Amaunet (Serpent) One of the eight Primal Beings of the
Ogdoad, being paired with Amon as co-spirits of Hidden Powers. She is a
fertility Goddess, and is considered a protectress of the nation, especially
during times of royalsuccession.
Ammut (Crocodile) Eater of souls, she is the final
destination for those whose hearts have been found weighted down with guilt
in the Hall of the TwoTruths.
Amon (Amun) (Serpent) One of the eight Primal Beings of
the Ogdoad, being paired with Amaunet as co-Spirits of Hidden Powers.
Spoken of as being omnipresent but concealed, the source of mystery and
enigma. Regarded as a creator deity, and Lord of the Sun, he is also a source
of masculine vitality and sexual energy. His cult rose to great
prominence, being only briefly eclipsed by Aten in the 14th century BCE. Often
combined with Ra to form the solar divinity Amon-Ra, in late classical
times He also became synchronized with the Roman Jupiter to a certain
Anubis (Inupu) (Jackal) Protector and Patron of
mortuaries, and overseer of the judgment of the dead in the Hall of the Two Truths;
He is also the guide and presiding spirit of the embalming process in
particular and the journey of departed souls to their final destiny in
Anukis (Anuket) (Gazelle) Goddess of the Lower Nile,
connected fertility of the fields, and also with birth, and midwifery.
Apepi (Serpent) The eternal enemy of Amon-Ra, and the
personification of evil and malignancy. In mythology he plays out
His role by attempting to prevent the Solar Boat's passage across the sky. Thus,
He is also a patron of Shadow and Darkness.
Apis (Bull) The intermediary between the Human and
Divine worlds, son of Isis and the living incarnation of Ptah. He appeared on
earth in successive incarnations as a bull, entirely black save for a small
white spot on the forehead, and dwelling in His temple at Memphis in
great state. Each successive bull was mummified and buried in the royal
necropolis at Saqqara.
Aten (none) The solar disc, as distinct from Amon-Ra
(Lord of the Sun). He is portrayed as a Hand extending from a radiant solar
disc, never by humanoid or animal imagery. The cult of Aten dates back
to the late 3rd millennium BCE, but the pinnacle of His influence was
felt in the 14th century when a political rivalry between the
priesthoods of Amon and Aten culminated in the establishment (1346 BCE) of Aten as a
genuinely monotheistic cult (all the other divinities being
suppressed) during the reign of Akhnaten (1350-1334 BCE). Following the death
of Akhnaten, the cult of Aten was in turn suppressed (although not outlawed
as such), most of his temples and all of His influence being destroyed.
Atum (Human) A Solar deity, a self-created Primordial
Being who in turn created Su and Tefnut. Often combined with Ra, under
the style of Atum-Ra, He is the Aspect of the sun as it sets in the west.
Banebdjedet (Ram) Consort of Hatmehet, He is a fairly
obscure Deity whose best-known tale involves His (unsuccessful) mediation
between Horus and Seth.
Bastet (Cat) A female Aspect of the Sun God, usually
Ra, sometimes Amon, either of whom She is ascribed as being the daughter of
in various texts. She personifies the retributive element of the Sun, and
is seen as the bringer of divine vengeance to Amon-Ra's enemies. In
early times She was portrayed as having the head of a lioness, but later
images show the smaller ancestor of today's housecat. She was Patroness of
domestic cats, and in that role continues today to enjoy a certain vogue
among New-Age believers.
Benu (Heron) A solar deity, usually considered an
aspect of Atum and, like Him, self-created in Primordial times. His function
seems to have been connected with rebirth in the afterlife. That, and His
avian character, may have influenced later cultures, especially Hellenic, in
the development of the Phoenix story.
Bes (Humanoid) A grotesque-appearing dwarf, but of
protective and benign character. He is a male Guardian of womankind in
childbirth, and also is a Ward against dangerous creatures of all sorts; his
ugliness is a primary attribute in frightening evil away.
Buto (Wadjet) (Cobra) A solar Goddess, the
personification of Ra's retributive power and, as such, an Aspect of the
cleansing and purifying power of the sun's heat. She is regarded as a primary
defender of authority, especially royal, and She is a tutelary Goddess of
Lower Egypt. She also has some connections with maternal powers, in that She is
considered the wet nurse of Horus, as well as the mother of Nefertum.
Geb (Human) An Earth-God, normally depicted in a green
hue (note a parallel with the Green Man), He is a Lord of vegetation and the
vitality of the soil. He is also a Patron of herbalism, and is
considered a healer. Son of Su and Tefnut, brother and consort of Nut, father of
Osiris, Isis, Seth, and Nephthys.
Hapy (Nile Goose (two-headed)) God of the Nile, and
director of the annual inundation, without which the Nile civilization could
not endure. As such, He is a fertility figure and, in fact, is often
Hatmehet (Fish) Consort of Banebdjedet, She is the
Guardian and Patron of fishermen and the fishing industry.
Hathor (Cow) Daughter of Ra, and Goddess of love and
sexuality; She was considered the mother of all the Pharaohs, and Royal
princesses automatically were Her priestesses by birth. Enormously
popular, She has many and diverse functions, including oracular
knowledge of every child's destiny, and a patronage of music and dance. One of the
few Egyptian divinities to transcend the culture, She found favor in the Greco-Roman world as well, where Her image affected to one degree
or another contemporaneous imagery of Aphrodite.
Hauhet (Serpent) One of the eight Primal Beings of the
Ogdoad, being paired with Heh as co-Spirits of Infinity.
Heh (Frog) One of the eight Primal Beings of the Ogdoad,
being paired with Hauhet as co-Spirits of Infinity.
Heket (Frog) A Goddess concerned with birth,
particularly with alleviating the dangers and pain of the birth process.
Heretkau (Human) Cthonic mortuary Goddess concerned
with protection of souls in the afterlife. Images often associate Her as a
servant or assistant to Isis.
Hesat (Cow) Goddess of pregnancy and Source of nursing
milk (the "beer of Hesat"). The mother of Anubis.
Horus (Haru) (Falcon) Son, posthumously, of Osiris by
Isis, and symbol of divine vengeance. Mythologically He is the originator
of the Egyptian state and it's first sovereign, the land of which He wrested
from Seth when He avenged the slaughter of Osiris. Successive Pharaohs
were regarded as the Earthly incarnations of Horus. Thus, Horus represents
the core of national and dynastic stability, and as such is the divine
Source of sovereignty.
Isis ('Aset) (Human, sometimes Hawk) Daughter of Geb
and Nut, sister and consort of Osiris, mother of Horus. An enormously
popular and enduring figure in the pantheon, Isis is one of the few Egyptian
divinities to find widespread worship outside of Egypt as well. She is to
Her people the female Aspect of national stability and sovereignty, as well
as being a primary symbol of nurturance and motherhood. During Osiris'
battles with Seth, She twice restored him, impregnating herself upon his
remains to give birth to His heir and avenger, Horus. Regarded as paramount in
magical power, Her Name figured in all manner of incantations, especially
those of healing. To the Ptolomaic and Roman worlds, She became an important
symbol of divine sanction for rebirth and reincarnation, and several
mystery cults were formed around her tale. Iconography portraying Her with
the infant Horus strongly influenced contemporary images of the Virgin
Mary and infant Jesus.
Kauket (Serpent) One of the eight Primal Beings of the
Ogdoad, being paired with Kek as co-Spirits of Darkness.
Kek (Frog) One of the eight Primal Beings of the Ogdoad,
being paired with Kauket as co-Spirits of Darkness.
Khenty-Imentiu (Wolf) A lesser war God, associated with
Osiris in His battles, also seen as pilot of the Solar Boat.
Kheper (Scarab) An Aspect of Ra, the divinity
responsible for maintaining the sun's course across the sky.
Khnum (Ram) Craftsman and especially potter among the
Gods. He created life upon His potter's wheel at the command of the Primal
Khonsu (Human, sometimes Falcon) Moon God. Originally
regarded as the child of Amon and Mut, in the Late Kingdom He is often
referenced as the offspring of Sebek and Hathor. Aside from His strong lunar
association, He was also a divinity invoked in exorcisms and in rites of healing.
Ma'at (Human) Goddess of law, truth, and cosmic order.
She personifies the scales in the Hall of Two Truths upon which Osiris
weighs the heart of deceased souls for it's burden of guilt. Every Pharoah
was considered the "Beloved of Ma'at", and in that sense She is
the pillar around which orderly society can flourish.
Min (Human) The male divinity most closely concerned
with sexuality and male virility. A son of Isis, He represents the vigour of
each successive Pharaoh. Perhaps not unsurprisingly, He is also a
Patron of mines as well.
Montu (Hawk) A war God, originating in Upper Egypt, and
synchronized with Ra to a strong degree.
Mut (Human sometimes Lion) Tutelary Goddess of Thebes
and a parallel to Sekhmet. At times considered the consort of Amon-Ra and
mother of Khonsu.
Naunet (Serpent) One of the eight Primal Beings of the
Ogdoad, being paired with Nun as co-Spirits of Emptiness.
Nefertum (Lion) Regarded in Lower Egypt as the son of
Buto, He is a lesser primordial being, and personifies the Blue Lotus of Ra.
Nehebukau (Serpent) A minor God of healing,
specifically a protector against snakebite and scorpion sting.
Neith (Cow) A primordial Goddess, self-created and
self-creating; in some tales She is the Tracer of the Nile's course and the
foundress of the city of Sais, established when She brought the Nile to the
sea. She has many functions in addition; one of the most prevalent is
that of Patroness of the Loom, and of spinning.
Nekhbet (Vulture) Tutelary Goddess of Upper Egypt,
regarded as a protectress and ministrant to childbirth.
Nephthys (Nebhet) (Human) Youngest daughter of Geb and
Nut, and often regarded as the consort of Seth. She is also sometimes
considered the mother of Anubis. Her primary function is that of mortuary
protectress, in which role She serves as guide to the spirits of deceased
Nun (Frog) One of the eight Primal Beings of the Ogdoad,
being paired with Naunet as co-Spirits of Emptiness.
Nut (Human) An Aerial Goddess of sky and wind, daughter
of Su and Tefnut, Sister and consort of Geb, mother of Osiris and Isis,
Seth and Nephthys. She is the arching vault of the heavens, Her body sparkling
with starlight. Through Her mouth the Sky-boat of the Sun passes each
evening, from her vulva the it re-emerges and the day is reborn each
morning. She retains some weather working functions; the thunder is Her voice.
She is the special Patroness of the Pharoahs in their transition from
Horus to Osiris.
The Ogdoad A collection of eight Primal Beings who
emerged out of Chaos to define the universe and begin the flow of time. See Amaunet,
Amon, Hauhet, Heh, Kauket, Kek, Naunet, and Nun.
Onuris (Anhuret) (Human) A warrior God with solar
aspects, considered by some as an aspect of Ra, especially as an image of the
active principal of solar power against enemies. He is also a patron of
hunters and the chase.
Osiris (Ausar) (Human) Eldest child of Geb and Nut,
posthumous father of Horus, Osiris is the most widely known and most deeply
revered of the pantheon. He represents, first and foremost, the Path
of Destiny, and the Life beyond life. He is the Judge of departed souls in
the Hall of Two Truths, and He is the general guardian, guide, and
ruler of the afterworld of departed spirits. The ancient Egyptians were
obsessed with the problem of what occurs in the way of an afterlife and what the
ultimate spiritual destiny of mankind is. Thus Osiris represents the
promise of eternal life and the triumph of order and meaning over chaos.
Defeated by his nemesis (and younger brother) Seth, He rises once again in an
eternal cycle symbolized in the material world by the cyclical rising
of the Nile and in the astral world by the passage of Amon-Ra, the holy
sun and the cyclical appearances of Sothis, the star Sirius. Osiris is thus
Friend, Savior, and ultimate master of mankind. In Egyptian Royal
tradition, as each Pharoah is the living incarnation of Horus in life, so in death
they are transfigured into Osiris.
Ptah (Human) A primary creator divinity, Patron of
Memphis and the focus of a powerful priesthood there. He is said to be
self-creating and self-creative, bringing the Primal Chaos (in this
version represented by Nun) into order and form by the sound of His voice.
Additionally, He is patron to all the crafts and sciences, inspiring both
practical invention and fine art. He is the consort of Sekhmet and
presumably the father of Nefertum.
Ra (Hawk) One of the primary solar deities, often
(especially in later times) conflated with Amon to form the composite solar
entity Amon-Ra. Ra is in essence the spirit of the sun in it's glory and
fullest strength, a noontide divinity embodying heat, light, and majesty. He was
not especially popular, in that He represents the retributive and
lightning swift blaze of power, striking down enemies with his gaze alone. The
phrase, often encountered in Egyptian religious and magickal
writings, "Eye of Ra", represents His pitiless and omnipresent knowledge of
all beneath the sun.
Sarapis (Human or Bull) A very late addition to the
Egyptian pantheon, He emerged out of early Ptolomaic thought as a conflation
of Osiris with Apis, representing the fertility of the land with the
sanctity and promise of an immortal afterlife. His cult became a fixture during
Roman times, and competed with both Mithraism and early Christianity for
a predominant role in the Empire as a whole.
Satet (Human) Consort of Khnum and mother of Anukis,
She was tutelary Goddess of the Nubian frontier, in the far south of
Sebek (Crocodile) Son of Neith, Consort of Hathor,
father of Khonsu. He represents the power and strength of the Pharoahs, and
is a Patron of all reptilian forms. He is occasionally conflated with
Seth, and in rare instances is regarded as the Source and personification
Seker (Hawk) A lord of Darkness and Shadow, and the
divine essence of burial and decay. He is thus connected with an aspect of the
cycle of rebirth.
Sekhmet (Lion) Daughter of Ra and consort of Ptah, She
is a war goddess and a divine Aspect of the power and majesty of the Pharoah
against his enemies.
Seshet (Human) Goddess of scribes, of writing, of
history (and thus the orderly flow of time), and the special Patroness of
libraries and archives. She is regarded as the foundress of temples and halls
of worship, and She retains a considerable aura of magickal patronage, in
that writing was a secret system of knowledge known only to an elite few.
Not surprisingly, She is the consort of Thoth.
Seth (Composite Creature) Child of Geb and Nut, sibling
of Osiris, Isis, and Nephthys. Seth is a complex figure who seems in the
main to be adversarial in nature. The most typical mythologies have Him at war
with his brother Osiris, a war in which He defeats Osiris but is in turn
defeated by Osiris' heir, Horus. Nevertheless, it needs to be pointed out
that several times during the Pharaoanic period in Egypt His cult was
widespread and highly honoured, supplanting on occasion the identification of
the Pharoah with Horus/Osiris. His beast imagery is also unusual, being
composed of diverse elements culled from several sorts of creatures; the
usual image is that of rather long-snouted, stiff-eared beast that vaguely
reminds one of a wolf or aardvark.
Sia (Human) Divine Patron of sense perception. Child of
Ra, He accompanies His father on the Sky Boat which bears the sun along
Sothis (Sopdet) (Human) The star Sirius, which appears
above the horizon at just the time of the summer inundation of the Nile.
Thus, She is Herald and Harbinger of this most vital seasonal occurrence.
Su (Human) Primordial divinity created by Atum or, in
some mythologies Ptah. As Consort to His sister Tefnut, He is the ancestor of
all the remaining Gods and Goddesses through their offspring Geb and Nut.
He is an aerial divinity, and a lord of the sky.
Taurt (Hippopotamus) Goddess of childbirth and
Protectress of womankind, a very commonly represented and popular divinity among
the ordinary folk of Egypt.
Tefnut (Lioness, sometimes the Uraeus Serpent)
Primordial divinity created by Atum or, in some mythologies Ptah. As Consort to Her
brother Su, She is ancestress of all the remaining Gods and Goddesses
through their offspring Geb and Nut. Her primary Attribute is as Patroness of
Thoth (Djehuti) (Ibis) Tutelary divinity of knowledge
and understanding. He is Patron to scribes, and protector of archives, as
well as being the inspiration for all knowledge-based arts and sciences.
He is said to have created writing for the use of mankind. Regarded as
scrupulously honest, He is the scribe of the Hall of Two Truths, recording the
deeds and accounts of each soul facing judgment, as well as taking a hand in
judging. He has lunar associations, and is the Consort of Seshet.