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This page is for the background of the various dieties referenced in the Paper Thrones series

AusarEdit

Ausar is an Egyptian god, usually identified as the god of the afterlife, the underworld and the dead. He was classically depicted as a green-skinned man with a pharaoh's beard, partially mummy-wrapped at the legs, wearing a distinctive crown with two large ostrich feathers at either side, and holding a symbolic crook and flail.

Ausar was at times considered the oldest son of the Earth god Geb, and the sky goddess Nut, as well as being brother and husband of Auset, with Heru being considered his posthumously begotten son. He was also associated with the epithet Khenti-Amentiu, which means "Foremost of the Westerners" — a reference to his kingship in the land of the dead. As ruler of the dead, Ausar was also sometimes called "king of the living", since the Ancient Egyptians considered the blessed dead "the living ones".

Ausar is first attested in the middle of the Fifth dynasty of Egypt, although it is likely that he was worshipped much earlier; the term Khenti-Amentiu dates to at least the first dynasty, also as a pharaonic title. Most information available on the myths of Ausar is derived from allusions contained in the Pyramid Texts at the end of the Fifth Dynasty, later New Kingdom source documents such as the Shabaka Stone and the Contending of Heru and Seth, and much later, in narrative style from the writings of Greek authors including Plutarch and Diodorus Siculus.

Ausar was considered not only a merciful judge of the dead in the afterlife, but also the underworld agency that granted all life, including sprouting vegetation and the fertile flooding of the Nile River. He was described as the "Lord of love", "He Who is Permanently Benign and Youthful" and the "Lord of Silence". The Kings of Egypt were associated with Ausar in death — as Ausar rose from the dead they would, in union with him, inherit eternal life through a process of imitative magic. By the New Kingdom all people, not just pharaohs, were believed to be associated with Ausar at death, if they incurred the costs of the assimilation rituals.

Through the hope of new life after death, Ausar began to be associated with the cycles observed in nature, in particular vegetation and the annual flooding of the Nile, through his links with Orion and Sirius at the start of the new year. Ausar was widely worshipped as Lord of the Dead until the suppression of the Egyptian religion during the Christian era.

HeruEdit

Heru (or as the Greeks would misname him, Horus) is one of the oldest and most significant deities in ancient Egyptian religion, who was worshipped from at least the late Predynastic period through to Greco-Roman times. Different forms of Heru are recorded in history and these are treated as distinct gods by Egypt specialists. These various forms may possibly be different perceptions of the same multi-layered deity in which certain attributes or syncretic relationships are emphasized, not necessarily in opposition but complementary to one another, consistent with how the Ancient Egyptians viewed the multiple facets of reality. He was most often depicted as a falcon, most likely a lanner or peregrine, or as a man with a falcon head

Heru

Heru, son of Auset and Ausar

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The earliest recorded form of Heru is the patron deity of Nekhen in Upper Egypt, who is the first known national god, specifically related to the king who in time came to be regarded as a manifestation of Heru in life and Ausar (Ausar) in death. The most commonly encountered family relationship describes Heru as the son of Auset. Heru served many functions in the Egyptian pantheon, most notably being the deity associated with learning and vengeance; Heru was said to be “divine intelligence”. Additional meanings are thought to have been "the distant one" or "one who is above, over". By Coptic times, the name became Hōr. It was adopted into Greek as Ὧρος Hōros.

Heru was also known as Nekheny, meaning "falcon". Some have proposed that Nekheny may have been another falcon-god, worshipped at Nekhen (city of the hawk), with which Heru was identified from early on. Heru may be shown as a falcon on the Narmer Palette dating from the time of unification of Upper and Lower Egypt.

Pyramid texts describe the nature of the Pharaoh in different characters as both Heru and Ausar. The Pharaoh as Heru in life became the Pharaoh as Ausar in death, where he was united with the rest of the gods. New incarnations of Heru succeeded the deceased pharaoh on earth in the form of new Pharaohs.

Heru was born to the goddess Auset after she retrieved all the dismembered body parts of her murdered husband Ausar, except his penis which was thrown into the Nile and eaten by a catfish or sometimes by a crab, and according to Plutarch's account (see Ausar) used her magic powers to resurrect Ausar and fashion a gold phallus to conceive her son (older Egyptian accounts have the penis of Ausar surviving).

Once Auset knew she was pregnant with Heru, she fled to the Nile Delta marshlands to hide from her brother Set who jealously killed Ausar and who she knew would want to kill their son. There Auset bore a divine son, Heru.

Since Heru was said to be the sky, he was considered to also contain the sun and moon. It became said that the sun was his right eye and the moon his left, and that they traversed the sky when he, a falcon, flew across it. Later, the reason that the moon was not as bright as the sun was explained by a tale, known as the Contendings of Heru and Set, originating as a metaphor for the conquest of Upper Egypt by Lower Egypt in about 3000 BC. In this tale, it was said that Set, the patron of Upper Egypt, and Heru, the patron of Lower Egypt, had battled for Egypt brutally, with neither side victorious, until eventually the gods sided with Heru.

As Heru was the ultimate victor he became known as Harsiesis, Heru-ur or Har-Wer (ḥr.w wr 'Heru the Great'), but more usually translated as Heru the Elder.

Heru statue
In the struggle Set had lost a testicle, explaining why the desert, which Set represented, is infertile. Heru' left eye had also been gouged out, then a new eye was created by part of Khonsu, the moon god, and was replaced.

Heru was occasionally shown in art as a naked boy with a finger in his mouth sitting on a lotus with his mother. In the form of a youth, Heru was referred to as Neferhor. This is also spelled Nefer Hor, Nephoros or Nopheros (nfr ḥr.w) meaning 'The Good Heru'.

The Eye of Heru is an ancient Egyptian symbol of protection and royal power from deities, in this case from Heru or Ra. The symbol is seen on images of Heru' mother, Auset, and on other deities associated with her.

In the Egyptian language, the word for this symbol was "Wedjat". It was the eye of one of the earliest of Egyptian deities, Wadjet, who later became associated with Bast, Mut, and Hathor as well. Wedjat was a solar deity and this symbol began as her eye, an all seeing eye. In early artwork, Hathor is also depicted with this eye. Funerary amulets were often made in the shape of the Eye of Heru. The Wedjat or Eye of Heru is "the central element" of seven "gold, faience, carnelian and lapis lazuli" bracelets found on the mummy of Shoshenq II. The Wedjat "was intended to protect the king [here] in the afterlife" and to ward off evil. Ancient Egyptian and Near Eastern sailors would frequently paint the symbol on the bow of their vessel to ensure safe sea travel.

Heru was also said to be a god of battle and hunting. The Heru falcon is shown upon a standard on the predynastic Hunters Palette in the "lion hunt".

Thus he became a symbol of majesty and power as well as the model of the pharaohs. The Pharaohs were said to be Heru in human form.

Furthermore Nemty, another war god, was later identified as Heru.

Heru was told by his mother, Auset, to protect the people of Kemet from Set, the god of the desert, who had killed his father Ausar.

Heru had many battles with Set, not only to avenge his father, but to choose the rightful ruler of Kemet. In these battles, Heru came to be associated with Lower Egypt, and became its patron.

According to Papyrus Chester-Beatty I, Set is depicted as trying to prove his dominance by seducing Heru and then having intercourse with him. However, Heru places his hand between his thighs and catches Set's semen, then subsequently throws it in the river, so that he may not be said to have been inseminated by Set. Heru then deliberately spreads his own semen on some lettuce, which was Set's favorite food. After Set had eaten the lettuce, they went to the gods to try to settle the argument over the rule of Egypt. The gods first listened to Set's claim of dominance over Heru, and call his semen forth, but it answered from the river, invalidating his claim. Then, the gods listened to Heru' claim of having dominated Set, and call his semen forth, and it answered from inside Set.

However, Set still refused to relent, and the other gods were getting tired from over eighty years of fighting and challenges. Heru and Set challenged each other to a boat race, where they each raced in a boat made of stone. Heru and Set agreed, and the race started. But Heru had an edge: his boat was made of wood painted to resemble stone, rather than true stone. Set's boat, being made of heavy stone, sank, but Heru's did not. Heru then won the race, and Set stepped down and officially gave Heru the throne of Egypt. But after the New Kingdom, Set still was considered Lord of the desert and its oases.

This myth, along with others, could be seen as an explanation of how the two kingdoms of Kemet (Upper and Lower) came to be united. Heru was seen as the God of Upper Egypt, and Set as the God of Lower Egypt. In this myth, the respective Upper and Lower deities have a fight, through which Heru is the victor. However, some of Heru (representing Upper Kemet) enters into Set (Lower Kemet) thus explaining why Upper Egypt is dominant over Lower Egypt. Set's regions were then considered to be of the desert.

Heru the Younger, Harpocrates to the Ptolemaic Greeks, is represented in the form of a youth wearing a lock of hair (a sign of youth) on the right of his head while sucking his finger. In addition, he usually wears the united crowns of Egypt, the crown of upper Kemet and the crown of lower Kemet. He is a form of the rising sun, representing its earliest light.

In this form he represented the god of light and the husband of Hathor. He was one of the oldest gods of ancient Egypt. He became the patron of Nekhen (Hierakonpolis) and the first national god (God of the Kingdom). Later, he also became the patron of the pharaohs, and was called the son of truth – signifying his role as an important upholder of Maat. He was seen as a great falcon with outstretched wings whose right eye was the sun and the left one was the moon. In this form, he was sometimes given the title Kemwer, meaning (the) great black (one).

The Greek form of Her-ur (or Har wer) is Haroeris. Other variants include Hor Merti 'Heru of the two eyes' and Horkhenti Irti.

Ma'atEdit

Ma’at was the Kemetic concept of truth, balance, order, law, morality, and justice. Ma’at was also personified as a goddess regulating the stars, seasons, and the actions of both mortals and the deities, who set the order of the universe from chaos at the moment of creation. Her ideological competitor was Isfet. The earliest surviving records indicating Ma’at is the norm for nature and society, in this world and the next, were recorded during the Old Kingdom, the earliest substantial surviving examples being found in the Pyramid Texts of Unas.

Later, as a goddess in other traditions of the Egyptian pantheon, where most goddesses were paired with a male aspect, her masculine counterpart was Djeuti and their attributes are the same. After the rise of Ra they were depicted together in the Solar Barque. After her role in creation and continuously preventing the universe from returning to chaos, her primary role in Egyptian mythology dealt with the weighing of souls that took place in the underworld, Duat. Her feather was the measure that determined whether the souls (considered to reside in the heart) of the departed would reach the paradise of afterlife successfully.

Pharaohs are often depicted with the emblems of Ma’at to emphasize their role in upholding the laws of the Creator. Ma’at as a principle was formed to meet the complex needs of the emergent Egyptian state that embraced diverse peoples with conflicting interests. The development of such rules sought to avert chaos and it became the basis of Egyptian law. From an early period the King would describe himself as the "Lord of Ma’at" who decreed with his mouth the Ma’at he conceived in his heart.

The significance of Ma’at developed to the point that it embraced all aspects of existence, including the basic equilibrium of the universe, the relationship between constituent parts, the cycle of the seasons, heavenly movements, religious observations and fair dealings, honesty and truthfulness in social interactions. The ancient Egyptians had a deep conviction of an underlying holiness and unity within the universe. Cosmic harmony was achieved by correct public and ritual life. Any disturbance in cosmic harmony could have consequences for the individual as well as the state. An impious King could bring about famine or blasphemy blindness to an individual.  In opposition to the right order expressed in the concept of Ma’at is the concept of Isfet: chaos, lies and violence.

In addition to the importance of the Ma’at, several other principles within ancient Egyptian law were essential, including an adherence to tradition as opposed to change, the importance of rhetorical skill and the significance of achieving impartiality, and social. In one Middle Kingdom (2062 to c. 1664 BCE) text the Creator declares "I made every man like his fellow". Ma’at called the rich to help the less fortunate rather than exploit them, echoed in tomb declarations: "I have given bread to the hungry and clothed the naked" and "I was a husband to the widow and father to the orphan".

To the Egyptian mind, Ma’at bound all things together in an indestructible unity: the universe, the natural world, the state, and the individual were all seen as parts of the wider order generated by Ma’at.

The underlying concepts of Taoism and Confucianism resemble Ma’at at times. There is little surviving literature that describes the practice of ancient Egyptian law. Ma’at was the spirit in which justice was applied rather than the detailed legalistic exposition of rules (as found in Mosaic law of the 1st millennium BCE). Ma’at was the norm and basic values that formed the backdrop for the application of justice that had to be carried out in the spirit of truth and fairness. From the 5th dynasty (c. 2510-2370 BCE) onwards the Vizier responsible for justice was called the Priest of Ma’at and in later periods judges wore images of Ma’at.

Later scholars and philosophers also would embody concepts from the wisdom literature, or Sebayt. These spiritual texts dealt with common social or professional situations and how each was best to be resolved or addressed in the spirit of Ma’at. It was very practical advice, and highly case-based, so that few specific and general rules could be derived from them.

During the Greek period in Egyptian history, Greek law existed alongside Egyptian law. The Egyptian law preserved the rights of women who were allowed to act independently of men and own substantial personal property and in time this influenced the more restrictive conventions of the Greeks and Romans. When the Romans took control of Egypt, the Roman legal system which existed throughout the Roman Empire was imposed in Egypt.

Scribes held prestigious positions in ancient Egyptian society in view of their importance in the transmission of religious, political and commercial information.

Djeuti was the patron of scribes who is described as the one "who reveals Ma’at and reckons Ma’at; who loves Ma’at and gives Ma’at to the doer of Ma’at". In texts such as the Instruction of Amenemope the scribe is urged to follow the precepts of Ma’at in his private life as well as his work. The exhortations to live according to Ma’at are such that these kinds of instructional texts have been described as "Ma’at Literature".

Ma’at was the goddess of harmony, justice, and truth represented as a young woman, sitting or standing, holding a was scepter, the symbol of power, in one hand and an ankh, the symbol of eternal life, in the other. Sometimes she is depicted with wings on each arm or as a woman with an ostrich feather on her head. Depictions of Ma’at as a goddess are recorded from as early as the middle of the Old Kingdom (c. 2680 to 2190 BCE).

The sun-god Ra came from the primeval mound of creation only after he set his daughter Ma’at in place of Isfet (chaos). Kings inherited the duty to ensure Ma’at remained in place and they with Ra are said to "live on Ma’at", with Akhenaten (r. 1372-1355 BCE) in particular emphasizing the concept to a degree that, John D. Ray asserts, the kings contemporaries viewed as intolerance and fanaticism. Some kings incorporated Ma’at into their names, being referred to as Lords of Ma’at, or Meri-Ma’at (Beloved of Ma’at). When beliefs about Djeuti arose in the Egyptian pantheon and started to consume the earlier beliefs at Hermopolis about the Ogdoad, it was said that she was the mother of the Ogdoad and Djeuti the father.

In the Duat, the Egyptian underworld, the hearts of the dead were said to be weighed against her single "Feather of Ma'at", symbolically representing the concept of Ma’at, in the Hall of Two Truths. A heart which was unworthy was devoured by the goddess Ammit and its owner condemned to remain in the Duat. The heart was considered the location of the soul by ancient Egyptians. Those people with good and pure hearts were sent on to Aaru. Ausar came to be seen as the guardian of the gates of Aaru after he became part of the Egyptian pantheon and displaced Anpu in the Ogdoad tradition.

The weighing of the heart, pictured on papyrus in the Book of the Dead typically, or in tomb scenes, shows Anubis overseeing the weighing and the lioness Ammit seated awaiting the results so she could consume those who failed. The image would be the vertical heart on one flat surface of the balance scale and the vertical Shu-feather standing on the other balance scale surface. Other traditions hold that Anubis brought the soul before the posthumous Ausar who performed the weighing.

The earliest evidence for a dedicated temple is in the New Kingdom (c. 1569 to 1081 BCE) era, despite the great importance placed on Ma’at. Amenhotep III commissioned a temple in the Karnak complex, whilst textual evidence indicates that other temples of Ma’at were located in Memphis and at Deir el-Medina.

One aspect of ancient Egyptian funerary literature which often is mistaken for a codified ethic of Ma’at is Spell (Chapter) 125 of the Book of the Dead or Papyrus of Ani (known to the ancient Egyptians as The Book of Going Forth by Day). The lines of these texts are often collectively called the "Forty-Two Declarations of Purity". These declarations varied somewhat from tomb to tomb and so cannot be considered a canonical definition of Ma’at. Rather, they appear to express each tomb owner's individual practices in life to please Ma’at, as well as words of absolution from misdeeds or mistakes, made by the tomb owner in life could be declared as not having been done, and through the power of the written word, wipe particular misdeed from the afterlife record of the deceased.

Many of the lines are similar, however, and they can help to give the student a "flavor" for the sorts of things which Ma’at governed — essentially everything, from the most formal to the most mundane aspects of life.

The doctrine of Ma’at is represented in the declarations to Rekhti-merti-f-ent-Ma’at and the 42 Negative Confessions listed in the Papyrus of Ani. The following are taken from public domain translations made by E. A. Wallis Budge in the early part of the 20th century; more recent translations may differ in the light of modern scholarship.

42 Negative Confessions (Papyrus of Ani)

I have not committed sin.

I have not committed robbery with violence.

I have not stolen.

I have not slain men and women.

I have not stolen grain.

I have not purloined offerings.

I have not stolen the property of the gods.

I have not uttered lies.

I have not carried away food.

I have not uttered curses.

I have not committed adultery, I have not lain with men.

I have made none to weep.

I have not eaten the heart [i.e., I have not grieved uselessly, or felt remorse].

I have not attacked any man.

I am not a man of deceit.

I have not stolen cultivated land.

I have not been an eavesdropper.

I have slandered [no man].

I have not been angry without just cause.

I have not debauched the wife of any man.

I have not debauched the wife of [any] man. (repeats the previous affirmation but addressed to a different god).

I have not polluted myself.

I have terrorized none.

I have not transgressed [the Law].

I have not been wroth.

I have not shut my ears to the words of truth.

I have not blasphemed.

I am not a man of violence.

I am not a stirrer up of strife (or a disturber of the peace).

I have not acted (or judged) with undue haste.

I have not pried into matters.

I have not multiplied my words in speaking.

I have wronged none, I have done no evil.

I have not worked witchcraft against the King (or blasphemed against the King).

I have never stopped [the flow of] water.

I have never raised my voice (spoken arrogantly, or in anger).

I have not cursed (or blasphemed) God.

I have not acted with evil rage.

I have not stolen the bread of the gods.

I have not carried away the khenfu cakes from the spirits of the dead.

I have not snatched away the bread of the child, nor treated with contempt the god of my city.

I have not slain the cattle belonging to the god.

Assessors of Ma’at

"The Assessors of Ma’at" are the 42 deities listed in the Papyrus of Nebseni, to whom the deceased make the Negative Confession in the Papyrus of Ani.

DjeutiEdit

Djeuti (/ˈθθ/ or /ˈtt/; from Greek Θώθ thṓth, from Egyptian ḏḥwty, perhaps pronounced */tʃʼiħautiː/ or */ɟiħautiː/, depending on the phonological interpretation of Egyptian's emphatic consonants) was considered one of the most important deities of the Egyptian pantheon. In art, he was often depicted as a man with the head of an ibis or a baboon, animals sacred to him. His feminine counterpart was Seshat, and his wife was Ma'at.

Djeuti's chief temple was located in the city of Khmun,[2] later called Hermopolis Magna during the Greco-Roman era[3] (in reference to him through the Greeks' interpretation that he was the same as their god Hermes). In that city, he led the Ogdoad pantheon of eight principal deities. He also had numerous shrines within the cities of Abydos, Hesert, Urit, Per-Ab, Rekhui, Ta-ur, Sep, Hat, Pselket, Talmsis, Antcha-Mutet, Bah, Amen-heri-ab, and Ta-kens.

Djeuti played many vital and prominent roles in Egyptian mythology, such as maintaining the universe, and being one of the two deities (the other being Ma'at) who stood on either side of Ra's boat. In the later history of ancient Egypt, Djeuti became heavily associated with the arbitration of godly disputes, the arts of magic, the system of writing, the development of science, and the judgment of the dead.

In addition, Djeuti was also known by specific aspects of himself, for instance the moon god Iah-Djehuty, representing the Moon for the entire month The Greeks related Djeuti to their god Hermes due to his similar attributes and functions

Djeuti has been depicted in many ways depending on the era and on the aspect the artist wished to convey. Usually, he is depicted in his human form with the head of an ibis. In this form, he can be represented as the reckoner of times and seasons by a headdress of the lunar disk sitting on top of a crescent moon resting on his head. When depicted as a form of Shu or Ankher, he was depicted to be wearing the respective god's headdress. Sometimes he was also seen in art to be wearing the Atef crown or the United Crowns of Upper and Lower Egypt. When not depicted in this common form, he sometimes takes the form of the ibis directly.

He also appears as a dog faced baboon or a man with the head of a baboon when he is A'an, the god of equilibrium. In the form of A'ah-Djehuty he took a more human-looking form. These forms are all symbolic and are metaphors for Djeuti's attributes. The Egyptians did not believe these gods actually looked like humans with animal heads. For example, Ma'at is often depicted with an ostrich feather, "the feather of truth," on her head or with a feather for a head.

Djeuti's roles in Egyptian mythology were many. He served as a mediating power, especially between good and evil, making sure neither had a decisive victory over the other. He also served as scribe of the gods, credited with the invention of writing and alphabets (i.e. hieroglyphs) themselves. In the underworld, Duat, he appeared as an ape, A'an, the god of equilibrium, who reported when the scales weighing the deceased's heart against the feather, representing the principle of Ma'at, was exactly even.

The ancient Egyptians regarded Djeuti as One, self-begotten, and self-produced. He was the master of both physical and moral (i.e. Divine) law, making proper use of Ma'at. He is credited with making the calculations for the establishment of the heavens, stars, Earth, and everything in them. Compare this to how his feminine counterpart, Ma'at was the force which maintained the Universe. He is said to direct the motions of the heavenly bodies. Without his words, the Egyptians believed, the gods would not exist. His power was unlimited in the Underworld and rivaled that of Ra and Ausar.

The Egyptians credited him as the author of all works of science, religion, philosophy, and magic. The Greeks further declared him the inventor of astronomy, astrology, the science of numbers, mathematics, geometry, land surveying, medicine, botany, theology, civilized government, the alphabet, reading, writing, and oratory. They further claimed he was the true author of every work of every branch of knowledge, human and divine.

Djeuti has played a prominent role in many of the Egyptian myths. Displaying his role as arbitrator, he had overseen the three epic battles between good and evil. All three battles are fundamentally the same and belong to different periods. The first battle took place between Ra and Apophis, the second between Heru-Bekhutet and Set, and the third between Heru, the son of Ausar, and Set. In each instance, the former god represented order while the latter represented chaos. If one god was seriously injured, Djeuti would heal them to prevent either from overtaking the other.

Djeuti was also prominent in the Ausar myth, being of great aid to Auset. After Auset gathered together the pieces of Ausar' dismembered body, he gave her the words to resurrect him so she could be impregnated and bring forth Horus. When Horus was slain, Djeuti gave the magic to resurrect him as well. Djeuti was the god who always speaks the words that fulfill the wishes of Ra.

This mythology also credits him with the creation of the 365 day calendar. Originally, according to the myth, the year was only 360 days long and Nut was sterile during these days, unable to bear children. Djeuti gambled with the Moon for 1/72nd of its light (360/72 = 5), or 5 days, and won. During these 5 days, Nut gave birth to Kheru-ur (Horus the Elder, Face of Heaven), Ausar, Set, Auset, and Nephthys.

Djeuti was originally a moon god. The moon not only provides light at night, allowing time to still be measured without the sun, but its phases and prominence gave it a significant importance in early astrology/astronomy. The cycles of the moon also organized much of Egyptian society's rituals and events, both civil and religious. Consequently, Djeuti gradually became seen as a god of wisdom, magic, and the measurement and regulation of events and of time. He was thus said to be the secretary and counselor of the sun god Ra, and with Ma'at (truth/order) stood next to Ra on the nightly voyage across the sky.

Djeuti became credited by the ancient Egyptians as the inventor of writing, and was also considered to have been the scribe of the underworld; and the Moon became occasionally considered a separate entity, now that Djeuti had less association with it and more with wisdom. For this reason Djeuti was universally worshipped by ancient Egyptian scribes. Many scribes had a painting or a picture of Djeuti in their "office". Likewise, one of the symbols for scribes was that of the ibis.

In art, Djeuti was usually depicted with the head of an ibis, possibly because the Egyptians saw curve of the ibis' beak as a symbol of the crescent moon. Sometimes, he was depicted as a baboon holding up a crescent moon, as the baboon was seen as a nocturnal and intelligent creature. The association with baboons led to him occasionally being said to have as a consort Astennu, one of the (male) baboons at the place of judgment in the underworld. On other occasions, Astennu was said to be Djeuti himself.

During the late period of Egyptian history a cult of Djeuti gained prominence, due to its main centre, Khnum (Hermopolis Magna), also becoming the capital, and millions of dead ibis were mummified and buried in his honour. The rise of his cult also led to his cult seeking to adjust mythology to give Djeuti a greater role.

Djeuti was inserted in many tales as the wise counselor and persuader, and his association with learning and measurement led him to be connected with Seshat, the earlier deification of wisdom, who was said to be his daughter, or variably his wife. Djeuti's qualities also led to him being identified by the Greeks with their closest matching god Hermes, with whom Djeuti was eventually combined as Hermes Trismegistus, also leading to the Greeks' naming Djeuti's cult centre as Hermopolis, meaning city of Hermes.

It is also considered that Djeuti was the scribe of the gods rather than a messenger. Anpu (or Hermanubis) was viewed as the messenger of the gods, as he travelled in and out of the Underworld and presented himself to the gods and to humans. It is more widely accepted that Djeuti was a record keeper, not a divine messenger. In the Papyrus of Ani copy of the Egyptian Book of the Dead the scribe proclaims "I am thy writing palette, O Djeuti, and I have brought unto thee thine ink-jar. I am not of those who work iniquity in their secret places; let not evil happen unto me."

KhprEdit

Khpr (also spelled Khepera, Kheper, Khepra, Chepri) is a god in ancient Egyptian religion. Khpr was connected with the scarab beetle (kheprer), because the scarab rolls balls of dung across the ground, an act that the Egyptians saw as a symbol of the forces that move the sun across the sky. Khpr was thus a solar deity. Young dung beetles, having been laid as eggs within the dung ball, emerge from it fully formed. Therefore, Khpr also represented creation and rebirth, and he was specifically connected with the rising sun and the mythical creation of the world. The Egyptians connected his name with the Egyptian language verb kheper, meaning "develop" or "come into being". There was no cult devoted to Khpr, and he was largely subordinate to the greater sun god Ra. Often, Khpr and another solar deity, Atum, were seen as aspects of Ra: Khpr was the morning sun, Ra was the midday sun, and Atum was the sun in the evening. Khpr was principally depicted as a scarab beetle, though in some tomb paintings and funerary papyri he is represented as a human male with a scarab as a head. He is also depicted as a scarab in a solar barque held aloft by Nun. The scarab amulets that the Egyptians used as jewelry and as seals represent Khpr.

NeithEdit

Neith (/nθ/ or /nθ/; also spelled Nit, Net, or Neit) was an early goddess in the Egyptian pantheon. She was the patron deity of Sais, where her cult was centered in the Western Nile Delta of Egypt and attested as early as the First Dynasty. The Ancient Egyptian name of this city was Zau. Neith also was one of the three tutelary deities of the ancient Egyptian southern city of Ta-senet or Iunyt now known as Esna (Arabic: إسنا), Greek: Λατόπολις (Latopolis), or πόλις Λάτων (Polis Laton), or Λάττων (Laton); Latin: Lato), which is located on the west bank of the River Nile, some 55 km south of Luxor, in the modern Qena Governorate.

Neith was a goddess of war and of hunting and had as her symbol, two arrows crossed over a shield. Her symbol also identified the city of Sais. This symbol was displayed on top of her head in Egyptian art. In her form as a goddess of war, she was said to make the weapons of warriors and to guard their bodies when they died. Her name also may be interpreted as meaning water. In time, this led to her being considered as the personification of the primordial waters of creation. She is identified as a great mother goddess in this role as a creator.

Neith's symbol and part of her hieroglyph also bore a resemblance to a loom, and so later in the history of Egyptian myths, she also became goddess of weaving, and gained this version of her name, Neith, which means weaver. At this time her role as a creator changed from being water-based to that of the deity who wove all of the world and existence into being on her loom.


XochitalEdit

In Aztec mythology, Xochiquetzal (Classical Nahuatl: Xōchiquetzal [ʃoːtʃiˈketsaɬ]), also called Ichpochtli Classical Nahuatl: Ichpōchtli [itʃˈpoːtʃtɬi], meaning "maiden",

Xochiquetzal
was a goddess associated with concepts of fertility, beauty, and female sexual power, serving as a protector of young mothers and a patroness of pregnancy, childbirth, and the crafts practiced by women such as weaving and embroidery. In pre-Hispanic Maya culture, a similar figure is Goddess I. The name Xōchiquetzal is a compound of xōchitl (“flower”) and quetzalli (“precious feather; quetzal tail feather”). In Classical Nahuatl morphology, the first element in a compound modifies the second, and thus the goddess' name can literally be taken to mean “flower precious feather”, or ”flower quetzal feather”. Her alternative name, Ichpōchtli, corresponds to a personalized usage of ichpōchtli (“maiden, young woman”).

Unlike several other figures in the complex of Aztec female earth deities connected with agricultural and sexual fecundity, Xochiquetzal is always depicted as an alluring and youthful woman, richly attired and symbolically associated with vegetation and in particular flowers. By connotation, Xochiquetzal is also representative of human desire, pleasure, and excess, appearing also as patroness of prostitutes and artisans involved in the manufacture of luxury items.

She was followed by a retinue consisting of birds and butterflies. Worshippers wore animal and flower masks at a festival, held in her honor every eight years. Her twin was Xochipilli and her husband was Tlaloc, until Tezcatlipoca kidnapped her and she was forced to marry him. At one point, she was also married to Centeotl and Xiuhtecuhtli. By Mixcoatl, she was the mother of Quetzalcoatl.

Ichpōchtli is an alternative form of Xochiquetzal representative of beauty, sex, crafts, fertility, dance, music, singing, weaving, magic, and love spells. Marigolds are sacred to her.

Anthropologist Hugo Nutini identifies her with the Virgin of Ocotlan in his article on patron saints in Tlaxcala. She was also the Aztec goddess called the great goddess or Teotihuacan spider woman.

AthenaEdit

In Greek religion and mythology, Athena is the goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, law and justice, just warfare, mathematics, strength, strategy, the arts, crafts, and skill. Minerva is the Roman goddess identified with Athena. Athena is also a shrewd companion of heroes and is the goddess of heroic endeavor. She is the virgin patroness of Athens. The Athenians founded the Parthenon on the Acropolis of her namesake city, Athens (Athena Parthenos), in her honor.

WukongEdit

Sun Wukong, also known as the Monkey King, is a main character in the 16th century Chinese novel Journey to the West authored by Wu Cheng'en. Wukong is also found in many later stories and adaptations. In the novel, he is a monkey born from a stone who acquires supernatural powers through Taoist practices. After rebelling against heaven and being imprisoned under a mountain by the Buddha, he later accompanies the monk Xuanzang on a journey to retrieve Buddhist sutras from India.

Sun Wukong possesses an immense amount of strength; he is able to lift his 13,500 jīn (7,960 kilograms (17,550 lb)) staff with ease. He is also extremely fast, able to travel 108,000 li (54,000 kilometres (34,000 mi)) in one somersault. Sun knows 72 transformations, which allow him to transform into various animals and objects; however, he is troubled in transforming into other forms, due to the accompanying incomplete transformation of his tail. Sun Wukong is a skilled fighter, capable of holding his own against the best warriors of heaven. Also, each of his hairs possess magical properties, capable of being transformed into clones of the Monkey King himself, and/or into various weapons, animals, and other objects. He also knows spells that can command wind, part water, conjure protective circles against demons, and freeze humans, demons, and gods alike.

One of the most enduring Chinese literary characters, Sun Wukong has a varied background and colorful cultural history. For example, Sun Wukong is considered by some scholars to be influenced by both the Hindu deity Hanuman from the Ramayana and elements of Chinese folklore.

The Bodhisattva Guanyin went out in search for disciples that could protect a pilgrim from the East to journey to India to retrieve the Buddhist sutras. In hearing this, Sun Wukong offered to serve this pilgrim, Xuanzang, a monk of the Tang Dynasty, in exchange for his freedom after the pilgrimage was complete. Guanyin understood that the monkey would be hard to control, and therefore gave Xuanzang a gift from the Buddha: a magical headband which, once Sun Wukong was tricked into putting it on himself, could never be removed. With a special chant, the band would tighten and cause unbearable pain to the monkey's head. To be fair, Guanyin also gave Sun Wukong three special hairs, which could be used in dire emergencies. Under Xuanzang's supervision, Sun Wukong was allowed to journey to the West.

The MonkEdit

Xuanzang is a Chinese Buddhist monk who had renounced his family to join the Sangha from childhood. He is actually a reincarnation of Golden Cicada (simplified Chinese: 金蝉子; traditional Chinese: 金蟬子; pinyin: Jīn Chánzǐ), a disciple of the Buddha. He is sent on a mission to Tianzhu (an ancient Chinese name for India) to fetch a set of Buddhist scriptures back to China for the purpose of spreading Buddhism in his native land. He becomes sworn brothers with Emperor Taizong of the Tang Dynasty, and the emperor sees him off from the capital Chang'an and orders two escorts to accompany him.

Xuanzang is helpless in defending himself and his two escorts are killed during his first encounter with demons after his departure from Chang'an. The bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara (Guanyin) helps Xuanzang find three powerful supernatural beings - Sun Wukong, Zhu Bajie and Sha Wujing - to aid and protect him on his journey. The three become Xuanzang's disciples and will receive enlightenment and redemption for their past sins once the pilgrimage is complete. Along the journey, Xuanzang is constantly terrorised by monsters and demons because of a legend which says that one can attain immortality by consuming his flesh because he is a reincarnation of a holy being.

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