Mythology is pretty darn cool. Whether it’s the Greeks, the Romans, the Nordics, or the countless other pantheons out there, hearing the stories of powerful gods acting with human emotions is enticing. When doing research for our novel, Jane Unwrapped, Leah and I became captivated by the lore and legends in ancient Egyptian religion. Here are our picks for the five most badass Egyptian gods.
1. Anubis: We’ll start this off with the god of embalming, Anubis. This jackal-headed god is the protector of the dead, and is associated with the ancient ritual of mummification. Although one of the oldest and most documented gods in Egyptian mythology, Anubis actually doesn’t feature in the lore too much. Instead, his image decorates pretty much every tomb in Egypt. He was considered one of the most loved gods because of endless protection and care for the souls passing through the Duat.
2. Isis: Isis is the goddess of health and wisdom, as well as the wife (and sister) of Osiris. She was seen as the ultimate mother and wife, as well as a friend to anyone from slave to the pharaohs. She also had sick magical powers involving resurrection and nature. Isis is badass because not only did she have a huge following back in ancient Egypt’s day, but she’s also one of the only ancient gods to still have a huge cult following today!
3. Osiris: Osiris is considered the god of the dead, but is also associated with life. If this seems contradicting to you, it’s because the Egyptians saw death as just a gateway to the afterlife, where your soul would continue living on. Because the greenish-black colour of the Nile floodplain represented rebirth and fertility to the Egyptians, Osiris is lucky enough to have green skin. Osiris is really cool because he’s considered the merciful god of the underworld. He observed all the souls coming into the afterlife, where their hearts would be weighed to see if the were pure enough to go to paradise.
4. Nephthys: Isis’s sister, Nephthys is the goddess of death, and is associated with nighttime and mummification. Nephthys was seen as the other side of the coin of Isis: one for life, another for death. This does not been Nephthys was not as loving or caring as Isis; she was equally as important and powerful. Nephthys stars in her own bit of soap opera lore as well: unable to get pregnant from her infertile husband, Set, Nephthys disguised herself as Isis in order to get Osiris to sleep with her. When Nephthys had her baby, Set was so furious, she abandoned the child to make sure Set didn’t kill him. Thankfully, Isis adopted the child…who she named Anubis! How’s that for drama?
5. Aten: You may have heard the names of the other four gods thrown around if you’ve read anything about Egypt, but I’d wager you haven’t heard of Aten. That’s because Aten was a lesser sun god, completely over-shone by his more famous counterparts, Ra; Amen; and Horus. Now Aten is badass because they (Aten was considered both male and female) caused a complete religious upheaval. Akhenaten, nicknamed the heretic pharaoh, reigned over Egypt from around 1353–1336 BC. During his reign, Akhenaten abandoned all the gods except for Aten, and moved the capital of Thebes to a city built for worship of Aten. He also happened to be married to Nefertiti and father of King Tut! Also his religious revolution didn’t stick, Aten’s effect over the pharaoh still makes him one of the most interesting gods.
If you enjoyed learning about the Egyptian gods, let us know in the comments below, and we’ll post some more interesting facts about ancient Egypt! And if you’d like to see these gods in action, stay tuned for our book Priestess of Anubis (Entangled Teen Crave) where these gods (and more!) cause trouble for a modern-day girl.
Thanks for reading!