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The Gods of Ancient Egypt -- Ra


Ra

Other Names: Re Patron of: the sun, heaven, kingship, power, light.


Appearance: a pharaoh wearing the sun disk on his head.

Description: Ra was the almost universally-worshipped king of the gods and all-father of creation. A sun god, he was said to command the chariot that rode across the sky during the day. A king, he was the patron of the pharaoh. Ra is the most central god of the Egyptian pantheon. Ra's position in the pantheon is unusual. He is the only god, apart from Osiris, who is definitely said to be not on the earth. Ra, it is said, is an aging god, still powerful, but too old to deal with his children any longer, so he has gone exclusively to the sky to watch over the world. Horus rules over the earth and the gods in his stead, demonstrating the divine right of kingship.

Worship: Worshipped widely throughout Egypt, Ra was the principal sun god for centuries.

Variants:

Amun-Ra
Composite deity with Amun (starting around the XI Dynasty), creator of the universe, worshipped primarily at Thebes.

Ra-Atum/Atum-Ra
A composite deity with Atum. The primordial creative force combined with the ruler of the gods. In this form, Ra also symbolized the setting sun and its journey through the underworld to its rising in the east.

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