Although many of these deities have been overtaken by modern religions, some of today’s Egyptians still hold them in high regard along with a number of people throughout the African Diaspora. Some historians have documented more than 1,400 Egyptian gods and goddesses, most of which were believed to exist in the natural form. It was a great taboo to annoy any of them.
Considered the sun’s deity, Ra was one of the most-worshiped ancient Egyptian gods. He was the king of other gods and the patron of the pharaoh. Egyptians described Ra as the creator and often depicted him with the head of a hawk. Many temples were built to honor him. According to Egyptian mythology, Ra wept and from his tears came man. While some followers of his cult believed that Ra was self-created, those who followed the deity Ptah believed he created Ra.
Commonly adored as the ideal mother and wife, Auset was also considered the patroness of nature and magic. History records that Auset was largely worshiped by the downtrodden – mostly slaves, sinners and artisans – but she was also a friend of the wealthy, pharaohs and maidens. She was the daughter of Geb and Nut, making her the sister of her husband Ausar, whose body she reconstructed after their brother, Set, killed and dismembered him. Popularly known as Isis, her worship extended to the Roman Empire, England and Afghanistan.
Believed to be the power mediator between good and evil, Tehuti (Thoth) was considered one of the most unusual ancient Egyptian gods. Some historians claim he was the son of Ra, while others believe he created himself through the power of language. He is said to be the inventor of magic and writing, the teacher of man, messenger for other gods and divine record-keeper. In his hands, Tehuti is believed to have carried life and power.
Historians say Ausar (called Osiris by the Greeks) was the god of the afterlife, underworld and the dead. To symbolize this, he was frequently displayed in a mummified state with green skin. He was also considered merciful and giver of life in the underworld, which made him one of the most worshiped ancient Egyptian gods. It is said that Ausar was the son of Geb and Nut and brother to Set, Nephthys, Auset and Haroeris. He fathered two male deities, Heru (Horus) and Inpu (Anubis).