Sunday, June 19, 2011

Gods and Goddesses: Thoth

With the head of an ibis and body of a man, Thoth is the god of the moon, wisdom, knowledge, the arts, science, music, astronomy, speech and letters. Sometimes depicted with a baboon head but most often an ibis. It is said that Thoth maintained the universe and stood on one side of the boat of the god Ra (with the goddess Ma’at standing on the other).
The goddess Ma’at is the wife of Thoth, with the goddess Seshat said to be either wife or daughter of Thoth. The ibis and baboon are sacred animals of this god.
Other names for Thoth includes Tetu, Tahuti and Thot.
Thoth works in the underworld, where he questions the souls of the dead about their deeds in life before their hearts are weighed. Being a moon god also, it is not uncommon to see Thoth depicted with a crescent moon on his head.
Thoth serves as the scribe of the gods and makes sure neither good or evil had a decisive victory over another. It is believed to be the master of physical and divine law. Credit goes to this god for the alphabet, reading, writing, oratory, civilized government, theology, botany, geometry, mathematics, numbers, astrology, astronomy, and the calculations of the establishment of the heavens, stars, earth and everything within. Thoth is also the notable author of the Book of the Dead.
In making sure that good or evil doesn’t overcome the other, Thoth has watched three battles between gods where if one got injured Thoth would heal one to prevent good or bad taking over the other. The three battles Thoth witnessed was originally between the gods Ra and Apophis, later on Heru-Bekhutet and Set, then finally being Horus and Set.
Tales of a ‘Book of Thoth’ are around, a sacred book allowing whomever read it to become the most powerful magician in the world. The Book of Thoth said to be written by Thoth’s own hands, to which the secrets of the gods themselves were written within the book. However, pain and tragedy would be brought upon those who read the book.
There are several stories of how Thoth came to be. One states that Thoth is self-created through the power of language, another says he is the son of the god Ra. One story tells how Thoth sprang from the head of the god Seth.

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