Isis feeding Osiris the Ankh: Abydos Temple In ancient Egypt, certain neteru, or gods were worshipped in different cities or nomes (Dunn 2). For the purposes of space, I am only discussing the Ennead, the nine deities worshipped in Annu. The Greeks called this city "Heliopolis," which is near modern Cairo (Hatshepsut 6). According to ancient Heliopolitain myth, before anything existed there was a vast, stagnant, primordial ocean, or Nu. Out of Nu rose the first hill. The eye of Ra-Atum, the first sun god creator, rose on this hill (Saxakali 2). He was androgynous and all-powerful. All other major gods and Pharaohs were seen to manifest Ra's powers and combined their names with his (Stone 7).

From his own spittle Atum-Ra created Shu, the god of cold dry air, and vomited up Tefnut, the goddess of warm wet air. This brother and sister then reproduced, having Nut, the sky goddess and Geb, the earth god. This couple then begat two pairs of gods and goddesses. Isis, the goddess of magic and fertility and Nepthys, a lesbian goddess of the dead; in the male set they had Osiris, the god of the Underworld and Isis' mate and Set/Seth, the eunuch god of chaos, storms and darkness, who is paired with Nepthys (Malik 3). Isis received her powers from Ra by magically tricking him into divulging his name (Budge 3), hence her son Horus' depictions as a hawk and with a sacred cobra or uraeus on his head. Even though Set killed Osiris, Isis, with the help of Thoth, resurrected Osiris temporarily with the Ritual of Life to produce her son Horus (Scott 3).

These are by no means all of the gods worshipped by the ancient Egyptians. The actual number of Names given to gods and goddesses in ancient Egypt numbers in the thousands (Cass 1).

Budge, Wallis, trans. The Gods of the Egyptians. "The Legend of Ra and Aset (Isis): Africa Within." Pyramid Technologies Group. 2004. http://www.africawithin.com/kmt/legend3.htm

Cass, Stephanie. "'Netjer: The One God of Ancient Egypt': 'Kemet.Org: The Kemetic Orthodox Faith.'" 2002. http://www.kemet.org/namesof.html

Dunn, Jimmy, design. "Egyptian Mythology." InterCity Oz, Inc. 1996. http://www.touregypt.net/gods1.htm

Hatshepsut, Makara. "Makara's List of Egyptian Gods from I to Z: Makara's Ancient Egyptian Site." 1999. http://www.angelfire.com/me3/egyptgoddess/Gods2.html

Malik, Faris. "The Third Gender in Ancient Egypt: 'Born Eunuchs' Home Page and Library." 1999. http://www.well.com/user/aquarius/egypt.htm

Saxakali Cultural Online Learning Organization & Resource Afterschool Program. "Ancient Egyptian Myths." 2000. http://www.saxakali.com/COLOR_ASP/historyafe.htm

Scott, David. "The Legend of Osiris: Gods and Mythology (Religion) of Ancient Egypt." InterCity Oz. 2003. http://www.touregypt.net/godsofegypt/legendofosiris.htm

Stone, Barry. "The Deities of Egypt: History and Philosophy of the Ancient and Modern World." 2004. http://users.bigpond.net.au/bstone/egyptian_gods.htm

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