Egyptian Gods and Godesses

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Ra

Ra was the God of the Sun. He sailed across the heavens in a boat called the 'Barque of Millions of Years'. At the end of each day Ra was thought to die and sailed on his night voyage through the Underworld, leaving the Moon to light the world above. The boat would sail through the twelve doors, representing the twelve hours of night-time. The next dawn, he was born again.

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Ra
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Hathor

Hathor was the goddess of joy, motherhood, and love. She looked after all women. She was the goddess of music and dancing, as well. Dead women were identified with Hathor, as men were identified with Osiris. She has a sun disk on her head and cow horns. Sometimes she had cow's ears or was a whole cow.

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Hathor
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Sekhmet

Hathor had another side as well, as Sekhmet, the Eye of Ra, the destructive Sun Goddess. The Egyptians knew that the Sun brought life, but they also knew that the desert Sun could kill you.

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Sekhmet
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Nut

The sky is Nut's body, arching from horizon to horizon. Geb is the Earth, lying beneath her. 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 come closer to the earth. She was originally the goddess of the nighttime sky, but eventually became referred to as simply the sky goddess. Her headdress was the hieroglyphic of part of her name, a pot, which may also symbolize the uterus.

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Nut
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Geb

Geb was the Egyptian god of the Earth and a member of the Ennead of Heliopolis. It was believed in ancient Egypt that Geb's laughter was earthquakes and that he allowed crops to grow. The name was pronounced as such from the Greek period onward, (formerly erroneously read as Seb[1] or as Keb).

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Geb
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Osiris

Osiris is shown as a man with a beard wearing white mummy wrappings. His crown is the white crown of Upper Egypt surrounded by red feathers. His skin is green to represent vegetation. He holds the symbols of supreme power, the flail and crook. The crook is used by shepherds to catch their sheep. The flail is used in threshing, to separate the grains from the outer husks. Osiris was the God of the Dead. You would expect that such a god would be gloomy or even evil, but the Egyptians thought about death a lot. They mummified their dead and buried them with their belongings so they could enjoy themselves in the afterlife.

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Osiris
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Seth

Seth (or Set) is shown with an animal's head with a long curved pointed snout, slanting eyes, and square-tipped ears. Sometimes he has a forked tail. No-one seems to know what the animal is. Aardvark, antelope, ass, camel, fennec, giraffe, greyhound, jackal, jerboa, long-snouted mouse, okapi, oryx and pig have all been suggested! Seth was the God of the desert, storm and violence, which are all enemies of the fertile, properous, narrow valley of the Nile.

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Seth
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Horus

Horus is shown as a hawk, or a man with a hawk's head and the crown of all Egypt. This makes him look similar to Ra, but Ra is crowned with the sun disk. Horus' crown is made of two parts. The white part is the crown of Upper Egypt (in the south) and the red part is the crown of Lower Egypt (including the Nile delta). Together they show that Horus ruled all Egypt. During their reign, Pharoahs identified themselves with Horus. After they died, they became Osiris.

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Horus
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Isis

Isis was the great mother-goddess. Her son was Horus, the enemy of Seth. Sometimes she has the baby Horus on her lap. Sometimes she has a throne on her head, as she is Queen of the goddesses. Sometimes she has a sun disk and horns, like Hathor. Isis was also a great healer and magician.

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Isis
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Thot

Thoth invented hieroglyphs, the picture writing of Ancient Egypt. He was the measurer of the earth and the counter of the stars, the keeper and recorder of all knowledge. The ibis is a bird rather like a stork, with long legs and a long beak which it uses for prodding in the mud to find small fish. It was a symbol of wisdom and learning because it has a beak shaped like a pen which it dips in the mud, as if it was ink.

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Thot
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Anubis

Anubis invented embalming to embalm Osiris, the first mummy. He was the guide of the dead. The Egyptians embalmed their dead, especially their pharaohs, to preserve them, since they thought that this helped them live for ever.

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Anubis
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Ma'at

Ma'at was the goddess of truth, justice and harmony. She was the wife of Thoth, the god of wisdom, since you need wisdom to find truth and justice. Both Ma'at and Thoth helped at the Weighing of the Heart.

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Ma'at
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Amun

Amun was an important god, but there are no stories about him. He created all things. At the same time, he remained apart from creation, totally different from it, and fully independent from it. In fact, he was invisible, so you couldn't have a picture of him! However, if you called him Amun-Re, this allowed people to see him. Then he had a hat with ostrich feathers on, and like all gods with human heads, a beard. Re is another way of spelling Ra, the sun god.

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Amun
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Bastet

Bastet was sometimes called bast. She was the goddess of cats. She is a cat, or has the head of a cat, but originally she had the head of a lion. Every day the sun god Ra would travel in his ship across the sky. Every night the snake Apep tried to stop the sun god's ship on his journey through the underworld. Ra was usually won these battles. However, on stormy days, or during an eclipse, the Egyptians believed that Apep had been victorious and swallowed the sun. Bastet defended her father Ra against the snake.

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Bastet
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