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Egyptian Mythology

Egyptian mythology encompasses the various religious beliefs and rituals practiced in ancient Egypt over more than 3,000 years, from the predynastic period until the adoption of Christianity in the early centuries AD. Initially these beliefs centered on the worship of multiple deities who represented various forces of nature, thought patterns and power, expressed by the means of complex and varied archetypes. By the time of the 18th dynasty they began to be viewed as aspects of a single deity who existed apart from nature, similar to trinitarian concepts also found in Christianity: the belief that one god can exist in more than one person.

These deities were worshipped with offerings and prayers, in local and household shrines as well as in formal temples managed by priests. Different gods were prominent at different periods of Egyptian history, and the myths associated with them changed over time, so Egypt never had a coherent hierarchy of deities or a unified mythology. However, the religion contained many overarching beliefs. Among these were the divinity of the pharaoh, which helped to politically unify the country, and complex beliefs about an afterlife, which gave rise to the Egyptians' elaborate burial customs.

Beyond the simplistic approach of strange and impetuous gods with human bodies and animal heads, Egyptian mythology is a complex world, constantly in movement - and in some ways undefinable.
Egyptian mythology is deeply imbedded in the ancient Egyptians day to day life, and follows their ever changing natural conditions. Gods have many appearances and names. What we see with today's rational mind and incoherence made perfect sense, as the main reasoning was symbolic. Horus may not have even been born at the time of his fathers funeral, yet he appears in the myth - as a son should be present for his father's heritage to live on.

To fully appreciate Egyptian mythology, one should approach it with an open mind and without searching to rationalise it, as the logic of it is entirely different to our classical culture (deeply imprinted by the Ancient Greeks, who themselves had the hardest time figuring the Egyptians out!)

To our knowledge, there is no « universal » or unique source of myths. Their mythology as we know it today is a recollection of information from multiple sources, hence several versions of the myths.