|Green glazed stone from Amenhotep
III, used to dispatch news. This one announces the opening of a lake
and pleasure garden for Queen Tiy.
In some stories, the
scarab is a symbol of the sun, and linked with Ra. In an Egyptian creation
legend the lotus rises from the sea, and opens to reveal
a scarab which transforms itself into a boy who weeps - his tears become
In this way, men are children of Ra. It also
symbolizes self-creative power. As Khepri, "He who becomes"
he was the aspect of the rising sun. Ra was associated with the sun at
Scarabs were believed to be all males,
and represented virility and the generative power of life.In burial rites,
the scarab was an important symbol, and was placed over the heart as a
symbol of renewed life, to stimulate the rebirth into eternal life. They
were meant to be weighed against the feather of truth during final judgement,
and were often inscribed with a spell from the Book of the Dead.
or Bastet, was originally a lioness-goddess, (sometimes confused with
Sekhmet) personifying the fertilizing warmth of the sun. Her sacred animal
later became the cat. She is the goddess of pleasure and joy, and a lover
of music and dance.
She is also the goddess of
love and the moon, with an alert cat - its pupils mimicking the waxing
and waning of the moon.
Her temple at Bubastis was one of the most
elegant in Egypt, and the location of joyous festivals.
There were huge celebrations in her name,
attracting hundreds of thousands. In return, Bast bestowed mental and
physical health. She also protected against contagious disease and evil
Bast was related to the sun-god; he was
either her father or her brother-husband.
with her sacred animals. In her right hand she holds a sistrum, a
musical instrument which drove away evil spirits
||Sekhmet, the goddess
of war and battle. "By thy life when I slay men my heart rejoices."
|The Ankh is an ancient
symbol of life. In Egypt dieties were shown carrying the ankh as a symbol
of the gift of eternal life promised to their royal or priestly servants.
The ankh is formed of the combined male and female symbols of Osiris and
Isis, the union of heaven and earth. It was also the "Key of the
Nile" as a symbol of the mystic union of Isis and Osiris which initiated
the annual Nile flood, the source of so much of Egypt's fertility and
life. It also signifies immortality, "Life to come", "Time
that is to come' with its keylike shape symbolizing the ability to unlock
the doors of the underworld.
wooden mirror case found in Tut's tomb. It is overlaid in sheet
gold. The inlay is colored glass, carnelian and quartz. The word
"ankh" also means "mirror".
may be a representation of Ra due to the association of the scarab
to the sun.
||Bracelet from Tutankhamun - Gold and Lapis Lazuli
|| Pendant of gold, with lapis scarab and
carnelian sun. The baboons are worshiping the sun. The strips of lapis
above and below represent the sky and sea.
Isis pictured nursing her son,
She is often shown in this guise.
were originally two separate goddesses, but through time and confusion
of their aspects, they were combined. Isis' cult grew in importance until
she absorbed nearly all other goddesses, and now Nut, Hathor, and Isis
are virtually interchangeable as mother-goddess.
Hathor had many forms. She was the patron
of foreigners and mother of the Egyptians. She was sometimes pictured
as the winged cow of creation who gave birth to the universe. Because
she was the mother, she owned the bodies of the dead, making her queen
of the underworld. She was also patron of bodily pleasures - her festivals
were carnivals of intoxication.
Isis was eventually identified as the primary
- the mother-goddess. She was the mother of the divine child, Horus. She
was the sister-wife of Osiris, and was instrumental in the civilizing
of Egypt by teaching how to grind corn, spin flax, weave cloth, cure disease,
and instituted marriage.
According to legend, after their brother
Set killed Osiris, she went in search of his body. Set had cut Osiris'
body into fourteen pieces and scattered them so he would be forever destroyed.
She eventually recovered all but the phallus. Isis then performed the
first rites of embalmment, which restored Osiris to eternal life. Her
powers allowed her to reanimate Osiris in order to conceive Horus. Isis
raised Horus in the marshes, hidden from Set, who was on the throne.
Isis' symbol is the throne - pharohs were
often shown seated on her lap and protected by her wings.Isis,
in Osirian myth, represents the rich plains of Egypt, made fruitful by
the annual inundation of the Nile (Osiris), separated from her by the
arid desert (Set)
Hathor was sometimes seen as a sky goddess, represented as a vast cow who straddled the heavens with her four legs marking the four cardinal points. The king was often depicted as being suckled by the cow form of Hathor.
Isis promised - "You
shall live in blessing,
you shall live glorious in my protection; and when you have fulfilled
your allotted span of life and descend to the underworld, there too you
shall see me, as you see me now, shining. And if you show yourself obidient
to my divinity...you will know that I alone have permitted you to extend
your life beyond the time allocated you by your destiny."
I will overcome