Ancient Egypt is known as one of the earliest highly advanced civilizations that mastered a plenty of inventions in the field of science, astronomy and technology before any of us knew how to use a tetris. Creating a large and rich culture has resulted in its own field of study – Egyptology. Besides Egyptian art and architecture, the renowned pyramids builders are also known for worshiping over 2,000 gods and goddesses. The ancient Egyptians believed in many deities, with each god representing a different aspect of the world: from the god of the dead to the god of the sun. In order to keep their life in perfect balance, they worshiped every single one of the 2,000+ gods and goddesses. Sounds weird? We’re just getting started!
Take a look at the following 5 equally bizarre and fascinating facts about ancient Egyptian gods and goddesses.
The First God, Atum, was Self-Created
Atum is one of the most important Egyptian god. The ancient Egyptians believed him to be the first god to exist on Earth and the god that created all other gods. The old, popular story passed on from generation to generation tells that the Egyptian’s first god Atum emerged from the ocean Nun and created all the other gods. The more astonishing fact is that it is not just a story, but it is included in the oldest books of Egyptian Mythology. He created his children (and first gods too) because he was lonely. Thanks to his life-providing sneezing and semen, Atum created a lot of other gods and goddesses, earning himself the name “the father god”. This self-created deity is also known as the main god of the Ennead of Heliopolis (a group of nine gods and goddesses).
The God of the Sun, Ra, was a Traveler Between Worlds
Ra is another major god in the ancient Egyptian religion and he was the god of the Sun (or the Sun god). There are millions of various myths, legends and stories in the Egyptian Mythology based on the Sun god, the god that was above all other gods and goddesses. The ancient Egyptians believed that Ra is responsible for the creation of every form of life on Earth. However, it’s impossible not to notice the depiction of Ra. The supreme god is depicted by a man with a hawk (or falcon) head, crowned with a sun disc (the symbol of Pharaohs and Ra). But this is only his this world’s look. The ancient Egyptians believed that their Sun god traveled through the underworld at night, where he also appeared in a human form, but with a head of a ram. Every morning, he was reborn to this world with a falcon head.
Anubis Watches Over Deceased
Anubis is one of the oldest and most famous Egyptian gods and he is the son of Orisis and Nepthys. This dog-faced deity was the protector, the guardian and the god of the dead. Known as Inpu or Anpu too, the underworld god helped Isis to embalm Osiris after his brother’s almost-successful attempt to kill him. He is depicted as a man with a black head of a jackal (or a dog) and his distinctive look makes him easily recognizable. Besides the ancient Egyptians, there are people today who still believe that Anubis watches over buried people. Therefore, jackals and wild dogs are often put in cemeteries to patrol. Lastly, Anubis, the god of embalming and the dead, inspired priests to wear black jackal masks during mummification.
Isis – the Goddess who Brought Her Husband Back to Life
One of the most famous names of Egyptian gods and goddesses you’ll ever hear is Isis. She is a very important figure in the ancient Egypt and was known as the protector of the people in need. Depicted as a woman with a headdress in the shape of a royal throne, Isis is one of the four children of Nut and Geb, who honored their parents’ tradition of having children with their siblings. Isis honored the same tradition too by marrying her brother Osiris (the god of the underworld). Guided by his jealousy, their brother Seth killed Osiris, cut him into pieces and threw the pieces all around Egypt. However, with the help of her sister Nepthys, Isis collected all the pieces of her husband and brought him back to life for long enough to conceive a child – Horus.
Horus, the Son of Isis, Avenged his Father
Horus was the son of Isis and Osiris and the fiercest enemy of the god Seth who killed his father. He was the god of the sky and is known as a protector, ruler and a king of Egypt. As many other Egyptian gods and goddesses, he is depicted as a man with a falcon head. His coming to this world was secret, as his mother Isis ran away immediately after she conceived him, so Seth won’t find them and kill them. But ever since he grew, Horus and his uncle Seth had started a war that had only one way of ending. In the last battle for the throne, Horus finally avenged his father and became the king of Egypt. The eye he lost during the final battle was restored to him and it also became a symbol of protection for the ancient Egypt.