The Gods of Egypt
Husband of Isis and Father of Horus: Hathor was the goddess of joy, motherhood, and love. She looked after all women. She was the goddess of music and dancing, as well. Dead women were identified with Hathor, as men were identified with Osiris. She has a sun disk on her head and cow horns. Sometimes she had cow’s ears or was a whole cow.
But she had another side as well, as Sekhmet, the Eye of Ra, the destructive Sun Goddess.
Husband of Isis and Father of Horus:
Osiris – God of the Dead dressed in white with crook and flail and white crown. Osiris is shown as a man with a beard wearing white mummy wrappings. His crown is the white crown of Upper Egypt surrounded by red feathers. His skin is green to represent vegetation. He holds the symbols of supreme power, the flail and crook. The crook is used by shepherds to catch their sheep. The flail is used in threshing, to separate the grains from the outer husks. Osiris was the God of the Dead. You would expect that such a god would be gloomy or even evil, but the Egyptians thought about death a lot. They mummified their dead and buried them with their belongings so they could enjoy themselves in the afterlife.
This story begins on Nut and Geb’s page. Osiris ruled over the Egyptians and taught them farming. His brother Sethhad always hated him, and wanted to kill him. Seth made a beautiful box, like a coffin, made to the exact measurements of Osiris. Then Seth invited Osiris and other people to a great feast. When everyone had finished eating, Seth displayed the box, and said that he’d give it to anyone who fitted inside. Everyone tried, but only Osiris fitted. While he was still inside, Seth and his friends quickly slammed on the lid and threw the box in the Nile river.
Seth (or Set) is shown with an animal’s head with a long curved pointed snout, slanting eyes, and square-tipped ears. Sometimes he has a forked tail. No-one seems to know what the animal is. Aardvark, antelope, ass, camel, fennec, giraffe, greyhound, jackal, jerboa, long-snouted mouse, okapi, oryx and pig have all been suggested! Seth was the God of the desert, storm and violence, which are all enemies of the fertile, properous, narrow valley of the Nile. Seth carries a sceptre, which has his head on top and his tail at the other end. Several other gods seem to carry this sceptre as well. Seth was not always bad. He helped Ra fight the snake Apep. This story begins on Nut and Geb’s page.
Seth had killed Osiris by tricking him into a coffin, which he threw into the Nile. When Osiris’ wife Isis heard about this, she started searching desperately for her husband’s body, to bury it properly. She asked everyone she met and finally some children told her where it was. Isis mourned for her dead husband. Then she hid the body, while she went back to look after her son Horus, still a baby. Seth was terrified that Isis might be able to bring Osiris back from the dead, since she was a great magician. So Seth found where she had hidden the body and cut it into pieces, which he scattered up and down the Nile. Now Isis had to find all the scattered pieces of Osiris. Whenever she found a piece, she buried it there and built a shrine. This means that there are lots of places in Egypt where Osiris was buried! Osiris himself became the King of the Dead, and all Egyptians hoped they would join him after death.
Horus is shown as a hawk, or a man with a hawk’s head and the crown of all Egypt. This makes him look similar to Ra, but Ra is crowned with the sun disk. Horus’ crown is made of two parts. The white part is the crown of Upper Egypt (in the south) and the red part is the crown of Lower Egypt (including themselves with Horus. After they died, they became Osiris.
This story begins on Nut and Geb’s page. When Horus was a baby, his father Osiris was killed by Seth. Horus and his mother Isis hid in the papyrus reeds in the delta of the Nile until Horus grew up. The he went to war with Seth to get his father’s crown and kingdom. The battles raged for a long time. Once Seth managed the Nile delta). Together they show that Horus ruled all Egypt. During their reign, Pharoahs identified to blind Horus by taking out his eye and tearing it to bits, but Thoth, the God of Wisdom, managed to heal the eye
The Eye of Horus, healed by Thoth, was an amulet, or magic charm. The Ancient Egyptians also used it to describe fractions. The Egyptians sometimes had had two eye symbols, with the left eye being the Eye of Horus, symbolising the moon, and the right eye being symbolising the Eye of Ra, or the sun.
Wife of Osiris and Mother of Horus ISIS- Queen of Goddess
with a throne or sun disk and horns on her head Isis was the great mother-goddess. Her son was Horus, the enemy of Seth. Sometimes she has the baby Horus on her lap. Sometimes she has a throne on her head, as she is Queen of the goddesses. Sometimes she has a sun disk and horns, like Hathor. Isis was also a great healer and magician. She got her magic powers by tricking Ra (see Ra’s webpage). This story begins on Nut and Geb’s page. The war between Horus and his enemy Seth had lasted a long time. Isis decided to help her son Horus. She met Seth, and asked for his help. She described someone killing a man and taking all he had away from the man’s son. Seth said that killer should pay
for his crimes. Isis said that Seth himself was the killer, and he had condemned himself. The other gods agreed, and Seth was driven out into the Sahara Desert. This is the end of the story.
Husband of Ma’at Thoth – God of Wisdom, Time, Writing and the Moon head of an ibis
Thoth invented hieroglyphs, the picture writing of Ancient Egypt. He was the measurer of the earth and the counter of the stars, the keeper and recorder of all knowledge. The ibis is a bird rather like a stork, with long legs and a long beak which it uses for prodding in the mud to find small fish. It was a symbol of wisdom and learning because it has a beak shaped like a pen which it dips in the mud, as if it was ink.
The Book of Thoth had two spells in it. If you read the first spell aloud, you would be able to understand every beast and bird, and summon the fishes in the sea. If you read the second spell, you could bring the dead to life. Prince Setna, the son of a Pharaoh, knew the book was hidden in a royal tomb in the City of the Dead. With his brother Anhurerau, he broke into the tomb of Neferkeptah. When they found the burial chamber, they saw the mummy of Neferkaptah, and his wife and young son. The wife spoke to them, and warned them against taking the book of Thoth. She said that her husband had stolen the Book from Thoth, and had read the spells, but Thoth was angry and had drowned her and her son in the Nile, and Neferkeptah had then killed himself. But Setna ignored her and moved towards the Book. The mummy of Neferkaptah sat up and said “Play me at four games of draughts. If you win, you can take the Book.” Setna was terrified, but agreed. He played the first game, and lost. He started to sink into the ground, up to his ankles. Then he lost the next game, and sunk up to his hips. As he was losing the third game, he shouted to his brother, “Run and fetch my magic amulets. Only they can save me!” He then sank into the ground up to his chin. His brother ran out of the tomb. Setna played the fourth game as slowly as he could, trying desperately not to lose, but the mummy was too good at draughts. Just as he had nearly lost for the final time, his brother Anhurerau returned with the amulets, and put them on Setna’s head. The spell was broken, and Setna grabbed the Book of Thoth, and ran as hard as he could out of the tomb.
As Setna tried to read the Book, he saw a beautiful woman walking past. He fell in love with her, and tried to persuade her to marry him. She demanded that he kill his existing wife and children. Completely besotted with her, he agreed. When he had done this, she vanished, and he was appalled at what he had done. But he discovered that it was all a dream. He realised that he was.