The god of wind, fertility and secrets. In combination with
Ra (or Re), Amon later became Amon-Ra, king of the gods. He
is part of the Triad of Thebes, along with Mut and Khonsu.
He is occasionally depicted with the head of a ram.
Amon is the ultimate aristocrat in the Egyptian pantheon.
He's also popular with the ladies -- in one myth he shows
up to the pharaoh's mother in the guise of her husband and
they have a "pleasant time" together. The result?
Pharaoh Hatshepsut, one of the few female kings in antiquity.
She is a consort of Amon and part of the Triad of Thebes.
Mut is the Egyptian equivalent of Hera, as wife of the pantheon's
king, although Mut apparently does not share Hera's temper.
She is depicted as a beautiful woman with the queen's vulture
crown and the two crowns of Egypt on her head.
Khonsu or Khensu
The moon god and son of Amon and Mut. His name means "Traveller";
somewhat ironic, since he's usually shown wrapped up tight
(like Ptah or Osiris). Maybe his parents don't want him getting
into trouble? Seriously, though, the meaning of his name is
probably associated with his moon traits (traveling through
the sky). His appearance is that of a handsome young Egyptian
prince with his youthful side-lock, regal beard, and the moon
disk upon his head.
Ra or Re
(and sometimes Khepera)
The sun god of Heliopolis. From the fifth Dynasty onwards
he is combined with the deity Amon. As Khepera, he is shown
with a scarab beetle in the place of his head. Ra himself
is usually depicted with a falcon's head. Amon-Ra doesn't
gain prominence until the Middle Kingdom, which starts around
Dynasty 11. Ra rides around in a barq (boat) and gets attended
by all the lion goddesses, who are usually his daughters or
granddaughters (the Eyes of Ra): Sekhmet, Bast, Tefnut, Mut,
etc. It appears that almost all single female deities are
considered an "Eye of Ra" at some point. Ra also
gets paired with Horus to form Ra-Horakthy or "Ra-Horus-of-the-Two-Horizons"
in the Middle Kingdom, a deity with a red sun disk on his
head who encompasses yesterday, tomorrow, and everything in
The god of travelers, orphans, and those who are lost. He
serves as the guide of the dead. His parents are anyone's
guess -- in some stories they're Osiris and Isis, Osiris and
Nephthys, Nephthys and Set, and so on. He is depicted as a
man with the head of a jackal.
Aten or Aton
Aten is associated with the physical presence of the sun (as
opposed to Ra or Amen, who are associated with the sun's powers
of growth and life), similar to the distinction in Greek mythology
between Helios and Apollo. He is also the god of mirrors.
He is depicted as the sun disk.
The original ruler of men, Osiris was murdered by his brother
Set and thus became the first man to die. Through Isis's magic,
he returned to life, although he could not return to the land
of the living and therefore sits in judgment of those who
join him in the underworld. He is the god of death and resurrection.
Osiris is shown as a green or mummified pharoah.
Horus or Heru
Horus is the patron of the rulers. Horus avenged the death
of his father Osiris by battling Set and sending him into
exile. Horus is represented as a falcon or a hawk-headed man,
with the solar disk when depicted as Ra-Horus. The Greeks
compare him to Apollo.
Over time, Isis gained many of the qualities originally belonging
to other Egyptian deities. Her primary worship is related
to motherhood and magical spells. She is a beautiful woman,
occasionally with wings. Like her sister, Nephthys, Isis wears
her hieroglyph (a throne -- also the meaning of her name)
on her head.
Isis is the original single mom. Even in the stories from
antiquity, she doesn't suffer fools gladly. She is very strongly
associated with magic (one of her titles is "Great of
Nephthys or Nebt-het
Her name means "Mistress of the House or Castle."
She was the consort of Set, but abandoned him when he murdered
Osiris. At that time, she helped her sister Isis embalm Osiris's
corpse, and stayed with her to protect the body until it was
buried. Nephthys is sometimes referred to as the Friend of
the Dead, and her hair is described as being like mummy wrappings
(making Halloween the only day of the calendar when she isn't
having a "bad hair day").
The goddess of love, dance, and alcohol is depicted as a cow
with the sun disk set between her horns. Hathor is married
to Horus and sometimes dons riot gear to become the vengeance
goddess Sekhmet. She is also associated with the goddess Isis
by the Greeks, who combined many of her myths into those of
Mother of the sun, moon and heavenly bodies. Nut is the wife
of Geb. She is also the mother of Isis, Set, Osiris, Nephthys,
and the other, older Horus, who were all born on the five
days that are outside the year. In one set of myths she swallows
Ra at night, and gives birth to him every morning. She is
depicted as a woman with midnight-black skin covered in stars,
arching herself over the earth.
The goddess of cats, vengeance, and protection. She is depicted
as a maiden with the head of a cat or a lion. In the city
of Bubastis, she is the mother of the lion god Mihos. Bast's
face is found carved into shields and other devices meant
to ward off evil. Where you might see Medusa's face on an
aegis in Greece, in Egypt you would see Bast's face
instead. The Greeks associated Bast with Artemis.
She is the goddess of war and sickness, and of destruction
and renewal. Her name means "powerful lady". Sekhmet
is the surgeon's god. She's got a knife, and she knows how
to use it. She fires arrows at the enemies of the kingdom
and strikes down the transgressors of truth. Sekhmet is shown
as a woman with the head of a lioness.
Set is the god of chaos and individuality as well as of foreign
lands. He also wields a righteous spear! He killed his brother
Osiris and in punishment is exiled to the Sahara desert. He
is depicted as a man with an unusually-shaped animal head;
so unusual, in fact, that no one really knows what
it is up there.
The god of writing, mathematics and scholarship. He is depicted
with either the head of an ibis or as a baboon wearing the
moon crown. The Greeks consider him the Egyptian equivalent
of Hermes, as Thoth also served as the messenger for the gods.
Thoth's name means "Leader". He shows up in the
afterlife to record what the deceased say when their heart
is being measured by Anubis.