Egyptian

Wife of Thoth Ma’at

wpa5037762Goddess of Justice ostrich feather in her hair being punished for stealing the Book of Thoth, and next time it might not be a dream, so he returned the Book to the tomb of Neferkeptah and resealed the burial chamber. Ever since then, no-one has seen the Book of Thoth.

The magic amulet may have been a scarab. The scarab or dung beetle makes a ball of dung by rolling it along the ground, and then lays its eggs in it. The Ancient Egyptians imagined a scarab rolling the sun across the sky.

Anubis – God of Embalming head of jackal

Anubis invented embalming to embalm Osiris, the first mummy. He was the guide of the dead. The Egyptians embalmed their dead, especially their pharaohs, to preserve them, since they thought that this helped them live for ever.

The Ancient Egyptians believed that when you died, you travelled to the Hall of the Dead. There Anubis weighed your heart against the feather of Ma’at. Ma’at, the goddess of justice sits on top of the scales to make sure that the weighing is carried out properly. You can see Anubis steadying the scales to make the weighing fair. If your heart was lighter than the feather, you lived for ever. We still talk of “a heart as light as a feather” to mean care-free, and “heavy-hearted” to mean sad. If your heart was heavier than the feather then it was eaten by the demon Ammit, the Destroyer. Ammit had the head of a crocodile, the shoulders of a lion and the rump of a hippopotamus. These were all frightening animals for the Egyptians. Thoth, god of wisom and writing, stands by to record what happens.

 

Wife of Thoth Ma’at – Goddess of Justice with ostrich feather in her hair

wife of thoth maatMa’at was the goddess of truth, justice and harmony. She was the wife of Thoth, the god of wisdom, since you need wisdom to find truth and justice. Both Ma’at and Thoth helped at the Weighing of the Heart.
ostrich featherThe feather of Ma’at was an ostrich plume. She wore it on her head. The chief judge in charge of the Egyptian law courts was known as the “priest of Ma’at”. He began court hearings by wearing the feather of Ma’at. The judge gave the feather to the person who won his case in the law courts. The pharaoh had to promise that he would follow Ma’at. This means that he would be a just pharaoh, and keep order in Egypt.

amunAmun – God of Creation
crowned with ostrich feathers

Amun was an important god, but there are no stories about him. He created all things. At the same time, he remained apart from creation, totally different from it, and fully independent from it. In fact, he was invisible, so you couldn’t have a picture of him! However, if you called him Amun-Re, this allowed people to see him. Then he had a hat with ostrich feathers on, and like all gods with human heads, a beard. Re is another way of spelling Ra, the sun god. Tutankhamun’s name contains the name of Amun. It also contains the Ankh, which means Life. His name means “Long life to Amun.” The ankh was a very important amulet or magic charm.

Daugter of Ra Bastet – Proctectress of Cats
cat or head of a cat

Amun is sometimes spelled Ammon. The fossil ammonites are called after him, because his sacred animal is a ram, and ammonites are shaped like ram’s horns. daughter of raBastet was sometimes called bast. She was the goddess of cats. She is a cat, or has the head of a cat, but originally she had the head of a lion. Every day the sun god Ra would travel in his ship across the sky. Every night the snake Apep tried to stop the sun god’s ship on his journey through the underworld. Ra was usually won these battles. However, on stormy days, or during an eclipse, the Egyptians believed that Apep had been victorious and swallowed the sun. Bastet defended her father Ra against the snake.

Bastet was the proctress of cats. The Ancient Egyptians had a great respect for cats since they protected the grain from mice and rats. Rats can also cause disease. Killing a cat was punishable by death. When a cat died, the family mourned it, shaving their eyebrows to mark their sadness. Cats were sometimes mummified, like people, and their mummies have been found.

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