the gods of ancient EGYPT
an overview:

Image of the god osiris

This page brings you a brief overview of the nature of the spiritual philosophy of the Ancient Egyptians and their gods and goddesses, priesthood, kings and pharaohs and the main mystery schools, plus some of the symbolism contained within their paintings, sculptures, buildings and pictograms. More details on 22 of the primary gods and goddesses and other archetypal energies may be found on separate pages: A-N (Ankh - Nepthys); and O-Z (Osiris - Winged Disc). If you would like to learn and experience more for yourself follow this link for details of our "Crystal Journeys to Ancient Egypt" workshop.

PLEASE NOTE: We have copyrighted all material that we have created on this site - which is ALL of it, unless alternate credit is shown. You may freely use any of it for private or personal use only, but we ask that if you wish to use ANY of our material, including pictures, for publication or reproduction in ANY other shape or form, including using it on other internet pages or sites, that you contact us for permission; credit this site as the source of your information and create a web link back to our site. We are happy to share, but dislike the rude practice a few other websites have of using material without due credit to its originators.

The Ancient Egyptian civilisation was built on the 3-fold model of Wisdom (achieved through actively acquiring knowledge), Truth, and Cosmic Order of space and time. The Ancient Egyptians created beauty by design and much of their philosophy revolved around their observations of the celestial bodies in the heavens and their own certainty of the existence of life after death. Many of their gods and goddesses represented the solar and celestial bodies (stars and planets) and their movements in the skies, especially at those times when their appearance preceded significant events in the lives of the Egyptians, such as the equinoxes, the flooding of the Nile and the regular movements of the Sun. Symbolically the stories and myths surrounding the gods tend to reflect what was seen to happen in the skies above Egypt at night. Also the skies (or heavens as they were seen to be) were believed to be the source of the original gods who came to the Ancient Ones in physical form, and many of the great beings who influenced this ancient civilisation are thought to truly come from outside the Earth and her solar system - even perhaps being visitors or potential colonists from other star systems or Universes.

THE GODS - NAMES AND HIERARCHY:

Many of the names we use today for the ancient Egyptian gods and goddesses are in fact Greek versions of the Egyptian names. The Greeks travelled widely and much of the Ancient Egyptian culture and wisdom formed the basis of the Ancient Greek civilisation - upon which our own European culture was also subsequently based. For example Osiris (pictured above) was known by several different Egyptian names, such as Khnemu-utem-ankh, depending on the time period and region.  All the gods and goddesses of Ancient Egypt had and have many differing aspects and consequently names or titles. Their "family tree" varies from time period to time period, and this makes sense when we understand that the Ancient Egyptian civilisations spanned many many centuries. Note also that the gods and goddesses are primarily symbolic archetypes and these Neters (gods) embody eternal cosmic realities. Therefore they never die, but are eternal.

hierarchy and family tree 
Chart "School of Inner Light" 2004

The gods were seen as having 3 levels of being:
The Highest level (seen as the Metaphysical level) contained those beings known variously as Amun (literally "the hidden one"); Atum (the potentiality or what all may become); Ra (the universal principal) and Neith (the cosmic virgin mother). See the parallels between the Christian trinity of Father / Holy Spirit and Son, and the Virgin Mary? This concept of a "Holy Trinity"  is incidentally to be found in many of the world's religions.
The Mid-level (seen as the Cosmic level) contained what were seen as being the primary gods and goddesses - Isis, Osiris, Set, Nepthys, Horus, Thoth, Anubis, Hathor and Nut.
The Lower-level (seen as the Terrestrial level) contained many of the secondary gods and goddesses, including Ptah, Anubis, Amun-Min, Mut and Set. Some you will note were placed within both mid and lower levels, depending on the time period and beliefs of that time.
All levels and beings were inter-related and dynamic and a Neter may have had a different name according to their appearance, function and Divine purpose and can appear in many different dynasties, with different roles and even under different names. They took many forms, including animal - human combinations, and their form, colour and appearance were all part of a symbolic code. Each aspect of one particular deity may have been worshiped separately - for example Ra as Sun-God had 3 aspects: Khepera (Morning Sun), Ra (Noon Sun) and Tem (Evening Sun).

THE SPIRITUAL ROLE OF THE KINGS, QUEENS, PHARAOHS AND PRIESTS:

The Kings and Queens (Pharaohs) were regarded as the earthly representatives of the Gods, and the Pharaoh was considered to be the High priest to the Nation. His role was bound to that of the gods, especially to the symbolic lives of Horus the younger and Osiris. As Pharaoh his role was equivalent to the embodiment of Atum / Amun / Ra himself. The priests and priestesses were earthly representatives too, and were regarded as embodying or even BE-ing gods. The temples of Egypt were in turn the houses of the Gods, and the Priesthood were all servants of the gods. The belief was that if the Neters (embodied as statues within the temples) were looked after well by the priests, then the land and the people would prosper. Each temple was complete and mainly self-contained, being rather like a small town. It had many officials and administrators, who far outnumbered the small number of lifelong priests and servants to the Gods!

Generally the purified priesthood (regarded as the lower ranking priests) presented offerings in the temples, whilst the initiated priesthood (the higher ranking priests) literally spoke with the Gods and their role was mainly that of an oracle  - probably performing what we today call channellings.
Head of the priesthood were the High Priests, who often wore cloaks decorated with 5-pointed stars. Wisdom, both sacred and mundane, was regarded as extremely important, and those chosen as High priests were experts in their fields of knowledge (which for example could be in architecture, astronomy or medicine). Their chosen specialities often followed the "speciality" of the gods they were responsible for, and the same would frequently be true of all the priests of that temple. For example the scribe priests were devoted to Thoth, the medical priests to Sekhmet, the healing priests to Imhotep, the embalming priests to Anubis, the judges and justices to Maat and so on.
Next in line were the 3 levels of "Fathers of the Gods" - being 2nd, 3rd and 4th level prophets (oracles). They were often shaven-headed and recognised by the panther skins worn over their shoulders.
Next came the lector priests - the holders and keepers of priestly wisdom. They were the most traditional in appearance, and wore white kilts with a broad fabric sash across the chest.
Finally came the lower ranks of the priesthood, who were responsible for performing the liturgical duties, with the Wab priests (or purified ones) being the equivalent of the lay priesthood. They were often local people who were required to spend some time performing these duties - a little like doing "National Service". They too wore the white kilt but were generally bare-chested.
Female priesthood had a high status, and there was an important role for women within all the temples, especially those dedicated to the "female" goddesses. It was also quite common for the High priestess to be married to the High priest.

THE SYMBOLISM WITHIN THE CULTURE:

Everything within the ancient Egyptian culture was symbolic. Symbolism appeared on Stela (stones tablets), monuments, and hieroglyphs, pictograms and in all images. All the Divine images are metaphors in picture form. The accoutrements shown in pictures of the Kings and gods for example (such as staffs, crowns, sceptres etc) were all keys with sacred symbolic meanings.
The temples also were designed to symbolically represent the Egyptian creation myths, and had immense symbolism in their structure. The materials, patterns, measurements (including proportions and mathematical relationships), layout, alignment, decoration, colours, number and the order of the construction were all extremely important and significant. For example the type of stone used in the building represented the elements:
Stones of igneous origin represented Fire (and also Ra);
Sandstone represented Earth;
Limestone represented Air;
Nile mud bricks represented Water;
Alabaster represented Becoming or Potential (what we may call Ether).
Accordingly we need to look past the surface of the myths and all outward appearances to find the inner wisdoms and interpret what symbolism we find in order to obtain true insight into the esoteric world of the Ancient Egyptian archetypes. Know that when looking at anything to do with Ancient Egypt, be it pictures, artefacts, temples, buildings or people, nothing was exactly as it seemed! There was an underlying deep esoterical reasoning behind it all. Bear in mind also that to the Ancient Ones Wisdom was seen as Understanding through Knowledge, and as such much of the real truth was hidden so that it could only be discovered through hard work and much study.

THE BASICS OF THE SPIRITUAL BELIEF SYSTEM:

The entire Egyptian spiritual belief system was built around a system of temples, gods and initiations whose purpose was to learn, grow and progress with the ultimate goal of achieving immortality. The everyday population were not aware of the entire philosophy and underlying goals of the belief system, but the priests, potential initiates and higher ranking people were.
There were regarded as being 3 levels /aspects of consciousness for sentient beings in physical existence on the Earth. These were:
1: Under the ground (that which lies hidden or cloaked, not yet come to fruition) symbolised in pictograms by the snake or cobra;
2: Flying over the ground (that which is higher and less earthly and still to be attained) symbolised by the vulture;
3: Walking upon the ground (that which is earthbound and searching, like man) symbolised by the Right Eye of Horus.
The Egyptians also believed that every person was followed through life and afterlife by an invisible double called a "Ka". One's Ka could not be seen, and equates to what we may know as the "spirit". They also believed each person had a soul called a "Ba" which dwelt within the person. This was depicted in art and pictograms as a bird with a human face and performed the function of a "conscience". Both parts - Ka and Ba - were regarded as eternal, but only the Ba could travel between the land of the living and the dead. Note that incidentally the Egyptian word "Mer" translates as "chariot or vehicle", hence the significance to us of what we call the MerKaBa, which literally means "Lightbody vehicle".

There were also 3 states of Being that were desired to be attained. These were:
Firstly: IMMORTALITY - this is the state where one attains and retains a memory of everything, whether one is in the same physical body or not. In this state one has a memory of everything - all past lifetimes and knowledge acquired over those times, and in addition the physical body does not die and it can be renewed or replaced at will.
Secondly: RESURRECTION - this is the state where one dies and then "drops" ones physical body. One then becomes aware of ones own Merkaba or Lightbody but one is also able to recreate ones physical body and become part of the 4th dimension using this recreated body. In this state one is no longer on the wheel of death / rebirth, and need not reincarnate, but can choose to remain in the physical world - in which case ones physical body doesn't die.
Thirdly: ASCENSION - this state is achieved when one does not go through the death process, but simply becomes fully aware of ones Merkaba - or Light Body. In this state one is then able to create ones Lightbody at will and live in the 4th dimension (or higher) in this transformed state of being, no longer needing or desiring to exist in the 3rd dimensional physical world.

THE ORIGINAL OSIRIAN SPIRITUAL PATHWAY & THE MYSTERY SCHOOLS:

The initiation process and pathway of spirituality was originated by Osiris. He came originally from Atlantis, where he had become its first resurrected Master. His understanding of how to achieve immortality became the template for firstly the Atlantean and then the Ancient Egyptian religions. Each Neter (archetypal god / goddess) was created to represent a different chromosome of Osiris' genetic makeup. Each of these were to illustrate a different characteristic and aspect of life, being the lessons to be learnt by humanity as they regained their God-self. In all there were a total of 42 + 2 (44) archetypes, and together they represented the pathway and process of how to move from the 1st to the 2nd level of consciousness.
As times passed it was found that the people of upper and lower Egypt were giving different names to the original 44 god-forms created, and then also frequently combining or splitting their archetypal natures to make far more than the original number - and then worst of all were worshipping each individual aspect as a separate God, rather than as an aspect of the one God. Things had got out of control! The understanding of there being only one God, yet many aspects through which that God could be reached had been lost.
It was then decided that people needed to be directed back to the original and true path, and a Christ-Conscious Master was created and brought to Earth through Sirius to serve as a new Pharaoh. This Master was Akhenaten. Up until that time all leaders were dynastic and held the title of "King". Akhenaten used the title "Pharaoh" (meaning "that which you will become") as did all those leaders that followed him. He brought back the philosophy of Truth and of One God, and made the Sun the symbol of this One God (being the easiest symbol for the populous to understand as a concept). He created a new set of Mystery schools and took the initiates from the school known then as the "Left Eye of Horus" to a new school founded by him (later called the "Right Eye of Horus") and taught them how to attain immortality. Out of all the initiates taken by Akhenaten 300 passed the tests and went on to form the Tat Brotherhood.
Members of the Tat Brotherhood later became the inner circle of the Essene Brotherhood and this brotherhood and their philosophies formed the basis for many of the world's current religions, including Christianity.

The Left Eye of Horus Mystery school was essentially feminine / yin in nature and worked primarily with the right (intuitive) side of the brain. Its symbols included the bee and a flower stalk. Each initiate was taught in a series of 12 temples along the Nile, each one concentrating on a different aspect and with different god / goddess facet. The purpose of each temple of initiation was to create a situation to force the initiate to have experiences of things they might not want to, in order to overcome their fears and thus become stronger.  A year was spent at each temple, and at the end of the 12 years and series of initiations the initiate was designed to be completely fearless! This feminine path explored the human nature of emotions and feelings, both positive and negative; sexual energy; birthing; death; some psychic energy work and anything that was not seen as logical. Emotions and feelings were seen as needing to be totally balanced in order for fears to be overcome and this state of fearlessness was necessary for the final tests to be passed in the Right Eye of Horus Mystery School.

The Right Eye of Horus Mystery School was essentially male / yang in nature. It worked primarily with the left (logical) side of the brain and the lessons were taught only once, and only orally. Its symbols included the ibis and the ovoid shape. The nature of the lessons was to do with interpreting what had been "seen" by the lessons learnt in the Left Eye school. The final initiations took place at the 13th temple on the Nile - at the Great Pyramid of Giza, where the final test was that of attaining one of the three states of immortality, resurrection or ascension. This is believed to be the original purpose of the sarcophagus within the King's Chamber - which incidentally has now been moved from its correct and original position!

There was also accepted to be a third Mystery School, known as the Middle or the 3rd Eye of Horus, and was said to equate to the everyday path of human life - a school that each of us are a part of!

THE OUTCOME:

Eventually the Pharaoh Seti followed on as successor from Akhenaten, and because of the unhappiness of the priests and people at having been forced by Akhenaten to change the way they worshiped  and the apparently radical changes this made to their lives, for a quiet life he changed the system back to how it was before, removing and erasing all references to the One God and to Akhenaten from the records and most of the stellae, statues and paintings. The spiritual belief system of the Egyptians therefore never again reached its full potential or regained its true esoteric meaning. Actually, Akhenaten himself is thought to have strayed somewhat from the true path and original ideals of the schools by the end of his reign, making passage from the final school dependant upon a candidates beliefs, status and lineage rather than their natural ability - although the true process of giving the final test to ALL suitable candidates thus enabling their ascension or metamorphosis was carried on by certain members of the priesthood in secret.

PLEASE NOTE: We have copyrighted all material that we have created on this site - which is ALL of it, unless alternate credit is shown. You may freely use any of it for private or personal use only, but we ask that if you wish to use ANY of our material, including pictures, for publication or reproduction in ANY other shape or form, including using it on other internet pages or sites, that you contact us for permission; credit this site as the source of your information and create a web link back to our site. We are happy to share, but dislike the rude practice a few other websites have of using material without due credit to its originators.