egypt religion

Standing statuette (bronze with gold inlay) of the ancient Egyptian cat-goddess Bastet, holding an usekh-collar topped by a feline head and sun-disk.  Artist unknown; ca. 400-250 BCE (Late Period or early Ptolemaic).  Now in the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore.  Photo credit: Walters Art Museum.

anubis · jackal god of mummification

The jackal-god of mummification, he assisted in the rites by which a dead man was admitted to the underworld. Anubis was worshipped as the inventor of embalming and who embalmed the dead Osiris and thereby helping to preserve him that he might live again.

Anubis is portrayed as a man with the head of a jackal holding the divine sceptre carried by kings and gods; as simply a black jackal or as a dog accompanying Isis. His symbol was a black and white ox-hide splattered with blood and hanging from a pole. It’s meaning is unknown.

requested by: @katiecro28 (sorry I took so long)

bastet · goddess of cats, fire and pregnant women

Bastet was the goddess of fire, cats, of the home and pregnant women. According to one myth, she was the personification of the soul of Isis. She was also called the “Lady of the East”. As such, her counterpart as “Lady of the West” was Sekhmet. The goddess Bastet was usually represented as a woman with the head of a domesticated cat. However, up until 1000 BC she was portrayed as a lioness. Bastet was the daughter of Re, the sun god. It may have been through him that she acquired her feline characteristics. When Re destroyed his enemy Apep, he was usually depicted as a cat. As portrayed as a cat, she was connected with the moon

requested by: @oblivions-kiss

A set of four ancient Egyptian limestone canopic jars, used for holding organs removed from the deceased during the mummification process.  Each of the jars represents one of the four sons of Horus: (L-R)  jackal-headed Duamutef (stomach); baboon-headed Hapi (lungs);  falcon-headed Qebehsenuef  (intestines); and human-headed Imsety (liver).  Artist unknown; ca. 900-800 BCE (Third Intermediate Period).  Found at Abydos; now in the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore.  Photo credit: Walters Art Museum.

osiris · god of the dead and ruler of the underworld 

A god of the earth and vegetation, Osiris symbolized in his death the yearly drought and in his miraculous rebirth the periodic flooding of the Nile and the growth of grain. He was a god-king who was believed to have given Egypt civilization. Osiris was the first child of Nut and Geb, and therefore the brother of Seth, Nephthys, and Isis. He was married to his sister, Isis. He was also the father of Horus and Anubis. These traditions state that Nephthys (mother of Anubis) assumed the form of Isis, seduced him (perhaps with wine) and she became pregnant with Anubis.

Ancient Egyptian pendant (gold, lapis lazuli, and red glass), depicting the divine family of Osiris, Isis, and Horus.  On the pillar supporting Osiris is the cartouche of the 22nd Dynasty pharaoh Osorkon II (r. 872-837 BCE).   Now in the Louvre.   Photo credit: Guillaume Blanchard/Wikimedia Commons.

What’s in a Name? The True Meaning of Maat.

There is a tradition among ancient mythologies that if you were to learn the true name of a god, you would acquire power over that god. However, given the way the Egyptian and Dogon languages work, one is led to suspect that this tradition has more to do with secret meanings than with actual secret names. The Egyptian phrase bu maa, which is translated as “truth,” actually implies something that is a “longstanding perception” or something that has been “thoroughly examined.” The Egyptian word maa means “to perceive or examine” - therefore, the word maat, defined by Budge as meaning “truth” or “justice” would literally mean “that which has been perceived or examined.”

Laird Scranton - The Science of the Dogon: Decoding the African Mystery Tradition.

Image Credit - Tefnut, Shu, Bastet, Khonsu, Maat, Hathor by birkenlaub