The Four Main Deities of Egyptian Mythology
Updated: Sep 20, 2021
#1 Ra: God of Sun and Radiance
Ra is the god of midday. He plays an important role in Egyptian Mythology. Ra has a sun disc around his head and is believed to have risen from Chaos first. Every sunrise and sunset was seen as a process of renewal. According to ancient stories, Ra sank into the Duat (underworld) each sunset and set off on a difficult journey through the Twelve Gates of Night River. After a long time of battling monsters, he would reach the prison of Apophis. Apophis is a large snake that is the master of Isfet (chaos). Ra gave a part of his soul to keep Apophis at bay. Each night, Ra would battle Apophis over and over again, trying to restore Ma’at (order) to the Duat. When Ra rises from the Duat, he is reborn. Portrayed with the head of a falcon, he and Horus shared an association that led him to be known as ‘The Horus of the Horizon.’ Most of the minor gods were created by Ra.
#2 Anubis: God of Mummification
Anubis was the god who took over the embalming process that followed the deaths of ancient kings. When these kings were judged by Osiris, the god of Afterlife, Anubis would place their hearts on a scale. The Feather of Truth was placed on the other side. If the heart was heavier than the Feather, Anubis would give it to Ammit the Devourer (part crocodile, part lion, and part hippo. No, I'm not insane). Ammit would swallow it and the spirit of the king would be destroyed. Anubis was the son of Osiris and Nephthys.
#3 Set: God of Chaos
Set was the god of war, chaos, and storms. According to myths, Set murdered his brother Osiris by locking him in a coffin and blasting him to pieces. It is said that Osiris’s wife, Isis, found all the pieces of his body and tried to bring him back. But, in the end, Osiris became a partly living, partly dead deity. The only thing that is said to be able to control Set is his secret name (which he hid pretty well). Set is only a main deity because it takes a little Isfet for Ma'at to exist.
#4 Thoth: God of Wisdom
Thoth is worshipped as the god of reckoning, of learning, and of writing. Ra is said to have put a curse on the sky god Nut, so that she won’t be able to give birth. Thoth wanted to bend the curse. He challenged the moon god Khonsu to a game of Senet (whatever game that is). If Thoth won, Khonsu would provide Nut with five extra days to give birth in. Being the god of wisdom, Thoth won. It is said that Ra cursed Thoth but eventually lifted the curse. Thoth is the only deity that can come to Earth without a mortal body to inhabit.