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Thread: The Kemetic (Egyptian) Pantheon

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    The Kemetic (Egyptian) Pantheon

    This thread is all about the Gods and Goddesses of ancient Egypt - both the well known, and the more obscure. I'll be taking on Deities in a random order, so feel free to toss in requests!
    I'm also happy to answer questions about what I've written, or other questions about the Gods, but for more general Kemetic questions please see the Ask a Kemetic thread.

    It's important to first give a bit of information on the names of the Gods. Many people are familiar with the names Isis, Osiris, Anubis, Hathor, and Horus - however, the names we use today are not the names that were used by the ancient Egyptians! These names actually come to us from the Greeks and Romans. For example, in ancient Egypt Horus was called Heru (pronounced something like hair-ROO). In this thread I'll be referring to the Gods primarily by their Kemetic names, but the Greek name will be listed in the post as well.

    There are also a few things to note about the pantheon as a whole. Relationships between the Gods are not always clear. In one part of the country a Deity may be shown as having one spouse and child - and yet be a part of a totally different family unit in another area of the country - or, a different time. It's important to remember that this religion spanned thousands of years. Things are not always cut and dried when it comes to this pantheon. (But then, isn't that the case with many pantheons?)
    It only becomes more confusing when you consider that two Gods - such as Amun and Ra - were both separate Gods, and yet could be one God as well (Amun-Ra). Sometimes three or even four Deities would come together in this way. They were not limited to one grouping; either, Ra could be Amun-Ra, or Ra-heru-akhety. Some scholars take this, and other signs, to mean that the ancient Egyptians were actually soft polytheists. However, many other scholars still consider them as hard polytheists. It is still a matter of debate.

    The imagery surrounding the Gods is very rich. Their animal forms, or general forms, are often thought of as symbolic (which is why you might sometimes also see a God with the head of an inanimate object!), and they are often holding or wearing objects that relate to their nature. Perhaps most important are the headdresses they wear, as you can often identify a Deity just by their headdress, and sometimes it is the only way to tell one Deity apart from another if there is no text to help (or, if you can't read the text).

    *Note: Kemetic comes from the word Kemet. Kemet is what the ancient Egyptians called their land, it means Black Land; in reference to the black fertile soil of the Nile, the source of life for the ancient Egyptians. (The surrounding desert was called deshret, or red land.)
    Last edited by Gardenia; 16 Feb 2011 at 14:00.

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    Re: The Kemetic (Egyptian) Pantheon

    KHONSU (Alt. spellings: Khensu - Greek:Chons) "Traveler" or "Wanderer"
    Khonsu, the son of Amun and Mut, is strongly associated with the moon, which possibly the inspiration for His name (as the moon travels/wanders across the sky). An interesting thing about the Egyptian pantheon - for the most part only male deities were associated with the moon, the majority of Goddesses were solar Deities (although many were later identified lunar by the Greeks).

    His associations with the moon eventually lead Him to become a protector of those, like Him, who traveled at night. In some cases He was called upon for protection at night in general, as well as for any travel. He was also prayed to for protection against wild animal attacks. In some texts he is also shown as a fertility God, although it seems to be a lesser role.

    Khonsu is also a God of healing, and is associated with exorcisms. There are stories which survive from ancient times of a statue of Khonsu which had the power to heal. The statue was even sent to another kingdom so it could be used to heal a king's daughter from possession.

    Khonsu is usually shown in one of two ways. Either in fully human form, or as a man with the head of a hawk.


    When depicted as fully human he is shown as a child (his hair is in a sidelock, which is how Kemetic youth wore their hair), yet he is also mummified. One theory is that this is a symbol of the birth, death, and rebirth that the moon is constantly going through. In rising and setting, and from new to full to new.

    His headdress is a full moon sitting atop a crescent moon - which also looks like the moon sailing in its boat. On His forehead is a cobra ready to spit at His enemies. He holds the symbols of kingship, the was sceptre with the djed pillar of stability (in the middle), and the crook and flail. Also associated with kingship is the false beard He wears. Around His neck is a menat - another symbol of both life and death. (A menat is a necklace/amulet, that can also act as a musical instrument, most often associated with Het-heret/Hathor.)

    When he is shown as a man with the head of a hawk, he wears the same headdress, but no bandages, and usually holds only a septre.

    Khonsu is associated with baboons (as they are associated with the moon) and the hawk.
    Offerings for Khonsu often included, but were not limited to, items that keep track of time, cakes in the shape of the crescent moon, round white vegetables such as onions, round loaves of bread, milk, white flowers, and cool water.
    Last edited by Gardenia; 16 Feb 2011 at 14:07.

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    Re: The Kemetic (Egyptian) Pantheon

    ASET (Alt Spellings: Auset, Ast - Greek: ISIS) "Throne"
    [i]
    Praise to You, Aset, the Great One, God

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    Re: The Kemetic (Egyptian) Pantheon

    BAST (Alt. Spellings: Bastet, Ubasti - Greek/Roman: Bubastis) "She who devourers." "Devouring Lady."
    A frequent spelling of Bast is Bastet, however, the "ET" is silent, so Her name should always pronounced Bast. "T" is a feminine ending in the ancient Egyptian language. At a point in Kemet's history, the "T" ending was becoming silent on many words, so an additional ending was put onto Bast's name, making it Bastet, to show that the original T needed to be pronounced.

    "Bast guards the Two Lands. He who worships Her is sheltered by Her strong arms."

    Bast is a goddess of protection, especially so of Egypt and her ruling house. She was associated mostly with lower Egypt. Since She was a protector of the king on earth, so She also became a protector of the king of the Gods - Ra. As such, She was one of several solar Goddesses given the title "The Eye of Ra."

    Bast did not become associated with the moon until Greek times, since the Greeks associated Her with their Artemis. It was also during this time that much of her association with sexuality occurred, as well as becoming a daughter of Wesir and Aset. None of this was part of Her Egyptian form.
    In addition, the idea that She is a goddess of marijuana and lesbians is very modern, and as far as I have been able to tell was made up by a few folks who scam people for money online... ???

    Because of Her name Bast is also associated with perfume and ointment jars. Bas being a type of heavy jar, which often held expensive perfumes, oils, and ointments.
    It was partly due to this gentle association that the image of Bast became that of a domestic cat, rather than the lion or wild cat of earlier times. In this form, she is regarded as a patron of cats. A large number of cats were mummified and burred at her central temple. Some say these cats were killed as offerings, but it is more likely that these were the pets of local people, or even of cats who lived and died in the temple. Cats were very important in Kemet, due to their ability to kill mice, as well as dangerous animals such as snakes.

    Bast is often shown with kittens around Her, and as such as thought of as a goddess of fertility and a protector of children.

    Bast is the mother of Maahes, and wife to Ptah. She is the daughter of Ra. Bast is also sometimes said to be the wife of Yinepu, and the mother of Nefertem.

    Bast is often associated with many other Goddesses, such as Het-heret, Sehkmet, Mut, and Tefnut.
    There is often confusion about Bast's connection with Sekhmet, since they are similar protective goddesses, with lion heads. Bast is not the gentle side of Sekhmet - it is Het-heret who becomes Sekhmet in myth.

    Bast is shown either as a female with a feline head, or as fully feline. She is sometimes shown wearing a sun-disk upon Her head in her partly human form.

    In later times She is occasionally shown holding a sistrum, as well as a lion mask. The lion mask perhaps hinting at Her wilder beginnings. It is sometimes thought that it may also represent the fierce protection laying under a more docile exterior.

    Offerings to Bast include sweet food and drink (such as honey), red wine, onions, mint, perfumes, copper, and meats.

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    Re: The Kemetic (Egyptian) Pantheon

    SEKHMET - Quite literally her name translates out to 'power' or 'powerful' with a feminine ending (et). "Powerful female/lady"

    "The Powerful, powerful in her existence, She that impurity fears.
    The one who's face is beautiful, remarkable of image, who thrusts back sadness.
    The solar feminine disc, radiant, rejuvenating, illuminating the country.
    The Mistress of the sky, appearing in her sanctuary.
    Sekhmet, powerful against the enemies, inspiring terror in the rebels.
    The Mistress of Iunet, entering into her chapel, whirling and dancing in her temple."
    (translated into English by Kerry Wisner, 1999-2000, from the French text "Dendera - I Traduction" by S. Cauville)


    Sekhmet originally appeared in Kemetic myth as a form of Het-heret (Hathor), rather than a goddess in Her own right. This can be see in "The Destruction of Mankind," when Ra sends His daughter, Het-heret, to become His vengeance against humans - who were disobeying Him and committing many evil acts. Het-heret becomes Sekhmet and goes on a killing spree, slaying all the humans She comes across and drinking their blood. Ra eventually realizes the error He has made, and tells those remaining how to stop Her. The humans gather as much beer as they can, and dye it red. This red beer is spilled out to flood a field, Sekhmet comes upon this and believes it to be blood. She drinks until she is drunk, and forgets about Her mission.

    Sekhmet was eventually seen as a Goddess in Her own right in many parts of Kemet. However, in later Kemetic history She was thought to be the aggressive side of the Goddess Mut.

    Sekhmet is a solar Goddess, shown often as the destructive side of the sun. She is one of many Goddesses who bears the title "the Eye of Ra" due to Her delivering of Divine justice.

    In this light She appears as a very destructive Goddess, Who was also able to bring disease and plague... however, it is because of this ability She was called upon to destroy or keep away illness as well. Most of Her priesthood were doctors, and in this light She did play a role as a healer and protector.

    She was also called upon by soldiers, to help them defeat the enemy. At the end of wars she was prayed to in order to attempt to pacify Her and end the destruction.

    Sekhmet was part of the trinity in Memphis, as wife of Path (a creator) and mother of Nefertem (a healer). Maahes is also sometimes said to be son of Sekhmet.


    Sekhmet is most often shown as a woman with the head of a lion. She is often dressed in red, and wears a sun disk upon Her head.

    Offerings to Sekhmet include beer (especially beer that has been dyed red), wine, and other alcoholic drinks, pomegranates, strongly flavored or spicy foods, meats, and sand.

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    Re: The Kemetic (Egyptian) Pantheon

    YINEPU (Alt spellings: Anpu, Inpu - Greek/Roman: Anubis) Unknown meaning, possibly "Divine/King's Son/Child". Others believe it comes from similar words about decay.

    "Yinepu, come to me, the High, the Mighty, the Chief over the mysteries of those in the Underworld, the King of those in
    the West, the Chief Physician, the fair son of Wesir, He whose face is strong among the Gods, thou manifestest thyself in the Underworld before the hand of Wesir. Thou servest the souls of Abydos, for they all live by thee, these souls namely those of the sacred Underworld. Come to the earth; show thyself to me here today."
    (Invocation of Yinepy from the Leyden Papyrus)


    Yinepu is a God of predynastic origins. His functions primarily deal with the dead. He was originally the most important God for the dead, however Wesir (Osiris) later took over that role. Nevertheless, Yinepu remained a very important figure of the funerary cult.

    It is through Him the process of mummification comes, and He is one of many guides of the dead in the afterlife. High priests of ancient Egypt were often shown wearing a mask to look like Yinepu when preforming the last rites and embalming of the dead. Yinepu is also said to be the one who lead the process of Wesir's mummification. He is also often shown preforming the actual weighing of the heart, the final judgment all were thought to go through.

    Some of His titles include "He who is in the place of embalming", "He who belongs to the mummy wrappings", "lord of the pure land", and "Foremost of Westerners" (the west being where the dead go) - the last being a title that was later adopted by Wesir (Osiris).

    He is a god of the dead, and dying.. but He is not truly a God of death. He does not bring or cause death, He only cared after and guided those who had died.

    Yinepu's family ties are debatable. Originally He is said to be a son of Ra, or Bast. He is also said to be the Son of Wesir and Nebet-het (Nephthys). Or Perhaps Set and Nebet-het, or even Wesir and Aset.

    Yinepu is often shown fully as a jackal, or as a man with the head of a jackal. He is also shown, very rarely, as fully human. Jackals were very closely tied with death, as they were often seen around tomb sites, and they are scavenger animals. Yinepu does not have very many telling features aside from this. He wears no specific headdress, nor carries any specific symbols. Because of this he can often be confused for the God Wepwawet.


    Yinepu is shown here weighing the heart of the dead (on the left), against Ma'at (right). Usually the heart is shown being weighed against the feather of Ma'at, but the figure of Ma'at represents the same idea.

    Offerings to Yinepu include embalming equipment, funeral shrouds, white cloth or bandages, pottery (pots or bowls for ancestral offerings), cool water, beer, bread, meats (especially beef). Modern followers often say Yinepu also enjoys chocolate, candy, and small toys or trinkets.

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    Re: The Kemetic (Egyptian) Pantheon

    TEFNUT "Sky Spit" (In other words, rain.) "Spat Waters" "Moist Waters"

    Tefnut is the Goddess of moisture in the air - clouds, rain, mist, dew, etc. She is often seen as a lunar Goddess in this aspect. She also holds connections to the Sun, and the absence of moisture.

    In one telling of the creation, Tefnut, along with Her brother Shu, were the first created Gods from the self-created One, Atum. It is said that Shu and Tefnut went wandering in the waters of Nun (from which Atum arose). Their father Atum (or Ra in some tellings) became very worried and sent His eye out to search for them. On their return Atum wept tears of joy, and it is said humans were born from those tears.

    Shu and Tefnut were brother and sister, as well as husband and wife. Tefnut gave birth to both Geb(earth) and Nut(sky).

    One story associated with Tefnut begins when Her and Shu had a fight. Tefnut left Egypt and took up residence in Nubia. This caused the land of Egypt to become very dry. Shu missed Her very much, but Tefnut took on the form of a lion and attacked any who came near Her. Djehuty (Thoth) was eventually able to approach Her and convince Her to return home.
    In some cases it is Ra (as Her father) whom Tefnut runs from. Her wanderings are sometimes used to explain the changing of the seasons - though more often it is Het-heret (Hathor) who is the wandering Goddess.

    Since without moisture Egypt would dry up and things would turn to chaos, Tefnut was also associated with Ma'at, in that Her presence helped to keep order.

    Tefnut is one of many Goddesses Who bears the title "Eye of Ra." She is also known as a creative force in Her title "Tongue of Ptah." "The Lady of Flame" is another of Her titles.

    She is most often shown as a woman with a lion's head, wearing a sun disk. She is occasionally shown as fully a lion. Very rarely was She shown as fully woman. Tefnut is often shown with Her brother/husband Shu.


    Offerings to Tefnut include cool water and other liquids.

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    Re: The Kemetic (Egyptian) Pantheon

    Wepwawet (Alt spellings: Upuaut, Apuat. G/R: Ophois(?)) "Opener of the ways/roads"

    Wepwawet is a name known from predynastic times. He is shown on the mace of Namer, the king who first unified ancient Egypt. He was one of the earliest Gods worshiped at Abydos. (Hence one of his titles, "Lord of Abydos.&quot
    He also had several other cult centers, including Memphis, and Sais. Modern Asyut was a large center for his worship, becoming known as Lycopolis by the Greeks, the "city of the wolf." This is probably the source of the idea that Wepwawet was a wolf God rather than a jackal God, however, there is no confirmation of this in ancient Egyptian myth.

    As His name suggests, Wepwawet is the opener of the ways. This is true in both life, and in death. In life Wepwawet would open the way to success, and was especially known to do so for kings at war. This is probably the origin of His title "(the one with the) sharp arrow more powerful than the gods." He is also seen as a messenger of royalty.
    In death ("Lord of the Necropolis&quot He would open the way for the soul to reach the afterlife safely. It is through this, as well as them both being shown as jackal Gods, that His associations with Yinepu (Anubis) comes. The two are shown as a composite deity on occasion, Wepwawet-Yinepu, or also Yinpeu-Wepwawet.


    Wepwawet is shown as a human with the head of a jackal, as well as bring fully a jackal. (Please see the post on Yinepu for more information about the image of the jackal.) In later Egyptian art Wepwawet is given white or grey fur, possibly lending to the confusion about Him being a wolf. He was sometimes shown dressed as a soldier, carrying a mace and shield, or bow.

    Offerings to Wepwawet include: bitter foods, red meats, strongly spiced foods, weaponry, drums, boxes, dice and other game peices, and myrrh. Modern offerings include rum, dark chocolate, cigars and tobacco, and keys.

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    Re: The Kemetic (Egyptian) Pantheon

    Djehuti (Alt spellings: Tahuti - G/R:Thoth) Meaning: Perhaps derived from an old word for ibis?

    "Come rescue me the silent, O Djehuti; you are a well that is sweet to a man who thirsts in the desert! You are sealed to him who finds words, you are open to the silent. To the heated man you are hidden."
    Sallier I Papyrus


    Djehuti is the lord of writing, the patron of scribes, lord of measurement, of time, of wisdom, magic, and a mediator between good and evil - one who is always looking to keep the balance of the world.

    The primary center of worship for Djehuti was Khemenu (Hermopolis), where he was the leader of the ogdoad - a group of eight creator Gods.

    Djehuti is said to be the heart and tongue of Ra, the heart being the seat of the conscience and soul, and the tongue being an instrument of creation - in some creation myths the creator speaks the universe into existence, and in general words (spoken and written) were thought to hold great power.
    He is best known as a god of writing, and he is considered the inventor of hieroglyphs, as well as the original forms of the book of the dead. Djehuti is the scribe of the gods, as well as a record keeper or all events.

    He is also seen many times acting as a mediator between good and evil, making sure that the balance between the two is kept, and that ma'at is upheld. This can be seen especially in the popular myth of Heru-sa-Aset vs. Set. It was also Djehuti who helped to hide the child Heru and his mother Aset from Set, until Heru could attempt to claim the throne which was rightfully his.

    Djehuti is also seen as a lord of time. Originally the year only lasted 360 days, and it is because of Him that the year was extended by five more days. When Nut became pregnant, Ra would not allow her to give birth on any of the days of the year. Djehuti won time from the moon god (sometimes Khonsu) in a game, winning enough light to form five new days (some say this is why the moon waxes and wanes). These became known as the days upon the year, not truly belonging to the year, and Nut gave birth to one of her children on each day. It is perhaps because of this that Djehuti came to be associated with the moon.

    Djehuti is also a lord of magic. He gave the words of resurrection to Aset so that she could bring Wesir back to life long enough for Her to conceive a son.

    Some myths place Djehuti as the son of Ra, and some He is self created. Sheshat, who is much like Djehuti in association, is often said to be his wife, although sometimes she is his daughter instead. Sometimes, Ma'at is said to be his wife.


    Djehuti is most often shown as a man with the head of an ibis, and very often is shown writing with a scribe palate. Some say the curved beak of the ibis resembles the crescent moon. Djehuti sometimes wears a headdress with the crescent moon upon it.

    On occasion Djehuti is shown as a man with the head of a baboon, or fully as a baboon as well. Baboons were thought to be intelligent creatures, with lunar associations.

    Some of the titles of Djehuti include..
    "Scribe of ma'at in the Company of the Gods"
    "Lord of ma'at"
    "Lord of Divine Words"
    "Judge of the Two Combatant Gods"
    among others.

    Offerings included writing materials, paper, books, and ink. Scribes would turn over their inkwells on the ground as a libation to Djehuti. Instruments for time keeping also make good offerings.

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    Re: The Kemetic (Egyptian) Pantheon

    SOBEK (Alt Spellings: Sebek, Sobki, Sobeq - Greek/Rroman: Suchos) "Watching over you"

    Sobek was a protector God strongly associated with crocodiles. Sobek is either shown as either fully crocodile, or as a man with the head of a crocodile. Crocodiles were respected, and of course feared, all along the Nile. Those who worked on the Nile often prayed to Sobek for protection from the crocodiles. It makes sense, then, that many of the cult centers for Sobek are located where crocodiles were numerous. Temples to Sobek often took eggs from the nests of crocodiles, and raised the babies in the temple ponds. They were fed the best offerings, and often, so they were not as dangerous as their wild counterparts.



    Because crocodiles were so fearsome, Sobek was often called upon to act as a general protector - especially for the royal armies. He was thought to represent the strength of the King, and of the nation. Sobek was also strongly related to the Nile, and so also represented the gifts that the Nile gave to the people. In this role he was also called upon to bless the crops and to give a bountiful harvest, to deliver not too little or too much flood water.

    Sobek is a very dual deity, with both a darker side and a more benign side. In some myths he is shown siding with Set, and in others with Heru, in their battle. He is strong and dangerous, yet also a kind protector who brings blessings. He can cause destruction with the Nile, or life. He is said to protect the blessed dead, and is often credited with restoring their sight when they appear in the duat, but he is also a punisher of those who do evil.

    Neith is often considered to be the mother of Sobek, and Set is on rare occasion said to be the father. Sobek is also occasionally shown as a creator deity, especially in his form of Sobek-Ra. Sobek was, in certain locations/times, seen as a manifestation of Amun/Amun-Ra.

    Worship of Sobek began as early (if not earlier) as the old kingdom, and lasted into Roman times.

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