I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
A protective deity of the underworld.
Imhotep (Amenhotep, Amenhotep-Son-of-Hapu)
Imhotep was the chief minister of the Pharaoh Djoser. He was the architect of the Step Pyramid, which was the first of the Egyptian Pyramids. Imhotep was latter raised to the level of a god (deified). As a god he was responsible with medicine and learning. Normally depicted as a seated man holding an open papyrus.
Imsety (Amset, Mestha)
God of the deceased's liver, he was protected by Isis; One of the Four Sons of Horus.
An Egyptian god of the moon.
Kebechsenef (Kebehsenuf, Qebshenuf, Qebehsenuf)
A Son of Horus. He protected the Canopic jar where the viscera of the lower body where kept after mummification.
God of darkness and a member of the Ogdoad. His consort was Kauket.
Kepra (Kheper, Khepera, Khepris, Chepre, Chepri)
An Egyptian sun god who appeared often in the form of a scarab or a dung beetle and often as a beetle within the sun disk. He was a manifestation of the god Ra rising in the east at dawn. This association supposedly resulted for the similarity between the scarab rolling a ball of dung along the ground and Ra rolling the sun across the sky. Kepra was the one who pushed the sun up from the underworld to be reborn at dawn. In the Heliopolitan cosmology he appeared as a primordial sun god who created himself out of the earth. His principal cult center was at Heliopolis.
A scarab headed god. The Egyptians believed that Khepri pushed the sun across the sky in much the same fashion that a dung beetle (scarab) pushed a ball of dung across the ground.
"Lower One." Ram god of the underworld and ferryman of the dead. In the Pyramid Texts Kherty was said to be a threat to the Pharaoh, who had to be defended by Ra himself. However, as an earth-god, he also acts as a guardian of the Pharaoh's tomb. Letopolis, northwest of Memphis, was Kherty's main cult center. He was shown as a man with the head of a ram or as a ram.
"To Create." Egyptian ram god. Khnum was credited with creating life on a potter's wheel at the behest of the other gods. He was also said to control the annual inundation of the Nile, although the god Hapi physically generates the inundation. The goddesses Satis and Anuket assisted him in their supervisory role. His major cult center was on the Elephantine Island near the first cataract of the Nile (Near modern Aswan) where mummified rams sacred to Khnum have been found. He also had an important cult center at Esna, to the north of the first cataract. He was usually depicted inhuman form with a ram's head - the horns extending horizontally on either side of the head - often before a potter's wheel on which a naked human was being fashioned.
Khonsu (Khons, Khensu, Chons)
"Wanderer." Egyptian moon god. Son of Amun and Mut (occasionally the son of Sekhmet) with whom he forms the triad of gods revered in Thebes. Depicted in human form, sometimes with the head of a hawk, clothed in a tight-fitting robe and wearing a skullcap topped by the crescent of the new moon subtending the disk of the full moon. His head was shaven except for the side-lock worn by Egyptian children, signifying his role as Khnosu-pa-khered - "Khonsu the child." His principal sanctuary was in Thebes, where he figured prominently as a member of the Theban triad. He also had a temple in Karnak. His sacred animal was the baboon, considered a lunar animal by the Egyptians.
The Egyptian god of Kusae.
Maahes (Mihos, Miysis)
A obscure lion god who may be of foreign origin. Maahes ("True Before Her") was worshipped in Bubastis, Leontopolis, and especially Upper Egypt. He is regarded in later times to be the son of Bastet and Ptah in Memphis. He is sometimes regarded as a son of the triad in Memphis with Nefertem and occasionally Imhotep. Maahes punished the transgressors of Ma'at. His protection was invoked over the innocent. He was represented as either a lion or a man with a lion's head and a knife.
The Egyptian personification of the summer heat. Known as "Lord of the massacre." He was principally worshipped in the area of the Nile Delta. He is represented as a lion or a man with a lion's head.
An Egyptian serpent god. He defends the solar barque during Ra's nightly passage through the underworld. Usually shown as a snake coiled about the barque.
Lion-god, son of Bastet.
Chief of Heaven. A primeval god of Coptos. In early times he was a sky-god whose symbol was a thunderbolt. Also seen as a rain god that promoted fertility of nature, such as grain. Later he was revered as a fertility god who bestowed sexual powers on men. Normally represented as a human holding a flagellum.
Montu (Mont, Mentu, Methu; Greek Month)
Falcon-headed war god of Upper Egypt. His cult developed at Thebes and spread throughout Egypt under the Theban kings, who expanded the country's borders beginning around 2000 BC. He was the tutelary god of the Theban monarchs, and brought them victory in war. Depicted in human form with the head of a falcon, crowned with the solar disk, the uraeus cobra and two tall plumes, His sacred animal was a white bull with a black face, known as Buchis. After death, the bulls were buried in a necropolis near Hermothis (Armant) known as the Bucheum. His cult centers included Medu (Medamud), Karnak and Hermothis.
Nefertum (Nefertem; Greek Nepthemis)
Egyptian god of the primordial lotus blossom . A personification of the blue lotus of which the sun god Ra emerged. In the Pyramid Texts, he was described as the 'lotus blossom on the nose of Ra.' He was usually depicted in human form wearing a headdress topped by a lotus blossom. He could also be depicted with a lion's head when given as the child of the Memphite lion goddess Sekhmet out of her union with Ptah. His major cult center was in Memphis. In Buto, in the Nile Delta region, Nefertum was held to be the child of the cobra goddess Wadjet. Elsewhere his mother was called the cat goddess Bastet.
Nehebkau (Nehebu-Kau, Nehebkhau)
Egyptian snake god of the underworld. Represented either as a serpent with human arms and legs or with a man's body, holding the eye of Horus. In the Pyramid Texts, he was said to be the son of the scorpion goddess Serket. Another tradition made him the son of the earth god Geb and the harvest goddess Renenutet. According to legend, he was tamed by the sun god Ra and thenceforth acted as the god's servant, riding with him in the sun barque. His name was invoked in spells providing protection against snake bites and scorpion stings. Nehebkau protected the dead Pharaoh in the afterlife.
An Egyptian falcon-god.
An Egyptian god of grain. Neper was mostly associated with barley and emmer wheat.
Egyptian god who personified the swirling primeval waters/chaos from which the cosmic order was produced. In the beginning there was only Nun. Consort of Naunet and a member of the Ogdoad. He was referred to as the 'father of the gods,' which referred to his primacy in the time rather than any literal parentage. Nun played no part in Egyptian religion rituals and had no temples dedicated to him. Nun was symbolized by the sacred lakes, which were associated with some temples, such as Karnak and Dendara. Depicted inhuman form holding the solar barque of Ra above his head.
Egyptian god of the underworld and of vegetation. Son of Nut and Geb and brother of Nephthys, Set and brother-husband to Isis. His birthplace was said to be Rosetau in the necropolis west of Memphis. Osiris was depicted in human form wrapped up as a mummy, holding the crook and flail. He was often depicted with green skin, alluding to his role as a god of vegetation. He wore a crown known as the 'atef,' composed of the tall conical whittle crown of Upper Egypt with red plumes on each side. Osiris had many cult centers, but the most important were at Abydos (Ibdju) in Upper Egypt, where the god's legend was reenacted in an annual festival and at Busirs (Djedu) in the Nile delta.
The Egyptian god of retaliation.
An Egyptian crocodile-god.
Egyptian creator god. Also a god of artisans, designers, builders, metal workers, architects and masons, whose skills he was said to have created. He was the one who created the barque for the dead to sail in. His major cult center was at Memphis. In Memphis and Thebes his consort was the lioness goddess Sekhmet. Together with Sekhmet's son Nefertum, they formed the 'Memphite triad.' His sacred animal was the bull. The Apis bull in Memphis, which acted as an intermediary between the god and humankind, represented Ptah in particular. He was depicted inhuman form, tightly wrapped like a mummy, with a shaven head or wearing a close fitting skull cap, holding the scepter of dominion composed of a 'djed' staff topped by the Ankh (life) symbol.
According to one tradition (Memphite creation myth) Ptah was the primary motive force in creation, thinking and speaking the cosmos into existence (elsewhere he was said to have created the cosmos out of mud.) In this tradition, propagated by his priesthood, it was Ptah who was pre-eminent among the gods. He was said to have invented the 'opening of the mouth' ceremony, restoring the faculties of life to corpse by performing it on the mouths of gods when he created them.
He incorporated the principal gods of creation, death, and after-life. Represented as a mummified king.
God of the deceased's intestines
Egyptian sun and creator god. He was usually depicted in human form with a falcon head, crowned with the sun disc encircled by the uraeus (the sacred cobra). The sun itself was taken to be either his body or his eye. He was said to traverse the sky each day in a solar barque and pass through the underworld each night on another solar barque to reappear in the east each morning. His principal cult center was Heliopolis ("sun city") near modern Cairo. Ra was also considered to be an underworld god, closely associated in this respect with Osiris. In this capacity he was depicted as a ram-headed figure.
By the third millennium B.C. Ra's prominence had already become such that the Pharaohs took to stylizing themselves as "sons of Ra." After death, the Egyptian monarch was said to ascend into the sky to join the entourage of the sun god. According to the Heliopolitan cosmology, Ra was said to have created himself, either out of a primordial lotus blossom or on the mound that emerged from the primeval waters. He then created Shu (air) and Tefnut (moisture), who in turn engendered the earth god Geb and the sky goddess Nut. Ra was said to have created humankind from his own tears and the gods Hu (authority) and Sia (mind) from blood drawn from his own penis. Ra was often combined with other deities to enhance the prestige of the later, as in Ra-Atum or in the formula "Ra in Osiris, Osiris in Ra."
Resheph (Reshpu, Reshef)
A god of war and thunder. He was of Syrian origin.
A god supposedly imported during the Ptolemacic period in Egypt. Later, a deity worshipped throughout the Roman Empire. Sarapis was supposedly the Greek form of Osiris-Apis, a deity who combined the attributes of the bull god Apis (or Greek Zeus) and the underworld god Osiris. To this the Hellensitic rulers of Egypt added characteristics taken from Greek deities such as Zeus, Dionysos, Hades, Helios and Asklepios to create a universal god. Depicted inhuman form with curly hair and crowned with a basket-shaped headdress known as a kalathos.
An Egyptian chthonic god.
The Egyptian god of oil and wine pressing.
Set (Seth, Setekh, Setesh, Seti, Sutekh, Setech, Sutech)
Egyptian god of Chaos who embodied the principles of hostility, if not outright evil. Early in Egyptian Mythology he was spoken with reverence as a god of storms and wind. Later on, after his battle with Horus, he was associated with foreign lands and was the adversary of the god Osiris. Set was usually depicted in human form with the head of aardvark. He was sometimes represented in entire animal form with a body similar to that of a greyhound. He was said to be the son of Nut and Geb or Nut and Ra, and the brother of Osiris, Isis and brother-husband of Nephthys. He was more commonly associated with the foreign, Semitic goddess Astarte and Anat. Despite his reputation he had an important sanctuary at Ombos in Upper Egypt, his reputed birthplace and had cults mostly in the Nile delta.
For a time, during the third millennium BC, Set replaced Horus as the tutelary deity of the Pharaohs. However, when the story of Set's murder of Osiris got and the subsequent war with Horus got around, Horus was restored to his original status. The war with Horus lasted eighty years, during which Set tore out he left eye of his advisory and Horus tore out Set's foreleg and testicles. Horus eventually emerged victorious, or was deemed the victor by a council of the gods, and thus became the rightful ruler of the kingdoms of Upper and Lower Egypt. Set was forced to return the eye of Horus and was either castrated or killed. In some versions Set then went to live with the sun god Ra, where he became the voice of thunder. In the Book of the Dead, Set was refereed to as the "lord of the northern sky" and held responsible for storms and cloudy weather. Set protected Ra during his night voyage through the underworld On the other hand, Set was a peril for ordinary Egyptians, he was said to seize the souls of the unwary. Among the animals sacred to Set were the desert oryx, boar, the hippopotamus as a destroyer of boats and planted fields, and the crocodile. The pig was the ultimate taboo in Set's cult. The Greeks later equated him with their Typhon.
Shu (Su; Greek Sos)
Primordial Egyptian god of air and supporter of the sky. In the Heliopolitan creation myth, Shu was, with his sister-wife Tefnut, one of the first deities created by the sun god Atum, either from his semen or from the mucus of his nostrils. Tefnut then became Shu's consort, giving birth to the sky goddess Nut and the earth god Geb. Shu separated Geb and Nut (heaven and earth) by interposing himself between them. Depicted in human form wearing an ostrich feather, with his arms raised to support the goddess Nut above the supine form of Geb.
Sobek (Greek Suchos)
Egyptian crocodile god and son of Neith. Sobek symbolized the might of the Egyptian Pharaohs. At Ra's command, He performed tasks such as catching with a net the four sons of Horus as they emerged from the waters in a lotus bloom. Sobek was admired and feared for his ferocity. Depicted as a crocodile or in human form with the head of a crocodile, crowned either by a pair of plumes or sometimes by a combination of the solar disk and the uraeus. His cult was widespread. Faiyum was particularly noted as a center of his worship and at least one town came to be "Crocodilopolis" by the Greeks. Gebelein, Kom Ombo and Thebes in Upper Egypt were other centers of his cult.
Sokar (Seker; Greek Socharis, Sokaris)
Egyptian funerary god of the Memphis necropolis. Depicted in human form with a hawk's head. As early as the Old Kingdom, Sokar came to be regarded as a manifestation of the dead Osiris at Abydos in Upper Egypt. Also in the Old Kingdom, he came to be combined with Ptah as Ptah-Sokar, in which form he took the lioness goddess Sekhmet as his consort. In the Middle Kingdom, the three were sometimes merged in the form Ptah-Sokar-Osiris. Sokar was associated with the manufacture of various objects used in embalming and in funerary rituals. He became a god of the craftsman working in the necropolis at Memphis and ultimately a patron deity of the necropolis itself. He also played a prominent role at Thebes where he was depicted on the royal tombs. An important annual festival was held in his honor at Thebes. The festival celebrated the resurrection of Osiris in the form of Sokar and the continuity of the Egyptian monarchy. At this festival his image was carried in an elaborate boat known as the 'henu.'
Egyptian god of the eastern frontier (eastern desert). Depicted either in the form of a falcon or as a Asiatic warrior with the Bedouin crowned with tall plumes. He was also the god of the Sinai Peninsula and of the turquoise mines in the Sinai. In the Pyramid Texts he took on an astral aspect. Impregnating Isis in her manifestation as the star Sirius, whose appearance in July heralded the annual inundation of the Nile. Isis subsequently gave birth to the composite deity Sopedu-Horus. His primary cult center was at Saft el-Henna in the northeastern Nile delta.
Tatenen (Tathen, Tatjenen, Tanen, Tenen, Ten)
"Exalted Earth." Primordial Egyptian god who personified the fertile silt of the Nile. Originally an independent god at Memphis, he was combined with Ptah in his aspect as a creator god. In this form he took on an a androgynous form and was given he epithet 'father of the gods.' He was usually depicted in human form with ram's horns and wearing a feathered crown. As a vegetation god, he could be portrayed with green skin.
Thoth (Thot, Thout; Egyptian Djhowtey, Djehuti, Tehuti, Zehuti)
Egyptian moon god. Over time, he developed as a god of wisdom, and came to be associated with magic, music, medicine, geometry, drawing, writing, surveying and astronomy. He was the inventor of the spoken and written word; credited with the invention of geometry, medicine and astronomy. He was also the scribe of the gods and patron of all scribes. Thoth was the measurer of the earth and counter of the stars as well as keeper and recorder of all knowledge including the Book of the Dead. Thoth was generally depicted in human form with the head of an ibis, wearing a crown consisting of a crescent moon topped by a moon disk. He could also be depicted as an ibis or a baboon which were both sacred to him. His principal sanctuary was at Hermopolis (Khmunu) in the Nile delta region.
Thoth served as an arbiter among the gods. In the Osirian legend, he protected Isis during her pregnancy and healed her son Horus when Set tore out his left eye. Thoth was later identified with the Greek god Hermes in the form of Hermes Trismegistos - "Hermes the thrice great" - in which form he remained popular in medieval magic and alchemy. Thoth was also a god of the underworld, where he served as a clerk who recorded the judgments on the souls of the dead. Alternatively, it was Thoth himself who weighed the hearts of the dead against the Feather of Truth in the Hall of the Two Truths.
An Egyptian plant-god.
Wepwawet (Upuaut; Greek Ophois)
"Opener of Ways." Egyptian jackal god. Wepwawet had a dual roe as a god of war and of the funerary cult ad could be said to "open the way" both for the armies for the Pharaoh and for the spirits of the dead. He originated as a god of Upper Egypt, but his cult had spread throughout Egypt by the time of the Old Kingdom. Depicted as a jackal or in human form with the head of a jackal, often holding the 'shedshed,' a standard which led the Pharaoh to victory in war and on which the Pharaoh was said to ascend into the sky after death. Despite his origin in Upper Egypt, in inscription said that he was born in the sanctuary of the goddess Wadjet at Buto in the Nile delta. Another inscription identified him with Horus and thus extension with Pharaoh. Wepwawet also symbolized the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt. In his capacity as a funerary deity, he used his adze to break open the mouth of the deceased in the "Opening of the Mouth" ceremony, which ensured that the person would have the enjoyment of all his faculties in the afterlife. At Abydos, the 'procession of Wepwawet' opened the mysteries of Osiris as a god of the dead.
Egyptian Gods from A to H
Defintions from A to H
Defintions from I to Z
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