Ancient Egypt and Us

Ancient Egypt Gods
The city of Heliopolis was the chief religious center of Egypt during the Old Kingdom and later.The Heliopolis family of gods were the most important until the rise of Thebes and its chief god Amen in the New Kingdom. The 'Ennead' of Heliopolis comprised the nine inner family circle of ancient Egyptian gods:

  • creator Atum Re
  • Shu (air)
  • Geb (earth)
  • Married Nut (sky)
  • Tefnut (water)
  • Osiris married Isis (love)
  • Nephthys marrried Seth
  • Horus married Hathor
  • The principal ancient Egypt gods were Re, Osiris, Isis, Horus and Hathor. Other principle ancient Egyptian gods and their forms were; Bastet (cat), Bes (dwarf), Khnum (ram), Maat (truth/order), Mentu (war), Serapis (bull), Sekhmet (lion) Thoth (Ibis), Sobek (crocodile), Anubis (embalming), Ptah (Memphis) and Amen (Thebes).

    The legend of Osiris and Isis is one of the most celebrated of the ancient world. It spread first to Greece and then to Rome where there was an active temple dedicated to Isis (below left) until Christianity was adopted and Paganism was then banned in c391AD.The legend was recorded on temple walls throughout Ancient Egypt. The best preserved is on the walls of the Ptolemaic (Greek) Horus temple at Edfu. The ancient Egyptian god Osiris had become lord of the earth and protector of mankind. His faithful sister and wife was Isis and his evil brother was Seth. Seth was jealous of the love between Osiris and Isis and plotted their downfall. Seth contrived a battle with Osiris and then killed him, cutting up his body into thirteen pieces and casting the pieces into the Nile to be consumed by crocodiles. Isis heard of this and recovered all but one of the pieces of her beloved husband and prepared the body for burial with the help of the god of the underworld and embalmment, Anubis the jackal headed god.

    Anubis (shown below right from a Theban book of the dead) ) momentarily helped Isis and Nephthys bring Osiris back to life as he lay on the embalming table being mummified before passing to become the ancient Egyptian god king of the underworld. Isis thus became pregnant by Osiris and later gave birth to their son Horus. When Horus grew to become a man he sought out his evil uncle Seth and engaged him in battle to revenge his father. Both were mutilated but Seth was defeated and Horus assumed the earthly throne of his father Osiris. Horus however lost an eye in the battle but this was later restored to him.

    Eye of Horus today

    The 'Sacred eye of Horus' was called the 'wedjet' (below), its hieroglyph is meant to represent a human eye, the teardrop markings below it are those of the Peregrine falcons eye. The eye was considered to be a strong lucky charm, originating from the Osiris - Isis divine legend. Mediterranean sailors still frequently paint the 'wedjet' symbol on the bow of their vessels to ensure safe sea travel. Often worn in the form of a necklace or earring, the ancient Egypt god 'wedjet' is still worn in Greece, Turkey, North Africa and parts of the Middle East. It is called the 'eye of Horus' or the all seeing 'evil eye'. In the west the simplified version of the decorative eye hieroglyph has become simplified as the RX symbol of the pharmacist and can be seen every day on prescriptions and prescription packaging.