Ancient Egyptian Religion And Myths



The ancient Egyptians had a complex religious system that combined aspects of personal/family deities, city gods, and a very small number of national deities. The best way to understand it is: every city had its local deity and that deity was the principal god for that local population. There was also the only true national god and that was the king. Again worship varied. There was individual prayer. There were community celebrations. There was worship and rituals within temples. Since the general populous could not go into the temples, there was no public worship in the temples. The major public worship ceremonies would be those where the god was carried out of the temple in a shrine and paraded around town for people to see and returned to the temple. Within temples an ordained/purified priesthood carried out the daily, monthly and seasonal rituals. Also, many of the deities in ancient Egypt were related to natural phenomenon and worship may have been developed as a respect for that (such asrepresentation of the Nile floods, appearance of certain stars, beginning of growing season, etc.). Christianity has recognized Sunday as the day of worship. Islam has Friday. Jews honor the Sabbath. Since the ancient Egyptians used a lunar calendar, all of their festival days are tied into lunar calendar dates. They also used a civil calendar and special national festivals were associated with the New Year time This varies immensely by god. Some of the more common rituals include waking, feeding, bathing, clothing, singing to, and putting the god to bed in the evening.

Geb and Nut

These would have happened on a daily basis. Each temple would have had additional rituals during the month. Funerals seem to be times of transition for the deceased. They are passing from this life into the afterlife. The corpse and spirit are ritually brought to the tomb and a variety of rituals are performed to assist them in making the passage to the afterlife where they are reborn in the Egyptian version of paradise. The funerals include much weeping and wailing, but also include a festival meal and libations for the decease There afterlife was a place where they were reborn in the company of the gods. There afterlife was a place where they were reborn in the company of the gods. It mainly included all of what they held dear in this world and many others, especially cool breezes, good food, a nice place to live, etc. This is a most discussed question. We assume that everyone could make it to the afterlife, but the social position of the dead in the afterlife mirrored that of the resent world. If you were a commoner here, you will be a commoner there.

They did fear death, but also recognized it was mainly an area that they have not experienced and thus that can be a very daunting thing. Yes, they did both regular and burnt offerings. It was normal that the produce of fields owned by temples was offered to the gods. It normally happened that the priests were then given a portion of that as their salaries once the god had consumed that part which he/she wanted. What was buried with the deceased was entirely based upon their social / economic standing. Wealthier people had more stuff, poorer had less. Wealthier people normally had better tombs, nicer coffins, etc. It truly was a reflection of their current wealth. Not in the sense that some beliefs from India have the spirit reborn into a different or better physical form in this world. Rather we need to remember that their rebirth was confined to the afterlife. Pyramids were restricted to those who could afford them such as kings and queens. We do see in the New Kingdom (1500 - 1100 BC) private individuals begin to place mini-pyramids on the tops of their personal tombs, but again those individuals were wealthy and could afford that extravagance. The gods were in charge of maintaining the world. Thus the king did his job of maintaining the country in good order and the gods rewarded him with a long reign (or so the theory goes). People worships the gods because the world belonged to them and if people disrupted the world, the gods could remove their protection over the people. It was definitely a system where the gods had the upper hand so to speak.

Most of the Egyptian myths are motivated by the ancient Egyptian desire to know the origin of the universe. These myths were depicting the Ancient Egyptian culture and usually contain elements such as the Lotus Flower, the mysteries of nature, the daily renewal, and the revival of the soul-and politics. These ancient Egyptian myths are still admired by people from various countries and culture, thus they are used in many literary works such as Bob Dylan's song Isis to support their success. Tourists are always fascinated with the ancient Egyptian myths of Thuth, Anubis, and Bess. This fame makes many companies in Egypt and all over the world use their names and faces as a means for attracting people.

Ancient Egyptian Belief in Resurrection

Ramses III
The Ancient Egyptians believed that the mummy housed the soul and spirit. Their belief was often thought of as complex and involved three spirits: the Ka, Ba, and Akh. The Ka was the essence of the person, like their double, and it remained in the tomb and made use of the offerings and objects there. The Ba was free to move around, inside or outside of the tomb. The Akh traveled throughout the Underworld and to the entrance of the Afterlife. There are three inhabitants of the Afterlife: the dead, the gods, and the Akh. When the person dies, the Ba and the Ka are separated from the body, but they do not die. Instead, they get released through ritual into the next world. The goal in the Underworld was to live in one's Ka, which holds the physical resemblance to the deceased. In order to do this, the Ba and the Ka must overcome the dangers of the Underworld and reunite to form the Akh. The Akh will then have made a successful transition to the Underworld and will live with the gods. Those who fail to make the connection are called the dead, and they have no hope of ever living a renewed life.





More about Ancient Egyptian Religion And Myths

Hapi, The Nile God

Hapi, The Nile God

Hapi in the ancient Egyptian mythology is the god of the Nile River and the source of life of all the people, animals and plants around it. The excessive fascination with the power of Nile River and i

Read More
Introduction to Mummification

Introduction to Mummification

Blessed with a long, rich history as well as countless marvels and wonders, the Land of the Pharaohs always reveals bewildering mysteries. Huge volumes of research and studies have been dedicated to t

Read More
Horus, The King of The Earth

Horus, The King of The Earth

Horus is one of the prominent and most influential gods in the ancient Egyptian mythology and the hero of several myths. The priests of Ra placed Horus in the Ennead as the son of Isis and Osiris and

Read More
Lotus Flower Myth

Lotus Flower Myth

According to the ancient Egyptian Myth of Creation, before life the whole world was nothing but a wide dismal sea until the Lummous Lotus Flower came out of the water bringing light and perfume to the

Read More
Maat, The Goddess of Justice

Maat, The Goddess of Justice

Maat is one of the goddesses in the ancient Egyptian mythology that was regarded as a symbol for wisdom and justice and other moral values that help mankind to live properly. The usual depiction of he

Read More
The Ennead of Heliopolis

The Ennead of Heliopolis

The Ennead is a group of nine gods and goddesses in the Egyptian mythology topped by Ra, the Chief sun god. Before life, the whole universe was nothing but a huge dismal sea and all the gods and godde

Read More
Ra, the Father of Kings

Ra, the Father of Kings

This myth was used to serve a crucial political purpose which id the desire of the members of the 5th dynasty and the members of the family of Cheops in particular to give themselves the legitimacy of

Read More
The Secret Name of Ra

The Secret Name of Ra

Ra in the ancient Egyptian mythology was the sun god and the father of all the other gods and goddesses who grow older and weaker in his declining years and began to commission his faithful, wise and

Read More
The Sun-God and the Phoenix

The Sun-God and the Phoenix

The Phoenix is a mythical bird that was always pictured in the ancient Egyptian mythology as a handsome bird with two long legs, two feathers falling from the back of his head and a straight beak. It

Read More


The God Khnum

The God Khnum

Khnum is one of the ancient Egyptian gods who had been worshiped many years before the Pyramid Texts and was worshiped many centuries after Christ but there is no accurate reference for the period of

Read More
The Goddess Hathor

The Goddess Hathor

Hathor in the ancient Egyptian religion was presented as the Earth mother who was called in the Coffin Text "the Primeval or the Lady of All". The origin of Hathor is a highly controversial issue sinc

Read More
The God Thuth

The God Thuth

Despite of his indispensable role in the ancient Egyptian mythology, Thuth has never occupied the position of one of the members of the divine family or as a Chief god in any myth. There are many sour

Read More
The God of Fertility, Min

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 dynast

Read More
The Sacred Family of Abidos

The Sacred Family of Abidos

In the ancient Egyptian mythology, Osiris was the Chief Judge of the dead in the under world, the husband of Isis and the father of Horus the younger. He was regarded as the reason for fertility of th

Read More
The Triad of Memphis

The Triad of Memphis

Built by the kings of the First Dynasty, Memphis had been the capital city of Egypt around 3000 BC, after the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt. Though not much have survived from ancient Memphis,

Read More
The Triad of Thebes

The Triad of Thebes

During the Middle Kingdom, (2133-1786 B.C), Thebes was regarded as the center of the political and religious affairs in Egypt and the center of the civilized world. The most distinguishing feature of

Read More

More Articles

The Thinite Period in Egypt

The Thinite Period in Egypt

Manetho described the first two dynasties as 'Thinite'. Thinis is a legendary city, near Abydos, said to be the home of the first kings of Egypt, those of the First and t

Read More
The First Dynasty in Egypt

The First Dynasty in Egypt

Two main changes mark the beginning of the First Dynasty: the spread of writing and the foundation of Memphis.The Egyptians, since the New Kingdom, had been recorded on their Monuments the name 'Menes

Read More
The Second Dynasty in Egypt

The Second Dynasty in Egypt

We have not details of the Second Dynasty kings. The first three of them are only considered as three names in the King-Lists. These 3 names were found in the King List at Abydos, and were found on on

Read More
The Old Kingdom in Egypt

The Old Kingdom in Egypt

The dawn of the Ancient Egyptian Old Kingdom is marked by the emergence of the Third Dynasty. There are two major features that most distinctly described the Old Kingdom:

Read More
The First Intermediate Period

The First Intermediate Period

The Papyrus of Ipu-wer described the conditions of Egypt accurately at the end of the Sixth Dynasty. The central authority disintegrated and large numbers of Bedouins from the east attacked the countr

Read More
Ancient Egyptian Literature

Ancient Egyptian Literature

Since the very begining of the Egyptian pharonic civilization we see that the egyptian people, kings , nobles or common people were worried of registeringevery thing about their lives. Not only they r

Read More
The Second Intermediate Period

The Second Intermediate Period

It did not begin suddenly at the end of the Twelfth Dynasty, and it was simply a convenient label for a chronological gap, since only the dates of its beginning and end are definitely known: it began

Read More
The New Kingdom ( The Empire )

The New Kingdom ( The Empire )

The New Kingdom or The Pharaonic Empire begins the the 18Th Dynasty and the expusion of the Hyksos. The Pharoes of this dynasty chased their enemies out side the natural borders of Egypt and Nubia and

Read More
The Decline of The Pharoes

The Decline of The Pharoes

Rmases III of the XX Dynasty was probably the last great pharoe who tried to mainatain the esence and the pilars of the Egyptian Pharaonic world. But the World outside Egyptian had changed; new and yo

Read More
Magic in Ancient Egypt

Magic in Ancient Egypt

The term “magic” as used here simply denotes the use of Supernatural means to produce desired effects. The power by which this was done was called “heka” by the Egyptians. Heka was a creative

Read More
Obelisks, The Pharaonic Skyscrapers

Obelisks, The Pharaonic Skyscrapers

An obelisk is a four sided single piece of stone standing upright, gradually tapering as it rises and ending in a small pyramid called a “pyramidion.” Obelisks always attracted attention by their

Read More
 Amulets in Ancient Egyptian Culture

 Amulets in Ancient Egyptian Culture

An amulet is an object that is either worn (usually as jewelry), carried (perhaps as a weapon), or put at a certain place with a ritual significance (such as a specific place within a home, or near a

Read More
We use cookies. Some are ours and others are of third parties cookies. Theses cookies facilitate the experience of the user in our website and helps finishing transactions requested by the user. If you continue browsing, we will consider that you accept the use of cookies. You can get more information here. x