Egypt: The Magic and the Mythology

Just some of the basics of Egyptian mythology.


1. The Creation

            Re, the Egyptian god of the sun, was the all-powerful creator of the world. He created the first five gods and goddesses: the wind god, Shu; the goddess of moisture, Tefnut; the earth god, Geb; the sky goddess, Nut; and the goddess of the Nile, Hapi.  After he created these gods and goddesses, he created all things on Earth. Re then created men, who greatly worshipped Re and the other gods. However, Re began to grow old, and the men no longer obeyed him. When Re turned to the other gods for advice, they suggested that Re punish the men, and turn his eye against them. Re sent his vicious and fearless daughter, Sekhmet, to punish man. Sekhmet slaughtered her way through Upper and Lower Egypt, and she became so eager for blood and death that even Re could not stop the massacre. Re had no choice but to trick his daughter into ending her terrible rampage. He had red ochre, or clay, brought from the isle of Elephantine, and the women of Heliopolis were ordered to spend a day brewing beer. The red ochre was mixed with seven thousand jars of beer, then poured over the land that Sekhmet was planning on attacking next. Sekhmet saw the red ochre-dyed beer, believed that it was blood, and drank until she slept. When she woke, she returned to her father. Re said, “You come in peace, sweet one.” At these words, Sekmet became the loving goddess Hathor. Re continued to age, and he began to lose his wisdom. Unfortunately, no one knew Re’s secret name of power, and so the gods were unable to take his wisdom. Now, two of the gods that Re had created, Geb and Nut, had four children: Osiris, Isis, Seth, and Nepthys. Of the four, Isis was the wisest, and she was able to trick Re into telling her his secret name. After that, Re could no longer rule as Pharaoh, and he took his place in the sky as the sun. During the day, he travelled across the sky as Re. At night, he went through the Underworld as Atum, and carried the souls of the deceased as his passengers. He went through this endless cycle on the Boat of Re. This is the story of Re and the creation of the world. (Wonders of Egypt)

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