Ancient Egyptian Gods Goddesses Names – Family Tree Egyptian Gods

Ancient Egyptian Gods and Goddesses names are described in detail in the post as we also explore the family tree of Egyptian gods. Like most aspects of the universe, there is a hierarchy in the divine lineage, and this post will help you understand each deity and its position in the cosmic Egyptian matrix.

The family tree of Egyptian gods is a complex tapestry that weaves together the deities of ancient Egypt, illustrating their intricate relationships and roles in the cosmos. At its core, this divine genealogy reflects the Egyptians’ understanding of the universe, life, death, and the forces of nature, all personified through a pantheon that is as diverse as it is fascinating.

Starting from the primordial waters of chaos, known as Nun, emerged the first god, Atum (or Ra in some traditions), who then proceeded to create the world and other gods through self-generation and spitting or sneezing them into existence. This initial act of creation gave rise to the air god Shu and his sister Tefnut, the goddess of moisture. Their union produced Geb, the earth god, and Nut, the sky goddess, whose nightly union and subsequent separation by Shu explained the day and night cycle.

Family Tree Egyptian Gods
Ancient Egyptian Gods & Goddesses Names

The offspring of Geb and Nut form the most well-known generation of Egyptian deities: Osiris, the god of the afterlife and vegetation; Isis, the goddess of magic and motherhood; Set, the god of chaos, storms, and the desert; and Nephthys, associated with mourning, night, and service to the dead. The complex narratives surrounding these gods—encompassing themes of death, rebirth, love, betrayal, and revenge—mirror the human experience, embodying the Egyptians’ beliefs about morality, the afterlife, and the cosmos.

From the marriage of Osiris and Isis came Horus, the sky god, embodying kingship and the protector of the pharaoh. In contrast, Anubis, the jackal-headed god associated with mummification and the afterlife, is said to be the son of Osiris and Nephthys, born from a union concealed from Nephthys’s husband, Set. Now let’s explore each in detail.

Nun: Primeval Waters & The Cosmic Ocean

Nun was an ancient Egyptian god representing the primordial waters from which all life began. He was the oldest of the Egyptian gods and the father of RA, the sun god. The name “Nun” means “primeval waters,” indicating his association with the waters of chaos that existed before creation.

Nun was depicted in various forms: as an anthropomorphic figure with water ripples filling his body, sometimes holding a notched palm, which symbolizes his essence and power. He could also appear as a frog or a frog-headed man, particularly as a member of the Ogdoad, the group of eight gods representing the chaos before creation.

In other depictions, Nun was shown as a bearded man with blue or green skin, reflecting his connection to water and chaos. Despite being a deity of chaos, Nun had a beneficial side, contrasting with the serpent of chaos, Apep, who was Ra’s enemy. This duality highlights the Egyptians’ view of chaos as creative and destructive.

RA: The Sun, Source or Light & Creation

Ra was a central deity in ancient Egyptian religion, revered as the god of the sun, order, kingship, and the sky. He symbolized the creation of life and was associated with the breath of life. He is the best-known of the ancient Egyptian Gods and Goddesses names and sits near the top of the family tree of Egyptian Gods,

Ra was often depicted as a falcon with a sun disk and a cobra around it between his horns, representing his power over the sun and his protective qualities. This imagery also closely linked him to Horus, another sky deity with whom Ra shared many attributes.

Family Tree Egyptian Gods: RA

As the king of the deities and the father of all creation, Ra was prominent in Egyptian mythology. He was believed to have ruled as Egypt’s first pharaoh, embodying the principles of power and light (see in-depth description of The Eye of Ra). Ra’s symbolism extended to the daily cycle of the sun, representing rebirth and renewal, as he journeyed across the sky by day and through the underworld by night.

Shu & Tefunt: Air & Water

Shu and Tefnut are ancient Egyptian gods symbolizing the principles of air and moisture, respectively. Shu, the god of air, wind, and light, is known for separating the sky from the earth, creating space and order in the cosmos. His counterpart, Tefnut, represents moisture, moist air, dew, and rain, essential elements for life and fertility in the Egyptian environment.

Shu and Tefut were considered twin siblings, the children of Atum, the creator god. They were among the first deities of the Ennead of Heliopolis, a group of nine deities in ancient Egyptian religion. Their union symbolizes the fundamental balance and interdependence of air and moisture for sustaining life, reflecting the Egyptians’ understanding of their environment. Shu is often depicted alongside Tefnut, underscoring their intertwined roles and importance in the creation and maintenance of the world.

Nut & Geb: Earth & Sky

Nut and Geb were ancient Egyptian deities representing the sky and the earth. Nut, the goddess of the sky, symbolized the vault of heaven and was depicted as a woman arching over the earth, her body adorned with stars, embodying the sky itself. She was crucial in protecting the dead on their journey to the afterlife, reflecting her encompassing and nurturing nature.

Geb, her brother and husband, was the god of the Earth, associated with farming, fertility, and snakes. He was depicted as a man lying beneath Nut, sometimes with vegetation growing from his body, symbolizing his connection to the earth and its ability to sustain life.

Their union was one of Egyptian cosmology’s foundational myths, emphasizing the earth’s and the sky’s interconnectedness. This relationship was also central to their narrative, marked by a tragic love story filled with family drama, highlighting their importance in the physical world, Egyptian mythology, and the cycles of life and death.

Osiris: God of Life, Death, Resurrection & Fertility

Osiris was one of the most important gods of ancient Egypt. He embodied fertility, resurrection, and the afterlife. As a god of fertility, he was closely associated with the flooding of the Nile and the growth of crops.

Osiris’s most prominent symbols include the Atef crown, similar to the White crown of Upper Egypt but adorned with feathers. This crown represents his authority and sacred status. His iconography often depicts him as a mummified king, symbolizing death and rebirth and underscoring his role in the afterlife and immortality.

Osiris’s story involves betrayal and murder by his brother Set, resurrection by his wife Isis, and his role as the judge of the dead in the underworld. This narrative reflects the themes of mortality, the cyclical nature of life and the afterlife, and the hope for rebirth after death. Through his death and resurrection, Osiris became a powerful symbol of immortality, and his worship promised eternal life to his followers.

Isis: Goddess of Birth, Healing, Magic & Protector of The Dead

Isis was a crucial deity in ancient Egyptian religion, celebrated as the goddess of fertility, magic, motherhood, and death. Her influence extended beyond the Egyptian pantheon, spreading her worship throughout the Greco-Roman world. She was the sister-wife of Osiris, mother of Horus, and her mythology is deeply intertwined with theirs in the story of Osiris’s death and resurrection, where she uses her magical powers to resurrect Osiris and protect their son Horus.

Isis: Goddess of Birth, Healing, Magic & Protector of The Dead
Family Tree Egyptian Gods: Isis

Isis symbology is rich and multi-faceted and is the most prominent female avatar in ancient Egyptian Gods and Goddesses names, reflecting her various roles:

  • Throne Headdress: Isis is often depicted wearing a throne-shaped headdress, symbolizing her role as the throne of Egypt and the mother of the pharaohs.
  • Wings: In many depictions, Isis has wings, which she uses to protect and envelop the deceased, symbolizing her role as a protector and nurturer.
  • Knot of Isis (Tyet): The Tyet, resembling an ankh with arms at its sides, represents life and welfare and is believed to offer protection, especially in the afterlife.
  • Sistrum: A musical instrument associated with Isis, the sistrum symbolizes fertility and the fostering of life and is often used in her worship.
  • Cow Horns with Sun Disk: While this symbol is more commonly associated with Hathor, Isis was sometimes depicted with this headdress, especially after absorbing Hathor’s attributes, symbolizing her as a motherly protector.

Isis’s worship emphasized her compassionate nature, role as a mother and protector, and unparalleled magical abilities, making her one of the most widely venerated and enduring figures in ancient Egyptian religion. Read more about Isis and seven known facts.

Nephthye: Goddess of the Temple, Dead, Healing & Magic

Nephthys is a goddess from ancient Egyptian religion. She is typically depicted as a protective goddess of the dead, associated with mourning, the night, and service to others, particularly in funeral rites.

Nephthys is the sister of Isis, Osiris, and Seth and is often shown alongside Isis in funerary scenes, where they are depicted protecting and mourning the dead. Her symbology often includes her house-shaped hieroglyph, which reflects her association with the home and domesticity and her role as a guardian of the temple and the dead.

Her symbols also include the kite, a bird representing several goddesses associated with death and mourning in ancient Egypt. Nephthys’s protective and nurturing attributes, particularly in the context of death and the afterlife, made her an important deity in Egyptian religion, embodying the transition between life and death and offering solace to the deceased and their families.

Set: God of Chaos, Storms, War

Set, also spelled Seth, is a prominent figure in ancient Egyptian mythology. He is known as the god of chaos, violence, deserts, storms, and foreigners. Set plays a significant role in the Osirian myth as Osiris’s brother and murderer, husband to Nephthys, and uncle to Horus. Set’s actions against Osiris and the subsequent conflict with Horus highlight themes of duality, such as chaos versus order and good versus evil in Egyptian mythology.

Symbolically, Set is often depicted as a composite creature known as the Set or Sha animal, which is not identifiable with any known creature. This unique appearance, featuring a curved snout, squared ears, and a forked tail, makes him easily distinguishable from other deities. In art and hieroglyphs, this symbolic representation underscores his association with the unknown and the chaotic elements of the world. Moreover, Set was associated with the color red, symbolizing both the color of the desert and the hue of blood, further emphasizing his connection to arid wastelands, destruction, and upheaval.

Despite his nefarious reputation, Set was also venerated as a protector of Ra, the sun god, during the nightly voyage through the underworld. This dual role underscores the complex nature of Egyptian deities, where gods could embody multiple, often contradictory aspects of life and the cosmos.

Horus: God of Kingship, Heaven, Earth & War

Horus is one of the most significant ancient Egyptian gods. He is often depicted as a falcon or as a man with the head of a falcon. His symbology deeply links kingship, the sky, war, and protection. As the son of Osiris, the god of the afterlife, and Isis, the goddess of magic and motherhood, Horus embodies the principle of rightful rule and the restoration of order.

The Eye of Horus, known as the Wadjet, is one of his most well-known symbols. This icon represents healing, protection, and restoration. It stems from the myth in which Horus loses an eye during a conflict with Set, the god of chaos and disorder. Subsequently, the Eye of Horus became a powerful amulet worn by the living and the dead, believed to provide safety, health, and regeneration.

Family Tree Egyptian Gods: Horus

Horus’s role as a sky god is symbolized by the sun and moon, considered his eyes—the right eye representing the sun and the left eye the moon. This aspect of his symbology underscores his visibility and importance in everyday Egyptian life, overseeing the natural order.

The crown of Egypt further symbolizes his connection to the monarchy. Horus is often depicted wearing the Pschent, the double crown, which signifies his unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the pharaoh’s rule. It is considered the earthly embodiment of Horus.

As a god of war, Horus is often depicted wearing the Pschent, the double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt. This symbol symbolizes his unification of the country and his role as the pharaoh’s protector, considered Horus’s living incarnation on earth. This relationship was central to Egyptian state religion, reinforcing the divine right to rule and the continuity of kingship.

Anubis: Afterlife, Rebirth & The Underworld

Anubis is primarily known as the god of mummification and the afterlife. He is often depicted as a man with the head of a jackal or as a black jackal or dog, animals associated with cemeteries because they were commonly found desecrating graves. This portrayal links Anubis directly with the practices surrounding death and preserving the body after death.

His symbology is deeply rooted in his role as a protector of graves and a guide for the dead. Anubis oversees the embalming process and the weighing of the heart ceremony, which determines whether a soul will be allowed to enter the realm of the dead. The black color of Anubis’s skin is significant; it is not just representative of the jackal or the night but also symbolizes rebirth and the fertile soil of the Nile, reflecting his role in the regeneration and resurrection aspects of the afterlife.

Anubis’s role evolved over time, with Osiris later taking over many of his associations with the afterlife and the underworld. However, Anubis remained an essential figure in funerary rites, continuing to be revered as the guardian of the dead, ensuring their safe passage and fair judgment in the afterlife.

Summary: Ancient Egyptian Gods & Goddesses Names

This family tree outlines the lineage of these divine beings. It connects the natural world to the spiritual, offering insight into how the ancient Egyptians interpreted the universe and their place within it. Through myths, rituals, and artistic representations, the deities of ancient Egypt were brought to life, playing a central role in the culture’s religion and society for thousands of years.

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Ancient Egyptian Gods and Goddesses: Photos From Egypt Trip

Ancient Egyptian Gods and Goddesses’ names can be confusing. However, I hope this post helps you understand the family tree of Egyptian gods. Do you feel connected to one of the Gods or Goddesses in the post? In that case, I encourage you to start a relationship with that deity by creating an altar that helps fortify your relationship with these divine beings.

Interested in going to Egypt? These guys have some excellent tours that might be worth checking out. I haven’t used them, but the website looks like it covers most of the main sites. For music lovers, here is a playlist of Egyptian jams to move and shake your booty.

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