The Egyptian God Ra (also spelled Re) is the ancient Egyptian Sun God. He was the Ruler of the Sky, and Earth. He is known as the first being and father of the first Divine Couple Shu and Tefnut, grandfather of Geb and Nut, whose children were Osiris, Isis, Seth and Nephthys.

Egyptian God Ra

One myth says that Ra emerged from the Ocean Num. The first rays of the sun fell on him making the way to Heaven, also says that Shu and Tefnut came from his seed through masturbation.

It is believed that all forms of life were created by the Egyptian God Ra, calling them into existence by speaking their secret names, while humans were created from his tears and sweat.

The Egyptian God Ra traveled on two solar boats: Madjet or the Morning Boat (also called Boat Of The Million Years), and the Mesektet, or Evening Boat. Egyptians believed that on his boat he carried the prayers and blessings of the living with the souls of the dead, among with various deities that aid him on his journey.

During his journey to the Underworld, he travels with Set and Mehen, members of the Ennead (the group of the nine Gods that lived in Heliopolis), who helped him to defeat the monsters in there, like Apophis, a giant serpent that every night tried to stop the boat, consuming it or using its hypnotic trance.

Because the myths about his journeys, Egyptians believed that Ra changed his form as Atum, and that the Mesektet prepared him for his rebirth every morning.

One of the most know myths about Ra is the one about the Celestial Cow, or His Divine Eye:

During the Golden Age, everything Ra saw was perfect and so beautiful that brought tears to his eyes, which became human beings. After some time, the Sun God noticed that mankind was plotting against him, so he decided to punish them.

Ra summoned his Divine Eye, the Goddess Hathor, who was transformed into the Lioness Sekhmet. After she created a massive blooshed and became blood thirsty, Ra decided to save the rest of humankind, so he got Sekhmet drunk with beer and red dye, forgetting to continue the killing.

Another myth says that the Goddess Isis desired to learn Ra's secret name, which contained great power and this way make her spells stronger, so taking advantage of Ra's old age, she came up With a plan:

Using clay and the spit that drooled down Ra's chin, Isis created a poisonous snake. one day while the Sun God was walking, he was bitten by the snake, he was in a lot of pain and called the Gods to help him. Isis told him she would help him, only if he told her his secret name, he agreed. So Isis used the name on a spell to heal Ra.

On later dynasties, Ra was merged with different deities of great importance, some of these combinations are:

  • AMUN AND AMUN-RA: Amun was a member of Ogdoad (creation energies with an early Patron of Thebes called Amaunet). Amaunet was believed o create everything using his breath, for this he was related more to the wind than the Sun. When Ra and Amun were popular during the fifth dynasty, were merged to form the Creator God Amun-Ra.
  • ATUM AND ATUMRA: Atum its consider the deity that has more in common with Ra than the others. Atum was the Ennead's Creator God, and both Gods were believed to be the Pharaoh's fathers. Even on some myths it's found that Atum was born from the Ocean Num and is the creator of Tefnut and Shu (just like Ra).
  • KHEPRI AND KHNUM: Khepri was the scarab beetle that every morning would roll up the Sun (one reason of why it was believed it was another of Ra's forms), while Khnum was Ra's manifestation during the evening.
  • RA-HORAKHTY: This was not an actual deity, but more of a title, it refers to the Sun's journey from horizon to horizon.

The most common form of the Egyptian God Ra was of a man with a head of a hawk and a solar disk on top. As Khepri, he is represented as a man with beetle's head. His cult center was the city of Heliopolis. He was associated with the falcon, hawk, beetle, heron, phoenix, serpent, bull, lion and cat.

His wife its Ratet and his daughter Hathor, his symbols are the Winged Sun Disk (means "Sun of Righteousness with healing in his arms") and The Eye Of Ra, used as protection and divine royal power.

With the rise of Christianity in Rome, the worship of the Egyptian God Ra ended suddenly, dying his popularity.

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