Pagan Studies of the Gods and Goddesses: Maat: The Ancient Egyptian Goddess

Maat

 

The Ancient Egyptian Goddess of Truth, Justice and Morality

Maat, also known as Ma’at or Mayet, was a female goddess in the ancient Egyptian religion who represented truth, justice, balance and morality. The daughter of the Egyptian sun deity Ra and wife of the moon god Thoth, she served a kind of spirit of justice to the Egyptians. She decided whether a person would successfully reach the afterlife, by weighing their soul against her feather of truth, and was the personification of the cosmic order and a representation of the stability of the universe. The earliest writings where she is mentioned date back to the Old Kingdom of Egypt more than 2,300 years ago.

The Egyptian culture was centered on order, everything had its due place in the world. This included religion, society and seasonal changes. The goddesses Ma’at came to represent the concept of balance and order because many Egyptians needed to explain the world around them. She was the one that kept the stars in motion, the seasons changing and the maintaining of the order of Heaven and Earth. The opposing force of this was known in ancient terms as “isfet” or chaos. Ancient Egyptians considered the desert beyond the Nile River to be chaotic; whereas, the area close to the Nile was considered orderly. Together, these two forces brought balance to the world in which they lived and was an important part of everyday Egyptian life

Ma’at is usually depicted in the form of a woman seated or standing with outstretched wings attached to both her arms. In other instances she is seen holding a scepter in one hand and an ankh (the symbol of life) in the other. Her statue was a stone platform depicting a stable foundation on which order was built. A common symbol associated with her is an ostrich feather, which she is almost always shown as wearing in her hair. Often, the Feather of Ma’at was a distinctive feature of her headdress. Less frequently images of the goddess showed her without a head, instead replaced by the feather. In other images the feather alone conveyed her presence. This feather has come to symbolize her being, as well as the representation of balance and order, it became a hieroglyph for “truth.”

Ma’at was associated with the law in ancient Egypt. From the 5th dynasty (c. 2510-2370 BC) onwards, the Vizier responsible for justice was called the Priest of Maat and in later periods judges wore images of her. The ‘Spirit of Maat’ was embodied by the chief judge in charge of the Egyptian law courts. He had a dual role, serving as both a priest and working directly in the law courts and justice system. The “Priest of Ma’at” began court hearings whilst wearing the feather of Ma’at and all other court officials wore small golden images of the goddess as a sign of their judicial authority, also as a symbol that their judgement would be balanced and fair. Priests drew the Feather of Ma’at on their tongues with green dye, so that the words they spoke were truth. The priest would rule on the earthly punishment according to the nature of the law that had been broken. Punishments included imposing fines, corporal punishment and in extreme cases capital punishment. It was considered a crime against Ma’at if a person engaged in jealousy, dishonesty, gluttony, laziness, injustice, and ungratefulness. The guilty Egyptian was deemed to have violated the Spirit of Ma’at and would face a further judgment in the Underworld during the ceremony of justification in the Hall of the Two Truths. The ‘Spirit of Ma’at’ detailed in the wisdom literature contained practical guidance with examples and some rules applied in previous law cases. These kinds of instructional texts have been described as “Ma’at Literature”.

The Book of the Dead is a collection of funerary texts and spells from ancient Egypt designed to assist a person’s journey through the underworld, into the afterlife. Without these spells, it was believed a person could not proceed. In the book is a spell called the “Forty-Two Declarations of Purity” or the “Negative Confessions”. This spell is comprised of confessions the tomb owner believed he committed throughout his life. It was believed that any crimes committed against Ma’at should be written down as they could easily be forgiven. In the Hall of Ma’at is where the judgement of the dead was performed in which Ma’at played an important role. The ceremony, called the “Judgment of Osiris,” was named after Osiris, the god of the dead. When the dead were judged, it was the feather of Ma’at that their hearts were weighed against. If a balanced scale was struck, the deceased was deemed worthy to meet Osiris in Paradise. The weightlessness of their hearts indicated that their souls were not burdened with sin and evil. If the heart of the deceased was found to be heavier than the feather of Ma’at, it would be devoured by Ammit, the soul-eating monster depicted with the head of a crocodile, the forequarters of a lion and the hindquarters of a hippopotamus. Other gods in the judgement hall who were part of the tribunal overseeing the weighing of the heart were also pictured holding a feather but the scales always represented Ma ́at.

Ancient Egyptians worshipped many gods, one was certainly Ma’at, although Egyptian archaeologists now believe she was perhaps more of a concept or an ideal. It’s reasonable to assume her principles aided the people of Egypt in being better individuals and that she could be compared to the conscience of a person. There was a small temple dedicated to Ma’at by Hatshepsut, the fifth pharaoh of the Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt, Egypt’s first female pharaoh, at the Karnak temple complex in Luxor Egypt. Largely in ruins, it still preserves inscriptions of some of the viziers of Ramesses III and XI. A previous Ma’at temple existed in this area, indicated by reliefs and stelae belonging to the reign of Amenhotep III. The temple is inside the Precinct of Montu, the smallest of three enclosures at Ipet-Isut.

 

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Ma’at

Ma’at (pronounced may-et) is the ancient Egyptian goddess of truth, justice, harmony, and balance (a concept known as ma’at in Egyptian) who first appears during the period known as the Old Kingdom (c. 2613 – 2181 BCE) but no doubt existed in some form earlier. She is depicted in anthropomorphic form as a winged woman, often in profile with an ostrich feather on her head, or simply as a white ostrich feather. The feather of Ma’at was an integral part of the Weighing of the Heart of the Soul ceremony in the afterlife where the heart of the soul of the dead person was weighed in the scales of justice against the feather. Historian Margaret Bunson writes:

She maintained a vital role in the mortuary rituals of Egypt where she weighed the hearts of the deceased. This mortuary role evolved over the decades into the principle of ma’at, the desired right attitude, which remained the ethical and moral foundation of the Egyptian people. (152)

NAME & SIGNIFICANCE

Ma’at is said to have been born of the sun god Ra (Atum) at the beginning of creation through the power of Heka, who was magic personified. Her name means “that which is straight” implying order, justice, and harmony. She is thought to have been present from the beginning of time when, from the primordial waters of Nun, the ben-ben (first mound of dry land) rose with Atum (or Ra, the sun god) standing upon it in the presence of the invisible Heka. In the moment that Ra spoke the world into creation, Ma’at was born. Her spirit of harmony and balance infused the creation and caused the world to operate rationally according to purpose. The principle of ma’at was the operational function of life and that of heka (magic) the power source which allowed for it. It is for this reason that she is considered more of a concept than a goddess with a specific personality and story like Isis or Hathor. Ma’at’s spirit is the spirit of all creation, and if one is in tune with that spirit, one will live well and have good reason to hope for eternal peace in the afterlife; if one refused to live in accordance with the principles of Ma’at, then one suffered the consequences which one would have brought upon one’s self. Margaret Bunson comments on this, writing:

Ma’at was the model for human behavior, in conformity with the will of the gods, the universal order evident in the heavens, cosmic balance upon the earth, the mirror of celestial beauty. Awareness of the cosmic order was evident early in Egypt; priest-astronomers charted the heavens and noted that the earth responded to the orbits of the stars and planets. The priests taught that mankind was commanded to reflect divine harmony by assuming a spirit of quietude, reasonable behavior, cooperation, and a recognition of the eternal qualities of existence, as demonstrated by the earth and the sky. All Egyptians anticipated becoming part of the cosmos when they died, thus the responsibility for acting in accordance with its laws was reasonable. Strict adherence to ma’at allowed the Egyptians to feel secure with the world and with the divine plan for all creation. (152)

Her importance is signified by one of the means by which the Egyptians wrote her name. Although she was often identified by the feather symbol, she was also designated by a plinth. The plinth was commonly seen below the thrones of deities but not used to relay their personal names. The fact that Ma’at was signified by a plinth suggests, according to Egyptologist Geraldine Pinch, that Ma’at was considered the foundation upon which Egyptian society was built (160). Her significance is also demonstrated in iconography showing her constantly at the side of Ra in his heavenly barge sailing with him across the sky during the day and helping him defend the boat against the serpent Apophis by night.

The ancient Egyptians also invoked her name in stories of a long-lost past on earth when all things were beautiful and there was no injustice. Such stories usually have to do with the time of Osiris and Isis and their just and benevolent rule of the earth before Osiris was murdered by Set. In some cases, though, it is Ma’at who rules the earth alone as Pinch notes:

Egyptian myths of a golden age included a period when Ma’at was ruler of earth. She was sometimes said to have withdrawn to the heavens because she was grieved by the wicked behavior of humanity. Ma’at could still be thought of as living with an individual like his or her good angel and accompanying that person into the afterlife. Eventually “joining Ma’at” became a euphemism for dying. (160)

It is in her mortuary role that Ma’at is best known to most people in the modern day. One of the most iconic images of ancient Egypt is the ceremony known as The Weighing of the Heart of the Soul in which Ma’at and her white feather of truth were most important.

MA’AT’S WHITE FEATHER OF TRUTH

The Egyptians believed strongly that every individual was responsible for his or her own life and that life should be lived with other people and the earth in mind. In the same way that the gods cared for humanity, so should humans care for each other and the earth which they had been provided with. This philosophy is evident in every aspect of Egyptian culture from the way they constructed their cities to the balance and symmetry of their temples and monuments. If one lived harmoniously in the will of the gods, then one was living in harmony with the concept of ma’at and the goddess who embodied that concept. One was free to live however one wanted, of course, and completely ignore the principle of ma’at, but eventually one would face the trial which awaited everyone: judgment in the Hall of Truth (also known as The Hall of Two Truths) in the afterlife. Wilkinson comments on this:

Her role was multifaceted but embraced two major aspects. On the one hand, Ma’at represesnted the universal order or balance – including concepts such as truth and right – which was established at the time of creation. This aspect is the basis of her relationship with Ra – for she is the order imposed upon the cosmos created by the solar demiurge and as such is the guiding principle who accompanied the sun god at all times…As a natural corollary of her identity with right balance and harmony Ma’at also actively represented the concept of judgement. In the Pyramid Texts the goddess appears in this role in dual form as ‘the two Ma’ats’ judging the deceased king’s right to the thrones of Geb [the rule of the earth] and in the later funerary literature it is in the Hall of the Two Truths (the dual form of Ma’at) that the judgment of the deceased occurs. The gods themselves, acting as the judges of the divine tribunal, are called ‘the council of Ma’at.’ (150)

To the Egyptians, the soul consisted of nine separate parts: the Khat was the physical body; the Ka one’s double-form; the Ba a human-headed bird aspect which could speed between earth and the heavens; Shuyet was the shadow self; Akh the immortal, transformed self; Sahu and Sechem aspects of the Akh; Ab was the heart, the source of good and evil; Ren was one’s secret name. All nine of these aspects were part of one’s earthly existence. When one died, the Akh (with the Sahu and Sechem) appeared before the god Osiris in the Hall of Truth and in the presence of the Forty-Two Judges to have one’s heart (Ab) weighed in the balance on a golden scale against Ma’at’s white feather of truth.

One would need to recite the Negative Confession (those actions one could honestly claim one had never committed in life) and then one’s heart was placed on the scale. If one’s heart was lighter than Ma’at’s feather, one waited while Osiris conferred with the Forty-Two Judges and the god of wisdom, Thoth, and, if considered worthy, was allowed to pass on through the hall and continue one’s existence in paradise; if one’s heart was heavier than the feather, it was thrown to the floor where it was devoured by the monster Ammut (the gobbler), and one then ceased to exist. No one could escape judgment, and the king of the land would have to stand before the scales of Ma’at and Osiris just as the lowest slave of field hand would also.

If one passed through judgment and avoided any of the pitfalls and traps set by demons and the forces of chaos, one arrived at The Field of Reeds, a paradise where one was greeted by those loved ones who had gone before and which was a mirror image of one’s life on earth. Margaret Bunson describes this afterlife:

Eternity itself was not some vague concept. The Egyptians, pragmatic and determined to have all things explained in concrete terms, believed that they would dwell in paradise, in areas graced by lakes and gardens. There they would eat the “cakes of Osiris” and float on the Lake of Flowers. The eternal kingdoms varied according to era and cultic belief but all were located beside flowing water and blessed with breezes, an attribute deemed necessary for comfort. The Garden of A’Aru was one such oasis of eternal bliss. Another was Ma’ati, an eternal land where the deceased buried a flame of fire and a scepter of crystal – rituals whose meanings are lost. The goddess Ma’at, the personification of cosmic order, justice, goodness, and faith, was the protector of the deceased in this enchanted realm, called Hehtt in some eras. Only the pure of heart, the uabt, could see Ma’at. (86-87)

In some images, the goddess is seen atop the scales at the moment of judgment and, in others, she is present near Osiris but she is always there even if only in the form of her feather placed on the scales. In the afterlife, she was thought to help those who had stood for her principles and lived their lives accordingly.

WORSHIP OF THE GODDESS

Although she was considered a very important deity, Ma’at had no temples and no official clergy (as was the case with Heka). She was honored by a small shrine set up in the temples of other gods. Even the one temple known to be erected in her honor by Queen Hatshepsut (1479-1458 BCE) was built within the temple precinct of the god Montu. The people venerated the goddess by living according to her principles and bringing whatever gifts they wanted to offer to her shrines in the temples of the other gods. Wilkinson writes,

Even the title ‘priest of Ma’at’ is often regarded as an honourific which may have been given to those who served as magistrates or who dispensed judicial decisions on her behalf and who apparently wore small golden images of the goddess as a sign of their judicial authority. (152)

The only “official” worship of Ma’at was when the king of Egypt made sacrifice to her upon ascending to the throne and “presented Ma’at” to the gods by offering a small image of her. In doing so, the king was asking for her help in maintaining divine balance in his rule. If the king could not achieve balance and promote harmony, then it was a clear sign that he was not fit to rule. Ma’at – and the vital concept she embodied – was crucial to the king’s success.

She was an important and all-pervasive figure in the Egyptian pantheon, even though very few stories are told of her and she had no temple or cultic following. The gods were said to live off Ma’at and, as the scholar Richard H. Wilkinson notes, most of the images of the king presenting Ma’at to the other gods at his coronation “are essentially identical to those in which the king presents food, wine, or other forms of sacrifice to the gods” (152). The gods would have, in fact, lived off Ma’at in that they were all bound by their own laws to observe harmony and balance and encourage those values in the human beings they cared for.

Temples to Ma’at were the temples of all the other gods because Ma’at was the underlying cosmic principle which made the lives of humans and gods possible. One worshiped the goddess Ma’at by living a life in accordance with the highest principles of justice, order, and harmony keeping in mind one’s neighbors and the earth one had been given to tend. Although goddesses like Hathor and Isis were more popular, and even eventually took on many of Ma’at’s attributes, she remained an important deity throughout Egypt’s history and defined the cultural values of the country for centuries.

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*First article*
By Bryan Hilliard
Published on Ancient Origins

References
“Ancient Egyptian Gods | Ma’at.” Ancient Egyptian Gods | Ma’at. http://www.kingtutone.com/gods/maat/
“Ma’at, Goddess of Egypt.” Egyptian Goddess Maat ***. http://www.landofpyramids.org/maat.htm
Seawright, Caroline. “Ma’at, Goddess of Truth, Balance, Order.” Ma’at, Ancient Egyptian Goddess of Truth and Order.
“Ancient Egypt: The Mythology – Feather.” Ancient Egypt: The Mythology – Feather. http://www.egyptianmyths.net/feather.htm
“Ancient Egypt: The Mythology – Ma’at.” Ancient Egypt: The Mythology – Ma’at. http://www.egyptianmyths.net/maat.htm

 

*Second article*
APA Style
Mark, J. J. (2016, September 15). Ma’at. Ancient History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://www.ancient.eu/Ma’at/

Chicago Style
Mark, Joshua J. “Ma’at.” Ancient History Encyclopedia. Last modified September 15, 2016. https://www.ancient.eu/Ma’at/.

MLA Style
Mark, Joshua J. “Ma’at.” Ancient History Encyclopedia. Ancient History Encyclopedia, 15 Sep 2016. Web. 13 Aug 2018.

License
Written by Joshua J. Mark, published on 15 September 2016 under the following license: Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike. This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon this content non-commercially, as long as they credit the author and license their new creations under the identical terms.

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Venus, The Goddess of Fridays & Love

Venus

 

Venus is the Roman goddess of love, beauty, prosperity, fertility, and victory. She was so important to Romans that they claimed her as their ancestress. According to mythology, her son Aeneas fled from Troy to Italy. He became the ancestor of Remus and Romulus, who founded Rome.

So, in a way, it’s accurate to say that Venus was the mother of Rome. However, Venus had strong ties to GREEK MYTHOLOGY, too. The Romans thought she was the same goddess as APHRODITE, the GREEK GODDESS of love. They adopted many of Aphrodite’s symbols, such as roses and myrtle, to represent Venus. Myrtle was so important to this goddess that, during her festival, worshipers and even statues of her wore myrtle wreaths.

Venus’s festival took place on April 1. It was called the Veneralia. Aside from draping Venus in flowers, followers also carefully washed her statue, and promised to fulfill the moral obligations of good Roman wives and husbands. Many men and women also asked her advice on matters of the heart.

Other symbols of Venus included the scallop shell, doves, dolphins, pomegranates, pearls, mirrors, and girdles. Many of these were also adopted from Aphrodite. So was her origin story; she was said to be born of seafoam.

One of the most famous works of Western art depicts this event: Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus. It portrays her as standing on a large shell, her hair covering her, surrounded by other mythical figures. This artwork from hundreds of years after the Romans worshiped Venus shows how important her mythology continued to be even after the fall of Rome.

Plenty of other artworks also depict Venus, her birth, and her other myths. In fact, painting Venus was so popular that, after the classical era, any unclothed female figure came to be called a ‘Venus’.

Venus had many titles, representing her importance. These included:

  • Venus Cloacina – the Purifier
  • Venus Felix – the Lucky, suggesting she could be prayed to for good luck
  • Venus Genetrix – Mother, representing her role as mother of rome
  • Venus Murcia – Myrtle, representing the importance of this plant to her
  • Venus Verticordia – the Changer of Hearts, representing her role in love
  • Venus Victrix – Victorious, showing that she was a godess of victory

Later on in the Roman empire, Venus became even more important to Rome. She got new festivals on August 12 and October 9, and a shrine on a famous hill in Rome. Why? Well, Julius Caesar claimed her as his ancestor. Many other famous Roman politicians began to vie for her favor, and eventually, as Caeser became the head of a dynasty, she became associated with his legacy.

Venus was married to Vulcan, the god of fire and the forge. Vulcan was notoriously ugly – one of the ugliest of the gods. But he loved her so much that he created a golden carriage to pull her around. The carriage was drawn by doves to match Venus’s own beauty.

Venus was also the mother of CUPID, the god of love. Next time you see a picture of Cupid – maybe on Valentine’s day – you can think of his mother, Venus.

Despite her identification with Aphrodite, Venus was a native Roman goddess who was not adopted from anywhere. Her name is exactly the same as a Roman word for a particular kind of love. That name can be traced all the way back to the language before Latin, to a word meaning “to desire or love”. It’s clear that Venus was with the Romans for a long time.

Because she was the goddess of love, Venus was very important to new brides. They made offerings to her before they got married. Some people also say that they gave their childhood toys to her when they left home to get married.

Venus had many temples in Rome, since she was so important. The earliest known one was founded in 295 BC. Later, in 217 BC, Rome decided to give Venus a newer and even better temple after they lost an important battle. They thought that Venus was on the side of their enemies, and wanted to sway her. From this story, it’s easy to see how important Venus was to victory for the Romans.

You might be wondering why we have a planet named Venus. The planet is, indeed, name after the goddess. It was visible in the ancient night sky at certain times of the year, and looked like a very bright star. Because it was so bright and beautiful, it was named Venus. Ironically, the planet Venus is covered with acid clouds, so the name is not very suitable for a goddess of love and fertility. Nevertheless, the name shows us how much of an impact the Romans had on science.

Although Venus is no longer worshiped by large numbers of people, we still remember her in art and science thanks to her widespread influence.

 

Source

Venus: https://greekgodsandgoddesses.net – Greek Gods & Goddesses, February 22, 2017

Deities of the Fields

Lammas/Lugnasadh Comments
Deities of the Fields

When Lammastide rolls around, the fields are full and fertile. Crops are abundant, and the late summer harvest is ripe for the picking. This is the time when the first grains are threshed, apples are plump in the trees, and gardens are overflowing with summer bounty. In nearly every ancient culture, this was a time of celebration of the agricultural significance of the season. Because of this, it was also a time when many gods and goddesses were honored. These are some of the many deities who are connected with this earliest harvest holiday.

Adonis (Assyrian)
Adonis is a complicated god who touched many cultures. Although he’s often portrayed as Greek, his origins are in early Assyrian religion. Adonis was a god of the dying summer vegetation. In many stories, he dies and is later reborn, much like Attis and Tammuz.

Attis (Phrygean)
This lover of Cybele went mad and castrated himself, but still managed to get turned into a pine tree at the moment of his death. In some stories, Attis was in love with a Naiad, and jealous Cybele killed a tree (and subsequently the Naiad who dwelled within it), causing Attis to castrate himself in despair. Regardless, his stories often deal with the theme of rebirth and regeneration.

Ceres (Roman)
Ever wonder why crunched-up grain is called cereal? It’s named for Ceres, the Roman goddess of the harvest and grain. Not only that, she was the one who taught lowly mankind how to preserve and prepare corn and grain once it was ready for threshing. In many areas, she was a mother-type goddess who was responsible for agricultural fertility.

Dagon (Semitic)
Worshipped by an early Semitic tribe called the Amorites, Dagon was a god of fertility and agriculture. He’s also mentioned as a father-deity type in early Sumerian texts and sometimes appears as a fish god. Dagon is credited with giving the Amorites the knowledge to build the plough.

Demeter (Greek)
The Greek equivalent of Ceres, Demeter is often linked to the changing of the seasons. She is often connected to the image of the Dark Mother in late fall and early winter. When her daughter Persephone was abducted by Hades, Demeter’s grief caused the earth to die for six months, until Persephone’s return.

Lugh (Celtic)
Lugh was known as a god of both skill and the distribution of talent. He is sometimes associated with midsummer because of his role as a harvest god, and during the summer solstice the crops are flourishing, waiting to be plucked from the ground at Lughnasadh.

Mercury (Roman)
Fleet of foot, Mercury was a messenger of the gods. In particular, he was a god of commerce and is associated with the grain trade. In late summer and early fall, he ran from place to place to let everyone know it was time to bring in the harvest. In Gaul, he was considered a god not only of agricultural abundance but also of commercial success.

Osiris (Egyptian)
An androgynous grain deity named Neper became popular in Egypt during times of starvation. He later was seen as an aspect of Osiris, and part of the cycle of life, death and rebirth. Osiris himself is, like Isis, associated with the harvest season. According to Donald MacKenzie in Egyptian Myths and Legend:

Osiris taught men to break up the land which had been under flood) to sow the seed, and, in due season, to reap the harvest. He instructed them also how to grind corn and knead flour and meal so that they might have food in plenty. By the wise ruler was the vine trained upon poles, and he cultivated fruit trees and caused the fruit to be gathered. A father was he unto his people, and he taught them to worship the gods, to erect temples, and to live holy lives. The hand of man was no longer lifted against his brother. There was prosperity in the land of Egypt in the days of Osiris the Good.

Parvati (Hindu)
Parvati was a consort of the god Shiva, and although she does not appear in Vedic literature, she is celebrated today as a goddess of the harvest and protector of women in the annual Gauri Festival.

Pomona (Roman)
This apple goddess is the keeper of orchards and fruit trees. Unlike many other agricultural deities, Pomona is not associated with the harvest itself, but with the flourishing of fruit trees. She is usually portrayed bearing a cornucopia or a tray of blossoming fruit. Despite her being a rather obscure deity, Pomona’s likeness appears many times in classical art, including paintings by Rubens and Rembrandt, and a number of sculptures.

Tammuz (Sumerian)
This Sumerian god of vegetation and crops is often associated with the cycle of life, death, and rebirth. Donald A. Mackenzie writes in Myths of Babylonia and Assyria: With Historical Narrative & Comparative Notes that:

Tammuz of the Sumerian hymns… is the Adonis-like god who lived on earth for a part of the year as the shepherd and agriculturist so dearly beloved by the goddess Ishtar. Then he died so that he might depart to the realm of Eresh-ki-gal (Persephone), queen of Hades.

 

Author

Patti Wigington, Author
Published on ThoughtCo

 

 

The Goddess Book of Days for Friday, July 6th

"Rise of the Phoenix"

The Goddess Book of Days for Friday, July 6th

The Bendidia in Thrace, dedicated to Bendi, Goddess of the Moon: Artemis, Diana, Hecate, Persephone, Erzulie, Hathor, Ata Bey, and Hina. In Greece, cakes for Artemis at the crossroads, the sixth day of the Moon/month, also a day of Erzulie.

 

Goddesses Associated With Friday

Friday For Freya: Astarte, Aphrodite, Erzulie, Aida Wooo, Eve, Venus, Diana, Isis, the Witch of Gaeta, Chalchiuhtlique

 

Source
The Goddess Book of Days
Diane Stein

 

The Study of Pagan Gods & Goddesses: Vidar

Vidar

Vidar (Old Norse Víðarr), his name might mean “Wide Ruler” he is the son of the all-father Odin and the giantess Gríðr. Yes, you read that correctly, some of the Æsir have previously been together with the Jotuns, also known as giants. Some of the giants were so beautiful that even the Gods could not resist their beauty.

Vidar is the second strongest of the Æsir only Thor is stronger than him, Vidar might have inherited some of his strength from the giant side of the family. Vidar lives in Asgard in a great hall called Vidi, it’s a peaceful home and the inside looks like a garden.

Vidar is known for being very silent he loves being at peace with nature. Vidar sometimes sits for hours in his garden working on a special shoe.
This special shoe is the strongest of all the shoes and is being made from all bits and pieces of leather that shoemakers throw in the trash when making new shoes in Midgard. Vidar will use this special shoe to revenge his father’s death Odin at Ragnarok (Ragnarök).

This is when Vidar will fight the fearsome Fenris wolf, by placing one foot on Fenris’s lower jaw and pressing his hands on the upper jaw until Fenris’s mouth will be pulled apart. Ragnarok is the doom of the Gods and the end of the world. But from death, there also comes life, and Vidar is one of the few Gods who will survive Ragnarok and rebuilt the new world

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Hymn to Vidarr

Vidar1Hail to the Silent God
Who sees much and speaks little,
Who waits patiently for the moment
Of injustice that needs to be equalized.
Hail to the God called upon
When cruelty has gone so far
That there is no making things right,
Hail to the God of cold vengeance
Who does what is necessary
To even up the debt,
To bring Fate’s balance true
Quicker than entropy would allow.
Hail to the God of the Thick-Soled Shoe
Whose steps are silent
So that he might approach from behind.
Hail to you, son of Grid the Wise
And Odin the Powerful,
May I know to call upon you
Only as a last resort.

— Seawalker, Author

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Vidar

It is said that Odin had an affair with the warrior goddess Grid, and that she bore him a son named Vidarr, who took after his father and became one of the honored Aesir Gods. He is one of the two Gods of Vengeance – the other being his half-brother Váli, as it seems that in ancient Norse culture one deity of vengeance was not enough.

Vidarr’s name may originally have meant “widely ruling”. He is known as “the Silent God”, meaning that he does not flaunt his vengeance; Vidarr is said to speak little, but be a fierce warrior when the moment is needed. It is also said that he is almost as strong as Thor, and that the Gods depend upon him in times of trouble. Some scholars theorize that his “silent God” appellation may have something to do with ancient rituals of vengeance; it may be that individuals who were preparing for a vengeance battle refrained from speaking as part of a ritual purification.

He is also known as the God of the Thick Shoe, as he is constantly in the process of building up the soles of his shoes. This is done so that if Ragnarok comes and he faces Fenrir, he will be able to put his foot on Fenrir’s enormous jaws and strike his heart through his throat. Traditionally, shoemakers (and before that, people who made their own shoes) were encouraged to dedicate the little scraps of leather they trimmed off of their new shoe soles to Vidarr, who would collect them and add them slowly to his own soles.

In the saga Grímnismál, Odin describes the halls of many Gods, including that of his son Vidarr:

Brushwood grows and high grass
widely in Vidar’s land
and there the son proclaims on his horse’s back
that he’s keen to avenge his father.

This latter point is a harbinger of the prophecy that if Ragnarok comes, Fenrir will be loosed and will slay Odin, but he will be slain in turn by Vidarr. Both brothers are said to survive Ragnarok and help to rebuild a new world after Surt’s fires have burnt down. To make an offering to Vidarr, give him a weapon – throw it into icy water, or a bog, or bury it in ice.

 

Reference

Norse Mythology

Odin’s Family Tribe of Asgard

Candle Meditation to Help Lady of the Abyss Get her Health Back

candles by just-a-bit-strange

Gather around Brother and Sisters for us to combine our positive energy to help Lady Abyss regain her health.

At 6:00 PM CT on Friday, June 8, 2018, I would like everyone to light a green or white candle, the size of it does not matter.

After your candle is lit stare at the base of its flame while concentrating on sending positive energy and healing to Lady Abyss. Do this meditation for a minimum of 10 minutes. Then put the candle out. Relight it every day at the same time and meditate with it as above until the candle has completely burned down. Take the leftover wax and bury it in Mother Earth asking her to also send her positive energy and grounding to Lady Abyss.

Also, remember the great daily fundraisers WOTC are doing for Lady Abyss medicine that costs $768.00 per bottle. They are offering some beautiful and useful items ar a large discount. The total SHipping Costs for all items you buy in a single day is one low price of just $6.95! So check out the daily Fundraiser posts either on here or WOTC

 

 

If you want to include a health God and/or Goddess to lend their power and energy to what you are sending Lady Abyss. here is one list I found on the internet:

 

 List of health deities

health deity is a god or goddess in mythology or religion associated with healthhealing and wellbeing. They may also be related to childbirth or Mother Goddesses. They are a common feature of polytheistic religions.

List of health deitiesAfrican

  • AgwuIgbo god of health and divination
  • Jengu, water spirits that bring good fortune and cure disease
  • !Xu, sky god of the Bushmen of southern Africa who is invoked in illness

The rest of this list can be found by clicking on this link: Health Detities

Any questions please email me at covenlifescoven@gmail.com

The World of Goddesses

THE WORLD OF GODDESSES

 

APHRODITE – Greek; Goddess of passion, sexual love. Aphrodite will assist you in pulling loving energy toward yourself.

 

ARADIA – Italian; Queen of the Witches, daughter of Diana. Aradia is an extremely powerful entity and a protectress of Witches in general.

ARIANRHOD: Welsh; Goddess of the stars and reincarnation. Call on Arianrhod to help with past life memories and difficulties as well as for contacting the Star People.

ARTEMIS: Greek; Goddess of the Moon.

ASTARTE: Greek; Fertility Goddess. Whether you wish to bear children or have a magnificent garden, Astarte will assist in your desire.

ATHENA: Greek; Warrior Goddess and Protectress. Someone giving you a rough time at work? Call on Athena to help you.

 

BAST: Egyptian; Goddess of Protection and Cats. Bast is great for vehicle travel as well as walking down a dark alley. Call on her essence in the form of a giant panther to see you through to your destination.

BRIGID: Celtic; Warrior Goddess and Protectress. Brigid is also a “Triple Goddess”. She is strong and wise. Call on her to help protect your children in a tough situation.

 

CERES: Roman; Goddess of the Harvest.

CERRIDWEN: Welsh; Moon and Harvest Goddess. Also associated with the Dark Mother aspect of the Crone.

DEMETER: Greek; Earth Mother archetype. Excellent Goddess where birthing or small children are involved.

DIANA: Roman; Moon Goddess and Goddess of the Hunt. Diana is many faceted. She is a seductress (as she enchanted her brother Lucifer to beget Aradia in the form of a cat) as well as a mother figure for Witches.

DRYADS: Greek; feminine spirits of the trees.

FLORA: Roman; Goddess of Spring and Birth. For beautiful flowers, babies and all bounties of Mother Earth.

FORTUNA: Roman; Goddess of Fate.

FREYA: Scandinavian; Moon Goddess and wife/lover of Odin. Also cammander of the
Valkryies.

HATHOR: Egyptian; Protectress of women in business. A Hathor’s Mirror is very important for the Witch. Hathor was cunning as well as beautiful.

HECATE: Greek; Moon Goddess as in Crone or Dark Mother.

HERA: Greek; Goddess of Marriage. If handfasting or some type of commitment is the issure, Hera is the Goddess to seek. Just remember that she has a vindictive side.

HESTIA: Greek; Goddess of Home and Hearth. Building a house, remodeling, or apartment hunting. Safety in the home and family unit.

INANNA: Sumarian; Goddess representation of the Mother.

ISIS: Egyptian; represents the complete Goddess or the Triple Goddess connotation in one being.

KALI: Hindu; Creative/Destructive Goddess. Protectress of abused women. Kali Ma should be called if a woman is in fear of physical danger. Her power is truly awesome.

LILITH: Hebrew; Adam’s first wife and said to be turned into a demoness, however, if you have ever read any of Zacharia Sitchin’s work, you may change your mind. In my opinion, Lilith was a Star woman bred with Adam. This would make her a Goddess of Higher Intelligence or a representation of the Star People.

MAAT: Egyptian; Goddess of Justice and Diving Order. Maat is the true balance of any situation. She plays no favorites and will dispense justice to all parties involved. Be sure your own slate is clean in the situation before you call her.

MORGAN: Celtic; Goddess of Water and Magick. Morgan was said to be married to Merlin. It was from him she learned her magick. She was also doubled with The Lady Of The Lake.

MUSES: Greek; Goddesses of Inspiration who vary in number depending upon the pantheon used.

NEPHTYS: Egyptian; Goddess of Surprises, Sisters and Midwives.

NORAS: Celtic; the three sisters of the Wyrd. Responsible for weaving fate – past, present and future.

NUIT: Egyptian; Sky Mother. Often seen depicted in circular fashion cradling the stars.

PERSEPHONE: Greek; Goddess of the Underworld as well as Harvest. Daughter of Demeter.

SELENE: Greek; Goddess of the Moon and Solutions. Appeal to Selene to bring a logical answer to any problem.

 

VALKYRIES: Scandinavian; women warriors who carried the souls of the men slain in a battle to heaven.

VENUS: Roman; Goddess of Love and Romance.

VESTA: Roman; Goddess of Fire.

 

 

 

Norse Goddesses

NORSE GODDESSES

 

Amma
A great mother in the Norse creation story, Amma (“grandmother”) gave birth to the race of Churls, who conducted business and learned trades.

 

Atla
Atla is a water goddess and daughter of Ran.

 

Edda
Edda means great grandmother, and the term eddas (“tales of great grandmother”) is the word used to describe the great stories in Scandinavian mythology. The dwarfish Edda was the first to create offspring with her husband Ai. She gave birth to the Thralls, the ones “enthralled” to service as food producers.

 

Eir
A companion of Frigg, Eir is the goddess of healing. She taught her art and the secret powers of herbs only to women, the only physicians in ancient Scandinavia.

 

Frigg
As one of the foremost goddesses in Norse mythology, Frigg is the patroness of marriage and motherhood. She assists women in labor and is associated with the naming of children. Frigg has the reputation of knowing everyone’s destiny, but never reveals it. Being the wife of the god Odin, she was known as the Queen of the Heavens. She is the central deity in Asgard where her hall, Fensalir (“water halls”) is located.

 

Freyja
Freyja is the goddess of beauty, love and fertility, and the main deity of the Vanir. She loves music, spring and flowers, and spends much time with the fey. She is seen wearing a cloak of bird feathers, which allows the wearer to change into a falcon and a beautiful necklace of the Brisings given to her by dwarves, which the Norse still refer to as the Milky Way. Freyja is also a mediator between peace and violence, and the bride of fallen heroes. Riding her chariot pulled by cats through battlefields, she picks up half of the dead corpses, leaves the other half for Odin, and takes their souls to her hall, Sessrumnir,
in Asgard.

 

Fulla
Fulla is Frigg’s handmaiden and messenger. Prayers are addressed to her forintercession with Frigg, and guidance in service.

 

Gefion
All women that die unmarried go to Gefion the goddess of virgins. She is also the bringer of good luck and prosperity. It is traditionally claimed that she is the creator of the Island of Zealand.

 

Gerd
A Scandinavian goddess of light, Gerd lives in a house ringed by fire and shoots flames from her hands. She is the most beautiful of creatures and the daughter of a female giant and a mortal man. The fertility god Frey became infatuated with Gerd and unsuccessfully courted her until he won her over with a spell in runes.

 

Hel
Hel is the goddess of death and resides in her hall, Elvidnir (misery) in the underworld of Niflheim. She is described as being half white and half black. She is responsible for plagues, sickness and catastrophes.

 

Hnossa
The youthful goddess of infatuation, Hnossa is the daughter of Freya. Her name means “jewel.”

 

Idun
Idun is the goddess of eternal youth and the keeper of the golden apples the Norse gods eat to remain young.

 

Imd
Imd is a Scandinavian water goddess and the daughter of Ran.

 

Lufn
The goddess of forbidden love, Lofn encourages illicit unions.

 

Modgud
The servant of Hel, Modgud is the maiden that stands guard on a gold-paved bridge on a path leading to the underworld.

 

Mothir
A mother in the Norse creation myth, Mothir gave birth to the Jarls or leaders, the ones who hunted, fought, and attended school.

 

Norns
The goddesses of the destinies of both gods and men are the three sisters called Urd (fate), Verdandi (necessity) and Skuld (being).

 

Nott
The goddess of night, Nott, is the mother of the earth, Jord, and of the day as well. She rides forth each evening on her horse Frostymane, from whose foaming mouth the dew falls.

 

Ran
Ran is goddess of the sea and storms, and wife to the sea god Aegir. She collects the drowned in her net and takes them to her hall located at the bottom of the ocean.

 

Saga
Saga, the all-knowing goddess, is an aspect of Frigg in some mythology. She lives at Sinking Beach, a waterfall of cool waves where she offers her guests drinks in golden cups. Her name, which means “omniscience,” is applied to the epic heroic tales.

 

Sif
Sif is the golden haired wife of Thor and the goddess of crops and fertility.

\

Sjofn
Sjofn is the goddess to inspire human passions.

\

Sjojungru
Sjojungru is a Scandinavian sea goddess.

 

Snotra
Snotra is the Scandinavian goddess of wisdom.

 

Valkyries
Valkyries are beautiful maidens that help Odin choose which brave warriors will be slain on the battlefield so they may then serve Odin. They are also Odins messengers, and when they ride forth on their winged horses, their armor shines and flickers causing the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights).

The Greek & Roman Gods/Goddesses

THE GREEK & ROMAN GODS/GODDESSES

A quick overview by Thomas Palmer

APOLLO – Also called Phoebus, the bright one. Identified with the sun. Said to be the most powerful of the Gods. Son of Zeus and Leto. Born on Delos, taken North and raised by the hyperboreans, he went to Delphi and killed the dragon Python, guardian of the oracle of Themis, but a ravager of the countryside.

Tall, handsome, outstanding in word and deed, he was the god of ever-renewed youth, archetype of virile beauty and masculine virtue. He was also known as a seducer & extremely arrogant. Talented in music, inventor of the lyre, he was the inspiration of poets and soothsayers. His oracles were expressed in verse.

He could cure illness and banish evil. He was a doctor who knew the purification rites and was invoked against plague. His image was set at dangerous places for protection (Lighting the ways) Nothing escaped his vision (light of day).

 

ARIES (MARS) – Son of Hera, born without male assistance. He was a supreme fighter, loved battle and cared little about issues, switching sides without scruple. He delighted in massacres.

He was god of war, not victory, and was thoughtless about winning, only fighting. Was on occasion disarmed by Athena, Goddess of restraint and forethought, to keep him from interfering in battles that did not concern him.

He was prolific in love, but also a rapist. He was run by his passions.

 

CRONOS (SATURN) – Son of Uranus (Heaven) and Gaea (Earth). Gaea, worn out by numerous pregnancies, requested to be free of this burden, so Cronos (Saturn) took up a sickle and cut off his father’s testicles.

His wife was Rhea, and he fathered Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Hades, Poseidon and Zeus. Was eventually deposed by Zeus.

His festivals, the Saturnalia, were a time of liberation and freedom for all and got pretty wild. They were celebrated from Dec. 17th until the new year. Saturn is the archetype for “father time”.

 

DIONYSUS – Son of Zeus and Semele. His escort was satyrs and marginally sane gods. He did not respect laws or customs, loved disguises, wild screaming, licentious dances and wild places. He was a drunken god with no home, living in the wild and eating raw meat. He encouraged excesses of all kinds.

Hera hated Dionysus because of Zeus’s infidelity and hounded him. She caused him to be killed by the Titans, but he was resurrected through the efforts of Athena, Zeus, Apollo, and Rhea. She drove him mad, but through Cybele he gained mastery of it. He drove many people mad for various reasons.

 

EROS (CUPID) – A primordial god, contemporary of Chaos, who existed before Cronos (Saturn) and Zeus. He came out of an egg that formed the earth and sky when it broke in two. He precipitated the embraces of Gaea (the Earth) and Uranus (the heavens), which resulted in the birth of Oceanus, Tethys, Coeus, and Cronos (Saturn). The Earth and heavens were so tightly embraced that none of the children could rise towards the light until Cronos (Saturn) castrated his father.

Cupid was associated with Aphrodite, who moderated his power. Where he was desire, instinct and violent sex, she was grace, tenderness and sweet pleasure.

Cupid made people lose their reason and paralyzed their wills, even inspiring Zeus to capricious sexual desires. As Eros he is said to be the child of Porus (Expedience) and Penia (Poverty). Like Penia, he was said to always be in search of something, and like Porus, he always found a means of attaining his aims.

 

FAUNUS – A Roman God, Son of Circe and Jupiter. Protector of the Roman peoples, he lived on Palatine Hill in Rome. His oracle was given in nightmares. Lupercalia was his festival, during which his priests ran through the streets with leather straps and struck any women they met with them to bestow health and fertility. The women were said to strip themselves to be better targets. He reproduced himself in the satyrs.

 

HADES (PLUTO) – Son of Cronos (Saturn), brother of Zeus and Poseidon. When the world was divided between the three brothers, the underworld and hell fell to Hades, while Zeus took the heavens and Poseidon the seas. He had a helmet that made him invisible. He ruled the dead, and forbade his subjects to leave his domain. He desired Persephone, but Zeus forbade the marriage. He then kidnapped her.

 

HEPHAESTUS (VULCAN) – Son of Zeus and Hera. He was lame, either because his mother, startled by his ugliness, dropped him, or because Zeus, angry that he took his mother’s side in a dispute, threw him from Olympos. He dwelled among mortals and became the god of black smithing and artistic metal work. He made a golden throne that imprisoned any who sat in it, and gave it to Hera to avenge himself for his fall from Olympos.

 

HERMES (MERCURY) – Son of Zeus and the nymph Maia. He stole some of Apollo’s cattle shortly after his birth and concealed them, sacrificing two to the Olympian Gods. This theft won him recognition as a God himself. When Apollo discovered the theft and Hermes was tried, his defense was so skillful and spirited that Zeus laughed and ruled that there should be a friendly settlement between the brothers.

Hermes was God of the spoken word and oratory and was the intermediary between
the Gods and men. Also the God of commerce and contracts, where language must be
precise to convey the correct meaning.

 

JANUS- ROMAN – The Two faced God. He was God of beginnings and presided over new
undertakings, gateways and initiations. He was revered as the first king of Rome and made order reign. His temple was left open in wartime so the God could act, but was closed in peace.

 

THE LARES – Roman – Twin children of Mercury by the rape of Lara. They protected
the land. Were symbolized by two boys and a dog.

 

PAN – Half man, half goat, with horns on his brow and lust in his eyes. Son of Hermes and a daughter of the Dryops, he was the God of pastoral regions and wilderness. Special friend of shepherds, he guided and protected them from afar. Protector of all wild things and places. His pipes had an aphrodisiac effect on those who heard them and induced mating.

Pan was a lecher and a drunk who constantly pursued nymphs who would flee in terror. Caves rang with their cries when he caught them. He was famous for his rages, where he attacked anyone who got in his way. His irrational behavior led people to flee him in “panic.” He was dangerous when he took possession of a being. The possessed, or panoleptic, took on his bearing and would wander in the wild, laugh madly, or throw themselves on others for sex without respect to gender, or have epileptic fits.

 

POSEIDON (NEPTUNE) – Son of Cronos (Saturn) and Rhea, he is represented wielding a trident and being pulled by monsters in a chariot. After Zeus’s victory over Cronos (Saturn), the young gods, who preferred life on earth, divided the various domains of earth. Poseidon chose the seas. He represented the hidden forces of germination and death. Together with his wife Amphitrite, he had powerful ties with Gaea, the Earth, mother of the Titans. As subterranean Gods, they shook the world from inside.

Poseidon caused earthquakes when he made love to his wife. The mystery isle of Atlanta belonged to Poseidon. Poseidon could provoke storms, set fire to rocks on shore and create springs of water. He had many children, most wicked and violent, like the Cyclops of the Oddessy.

 

PRIAPUS – A small god with a penis of immense size. Son of Zeus and Aphrodite, he was deformed by Hera in revenge. Aphrodite abandoned him in fear that she would be ridiculed for her ugly child. He began as a symbol of fertility, but of no significance. Although he was oversized, he was impotent. He seemed to fail at everything he tried. He was compared to an ass and ridiculed. He lent his name to the disease priapism, an incurable illness where the penis remains painfully erect but incapable of ejaculation. Ended up as an obscure gnome.

 

QUIRINUS – A Roman warrior god originally, he became a god who watched over the well being of the community, opposite to his former nature. Called an apparition of Romulus the founder of Rome.

 

ZEUS (JUPITER) – Son of Cronos (Saturn) and Rhea. He defeated Cronos (Saturn) in a ten year battle and then divided the realms with his brothers by lot, getting the heavens for his own. He was ruler and judge, the arbiter of disputes among Gods and men. His decisions were just and well balanced, showing no favoritism. He had several wives and many lovers, earning the title “all father” or “father god”. His infidelity caused much strife on Olympos and in the world through he raging of his wife, Hera.

 

 

GODDESSES

APHRODITE (VENUS) – Daughter of Zeus and Dione according to Homer. ‘The Woman Born Of The Waves’ according to Hesiod, born of the foam impregnated by the sexual organs of Uranus, which Cronos (Saturn) had severed and thrown into the sea. Plato identifies these as two separate Aphrodites. One Urania, the daughter of Uranus was goddess of pure love. The other, called Pandemos, (Root of pandemonium?) was the Goddess of ‘common’ love. She married Hephaestus, but was unfaithful with Aries.

Aries was caught and humiliated. Aphrodite fled in shame to Cyprus, and there took Thrace as lover, resulting in the birth of Eros (Love), Anteros (Love in return), Deimos and Phobos (Terror and Fear). She also was a lover of Adonis, a human shepherd named Anchises who fathered Aneas, of Hermes and of Dionysus who fathered Priapus. She was known for jealousy. She made Eos (Dawn) fall in love with Orion in spite for her seduction of Aries. She punished all who did not succumb to her. A beauty competition between Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite was proposed by Eris (Discord) with the prize being a golden apple. It was judged by the human Paris. All the Goddesses offered him bribes to win.Aphrodite offered Helen, most beautiful of all Humans. She won and thus caused the Trojan War. Eros was the primordial god of instinct. When Aphrodite appeared he adapted himself and joined forces with her. At this time the sexes became distinct. Aphrodite’s kingdom was the place of desire. Young girls were said to pass from the place of Artemis (chastity and games) to the place of Aphrodite, where they become women. Considered by some to be an affliction or madness that women must bear. She represents female lust and passion, and demonstrates its potential for destructive effect. Young girls gave their virginity to the Goddess by living in her temples and offering themselves to passing strangers.

 

ARTEMIS (DIANA) – Daughter of Zeus and Leto. The huntress, she is seen as the forever young goddess. She is proud of her shapeliness and keeps her virginity to protect it. She was a warrior, joining Apollo to kill Python and other exploits. Anyone who offended her or tried to win her virginity paid dearly. They were killed, transformed, or mutilated. She defended modesty and punished illicit love and excesses. She avenged rape. She also took out her anger on those virgins who gave in to love. She did not mind marriage, but when a virgin married she was to give up all the things of childhood, toys and dolls, locks of hair, etc., leaving them on her altar.

 

ATHENA (MINERVA) – Daughter of Zeus and Metis. Metis was swallowed by Zeus, and when it was time for Diana’s birth, he had Hephaestus crack open his skull and she came forth in full armor shouting a war cry. Also a virgin Goddess, she lived among men without fear due to her warrior’s skills. She was the protectress of Odysseus and other men. She was a warrior who used strategy, ambush, cunning, and magic rather than brute force. Her shield bore the head of a gorgon and she paralyzed her adversaries and made her companions invincible. She was against excess, both in war and every day life. She taught men to control their savagery and to tame nature. Was the initiator of all skills. Taught Pandora to weave, trained horses and invented the chariot. She was the
patroness of blacksmiths and carpenters. She built the first ship and the boat of the Argonauts.

 

CYBELE – Was born as Agditis, a hermaphrodite monster, from a stone fertilized by Zeus. The Gods decided to mutilate him (?) and made the Goddess Cybele from him. Her love for Attis, a human shepherd, drove him insane and he castrated himself for her. Her priests were eunuchs dressed as women. It is from the temple of Cybele that the reference in the Wiccan Charge of the Goddess to “At mine Altars, the youths of Lacedæmon in Sparta made due sacrifice.”, comes.

 

DEMETER (CERES) – Daughter of Cronos (Saturn) and Rhea, the Goddess of corn and grain. Demeter bore Persephone. She renounced her duties as goddess and began a fast and went into exile from Olympos when her daughter was abducted into the under-world until her daughter should be returned to her. She caused the spread of the know-ledge of the cultivation of corn.

During her exile the earth became barren until Zeus demanded that Hades return Persephone. She had eaten from a pomegranate, however, and was forever bound to the underworld. As a compromise, she was allowed to rise up into the world with the first growth of spring and return to the underworld at seed sowing in fall. And so the Earth is barren in the winter, while Demeter mourns, and becomes fruitful again when Persephone is released. Demeter made herself known to the children of Eleusis, who raised her a temple and instituted the Eleusinian mysteries. In Sept.-Oct., the candid-ates for initiation purified themselves in the sea, then processed down the sacred path from Athens to Eleusis. The rites remain secret, but involve a search for a mill for grind-ing corn, and a spiritual experience. During the rites, men women and slaves were all treated as equal.

 

ERINYES, THE – Alecto, Tisiphone, and Megaara. They were born from drops of blood that fell from Uranus’s severed Penis, and did not recognize the authority of the gods of Olympos. They hounded and tortured their victims, driving them mad. Also called the Eumenides, The Good Ones, to divert their wrath. Assimilated by the Romans as the uries. They were implacable and demanded punishment for every murder. To them murder was a stain. The murderer had to be banished and driven mad before purifica-tion could occur. They were blind and carried out their punishments indefinitely.

 

HARPIES – Greek genii/spirits- Daughters of Thaumes and Electra: Nicotho or swift-footed, Ocypete or swift of flight, and Celaeno, the dark one. Were either women with wings or birds with the heads of women. Called the ‘hounds of Zeus’ and seized children and souls. Skillful at torture, they could pester a victim into madness.

 

HERA (JUNO) – Daughter of Cronos (Saturn) and Rhea brought up by Oceanus and Tethys. Married Zeus. It was claimed that each year Hera regained her virginity by bathing in the spring of Canathus. According to some traditions Hephaestus, Aries, and Hebe (Youth) were conceived by her alone without male assistance. As Zeus’ legitim-ate wife, her fury at his infidelities was boundless, and she took vengeance on his lovers and any progeny of the affair without distinction. Zeus was often reduced to hiding or disguising his children to protect them.

 

HESTIA/VESTA – Daughter of Cronos (Saturn) and Rhea. Goddess of the hearth, she had the privilege of retaining her virginity forever. Her symbol was the fire, which was never allowed to go out. The young bride and newborn child were presented to her and she was invoked before each meal. Her temple in Rome was served by the young vestal virgins.

 

MOERAE (PARCAE) – The Three Fates. Atropos, Clotho, Lachesis, daughters of Zeus and Themis. The first spins a thread symbolizing birth. The second unravels it, symbolizing life’s processes, and the third cuts it, symbolizing death. They too were blind and ruled destiny. They were also symbols of a limit which could not be overstepped. Were connected to their sisters, the furies, who punished crime.

 

MUSES – Nine daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne (Memory). Calliope ruled epic poetry, Clio ruled history, Polyhymnia mime, Euterpe the flute, Terpsichore dance, Erarto lyric art, Melpomene tragedy, Thalia comedy and Urania astronomy. They delighted the Gods and inspired poets. The Muses created what they sang about. By praising the gods, they completed their glory, by boasting of valiant warriors, they wrote their names in history. They were celebrated by the Pythagoreans as the keepers of the knowledge of harmony.NEMESIS – Daughter and Night. Ruled over the distribution of wealth, looked after balance, took revenge on arrogance and punished excess, including excessive happiness, riches and power. Moderation in all things was her creed.

 

NYMPHS – Daughter of Zeus and usually part of a greater god(esses) entourage. Not immortal, though long lived. Mostly lived in caves. Were dark powers whose beauty alone could lead to madness. Were seducers of many of the gods. Were considered secondary deities.

 

THETIS – Daughter of the old man of the sea. Very beautiful. Mother of Achilles. Saved Zeus from a plot to overthrow him and was an ally of Hera. Saved the Argonauts as they passed between the clashing rocks.

Egyptian Gods and Goddesses

EGYPTIAN GODS and GODDESSES

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Amen

(Amon, Amun, Ammon, Amoun)

Amen’s name means “The Hidden One.” Amen was the patron deity of the city of
Thebes from earliest times, and was viewed (along with his consort Amenet) as a
primordial creation-deity by the priests of Hermopolis. His sacred animals were
the goose and the ram.

Up to the Middle Kingdom Amen was merely a local god in Thebes; but when the
Thebans had established their sovereignty in Egypt, Amen became a prominent
deity, and by Dynasty XVIII was termed the King of the Gods. His famous temple,
Karnak, is the largest religious structure ever built by man. According to
Budge, Amen by Dynasty XIX-XX was thought of as “an invisible creative power
which was the source of all life in heaven, and on the earth, and in the great
deep, and in the Underworld, and which made itself manifest under the form of
Ra.” Addition-lly, Amen appears to have been the protector of any pious devotee
in need.

Amen was self-created, according to later traditions; according to the older
Theban traditions, Amen was created by Thoth as one of the eight primordial
deities of creation (Amen, Amenet, Heq, Heqet, Nun, Naunet, Kau, Kauket).

During the New Kingdom, Amen’s consort was Mut, “Mother,” who seems to have
been the Egyptian equivalent of the “Great Mother” archetype. The two thus
formed a pair reminiscent of the God and Goddess of other traditions such as
Wicca. Their child was the moon god Khons.

See also Amen-Ra, Khons, Mut, Thoth.
——————————————————————————–
Amen-Ra

(Amon-Re)

A composite deity, devised by the priests of Amen as an attempt to link New
King- dom (Dyn. XVIII-XXI) worship of Amen with the older solar cult of the god
Ra. In a union of this sort, the deities are said to indwell one another – so
we have the power represented by Amen manifesting through the person of Ra (or
vice versa). This sort of relationship is common among Egyptian gods,
particularly among cosmic or national deities. It is an example of how the
Egyptian gods are viewed, as Morenz puts it, of having “personality but not
individuality.”

See also Amen, Ra.
——————————————————————————–
Amset

(Imsety, Mestha; Golden Dawn, Ameshet)

One of the Four Sons of Horus, Amset was represented as a mummified man. He
was the protector of the liver of the deceased, and was protected by the goddess
Isis.

See also Four Sons of Horus, Isis.
——————————————————————————–
Anubis

(Anpu; Golden Dawn, Ano-Oobist)

Anubis (Greek, from Egyptian Anpu) 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.

Owing perhaps to the jackal’s tendency to prowl around tombs, he became assoc-
iated 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.

See also Nephthys, Osiris, Set.
——————————————————————————–
Anuket

In Upper Egypt, around Elephantine, Anuket was worshipped as the companion
(generally the daughter) of Khnum and Sati. Her sacred animal was the gazelle.
She was believed to be the dispenser of cool water, and wore a feathered crown
on her human head.

See also Khnum, Sati.
——————————————————————————–
Apis

An early deity, probably the best known Egyptian deity represented only as an
animal, and never as a human with an animal’s head. Apis was most closely
linked with Ptah, and his cult center was Memphis. He was primarily a deity of
fertility. He was represented as a bull crowned with the solar disk and uraeus-
serpent. A sacred Apis bull was kept in Memphis, and there is a great mass
burial of Apis bulls, the Serapeum, located there.

See also Ptah.
——————————————————————————–
Aten

(Aton)

The sun itself, recognized first in the Middle Kingdom, and later becoming an
aspect of the sun god. In the reign of Amenhotep IV during Dynasty XVIII, Aten
was depicted as a disk with rays, each ray terminating in a human hand and
bestowing symbols of “life” upon those below. Aten was declared the only true
deity during this period, but the worship of Amen and the other deities was
restored by Amenhotep IV’s successor Tutankhamen. Morenz believes the name
“Aten” was pronounced something like “Yati” during the height of its cult.

——————————————————————————–
Atum

A primordial creator god, worshipped as the head of the Heliopolitan family of
gods. Father of Shu and Tefnut, and in later times believed to be one with the
sun god Ra.

See also Ra.
——————————————————————————–
Bast

(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 the
serpents which attack the sun god were usually represented in papyri as being
killed by cats).

She was viewed as the beneficent side of the lioness-goddess Sekhmet. See also
Sekhmet.
——————————————————————————–
Bes

A deity of either African or Semitic origin; came to Egypt by Dynasty XII.
Depicted as a bearded, savage-looking yet comical dwarf, shown full-face in
images (highly unusual by Egyptian artistic conventions). Revered as a deity of
household pleasures such as music, good food, and relaxation. Also a protector
and entertainer of children.

——————————————————————————–
Duamutef

(Tuamutef; Golden Dawn, Thmoomathph)

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.

See also Four Sons of Horus, Neith.
——————————————————————————–
Edjo

A serpent goddess of the Delta, a symbol and protrectress of Lower Egypt, the
counterpart of Nekhbet in Upper Egypt, worn as part of the king’s crown.

See also Nekhbet.
——————————————————————————–
Four Sons of Horus

The four sons of Horus were the protectors of the parts of the body of Osiris,
and from this, became the protectors of the body of the deceased. They were:
Amset, Hapi, Duamutef, and Qebhsenuef. They were protected in turn by the
goddesses Isis, Nephthys, Neith, and Selket. See also Amset, Duamutef, Hapi,
Qebehsenuf.
——————————————————————————–
Geb

(Seb)

The god of the earth, son of Shu and Tefnut, brother and husband of Nut, and
father of Osiris, Set, Isis, and Nephthys. 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. It
was said that Geb would hold imprisoned the souls of the wicked, that they might
not ascend to heaven. Note Geb is masculine, contrasting with many other
traditions of Earth being female.

See also Nut.
——————————————————————————–
Hadit

See Horus of Behedet.
——————————————————————————–
Hapi

(Golden Dawn, Ahephi)

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.

The name Hapi, spelled with different hieroglyphs, in most but not all cases, is
also the name of the god who was the personification of the River Nile, depicted
as a corpulent man (fat signifying abundance) with a crown of lilies (Upper
Nile) or papyrus plants (Lower Nile).

See also Four Sons of Horus, Nephthys.
——————————————————————————–
Hathor

(Het-heru, Het-Hert)

A very old goddess of Egypt, worshiped as a cow-deity from earliest times. The
name “Hathor” is the Greek corruption of the variants Het-Hert (“the House
Above”) and Het-Heru (“the House of Horus”). Both terms refer to her as a sky
goddess. She was frequently equated with Isis. She was worshipped at Edfu as
the consort of Horus. At Thebes, she was considered the goddess of the dead.
She was also the patron of love, dance, alcohol, and foreign lands.

See also Isis.
——————————————————————————–
Harpocrates

(Hor-pa-kraat; Golden Dawn, Hoor-par-kraat)

“Horus the Child”, the son of Isis and Osiris as a little suckling child,
distinguished from Horus the Elder, who was the patron deity of Upper Egypt.
Represented as a young boy with a child’s sidelock of hair, sucking his finger.
The Golden Dawn attributed Silence to him, presumably because the sucking of
the finger is suggestive of the common “shhh” gesture. See also Horus.
——————————————————————————–
Heqet

A primordial goddess with the head of a frog, worshipped as one of the Eight
Gods at Hermopolis, and seen as the consort of Khnum at Antinoe.

See also Khnum.
——————————————————————————–
Heru-ra-ha

A composite deity in Crowley’s quasi-Egyptian mythology; composed of Ra-Hoor-
Khuit and Hoor-par-kraat. The name, translated into Egyptian, means something
approximating “Horus and Ra be Praised!” Of course, this could simply be
another corruption due to the inferior Victorian understanding of the Egyptian
language, and it is possible Crowley had something entirely different in mind
for the translation of the name.

See also Ra-Horakhty, Harpocrates.
——————————————————————————–
Horus

(Hor)

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. 3100 B.C.E. when
Upper Egypt conquered Lower Egypt and formed the unified kingdom of Egypt.

See also Isis, Osiris, Set.
——————————————————————————–
Horus of Behedet

(Hadit)

A form of Horus worshipped in the city of Behdet, shown in the well-known form
of a solar disk with a great pair of wings, usually seen hovering above
important scenes in Egyptian religious art. Made popular by Aleister Crowley
under the poorly transliterated name “Hadit”, the god appears to have been a way
of depicting the omnipresence of Horus. As Crowley says in Magick in Theory and
Practice, “the infinitely small and atomic yet omnipresent point is called
HADIT.”

See also Horus.
——————————————————————————–
Imhotep

(Imouthis)

Imhotep was the architect, physician, scribe, and grand vizier of the IIIrd
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.

See also Ptah, Thoth.
——————————————————————————–
Isis

(Auset)

Perhaps the most important goddess 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 Amset, 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.

See also Horus, Osiris.
——————————————————————————–
Khepri

(Keper)

The creator-god, according to early Heliopolitan cosmology; assimilated with
Atum and Ra. The Egyptian root “kheper” signifies several things, according to
context, most notably the verb “to create” or “to transform”, and also the word
for “scarab beetle”. The scarab, or dung beetle, was considered symbolic of the
sun since it rolled a ball of dung in which it laid its eggs around with it –
this was considered symbolic of the sun god propelling the sphere of the sun
through the sky.

See also Ra.
——————————————————————————–
Khnum

Appearing as a ram-headed human, Khnum was worshipped most at Antinoe and
Elephantine. He was another creator-god, represented as fashioning human beings
on his pottery wheel. His consort was variously Heqet, Neith, or Sati.

See also Sati.
——————————————————————————–
Khons

(Chons)

The third member (with his parents Amen and Mut) of the great triad of Thebes.
Khons was the god of the moon. The best-known story about him tells of him
playing the ancient game senet (“passage”) against Thoth, and wagering a portion
of his light. Thoth won, and because of losing some of his light, Khons cannot
show his whole glory for the entire month, but must wax and wane. The main
temple in the enclosure at Karnak is dedicated to him.

See also Amen, Mut, Thoth.
——————————————————————————–
Maat

Considered the wife of Thoth and the daughter of Ra by various traditions,
Maat’s name implies “truth” and “justice” and even “cosmic order”, but there is
no clear English equivalent. She is an anthropomorphic personification of the
concept Maat and as such has little mythology. Maat was represented as a tall
woman with an ostrich feather (the glyph for her name) in her hair. She was
present at the judgement of the dead; her feather was balanced against the heart
of the deceased to determine whether he had led a pure and honest life.

See also Thoth.
——————————————————————————–

Min

(Menu, Amsu)

A form of Amen depicted holding a flail (thought to represent a thunderbolt in
Egyptian art) and with an erect penis; his full name was often given as Menu-ka-
mut-f (“Min, Bull of his Mother”). Min was worshiped as the god of virility;
lettuces were offered as sacrifice to him and then eaten in hopes of procuring
manhood; and he was worshiped as the husband of the goddess Qetesh, goddess of
love and femininity.

See also Amen, Qetesh.
——————————————————————————–
Month

(Mentu, Men Thu)

The principal god of Thebes before the rise of the Amen cult; appeared as a
falcon-headed man and often united with Horus. Primarily a war god.

——————————————————————————–
Mut

(Golden Dawn, Auramooth)

The wife of Amen in Theban tradition; the word mut in Egyptian means “mother”,
and she was the mother of Khonsu, the moon god.

See also Amen, Khons.
——————————————————————————–

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.

See also Ptah.
——————————————————————————–

Neith

(Net, Neit; Golden Dawn, Thoum-aesh-neith)

A very ancient goddess of war, worshiped in the Delta; revered as a goddess of
wisdom, identified with Athena by the Greeks; in later traditions, the sister of
Isis, Nephthys, and Selket, and protectress of Duamutef, the god of the stomach
of the deceased. Mother of the crocodile god Sobek.

See also Sobek.
——————————————————————————–
Nekhbet

Upper Egyptian patron goddess, represented as a vulture in iconography, and
often part of the crown of the pharaoh, along with her Lower Egyptian
counterpart Edjo.

See also Edjo.
——————————————————————————–
Nephthys

(Nebt-het)

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. See also Isis, Osiris, Set.
——————————————————————————–
Nut

(Nuit)

The goddess of the sky, daughter of Shu and Tefnut, sister and wife of Geb,
mother of Osiris, Set, Isis, and Nephthys. Described by Crowley in his Magick
in Theory and Practice thus: “Infinite space is called the goddess NUIT.”

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.

Her relationship to Hadit is an invention of Crowley’s with 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.

See also Geb, Shu.
——————————————————————————–
Osiris

(Ausar)

The god of the dead, and the god of the resurrection into eternal life; ruler,
protector, and judge of the deceased, and his prototype (the deceased was in
historical times usually referred to as “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 living thing 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 XVIII
he was probably the most widely worshipped god in Egypt. His popularity endured
until the latest phases of Egyptian history; relief’s still exist of Roman
emperors, conquerors of Egypt, dressed in the traditional garb of the Pharaohs,
making offerings to him in the temples.

See also Anubis, Horus, Isis, Nephthys, Set.
——————————————————————————–
Pharaoh

(deified kings)

From earliest times in Egypt the pharaohs were worshipped as gods: the son of
Ra, the son of Horus, the son of Amen, etc. depending upon what period of
Egyptian history and what part of the country is being considered. It should be
noted that prayers, sacrifices, etc. to the pharaohs were extremely rare, if
they occurred at all – there seems to be little or no evidence to support an
actual cult of the pharaoh. The pharaoh was looked upon as being chosen by and
favored by the gods, his fathers.

——————————————————————————–
Ptah

Worshipped in Memphis from the earliest dynastic times (c.3100 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).

——————————————————————————–
Qebehsenuf

(Kabexnuf, Qebsneuef)

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.

See also Four Sons of Horus, 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.

See also Min.
——————————————————————————–
Ra

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 falcon-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.

During dynastic Egypt Ra’s cult center was Annu (Hebrew “On”, Greek
“Heliopolis”, modern-day “Cairo”). In Dynasty V, the first king, Userkaf, was
also Ra’s high priest, and he added the term Sa-Ra (“Son of Ra”) to the titulary
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 superseded 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.

See also Amen-Ra, Horus.
——————————————————————————–

 

Ra-Horakhty

(Ra-Hoor-Khuit)

“Ra, who is Horus of the Horizons.” An appellation of Ra, identifying him with
Horus, showing the two as manifestations of the singular Solar Force. The
spelling “Ra-Hoor-Khuit” was popularized by Aleister Crowley, first in the Book
of the Law (Liber AL vel Legis).

See also Horus, Ra.
——————————————————————————–
Sati

The goddess of Elephantine, and the consort of Khnum. Together with their
companion Anuket, dispenser of cool water. Represented with human head, the
crown of Upper Egypt, and the horns of gazelles.

See also Anuket, Khnum.
——————————————————————————–
Seker

A god of light, protector of the spirits of the dead passing through the
Underworld en route to the afterlife. Seker was worshiped in Memphis as a form
of Ptah or as part of the compound deities Ptah-seker or Ptah-seker-ausar. Seker
was usually depicted as having the head of a hawk, and shrouded as a mummy,
similar to Ptah.

See also Ptah.
——————————————————————————–
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, became a peaceful protectress of the righteous, closely linked with the
benevolent Bast.

See also Bast, Ptah.
——————————————————————————–

 

Selket

(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 was the protectress of Qebehsenuf, 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.

See also Isis.
——————————————————————————–
Serapis

A Ptolemaic period god, devised by the Greeks from Osiris and Apis. Supposedly
the consort of Isis, god of the afterlife and fertility. Also physician and
helper of distressed worshippers. Never obtained much following from the native
Egyptian population. His cult center was Alexandria.

See also Apis, Osiris.
——————————————————————————–
Set

(Seth)

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
First 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.

See also Anubis, Horus, Isis, Nephthys, Osiris.
——————————————————————————–
Shu

The god of the atmosphere and of dry winds, son of Ra, brother and husband of
Tefnut, father of Geb and Nut. Represented in hieroglyphs by an ostrich feather
(similar to Maat’s), which he is usually shown wearing on his head. He is
generally shown standing on the recumbent Geb, holding aloft his daughter Nut,
separating the two.

The name “Shu” is probably related to the root shu meaning “dry, empty.” Shu
also seems to be a personification of the sun’s light. Shu and Tefnut were also
said to be but two halves of one soul, perhaps the earliest recorded example of
“soulmates.”

See also Tefnut.
——————————————————————————–
Sobek

The crocodile-god, worshipped at the city of Arsinoe, called Crocodilopolis by
the Greeks. Sobek was worshipped to appease him and his animals. According to
some evidence, Sobek was considered a fourfold deity who represented the four
elemental gods (Ra of fire, Shu of air, Geb of earth, and Osiris of water). In
the Book of the Dead, Sobek assists in the birth of Horus; he fetches Isis and
Nephthys to protect the deceased; and he aids in the destruction of Set.

——————————————————————————–
Sothis

Feminine Egyptian name for the star Sirius, which very early meshed with Isis
(being the consort of Sahu-Osiris, which was Orion). Also associated with
Hathor.

See also Hathor, Isis.
——————————————————————————–
Tefnut

The goddess of moisture and clouds, daughter of Ra, sister and wife of Shu,
mother of Geb and Nut. Depicted as a woman with the head of a lioness, which
was her sacred animal. The name “Tefnut” probably derives from the root teftef,
signifying “to spit, to moisten” and the root nu meaning “waters, sky.”

See also Shu.
——————————————————————————–
Thoth

(Tahuti)

The god of wisdom, Thoth was said to be self-created at the beginning of time,
along with his consort Maat (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. The name “Thoth” is the Greek corruption of the original Egyptian
Tahuti. 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.

Thoth served in Osirian myths as the vizier (chief advisor and minister) of
Osiris. He, like Khons, is a god of the moon, and is also the god of time,
magic, and writing. He was considered the inventor of the hieroglyphs.

See also Amen, Maat.
——————————————————————————–
Thoueris

(Ta-urt)

A hippopotamus goddess, responsible for fertility and protecting women in
childbirth. Partner of Bes.

See also Bes.