Many Egyptian gods were portrayed as animals, or as human beings with animal heads like Anubis, the god of the dead, because the Egyptians considered all animals to be sacred. Anyone who deliberately
killed an animal would be punished with death. Cats that had died would be embalmed and buried in sacred receptacles.
The Egyptian's belief of the origin of the world is comparable to the way Egypt's land reemerged after the annual
inundation of the Nile. In the beginning, there was a watery void...
From this void the life-giving sun god Atum (later called Re arose on
the first hill of earth- just as the subsiding of the Nile flood causes hills of mud to appear with their promise of life-giving
harvest. Atum (or Re) created the goddess of moisture and Shu, the god of the air. Their daughter, Nut, was the goddess of
the sky, and her brother, Geb, who was also her husband, was the god of the earth. Despite the blatant evidence provided by
this story, inscestual marriages were not widespread in Ancient Egypt. It was only an option for pharoahs who wanted to maintain
as much divine blood as possible in their line. By day Re sailed through the air on a boat between the sky and the earth,
resting at night in the body of Nut, to be born again each morning.
Nut and Geb had four children. Their first was Osiris., the god of vegetation
and the first living pharaoh of Egypt. Osiris believed to be the first pharoah, the first god who was king, in Egypt. Osiris
had a son named Horus. Osiris was murdered by his brother Seth, the god of evil. Seth cut the body of Osiris into pieces and scattered them throughout Egypt. Isis, the protective goddess of women, who was Osiris's sister and wife, found the pieces of Osiris's body and, together
with her sister, Nephthys, put him back together through magic. Osiris was thus ressurected, and he became the god of the
afterlife, to whom all deceased pharoahs were identified.The son of Osiris and Isis was Horus, the child god, the falcon god,
and the living pharaoh. Horus avenged his father by defeating Seth. In doing so, he lost an eye, which was magically replaced
by his friend Thoth, another human god with an animal-shaped head. This is another representation of resurrection in Egyptian
religion. Thus, the eye is a symbol of protection and resurrection in Egyptian life. Osiris became the god of the afterlife,
and is depicted as a mummified king. Horus became the god whom a living pharaoh represents on earth.
Aside from these gods, there were gods that represented ordinary people, such as Ptah, the god of craftsmen,
who was created by Re like the other gods. Each region of Egypt had its own special god. Ptah was the local god of Memphis.
Amun was the god of Thebes. When Thebes became the capitol
of Egypt, he became a national god whom all worshiped. However, since no god was more important than Re, the life-giving sun
god and the father of the pharaoh, Amun was merged with Re to become the king of the gods, Amun-Re.