deriving his authority from being married to Hatmehit.
Later, when Horus became identified as the child of Osiris (in this form Horus is
known as Harpocrates in Greek and Har-pa-khered in Egyptian), Banebdjed was
consequently said to be Horus' father, as Banebdjed is an aspect of Osiris.
In occult writings, Banebdjed is often called the goat of Mendes, and identified with
Baphomet; the fact that Banebdjed was a ram (sheep), not a goat, apparently

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The cult of Osiris (who was a god chiefly of regeneration and re-birth) had a
particularly strong interest toward the concept of immortality. Plutarch recounts one
version of the myth surrounding the cult in which Set (Osiris' brother) fooled Osiris
into getting into a box, which he then shut, had sealed with lead, and threw into the
Nile (sarcophagi were based on the box in this myth).
Osiris' wife, Isis, searched for his remains until she finally found him embedded in a
tree trunk, which was holding up the roof of a palace in Byblos on the Phoenician
coast. She managed to remove the coffin and open it, but Osiris was already dead.
She used a spell she had learned from her father and brought him back to life so he
could impregnate her. After they finished, he died again, so she hid his body in the
Months later, she gave birth to Horus. While she was off raising him, Set had been
out hunting one night, and he came across the body of Osiris. Enraged, he tore the
body into fourteen pieces and scattered them throughout the land. Isis gathered up all
the parts of the body, less the phallus which was eaten by a fish thereafter considered
taboo by the Egyptians, and bandaged them together for a proper burial. The gods
were impressed by the devotion of Isis and thus resurrected Osiris as the god of the
underworld. Because of his death and resurrection, Osiris is associated with the
flooding and retreating of the Nile and thus with the crops along the Nile valley. [Spine
of Egypt]
Diodorus Siculus gives another version of the myth in which Osiris is described as an
ancient king who taught the Egyptians the arts of civilization, including agriculture.
Osiris is murdered by his evil brother Set, whom Diodorus associates with the evil
Typhon ("Typhonian Beast") of Greek mythology. Typhon divides the body into twenty
six pieces which he distributes amongst his fellow conspirators in order to implicate
them in the murder. Isis and Horus avenge the death of Osiris and slay Typhon. Isis
recovers all the parts of Osiris body, less the phallus, and secretly buries them. She
made replicas of them and distributed them to several locations which then became
centres of Osiris worship.
The tale of Osiris becoming fish-like is cognate with the story the Greek shepherd
god Pan becoming fish like from the waist down in the same river Nile after being
attacked by Typhon . This attack was part of a generational feud in which both Zeus
and Dionysus were dismembered by Typhon, in a similar manner as Osiris was by
Set in Egypt.
Osiris was viewed as the one who died to save the many, who rose from the dead,
the first of a long line that has significantly affected man's view of the world and
expections of an afterlife.

Passion and Resurrection
Scholars such as E.A. Wallis Budge have suggested possible connections or
parallels of Osiris' resurrection story with those found in Christianity: "The Egyptians
of every period in which they are known to us believed that Osiris was of divine origin,
that he suffered death and mutilation at the hands of the powers of evil, that after a
great struggle with these powers he rose again, that he became henceforth the king
of the underworld and judge of the dead, and that because he had conquered death
the righteous also might conquer death. In Osiris the Christian Egyptians found the
prototype of Christ, and in the pictures and statues of Isis suckling her son Horus,
they perceived the prototypes of the Virgin Mary and her child."

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Plutarch and others have noted that the sacrifices to Osiris were gloomy, solemn, and
mournful... and that the great mystery festival, celebrated in two phases, began at
Abydos on the 17th of Athyr (November 13) commemorating the death of the god,
which is also the same day that grain was planted in the ground. The death of the
grain and the death of the god were one and the same: the cereal was identified with
the god who came from heaven; he was the bread by which man lives. The
resurrection of the God symbolized the rebirth of the grain.' The annual festival
involved the construction of 'Osiris Beds' formed in shape of Osiris, filled with soil and
sown with seed.
The germinating seed symbolized Osiris rising from the dead. An almost pristine
example was found in the tomb of Tutankhamun by Howard Carter.
The first phase of the festival was a public drama depicting the murder and
dismemberment of Osiris, the search of his body by Isis, his triumphal return as the
resurrected god, and the battle in which Horus defeated Set. This was all presented
by skilled actors as a literary history, and was the main method of recruiting cult
membership. According to Julius Firmicus Maternus of the fourth century, this play
was re-enacted each year by worshippers who beat their breasts and gashed their
shoulders.... When they pretend that the mutilated remains of the god have been
found and rejoined...they turn from mourning to rejoicing. (De Errore Profanorum).

Worship of Osiris
Osiris was worshipped widely throughout all of Egypt, and his cult center was
Abydos. The cult of Osiris continued up until the 6th century AD on the island of
Philae in Upper Nile. The Theodosian decree (in about 380 AD) to destroy all pagan
temples and force worshipers to accept Christianity was not enforced there.The
worship of Isis and Osiris was allowed to continue at Philae until the time of Justinian.
This toleration was due to an old treaty made between the Blemyes-Nobadae and
Diocletian. Every year they visited Elaphantine and at certain intervals took the image
of Isis up river to the land of the Blemyes for oracular purposes before returning it.
Justinian would not tolerate this and sent Narses to destroy the sanctuaries, with the
priests being arrested and the divine images taken to Constantinople.
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2009 10- 28 JTL
In Egyptian mythology, Nuit or Nut was the sky goddess. She is the daughter of Shu
and Tefnut and was one of the Ennead.
The sun god Re entered her mouth after the sun set in the evening and was reborn
from her vulva the next morning. She also swallowed and rebirthed the stars.
She was a goddess of death, and her image is on the inside of most sarcophagi. The
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pharaoh entered her body after death and was later resurrected.
In art, Nuit is depicted as a woman wearing no clothes, covered with stars and
supported by Shu; opposite her (the sky), is her husband, Geb (the Earth). With Geb,
she was the mother of Osiris, Horus, Isis, Set, and Nephthys.

During the day, Nut and Geb are separated, but each evening Nut comes down to
meet Geb and this causes darkness. If storms came during the day, it was believed
that Nut had some how slipped closer to the Earth.
Nut is the barrier separating the forces of chaos from the ordered cosmos in this
Her fingers and toes were believed to touch the four cardinal points or directions.
The sun god Re was said to enter her mouth after setting in the evening and travel
through her body during the night to be reborn from her vulva each morning. She was
shown in Egyptian artwork as a dark, star-covered naked woman, holding her body
up in an arch, facing downwards. Her arms and legs were imagined to be the pillars
of the sky, and hands and feet were thought to touch the four cardinal points at the
horizon. Far underneath her lay the earth god, Geb, sometimes ithphallyic, looking up
at his sister-wife. She was also described as a cow goddess, taking on some of the
attributes of Hathor. Geb was described as the "Bull of Nut" in the Pyramid Texts. As
a great, solar cow, she was thought to have carried Ra up into the heavens on her
back, after he retired from his rule on the Earth. At other times, she was just portrait
as a woman wearing her sign - the particular design of an Egyptian pot on her head.
She gives birth to the sun in the east and swallows the sun in the west.
In one myth Nut gives birth to the Sun-god daily and he passes over her body until he
reaches her mouth at sunset. He then passed into her mouth and through her body
and is reborn the next morning. Another myth described the sun as sailing up her
legs and back in the Atet (Matet) boat until noon, when he entered the Sektet boat
and continued his travels until sunset. As a goddess who gave birth to the son each
day, she became connected with the underworld, resurrection and the tomb. She was
seen as a friend to the dead, as a mother-like protector to those who journeyed
through the land of the dead. She was often painted on the inside lid of the
sarcophagus, protecting the dead until he or she, like Ra, could be reborn in their
new life.
In the Book of the Dead, Nut was seen as a mother-figure to the sun god Ra, who at
sunrise was known as Khepera and took the form of a scarab beetle (at noon he was
Ra at his full strength, and at sunset he was known as Tem (Temu, Atem) who was
old and weakening):

Homage to thee, O thou who hast come as Khepera, Khepera the creator of
the gods, Thou art seated on thy throne, thou risest up in the sky, illumining
thy mother [Nut], thou art seated on thy throne as the king of the gods. [Thy]
mother Nut stretcheth out her hands, and performeth an act of homage to
The Company of the Gods rejoice at thy rising, the earth is glad when it
beholdeth thy rays; the people who have been long dead come forth with cries
of joy to behold thy beauties every day. Thou goest forth each day over
heaven and earth, and thou art made strong each day by thy mother Nut....
Homage to thee, O thou who art Ra when thou risest, and who art Tem when
thou settest in beauty. Thou risest and thou shinest on the back of thy mother
[Nut], O thou who art crowned the king of the gods! Nut welcometh thee, and
payeth homage unto thee, and Maat, the everlasting and never-changing
goddess, embraceth thee at noon and at eve....
The gods rejoice greatly when they see my beautiful appearances from the
body of the goddess Nut, and when the goddess Nut bringeth me forth.

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She was also called on to help the deceased in one of the spells of the Book of the

The Chapter of snuffing the air, and of having power over the water in Khert-
Neter. The Osiris Ani saith:- Hail, thou Sycamore tree of the goddess Nut!
Give me of the [water and of the] air which is in thee. I embrace that throne
which is in Unu, and I keep guard over the Egg of Nekek-ur. It flourisheth, and
I flourish; it liveth, and I live; it snuffeth the air, and I snuff the air, I the Osiris
Ani, whose word is truth, in [peace].
There were many festivals to Nut through the year, including the 'Festival of Nut and
Ra' and the 'Feast of Nut'. But, despite being a protector of the dead, she was a
personification of the sky - a cosmic deity - and no temples or specific cult centers are
linked to her.
She was thought to be the mother of five children on the five extra days of the
Egyptian calendar, won by Thoth - Osiris who was born on the first day, Horus the
Elder on the second, Set on the third, Isis on the fourth, and Nephthys the last born
on the fifth day. The days on which these deities were born were known as the 'five
epagomenal days of the year', and they were celebrated all over Egypt:
1. Osiris - an unlucky day
2. Horus the Elder - neither lucky nor unlucky
3. Seth - an unlucky day
4. Isis - a lucky day, "A Beautiful Festival of Heaven and Earth."
5. Nephthys - an unlucky day

Sometimes NUT appears in the form of a cow whose body forms the sky and
heavens. Nut in this form represents the Great Kau (Cow), the Great Lady who
created all that exists - the Cow whose udder gave forth the Milky Way. In the form of
a great cow her eyes represent the sun and the moon. She is pictured as a giant sow,
suckling many piglets. These piglets represented the stars, which she swallowed
each morning before dawn. Other cows goddesses include Seshat and Hathor.

Nut - Egyptian Solar Disc
On the Southern section of this image - Nut has ten solar disk
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