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Find the meanings of abnormal words or acronyms in our glossary!
God of learning and medicine.A rare example of a commoner who reached the rank of god by sheer merit. Of the non royal population of Egypt, probably one man is known better then all others. So successful was Imhotep (Imhetep, Greek Imouthes) that he is one of the world's most famous ancients, and his name, if not his true identity, has been made even more famous by various mummy movies. Today, the world is probably much more familiar with his name then that of his principal king, Djoser. Imhotep, who's name means "the one that comes in peace". existed as a mythological figure in the minds of most scholars until the end of the nineteenth century when he was established as a real historical person.
He was the world's first named architect who built Egypt's first pyramid, is often recognized as the world's first doctor, a priest,. scribe, sage, poet, astrologer, and a vizier and chief minister, though this role is unclear, to Djoser (reigned 2630&Mac255;2611 BC), the second king of Egypt's third dynasty. He may have lived under as many as four kings. An inscription on one of that kings statues gives us Imhotep's titles as the "chancellor of the king of lower Egypt", the "first one under the king", the "administrator of the great mansion", the "hereditary Noble", the "high priest of Heliopolis", the "chief sculptor", and finally the "chief carpenter".
Of the details of his life, very little has survived though numerous statues and statuettes of him have been found. Some show him as an ordinary man who is dressed in plain attire. Others show him as a sage who is seated on a chair with a roll of papyrus on his knees or under his arm. Later, his statuettes show him with a god like beard, standing, and carrying the ankh and a scepter.
Isis is the feminine archetype for creation - the goddess of fertility and motherhood. She has gone by many names and played many roles in history and mythology - as goddess and female creator. In the duality of our reality - she represents our feminine aspects - creation - rebirth - ascension - intuition - psychic abilties - higher chakras - higher frequency virbations - love and compassion. She is the Yin energies - the mother nurturer - the High Priestess - the Goddess of all mythological tales - to other female icons in the mythos of creation. She is the essence of the feminine energy which is part of us all. Isis - the iris of the eye - the eye of Horus Isis linked with Sirius - eye of Ra - the source of creation. Osiris - 'O'=completion of the work of Isis of this level.
Kek (Masculne) and Kauket (Feminine)
The Egyptians believed that before the world was formed, there was a watery mass of dark, directionless chaos. In this chaos lived the Ogdoad of Khmunu(Hermopolis), four frog gods and four snake goddesses of chaos. These deities were Nun and Naunet (water), Amun and Amaunet (invisibility), Heh and Hauhet (infinity) and Kek and Kauket (darkness). The chaos existed without the light, and thus Kek and Kauket came to represent this darkness. They also symbolized obscurity, the kind of obscurity that went with darkness, and night.
The Ogdoad were the original great gods of Iunu (On, Heliopolis) where they were thought to have helped with creation, then died and retired to the land of the dead where they continued to make the Nile flow and the sun rise every day. Because of this aspect of the eight, Budge believe that Kek and Kauket were once deities linked to Khnum and Satet, to Hapi - Nile gods of Abu (Elephantine). He also believed that Kek may have also been linked to Sobek.
Kek (Kuk, Keku) means darkness. He was the god of the darkness of chaos, the darkness before time began. He was the god of obscurity, hidden in the darkness. The Egyptians saw the night time, the time without the light of the sun, as a reflection of this chaotic darkness. As a god of the night, Kek was also related to the day - he was called the "bringer-in of the light". This seems to mean that he was responsible for the time of night that came just before sunrise. The god of the hours before day dawned over the land of Egypt. This was the twilight which gave birth to the sun.
The feminine of the god Kek, Kauket (Keket) was a much more obscure goddess than her husband. She was a snake-headed woman who ruled over the darkness with her husband. Her name also meant darkness, as did her husband's name, but with a feminine ending.
O you eight chaos gods, keepers of the chambers of the sky...The bnbn [phoenix] of Ra was that from which Atum came to be as ... Kek, darkness... I am the one who begot the chaos gods again, as Heh, Nun, Amun, Kek. I am Shu who begot the gods.
- Coffin Text, Spell 76
Kauket was the feminine to Kek's masculine, more of a representation of duality than an actual goddess, so she was even less of a deity than Kek, and much more of an abstract.
She was, though, also related to the day - she was the "bringer-in of the night". This seems to show her to be the goddess of the night, just after sunset. The goddess of the the hours of the evening, as night covered Egypt, and the sun had disappeared. This was the twilight which turned into the darkness of night.
Sun-god creator in the form of a scarab beetle.The word kheper (or hprr) means scarab, and as the animal was associated with life and rebirth. Literally the word means "he who is coming into being". Like Atum, Khephir was a self-created god. The scarab lays its eggs in a ball of dung and rolls it to hide in a safe place. From this unlikely substance the Egyptians observed new life emerging, seemingly from the Earth. Hence he was a god of creation.
Attributes: A very ancient deity. As a water god he was closely associated with the annual flooding of the Nile. His name means to create. He was the creator of all things that are and all things that shall be. He created the gods and he fashioned mankind on a potters wheel.Representation: A ram headed man.
Goddess of Truth, Justice and Universal Order. She is depicted as a tall woman wearing a crown surmounted by a huge ostrich feather. Her totem symbol is a stone platform or foundation, representing the stable base on which order is built. The word, Maat translates "that which is straight." it implies anything that is true, ordered, or balanced. She was the female counterpart of Thoth. We know she is a very ancient goddess because we find her in the boat of Ra as it rose above the waters of the abyss of Nu on the first day. Together with Thoth, they charted the daily course of the sun god Ra. She is sometimes called the 'Eye of Ra' or the 'Daughter of Ra'.
A woman with the head of a cheetah, her hair braided and ending in scorpion tails. Sometimes she wears a headdress of snakes. Description: The ancient Egyptians revered felines as sacred for many centuries apparently, as Mafdet is a very old goddess, dating to around the First Dynasty. She was prayed to for protection against scorpion stings and snakebite, and invoked in healing rituals for those who had been afflicted by such. .
Mafdet, "The Runner", was a panther goddess whose ferocity prevails over snakes and scorpions. the scratch of her claws is lethal to snakes, so symbolically the harpoon of the king becomes Mafdet's claws for decapitating his enemies in the Underworld. When Mafdet is described as leaping at the necks of snakes, the imagery seems to suggest her form takes on that of a mongoose. In one epithet, Mafdet wears braided locks, probably a reference to her displaying the jointed bodies of the scorpions which she has killed.
Mafdet was depicted in the Pyramid texts as killing a snake. Her fame came mainly in the Old Kingdom and not so much is known about her except that she stood for (official) power. She could appear as a lynx, a leopard or a cheetah, but normally she was shown as a woman dressed in a cat's skin. She fought snakes and scorpions and evildoers in general and could be seen as a cat climbing up a pool (by some said to be used for executions), and if so thereby manifesting the judicial authority.
Attributes: In early times Min was a sky-god whose symbol was a thunderbolt. His title was Chief of Heaven. Well into the Middle Kingdom he was identified with the falcon-god Haroeris (Horus the Elder). Above all, Min was worshipped by men as a fertility god, a bestower of sexual powers. He was also seen as a rain god that promoted the fertility of nature, especially in the growing of grain.
During the Min festivals that celebrated the beginning of the planting season, we find renderings of pharaohs ceremonially hoeing the ground and watering the fields under the supervision of Min. Likewise at the Min festival that marked the beginning of the harvest season, the pharaoh was seen reaping the grain.
Despite his fertility associations, Min was also known as Lord of the Eastern Desert. In this role he was the protector of the caravan routes from his cult center at Koptos to the Red Sea. As the Lord of Foreign Lands he was the protector of nomads and hunters.
* Representation: Min was pictured as an bearded, ithyphallic man, with his legs close together. He wore two tall feathers, the same headdress that we find Amun wearing. His arm is raised, holding a whip, or a thunderbolt. In the New Kingdom he was represented as a white bull. Relations: Son of Ra or of Shu.
Last updated: December 31, 1969
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