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Egyptian Mythology

Egyptian mythology is composed of many gods and goddesses that Egyptians worshiped, million years ago.  For many of them temples and palaces were built, in exchange for favors. There were five group of gods in which Egyptians believed. Blue words linked you to know more about the topic.

The word mythology is composed of words   Mytos and  Logos .Mythology started with the first civilizations, according to the religion of each place. It was composed of myths, narratives that gave explanation for human existence. There are many mythologies over time and space, but this time we will focus only on the Egyptian, which is long and complex. The period in which this religion lived, was among the Prehistoric Period (5500 – 4000 BC) and Christianity. (535 A.C)Map

Egypt is located on the brooks of the middle and lower channel of the Nile River, but it is not nowadays Egypt .It has three periods of splendor: Old Kingdom, Middle Kingdom and New Empire. But, the mythology only experimented two: the first, predynastic, here the principal gods and goddess were created. The second was when people were grouped into two lands, the Upper and Lower Egypt.It was when some gods took more relevance than others, depending on the city.

The main gods are organized into five groups:

The Ennead of Heliopolis. “Souls of Thoth” Heliopolis was a city of Lower Egypt. The gods that were completed this Ennead are:



Atum: “Which exists by itself”, was the first god who was associated with the sun, and the creator of other gods and goddess. Then he became in another god called Ra, who is more known, but between them there was a difference,  Atum  was represented by sun and  Ra  by the sun and at its zenith. It was also the god who took the dead to heaven and used to live in a cave in the form of eel. This god was associated with some animals like the lion, the bull, lizard or the snake. He was represented as a man with a double crown, sometimes as an old man with a beard or a man with animal head.

Shu: He is the god of light and wind, thanks to his power in the wind ​​it made easier to raise the dead to heaven. He appears as a man with an ostrich feather on his head and in one hand he holds a scepter or an ankh, or as a man with one knee or holding the sky with his hands, the four pillars supporting the sky at the four cardinal points were called “pillars of Shu”.

Tefnut: Her name is composed by EFT (wet) and Nut (sky) words it that the reason for which she is the goddess of moisture. She is represented as a lioness-headed woman and in her hand takes the scepter and the ankh.

Nut: She is the goddess of the sky and creator of everything that composes it .She was also the daughter of Shu and Tefnut, and Gebs sister, who is her husband. Is the mother of gods who complete the Ennead, Osiris, Isis, Horus, Seth and Horus . She is represented with horns and disk of Hathor, holding in his hand a papyrus scepter and the symbol of “life” or as a cow, or a pot on his head and the hieroglyphic symbol of heaven.

Geb: He was the god of the land’s surface and of the inside, where the graves were, so it was very important to the book of the dead. It is represented as a man of dark green skin, colors that represent the land of the Nile, its vegetation and life, with the crown of Lower Egypt.

Isis: “Great magician” the queen of the gods and goddess of motherhood, children and family in general. She is shown as a woman with a throne on her head.

Osiris: He is the father of Horus, and husband of Isis. Represents the resurrection, fertility, vegetation and  agriculture. Osiris is represented as a mummified man because his brother Seth (who represented evil) killed him and threw into the Nile. Isis was his wife and who recovered and resurrected him. This myth shows how as good overcomes evil.



Nefti: symbolizes the darkness, the night, the invisible and the death. She is represented as a woman with the hieroglyph of her name as a crown. Sometimes she takes horns with the solar disk. She had many other ways, also represented her with a pair of wings, because it helped Isis ( her sister) bring the dead to afterlife.

Seth: He is the god of brute force, of the tumultuous, the uncontainable, what is not good and darkness. Seth was the god of storms, war and violence, was also take part in the production of the oasis.

The Ogdoad of Hermopolis: It consisted of several god: Num, Nunet, Heh, Hehet, Ket, Keket, Amonet.. . But the most important is Amon, It is represented as a man with two large feathers on his head. He is the god of the occult. He was a god who could not be seen by   mortals or gods. Also had the power of the wind,  so it was very important for navigation. Eventually he merged with the god Ra, becoming in Amon – Ra. RA was the  god who  created the sky, the sun and could create life.Is  depicted as a man with the head of Alcon, with a solar disk crown.

The triad Elephantine: Elephantine is an island in Egypt where they worshiped three gods: Khnum, Satis and Anuket. The most important was the first .Was a  man with a ram’s head wearing an ankh and a scepter. He was the god of fertility, the water and the underworld. It was also a potter, and that shaped the destiny of the Egyptians.

The triad of Thebes, the gods were amon , mut and khonsu, but the most important was Amon

The Triad of Memphis is formed by Path, Sekhmet and Nefertum. The principal was path.

These are not the unique gods but they are the most representatives. It is necessary to give three more names, because they were important for the ancient Egypt’s.

Bastet: The goddess of happiness represented with Head-cat. Cats were worshiped throughout Egypt.Anubis:God of the death, represented with dog-headed Egyptian ankh and scepter. Maat: Goddess of justice and  truth

As we can see Egyptian mythology is very complex and was undergoing changes over the years. But while religion is a complex rich in myths through art of the time achieved last until today, that is still being studied at a time that is very appreciated by historians.


Julia Pérez Esteban

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