Thursday, January 24, 2008

Ancient Egyptions Gods and Godesses (5)

Upper Egyptian patron goddess, represented as a vulture in iconography, and often part of the crown of the pharaoh, along with her Lower Egyptian counterpart Edjo.

Nephthys (Nebt-het)
The youngest child of Geb and Nut. The sister and wife of Set, and sister of Isis and Osiris; also the mother (variantly by Set or by Osiris) of Anubis. She abandoned Set when he killed Osiris, and assisted Isis in the care of Horus and the resurrection of Osiris. She was, along with her sister, considered the special protectress of the dead, and she was the guardian of Hapi, the protector of the lungs of the deceased. See also Isis, Osiris, Set.

Nut (Nuit)
The goddess of the sky, daughter of Shu and Tefnut, sister and wife of Geb, mother of Osiris, Set, Isis, and Nephthys. Described by Crowley in his Magick in Theory and Practice thus: "Infinite space is called the goddess NUIT." Nut was generally depicted as a woman with blue skin, and her body covered with stars, standing on all fours, leaning over her husband, representing the sky arched over the earth. Her relationship to Hadit is an invention of Crowley's with no basis in Egyptology, save only that Hadit was often depicted underneath Nut - one finds Nut forming the upper frame of a scene, and the winged disk Hadit floating beneath, silently as always. This is an artistic convention, and there was no marriage between the two in Egyptian myth.

Osiris (Ausar)
The god of the dead, and the god of the resurrection into eternal life; ruler, protector, and judge of the deceased, and his prototype (the deceased was in historical times usually referred to as "the Osiris"). His cult originated in Abydos, where his actual tomb was said to be located. Osiris was the first child of Nut and Geb, thus the brother of Set, Nephthys, and Isis, who was also his wife. By Isis he fathered Horus, and according to some stories, Nephthys assumed the form of Isis, seduced him thus, and from their union was born Anubis. Osiris ruled the world of men in the beginning, after Ra had abandoned the world to rule the skies, but he was murdered by his brother Set. Through the magic of Isis, he was made to live again. Being the first living thing to die, he subsequently became lord of the dead. His death was avenged by his son Horus, who defeated Set and cast him out into the desert to the West of Egypt (the Sahara). Prayers and spells were addressed to Osiris throughout Egyptian history, in hopes of securing his blessing and entering the afterlife which he ruled; but his popularity steadily increased through the Middle Kingdom. By Dynasty XVIII he was probably the most widely worshipped god in Egypt. His popularity endured until the latest phases of Egyptian history; reliefs still exist of Roman emperors, conquerors of Egypt, dressed in the traditional garb of the Pharaohs, making offerings to him in the temples.

Pharaoh(deified kings)
From earliest times in Egypt the pharaohs were worshipped as gods: the son of Ra, the son of Horus, the son of Amen, etc. depending upon what period of Egyptian history and what part of the country is being considered. It should be noted that prayers, sacrifices, etc. to the pharaohs were extremely rare, if they occured at all - there seems to be little or no evidence to support an actual cult of the pharaoh. The pharaoh was looked upon as being chosen by and favored by the gods, his fathers.

Worshipped in Memphis from the earliest dynastic times (c.3100 BC), Ptah was seen as the creator of the universe in the Memphite cosmology. He fashioned the bodies in which dwelt the souls of men in the afterlife. Other versions of the myths state that he worked under Thoth's orders, creating the heavens and the earth according to Thoth's specifications. Ptah is depicted as a bearded man wearing a skullcap, shrouded much like a mummy, with his hands emerging from the wrappings in front and holding the Uas (phoenix-headed) scepter, an Ankh, and a Djed (sign of stability). He was often worshipped in conjunction with the gods Seker and Osiris, and worshipped under the name Ptah-seker-ausar. He was said to be the husband of Sekhmet and the father of Nefertum (and later Imhotep).

Qebehsenuf (Kabexnuf, Qebsneuef)
One of the Four Sons of Horus, Qebhsenuef was represented as a mummified man with the head of a falcon. He was the protector of the intestines of the deceased, and was protected by the goddess Selket.

Originally believed to be a Syrian deity, Qetesh was a goddess of love and beauty. Qetesh was depicted as a beautiful nude woman, standing or riding upon a lion, holding flowers, a mirror, or serpents. She is generally shown full-face (unusual in Egyptian artistic convention). She was also considered the consort of the god Min, the god of virility.

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