Ra | Egyptian Sun God | King of the Gods

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Depicted as a falcon crowned with a sun disk or a man with a falcon's head.

Ra was the God of the Sun. He sailed across the heavens in a boat called the 'Barque of Millions of Years'. At the end of each day Ra was thought to die and sailed on his night voyage through the Underworld, leaving the Moon to light the world above. The boat would sail through the twelve doors, representing the twelve hours of night-time. The next dawn, he was born again.

It was not always smooth sailing. During the day Ra had to fight his chief enemy, a snake called Apep. He was helped by the other gods, such as Seth and Bastet.

The sun disk on Ra's head often has a cobra round it. A cobra appears on the forehead of Pharaohs, like Tutankhamun.

Ra was the greatest of the gods and he kept his power in his secret name, which only he knew. He had started to grow old, and sometimes he dribbled. Isis collected some of his saliva and made it into a snake. She hid the snake where Ra would walk. When Ra trod on it, it bit him, and Ra screamed in pain. All the gods gathered round, but none could heal him. Isis said "If you tell me your secret name, this will give me enough magic power to heal you." Ra didn't want to do this, but eventually the pain was so bad that he had to. Isis healed him, and ever since then she has the magic powers that Ra had.


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