Ancient Egyptian Mythology

For over 3,000 years, the Egypitans worshiped in a polytheistic way.

Polytheistic means to worship more than one god.

As a matter of fact, there were over 2,000 different Egyptian gods that were worshiped by the people, including, the different Pharaohs who were sometimes thought of as god that walked on the earth.

There were different ways that the Egypitans worshipped their gods and this happened either at the persons home or in a temple that was built for the gods.

Most of the civilizations built temples in the different cities and many of these temples were built along the Nile River.

Each temple had different statues or pictures and people would come into the temple and they would worship the god that could give them what they needed at the time.

In these temples, each god was in charge of some type of job that could help or hurt the humans.

These temples were not usually built for just one god, but they were built for many gods and these statues were called “temple gods,” and these temple gods would let you pray the prayer that you wanted so that you could reach the right god with your need or with something you wanted.

Many of the temples had gardens or memorials where people could give presents or bring resources to the god that they were praying to.

Some examples of these temples include the “Luxor Temple,” the “Temple of Isis at Philae,” the “Temple of Horus and Edfu,” and more.

These temples were a place for the people to pray, call on the gods to do magic, follow certain rituals and a place to ask the gods for favors, often praying through Pharaoh to get their prayers answered faster.

With most polytheistic religions, the people are usually afraid of the gods that control the universe, but the Egyptian people would sometimes get mad at the gods if they did not get what they wanted and they would strike the statues or the pictures with their rod or kick the statue when they were finished praying.

The Egyptians felt that the gods were on their side even if they were angry at the time.

The Egyptians did not only believe in gods that were there to protect or judge them, but they also believed in demons.

The demons were considered to be stronger and more powerful than humans but not as powerful as the gods.  The demons were oftentimes considered the enemies of the gods.

Two examples of demons during this time are Ammut, she was part crocodile, part lioness and part hippo and she would devour the hearts of the wicked that were not allowed to go to the afterlife because of their terrible ways.

Apepi was another demon and was the enemy of Ra, he was shown as a snake.

There are many Egyptian gods that have made that are known throughout Egypt.  Many of them wore fake beards, many were part man, part animal and many wore different types of headdresses in order to be distinguished from other gods.

Most of the gods carried some type of staff or had some symbol that would distinguish them from the other gods. The Egyptians had over 2,000 different gods.

Below is a list of some of the more popular gods of Egyptian mythology.

Ra:  Ra is the sun god and is considered the most important god of all.  His job was to make the sun appear.  It is said in legend that every night, he was eaten by the goddess of the sky, Nut, and then was reborn just in time fo the sun to come back out.

He was later combined with the god Amun and became known as Amun-Ra and was the strongest and most powerful god of all.  He was considered to be so adored and powerful by the Egyptians that the ruler, King Tutankhamum was named after him, his name meaning, “Living Image of Amun.”

Tefnut:  Tefnut is the goddess of rain and water.  She had a head of a lion and was called the “goddess of moisture,” she was the daughter of Ra and was created when he spit her into existence.

Bes:  Bes was a babysitter and was the protector of mothers.  He protected the mothers and babies from scorpion bites and from nightmares.

Anubis:  Anubis protected the dead from wild dogs and jackals at the cemetery, he also watches over the people that go into the afterlife.  He is the “god of embalming.”

Here is a list of other gods:

  • Sobek-“god of the waterways.”
  • Hapi-“god of the Nile.”
  • Isis- “mother goddess.”
  • Osiris- husband of Isis, father of Horus, “god of the underworld.”
  • Horus- “god of the sky.”
  • Thoth- “god of knowledge” and “god of the moon.”
  • Bastet- “goddess of pleasure.”
  • Res- “god of entertainment and happiness.”
  • Hathor- Ra’s daughter, “goddess of beauty, love, musice, pleasure, and”
  • Ma’at- “goddess of truth and justice.”
  • Nephthys- Isis’ sister, Anubis’ mother, helped protect the dead, had no temple.
  • Seth- Osiris’ evil brother, “god of chaos and confusion.”

Q and A

  • Q: What does polytheistic mean?
    A: Polytheistic means worshipping more than one god.  Monotheistic means worshiping only one god.
  • Q: How many years did the Egyptians worship these different gods?
    A: The Egyptians worshipped these gods for over 3,000 years.
  • Q: Who/what was stronger than humans, supernatural, but not as strong or powerful than the gods?
    A: The demons were supernatural beings that were stronger than humans but not as powerful as the gods.
  • Q: What were the statues inside the temple called?
    A: The statues were representations of gods inside the temple and they were called, “temple gods.”
  • Q: Who was the strongest and most powerful of the Egyptian gods?
    A: Amun-Ra was the combination of the god Amun and the god Ra and was the most powerful god in the Egyptian mythology.