Myths and Legends of Ancient Egypt

Page: 78

When the return journey was accomplished Khonsu, Expeller of Demons, bestowed all the costly gifts on Khonsu in Thebes Neferhetep, keeping nothing for himself of all he had received.

The Maiden of Bekhten—Evelyn Paul

Minor Deities

There were hundreds of minor gods surrounding the Egyptian pantheon, and the characteristics of only a few of these can be dealt with. Each hour of the day had its representative deity, as had each hour of the night. The four winds were also represented in the Egyptian pantheon, as in the Greek. The north wind was called Qebui, and is pictured as a four-headed ram with wings; the south wind, Shehbui, is represented as a man with a lion's head, and wings; and the west wind, Huzayui, has a serpent's head on the body of a winged man. The east wind, Henkhisesui, sometimes[Pg 181] times occurs in anthropomorphic shape, and, like the north wind, has a ram's head, but he is occasionally figured as a winged beetle with the head of a ram.

The senses were also symbolized by deities. Saa was the god of the sense of touch or feeling. He is depicted in human shape and wears upon his head a sign composed of parallel lines, which as they rise grow smaller. In the Theban Recension of the Book of the Dead he is shown in the judgment scene amongst those gods who watch the weighing of the heart of the deceased. Saa is sometimes shown as sailing with Thoth and other gods in the boat of Ra. In one passage he is alluded to as the son of Geb. He is the personification of intelligence, human and divine.

The god of taste was called Hu. He is also depicted as a man, and is said to have come into existence from a drop of blood which fell from Ra. He became the personification of the divine food upon which the gods and the blessed dead lived.

Maa was the god of sight. He is also drawn as a man having an eye placed over his head, which is also the symbol of his name.

Setem was the god of hearing, and in his case his head is surmounted by an ear.[10]

The planets were also deified. Saturn was called Horus, the bull of heaven; Mars was also identified with Horus under the name of the 'red Horus,' but, strictly speaking, was under the guardianship of Ra; the god of Mercury was Set, and of Venus, Osiris. Some of the constellations were also identified with deities. The Great Bear was known as 'the haunch,' and Draco was identified with the hippopotamus Reret.

The days of the month had also patron gods.

[1] Or Usertsen.

[2] There is a mention in the pyramid of Unas (Sixth Dynasty) of a deity which may mean Amen, but may also mean 'The Hidden One,' and the epithet which follows appears to apply to Osiris.

[3] Budge, The Gods of Egypt, ii. p. 2.

[4] Budge, op. cit. i. p. 503.

[5] Or Sekmet.

[6] Or Setet = shooter (with arrows).

[7] Or Thi.

[8] Or Ra-Heru-Khuti.

[9] Or Sekhet. Sekhmet is the same personage as Hathor in the original text. The beer was made by the people of On, who mixed the 'mandrake' with it, and Sekhmet-Hathor drank it.

[10] Personifications of the senses with appropriate names.

[Pg 182]


Egyptian Language and Writing