The Gods of Ancient Egypt -- The Game of the Moon

The Game of the Moon

Know that in the Ancient Times in the land of Egypt, there was the moon-god Khonsu. In those days the Moon shone almost as brightly as the Sun, and it did not change from night to night. Khonsu held up the Moon over the land of Egypt every night, and it was second only to the Sun Boat of Ra.

Now Khonsu was a jealous god, and desired the knowledge of secret things that occurred in the shadows where his light did not touch. He was envious of Thoth, who knew all and heard all secrets and knew the thoughts of men before they reached their lips.

He challenged Thoth to a game of Senet. Each god wagered a portion of his power. Thoth wagered secret knowledge, Khonsu wagered a portion of his light. The game went on for many hours, each god being an equally skilled player of Senet. Many of the other gods gathered around to cheer on their favorite.

Finally, each player had only once piece on the board, both on the square called the House of Atum-Ra, where a piece may leave only if a two is thrown. The final casting of the sticks would determine the winner. Khonsu went first, he cast a three, and was unable to move. Thoth cast a two and won the game.

Thoth took the piece of Khonsu's light, placed it in his crown, and henceforth became known as a moon-god. Khonsu remained the god of the moon, but ever after, he cannot show his full light. Each night he grows a little larger until he shines brightly once more, but then he becomes dimmer and dimmer, finally growing dark.

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