Deity of the Day
The falcon-headed Sky God
Horus is the god of the sky, and the son of Osiris, the creator (whose own birth was thought due to the Ogdoad). Horus became depicted as a falcon, or as a falcon-headed man, leading to Horus’ name, (in Egyptian, Heru), which meant The distant one.
Horus was sometimes known as Nekheny (meaning falcon), although it has been proposed that Nekheny may have been another falcon-god, worshipped at Nekhen (city of the hawk), that became identified as Horus very early on. In this form, he was sometimes given the title Kemwer, meaning (the) great black (one), referring to the bird’s color.
- Mekhenti-irry (He who has on his brow Two Eyes) – the sun and moon representing his eyes, on nights when there is no moon. In this form he was considered the god of the blind.
- Haroeris (Horus the Elder) An early form of Horus – God of light. His eyes represented the sun and moon. He was the brother of Osiris and Seth. Sometimes he was the son, or the husband of Hathor.
- Horus Behudety In the form of Horus of Edfu, he represented the midday sun. This Horus was worshipped in the western Delta and later, as his cult spread south into Upper Egypt, a cult center was established in Edfu. Horus of Edfu fights a great battle against Seth and an army of conspirators. He is pictured as a winged sun-disk or as a hawk headed lion.
- Ra-Harakhte (Horus of the two horizons) – He was identified with Ra and the daily voyage of the sun from horizon to horizon. The two deities combined to become Ra-Harakhte. He was represented as a falcon or a falcon-headed man wearing the solar disk and double crown or the uraeus and the atef crown.
- Harmakhet (Horus in the Horizon) In this form he represented the rising sun and was associated with Khepri. He was also considered to be the keeper of wisdom. He was sometimes pictured as a man with a falcon’s head, or a falcon headed lion. But his most recognizable form is that of a sphinx, or as a ram-headed sphinx.
- Harsiesis (Horus son of Isis) This Horus was the son of Isis and Osiris. He was conceived magically after the death of Osiris and brought up by Isis on a floating island in the marshes of Buto. The child was weak and in constant danger from the scheming of his wicked uncle Seth, who sent serpents andmonsters to attack him. But his mother, Isis was great in themagical arts and she warded off this evil by using a spellagainst creatures biting with their mouths and stinging withtheir tails, and the young Horus survived and grew.
- Harendotes (Horus the avenger of his father)
- Har-pa-Neb-Taui (Horus Lord of the Two Lands)
- Harpokrates (The infant Horus) As a child he represented the new born sun and was often pictured being suckled by Isis. he was usually represented as a seated child, sucking his thumb, his head was shaved except for the sidelock of youth. Even as a child, he wore the royal crown and uraeus
As Horus was the son of Osiris, and god of the sky, he became closely associated with the Pharaoh of Upper Egypt (where Horus was worshipped), and became their patron. The association with the Pharaoh brought with it the idea that he was the son of Isis, in her original form, who was regarded as a deification of the Queen.
It was said that after the world was created, Horus landed on a perch, known as the djeba, which literally translates as finger, in order to rest, which consequently became considered sacred. On some occasions, Horus was referred to as lord of the djeba (i.e. lord of the perch or lord of the finger), a form in which he was especially worshipped at Buto, known as Djebauti, meaning (ones) of the djeba (the reason for the plural is not understood, and may just have been a result of Epenthesis, or Paragoge). The form of Djebauti eventually became depicted as an heron, nevertheless continuing to rest on the sacred perch.
Just as a precaution: a great deal of the following information is incorrect. For example, Isis has always been Horus’ mother and never his wife. Osiris has always been Horus’ father and Horus is not both Horus and Osiris. The relation between the story of Jesus and the story of Horus is the fact that Horus’ story is the story of the REAL first immaculate conception.
The story goes as follows: Seth (brother of Osiris) was jealous of Osiris and fought him to the death. After he killed Osiris he cut his body up into 14 pieces and spread the pieces throughout Egypt. Isis (Osiris’ wife) found out that her husband was killed and she searched egypt looking for his body parts. She found all but one (his penis) and using her magic she put his body together and buried him, during the process of putting him back together she became impregnated with her son Horus. She gave birth to Horus who became the god of the sky and later avenged his fathers death by killing his uncle Seth.
Horus as Sun God
Since Horus was said to be the sky, it was natural that he was rapidly considered to also contain the sun and moon. It became said that the sun was one of his eyes and the moon the other, and that they traversed the sky when he, a falcon, flew across it. Thus he became known as Harmerty – Horus of two eyes.
Later, the reason that the moon was not as bright as the sun was explained by a tale, known as the contestings of Horus and Set, originating as a metaphor for the conquest of Lower Egypt by Upper Egypt in about 3000BC. In this tale, it was said that Set, the patron of Lower Egypt, and Horus, the patron of Upper Egypt, had battled for Egypt brutally, with neither side victorious, until eventually the gods sided with Horus.
As Horus was the ultimate victor he became known as Harsiesis (Heru-ur, and Har-Wer, in Egyptian), meaning Horus the Great, but more usually translated as Horus the Elder. Meanwhile, in the struggle, Set had lost a testicle, explaining why the desert, which Set represented is infertile.
Horus’ right eye had also been gouged out, which explained why the moon, which it represented, was so weak compared to the sun. It was also said that during a new-moon, Horus had become blinded and was titled Mekhenty-er-irty (he who has no eyes), while when the moon became visible again, he was re-titled Khenty-irty (he who has eyes).
While blind, it was considered that Horus was quite dangerous, sometimes attacking his friends after mistaking them for enemies.
Ultimately, as another sun god, Horus became identified with Ra as Ra-Herakhty, literally Ra, who is Horus of the two horizons. However, this identification proved to be awkward, for it made Ra the son of Hathor, and therefore a created being rather than the creator.
And, even worse, it made Ra into Horus, who was the son of Ra, i.e. it made Ra his own son and father, in a standard sexually-reproductive manner, an idea that would not be considered comprehensible until the hellenic era. Consequently Ra and Horus never completely merged into a single falcon-headed sun god.
Nevertheless the idea of making the identification persisted, and Ra continued to be depicted as falcon-headed. Likewise, as Ra-Herakhty, in an allusion to the Ogdoad creation myth, Horus was occasionally shown in art as a naked boy, with a finger in his mouth, sitting on a lotus with his mother.
In the form of a youth, Horus was referred to as Neferhor (also spelt Nefer Hor, Nephoros, and Nopheros), which, in the Egyptian language, means beautiful Horus (i.e. youthful Horus).In an attempt to resolve the conflict, Ra-Herakhty was occasionally said to be married to Iusaaset, which was technically his own shadow, having previously been Atum’s shadow, before Atum was identified as Ra, in the form Atum-Ra, and thus of Ra-Herakhty when Ra was also identified as a form of Horus.
In the version of the Ogdoad creation myth used by the Thoth cult, Thoth created Ra-Herakhty, via an egg, and so was said to be the father of Neferhor.
Since Horus, as the son of Osiris, was only in existence after Osiris’s death, and because Horus, in his earlier guise, was the husband of Isis, the difference between Horus and Osiris blurred, and so, after a few centuries, it came to be said that Horus was the resurrected form of Osiris. Likewise, as the form of Horus before his death and resurrection, Osiris, who had already become considered a form of creator when belief about Osiris assimilated that about Ptah-Seker, also became considered to be the only creator, since Horus had gained these aspects of Ra.
Eventually, in the Hellenic period, Horus was, in some locations, identified completely as Osiris, and became his own father, since this concept was not so disturbing to Greek philosophy as it had been to that of ancient Egypt.
In this form, Horus was sometimes known as Heru-sema-tawy, meaning Horus, uniter of two lands, since Horus ruled over the land of the dead, and that of the living. Since the tale became one of Horus’ own death and rebirth, which happened partly due to his own actions, he became a life-death-rebirth deity.
In the time of Christ the term “son of god” had come to mean the bearer of this title was the father god himself as well as his own son incarnated on earth. Horus was Osiris the father who incarnated as Horus the son.By assimilating Hathor, who had herself assimilated Bata, who was associated with music, and in particular the sistrum, Isis was likewise thought of in some areas in the same manner.
This particularly happened amongst the groups who thought of Horus as his own father, and so Horus, in the form of the son, amongst these groups often became known as Ihy (alternately: Ihi, Ehi, Ahi, Ihu), meaning sistrum player, which allowed the confusion between the father and son to be side-stepped.
The combination of this, now rather esoteric mythology, with the philosophy of Plato, which was becoming popular on the mediterranean shores, lead to the tale becoming the basis of a mystery religion.
Many Greeks, and those of other nations, who encountered the faith, thought it so profound that they sought to create their own, modelled upon it, but using their own gods. This lead to the creation of what was effectively one religion, which was, in many places, adjusted to superficially reflect the local mythology although it substantially adjusted them.
The religion is known to modern scholars as that of Osiris-Dionysus.