THE ENNEAD: Ra, Geb, Nut, Shu, Tefnut, Osiris, Isis, Set, and Nephythys.

These nine gods were the foremost deities of the Egyptian pantheon. They were the close family of Ra, the sun god, and formed a sort of protective dynasty about him. They were also called Great Ennead of Heliopolis. That city was for a long time the religious capital of Egypt. It was the city sacred to Ra.

Below is a list of most of the Egyptian Mythical Gods and Goddesses.

In truth - one soul played all of these roles - as well of those of the Pharaohs and Kings.


An earth-god also presiding over the juncture of the western and eastern horizons in the Underworld. The motif of Aker consists of the foreparts of two lions, or two human heads, juxtaposed so that they face away from each other. Aker opens the earth's gate for the king to pass into the Underworld. He absorbs the poison from the body of anyone bitten by a snake and neutralises the venom in the belly of a person who has swallowed an obnoxious fly. More importantly he imprisons the coils of the snake Apophis after being hacked to pieces bby Isis. This idea of enclosure accounts for the socket holding the mast of the Underworld ferryboat being identified with Aker.

In the Egyptian notion of the Underworld Akerr could provide along his back a secure passage for the sun-god's boat travelling from west to east during the hours of night. From the tomb of Ramesses VI in the Valley of the Kings, the massive tomb of Pedamenopet. (Dynasty XXVI) in el-Asasif necropolis at Thebes, and mythological papyri of the priesthood of Amun in Dynasty XXI, it is possible to reconstruct a 'Book of Aker', concerned with the solar journey from sunset to sunrise. A more threatening side to Aker can be detected when he pluralises into the Akeru or earth-gods. In apotropaic passages in the Pyramid Texts the Akeru are said not to seize the monarch; later there is a general hope for everyone to escape the grasp of the earth-gods. The Akeru appear to be primeval deities more ancient than Geb, earth-god of the cosmogony of Heliopolis.


A goddess whose name means 'hidden one' and whose shadow, among the primeval gods, is a symbol of protection. A deity at Karnak temple at least since the reign of Sesostris I (Dynasty XII), she is predominantly the consort of Amun playing, however, a less prolific role than his other wife Mut. A statue datable to Tutankhamun's reugn which was set uup in the Record Hall of Tuthmosis III at Karnak shows the goddess in human form wearing the Red Crown of the Delta.

Reliefs at Karnak clearly mark her as prominent in rituals closely associated with the monarch's accession and jubilee festival. For instance, in the momument of Tuthmosis III, known as the Akh-menu, Amaunet and Min lead a row of deities to watch the king and sacred bull in the jubilee celebration. Much later in the Greek domination of Egypt she is carved on the exterior wall of the sanctuary suckling the pharaoh Philip Arrhidaeus who is playing the role of the divine child immediately following the scene depicting his enthronement. A late equation at Karnak identifies her with Neith of the Delta- comparable to the analogy made between Mut and Sakhmet- but she retains her own identity well into the Ptolemaic period.


A bearded Man wearing a cap surmounted by two tall plumes. A ram, a ram headed man, or a ram headed sphinx.

Self created at the beginning of time. Believed to be the physical father of all Pharaohs.

King of the gods of Egypt. Patron of the Pharoahs. Originally a god of fertility, a local deity of Memphis. Ammon became linked with the sun god Ra through the royal family, becoming Ammon-Ra.

Early, a god of air and wind. Later, a fertility god. The Creator of all things. During the New Kingdom he became "The king of the gods". He was said to be able to assume any form he wished, with each of the other gods being one of these forms. From the eighteenth dynasty on he was a national deity. Through political means managed to assimilate many lesser gods.

One of chief Theban deities; united with sun god under form of Amen-Ra. As the city grew from a village to a powerful metropolis so Amun, whose name signifies 'hidden', grew in importance. He ousted the Theban god of war, Mont, and went on to be regarded as chief god Egypt, 'King of the Gods'. Originally he might have been a wind or air god; later he was given several powers and attributes.

As an ithyphallic god, either standing or enthroned carrying a whip, Amun was god of fertility. At Karnak he was considered to be incarnate in a sacred ram which was kept in that temple. Another symbol of sexual power, the goose, was also sacred to him.

From being worshipped as a god of generative power to being worshipped as an agricultural deity responsible for the growth of crops was but a short step for Amun. He then rose to be the patron of the Pharaohs, and because of the inevitable connections between royalty and the sun, became linked to the great god Ra. As Amun-Ra he became supreme amoung the gods and ruler of the Great Ennead. During the reign of Akhenaten, the worship of Amun, like that of all the other great gods, was severely curtailed.

On the death of Akhenaten the new king, the boy Tut-ankh-aten, changed his name to declare his allegiance to the neglected but now ascendant Amun; the youthful monarch is known to us as Tut-ankh-amun. Thebes, home of the god Amun, developed into a state within a state, a rich and powerful inner kingdom ruled by the high priestess of Amun and staffed by men of nobility and genius.

The god's fame extended well beyond the boundaries of Egypt; Ethiopia was virtually a vassal state to the city of Thebes. To the west, in Libya, his cult was the centre of public religion, lasting well into Classical times as the cult of Jupiter Ammon. Even Alexander the Great thought it worthwhile consulting the oracle of Amun.

He received a favorable reply and assumed the title, Son of Amun. Apart from Thebes, which grew so important that it was simply known as 'the city', Amun was worshipped all over Egypt, and his magnificent temples at Luxor and Karnak are among the finest remains of antiquity. Amun formed a triad with his wife Mut and his son Khons.


A combination of the head of a crocodile, the middle of a lioness and the hind quarters of a hippopotamus.

We find Ammut during the weighing of the heart of a deceased person against the feather of Maat. It was Ammut who would devour the souls of those who's hearts proved heavier than Maat. This was a terrifying prospect for the ancient Egyptians. It meant the end of existence. They would never meet Osiris and live forever in the Fields of Peace.


God in anthropomorphic form originally worshipped in the mid-Delta in Lower Egyptian nome 9. Andjety (meaning 'he of Andjet', i.e. the town of Busiris) was the precursor of Osiris at the cult centre of Busiris. The iconography of this god persuasively argues for his being the forerunner of Osiris. Andjety holds the two sceptres in the shape of a 'crook' and a 'flail', insignia which are Osiris's symbols of dominion. Also his high conical crown decorated with two feathers is clearly related to the 'atef' crown of Osiris.

As early as the beginning of Dynasty IV King Seneferu, the builder of the first true pyramid tomb, is carved wearing this crown of Andjety. The close relationship of the god to the monarch is is also evident from the earliest references in the Pyramid Texts, where the king's power as a universal ruler is enhanced by his being equated to Andjety 'presiding over the eastern districts'. Perhaps Andjety is an embodiment of sovereignty and its attendant regalia. As such he would readily be absorbed into the nature of Osiris and by extension into the pharaoh himself. The most likely explanation of his epithet, 'bull of vultures', found in the Middle Kingdom Coffin Texts, is that it emphasises his role as a procreative consort of major goddesses.

Andjety figures in a funerary context as well. The notion that he is responsible for rebirth in the Afterlife is probably the reason for the substitution for the two feathers of a bicornate uterus in early writings of his name in the Pyramid Texts. In the Underworld too there is an obvious identification between Andjety and Osiris, as ruler. Hence in the Temple of Sety I at Abydos, the king is depicted buring incense to the god Osiris-Andjety who holds a 'crook' sceptre, wears two feathers in his headband and is accompanied by Isis.

ANHUR (Anhert, Onouris, Onuris)

A sky god associated with Shu.

Anhur is shown as a man with one or both arms raised. He wears four straight feathers on his head and sometimes holds a spear. His name is interpreted as 'skybearer', or 'he who leads that which has gone away'. He was a warrior, and was invoked against both human and animal enemies whom he chased in his chariot. Apart from being a personification of war, he was also regarded as the creative power of the sun. Sometimes he is shown holding a string by which he leads the sun; this to recall the story that when Ra's eye eandered away it was Anhut who went to fetch it back. He was a popular god in the New Empire with cult centres at Sebennytus and This. Married to the goddess Mehit, Anhur was a generally benign god, warlike in order to be helpful. His festival included a playful mock combat between the priests and people, who hit each other with sticks in honour of their saviour god.


Considered by the Egyptians to be a daughter of Ra, Anta is an aspect of Ishtar.

She was that of a warrior goddess of Ugarit on the Syrian coast and attested in Egypt from the end of the Middle Kingdom. The Hyksos rulers seem to have promoted her cult and in the Ramesside era Anat was a crown flanked with plumes, her martial nature is emphasised by the shield, lance and battle ace. The fact that Anat can be shown under the iconography of Hathor is not surprising since Hathor can closely relate to foreign deities (ex: Baalat at Byblos or in the Sinai peninsula) as well as possessing a bloodthirsty, albeit usually subdued, side to her nature. Anat is called 'mistress of the sky' and mother of all the gods' but it is her warlike character that predominates in both Egyptian and Near Eastern references to her. Anat's introduction into the Egyptian pantheon was on account of her protecting the monarch in combat.


A man with the head of a jackal. A dog or a jackal.

The jackal-headed god. Anubis can foresee a mortal's destiny and is associated with magic and divination. Anubis supervises the weighing of the soul when the departed are brought to the hall of the dead.

Guardian of the Necropolis (cemetery). He was the guide of the dead as they made their way through the darkness of the underworld. As a patron of magic, it was believed he could foresee a persons destiny, in this role he was the announcer of death.

Anubis was the patron of embalming. He was also the keeper of poisons and medicines. He provided unguents and rare herbs to help Isis and Nephthys with the embalming of Osiris. Anubis then performed the funeral of Osiris, which would be the model for all funerals to come. As he received the mummy into the tomb, he performed the 'Opening of the Mouth' ceremony.

In the Hall of Maat - Anubis appears on behalf of the diseased. It was Anubis who saw that the beam of the great scale was in the proper position as he supervises the weighing of the heart of a deceased person against the feather of Maat. The god of knowledge,Thoth, records the results. It is also Anubis that protects the dead from Ammut, the 'Devourer'.


The Assyro-Babylonian goddess Ishtar, inducted into the Egyptian pantheon and made a daughter of Ammon-Ra. Sometimes identified (or confused, which is the same thing) with Isis.

Astarte was one of the earliest Mother Goddesses. The "bird-headed" figure above left are very common and thought to represent Astarte or one of her precursors. Parts of the world that honored the Astarte archetype were Indo-European, the Anatolian and Indo-Iranian branches, eg, areas where these statues are found. The bronze figure on the right is intriguing and rare.


An unseen Sun God link to the Akhnaton. The God was of light and had no physical state.


Atum was one of the most ancient gods in Egypt and was part of the Heliopolitan cosmology. Originally an earth god, he became associated with Re, the sun god. Specifically, he was considered to be the setting sun. In later times he became associated with Ptah and eventually Osiris.

According to the priests of Heliopolis, Atum was the first being to emerge from the waters of Nun at the time of creation. Originally, he was a serpent in Nun and will return to that form at the end of time. However, Atum was depicted in art as a man wearing the Double Crown of Upper and Lower Egypt. As such, he is the first living man god conceived of by the ancient Egyptians. Until then, their gods were all forms of animals.

Following his self-creation from Nun, Atum created his children Shu and Tefnut by masturbating. This may seem impossible but Atum was a bisexual god. He embodied both the male and female aspects of life. Therefore, his semen contained all that was necessary to create new life and deities. The Egyptians called Atum "Great He-She" and his name meant "the complete one."

Later myths said that his children were products of his relationship with his shadow, or with the goddess Iusaaset.


An aspect of the sun god Ra Auf was a ram-headed god who wore the solar disc and travelled at night through the Underworld waterways in order to reach the east in time for the new day; however, he still had to fight off the creatures of the Underworld. Demons and gods towed his boat along while Auf stood in a deck-house, over which was coiled the serpent Mehen who warded off the dangerous Apep. The boat of night was crewed by the gods Hu, Saa and Wepwawet.

Ba Neb Tetet (Banebdjedet, Baneb Djedet, Banaded)

Ram god whose name means 'ba (or 'soul') lord of Mendes', his cult centred in the north-east Delta.

When the two gods Horus and Set were making the heavens ring with their wranglings over precedent, it was the ram-god Ba Neb Tetet who sensibly suggested to the gods in council that they should write a letter to the goddess Neith and ask for her opinion. His suggestion opened the way for discussion and arbitration which finally settled the dispute. His character, one of peace and level-headedness, has been sadly perverted in sennsational 'occult' fiction, for Ba Neb Tetet is the benign original for a travesty called the 'goat of Mendes', who is supposed to be some sort of diabolic spirit. At Mendes was kept a sacred ram, worshipped as the incarnation of Ra and Osiris. Originally a local god, Ba Neb Tetet was given the solar disc and uraeus (coiled cobra) and brought into the main-stream of religious life.


Prominent god of the sky and storms whose cult spread from Ugarit in Syria into Egypt, where he possessed a priesthood by Dynasty XVIII. Aliyan Baal, son of a less well-attested god Dagan, dwelt on Mount Sapan (hence Ball-Zaphon) in North Syria but also became associated as a local deity of other sites such as Baal-Hazor in Palestine, and Baal-Sidon and Baal of Tyre(Melkart) in the Lebanon. Although the anme Baal can mean 'lord' or 'owner' it was being used as a proper name for a specific god by the sixteenth century BC.

Baal has a pointed beard, a horned helmet and wields a cedar tree, club, or spear. His epithet in the cuneiform texts, 'he who rides on the clouds', is admirable for a god of tempests and thunder- relating thereby to the Mesopotamian thunder- god Adad and in Egypt to the god Seth. Ramesses II in his almost fatal struggle against the Hittite confederation at the battle of Kadesh is called 'Seth great of strength and Baal himself'. The war cry of Ramesses III is like Baal in the sky, i.e. Baal's voice (the thunder) which makes the mountains shake. His relationship to the warrior-pharaoh image may account for the popularity of his cult at Memphis, capital of Egypt, and the theophorous name Baal-Khepeshef or 'Baal-is-upon-his-sword'.

In the Middle East Baal's dominion was greatly enhanced when he became the vanquisher of Yamm god of the sea. But Baal was killed in a struggle with Mot (possibly a personification of death) and descended into the Underworld. He returns to life by the intervention of his sister-lover Anat, who also slays his murderer. It is curious that the Egyptians did not, in extant texts at any ratem relate this myth symbolising the continual cycle of vegetation to their own Osiris legend.


The cat-headed goddess, a local deity of the delta. The kindly goddess of joy, music and dancing. Cats were sacred to Bast as a symbol of animal passion. Bast's devotees celebrated their lady with processions of flower-laden barges and orgiastic ceremonies. Her festivals were licentious and quite popular.

She appears as a woman with the head of a domesticated cat, sometimes holding a sistrum.

The town of Bubastis was the cult centre of this solar goddess represented as a woman with a cat's head, or simply as a cat. The goddess holds a sistrum or rattle. She was identified and confused with both Mut and Sekhmet, the lion-headed goddess. Bastet wore an aegis or shield in the form of a semi-circular plate, embellished with a lion's head. She was goddess of pleasure and inevitably became one of the most popular deities. In her temple were kept sacred cats, who were supposed to be incarnations of the goddess. When they died they were carefully mummified. The Egyptians found something to worship in just about every animal they had: dogs, cats, lions, crocodiles, snakes, dung-beetles, hippos, hawks, cows and ibises.

As the daughter of Re she is associated with the rage inherent in the sun-god's eye, his instrument of vengeance. It was probably this ferocity that made the analogy so plausible between Bastet and lioness. Her development into the cat-goddess par excellence, of the Late Period of Egyptian civilization, retains the link with the sun-god but in some ways softens the vicious side of her nature. She becomes a peaceful creature, destroying only vermin, and unlike her leonine form she can be approached fearlessly and stroked.

It has been suggested that in one myth the Egyptians saw Bastet's return from Nubia, where she had been sent by Re as a lioness and had raged in isolation, to Egypt in the form of the more placid cat as an explanation of the period of unapproachability in the cycle of menstruation. A tangential evidence that advocates of this theory cite the scenes in New Kingdom tomb paintings at Thebes where a cat is depicted under the lady's chair as a deliberate ploy to indicate that she will always be available for sexual intercourse with the tomb owner in the Afterlife.

In her earlies appearances in the Pyramid Era Bastet is a goddess closely linked to the king. A magnificent example of precise engineering in the Old Kingdom, namely the valley temple of King Khafre at Giza, carries on its facade the names of two goddess only- Hathor of Southern Egypt and Bastet of the north. The latter is invoked as a benign royal protectress in the Pyramid Texts where, in a spell to enable him to reach the sky, the king proclaims that his mother and nurse is Bastet.

Besides the king, Bastet has a son in the form of the lion-headed god Mihos and is also the mother of a more artifical offspring combining the natures of Nefertum and the child Horus, personifying her connection with perfume and royalty. With the dramatic extension of the roles of deities to assist Egyptian courtiers as well as the pharaoh that we find in the Coffin Texts of the Middle Kingdom, Bastet gives immense protection as first-born daughter of Atum. The aggressive side of Bastet can be seen in historial texts describing the pharaoh in battle. For example, Amenhotep II's enemies are slaughtered like the victims of Bastet along the road cut by the god Amun.

From her epithet 'lady of Asheru', the precinct of the goddess Mut at Karnak, it is clear that Bastet had a place on Theban soil where she could be equated with the consort of Amun- especially since the lioness and the cat were also claimed as sacred animals by Mut. Reliefs in the temple of Karnak show the pharaoh celebrating ritual races carrying either four sceptres and a bird or an oar in front of Bastet who is called ruler of 'Sekhet-neter' or the 'Divine Field'- i.e. Egypt.


A guardian god.

Dwarf-god, grotesque in appearance, benign in nature.

A god of a far different order from the serene and poised figures of the official pantheon. He was a plump, bandy-legged, hairy, rude dwarf with a wicked gleam in his pop-eyes. his tongue resolutely stuck out at the follies of mankind. Bes was a foreign god, an import from the land of Punt (Libya). He was a swaggering, jolly, mock-gallant pigmy, fond of music and clumsy, inelegant dancing.

He was a popular proletarian god who was adopted by the middle classes; he was considered a tutelary god of childbirth and, strangely enough, of cosmetics and female adornments. Bes chased away demons of the night and guarded men from dangerous animals. His image was carved on bedpost, bringing a touch of coarses geniality into the boudoir. He eventually became a protector of the dead and, amazingly, competed with even the refined and magnificemt god Osiris for the attentions of men. Bes' only clothing appears to have been a leopard skin tied round his shoulders and an ostrich feather stuck in his uncombed hair.

Duamutef - Tuamutef

A funerary god, son of Horus.

Like Anubis he was jackal-headed and concerned with the dead. The stomach was Duamutef's sphere of influence, the preserved viscera in question being removed from the body, preserved in spices and placed in a jar on which was a mode of Duamutef's head. The viscera were preserved as being essential parts of the mummified human.


Son of Shu and Tefnut, twin brother of Nut, husband of Nut, father of Osiris and Isis, Seth, Nephthys.

As a vegetation-god he was shown with green patches or plants on his body. As the earth, he is often seen lying beneath Nut, leaning on one elbow, with a knee bent toward the sky, this is representive of the mountains and valleys of the earth. He was often pictured with a goose on his head or as a goose.

Geb was thought to represent the earth, he is often seen reclining beneath the sky goddess Nut. Geb was called 'the Great Cackler', and as such, was represented as a goose. It was in this form that he was said to have laid the egg from which the sun was hatched. He was believed to have been the third divine king of earth. The royal throne of Egypt was known as the 'throne of Geb' in honor of his great reign.

Geb was a god without a cult; he was given the world to rule. One day he and a group of friends rashly opened a box in which was kept Ra's uraeus, the divine cobra. The snake's poisonous breath killed Geb's companions and severely burned Geb. The god was healed by the application of a magic lock of hair belonging to Ra, and ever after that was careful to mind his own business.

After a long and uneventful reign he handed his power over to his son Osiris and retired to heaven. There he occasionally assisted the god Thoth, sometimes as a magistrate, sometimes as an envoy. Geb's generative power is shown not only in representations of him as an ithyphallic man, but also in the story that he once had the shape of a gander. He mated with a goose to produce an egg, the sun. Many cultures regard the earth as female; Geb is an interesting exception.


God of the desert, particularly the regions of the west including the oases. Ha is anthropomorphic and wears the symbol for desert hills on his head. As lord of the desert he wards off enemies from the west, probably referring to invading tribes from Libya.


Husband of Nekhebet.

A bearded man coloured blue or green, with female breasts, indicating his powers of nourishment. As god of the Northern Nile he wears papyrus plants on his head, and as god of the southern Nile he wears lotus plants. He is often seen carrying offerings of food or giving libations of water from a vase. Sometimes he is pictured offering two plants and two vases, which represented the upper and lower Nile.

Hapi was a very important deity to anyone living in the Nile valley. He was the god of the Nile, particularly the inundation, His followers worshipped him even above Ra. After all, without the sun the Egyptians would have lived in darkness, but without the Nile the Egyptians would have perished. It was believed that Hapi's source was two whirlpools in the caves on Elephantine island. On his journey he was thought to flow through the Underworld, through the heavens, and then through Egypt. He was responsible for watering the meadows and bringing the dew. But most importantly he brought the fertile inundation. He provided food and water for nourishment and for offerings to the gods. As a fertility god he is associated with Osiris.

Because her worship stretches back to pre-dynastic times, we find Hathor identified with many local goddesses, and it can be said that all the goddesses were forms of Hathor. At times we find her playing the role of a sky-goddess, a sun-goddess, a moon-goddess, a goddess of the east, a goddess of the west, a goddess of moisture, a goddess of fertility, an agricultural goddess, and a goddess of the underworld.

Hathor was the goddess of joy, motherhood, and love. She was considered the protectress of pregnant women and a midwife. She was the patron of all women, no matter their station in life. As the goddess of music and dancing her symbol was the sistrum. As a fertility goddess and a goddess of moisture, Hathor was associated with the inundation of the Nile. In this aspect she was associated with the Dog-star Sothis whose rising above the horizon heralded the annual flooding of the Nile. In the legend of Ra and Hathor she is called the Eye of Ra.

In later times, when the Osiris cults gained popularity, her role changed. She now welcomed the arrival of the deceased to the underworld, dispensing water to the souls of the dead from the branches of a sycamore and offering them food. Hathor was also represented as a cow suckling the soul of the dead, thus giving them sustenance during their mummification, their journey to the judgement hall, and the weighing of their soul. In the Late Period, dead women identified themselves with Hathor, as men identified with Osiris.


A sky goddess, sometimes represented as a woman with cow's horns between which hangs a solar disc, sometimes portrayed as a cow. Hathor concerns herself with beauty, love and marriage, and watches over women giving birth. Mother and wife of Ra. Hathor is also a goddess of death and offers comfort to the newly dead as they pass into the after-world.

Hathor was originally worshipped in the form of a cow, sometimes as a cow with stars on her. Later she is represented as a woman with the head of a cow, and finally with a human head, the face broad and placid, sometimes she is depicted with the ears or horns of a cow. She is also shown with a head-dress resembling a pair of horns with the moon-disk between them. Sometimes she is met with in the form of a cow standing in a boat, surrounded by tall papyrus reeds. As the "Mistress of the Necropolis" she is shown as the head of a cow protruding from a mountainside. In this case she wears a menat necklace, which is a symbol of rebirth.


Goddess of creation, birth and the germination of corn.

Heket was pictured as a frog, or a frog-headed woman. She is a midwife, assisting at the daily birth of the sun. An earlier theogony made greater claims for her, saying that with Shu as husband she gave birth to the gods. A goddess of very antiquity, her cult never really got off the ground.