The Ancient Egyptians believed in many gods and goddesses. They also believed that the gods and goddesses they worshiped took animal form. The animal that they took form in were sacred to the Egyptians and if anyone were to try or to kill a sacred animal, they would be punished or killed. For example, the god Anubis takes the form of a jackal. He takes this particular form because his job is to watch over the mummies and jackals prowl around tombs where the mummies are.
As time passed the Egyptians believed that the gods and goddesses took human form but still had an animal head.
The Egyptians built huge monuments and temples to honor the major gods.
If you were an ordinary Egyptian you would not be allowed to go or even step into a temple that was built to honor a god. Only the pharaoh and his priests were allowed to go into them. The pharaoh had another advantage over ordinary Egyptians. He was the only person that was able to communicate with the gods. This encouraged people to worship him.
The Sun God
The Egyptians believed that Ra, the sun god, was the first god to touch solid ground and created a god and goddess, Shu and Tefnut. They got married and produced Nut, the sky goddess and Geb, the earth god. Geb and Nut had four children. They were Osiris, Isis, Nephthys, and Seth.
God of the Afterlife
The Egyptians believed in life after death (The Afterlife.) They also believed that Osiris, a god-king, was killed by his evil brother, Seth. After being mummified, Osiris came back to life and became king of the underworld and prince of the dead. The Egyptians also believed that if a pharaoh died, they would become a god like Osiris. Isis, the wife of Osiris and Horus, the son of Isis represented the family unit.
Myth of Osiris
The people of Ancient Egypt were well fed and were very happy with Osiris as their king. Seth, Osiris’ brother, was very jealous of his success. So one day, Seth invited Osiris over for a feast to celebrate. Osiris never came home that night. Seth captured him, locked him in a beautiful chest, and threw him into the Nile River. He could not escape and drowned.
Isis, wondering why her husband Osiris did not come home, went out and searched for him. She almost gave up when she passed the Nile River and found Osiris’ dead body in the chest on shore. She brought Osiris and the chest back to Egypt.
Seth was furious and more determined to get rid of Osiris forever. He chopped up Osiris' body and scattered the pieces throughout the land. This made Isis more determined to give Osiris eternal life. She searched high and low for the pieces and finally gathered all of them together. With the help of Anubis and Nephthys, they put the pieces together like a puzzle and mummified Osiris. He became the first mummy ever made in Egypt.
Even though the ordinary Egyptians could not go into temples to worship the major gods, they could worship the minor gods in their own homes. A very popular god was Bes, worshiped for protecting children from evil spirits. He was short, fat, had the head of a lion, and enjoyed singing and dancing.
Bastet was a goddess who appeared as a cat. She believed in protecting women and children. Bastet was also the goddess of Babastis, an Ancient Egyptian city by the Nile River.
Taweret, the goddess of childbirth, was represented as a pregnant hippopotamus standing up and protected women and babies.
Ancient Egypt's Deepest Secrets Revealed