More about the Egyptian Gods

To the ancient Egyptians, Nut (Nuit) was the sky (originally she was a goddess of just the sky at day, where the clouds formed) and the heavens personified. The goddess Nut protected the earth, which she and Geb encompassed, against the chaos and darkness above her. She was believed to be the daughter of the gods Shu and Tefnut, the granddaughter of the sun-god, Ra. Her husband was also her brother, Geb. She was thought to be the mother of five children on the five extra days of the Egyptian calendar, won by Thoth.

Osiris was born on the first day, Horus the Elder on the second, Set on the third, Isis on the fourth, and Nephthys, the last born, on the fifth day. The ancient Egyptians celebrated the days on which these deities were born – these were known as the ‘five epagomenal days of the year’:

Osiris – an unlucky day Nut raised above Geb
Horus the Elder – neither lucky nor unlucky
Set – an unlucky day
Isis – a lucky day, “A Beautiful Festival of Heaven and Earth.”
Nephthys – an unlucky day

Original article:
© Caroline Seawright

Nut is Goddess of the sky. Nut is a daughter of Shu and Tefnut. Her brother and husband is Geb. She had four or five children: Osiris, Set, Isis, Nephthys, and—in early Egyptian sources—Horus.

Story of Osiris
The ancient Egyptians believe that Osiris was the first ruler of Egypt, and that he brought civilization to the land. Agriculture, laws, religious institutions and culture were given to the people of Egypt by the god. His reign was a time of prosperity for the ancient Egyptians, and everyone was happy, except his brother Set, who was jealous, and grew resentful of Osiris’ success. Therefore, the jealous sibling plotted to get rid of Osiris.

Set had a beautiful coffin made that only Osiris could fit into, and then threw a feast. During the feast, Set announced that the coffin would be given to the person who fitted perfectly into it. One by one, Set’s guests tried their luck, but none succeeded. Finally, Osiris climbed inside the coffin to see if it fitted him. Seizing this contrived opportunity, Set had the coffin sealed shut, and threw it, along with his brother, into the Nile. The waters of the Nile carried the coffin into the sea, and it finally came to rest in a tamarisk tree growing near Byblos in Phoenicia. Osiris remained there until he died.

Eventually, Isis succeeded in finding and retrieving the body of her husband, and brought it back to Egypt. The goddess then sought to revive Osiris, but Set found out about his brother’s return and cut his body up into many pieces, and scattered them all over Egypt. Isis managed to retrieve all of Osiris’ body parts except his penis, which had been eaten by an oxyrhyncus fish. Nevertheless, somehow Isis was able to revive her husband, and the god Horus was conceived during this time. Still, being incomplete, Osiris could no longer rule in the land of the living, and therefore became the ruler of the Underworld.

As the ruler of the Underworld, the god is depicted as being wrapped up from the chest downwards in mummy bandages. Another important feature of Osiris’ iconography is his skin color, which is either green or black. The former is the color of rebirth, whilst the latter symbolizes the fertility of the Nile Valley.

The cult of Osiris spread all over Egypt, and there are many instances in which other gods were absorbed by him. In Memphis during the Middle Kingdom, for example, Osiris merged with two local gods, Ptah and Sokar, and became Ptah-Sokar-Osiris. This ‘ability’ to assimilate other gods also enabled the worship of Osiris to last all the way until the Hellenistic and Roman periods. Serapis, a Hellenistic god created by Ptolemy I Soter, was a combination of Osiris and the sacred bull of Memphis, Apis. The cult of Osiris eventually came to an end with the advent of Christianity, though some have pointed out similarities between the two religions.

Osiris was usually portrayed as a bearded, mummified human with green skin and wearing the atef crown. His hands emerge from the mummy wrappings and hold the flail and crook.

Hapi was the god of the annual flooding of the Nile in ancient Egyptian religion. The flood deposited rich silt (fertile soil) on the river’s banks, allowing the Egyptians to grow crops. … Some of the titles of Hapi were “Lord of the Fish and Birds of the Marshes” and “Lord of the River Bringing Vegetation”.

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