Who Are Some Egyptian Gods and Goddesses?


Quick Answer

Some of the most well-known deities of ancient Egypt are Ra, Anubis, Set, Isis and Osiris. Some of the names changed over time as Egypt was gradually absorbed into the Greek hegemony, but the essence of the deities remained mostly the same. The head deity of the Pesedjet, or collective term for the pantheon, was Ra, also spelled Re or Amon-re.

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Full Answer

Ra is the god of the sun in Egyptian myth, and the head deity associated with the pharaoh. Ra was believed to have come forth from the Nun, or primordial water from which the Nile River flowed. Ra rode his chariot across the sky every day, sinking into the underworld each night. Ra gave birth to Shu and Tefnut, the personifications of air and moisture.

Set, although often thought of as an evil god, is actually a neutral-aligned god, mainly focused on a rivalry with Horus, the god of the sun. Set, also called Seth or Sutekh, is the god of storms, chaos and the desert.

Anubis is the judge of the dead, rather than the actual god of death; that role fell to Osiris. Anubis is depicted as having the head of a jackal. His main function is to weigh the souls of the dead to determine their fates.

Osiris is the god of the underworld, and the husband of Isis. He was the first to undergo mummification at the hands of Anubis so that he could be reborn. Osiris is the symbol of both death and eternal life.

Isis is the goddess of maternity, magic and fertility. She was one of the earliest deities of Egyptian myth, and her worship was widespread.

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