Ancient Egyptians were polytheistic, with around 2000 gods at the time, people were allowed to choose their own gods in accordance to their work, life style and family values. Though some gods were highly followed like Osiris (the god of afterlife), there were gods which were hated as well like Set or Seth (the god of confusion and war). Animals were considered to be house of spirits as well and there were many Gods associated with animals. Demons played an important role as well, considered to be stronger than humans but weaker than gods, possessing supernatural powers. Pharaohs were supposed to be the mediators between the common and the gods and were likely to keep good relations with gods and become gods themselves after their deaths. Just like modern day religions, ancient Egyptians also had different schools of religious beliefs trying to overpower their gods with each others.
Temples were built as the residences for gods on their visit to the Earth and contained statues to establish spiritual contact. These temples were not meant for public worship and common people were forbidden to enter these temples. Only pharaohs and important priests could enter these temples and conduct ceremonies. There were courtyards for ordinary people to watch the ceremonial events. Male priests were linked to male gods and female priestesses were linked to female goddesses and were considered to be subordinates known mainly for their dancing, sexual skills and music. Gods, on the other hand required a lot of attention as if they were living people. Daily, a ritual called “opening of the mouth” was to be performed in which the statues in the temple were given the offerings of food in the morning and evening, clothed in clean linen and new jewellery and had new makeup applied.
Gods of Ancient Egypt: Amon and Ra – the sun. Anubis and Osiris are patrons of the dead, the lords of the afterlife. Apis, Ming and Khnum – fertility. Baal and Nun – water elements. Geb is the land. Horus – the sky. Ptah is the patron of art. Set is deserts. He and Khonsu are moons. Shu – the air. Religious beliefs of ancient Egyptians: 1. Representatives of the fauna Egyptians considered the embodiment of the gods and worshiped them. Everyone knows that the sacred animal of Egypt is a cat, besides this the people also raised lions, dogs, snakes, cows, crocodiles and falcons. Often, the Egyptians depicted their idols in the form of animals. 2. The cult of the Pharaoh. 3. The cult of the dead – belief in the afterlife and the “kingdom of the dead.” 4. The court of Osiris. The Egyptians believed that people who observe the will of God during their lifetime, remain in the kingdom of Osiris, sinners – get to be eaten by a monster. 5. Worship the god of the sun Ra and the river Nile. 6. Burials in the form of mummies. The Egyptians believed in the return of the soul of the deceased into the body, so they created a special technology and a whole rite to protect the body from decomposition.


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