As with many ancient cultures, the Egyptians used myths and legends to explain the world they lived in and the course of life.
While some of these myths surely died out as we evolved, and some were lost in time, there are many that we still talk about today, even while playing at bingo for money in the UK or chatting over a glass of wine.
These are just some of the myths that tell us more about the Ancient Egyptians, their way of life, their culture and the gods that shaped them and their beliefs.
The Story of Ra
The story of Ra is the creation myth to end all myths, and not only is Ra credited with being the creationist of all the earth’s gods, he was also the sun, and travelled across the sky daily to provide Egypt with the day’s light.
At night, Ra journeyed to the Underworld where he defeated the allies of Chaos and fought innumerable battles, always emerging victorious to light up another day. He is also known as the first Pharaoh and was Egypt’s first leader before he became the god that all future Pharaohs descended from. This is why Pharaohs call themselves the sons of Ra.
Isis and Osiris
Two of the four children of the Earth Goddess Nut, Isis and Osiris were husband and wife. Osiris was the eldest child of Nut and all of Egypt loved him. His brother Set was incredibly jealous and killed him, leaving pieces of Osiris all over Egypt.
But Set hadn’t bargained on Isis powers, and she put Osiris back together again and resurrected him in the Underworld. Isis and Osiris then had a child called Horus together, but Osiris was bound to the Underworld, so h remained there and ruled, while Horus walked the earth.
Horus and Set
Not surprisingly, when Horus grew of age he challenged his father’s murderous brother to the throne and engaged in a series of battles. However, Set kept deviously tricking Horus and winning the battles, until Isis used her powers to set a trap. She caught Set, but let him go, leaving Horus furious.
Horus’ rage was so intense that it upset the gods and they called for a final battle. In the battle, Set attacked Horus and the gods deemed the match a tie. Finally, Osiris was consulted as to who would be king and he deemed that no one with murderous ways should sit on the throne, leaving it for his son to take his rightful place as the ruler of Egypt.
Anubis is the Ancient Egyptian god of death and he plays many roles in the passing over to the Underworld. Originally he was the Lord of the Dead, but after Osiris passing he took this on, and Anubis became his helper in the Underworld, the protector of the tombs and the god of mummification.
He also took all souls in hand for their passage in to the Underworld and was responsible for weighing their hearts – a metaphor for measuring how good they were in life.