|Akert- one of the seven deities listed in the Egyptian Book of the Dead who provided food for the deceased in the underworld. They are pictured as having a solar disk between their horns.|
|Amaunet- an Egyptian mother goddess, called the "Hidden One". She is the personification of the life-bringing northern wind. She belongs to the Ogdoad of Hermopolis. Within this group of gods her consort is the god Amun. She is referred to as 'the mother who is father' and in this capacity she needs no husband. Amaunet was regarded as a tutelary deity of the Egyptian pharaohs and had a prominent part in their accession ceremonies. She is portrayed as a snake or a snake-head on which the crown of Lower Egypt rests.|
|Ament- an Egyptian goddess who lived in a tree at the edge of the desert where she watched the gates of the afterworld, welcoming the newly dead with bread and water.|
|Amentet- an Egyptian goddess, the personification of the west, as well as the western areas where the sun sets and where the entrance to the underworld reputedly lies. Here she welcomes the deceased who enter the city of the dead.|
|Amon- Also called Amun, Ra or Re (the Sun), or Amun-Ra or Amen-Ra (the Great Sun), or Khepri. The king of the gods during the Theban dynasties, and the god of fertility. He was part of the Theban Triad, along with Mut and Khonsu. Usually associated with the wind, or things hidden.|
|Anubis-Anubis was the son of Nephthys. By some traditions, the father was Set; by others, Osiris. (And by still other traditions his mother was Isis.) Anubis was depicted as a jackal, or as a jackal-headed man; in primitive times he was probably simply the jackal god.
Probably because of the jackal's tendency to prowl around tombs, he became associated with the dead, and by the Old Kingdom, Anubis was worshipped as the inventor of embalming, who had embalmed the dead Osiris, thus helping preserve him in order to live again. His task became to glorify and preserve all the dead.
Anubis was also worshipped under the form Upuaut ("Opener of the Ways"), sometimes with a rabbit's head, who conducted the souls of the dead to their judgement, and who monitored the Scales of Truth to protect the dead from the second death in the underworld.
|Bast-variant spelling: Bastet. A cat-goddess, worshiped in the Delta city of Bubastis. A protectress of cats and those who cared for cats. As a result, an important deity in the home (since cats were prized pets) and also important in the iconography (since papyri usually show the serpents which attack the sun being killed by cats).
She was viewed as the beneficient side of the lioness-goddess Sekhmet
|Duamutef-variant spelling: Tuamutef. One of the Four Sons of Horus, Duamutef was represented as a mummified man with the head of a jackal. He was the protector of the stomach of the deceased, and was protected by the goddess Neith.|
|Geb-variant spelling: Seb. The god of the earth; son of Shu and Tefnut; brother and husband of Nut; and father of Osiris, Set, Isis, and Nephthys. His sacred animal and symbol was the goose. He is generally represented as a man with green or black skin - the color of living things, and the color of the fertile Nile mud, respectively. Several New Kingdom funerary texts say that Geb would hold imprisoned the souls of the wicked, that they might not ascend to heaven. Note that Geb is masculine, contrasting with many other traditions of Earth being female.|
|Hapi-One of the Four Sons of Horus, Hapi was represented as a mummified man with the head of a baboon. He was the protector of the lungs of the deceased, and was protected by the goddess Nephthys|
|Horus- One of the most important deities of Egypt. As the Child, Horus is the son of Osiris and Isis, who, upon reaching adulthood, avenges his father's death, by defeating and castrating his evil uncle Set. He then became the divine prototype of the Pharaoh.
As Heru-Ur, "Horus the Elder", he was the patron deity of Upper (Southern) Egypt from the earliest times; initially, viewed as the twin brother of Set (the patron of Lower Egypt), but he became the conqueror of Set c. 3000 BC. when Upper Egypt conquered Lower Egypt and formed the unified kingdom of Egypt
|Imhotep- Imhotep was a historical figure. He was the architect, physician, scribe, and vizier of the 3rd Dynasty pharaoh Zoser. It was Imhotep who conceived and built the Step Pyramid at Sakkara. In the Late Period, Imhotep was worshipped as the son of Ptah and a god of medicine, as well as the patron (with Thoth) of scribes. The Greeks considered him to be Asklepios, the god of medicine.|
|Imsety-variant spellings: Amset, Mestha. One of the Four Sons of Horus, Imsety was represented as a mummified man. He was the protector of the liver of the deceased, and was protected by the goddess Isis.|
|Isis-Perhaps the most important goddess (or god, for that matter) of all Egyptian mythology, Isis assumed, during the course of Egyptian history, the attributes and functions of virtually every other important goddess in the land.
Her most important functions, however, were those of motherhood, marital devotion, healing the sick, and the working of magical spells and charms. She was believed to be the most powerful magician in the universe, owing to the fact that she had learned the Secret Name of Ra from the god himself.
She was the sister and wife of Osiris, sister of Set, and twin sister of Nephthys. She was the mother of Horus the Child (Harpocrates), and was the protective goddess of Horus's son Imsety, protector of the liver of the deceased.
Isis was responsible for protecting Horus from Set during his infancy; for helping Osiris to return to life; and for assisting her husband to rule in the land of the Dead.
Her cult seems to have originally centered, like her husband's, at Abydos near the Delta in the North (Lower Egypt); she was adopted into the family of Ra early in Egyptian history by the priests of Heliopolis, but from the New Kingdom onwards (c. 1500 BC) her worship no longer had any particular identifiable center, and she became more or less universally worshiped, as her husband was
|Nefertum-The youthful son of Ptah and Sekhmet, connected with the rising sun; depicted as a youth crowned with or seated upon a lotus blossom.|
|Nephthys-"Lady of the House", the youngest child of Geb and Nut. The sister and wife of Set, and sister of Isis and Osiris; also the mother (variantly by Set or by Osiris) of Anubis.
She abandoned Set when he killed Osiris, and assisted Isis in the care of Horus and the resurrection of Osiris. She was, along with her sister, considered the special protectress of the dead, and she was the guardian of Hapi, the protector of the lungs of the deceased.
|Nut-variant spelling: Nuit. The goddess of the sky, daughter of Shu and Tefnut, sister and wife of Geb, mother of Osiris, Set, Isis, and Nephthys.
Nut was generally depicted as a woman with blue skin, and her body covered with stars, standing on all fours, leaning over her husband, representing the sky arched over the earth.
Aleister Crowley, the English occultist, connected her with Hadit. This has no basis in Egyptology, save only that Hadit was often depicted underneath Nut - one finds Nut forming the upper frame of a scene, and the winged disk Hadit floating beneath, silently as always. This is an artistic convention, and there was no marriage between the two in Egyptian myth.
|Osiris-The god of the dead, and the god of the resurrection into eternal life; ruler, protector, and judge of the deceased, and his prototype (where in English we use the euphemism "the deceased" or "the late", Egyptians referred to "the Osiris"). His cult originated in Abydos, where his actual tomb was said to be located.
Osiris was the first child of Nut and Geb, thus the brother of Set, Nephthys, and Isis, who was also his wife. By Isis he fathered Horus, and according to some stories, Nephthys assumed the form of Isis, seduced him thus, and from their union was born Anubis.
Osiris ruled the world of men in the beginning, after Ra had abandoned the world to rule the skies, but he was murdered by his brother Set. Through the magic of Isis, he was made to live again. Being the first person to die, he subsequently became lord of the dead. His death was avenged by his son Horus, who defeated Set and cast him out into the desert to the West of Egypt (the Sahara).
Prayers and spells were addressed to Osiris throughout Egyptian history, in hopes of securing his blessing and entering the afterlife which he ruled; but his popularity steadily increased through the Middle Kingdom. By Dynasty 18 he was probably the most widely worshipped god in Egypt. His popularity endured until the latest phases of Egyptian history; reliefs still exist of Roman emperors, conquerors of Egypt, dressed in the traditional garb of the Pharaohs, making offerings to him in the temples.
|Ptah-Worshipped in Memphis from the earliest dynastic times (c.3000 BC), Ptah was seen as the creator of the universe in the Memphite cosmology. He fashioned the bodies in which dwelt the souls of men in the afterlife. Other versions of the myths state that he worked under Thoth's orders, creating the heavens and the earth according to Thoth's specifications.
Ptah is depicted as a bearded man wearing a skullcap, shrouded much like a mummy, with his hands emerging from the wrappings in front and holding the Uas (phoenix-headed) scepter, an Ankh, and a Djed (sign of stability). He was often worshipped in conjunction with the gods Seker and Osiris, and worshipped under the name Ptah-seker-ausar.
He was said to be the husband of Sekhmet and the father of Nefertum (and later, Imhotep).
|Qebehsenuef-variant spelling: Qebsnewef. One of the Four Sons of Horus, Qebhsenuef was represented as a mummified man with the head of a falcon. He was the protector of the intestines of the deceased, and was protected by the goddess Selket.|
|Qetesh-Originally believed to be a Syrian deity, Qetesh was a goddess of love and beauty. Qetesh was depicted as a beautiful nude woman, standing or riding upon a lion, holding flowers, a mirror, or serpents. She is generally shown full-face (unusual in Egyptian artistic convention). She was also considered the consort of the god Min, the god of virility|
|Ra-variant spelling: Re. Ra was the god of the sun during dynastic Egypt; the name is thought to have meant "creative power", and as a proper name "Creator", similar to English Christian usage of the term "Creator" to signify the "almighty God." Very early in Egyptian history, Ra was identified with Horus, who as a hawk or falon-god represented the loftiness of the skies. Ra is represented either as a hawk-headed man or as a hawk. In order to travel through the waters of Heaven and the Underworld, Ra was depicted as traveling in a boat.
In dynastic Egypt, Ra's cult center was Annu (Hebrew "On", Greek "Heliopolis", modern-day "Cairo"). In Dynasty 5, the first king, Userkaf, was also Ra's high priest, and he added the term Sa-Ra ("Son of Ra") to the titles of the pharaohs.
Ra was father of Shu and Tefnut, grandfather of Nut and Geb, great-grandfather of Osiris, Set, Isis, and Nephthys, and great-great-grandfather to Horus.
In later periods (about Dynasty 18 on) Osiris and Isis superceded him in popularity, but he remained Ra netjer-aa neb-pet ("Ra, the great God, Lord of Heaven") whether worshiped in his own right or, in later times, as one aspect of the Lord of the Universe, Amen-Ra.
|Sekhmet-A lioness goddess, worshiped in Memphis as the wife of Ptah; created by Ra from the fire of his eyes as a creature of vengeance to punish mankind for his sins; later, was transformed into a peaceful goddess of pleasure and happiness, Bast.|
|Selket-variant spellings: Serqet, Serket. A scorpion-goddess, shown as a beautiful woman with a scorpion poised on her head; her creature struck death to the wicked, but she was also petitioned to save the lives of innocent people stung by scorpions; she was also viewed as a helper of women in childbirth. She is depicted as binding up demons that would otherwise threaten Ra, and she sent seven of her scorpions to protect Isis from Set.
She protected Qebehsenuef, the son of Horus who guarded the intestines of the deceased. She was made famous by her statue from Tutankhamen's tomb, which was part of the collection which toured America in the 1970's.
|Set-variant spellings: Seth, Sutekh. In earliest times, Set was the patron deity of Lower (Northern) Egypt, and represented the fierce storms of the desert whom the Lower Egyptians sought to appease. However, when Upper Egypt conquered Lower Egypt and ushered in the 1st Dynasty, Set became known as the evil enemy of Horus (Upper Egypt's dynastic god).
Set was the brother of Osiris, Isis, and Nephthys, and husband of the latter; according to some versions of the myths he is also father of Anubis.
Set is best known for murdering his brother and attempting to kill his nephew Horus; Horus, however, managed to survive and grew up to avenge his father's death by establishing his rule over all Egypt, castrating Set, and casting him out into the lonely desert for all time.
In the 19th Dynasty there began a resurgence of respect for Set, and he was seen as a great god once more, the god who benevolently restrained the forces of the desert and protected Egypt from foreigners. This resurgence was probably due to the fact that the ruling family had red hair, long associated with Set himself
|Thoth-The god of wisdom, Thoth was said to be self-created at the beginning of time, along with his consort Ma'at (truth), or perhaps created by Ra. At Hermopolis it was said that from Thoth were produced eight children, of which the most important was Amen, "the hidden one", who was worshiped in Thebes as the Lord of the Universe.
Thoth was depicted as a man with the head of an ibis bird, and carried a pen and scrolls upon which he recorded all things. He was shown as attendant in almost all major scenes involving the gods, but especially at the judgement of the deceased. He served as the messenger of the gods, and was thus equated by the Greeks with Hermes.