The religious beliefs in ancient Egypt were based on numerous gods and goddesses. Each one carried special powers and had stories attached to their names. Many of them displayed human characteristics, including personalities and looks. Following is a description of some of the more common Egyptian goddesses.
Bastet Sometimes called Bast, this goddess was in the shape of a cat. She was the daughter of Ra, the sun god. She was the goddess of joy, music and dancing. Many believed that she also protected people from certain diseases. Her cult began around the year 3200 B.C.
Isis Isis was known for being responsible for love, ceremonies, health, healing and immortality. It was believed that Isis instituted marriage. She also began the practice of agriculture. She had magic powers and was often called on for healing and protection. Isis is usually pictured with a sun disk between two cow horns on her head.
Maat Maat was known as the goddess in charge of truth and justice. She is usually shown with an ostrich feather on her head. Through her, the gods received life. She was often depicted in funeral scenes. Her feather would be placed on one side of a scale. The heart of the person who had passed away would be placed on the other side. If the scale balanced, the person would go on to the afterlife. If it did not, the person would be sent to destruction. The potion that Maat gave would grant life after death to upright citizens but death to those that were violent and cruel.
Nut Nut was the goddess of the sky. She often appears as a woman or a cow. Occasionally she is shown swallowing the sky and creating the night.
Taueret Taueret was responsible mainly for fertility and birth. She was usually depicted as a hippopotamus figure. She stood on her hind legs. She is sometimes seen with the back of a crocodile and the feet of a lion.
Sekhmet Sekhmet was the goddess of many things, including fire, war, vengeance, hunting and courage. She is usually pictured as a lioness or as a woman with a lion's head. This goddess symbolized power.
The belief system in Egypt developed over a period of approximately 3,000 years. During this time, many gods were added. Some of their powers and characteristics changed over time. Yet all of them were very important to the Egyptians.
Egyptian goddess were often given a variety of responsibilities. They carried out duties and had personalities that were often similar to those of humans. Many stories accompany the goddesses, and the belief in them was very evident in ancient Egypt. Figures and other signs of the goddesses can still be found today in paintings and pictures.
Egyptian goddesses played an important role in everyday life in ancient Egypt. Many people believed in the afterlife. They also thought that the gods had power over many things, including life and death. There is still evidence today of these gods and goddesses and the people that believed in them. Since you have an interest in ancient Egyptian religion, you might find the Spirituality section to be enjoyable and educational.