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Ancient Egypt                      Buy Books Online

Egyptian Deities
Sacred Animals, Mortal and Supernatural


Amaunet—Sometimes called the wife of Amen; goddess of Heaven.

Amen/Amoun/Amun/Amon/Ammom—"Hidden god"; "Great Father"; the great god of Thebes; similar to Jupiter and Zeus; a phallic deity. Sometimes pictured with the head of a ram; sometimes as a man with a crown with two tall straight plumes. Considered incarnate in the ruling pharaoh. Part of a trinity with MUT (pronounced Moot) and Khensu. One of the universe creators and generous to all his devotees. The Phoenicians stole two of the priestesses from Amen's temple in Thebes and sold one to Libya, one to Greece. These two oracles founded schools of divination at Siwa in Libya and several famous centers in Greece. About the XII Dynasty, Amen became more than a god of local importance. At that time the princes of Thebes conquered their rivals to the throne, made their city the new capital, and their god the main deity in Upper Egypt at Karnak. Under the XIX and XX Dynasties, the priests of Amen gained supremacy over all other priests and temples. But the people were not satisfied. So the priests of Amen added the name of the great god Ra to the name of Amen as a conciliatory gesture. Sacred animals were a ram with curled horns and a goose, both of which were kept at his temples at Karnak and Luxor. God of reproduction, fertility, generation, wind, air, prophecy, agriculture.

Ament/Amenti—"The Westerner"; "hidden goddess"; goddess of the land of the West or the Underworld; "goddess with beautiful hair." Consort of Amen. Her emblems were the hawk and the feather. Ament was represented in human female form wearing either an ostrich feather on her head or an ostrich plume and a hawk. She welcomed all deceased people to the land of the dead with bread and water. If they ate and drank, they could not return to the land of the living.

Anhur/Anher/Anhert/Onouris—"Skybearer"; official god of the nome Abt and its capital; very early aspect of Osiris. God of war, Sun, and the sky.

Anubis/Anpu/Sekhem em Pet—Messenger from the gods to humans. His cult was very ancient, probably older than that of Osiris. He was pictured with the head of a jackal or dog, or as a dark-colored jackal. At the death of Osiris, Anubis invented embalming and funeral rites. To the Egyptians he was important as the god of embalming and tombs, protector of the dead, judge of the dead and god of the Underworld. He, with Maat, weighed human souls for truth. He was the guide to the soul-judges after death. His duties included making sure that the funerary offerings reached the deceased. God of wisdom, intelligence, death, embalming, endings, truth, justice, surgery, hospital stays, finding lost things, anesthetics, medicine, journeys, protection, boats, diplomacy, astral travel (voluntary or involuntary), cemeteries; guardian against lower astral entities.

Anqet/Anuket/Anukis—"The Clasper"; water goddess of the Nile Cataracts. Her symbol was the cowrie shell. Khnemu's second wife, she had a special dwelling place on the island of Seheil. Also worshipped at Elephantine with Khnemu. Pictured as a woman wearing a tall plumed crown. Sometimes she was pictured as having four arms which represented the union of male and female principles. She was self-begotten and self-produced. Producer and giver of life, water.

Apep/Apophis—Demon enemy of the Sun; pictured as a huge snake, he was the eternal enemy of Ra and lived deep in the Nile. Called the Great Serpent of Tuat (the Underworld); this realm of darkness with its chambers was actually the interior of Apep's body. The Egyptians said he was responsible for eclipses when he managed to swallow Ra's sacred Sun boat. Not the same deity as Set. Darkness, storm, night, the Underworld, death, eclipses.

Auf/Euf Ra—Aspect of the Sun god Ra. Pictured as a ram-headed man wearing the solar disk, he represented the Sun at night when the life-giving rays were concealed. The Egyptians believed that each night the Sun had to make its way through the caverns of the Underworld where he had to outwit Apep in order to ride again across the heavens. Peace, rest, sleep, courage.

Ba-neb-Tetet/Banebdedet/Banaded—A ram-god; the Greeks knew him as Mendes. He was considered to be incarnate in the sacred ram kept in his temple. There was wide mourning when this ram died, and great festivals when the priests discovered a new one. God of discussion, arbitration, peace.

Bast/Bastet/Pasht (in her dark aspect)—Cat-headed goddess; mother of all cats; Wife of Ptah. She was identified with Artemis or Diana who was also called the mother of cats. The living power and gentle heat of the sunlight. Lady of the East; associated with the god Sept (Lord of the East). The cat was Egypt's most sacred animal but the black cat was especially sacred to her; Egyptian physicians used the black cat symbol in healing. Cats were sacred to her in general, kept in her temple, and embalmed when they died. To kill a cat meant a death sentence. Her sacred home was Bubastis in Lower Egypt. Bast carried a sistrum in her right hand and a basket in her left. She was generally draped in green. During her huge annual fair, thousands of worshippers journeyed on Nile barges, accompanied by flutes, castanets, and lots of wine. Splendid processions went through the streets to her temples. Goddess of fire, the Moon, childbirth, fertility, pleasure, benevolence, joy, jokes, sexual rites, music, dance, protection against disease and evil spirits, warmth, all animals (especially cats), intuition, healing, generosity, marriage.

Bes—A guardian god; "Lord of the land of Punt." He was pictured as a leopard skin-clad dwarf with a huge head, prominent eyes and cheeks, a curly beard, and an open mouth with protruding tongue. Sometimes he was shown playing the harp or tambourine. Known as the protector of the dead; protected people from. dangerous animals and night demons. His grotesque head was sculpted on pillars and over gateways as a guardian against all evils and dangers. God of luck, marriage, music, dance, childbirth, cosmetics, and female adornments.

Buto/Uajyt/Uatchet/Utchat/Per Uadjit/Uazit/Uto/Uraeus—Cobra goddess and ancient protectress of Lower Egypt and the Delta town of Uadjit. "Eye of Ra"; "Lady of Heaven." Lady of the North. At times she was portrayed as a cobra, sometimes winged, sometimes crowned. Other times she was shown as a woman wearing a vulture headdress and the red crown of the North; she held a papyrus scepter twined with a long snake. Goddess of protection, hiding from evil.

Hapi—pictured as a very fat man with pendulous breasts, dressed like a boatman with a narrow belt around his great belly. Egyptians believed that Hapi lived near the First Cataract on the Isle of Bigeh in a cavern. In June they made offerings to him accompanied by poetic hymns. God of the Nile, crops, fertility, water, prosperity.

Hathor/Athor/Athyr/Het-Hert (House or Womb Above)/Hat-Hor (House of Womb of Horus)—"The golden"; "Queen of the West" (or the Dead); "the Lady of the Sycamore"; "House of the Face"; "House of Horus"; Mother Goddess; mother of all gods and goddesses; Queen of Heaven; sky and Moon goddess; similar to Aphrodite. Considered self-produced. The seven Hathors, or Holy Midwives, were associated with the seven planets. Cosmic goddess associated with Ra; she carried his Sacred Eye. Personification of the great power of Nature. The mirror and sistrum were sacred to her. Hathor's appearance could be as a cow-headed goddess or a human-headed woman with horns, cow's ears, and heavy tresses. She liked to embody herself in the sistrum to drive away evil spirits; another of her instruments was the tambourine. New Year's Day, one of her many festivals, was celebrated as her birthday. At that time her image was taken from the temple out into the rising Sun for a day of enjoyment, song, and intoxication. Her main sanctuary was at Dendera where she was worshipped with her infant son Ihi (Ahi), "the Sistrum Player." She was also worshipped at Edfu with Horus, her husband and Lord of the temple, as well as at Ombos. She cared for the dead, carrying them to the afterworld. Protectress of women; goddess of joy, love, pleasure, flowers, the sky, Moon, tombs, motherhood, beauty, marriage, cosmetics, singers and dancers, merry-makers, beautiful women, artists, artistic works, vine and wine, ale and beer, happiness, music, song, the dance, weaving garlands, good times in general, Nature, physical comforts, protection, astrology, prosperity, jewelry, strength, the arts, family.

Heh/Neheb—A god shown as a man squatting on the ground and wearing on his head a reed, curved at the end. God of eternity, longevity, happiness.

Heqet/Heqtit/Heket —As a frog-headed goddess, she was one of the midwives for the birth of the Sun each morning and for the germinating grain. Goddess of creation, childbirth, fertility, corn, resurrection.

Horus—Falcon-headed Sun and sky god; Divine Child or reborn Sun; identified with Apollo. He was pictured as very fair with blue eyes, and associated with cats. As the divine falcon, his two eyes were the Sun and the Moon. From prehistoric times, the falcon was carried as a totem and considered an important powerful, divine being. The hieroglyph for "god" was a falcon on its perch. Some twenty sanctuaries were dedicated to Horus in his different attributes Some of the major aspects of Horus were: Haroeris (Horus the Elder or Horus the Great), Sun and Moon god; Hor Behdetite, shown as a winged solar disk, a design placed over the porches of temples; Harakhty (Horus of the horizon), center of Sun worship; Heru-Em-Akhet (Horus who is on the horizon), symbol of resurrection; Hor-Sa-Iset (Horus, son of Isis), falcon worship, avenger; Heru-Pa-Khret (Horus the child); Har-End-Yotef (Horus father-protector), skillful warrior; Har-Pa-Neb-Taui (Horus of two lands) and Heru-Sam-Taui (Horus, uniter of the two lands), ruler of humankind and Heaven. Lord of prophecy; a god of war, revenge, justice, success, problem solving, the Sun, music, the arts, beautiful things, weapons, beauty, family, home.

Imhotep/I-Em-Hetep—"He who comes in peace." He began as a deified human hero and later became a god. Another son of Ptah; similar to the Greek Aesculapius. Study and knowledge, learning, medicine, healing, embalming, physicians, sleep to heal suffering and pain, magick, compassion, drugs, herbs.

Isis/As/Aset/Eset/Tait—Supreme Egyptian goddess; Moon goddess; Great Mother; Great Goddess; Giver of Life. As Tait, Isis was the weaver and knotter of the threads of the Tat. She was pictured with dark hair, blue eyes, and fair skin. Identified with Demeter, Hera, and Selene. With Osiris, Isis (the mother) and Horus (the divine child) made up the Holy Trinity. Legend says that Isis was born in the swamps of the Delta. North of Busiris at Perchbet, there was a renowned temple of Isis. Great festivals in the spring and autumn honored her with splendid processions, along with a June festival called the Night of the Teardrop. Priestesses of Isis were said to control the weather by braiding or releasing their hair. Isis-Hathor was believed to bind or loose the lives of humans with the Tat (Knot of Fate); from her came the art of making and blowing on magick knots. Her priests were called the mesniu (smiths) and worked with metals. As with many ancient cultures, these priest-smiths were said to receive their magick from secret connections with the Goddess and the female forces of Nature. The cow was sacred to her, as were the magick Buckle of Isis and the sistrum. Her sistrum was carved with a cat image that represented the Moon. Sometimes she was portrayed with protecting winged arms. Isis helped her brother-husband teach Egyptians to grind corn, spin flax, weave cloth, and cure disease. As High Priestess, she was a powerful magician. Goddess of marriage and domestic life, the Moon, motherhood, fertility, magick, purification, initiation, reincarnation, success, womanhood, healing, spinning, weaving, advice, divination, civilization, agriculture, the arts, protection, advice. The patroness of priestesses.

Khensu/Khons/Khonsu—"Traveller"; "The Navigator"; "He who crosses the sky in a boat"; God of the New Moon; son of Amen-Ra and Mut. He wore a skullcap topped by a disk in a crescent Moon. His head was shaved except for a scalp-lock tress of a royal child. His human body was swathed tightly, and he held a crook and flail. It was not until the New Kingdom that Khensu gained popularity as an exorcist and healer. The possessed and sick from Egypt and beyond flocked to his temples in Thebes, Ombos, and Karnak.

Khepera/Khepra/Khepri—"He who becomes"; god of transformations: the scarab beetle, symbol of creative energy and eternal life. A Creator God. The third form of the god Ra. God of the rising Sun, emerging from its own substance and causing its own rebirth. Resurrection of the body, reincarnation, rebirth. God of the Moon, exorcism, healing, new beginnings, gentleness, literary abilities, miracles, compassion.

Khnemu/Khnum—"The Moulder", "the Divine Potter"; the Ram God. Pictured as a man with a ram's head and long wavy horns holding a scepter and ankh. A Creator God; as an original river god of the annual Nile floods, his main sanctuary was near the Nile Cataracts on the Isle of Elephantine. In his temple he was worshipped with his two wives, Sati and Anqet, he watched over the sources of the Nile. Inventor of the potter's wheel, Khnemu was considered a builder, architect, controller of water, maker of human bodies before birth. God of arts and crafts, fertility and creation, gentleness.

Maat/Maa/Maut/Mayet (pronounced May-at)—"The Mother"; "Lady of the Judgment Hall"; the Virgin; cherished daughter of Ra and wife of Thoth. Her law governed the three worlds; even the other gods had to obey ("live by Maat"). In the Hall of Double Justice where Osiris held his tribunal, Maat stood in one pan of the balance scale opposite the heart of the deceased when it was tested for truthfulness. There were 42 Assessors or Judges of Maat who passed judgment on souls. The heart had to be empty of evil to balance the feather weight on the scales. She was often pictured wearing an ostrich feather on her head while standing or sitting on her heels; she held a scepter and ankh. Associated with Thoth. Goddess of truth, right, justice, law, final judgment of human souls, order, divine order, reincarnation.

Mehueret/Mehurt—A universal Mother Goddess; Lady of Heaven; Mistress of Earth. Associated with night.

Menthi/Menthu-Ra/Mentu/Mont—Sun god, often with a bull head; wore a solar disk and two tall straight plumes on his head and carried a khepesh (a very curved scimitar). His wife was Rat-Taui. "Lord of Thebes." In his war aspect he personified the destroying heat of the Sun and carried a bow and arrows, club and knife. The sacred bull of Mentu was considered the god reincarnated; it was kept at the temple at Hermonthis in Upper Egypt. Another place of the god's worship was at Medamud in the suburbs of Thebes. Protection, war, vengeance.

Meshkent/Meskhenet—Goddess of childbirth and delivery, she brought relief to women in labor and often predicted the future of the new child. Sometimes an image of her head was carved on the two bricks on which Egyptian women crouched during delivery. Wife of Shai. She was shown as a woman wearing two long palm shoots which were curved at the ends. Childbirth, rebirth.

Min/Minu/Menu—"Lord of Foreign Lands"; god of the Eastern desert. A form of Amen, the Greeks identified him with Pan. His sacred animal was a white bull, his ancient symbol the thunderbolt. The chief center of his cult was Coptos, the town of caravans, a departure point for commercial ventures. He was also worshipped in Akhmin, formerly Chemmis, later known as Panopolis to the Greeks. Min wore a crown with two tall straight plumes and held a flail in his right hand behind his head. As a fertility god, he was always portrayed with an erect phallus. God of sex, fertility, crops, harvests, roads, journeys; patron of the desert and travelers.

Mut (pronounced Moot)—"The Mother"; "Lady of Thebes"; "world-mother"; Great Mother; "The Great Sorceress"; "Mistress of Heaven"; "Eye of Ra"; a sky goddess who wore a vulture headdress. Associated with the cow, cat and lioness, her symbol was three cauldrons. Wife of Amen-Ra and identified with the Greek Hera. Sometimes shown winged, she was considered self-produced. Marriage, creation.

Nehebkau—A serpent god of the Underworld, dangerous to both the gods and humans. Death, cursing, vengeance.

Neith/Neit/Net/Nit (pronounced Night)—"The Huntress"; "Opener of the Ways"; Great Goddess; Mother of the gods; goddess of war and the hunt; goddess of the lower heavens; warrior-goddess and protectress; Lady of the West. Her name means "I have come from myself," or self-begotten. The Greeks identified her with Pallas Athene, who also had a dual role of warrior and woman skilled in domestic arts. Eternal goddess, universal mother; the Spirit behind the Veil of Mysteries; World Body; Primal Abyss. Her cult was a very ancient one with two queens of the First Dynasty named after her. Often shown along side Selqet as mummy guardian and protectress of marriage. She wore the red crown of Lower Egypt. In her hands she held a bow and two arrows. At her temple in Sais, Plutarch read the inscription: "I am all that has been, that is, and that will be. No mortal has yet been able to lift the veil that covers me." Part of this sanctuary was a school of medicine, the House of Life, run by her priests. Her ceremonies were of a mystic nature. Herbs, magick, healing, mystical knowledge, rituals, meditation. Patroness of domestic arts, weaving, hunting, medicine, war, weapons. Protectress of women and marriage.

Nekhebet—Guardian goddess, often in vulture form; identified with the Greek Eileithyia. Lady of the South. From earliest times she was the protective goddess of Upper Egypt. The center of her cult was at El Kab, the former Nekheb, capital of the oldest kingdom in the South. Often shown hovering over Pharaoh as a vulture, holding the flywhisk and the seal. As a woman, she was pictured wearing the white crown of Upper Egypt or a vulture headdress. She carried a scepter with a serpent twined around it. Goddess of motherhood, childbirth, protection.

Nephthys/Nebt-Het/Nebthet.Nebhet—"Mistress of the palace"; "Lady of the House"; "the Revealer"; Underworld Goddess who represented life and death. The dark sister of Isis; wife of Set, mother of Anubis. Pictured as fair with green eyes. Identified with the Greek Aphrodite and Nike. Often shown as a woman with long winged arms stretched in protection; carried a basket on her head sometimes. Goddess of death and dark magick; guardian of hidden things; mystical things, protection, invisibility or anonymity, intuition, dreams, peace.

Nut (pronounced Noot)/Nu—"Life-giver"; Mother of the gods; Great Mother; friend and protector of the dead. A sky goddess, often identified with the Greek Rhea. Personification of the heavens, sky, clouds, and stars. Reincarnation, weather.

Osiris—Lord of life after death; Sun god; Universal Lord; Nature god; Lord of Lords; King of Kings; God of Gods; Good Shepherd, Eternity and Everlasting. The Book of the Dead lists over two hundred titles by which Osiris was known. Primarily identified with the Greek Dionysus and Hades. Pictured with a tanned complexion and fair hair. He was shown sometimes standing, sometimes seated on his throne, tightly wrapped in mummy cloth, his freed hands on his breast holding the crook and flail. Sometimes his face was green; on his head he wore a high white miter flanked by two ostrich feathers. His birth was said to hail the rising of the Nile flood. His flesh was symbolically eaten in the form of a communion cake of wheat in his temples. Numbers sacred to him were 7,14, and 28. Patron of priests; god of fertility, harvests, commerce, success, initiation, death and reincarnation, water, judgment, justice, agriculture, crafts, corn and vegetation, grains, religion, architecture, weaving, ceremonial music, civilization, composing rituals, codes of law (especially social laws), religion, power, order, discipline, growth, stability.

Ptah/Ptah-Neb-Ankh—"The Opener"; "the Divine Artificer"; "the Father of beginnings"; Creator god. He was the symbol of the creative power of the God behind the gods, the symbol of the Four Great Primary Forces (the Elements). Was identified with the Greek Hephaestus. Ptah was usually portrayed with his skull wrapped in a headband and his body enclosed in mummy cloth. His hands were free and held a scepter, ankh, and tet. From early times, his main temple was at Memphis, south of the White Wall of Menes. His Wife Sekhmet and his son Nefertum were worshipped there with him. In later times Imhotep took the place of Nefertum. The Apis bull, the living incarnation of Ptah, was kept near the sanctuary. Ptah's high priest was called the "Master Builder." The god was also invoked under the names Ptah Tenen, Ptah Seker, and Ptah Seker Osiris. Protector of artisans and artists; god of life, regeneration, crafts, builders, designers, metal workers, stone workers, engraving, carving, sculpting, all hand-crafts, architects, masons, gentleness, miracles, science, manual skills, the arts.

Ra/Re/Phra—"The Creator"; "the Supreme Power"; "the only one"; Sun god; Creator God; Great Father; Father of the gods. Other aspects of Ra were: Khepera, the scarab, or Rising Sun; Ra-Heru-Khuti, the hawk, or Noon Sun; Ra-Temu, the Setting Sun. His main sanctuary was at Heliopolis. There he was worshipped in the form of a giant obelisk—a petrified Sun ray. In his temple at Heliopolis were kept two sacred boats in a wooden tabernacle. One boat contained a hawk-headed figure of Ra, the other a man-headed figure of the god. He was also considered to take form in the bull Merwer and the bird Bennu. Often known as Amen-Ra or Ra-Atum, the god Ra was pictured in many forms: as a royal child sitting on a lotus; as a man, head topped with the solar disk surrounded by the sacred asp; as a man with a ram's head; as a man with a falcon's head. Source of all light and life; destroyer of darkness, night, wickedness, evil. Creator of Heaven, Earth, and the Underworld. Eternal god without end. God of agriculture, the Sun, magick, prosperity, spells, rituals, destiny, right, truth.

Rat/Tat-Taiut/Rait/Rat (rate)—"Lady of the Heavens"; "Mistress of the gods"; "Mistress of Heliopolis"; Mother of the gods; "Goddess of the two lands." Mother of Selkhet and Maat. Shown as a woman wearing a disk with horns and a uraeus. Wisdom, knowledge.

Renenet/Renenutet/Ernutet—"Lady of the double granary"; goddess of the eighth month of the Egyptian calendar. When a soul was weighed and judged, Renenet stood by with Shai. She was shown as a woman with a serpent's head or a serpent wearing the solar disk. Other appearances of this goddess show her with a lion head or wearing the plumes of Maat. She gave a baby its ren (soul-name), personality, and future fate at its birth. Children, luck, justice.

Renpet—"Mistress of eternity." She wore a long palm shoot above her head. Goddess of youth, springtime, the year, the general idea of time.

Sati/Satet—"To sow seed"; goddess of the Cataracts; one of Khnemu's wives; similar to Juno. Sister of the goddess Anqet. Her headdress was the crown of Upper Egypt with a pair of cow's horns. She was often shown as the Archer (representing the river's current), holding a bow and arrows. She was worshipped in the extreme south of Egypt on the island of Seheil. Fertility, the hunt, planting, water.

Seb/Geb/Keb—A fertility Earth god, similar to the Greek Cronus; Son of Shu and Tefnut; brother and husband of Nut, father of Osiris, Isis, Set, Nephthys. "Father of the gods"; always shown with erect phallus. Shown in paintings lying under his sister-spouse Nut (pronounced Noot), who arches her body up on toes and fingers to form the sky. Fertility, new beginnings, creation, crops.

Sebek/Sobk/Suchos—Lord of Death; "the hidden one"; "he who is shut in"; Creator god; crocodile god. He was said to live at the bottom of the Underworld in a secret pyramid filled with total blackness. His chief sanctuary was at Crocodilopolis, or Arsinoe. In a lake dug near the temple was kept an old, especially sacred, crocodile with gold rings in his ears and bracelets on his legs. God of death and the powers of darkness. Cursing, dark magick.

Seker/Sokar/Socharis—The guardian god of the door to the Underworld. His sanctuary was called Ro Stau, "the doors of the corridors," a direct link to the Underworld. He was pictured as a greenish hawk-headed mummy.

Sekhet—Sister and wife of Ptah; mother of his son Nefer-Tem; Sister of Bast. "Mighty lady"; "Lady of Flame"; personified the fierce, scorching, destroying rays of the Sun. Wore a red garment. Strength, might, violence, cultivated lands and fields.

Sekhmet/Sakhmet—"The terrible one"; "the Powerful"; "the beloved of Ptah"; dark sister of Bast, a lioness-headed goddess. She represented the destroying power of the sunlight and was crowned with a disk and coiled cobra. Goddess of war and battle, physicians and bone-setters.

Selqet/Selket/Selquet/Selchis/Serqet—Shown as a woman with a scorpion on her head, often with extended winged arms. Guardian after death of the canopic jars. Protectress of marriage; goddess of happy marriages and married sexual love.

Seshat/Sesheta—"Mistress of the house of books"; "the secretary"; "mistress of the house of architects"; star goddess. The female equivalent and wife of Thoth, this goddess was in fact older than Thoth. At first Seshat was pictured as a woman wearing on her head a star, reversed crescent, and two long straight plumes. Later the crescent was replaced with two long down-turned horns. She was the record-keeper of the gods and keeper of the inventory of the pharaoh's enemy booty. Goddess of writing, letters, archives, measurement, calculation, record-keeping, hieroglyphics, time, stars, sky, history, books, learning, inventions.

Set/Seth/Seti/Sutekh/Suti—"He who is below"; God of the unclean, the terrible desert, the murderer and cruelty, evil, war, and the Underworld. Known to the Greeks as Typhon. God of the northern sky, darkness, cold, mist, rain. Set was both a good and bad god, turning from one mood to another with lightning and unpredictable speed. But among the Egyptians, Set was worshipped just like any other deity. He had reddish-white skin and bright red hair—something hated by the Egyptians. This may have been emphasized by the fact that the conquering Hyksos rulers identified Set with their Sutekh, built a magnificent temple to him in Avaris, and elevated his worship over all others. The animal associated with this god had long pointed ears and looked rather like a dog, but the exact animal is not known. Animals belonging to Set were: asses, antelopes, the hippopotamus, the boar, crocodile, scorpion, black pig and other desert animals. God of hunger and thirst on the desert, thunder, storm, suffering, revenge, cursing, death, dark magick, darkness, evil, destruction, chaos, foreigners.

Shai (male)/Shait (female)—Sometimes a goddess, sometimes a god. This deity had a role like a guardian angel, presiding over destiny and fate. One was born with each person and at death gave a true account of all sins and good works in the Hall of Judgment.

Shu—"Lord of the Sky"; god of Air, the North wind, and the atmosphere; similar to Atlas. Seen in human form with an ostrich feather on his head. Connected with the heat and dryness of sunlight.

Ta-Urt/Tauret/Apet/Opet/Taueret/Taurt/Thoueris/Rertrertu/Taweret—Hippopotamus goddess; sometimes an avenging deity. Her hieroglyphic sign was sa, meaning uterine blood of the Goddess that could give eternal life. She was pictured as a female hippo with pendulous breasts, standing upright and holding a plait of rolled papyrus (a sign of protection). In her darker aspect she was the goddess of darkness and revenge. Goddess of childbirth, maternity, nursing mothers, revenge, protection.

Tefnut/Tefnet—Sometimes identified with the Greek Artemis. Said to live at the bottom of the Underworld, Tefnut was fed by a group of Underworld gods, who hacked up dead bodies for the blood. Goddess of moisture, dew, rain, mist.

Temu/Tem/Atem/Atum—Local god of Annu; the evening or night Sun (Dark Eye of Ra). Attributes of Ra; often combined as Ra-Temu. Personification of God in human form and of the setting Sun. Father of the human race, he helped the dead. In one of his forms he was worshipped as a huge serpent. Two goddesses mentioned with him were Iusaaset and Nebt-Hetep. Originally a local god of Heliopolis. Temu was considered complete within himself, was the sum of everything that existed. Always represented as a man wearing the Egyptian double crown. Peace, help, rest.

Thoth (pronounced Toe-th)/Tehuti/Thout/Djehuti/ Zuhuti—"Lord of Books and Learning"; Judge of the gods; director of the planets and seasons; Great God; scribe of the gods; identified with the Greek Hermes. Considered self-begotten and self-produced. Thoth was called "Lord of Holy Words" for inventing hieroglyphs and numbers; "The Elder" as the first and greatest of magicians. He had greater powers than Osiris or Ra. He was ibis-headed and the inventor of the Four Laws of Magick. He wore a lunar disk and crescent on his head and held the writing reed and palette of a scribe. At his center at Hermopolis Magna in Upper Egypt, his priests taught that Thoth created by the sound of his voice alone. In a crypt under his main temple were kept his books of magick which were open to disciples, and which the Greeks and later races translated into the works of Hermes Trismegistus and the Kybalion (not to be confused with the Jewish Qabala). In Lower Egypt his center was at Hermopolis Parva. He had two wives, Seshat and Nehmauit. His chief festival was on the nineteenth day of the month of Thoth, a few days after the Full Moon at the beginning of the year. His disciples greeted each other at that time with "Sweet is the Truth" and made gifts of sweetmeats, honey, and figs. Patron of priests; Supreme Magus; god of all magick, writing, inventions, the arts, divination, commerce, healing, initiation, music, prophecy, tarot, success, wisdom, medicine, astronomy, geometry, surveying, drawing, sciences, measurement of time, all calculations and inventories, archives, judgment, oracles, predictions, rituals, the law, astrology, alphabet, mathematics, speech, grammar, arbitration, balance, mental powers, the Moon, botany, theology, hymns and prayers, reading, oratory, arbitration, peace, advice, learning, books, truth, Akashic records, the Moon, fate, arbitration, advice.

Wepwawet/Upuaut/Ophis—"Opener of roads"; god of the Underworld. Pictured as wolf-headed; different from Anubis. At festivals of Osiris, his image on a shield led the way, representing his nocturnal guiding of the Sun's boat. His center was Siut, the Greek Lycopolis. He was often dressed as a soldier. War, protection, defense, martial arts, journeys.


Sacred Animals, Mortal and Supernatural


Ass—Evil; sacred to Set.

Ape—Sacred to Thoth.

Bull—Apis bull was black with a crescent white spot on the right flank, a triangle on the forehead, and a flying vulture on the side. It was kept at the temple in Memphis where it was periodically sacrificed, embalmed and buried in special tombs. It was known as Hap to the Egyptians or Apis to the Greeks, and was sacred to Ptah. The Bull of Mentu was sacred to the god Menthu. A white bull was sacred to the god Min.

Cat—Sacred to the goddess Bast and Mut, the cat decorated the sistrum and sometimes Hathor's mirror and represented the Moon. Mau was the Egyptian name for cat. The cat was domesticated very early and valued as a snake-destroyer. Anyone who killed a cat was put to death.

Cow—Sacred to Hathor, Sati and Mut. The Egyptian word for cow was kau.

Crocodile—Sacred to Sebek of the Egyptians (called Souchos by the Greeks), and to Set. A special crocodile was kept at the temple at Thebes.

Dog—Favorite animal of the Egyptians. Sacred to Anubis. Guardian and protector.

Frog—Sacred to Heqet and Hathor.

Goose—Sacred to Amen-Ra, Seb, Isis.

Hawk—Sacred to Osiris, Horus, Ra, Seker and others. Symbolic of the human soul. Sometimes the larger hawks were identified with the phoenix.

Heron—A sacred bird in general.

Hippopotamus—Sacred to the goddess Ta-Urt and Set.

Ibis—Sacred to Thoth. Associated with the Moon.

Jackal—Sacred to Anubis. Protector after death.

Lion—Sacred to Sekhmet, Mut. Some lion deity names were Aker, Ari-Hes-Nefer, Urt-Hekau, Hebi and Ma-Hes.

Lynx—With tufted cars; a destroyer of serpents. Benevolent and protecting. Known to the Egyptians as Maftet.

Phoenix—Sacred to Osiris. The Bennu, a bird of the heron species, was identified with the phoenix.

Pig—Sacred to Set. Considered very evil.

Ram—With flat branching horns, sacred to Ba-Neb-Tetet of the Egyptians or Mendes of the Greeks. With curly horns, sacred to Amen. With long wavy horns, sacred to Khnemu.

Scarab—Sacred to Khepera.

Scorpion—Sacred to Selqet and Set.

Serpent—Sacred to Apep, Renenet. Cobra sacred to Buto. The uraeus was the hieroglyphic for "Goddess" and signified healing.

Shrew-Mouse—Sacred to Buto.

Sphinx—Also called Harmarkhis; human-headed lion statue; a symbol of the Sun god Ra-Temu. The famous statue existed in the time of Khephren, the builder of the second pyramid, but was probably older. Guardian and protector.

Swallow—Sacred to Isis.

Tortoise or Turtle—Greatly feared. Associated with the powers of darkness, night, evil. The enemy of Ra.

Uraeus—Sometimes described as a cobra, other times as an asp. Sacred to Buto. See Serpent.

Vulture—Sacred to Nekhebet, Mut, Neith and others. The hieroglyphic sign for "mother" was a vulture. Egyptian temples had a chapel on the east for Buto to bring the Sun to birth and on the west where Nekhebet (the vulture goddess) daily ordained his death, thus preparing the Sun for rebirth.

Wolf—Sacred to Wepwawet.


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