Egyptian gods: Ra, Isis and Horus

Egypt is mainly known for its history. The ancient Egyptians were way ahead of their time. Egypt still has many historical sights from this time, such as the pyramids, temples, tombs and many statues. The Egyptians also had their own gods. For example, you had Ra, Isis and Horus.


Who was the Egyptian god Ra?

Ra (also often written as Re) is also known as the Sun God and was seen as the most important god in Egyptian mythology. He is seen as the supreme god. We see Ra recurring throughout the history of Egypt. There are statues depicting him. Ra is often associated with other Egyptian gods. Ra played an important role in many religious texts.

What does Ra look like?

Ra has different manifestations. He is usually depicted as a human with the head of a falcon, a ram and a scarab. But we can also often see Ra as a disk with a cobra around it. When Egyptians worshiped Ra, it was mainly in his human form.

Stories about the Sun God

That Ra was an important god is evident from the large number of stories that have arisen about him. Most famously, he is the creator of the world and all living things. That is why Ra was often called the father and mother of all life. Another story concerns the battles Ra had with the Demon Apophis. This is a big snake demon. Every time Ra won the battle, the sky turned red with Apophis’ blood. When the sun rose from the sea, Ra returned from his travels and adventures. It is also said that Ra was an important Pharaoh in the Egyptian empire.

Images of Ra

The most famous statue of Ra can be found at the Abu Simbel. The rock temples of Ramses and Nefertari were placed here by UNESCO. Above the entrance to the temples you can see an imposing statue of Ra. This is an image showing Ra with his falcon head and a sun disk. Nefertari’s tomb also contains an impressive image of Ra.


Who was Isis?

Isis was the Mother Goddess and was known for her fertility and her magic. With her magic she could even fool the god Ra. She also used her magic to impregnate herself. She was revered as Mistress of Agriculture and as a great physician. Justice was established in Egypt under the name of Isis. Isis was the daughter of Geb and Nut and the wife and sister of Osiris. Nephthys is another sister of Isis and Seth a brother.

What does Isis look like?

Isis is often depicted with an Ankh, which symbolizes her fertility. She also often carries a sun disk with bull horns. Isis is also often seen with the sistrum, an Egyptian musical instrument that consists of a kind of metal U with a few wires in between. There are rings around the wires that make noise when you shake them. The sistrum can therefore be compared to a tambourine. It was even its predecessor. To show that Isis was an important goddess, she was often depicted with an image of a throne above her head. This shows the power of Isis.


Isis has her own hieroglyph. Here you will find the throne that she also wears on her head. The symbol has been found many times, especially in the Isis temples.

ISIS outside Egypt

Isis was very important not only in Egypt, but also beyond. For example, Isis was very popular in Rome during the time of Caesar and you could find Isis everywhere in the Roman Empire. A Temple of Isis has been found in the city of Pompeii. This temple can still be visited. A temple of Isis has also been found in London and Ireland.

Remains of the Egyptian goddess

Since Isis was so loved and seen as an important goddess, it is not surprising that much has been found that has to do with Isis. For example, it has already been said that several Isis temples have been found. There are also numerous images of Isis. In the Egyptian museum in Cairo you can admire all kinds of statues of Isis. But it doesn’t stop there: in the Louvre in Paris we find a statue of Isis together with Horus. And also in the Museo Archaeologico Regionale in Palermo (On the Italian island of Sicily) we can find an impressive statue of the Egyptian goddess. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York houses old images featuring Isis.


Who was the Egyptian god Horus?

Horus was the Egyptian falcon god, who took the form of a falcon and is also known as the Sky God. He spreads his wings over the sky. He is the son of Isis, the Mother Goddess, and Osiris, the god of the underworld. Horus often helped his father Osiris to bring people to the underworld. Pharaohs were seen as Horus. When the Pharaoh died, Horus entered the body of the next Pharaoh. Later this task was taken over by Supreme God Ra.

Special birth of Horus

Horus was born in a special way, namely with magic. That was because Osiris’ penis had been cut to pieces by his brother Seth. Isis could fertilize herself with magic. Because Isis was afraid that Seth would kill Horus, she placed him in a basket on the Nile, hoping that someone else would find and raise Horus. Later Horus took revenge and killed Seth.

Eye of Horus

The Eye of Horus is a well-known Hieroglyph. This is also called the all-seeing eye. The individual parts of the symbol represent the senses of hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting, feeling and thinking. The Eye of Horus appears in many films and books.

Efdu Temple

Horus is honored in many places. The most famous temple is the Efdu Temple, which is located near the town of Efdu. This temple is completely focused on Horus. Unlike most temples in Egypt, this temple does not face the Nile, but towards the South. The facade has two towers and is almost eighty meters high. The temple has a total of twelve columns with hieroglyphs. There are several rooms where people could honor Horus. Of course you will also find a statue of Horus at this famous temple. The Efdu Temple is one of the best preserved temples in all of Egypt. This is because the temple was only discovered and excavated in 1860. The desert sand has ensured that everything has remained intact.

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