Ra God

Now we will speak about the most famous God in ancient Egypt ( Ra God ) the God of the Sun our article will consist of some points 
Ra God was a version of the sun god , and Egyptian art often represented him with the solar disk - a circle drawn over the head if deities associated with the sun . Frequently Ra was depicted with the body of a man and head of falcon . Ra's human body and falcon head were often similar to depictions of the god Horus , the difference being that Horus wore a crown on his head while Ra God were the disk of the sun encircled by a cobra .(The association with the cobra suggested his fierce and destructive nature , witch will become apparent in the story of the destruction of humankind to be told in the next chapter ) . Ra was usually shown holding a scepter in one hand and a ankh in the other .

The ankh is one of the most popular Egyptians symbols , both in ancient art and is modern reproductions . A symbol of life , it is shown in many drawings held by a god in front of the kings nostrils , so that the breath of eternal life would enter his body . On some temple walls i Upper Egypt the ankh was used as a sign for water in rituals of purification . Here the king would stand between two gods ( one of whom was usually Thoth ) as they poured over him a stream of libations represented by ankhs . The ankh was also used decoratively on thrones and platforms for kings and gods . Its origins are obscure some believe it was a rendition of sandal strap , or a knot . Guides in Egypt today like to tell tourists that the circle at the top represents the female sexual organ , the stump at the bottom the male organ ,and the crossed line , the children of the union . This interpretation may have long tradition , but scholarly research has so far field to verify it .

Worshiped be you whom Mat ( The goddess f truth and Justice ) embraces at morn and at eve .

You ravel across the sky with heart swelling with joy ....

Ra God appeared in other forms , depending on the role was playing at the moment i am Khepri in the morning , and Ra at noonday and Atum the evening . Khepri (variant spelling , Khepera) was the god of the scarab beetle , and in Egypt the worship of the scarab was much older than the worship of Ra . That Ra became associated with Khepri ad the scarab is further evidence that the priests of Ra were able to assimilate their more recent god with thew established ones . This particular association , however , had a fascination biological origin . Ancient Egyptian had observed that the scarab beetle laid its egg in dung and then pushed it around on the ground until it became a ball . The Egyptian imagined that the call symbolized the sun because it was round . gave off t heat , and was the source of life , and because it seemed to represent the self - creative powers of the sun god . They then pictured the sun being pushed across the sky by a giant beetle . Eventually this imagery became associated with death and rebirth too , since it appeared that beetle had died and was born again when the larva emerged from the ball .

When the sun god assumed the character of Khepri , he was usually depicted in human from with a scarab either on top of or in place of his head . Like Ra , was most often carrying an ankh and scepter , and he was considered a god of creation . since since the beetle was most often observed in the act of creating itself anew .

Khepri was also associated with the resurrection of the body . since that was what seemed to be happening when the scarab was born . This fact explains why Egyptians placed the scarab in tombs and on bodies of the dead . this , then , was the form of Ra in the morning.

He too his own shape at midday but in the evening he assumed the form of Atum (variant spelling ,Temu , Tem , Atem ) ,

Atum is one of the oldest forms of the sun god to to have been revered by ancient Egyptians , and it was this form that Ra was supposed to have created the universe out of chaos . In in temple drawing he was always represented as fully human , without an animal head . He was especially revered because of his association with souls of the dead . He rode in the solar boat during the final hours of daylight preparing to fight his opponents in the night . It was believed that souls receive recently released from their bodies waited at the beginning of the valley of the That (the underworld ) for the solar boat , which meat that they came aboard just as sun went down into he underworld the time when the pilot of solar boat was Atum , the form of Ra in the evening.

I addition to Ra's manifestations as khepri and Atum , he was linked with numerous other gods throughout his long reign . very early he was linked with Horus to form the assimilated god Herakhty . or Horus as the morning sun ; it was this relationship that led Egyptians to depict Ra with falcon's head . During the middle kingdom . when Amun and his Theban priests dominated Egyptian religion , Ra was assimilated with this god from the south to form Amun -Ra whose , worship in Thebes (now called Luxor) led to building of the temple of karnak , one of the most imposing religious structures mad by human beings .The curious student of 5ra today will find scant remains of the once considerable worship of this god . His character was so much assimilated with those of other gods , or other gods so often acquired his attributes , that only rarely now do we find relics that depict him singly . Of the mighty ,temple at Heliopolis , little remains now but the single obelisk. The exact date of the destruction of this temple in unknown , but some time the Christian era little remained except stones that used for building else where in egypt .

South of Cairo the worship of the sun god almost always involved another god , usually Amun , Walls of the tomb of Seti I , one of the most impressively craved tombs in the Vally of the Kings , depict the myth of the destruction of human king under Ra's order ( see Chapter three) , the adventure of Ra ) . other royal tombs there contain a list if seventy - five praises of Ra that reveal his character . as in this example ; Praise be unto yo u , 0Ra , you exalted power , who enter enter into the hidden place of Anubis ( god of death ) ; behold ; ( your ) body is Khepri .Even further south at Abu Simble , Ra was again worshiped in combination with other gods ; the Great Temple of Ramesses II was dedicated to Ra-Herakhty .

Ra was also depicted in the papyrus scrolls that male up what we call the book of Dead . They contain hymns and prayers to Ra in his various forms , as well as numerous beautiful drawings of him . The papyri are in libraries in Europe now , Bur they can be consulted in published works , some of witch are listed in the Further Resources of this blog. Drawn vignettes in the Papyrus of Ani show Ra as a falcon -headed man wearing the solar disk while while riding in his boat . Other drawings s show khepri and Atum in the solar boat . In the papyrus of Hunefer , Ra us shown with a full falcon body , wearing the solar disk encircled by a cobra . The God is honored by Hunefer and his wife and adored by seven baboons ( presumably on for each day of the week ) . Baboons chatter so much at the rising of the sun that the ancient Egyptian began to associate them with the sun god m an association that can clearly be seen on the face if the Great Temple at Abu Simble . The same papyrus also contains an important tatterdemalion of Ra as the cat with a Knife attacking Apophis , whose story its told in the following article . Hunefer identified himself with those who , like the cat , protect Ra from his enemies . The Papyrus of Anhai contains a beautiful drawing of Nun holding the solar boat . Inside at the center of the boat is not Ra , but as scarab pushing the solar disk skyward , where it is received by Osiris and Nut . Watching the rising rising sun from advantageous positions inside the boat are seven deities , one of whom has a falcon head and may well be Ra. 

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