a guide to gods and goddesses and traditions of ancient egypt

Mafdet was a goddess who butchered the enemies of Ra; In the Pyramid Texts the goddess Mafdet helps the dead king by clawing out the eyes of evil snakes. Her sacred animal may originally have been some kind of mongoose, but she was later depictes as a cheetah or a lynx. As the divine executioner, Mafdet served justice by running down and slaughtering the ‘enemies of Ra’. Her symbol was a harpoon fixed to a block

Egyptian Mythology; A Guide to the Gods, Goddesses and Traditions of Ancient Egypt by Geraldine Pinch  


The sun god who was the ultimate source of light, energy, and life. The first sunrise, when the sun emerged as a shining bird or golden child from dark watery chaos, was the most important event in Egyptian myth. Ra merged with the primeval form of the creator to make the cosmos and its laws. He ruled as King of the Gods, first on earth and later from the heavens. Ra was born to his mother the sky goddess each morning. He passed through many transformations before being absorbed back into her each evening. Alternatively, the progress of the sun was pictured as a voyage across the skies above and below the earth. Each night the divine crew of the solar barque had to overcome the forces of chaos so that Ra could revive the sleeping dead and renew the world.
—  Egyptian Mythology; A Guide to the Gods, Goddesses and Traditions of Ancient Egypt by Geraldine Pinch

From stories of resurrected mummies and thousand-year-old curses to powerful pharaohs and the coveted treasures of the Great Pyramids, ancient Egypt has had an unfaltering grip on the modern imagination. Now, in Egyptian Mythology, Geraldine Pinch offers a comprehensive introduction that untangles the mystery of Egyptian Myth.

Spanning Ancient Egyptian culture–from 3200 BC to AD 400–Pinch opens a door to this hidden world and casts light on its often misunderstood belief system. She discusses the nature of myths and the history of Egypt, from the predynastic to the postpharaonic period. She explains how Egyptian culture developed around the flooding of the Nile, or the “inundation,” a phenomenon on which the whole welfare of the country depended, and how aspects of the inundation were personified as deities. She explains that the usually cloudless skies made for a preoccupation with the stars and planets. Indeed, much early Egyptian mythology may have developed to explain the movement of these celestial bodies. She provides a timeline covering the seven stages in the mythical history of Egypt and outlining the major events of each stage, such as the reign of the sun God. A substantial A to Z section covers the principal themes and concepts of Egyptian mythology as well as the most important deities, demons, and other characters. For anyone who wants to know about Anubis, the terrifying canine god who presided over the mummification of bodies and guarded burials, or Hathor, the golden goddess who helped women to give birth and the dead to be reborn, or an explanation of the nun, the primeval ocean from which all life came, Egyptian Mythology is the place to look.