Ra, the ancient Egyptian god of the sun, controlled the passage of the sun across the sky. Most paintings of Ra show a man with the head of a hawk, but other representations include a man with the head of a beetle or ram.
Beliefs about Ra varied among sects. Ra was known by several names, including Re, Amun-Ra, Khepri and Khnum. His devotees at Heliopolis believed Ra created himself and then formed mankind from his tears. All plant and animal life, as well as the seasons, were attributed to the god. Others believed that Ra was the son of his enemy, Ptah, and was jealous of his power. Ra fathered three sister-goddesses: Bast, Sekhmet and Hathor.