Egyptian mythology is one of the most complete that we can find, that is why the gods of Egypt occupied a central role in the life of this ancient civilization to such an extent that the rituals that we know today from this culture, as is the case From mummification, they were released from the desire to keep the body intact for the next life, which they would enjoy in the afterlife with the gods.
This tradition is very rich, as well as the list of deities that were worshiped in this culture, which could change depending on the city in which the faithful were found. However, a group of figures stands as the most important of ancient Egypt, if you wonder what the main Egyptian gods are, keep reading because in this article we listed the top 34 Ancient Egyptian Gods and Goddesses and their Powers.
Here is a list of the main Ancient Egyptian Gods and their Powers & Roles.
1- The Egyptian God, Ra
Ra was the god of the Sun and was also properly represented as the Sun. This god is associated with creation since, according to mythology, at the beginning of existence there was only the ocean until Ra was born from an egg or a flower (there are two versions).
2- The Egyptian God, Osiris
In the hieroglyphs, this god is represented as a pillar that has a series of circular projections of various colors. Osiris was considered as the deity of death since he had to watch over the deceased souls; He was also known as the king of the lower world and as the patron of resurrection and eternal life.
3- The Egyptian God, Horus
It was a solarized deity that had a hawk’s head. He was the son of Isis and Osiris; Furthermore, he was married to Hathor. Horus was the god of goodness as well as light. He was one of the most important gods within Egyptian mythology, which is why he was highly revered.
4- The Egyptian God, Seth
Seth represented the adversary within the Abydos triad. He is also known as the “lord of the south” and was used to represent him in human form, although he also had an animal form that was quite frightening for the ancient Egyptians. Seth began to represent all the hardships of man, so his name was avoided and he was only prayed for during some realizations of black magic.
5- The Egyptian God, Anubis
Anubis was the god of the dead and mummification, so it was his responsibility to watch over the workshops where embalming was practiced; it also protected canopy glasses. Anubis was generalized as the god of the dead since he was in charge of guiding souls through the world of the deceased. Some consider that he is the son of Osiris and that he helped Isis bury and embalm him. Some prayers were found asking Anubis to protect Osiris’ body.
6- The Egyptian God, Amun
He was considered to be the supreme god within the city of Thebes. When depicted in his human version, he had blue skin and wore two long, broad feathers on his head. Its main function was to protect both the king and all of Egypt. Amun was one of the most popular deities during the New Empire.
7- The Egyptian God, Aton
It was a controversial god since it was imposed by Pharaoh Amenophis IV, who wanted to establish the worship of a unique god; for this reason, he decided to erase other important divinities such as Amun and Osiris. Amenophis IV wanted the Egyptian people to compare him to Aton, so he even changed his name to Akhenaten. Despite the great buildings of Atón made by Akhenaten to erase the other divinities, the Egyptian people remained attached to their traditions, so they never fully accepted this new god.
8- The Egyptian God, Bes
It was an Egyptian god associated with cultural pleasures, so it used to be represented dancing and playing an instrument. In the paintings, he appears as a man with feline features since he has ears, mane, and tail. He was a home god very appreciated by the people. Taking into account some sources, she maintained loving relationships with Taweret, who was the goddess of fertility, children, and childbirth.
9- The Egyptian God, Hapi
Hapi was the deity who represented the Nile and was exemplified through a human figure painted in deep blue and green colors. Hapi wore a kidney-shaped fisherman’s headband and wore a headdress made from aquatic plants.
10- The Egyptian God, Khonsu
This deity is listed as a Moon God and was usually depicted in a human form using a side curl on his head, demonstrating his youth. It was also often depicted in the form of a mummy, although years later it was exemplified by the hawk as were Horus, Thot, and Ptah. The name Khonsu means “wanderer” or “wanderer”.
11- The Egyptian God, Khnum
The god Khnum represented the annual flood of the Nile River; likewise, he was the guardian of the caverns where said river originated, according to the tradition of the Egyptian people. This deity had the job of opening the cave doors for the flooding of the river to take place.
12- The Egyptian God, Min
It is considered one of the oldest gods in Egyptian mythology. He was usually the patron saint of those wild men who inhabited the eastern desert. Ancient prehistoric statues of this deity have been found. In these, he can be seen standing and with the erect limb, which is of gigantic proportions and is supported by the god with his left hand.
13- The Egyptian God, Ptah
He was depicted as a man who had an unusual beard, as it was yellowish. He wore tight clothing and his head was uncovered, although he was later drawn with different royal crowns. Ptah is drawn on top of a very particular pedestal that represents justice. This god was the patron of all artisans and his animal was the Apis bull.
14- The Egyptian God, Sobek
Sobek was the divinity of water and vegetation. Likewise, it was very loved by the Egyptians and was very important in the cultural field.
The animal with which Sobek was represented was the crocodile. When there were many of these animals on the Nile, the Egyptians considered that year’s harvest would be good.
15- The Egyptian God, Thot
This god was very important to Egyptian culture, as he was considered the inventor of writing; therefore, he was the patron of the scribes. He was also considered the god of wisdom and science. Furthermore, he could mediate time and establish the Egyptian calendar. It was Ra’s right hand and he delivered the messages to the gods.
Here is a list of the main Ancient Egyptian Goddesses and their Powers & Roles.
1- Egyptian Goddesses, Amunet
Amunet was one of the primordial goddesses in the religion of Ancient Egypt. He is a member of the Ogdoad and consort of Amun. Its name, which means “the hidden one”, is simply the feminine form of Amun. She was described as a woman wearing a red or desheret crown and a papyrus scroll in her hands. In some locations such as Thebes, Amonet was continually worshiped as she was considered the protector of the pharaoh.
2- Egyptian Goddesses, Anuket
Anuket was the personification and goddess of the Nile River in Egyptian mythology. It was also known as Anaka or Anqet and its sacred animal was the gazelle. Her name means “the hugger” and she was normally described as a woman with a headdress made of reeds or ostrich feathers and in her hand a scepter.
3- Egyptian Goddesses, Bastet
Bastet was a goddess in the ancient Egyptian religion, worshiped from the second dynasty in 2890 BC. She was also known as Bast and was recognized as the goddess of war in Lower Egypt before the unification of cultures.
4- Egyptian Goddesses, Hathor
Hathor was an Egyptian goddess who was considered to be the embodiment of joy, female love, and motherhood. She was one of the most important and revered deities throughout the history of Egypt, coming to be worshiped by both royalty and ordinary people. In many graves, she was shown as the deity in charge of welcoming the dead to the next life. It was also believed to assist women in childbirth. Hathor was described as a cow goddess with horns among which is a solar disk surrounded by a uræus.
5- Egyptian Goddesses, Hatmehit
Hatmehit in the religion of ancient Egypt was the goddess of fish in the Mendes area. His name translates as “Head of the Fish” or “Leader of the Fish”. She was regularly described as a fish or as a woman with a fish-shaped emblem or crown.
6- Egyptian Goddesses, Heket
Heket was the Egyptian goddess of fertility and represented in the shape of a toad. For the Egyptians, this animal was associated with fertility since it appeared with the annual flood of the Nile River.
7- Egyptian Goddesses, Isis
Isis was a goddess of ancient Egyptian mythology whose worship later spread throughout the Roman Empire.
Today it is still adored by many movements and religions. Originally she was idealized as the ideal mother and wife, as well as being the mother of nature and magic. In turn, she was the patron saint of slaves, sinners, artisans, and the oppressed, but she also listened to the prayers of aristocrats and leaders. She was also known as the protector of the dead and the goddess of children.
The name of Isis means “Throne” and that is why the crown she wears represents a throne as an embodiment of the power of Pharaoh. The most important temples in his honor were at Behbeit El-Hagar and on the island of File.
In the myth, Isis was the first daughter of Geb, the god of Earth, and Nut, the goddess of heaven. She married her brother Osiris and conceived Horus with him. The sacred image of Isis with Horus in her arms as a child became a model for the Christianity of Mary carrying Jesus in her arms.
8- Egyptian Goddesses, Maat
Maat was the Egyptian goddess who embodied the concepts of truth, balance, order, harmony, law, morality, and justice. This was in charge of regulating the stars and seasons and who established order in the universe from chaos to the moment of creation.
9- Egyptian Goddesses, Mafdet
Mafdet was the protective Egyptian goddess against snakes and scorpions. It was part of the Egyptian pantheon from the first dynasty and was represented as some kind of feline or mongoose.
10- Egyptian Goddesses, Mut
Mut was an ancient Egyptian goddess whose name translates as “mother”. She was regarded as a primordial deity who was associated with the waters from which all things arose.
11- Egyptian Goddesses, Nephthys
Neftis or Nebthet was an Egyptian goddess, a member of the Great Ennead of Heliopolis. She was the daughter of Nut and Geb and sister of Isis and was a protective deity who symbolizes the experience of death, as opposed to Isis who symbolizes the experience of life. She was sometimes described as aggressive, being able to incinerate Pharaoh’s enemies with her fiery breath.
12- Egyptian Goddesses, Seshat
Seshat was the Egyptian goddess of wisdom, knowledge, and writing. She was seen as a scribe and her name means “the one who writes.” The invention of writing is attributed to her according to mythology. In turn, she is also recognized as the goddess of history, architecture, astronomy, astrology, construction, mathematics, and surveying.
13- Egyptian Goddesses, Sekhmet
Sekhmet, whose name means “the mighty”, was a warrior goddess and goddess of healing in ancient Egyptian mythology. She was depicted as a Leonese and was known to be the best hunter for the Egyptians. Her breath was said to have formed the desert and acted as the protector of the pharaohs, guiding them in times of war.
14- Egyptian Goddesses, Tefnut
Tefnut was the Egyptian goddess who represented moisture, moist air, dew, and rain. She is the sister and consort of the air god Shu and the mother of Geb and Nut. She was represented as a lioness-headed woman or as a woman in its entirety. On his head, he also wore a wig with a sun disc wrapped in the uræu.
Main centers of worship in Ancient Egypt.
The main centers of worship were:
- Heliopolis, where the Heliopolitan ennead arose and whose main god was Ra.
- Hermopolis, Thot’s main cult center.
- Memphis, whose theology proclaimed the god Ptah as the creator of the world.
- Thebes, the place of worship of Amon, the god of this city.
They had preceded man on earth and had great power that men could never equal. However, some gods did have well-defined functions:
- Thoth was the protector of the sciences.
- Montu, a warrior god.
Usually, each god is linked to the city where his temple is located. The ancient Egyptians believed that the fate of the world depended on the mood of the gods.
The Pharaoh, like a living god, was the link between men and the gods who claimed the cosmic order, without which would return the original chaos, a concept that becomes clear with the creation stories that began to develop in the Ancient Kingdom and that explain the general lines of Egyptian origin.
Consequently, the best possible relationships had to be maintained with them. That was the role of the pharaoh, considered, in turn, as a god on earth, as the living Horus (god of royalty), and the only one who could come into direct contact with the gods in the privacy of the temple.
Despite the multiplicity of gods, there was a tendency to henotheism; that is, to recognize a unique deity in each place, without excluding the existence and worship of gods from other places.
For this reason, and depending on the city or hegemonic nome at all times, Horus, the rising sun, will stand out first; then Ra, the sun in all its splendor, from Heliopolis, and later to Amun, the god of Thebes, who due to the importance of this city, whose rulers belonged to the dynasty that expelled the Hyksos, came to be considered as god national, especially when identified with Ra, and by the name of Amun-Ra was worshiped in almost all of Egypt.
The first Monotheism
An unusual case was the religious revolution of Akhenaton that generated what some recognize as the first monotheism (recognition of a single God) in history.
During prehistoric times, the Egyptians divinized natural phenomena for which they did not know their reason, some plants, and certain animals for their qualities or customs.
Later the gods take human form (anthropomorphism), and some retain zoomorphic features of their origin, such as the animal’s head and so, and as an example, the jackal that the Egyptians saw prowling around the burials in the desert sand, for what was considered a protective deity of cemeteries, later became the god Anubis, with a jackal’s head.
The falcon, deified by its flight ability, will become Horus, with a falcon’s head. In Heliopolis, the bird Bennu became famous, called Phoenix by the Greeks, which, according to legend, burned on a pyre and was reborn from its ashes. In other places, the cat, the beetle, the sparrowhawk, etc. were worshiped.
In Memphis, the sacred animal was the Apis bull. This bull had to be black, with a triangular white spot on the forehead, double tail hairs, and other signs only known to the priests. These gods did not live alone, since the evolution of religious beliefs will incorporate the concept of family, and thus, triads formed by a god, his wife, and son were formed.
The triad was established based on the family structure: father, mother, son. It seems to obey the need to group local gods around the main god and bring religion closer to the people, to the simple people, to whom the theological systems were excessively complex. It seems that this system started in the Middle Kingdom.
The main triads were as follows:
- The Osirian Triad: Osiris, Isis, Horus.
- The Theban Triad: Amun, Mut, Junsu.
- The Memphite Triad: Ptah, Sekhmet, Nefertem.
- The Edfu Triad: Horus, Hathor, Harsomtus.
- The Elephantine Triad: Jnum, Satis, Anukis.
- Dendera’s Triad: Horus, Hathor, Aqh.
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