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Ancient Egyptian Gods of the Afterlife II

One of the oldest and most important deities of ancient Egyptian religion was Horus, who enjoyed worship from around the late Predynastic period throughout Greco-Roman times. In history, the god took on many different forms and was referred to as more than one god , depending on the time period.

Horus , Son of Isis and Osiris

The earliest record of Horus sees him taking the form of a falcon, which served as the patron deity of Nekhen in Upper Egypt. He was heralded as the first recognized national god. The king was associated with Horus, as they were seen as Horus when alive and compared to Osiris when deceased. The Egyptians looked towards Horus as being many different things, including the god of the Sky, god of War and god of Protection.

Horus was the son of goddess Isis, who she gave birth to after she collected all of the dismembered parts of her murdered husband’s body, Osiris. All of his body was uncovered except for one piece. Isis was still able to use her magic powers to resurrect Osiris so that she could conceive Horus. However, there are other tales that speak of the conception of Horus. Another story states that he came from a divine fire that impregnated his mother.

Wedjat , Protection in Afterlife

Wedjat was a solar deity whose eye was very important to the ancient Egyptians, which was referred to as the all-seeing eye. Historians have uncovered funerary amulets that were made in the shape of the Wedjat, which was also called the Eye of Horus. By wearing this amulet, kings were supposed to receive protection in the afterlife. It was used as a way to ward off evil. The eye would also become significant to ancient Egyptian and Near Eastern sailors, as they would paint the symbol on their ships in an effort to encounter a sea journey.

Neith

During early Egyptians time, Neith (also known as Net, Nit, or Neit), was a patron deity of Sais. She enjoyed a cult following that was situated in the Western Nile Delta in Egypt. Worshippers date back as far as the First Dynasty.

Neith served as a goddess of war and was often associated with hunting. In fact, two crossed arrows over a shield represented her. The Egyptians believed that Neith constructed the weapons that warriors carried into battle and she also guarded their bodies when they were dead.

Symbols of Neith

The loom was one of the symbols used to represent Neith and was also recognized as part of her hieroglyph. Egyptians myths would often mention her as the goddess of weaving. She also appeared in creation myths, where she fluctuated from being a water-based deity to one that wove the world and all of its existence with her trusty loom.

Art depictions show Neith as a woman wearing a weavers’ shuttle on the top of her head. A bow and arrows are often carried in her hands. Some artworks show her with the head of a lioness, snake or cow and the body of a human female. Another portrayal connected to the goddess was that of a woman nursing a baby crocodile. When she appears in this manner, she is called the ‘Nurse of Crocodiles.’