The Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt

Nephthys was a funerary goddess who protected both life and afterlife of those she cared for, including flooding events such as Hapi’s flooding of the Nile riverbed with black fertile mud.

Mafdet – Mafdet was an early feline deity who predated Bastet and Sekhmet as patron goddesses of Lower Egypt. She served as their patron.


Osiris was an Egyptian god of fertility, life, death, and regeneration who also served as their protector and champion. They believed he rose again after Set had killed him through various spells and rituals found within the Book of the Dead that could help their souls do just that.

Horus was Osis’ son and god of war and victory, taking revenge against Set for killing their father Osiris and becoming the symbol of vengeance in Egyptian mythology. Pyramid texts speak of both Osiris and Horus as guardians of Egypt with the Pharaoh being considered both in life and death as representations of these divine figures.

Osiris’ story is complicated. His brother Seth may have murdered him after they disagreed about who would rule Egypt, or maybe because Isis was pregnant with Osiris’ child. Seth dismembered Osiris’ body and scattered its parts throughout Egypt before Isis managed to recover all his pieces and revive him, thus protecting the people of Egypt from Seth.

Osiris became known as a protector and god of justice following this event, his cult being particularly prominent throughout Egypt and even Phoenicia as Phoenicians participated. Busiris (Djedu), ancient Egypt was home to one of his main temples; other sites also worshiped him.

Osiris was frequently depicted as either a mummy or with green or black skin, the hue meant to symbolize the rich soil along the banks of the Nile and fertility of land. He would wear a crook and flail along with an Atef Crown from Pharaohs for symbolizing his role.

Deceased kings were the first to affix themselves to Osiris; later this practice spread throughout society and became widespread. People would bury themselves with symbols representing Osiris – known as Osiris Mummies. Statues were also made and gifts given as they believed Osiris would take care of them both now and after death.


Isis was revered across ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome alike as the patron goddess of fertility, childbirth and afterlife. Her myth was at the core of ancient Egyptian belief because many believed she brought back dead bodies back to life with her magic powers and protection – also serving to shield people from snake bites and offer protection. Additionally she served as patron maternity protection – often depicted either holding her infant son in her arms or as a lioness with young!

Egypt revered Isis as its patron goddess. Her cult thrived most strongly during the fourth and fifth centuries CE when it spread throughout Europe and Asia.

Isis was one of the early Mother Goddesses linked with Atum in the creation of the universe. She served as protector for women and children and became known as “Mistress of the Universe”. Isis is typically depicted with her hands resting upon her knees or resting upon an ankh, symbol of life; sometimes called Lady of Robes by Egyptians.

Nephthys was Isis’ sister and appears in the Osiris myth. She represented death and mourning. Later her attributes would become part of Hathor’s repertoire.

Isis was believed to act as a guide on their journey into paradise in the afterlife. She was known as Mistress of Magic and protected the canopic jar that housed liver. Additionally, Isis was known as Friend of the Dead as she often appeared at funerals with her daughter Nephthys; professional mourners known as Kites of Nephthys encouraged open expressions of grief associated with Isis.

Egyptian deities and goddesses included Sepa, who was considered to protect darkness, and Kauket, his female partner in crime and evil. Both deities formed part of Hermopolis’ original Ogdoad and presided over twilight hours and the hours leading up to dawn; sometimes joined by Isis’ seven scorpions which helped people avoid snake bites.


Egyptology tells a different tale; Seth was seen as the god of violence and chaos, the god of desert, foreign lands, storms and chaos; opposite to Osiris who represented equal rights, compassion and lawfulness for humanity. Seth’s worshippers worshipped him across Egypt with Naqada being his main place of worship as his main center; many pharaohs used him as their patron while some even revered him alongside Ra, their sun god. According to one legend Seth attempted to usurp Osiris’ throne before being defeated by Horus who represented unity for humanity.

Egyptians held that everything had two opposing forces, and that every good god also had an evil counterpart. This belief held for most major deities such as Shezmu – god of wine and drunkenness who could appear both benign and horrific over time; while other gods like Ammit devoured those in the Afterlife.

As Seth was often depicted as the master of chaos and disorder, he served as an important balance to more beneficent gods of order in ancient Egyptian art which often featured duality of ideas.

Seth was also associated with the color red, representing Deshret (desert land) as opposed to Isis and her son Horus’ realm in the fertile Nile valley – something central to ancient Egyptian religion which could be found reflected in tomb wall hieroglyphs.

Scholars disagree over which form Seth took, though he is often depicted with long, curved snout and square-tipped ears, likening him to either a giraffe, an aardvark, ass, fennec or even jackal. Semi-anthropomorphic depictions were also common on monuments from the Middle Kingdom period.


Nut was one of the earliest deities in Egyptian religion. She represented both motherhood and cosmic expanse. Additionally, Nut served as goddess of astronomy and celestial phenomena to ancient Egyptians who venerated her.

She is often depicted as a giant woman with her body stretched across the sky and arms depicting cardinal points, covered by stars from constellations, galaxies and nebulae. Her headdress depicting an inverted pot symbolizes her role as Mother Goddess.

Nut is an Egyptian goddess associated with night sky and part of the Great Ennad at Heliopolis. Her role was considered central.

According to legend, Nut is famously believed to have swallowed the sun at sunset before giving it life again in the morning, earning her her symbolic position between death and rebirth and can often be seen standing over tombs and sarcophagi arching her body over those she covers with mournful sadness.

Her kind and generous nature led to affairs with Thoth, the god of divine words, and Geb, earth god. This angered Ra, her husband, who then cursed her not to give birth during an official calendar year.

Desperate for help, Nut turned to Thoth for guidance. This god of wisdom quickly devised a plan. He persuaded Khonsu, the moon god, to gamble with him; eventually winning enough rounds that provided enough light for five whole extra days that did not count in Nut’s official calendar calendar and thus allowed her to have children.

When connecting with Nut, focus on releasing fear and doubt from your life and opening your heart up to love. In meditation, visualize her symbols and energy, as well as being open to receiving guidance. Emotional sensations such as calm, nurturance and wisdom could be signs that she is nearby as could physical reactions such as sudden warmth or tingling sensations; flashes of starlight or sightings of her symbols might also show her presence.

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