Sunday, May 8, 2011

Gods And Goddesses: Ra

Ra, or Re, is the sun god well known to so many with his human body and falcon head. Often depicted with a sun disk on his head with a cobra wrapping around said sun disk. Ra is known to have been merged with two gods, Horus (becoming Re-Horakhty) and Amun (becoming Amun-Ra).

Ra is powerful and popular, with his worship being popular. Being called the king, or father, of the gods and is the patron of the pharaoh. The pharaohs of the time is even said to have been an incarnation of Ra running on earth.

It is believed that the creation of all life is from Ra calling each of them into existence by speaking their secret names, humans are even said to have been created by Ra’s tears and sweat, for this reason Egyptians called themselves “Cattle of Ra”. Ra is told to be self-created along with the father of Tefnut (goddess of moisture), Shu (god of air), Hathor (goddess of love), and according to some, Anubis (god of mummification). His wife is Ratet, some however say Hathor is rather then daughter of Ra but wife.

Ra takes on many forms and many names, with a secret name even for himself. Ra’s power was in fact kept in his secret name which he only knew. A goddess, Isis, knew this and tricked Ra into walking past a snake which bit him. None could heal Ra but Isis, with Isis only agreeing to heal Ra if his secret name is told which Ra succumbed to doing thanks to pain. Isis healed Ra as promised and thus gained the magical power Ra originally had.

At sunrise Ra is known as Khepera and represented by the scarab. At noon, Ra is as we know him. At sunset, he is Tem.

It is Ra who travels the sun with the sun upon he head and using two boats. The boat of the morning is called Matet and from midday he rides the boat called Semktet. It is Ra who is also credited to ride only one boat called “Barque of Millions of Years’ and to fighting his enemy, a snake known as Apep, during the day.
 Ra is believed to die at the end of each day and have a voyage though the underworld, getting past through twelve doors, one for each hour. It was the next dawn that Ra was born again.

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