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There are over 740 gods and just as many myths about them. Egyptians believed that these gods and goddesses controlled all things in the universe. Shu the god of air, Tefnut the goddess of rain, Nut goddess of the sky and Ma’at the goddess of order who maintains them all. I have chosen three myths, the creation of the universe, a god who killed his own brother to rule Egypt, and life over death.
In the beginning there was a great ocean called Nun.
The power of the Nun made a great egg, Ra. Ra was so powerful that if he spoke a name, it would be created. He spoke the names and the day was created. Khepera (the god of dawn), Ra (the god of the noon), and Atum (the god of the evening). He named all the gods, air, rain, earth, sky, and also Hapi for the great Nile river. After Ra created all things he created all things he created mankind.
Osiris the son of Geb and Nut was the 1st king of Egypt and loved by all because he was a great ruler. Seth his brother was jealous of him and wanted to rule Egypt. Seth tricked his brother into getting in a decked out coffin. Seth nailed it shut and pushed it into the Nile river. Osiris’s wife Isis found the coffin eventually and took it home to bring Osiris back to life. Seth found the coffin before Isis was able to bring him back and cut Osiris’s body into 14 pieces.
He tossed them into the Nile. Isis searched and searched and eventually found all but one piece. Using magic she put the pieces together so she could embalm Osiris. Osiris’s spirit then became the ruler over the the dead. Osiris and Isis had a son Horus who would grow up to defeat Seth and avenge his father’s death. But that is another story.Body 3 – Life after death. Egyptians thought that they would be reborn after they died. This is why they mummify their bodies, in hope of being reborn into their old bodies. An Egyptian must pass through the underworld with the god Anubis, the protector of the dead, to get to a final challenge called the weighing of the heart. 42 gods, 1 for each district would question the dead person’s life. Their heart was then weighed against a feather. If the heart was lighter than the feather then he or she’s dead self can pass and go on to live forever. If your heart was heavier than the feather it was fed to the god Ammut (devourer of souls) so that you would never be reborn.
Myths can have many different versions depending on who the story in for and who in telling it. The gods and goddesses lives helped the Egyptians tell the story of what they believes, how they lived and why life was so important to them.
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