Horus God of Egypt
Horus is the title of a sky god in Egyptian mythology who relates to both divinities: Horus the Elder (or Horus the Great), last of the five original deities, and Horus the Younger, the child of Osiris and Isis. So who is the Egyptian God Horus?
As per Jimmy Dunn, a historian, “Horus is the most prominent of the bird deities, taking on several distinct shapes and being shown in very many different ways in different texts that “it is practically impossible to distinguish the ‘real’ Horus.” Horus is a phrase that refers to a large variety of falcon gods ” (2). While it is correct, the term ‘Horus’ is commonly used to refer to either the first five gods’ older brother or the son of Isis and Osiris who defeated his uncle Set and restored order to the land.
God Horus Family Tree
The Egyptian God Horus is the Latinized form of the Egyptian Hor, which signifies “the Remote One,” alluding to his status as a sky god. Horus the Great, the elder brother of Osiris, Isis, Set, and Nephthys, is also referred to as Harwer and Haroeris in Egyptian. Horus the Child (Hor pa khered), the son of Osiris and Isis, was converted into the Greek divinity Harpocrates after Alexander the Great invaded Egypt in 331 BCE. ‘Harpocrates’ also implies ‘Horus the Child,’ however, the god was not the same as Horus of Egypt. Harpocrates was a Greek god of quietness and confidentiality, as well as the guardian of mysteries; who is frequently depicted as a feathered kid with his finger to his mouth in sculpture.
Horus the Younger, from the other side, was a strong sky god who was most strongly linked with the sun, but also with the moon. He was Egypt’s guardian, avenging wrongs, defending order, uniting the two lands, and a god of warfare commonly called by Egyptian monarchs before combat and lauded afterward predicated on his clashes with Set.
Ra-Harahkhte, god of the sun who voyaged all across the sky throughout the day and was pictured as a falcon-headed man wearing the double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt with the sun disk on it, was eventually merged with the sun god Ra to form a new god, Ra-Harahkhte, god of the sun who sailed across the sky during the day and was illustrated as a falcon-headed man wearing the double crown of Upper and The Eye of Horus God (one of the most iconic Egyptian symbols) is one of his icons and the falcon.
Horus the Elder
Horus the Elder is one of Egypt’s earliest deities, having been created from the marriage of Geb (earth) and Nut (sky) soon after the earth was created. God Horus was assigned control of the sky and, particularly, the sun, while his older brother Osiris was assigned authority of the ground together with Isis. Egyptian God Horus is the son of Hathor in certain versions of the myth, while she is his wife in many others, and she is Horus’ mother, wife, and daughter in others. “One of the oldest religious pictures recorded from Egypt is that of a falcon in a barque,” according to researcher Geraldine Pinch, signifying Horus in the sun boat sailing all across sky (142). God Horus is also shown to be a God of creation and beneficent protector
In Egyptian theology, there have been several falcon gods (known as Avian Deities) who were finally merged into Horus. Some, like Upper Egypt’s Dunanwi, occur historically, while others, like Montu, follow later. Scholars have questioned Horus’ early affiliation with Dunanwi, however there is no question that he was eventually merged with the god as Horus-Anubis. Egyptian Horus God was extensively adored across Egypt, but Dunanwi was a local god of the 18th upper nome (province). Horus may have begun as a provincial deity such as Dunanwi, as Inanna did in Mesopotamia, but it appears more probable that Horus was fully recognized early in Egypt’s religious evolution.
Horus the Elder Followers and history
Richard H. Wilkinson, an Egyptologist, discusses how “Horus was one of Egypt’s most ancient gods. His title may be traced back to the early of the Dynastic Period, and it’s likely that ancient falcon gods like the one seen on the Narmer Palette regulating the’marsh dwellers’ reflect the same deity ” (200). Kings of the Predynastic Era in Egypt (c. 6000-3150 BCE) were called “Followers of Horus” which testifies to an even earlier period of adoration in Egypt’s history.
He serves the same purpose as The Remote Goddess in his capacity as The Distant One; This role was connected to Hathor and a number of other female goddesses; Those goddesses were traveling forth from Ra and come back delivering change.
God Horus’ eyes were the sun and the moon, which he used to look over humankind at all hours of the day and night; as well as come near to them in times of difficulty or uncertainty. As a falcon, he could fly far away from Ra and back with critical information; In addition, it was rapidly bringing solace to people who were in distress.
God Horus the younger and The Osiris Myth
Horus the younger is sometimes referred to as a descendant of Horus the older; although he swiftly overtook him and adopted many of his features. The elder Horus had been totally superseded by the younger Horus during the reign of the Ptolemaic Dynasty (323-30 BCE); Egypt’s last ruling dynasty. Horus the Child sculptures from the Ptolemaic period depict him as a little boy with his finger to his mouth; probably to commemorate the time as a child when he had to hide from his uncle Set. He came to symbolize a promise by the deities to take better care of struggling humankind; Because he had struggled as a child and knew what it was like to be vulnerable and encircled by hazards.
This Horus would go on to be a Greek Harpocrates, whom Plutarch referred to as “the second son of Isis” and who became well-known in the Roman world. Harpocrates was the heavenly son represented in old Roman art with his mother; also the Cult of Isis was the most prominent mysterious cult in Rome, profoundly impacting the formation of Christianity.
Horus’ tale is based on the Osiris Myth, which was one of the most famous in ancient Egypt and inspired the Isis Cult. This story begins soon after the earth was founded when Osiris and Isis presided over the heaven they built. Men and women were uncivilized and barbarous when they were born from Atum’s (Ra) tears. Osiris instilled in their civilization, religious ritual purity to honor the deities and agricultural skills. Men and women were treated equally at this period, thanks to Isis’ presents, which were distributed to all. There was enough food, and no one went hungry or had an unmet demand.
Horus’ Father Death
Set, Osiris’ brother, became envious of him, and when Set realized that his spouse, Nephthys, had changed herself into the likeness of Isis and married Osiris, his jealousy escalated to anger. God Set, on the other hand, was not furious with Nephthys; but rather with his brother, “The Beautiful One,” who had offered a temptation too great for Nephthys to refuse. Set duped Osiris into lying down in a casket he had built to his brother’s exacting standards; After that, he slammed the lid shut and tossed the casket into the Nile.
The casket slid down the river until it came to rest in a tamarisk tree on Byblos’ shores, where the king and queen appreciated its majesty and delicious aroma and had it reduced for a pillar in their hall. Set had seized Osiris’ kingship and presided over the country with Nephthys while all of this was going on. He disregarded Osiris and Isis’ bequests, and the region endured drought and hunger as a result. Isis realized she had to find Osiris and take him back from wherever Set had exiled him, so she set out to find him. She ultimately discovered him within the Byblos tree-pillar, asked the king and queen for it, and returned to Egypt with it.
The Resurrection of Osiris and the Birth of Horus
Isis knew she could bring Osiris back from the dead, even if he was deceased. While she went to collect herbs for remedies, she ordered her sister Nephthys to remain watching over the body and safeguard it from Set. Set, on the other hand, had received word that his brother had returned and was on the lookout for him. He tracked down Nephthys and duped her into informing him where Osiris’ body was concealed, after which he chopped Osiris to bits and spread the parts around the region and into the Nile. When Isis returned, she was shocked to see that her husband’s body had vanished. Nephthys revealed to her how she had been duped, as well as what Set had done to Osiris.
After that, the two sisters went in search of Osiris’ bodily pieces and reconstructed him. He was missing his manhood because a fish ate it, but Isis still could bring him back to existence. Isis employed her magic and medicines, with the help of Nephthys in certain parts of the story. Osiris awoke, but because he was no more entire, he could no longer govern among the living; he would have to go to the afterlife and reign as Lord of the Dead there. Isis, however, changed into a kite (a falcon) and soared about his body; After that, she toke his sperm into her own and becoming pregnant with Horus before he left.
Isis went into hiding after Osiris departed to the underworld to safeguard herself and her kid from Set, she went to the Delta region of Egypt.
Horus the King of the Sky
Horus became known as Horu-Sema-Tawy, The Horus, Uniter of the Two Lands, after conquering Set and restoring order. He restored his parents’ principles, revitalized the land, and reigned properly. From the First Dynastic Period forward, Egyptian rulers identified themselves with Horus and selected a “Horus Name” to reign under during their coronation. Osiris was Egypt’s first monarch, who founded order before passing to the underworld; whereas Horus was the king who repaired it when Set overturned it, and who brought Egypt back from disorder to peace.
God Horus and Pharaohs of Egypt
As a result, the Egyptian pharaoh associated with Horus in life and Osiris in death. They were the bodily embodiment of Horus under the protection of Isis during their rule; (a notable departure from this custom being the king Peribsen, sixth king of the Second Dynasty); Following the Battle of Kadesh in 1274 BCE, Ramesses II notably invoked the safety of Isis and Horus in his Poem of Pentaur, as do many subsequent Egyptian monarchs and pharaohs.
Horus was closely associated with Egypt’s kingship, both in his falcon form and as the son of Isis. The king’s name was written in the rectangular device called the serekh; which pictured the Horus falcon perched on a stylized palace enclosure and seems to imply the king as a mediator between the celestial and earthly realms, if not the god manifest within the palace as the king himself, from the beginning of the Dynastic Era. Other titles were added later to the monarch’s “Horus Name,” including the “Golden Horus” name; which depicts a celestial bird on the hieroglyphic symbol for gold.
All Egyptian residents were under Horus’ security since the monarch of Egypt was the ‘gorgeous house’ that safeguarded his people. He was worshipped in a variety of ways and at various locations. “Horus was worshipped with other Egyptian gods in several Egyptian temples, and important sites of his worship may be found from one end of Egypt to the other. His significance as the unifier of the two lands and keeper of an order made him a symbol of the Egyptian principle of balance, which was highly revered.
How ancient Egyptians Worship God Horus
Horus was worshipped in the same way as any other Egyptian god; the temple was constructed as a residence for the deity, and his statue was kept within the inner sanctuary; this is where only the top priest was permitted to see him. Because they identified with Horus and claimed security from their mother,’ Isis; the clergy of the Horus Cult were invariably male. Attendant priests looked after the temple complex; which like any other, was built to reflect the Field of Reeds’ afterlife. The celestial ferryman Hraf-hef (‘He-Who-Looks-Behind-Himself’) rowed the souls of the justified deceased across Lily Lake (also known as The Lake of Flowers), the temple’s reflection pool. The temple served as the afterlife’s residence the god’s dwelling, with its flower-filled courtyard, was his garden.
Egyptians would flock to the courtyard to request support, get alms, give contributions, or have their dreams interpreted. They would also seek advice, omen interpretation, medical support, marital counseling; on the other hand, safety from bad spirits or ghosts at the temple. There are far too many places to worship Horus to enumerate them all; but the principal cult centers were Khem in the Delta region; where Horus was hidden as a child, Pe, where Horus lost his eye in his battle with Set, and Behdet (both also in the Delta).
Horus Temples and Places of worship
At Edfu and Kom Ombos in Upper Egypt, he was revered with Hathor and their son Harsomptus; the Sacred Falcon’s yearly Coronation, “in which a real falcon was chosen to represent the deity as monarch of all Egypt; thereby unifying the ancient falcon deity with his shape as Horus son of Osiris and with the king. This ritual, like previous royal festivals, was intended to strengthen the monarch and renew his reign; but it was not as significant as the Heb Sed Festival. Horus was also revered in Abu Simbel, where he was honored with statues and inscriptions, and amulets were worn by those seeking his security.
The Four Sons of Horus
This protection lasted for the rest of his life and even after he died. Horus was linked to the afterlife by his Four Sons, who guarded the deceased’s essential organs. These four gods were each ruled over and guarded by a goddess; they symbolized the four cardinal parts of the compass. Horus’ Four Sons were as follows:
Duamutef – a jackal god who guarded the stomach symbolized the east and was guarded by Neith.
Hapy was a baboon deity who guarded the lungs, symbolized the north, and was guarded by Nephthys.
Imsety was a humanoid god who guarded the liver, symbolized the south, and was guarded by Isis.
Selket safeguarded Qebehsenuef, a hawk god who guarded the intestines and represented the west.
These organs were kept in a canopic container.
These organs were kept in canopic jars with the protector-head god’s as the cover handle on occasion. The alabaster item from Tutankhamun’s tomb, in which Isis, Neith, Nephthys, and Selket are sculpted, is the most renowned example of the canopic guards. The four protector-gods were all represented as mummified males with the jackal, baboon, human, and hawk heads, respectively. Horus, who was a companion of the deceased, was seen in all of these appearances. Horus was invoked during funerals to guard and guide those who had passed away as well as those who stayed alive.