The Egyptian Gods
There were over 2,000 deities in the Egyptian pantheon. Some of these deities’ names are well known: Isis, Osiris, Horus, Amun, Ra, Hathor, Bastet, Thoth, Anubis, and Ptah while many others less so. The more famous Egyptian gods became state deities while minor deities were associated with a specific region or, in some cases, a ritual or role.
The goddess Qebhet, for example, is a little known deity who offered cool water to the souls of the dead as they awaited judgment in the afterlife, and Seshat was the goddess of written words and specific measurements overshadowed by Thoth, the better known god of writing and patron of scribes.
Cleopatra, the last of the Greek Ptolemaic rulers of Egypt, idealized and promoted the traditional Egyptian deities of Osiris, Isis and Horus. She presented herself to her subjects as the reincarnation of Isis, the Egyptian goddess.
Isis and Osiris fostered the cultural development of Egypt, turning it into an educated and fascinating civilization.
Here are the Top 5 Most Important Ancient Egyptian Gods
Isis represents multiple feminine attributes, as she rules on the following topics: magic, motherhood, the moon, stars, agriculture, rivers, medicine, fertility, life, and resurrection.
In the myth, Isis was the first daughter of Geb, the God of Earth, and Nut, the goddess of heaven.
Goddess of the Moon, protector of women and children, healer of the sick, Isis was the wife of Osiris and mother of Horus. Her legend eventually found its way to Greece, where temples still stand in devotion to her. Having resurrected her dead husband, Isis helped her son to avenge his murder in his battle against Set. She endured as the most important goddess in Ancient Egypt until the end of the civilization. The Temple of Philae in Aswan was built in her honor. It was famously relocated from its original location in the 1970s, to protect it from flooding caused by the Aswan High Dam.
The name was Isis means “Throne,” which 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.
Isis had a perfect love story with her husband, Osiris. She resurrected him from death and managed to have a child with him, whom she called Horus. For this reason, women from all over the world pray to Isis that she will grant them the happiness of an ideal marriage that lasts a lifetime.
Osiris, God of the Underworld, symbolized death and resurrection in Ancient Egypt. It was he who was responsible for the cyclical annual flooding of the Nile, which was so crucial to agriculture and the survival of the Egyptian civilization.
According to one of the most important stories in Egyptian mythology, Osiris, King of Egypt was brutally murdered and dismembered by his jealous brother, Set. Set scattered the pieces of Osiris across Egypt and became king himself. But the mourning wife and sister of Osiris, Isis, set about gathering the pieces of her husband and resurrected him. This allowed the couple to have a son, Horus. This task fulfilled, Osiris returned permanently to the Underworld. Osiris was most often depicted as a mummified king with green skin, an example of the death he represented.
There are six variations of the god known to have existed in Egyptian mythology. The most famous is the description mentioned above, Horus as a son of Osiris and Isis. Depicted as a falcon-headed man and worshiped as the God of the Sky and War, he would eventually avenge his father against his uncle Set, becoming king of Egypt himself. It was during this conflict that Horus lost his eye – you have probably heard of The Eye of Horus. In another important variation, Horus is merged with Ra (more on him later!) to create Ra-Horakhty. This is an example of how the Egyptian gods were not simple deities. Over centuries the stories changed and many gods and goddesses merged into each other.
Ra is one of the most important deities in ancient Egyptian mythology and is considered the god of the sun, creation, and life. He was worshiped as the king of all the gods and was often depicted as a man with a falcon head, wearing a sun disk on his head.
According to Egyptian mythology, Ra created himself out of chaos and then created everything else. He traveled across the sky in a boat during the day, and at night he traveled through the underworld, where he battled the forces of darkness.
Ra was also believed to have the power to give life and to heal, and he was often invoked in spells and prayers for these purposes. He was associated with the concept of Ma’at, which represented order and balance in the universe.
Ra was worshiped throughout ancient Egyptian history, and many temples were dedicated to him. His cult center was located in Heliopolis, where a large temple complex was built in his honor.
Despite his immense popularity, Ra’s importance declined as other gods and goddesses emerged as important figures in Egyptian mythology. Nevertheless, his legacy lives on, and he remains a beloved figure in modern Egyptian culture.
Seth, also known as Set, is one of ancient Egyptian mythology’s most complex and controversial deities. He was worshiped as the god of war, chaos, and storms and was often depicted as a fearsome creature with the head of an unknown animal.
The final character in the Osiris myth, Set is the villain in our story. He murdered his brother out of jealousy and then tried to destroy his own nephew. Set was the God of Chaos, Violence, Deserts and Storms. Fittingly, archaeologists have been unable to work out what creature Set was depicted as. He is usually shown with long, square ears and a long snout. It is a face like no creature known to walk the Earth during Egyptian times or since.
Despite his negative reputation, Seth was also worshiped as a powerful protector of the pharaohs and the Egyptian people. He was associated with the desert, seen as a harsh and dangerous environment, and believed to have the power to repel evil spirits and protect travelers.
Seth was also associated with storms and natural disasters and was believed to be able to control the winds and the weather.