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Ra
In one of his many forms, Ra has the head of a falcon and the sun-disk of Wadjet resting on his head.
In one of his many forms, Ra has the head of a falcon and the sun-disk of Wadjet resting on his head.
God of the Sun
Name in hieroglyphs
r
a
N5
Z1
C2
Major cult center Heliopolis
Symbol The sun disc
Parents Ocean Nun and Neith (in some accounts)
Consort Ratet, Hathor ?
Children Shu, Tefnut, Hathor, Sekhmet (in some accounts), Bast, Selket

Ra (alternately spelled ), Egyptian *ri:ʕu, is the ancient Egyptian sun god. By the fifth dynasty he became a major deity in ancient Egyptian religion, identified primarily with the mid-day sun, with other deities representing other positions of the sun. Ra changed greatly over time and in one form or another, much later he was said represent the sun at all times of the day. The meaning of the name is uncertain, but it is thought if not a word for 'sun' it may be a variant of or linked to 'creative'.

The chief cult centre of Ra first was based in Heliopolis (called Inun, "Place of Pillars", in Egyptian), where he was identified with the local sun-god Atum. As Atum he was also seen as the first being and the originator of the Ennead, also consisting of Shu and Tefnut, Geb and Nut, Osiris, Set, Isis and Nephthys. (See Ennead for more information about this grouping.)

In later Egyptian dynastic times, Ra was merged with the god Horus, as Re-Horakhty ("Ra, who is Horus of the Two Horizons"). When his worship reached this position of importance in the Egyptian pantheon, he was believed to be in command of the sky, the earth, and the underworld. He was associated with the falcon, the symbol of other sun deities who protected the pharaohs in later myths. After the deities were paired with pharaohs, the children of Hathor were considered to be fathered by Ra. Still later, he was identified with Amun as Amun-Re.

During the Amarna Period, Akhenaten suppressed the cult of Ra in favour of another solar deity Aton, the deified solar disc, but the cult was later restored.

The cult of the Mnevis bull, an embodiment of Ra, had its centre here and established a formal burial ground for the sacrificed bulls north of the city.

In the later myths Ra was seen to have created Sekhmet, the early lion-headed war goddess from Upper Egypt, who became Hathor, the gentle cow goddess, after she has sufficiently punished mankind as the avenging Eye of Ra. This changed the themes of much earlier myths into aspects of Ra and he was often said to be the father of both Hathor and Sekhmet, as well as brother to the god Osiris. Afterward, nearly all forms of life were believed to have been created by Ra alone, who called each of them into existence by speaking their secret names and eventually humans were created from Ra's tears and sweat, hence the Egyptians call themselves the "Cattle of Ra."

Contents

Mythology

For the Egyptians, the sun represented light, warmth, and growth. This made sun deities very important to the ancient Egyptians, and it is no coincidence that the sun came to be the ruler of all. In his myths, the sun was either seen as the body or eye of Ra.

Ra was thought to travel on a solar boat called the Mandjet (The Boat of the Millions or, alternatively, the Boat of Millions of Years) in order to protect the sun's fires from the primordial waters of the underworld as it passed through during the night. Ra traveled in the sun boat with various other deities including Set and Mehen who defended against the monsters of the underworld, and Ma'at who guided the boat's course. The monsters included Apep, an enormous serpent who tried to stop the sun boat's journey every night by consuming it. Alternatively, some ancient Egyptians believed that Ra died as the sun would set every night. The Mandjet barque would then turn into the Mesektet barge (the Night-barge) that would carry Ra through the underworld back towards the east in preparation for his rebirth at sunrise. These myths of Ra conceptualized the sunrise as the rebirth of the sun by the Sky goddess Nut, thus attributing the concept of rebirth and renewal to Ra and strengthening his role as a creator god.

Early in his myths Ra was said to be married to Hathor and they were the parents of Horus the Elder. Later, these myths changed Hathor into a daughter of Ra. This featured prominently in the myth, often called The Destruction of Mankind, in which Ra sent Hathor down to punish humanity in the form of Sekhmet.

Composites

Ra and Amun, from tomb of Ramses IV.

As with most widely worshiped Egyptian deities, Ra's identity was often confused with others as different regional religions were merged in an attempt to unite the country.

Amun and Amun-Ra

Amun was a member of the Ogdoad, representing creation energies with Amaunet, a very early patron of Thebes. He was believed to create via breath, and thus was identified with the wind rather than the sun. As the cults of Amun and Ra became increasingly popular in Upper and Lower Egypt respectively they were combined to create Amun-Ra, a solar creator god. The name Amun-Ra is reconstructed as *[riːʕu]). It is hard to distinguish exactly when this combination happened, but references to Amun-Ra appeared in pyramid texts as early as the fifth dynasty. The most common belief is that Amun-Ra was invented as a new state deity by the (Theban) rulers of the New Kingdom to unite worshipers of Amun with the older cult of Ra around the eighteenth dynasty.

Atum and Atum-Ra
Atum-Ra (or Ra-Atum) was another composite deity formed from two completely separate deities, however Ra shared more similarities with Atum than with Amun. Atum was more closely linked with the sun, and was also a creator god of the Ennead. Both Ra and Atum were regarded as the father of the deities and pharaohs, and were widely worshiped. In older myths, Atum was the creator of Tefnut and Shu, and he was born from ocean Nun.

Part of a series on
Ancient Egyptian religion

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Main Beliefs

Mythology · Soul · Duat · Ma'at · Numerology

Practices

Offering formula · Funerals

Amun · Amunet · Anubis · Anuket · Apep · Apis · Aten · Atum · Bastet · Bat · Bes · Four sons of Horus · Geb · Hapy · Hathor · Heka · Heqet · Horus · Isis · Khepri  · Khnum · Khonsu · Kuk · Maahes  · Ma'at · Mafdet · Menhit · Meretseger · Meskhenet · Monthu · Min · Mnevis · Mut · Neith · Nekhbet · Nephthys · Nu · Nut · Osiris · Pakhet · Ptah · Qebui · Ra · Ra-Horakhty · Reshep · Satis · Sekhmet · Seker · Selket · Sobek · Sopdu · Set · Seshat · Shu · Tatenen · Taweret · Tefnut · Thoth · Wadjet · Wadj-wer · Wepwawet · Wosret

Texts

Amduat · Books of Breathing · Book of Caverns · Book of the Dead · Book of the Earth · Book of Gates · Book of the Netherworld

Other

Atenism · Curse of the Pharaohs


Ancient Egypt Portal

Ra-Horakhty
In later Egyptian mythology, Ra-Horakhty was more of a title or manifestation than a composite deity. It translates as "Ra (who is) Horus of the Horizons". It was intended to link Horakhty (as a sunrise-oriented aspect of Horus) to Ra. It has been suggested that Ra-Horakhty simply refers to the sun's journey from horizon to horizon as Ra, or that it means to show Ra as a symbolic deity of hope and rebirth. (See earlier section: Ra and the sun)
Khepri and Khnum
Khepri was a scarab beetle who rolled up the sun in the mornings, and was sometimes seen as the morning manifestation of Ra. Similarly, the ram-headed god Khnum was also seen as the evening manifestation of Ra. The idea of different deities (or different aspects of Ra) ruling over different times of the day was fairly common, but variable. With Khepri and Khnum taking precedence over sunrise and sunset, Ra often was the representation of midday when the sun reached its peak at noon. Sometimes different aspects of Horus were used instead of Ra's aspects. In Thelema's Liber Resh vel Helios, Ra represents the rising sun, with Sekhmet as the midday sun and the old man Atum as the setting sun.[citation needed]

Worship

Ra on the Solar boat

His local cult began to grow from roughly the second dynasty, establishing Ra as a sun deity. By the fourth dynasty the pharaohs were seen to be Ra's manifestations on earth, referred to as "Sons of Ra". His worship increased massively in the fifth dynasty, when he became a state deity and pharaohs had specially aligned pyramids, obelisks, and solar temples built in his honour. The first Pyramid Texts began to arise, giving Ra more and more significance in the journey of the pharaoh through the underworld.

The Middle Kingdom saw Ra being increasingly combined and affiliated with other chief deities, especially Amun and Osiris.

During the New Kingdom, the worship of Ra became more complicated and grandeur. The walls of tombs were dedicated to extremely detailed texts that told of Ra's journey through the underworld. Ra was said to carry the prayers and blessings of the living with the souls of the dead on the sun boat. The idea that Ra aged with the sun became more popular with the rise of The New Kingdom. Eventually, during the reign of Akhenaten(mid 1350s-1330s), the worship reached the level of "uncompromising monotheism" [1]

Many acts of worship included hymns, prayers, and spells to help Ra and the sun boat overcome Apep.

Though worship of Ra was widespread, his cult center was in Heliopolis in Lower Egypt. Oddly enough, this was the home of the Ennead that was believed to be headed by Atum, with whom he was merged. The Holiday of 'The Receiving of Ra' was celebrated on May 26 in the Gregorian calendar.

The rise of Christianity in the Roman empire caused an end to the worship of Ra by the citizens of Egypt[2], and as Ra's popularity suddenly died out, the study of Ra became purely for academic knowledge even among the Egyptian priests.[3]

In Popular Culture

  • The god Ra was portrayed by Jaye Davidson in the 1994 movie Stargate (film),in which he is depicted as a power-hungry alien being in the form of a young boy, who voyaged across the galaxy searching for a new host that could sustain his dying body. Also he's shown as the creator of the human civilization on earth about 10 000 years ago.

Notes

  1. ^ Metz, H. C. (Ed.). (1990). Historical setting. In Egypt: A country study (ancient egypt) [Report]. Library of Congress. Washington, D.C.: Federal Research Division. Retrieved November 15, 2008, from Sam Houston State University, Dept. of History Web site: http://www.shsu.edu/~his_ncp/Egypt.html
  2. ^ Quirke, S. (2001). The cult of Ra: Sun-worship in ancient Egypt. (pp. 144). New York: Thames and Hudson.
  3. ^ Müller, M. (2002). Ra. In D. B. Redford (Ed.), The ancient gods speak: A guide to Egyptian religion (pp. 328). New York: Oxford University Press, USA.

Composites

  • Collier, Mark and Manley, Bill. How to Read Egyptian Hieroglyphs: Revised Edition. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998.
  • Salaman, Clement, Van Oyen, Dorine, Wharton, William D, and Mahé, Jean-Pierre. The Way of Hermes: New Translations of the Corpus Hermeticum and The Definitions of Hermes Trismegistus to Asclepius. Rochester: Inner Traditions, 1999.

Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Carla Rueckert article)

From Wikiquote

Carla Rueckert is an American author who was known primarily as a psychic and trance medium or spirit medium who channeled a social memory complex named Ra.

Quotations as Ra

Sourced

  • I am Ra. Consider, if you will, a simple example of intentions which are bad/good. This example is Adolf. This is your vibratory sound complex. The intention is to presumably unify by choosing the distortion complex called elite from a social memory complex and then enslaving, by various effects, those who are seen as the distortion of not-elite. There is then the concept of taking the social memory complex thus weeded and adding it to a distortion thought of by the so-called Orion group as an empire. The problem facing them is that they face a great deal of random energy released by the concept of separation. This causes them to be vulnerable as the distortions amongst their own members are not harmonized.
    • Session 7

External links

Wikipedia
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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also ra, RA, , , and

Contents

Translingual

Symbol

Ra

  1. (chemistry) Symbol for radium.

English

Proper noun

Singular
Ra

Plural
-

Ra

  1. (Egyptian mythology) The Egyptian god of the sun.

Noun

Singular
Ra

Plural
Ras

Ra (plural Ras)

  1. (geology) Any of a series of moraines, in parts of Norway, that are long ridges covered with stones.

Anagrams


Simple English

[[File:|thumb|160 px|Ra with head of falcon]] For the chemical element, see Radium.

D10
The Eye of Ra,
Ra
in hieroglyphs
r:a-N5:Z1-C2 ,

N5:Z1-C2, or C2

In Egyptian mythology, Ra was the god of the sun. He was also called Re. He was the most important god in ancient Egypt. He had many names, such as Amun-Ra, and Ra-Horakhty. It was said he was born each morning in the East, and died each night in the West. In the night he traveled through the underworld. This is why the West side of the Nile was known as the land of the dead.

Contents

Name

Ra’s name came from Re and Amun. The name Re was from Upper Egypt and the name Amun came from Lower Egypt. When Upper and Lower Egypt came together they changed the name to Amun-Re. Over thousands of years the name Amun-Re evolved into Amun-Ra and then just to Ra. From then on people called him Re or Ra. Ra used to mean “mouth” in the Egyptian Language. Some names are:Re, the Creator, Khepry, etc.

Looks

Ra has lots of forms and looks. He has a sun disk floating above his head. He looked a lot like Horus. Ra can be a scarab beetle pushing the sun disc, a hawk or a man with a hawk head. He has lots of forms when he goes to the Netherworld (underworld).

Friends and Enemies

Some time around the Middle Kingdom, Ra and Osiris became friends. This was unusual because Osiris lived in the Underworld and Ra lived in the Heavens. All the other gods wanted to be friends with Ra. They hoped that if they were friends with Ra, that Ra would tell them Ra’s hidden name. But Ra did have some enemies. Set was sometimes Ra’s enemy, but Set did help Ra fight Apep, a snake god. The fact that Set helped Ra reminded all of the gods that Set was not all bad.

Worship

The cult of Ra began to grow from around the time of the II Dynasty, establishing Ra as the sun god. By the IV Dynasty, the Pharaohs were seen as "Sons of Ra". His worship increased much in the V Dynasty, when he became a state deity. Pharaohs had pyramids, obelisks and solar temples built in his honor.

Powers

Ra was the greatest god when it came to powers. His powers live in his hidden name. Only he knew his hidden name so only he could use the powers. It was said that he had the best powers through out the land. He could make anything, he made people, he made the world, and he made the heavens. That is how great his powers were. One day Isis wanted to have his powers so she sent a serpent to poison him on his daily walk and when the pain was so bad, Ra gave in and told her his hidden name. Ever since then Isis has had some of Ra’s powers.

Family

Everyone wanted to be in Ra’s family because he was the main god (and probably the only god that lived in heaven.) His daughter that he had with Nut (his grand-daughter) was named Hathor, the goddess of love. Ra had two children Shu, the god of air and Tefnut, the goddess of morning dew. They had two children named Nut, the goddess of the sky and Geb, the god of earth. They had four children named Isis, the goddess of home, Nephthys, the goddess of mourning, Set, the god of the desert, and Osiris, god of the afterlife. They paired up and had two more babies, Anubis, god of embalming, and Horus, god of the pharaohs.

Refererences

  1. Remler, Pat, Egyptian Mythology from A-Z 180-181
  2. Watterson, Barbara, Gods of ancient Egypt
  3. Wilkinson, Richard, The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt
  4. John, Banes and Jaromir, Malek, The Cultural Atlas of the World: Ancient Egypt 173

Other Websites








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