Egypt Gods

The gods of Egypt were both feared and loved by ancient Egyptians. 
Here are some of the most famous gods
(in alphabetical order).


Known as the Lord of the Dead, Anubis was said to preside over the dead and judge their souls before they passed on to the afterlife (the Underworld). He is shown in ancient pictures and statues as a man with the head of a jackal. While jackals are tan in color, Anubis is always pictured with a black jackal's head because this was the color of death and of rotting flesh. When priests mummified bodies, they sometimes wore masks depicting Anubis's jackal face and made offerings so the dead would not be judged harshly. 

The Ancient Egyptians believed that the dead were judged in the Hall of the Dead, where Anubis would put the severed heart of the dead person on the scales of justice. A goddess named Ma'at sat at the top of the scales and placed a feather one side. If the heart was lighter than the feather, the dead person was considered good and would easily pass through the portal to the Underworld. If the heart was heavier than the feather, it was eaten by the demon Ammit, the Destroyer. Even today, modern Egyptians consider a good person to have a white heart (elb abeead) and lightweight blood (dem hafeef).

Anubis was considered a powerful deity from 3000 B.C. until 2000 B.C. when he was replaced by Osiris.


Bast (or Bastet) is depicted as a lioness-headed or cat-headed female figure. She was the goddess of health and healing, the home, cats, and pregnant women. She is the daughter of the sun god Ra, and was said to have protected him by slaying his arch enemy, Apep, the giant serpent of the underworld. Later she became known for more war-like attributes, such as fire, protection of warriors, and taking revenge on anyone who killed a cat.

The cult of Bast can be traced back to 3200 B.C. and originated in the city of Bubastis. When that city became the capital of Egypt in about 950 B.C., she became a national deity. Temples honoring Bast have been found in the cities of Bubastis, Memphis, and Dendera. Followers of Bast hold cats in reverence, are grateful to them for keeping mice and rats out of stored grain, are forbidden from killing them, and even mummified dead cats before laying them to rest or putting them in the tombs of their owners so they could be together in the afterlife. 


Hathor was the goddess of fertility, motherhood, and joy. She is closely associated with Ra, the sun god, said to give birth to him each morning when he begins his trek across the sky, and said to welcome him into her arms as a wife every night. This odd mother/wife/lover role was aspired to by countless generations of Egyptian women who believed it was their duty to nurture men in every way possible.

She is sometimes pictured as a motherly figure and sometimes as a cow, revered for its ability to give milk. She was also considered to look after the souls of the dead by giving them, hope, sustenance, and succor.

Her cult was very strong in Egypt from 3000 B.C. Evidence of her widespread popularity is proven by her image on countless relics, jewelry, papyrus, and hieroglyphics all in many cities across Egypt. Most of her cults lessened in strength over the years, but she is still beloved today, although not considered a deity since the rise of Islam.


Heka (also known as Hike) was the Egyptian God of Magic and Medicine. For ancient Egyptians, magic and the medicine were the same. ‘Heka’ is the Egyptian word for magic. Literally Heka means activating the Ka, the aspect of the soul which embodied personality. By activating the power of the soul and combining it with ancient texts, specific rituals, and medicinal herbs, magic could be harnessed for both physical and spiritual health. Magic was also used for protection against the angry deities, jealous ghosts, foreign demons, and sorcerers who were thought to cause illness, accidents, poverty, and infertility. Whether a person's problem was illness, the wish for spiritual aid, or for supernatural help, 'Heka' was widely used and respected.

The name Heka was depicted as a twist of flax and a pair of raised arms. The flax was often thought to resemble two snakes. The two intertwined serpents became symbolic of his power, and the symbol is still associated with medicine today.


The name “Horus” is actually Greek; in ancient Egypt, he was called Heru. Horus was said to be the son of the Sun God, Ra, and was considered the Sky God. He’s depicted with a falcon head, one who was King of the Sky. Because the worship of Horus continued over several millennia, the god’s abilities, parentage, and myths have been changed to incorporate the changing needs and loyalties of the people. In other myths, Horus is considered to be the son of Isis and Osiris.
Horus was so important that the Eye of Horus became a revered Egyptian symbol of power for Pharaohs and is still very popular today. It symbolizes protection, royal power and good health. Funerary amulets were often made in the shape of the Eye of Horus. Ancient Egyptian and Middle Eastern sailors would frequently paint the symbol on the bow of their vessel to ensure safe sea travel.


Isis (pronounce izz-izz by Egyptians) is the goddess of motherhood and rebirth. She was the wife of Osiris and mother of Horus. When Set killed Osiris and set his body adrift in the Nile, Isis searched for him, lighting her way with lanterns. She found Osiris, but Set stole his body, chopped it up and threw it into the water again. Isis retrieved her husband, reassembled him, and brought him back to life. Because of this, she usually appears in funeral scenes, either leading the deceased toward the afterlife, or standing behind Osiris to greet the dead. 

Isis instituted marriage and taught women the domestic arts of grain-grinding, flax-spinning, and weaving. As mother-goddess, she introduced the practice of agriculture and encouraged reading. She was worshiped as the goddess of medicine and wisdom.


Osiris is the Egyptian god of the Dead, the Underworld, and the Afterlife. He was married to Isis and murdered by Set, his brother. Osiris was considered the merciful judge of the dead and led the worthy into the afterlife and then into a rebirth through his magic. Through the hope of new life after death, Osiris became associated with the cycles of the season, the annual flooding of the Nile, and the sprouting of vegetation in newly watered and fertile fields. It was said that he replenished all the crops of the Nile Valley every year.

The cult of Osiris were particularly interested in immortality. Because Osiris was brought back to life by Isis, and after dying a second time, brought back to life by a group of gods and given the Underworld to control, it’s believed that he has the power of immortality within him. Those who can find it or copy it will also become immortal. 


Ra is the most powerful of all Egyptian gods. Ra’s symbol is the sun, which represents light, warmth, and growth.  All forms of life were created by Ra, who called each of them into existence by speaking their secret names.  Humans were created from Ra's tears and sweat, and ancient Egyptians called themselves the "Cattle of Ra." 

Ra, pictured with the sun on his head at left, was seen as the literal sun. He was thought to travel on two solar boats every day -- the Morning Boat, which pulled him across the sky during the day, and the Evening Boat, which took him on his journey through the underworld at night when he (the sun) was hidden from sight.  The serpent of chaos, Apophis, often tried to stop the boats' progress and had to be fought and defeated.

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