You Gotta Know These Egyptian Deities

The Egyptian creation myth begins with the emergence of Ra (or Re), the sun god, from the ocean in the form of an egg (or, alternately, a flower). Ra brought forth four children: Geb, Shu, Nut, and Tefnut. Shu and Nut became manifestations of air and moisture. From Geb, the god of the earth, and Nut, goddess of the sky, were spawned four other gods: Osiris, Isis, Set (or Seth), and Nepthys.

These nine gods became known as the ennead (“group of nine”). The center of their worship was Heliopolis, as all were tied to Ra, the sun god. The Heliopolitan ennead was one of several in Egyptian theology, and at times this grouping was superseded by other sets. Two notable alternatives were the ennead of the city of Memphis, led by the god Ptah, and the ennead of Thebes, with Amon at its head. Not surprisingly, the pre-eminence of these variations coincided with their corresponding cities’ political control of Egypt.

The Stories

There are, for most practical purposes, only three major episodes in Egyptian mythology:

The Pantheon

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