The God of Fertility, Min
Min was the god of fertility in the ancient Egyptian mythology that had been deified in several centers throughout Egypt including Koptos and Panopolis probably in the 20th dynasty. In the 11th dynasty he was worshiped as the god of vegetation and the god of fertility who was responsible for rainfall and some vignettes say that it was seen at the time of rainfall by the mortals.
The common form of Min that is depicted in many tombs and temples through out Egypt is man with a flail in his hand and his pines erect and his head was usually topped with the plumes of Amun. One of his depictions presents him as a black statue representing a stormy night since one of the myths says that Min united with the moon one day and appeared as a huge storm illuminated with meteorites.
Min was amalgamated with the major gods in mythology to assure that they have the same vitality of Min. To show that the kings who take the form of Horus in the afterlife enjoyed the same sexual ability of Min in their first life, the ancient Egyptians were associating both Min and Horus together. In the 20th dynasty, Min was amalgamated with the sun and moon gods and known as Amun-Ra-Khamutef. The center of worshipping this god was the funerary Temple of Ramsses III in Luxor where the annual celebration of the death and revival of the king was held.
This temple was regarded as the place where the king of Egypt was yearly reborn with more physical power and vitality and this was one of the most important qualities of any king. This was motivated by the people's fear of appointing a weak king unable to have a son to be his successor on the throne and this paves the way for the struggle for power that, with no doubt, would harm the interest of the country. This justifies the appearance of many carvings for the king practicing various physical exercises on the walls of this temple.
The paintings on the walls of the temple demonstrate the ceremonies that were made during the death of the king and his revival yearly in the Temple of Min. Every year, the king and his wife, in the form of Isis, come in a great parade to the temple accompanied by a number of priests and a white bull and then stand in front of the statue of Min. the ceremonies has many symbolic events including cutting a sheaf of grain with a sickle which is used as a symbol for the death of the mortal king. Then the queen says some hymns and walks around the body of her husband as a reference for the magic power that helped Isis in reviving her husband. After that the priests sacrifice the bull as a reminder of the mortality of the king and the people. Then the king walks around the statue of Min placed on some stair-steps and then embraces his wife as a symbol for his rejuvenation of the king with more purity, fertility and power.
id: 2522Back to Article : Ancient Egyptian Religion & Myths