Worship was an important part of life in ancient Egypt. The people feared the displeasure of the Gods and fervently believed that the gods like Amun, Hours, and Baster were worshipped by pharaohs and priests in large temples. In addition to the most important Egyptian Gods, there were also household gods that were worshipped by ordinary people in their homes. These gods were worshipped for protection from the dangers of daily life.
Amun Ra – The most important Egyptian God
The most important Egyptian god was Ra. He was the Sun God and commanded the chariot that he drove across the sky. Ra appeared in many different forms-sometimes as a scarab beetle, sometimes a hawk. He took on many of the characteristics and even the names of other gods as Egyptian myths grew. According to legend, across the sky. At the end of the day, Ra died and embarked on his night voyage. For this journey, he was called Auf, which means ‘corpse’.
Ra was worshipped as the father of creation. Eventually, humans were created from Ra’s tears or sweat, which is why the Egyptians called themselves the ‘cattle of Ra’.
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Horus is the god of the sky, and son of Osiris, the creator. His name means ‘He who is far above.’ He is depicted as a falcon, or as a falcon-headed man. The king of Egypt was believed to be an embodiment of Hours. Hours are sometimes shown as a falcon resting on the neck of the pharaoh, spreading his wings to either side of the pharaoh’s head and whispering in his ear.
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God of the Dead
Did you know that the Egyptians had a god for the dead? His name was Anubis, and he was the god in charge of dead people. He had a black head that resembled a jackal’s. The people who prepared the bodies for the burial of wore Anubis masks, for one of Anubis’ duties was preparing dead bodies for burial. It was also believed that Anubis helped the dead in their journey through the underworld.
Osiris was the supreme judge of the dead, who decided whether a person was worthy of eternal life. Osiris is often shown as being green-faced and bearded. According to legend, he was killed by his jealous brother Seth but was miraculously reborn. His death symbolizes the yearly Egyptian drought, while his miraculous rebirth represents the flooding of the Nile Valley and its nourishment by the silt left on the land after the flood.
In ancient Egypt, you could go to the courts if you wanted justice or you could appeal to the gods. For example, if your ox was stolen, you could ask a statue of a god for the name of the thief. And it was believed that the god would nod his head at the guilty party!
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