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More Questions About Ancient Egyptian Deities

MADRID, SPAIN - JANUARY 12:  A bronze figure o...

Ancient Egyptian deities seem to fascinate Americans more than any other ancient spiritual belief system or pantheon. Why is that, do you suppose?

Helen asks…

Were the Egyptians satanists?

Okay I’m not trying to offend anyone or make any false accusations here and even if they are i don’t care but i noticed things that puzzle me.

As you all know the serpent is satan in the bible but in egyptian art the serpent is considered a god.
Another thing is drinking blood is banned in the bible since blood is dirty and can harm the body and the body is considered a temple but one of the egyptian gods Sekhmet was known to drink blood.
there’s also the eye of horus which is the ancient symbol of protection for them but somehow it’s bad (not sure how can’t remember) and the pyramids which are the triangles (somehow bad too can’t remeber)

Animal Deities answers:

There were multiple snake goddesses who were considered protectresses (Buto and Renenutet, to name two), but Apep (or Apophis), who was represented as a snake with legs, was considered the embodiment of evil and was ritually cursed in Egyptian rituals. He was the chaos that Ra, the sun god, fought in the underworld and defeated at dawn each day.

It’s also irresponsible to project your own cultural values onto a completely different culture, especially when you know absolutely nothing about that culture.

Mary asks…

Bast, Egyptian Goddess

Bast, or Bastet, an ancient Egyptian goddess was associated with music, dancing, protection against diseases and evil spirits, and the protection of pregnant women. The center of her worship was in the Egyptian city, Bubastits, located in the eastern Nile delta region. Her temple was in the center of the town and its tower could be see from anywhere in the city. Bast was usually shown as a woman with a cat head holding a sistrum, an ancient Egyptian instrument, in her right hand, symbolic of her association with music, and a shield in her left hand bearing the face of a cat or lioness. Ocasionally, Bast was fused with sekhmet and the sun god Ra in a deity called Sekhmet-Bast-Ra.This deity was clearly associated with the power of the sun.It was represented by a female body with a male head and 2 vulture heads sprouting from her neck.She had wings and on her arms she had the claws of a lion.

Generally, were very important in Egypt. The Greek historian, Herodotus said that when there was a fire people were more focused on saving the cats rather than on putting out the fire. When a cat died people shaved their eyebrows as a sign that they were sad or upset. Because Bast was a cat-headed goddess this made her very important. Bast became known as “The Little Cat” because another goddess, Sekhmet, the goddess of destruction and war, also had a cat head, but was a lion instead of a regular house cat like bast. Both bast and sekhmet were linked with the god Ptah of Memphis. Bast is sometimes considered the mother of Ptah’s son, Nepthy’s, the god of perfumes, but Sekhmet is more often considered this person. Bast was associated with beneficial warming power of the sun while Sekhmet was associated with the suns fiery, destructive power. More people favored the warming power over the destructive power.

Bast held festivals at Bubastits every year. The festivals held in April and may were among the most popular in Egypt, celebrated with feasting, wine drinking, singing and dancing. It took place on barges along the Nile River. It’s been reported that more than 700,000 people attended the festival annually.During the time of the festival the pharoh refrained everyone from hunting lions and out of respect for the goddess.

That is all I can find! Can you give me some more information?

Animal Deities answers:

Egyptian religion has over 700 gods and goddesses with a variety of beliefs depending on the time period of Egyptian history which is being studied. Even the Egyptian recognized the difficulty of following the multitude of gods and goddesses as early as the Old Kingdom. They attempted to simplify the religion by organize their gods in family groups of eight or nine.

Evidence is very limited on Predynastic Egypt (before 3100 B.C.). What we do know would suggest that early Egyptian developed local cults of worship often centered around animals. Each community would worship it’s own deity or set of deities.

After the unification of Egypt, (3100 B.C.) their religion was polytheistic with one exception during the reign of Akhenaten. During this time the Pharaoh Akhenaten changed the religion of Egypt to be monotheistic, worshiping only Aten, his patron god. His changes lasted only during his reign and were changed back to earlier practices after his death. The Egyptian gods can be divided into two main categories; household gods and local, state or national gods.

Household gods were often worshiped at shrines located in peoples living quarters. These gods often lacked cult followers, priests or temples at which they were worshiped. None the less these gods were of key importance to the general population, in that the state and national gods often seemed distant. Two of the most well known household gods were Bes and Tauert.

Local and state gods were the main deity or deities in certain locations in Egypt. For example, the crocodile god was worshiped mostly in the Fayoum and at Kom Ombo. From the group of local and state gods, some would gain national recognition and would be worshiped throughout Egypt. For example Re, the sun god, began to become national recognized as early as early as the second dynasty. To add to the mix, gods were sometimes combined with others to make a new deity to be worshiped. For example Re was combined with the state god Amun to become Amen-Re during the New Kingdom Era.

The national gods were often promoted by the reigning pharaohs preferences. For the common people , worship of the local or household gods was most common. People may also chose to worship gods which could help them in their occupation. For example a scribe often close Thoth as their primary deity. Thoth was the patron god of scribes and writing.

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