Thursday, May 24, 2012

Egyptian Gods 7 of the Best

There were hundreds upon hundreds of Ancient Egyptian gods and goddesses - if not thousands - each with his or her own particular history, and role to play. What complicated matters even more was that they would sometimes change both form and role. More often than not, though, they had a human body and the head of an animal or bird. We don't have enough space to list all of them, so here you have just seven of the better known ones...
1. Ra - Sun God
Perhaps the most important god was Ra. Represented by the body of a man and the head of a hawk, topped by a sun disk, he was the sun god. According to legend, he was swallowed up every night by Nut - goddess of the sky - and reborn every morning. His night-time activities consisted of travelling through the Underworld, where he had a human body and the head of a ram.
2. Nut - Sky Goddess
Nut's body created a canopy over the Earth and, for this reason, she was represented as a woman whose body arched across the sky, decorated with stars. She was the sister and wife of Geb - god of the earth - and mother of Isis, Osiris, Nepthys, and Seth.
3. Geb - God of Earth
It was believed that earthquakes were, in fact, Geb's laughter. He's represented as a man with a goose on his head, lying at the feet of goddess Nut. When his son Seth fought Horus for the Egyptian throne, Geb made Horus the ruler of the living.
4. Horus - Ruler of the World of the Living
This man's body with the head of a hawk was originally a god of the sky, but became the ruler of the world of the living after his battle with Seth. In the battle, he lost one of his eyes, although this was restored, the eye then becoming a symbol of protection. The Ancient Egyptians also believed that the pharaoh was the living Horus.
5. Amun - King of the Gods
With his human body and ram's head, Amun was another important god. Even more so when he combined with the sun god - Ra - to be known as Amun-Ra. At Thebes, you'll find a huge temple built in honor of this king of gods.
6. Thoth - God of Wisdom, Writing and Knowledge
In appearance, Thoth had the body of a man, holding a writing palette, and the head of an ibis bird. Thoth was also connected with the moon, and it was believed he bestowed the important gift of hieroglyphic writing on the Ancient Egyptians.
7. Anubis - God of Embalming and the Dead
Because he helped embalm Osiris after he was killed by Seth, Anubis became god of the mummification procedure. With his jackal's head, his role was that of guardian to necropolis, and priests would often wear a mask of Anubis during mummification ceremonies.
As you can imagine, the Ancient Egyptians must have spent a long time learning about the various Egyptian gods, for that's just seven of them... and there are hundreds more!
Mai Sirry is creator of where you'll find plenty of interesting information about Egyptian gods.
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