- Cult Center: Heliopolis
- Attributes: From
early times Ra was a sun god. He took on many of the attributes
and even the names of other gods as Egyptian myths evolved. A good
example of this is the god Ra and Amun merging to become
Amun-Ra or Ra and Horus combining to become Ra-Harakhte. Since
Ra was a god of great antiquity, there are far to many stories
connected with him to relate them all. I will relate some that I find
interesting, including the legend
Ra and Hathor.
. . . . .One legend states that each day, Ra
was born and began a journey across the sky. Ra was believed to travel
in the Manjet-boat. or the 'Barque of Millions of Years'. He was joined
on this daily journey by a crew of many gods . The Manjet-boat would
sail through the twelve provinces, representing the twelve hours of
daylight. At the end of each day Ra was thought to die and embarked on
his night voyage. For this journey he was called Auf, which means
'corpse'. Ra sailed in a boat called the Mesektet-boat or night-barque
on his journey through the twelve hours of darkness.
. . . . .It was not always smooth sailing on
these ships. During the day Ra had to defeat his chief enemy, a
serpent or snake named Apep. A great battle was faught between Ra and
Apep, and Ra was usually victorious, however on stormy days or during
an eclipse the Egyptians believed that Apep had been victorious and
swallowed the sun.
. . . . .Because no wind blows in the
Underworld, Auf (Ra) had to rely on various unfriendly spirits and
demons to help tow his barque along the river in the underworld.
Auf's main job in the Underworld was to bring light to the souls of
the dead as he passed through their realm. After his departure these
souls fell back into a lonely darkness. The Underworld of these early
solar myths was a very different place then the fields of peace that
we find in the Osiris
cults of the later periods.
- Representation: He is often pictured as a hawk or as a hawk headed man with
a solar disk encircled by a uraeus on his head.
He is often pictured wearing the double crown of upper
and lower Egypt.
- Relations: Father
the first divine couple, Shu and Tefnut. Grandfather of Geb and Nut, whose
children were Osiris and Isis, Seth and Nephthys.