Hey, remember the last time we took a look at Egyptian gods? Well, I hadn’t eve scratched the surface, either in mythology or the Demon’s Chronicle line! And in fact, let’s take a look at some more! Both sphinxes are technically from Dungeons & Dragons, but that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying this, and maybe learning a little!
Osiris is quite famous among the Egyptian gods, and is a great example of the chief difficulty in studying their mythology – things changed constantly. If you want to know whether Anubis or Osiris is the god of the dead, the answer is both or either, depending on where and when you are studying. He was originally a living god of the harvest, but was ambushed and murdered by Set, his brother. Isis, Osiris’s wife, reassembled the pieces (except for his penis – she had to make him a new one), and resurrected him. But since Osiris is still technically dead, he became a god of the Underworld, much like Anubis.
Fun factoid – see how the pharaoh holds a shepherd’s crook and threshing flail? Well, Nunchaku were made from threshing flails, so essentially… pharaohs wielded nunchaku.
Nobody knows exactly what the Sphinx is, or how old it is as a symbol – they go back insanely far, and Egyptian Sphinxes may be.. bear with me, this is my theory… may be based on ancient Mesopotamian Shedu/Lamassu holy beasts, or even Hebrew Cherubim, which are human-faced with animal bodies, and seem to serve the same purpose. Most Egyptian Sphinxes have the face of whoever was Pharaoh at the time.
The Hieracosphinx is one of two particular Sphinx variants named by the Greek historian Herodotus (the other is a Criosphinx, which has a ram’s head). Hieracosphinxes are griffon-headed and a popular motif in art, and often are identified with Horus as a holy symbol or pet.
The Divine Potter, the Lord of Created Things From Himself, Khnum is the ox-headed god of the nile and of all water, and pottery and clay. On his potter’s wheel he created everything – the egg that became the sun, the other gods, and each and every human being – he sculpts each child from clay, just as is he clearly doing in this picture.
In fact, it is Khnum’s identity with clay that made him a creator – he was originally just a river god, but since that silt was used to create, he became THE creator. Khnum is another example of Egyptian Mythology being varied – sometimes he’s just a river god, other times an aspect of Ra, and still other times the ultimate creator of everything. But he’s not the only one to gain that honor…
Despite being the vulture-headed goddess, Nekhbet is not associated with death! She is another candidate for ultimate creator deity, often described as the “Father of fathers and mother of mothers.” But other traditions just have her watching over a specific city. Often identified with Wadjet as one of the “Two Ladies,” Nekhbet also guarded and protected the Pharaoh, to the point of leading his armie. And, like many Egyptian gods, she watched over childbirth and naming ceremonies, offering safety and health for mother and child.
Taweret is the hippo goddess. We may think of hippopotami as adorable, goofy animals, but the Egyptians knew how overwhelmingly brutal and dangerous they are, and thus Taweret was often feared as a predator and destroyer, linked to utter darkness and death. Over time the Egyptians began to assume that a mother hippopotamus’s viciousness came from protecting its young, and so Taweret was redefined as more of a maternal figure, a goddess of fertility and childhood, and the protector of mothers and their young. Bes was still the primary protector during childbirth, but Taweret soon gained prominence, too. She was still vicious and violent, but now it was directed, no longer a force of chaos.
Yes, I mistook this figure for Wadjet. But that’s okay, because there were plenty of times when Renenutet got mixed up or identified with Wadjet! Renenutet is a goddess of nourishment, the harvest, and protection. Because the harves was so important to Egyptian survival, she became a prominent god indeed, sometimes even identified with Geb, god of the earth! Most of the time, though, she was officially the wife of Sobek, god of the Nile. Now, Sobek’s main inscription states that he “Urinates wherever he wishes,” so I assume that it must really suck to be Renenutet.
“No, honey, we’re not inviting Osiris over for dinner. You know the reason why!”
Another snake goddess! “She Who Loves Silence,” Meretseger is a goddess of judgment and forgiveness, who punishes sinners but gives them grace if they repent. This makes her unique in the Egyptian pantheon, as the only other types of judgement come during the heart-weighing ceremony, where sinners are fed to Ammut. She resided in and protected the Valley of the Kings, and would spit venom into the eyes of would-be grave robbers. As her center of worship was primarily in the Valley of Kings, she mostly disappeared after the five hundred or so years that the Valley was in use.