Ancient Egypt Animal Gods

"More popular were the ancient egypt animal gods"

Ancient Egypt Animal Gods

Ancient Egypt Animal Gods and Religion

More popular were the ancient egypt animal gods; they were so numerous that they filled the Egyptian pantheon like a chattering menagerie.

In one nome or another, in one period or another, Egyptians worshiped the bull, the crocodile, the hawk, the cow, the goose, the goat, the ram, the cat, the dog, the chicken, the swallow, the jackal, the serpent.

They allowed some of these animal gods creatures to roam in the temples with the same freedom that is accorded to the sacred cow in India today.

When the gods became human they still retained animal doubles and symbols:

  • Amon was represented as a goose or a ram,
  • Ra as a grasshopper or a bull,
  • Osiris as a bull or a ram,
  • Sebek as a crocodile,,
  • Horus as a hawk or falcon,
  • Hathor as a cow,
  • and Thoth, the god of wisdom, as a baboon.

Sometimes women were offered to certain of these animals as sexual mates; the bull in particular, as the incarnation of Osiris, received this honor.

At Mendes, says Plutarch, the most beautiful women were offered in coitus to the divine goat.

From beginning to end this animal gods totemism remained as an essential and native element in Egyptian religion; human gods came to Egypt much later, and probably as gifts from western Asia.

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