Sunday, April 27, 2008

Egyptian Gods, Goddesses and Mythology

Ancient Egyptian society treated men and women equally. Women participated in the political, economic, and judicial world of ancient Egypt on the same terms as men. This social system reflects Egyptian mythology, where Goddesses played an equal, if not chief, role. The primeval mother figures in the earliest prehistoric Egyptian myths are female. Female deities were kept separate from the males, with their own temples and followers. Egyptian goddesses are also creator deities, and the protectors of the pharaohs in the form of the cobra, vulture, or lioness.
In ancient Egyptian mythology, Egypt was created from the Watery Waste of Nun, a chaos god from whose body all things were born. The continuous mission of the daily temple services and strictly followed religious codes was to keep ordered Egyptian society from returning to the state of chaos in which it was born. Ma'at, the goddess in charge of law, balance and order, was one of the principal deities.
The two "protectors of the realm" of Egypt were originally Nekhbet, vulture goddess of Northern Egypt, and Wadjet, cobra goddess of Lower Egypt. The cobra and the vulture were chosen by the Egyptians as the royal symbols because they were thought to be self-producing and therefore creators, or divine.
Egyptian mythology is a complex collection of often-competing stories, traditions, and practices. This is partly because the culture is so ancient, and partly because each city had its own set of deities, whose unique personalities are lost as their cults age. Just as each city vied for supreme power before Egypt was a unified kingdom, the cities each tried to establish their gods as the supreme gods. Even after unification, each time the capital moved, the supreme god of the new city rose to be the supreme god of the kingdom.[2]
There are many versions of the stories about Egyptian gods and goddesses. Here's a myth which tells a story related to creation and will introduce you to many gods. You may either read, or listen to the story