There are quite literally hundreds of gods in the Egyptian pantheon, although most of them are considered 'aspects' of the major gods. The Sun (Re) is the source of all life and it was worshipped under a variety of names and incarnations by the Egyptians. The sun is most often represented as falcon-headed Ra, but also as Atum, Khepri, Harakhty, and the Aten, or Sun Disk.
The primary god of Thebes, Amun, was legimitized by linking him to Ra, creating Amun-Ra, the 'King of the Gods'.
Egyptians believed that in the begining, there was nothing but a great sea of Chaos, Nun. Then, the first god, Atum, came into being (he willed himself into being) and created the gods Shu and Tefnut. He caused the sea to recede and the lan to rise from it, and created all the animals.
Shu and Tefnut created two children, Get, the earth, and Nut, the sky (who is often shown on the ceiling of tombs as a woman straddling the world). Nut created the starts.
A major god in Egyptian history is Osiris, the king who taught the Egyptians how to live. and worship. He also taught them husbandry. He was murdered by his jealous brother, Seth, and his body was cut up and scattered over Egypt. His wife, Isis, collected the pieces and they put him back together as the first mummy. Isis, with the help of the gods Thoth and Anubis, resurrected her husband and conceived a son, Horus. Osiris is the lord and judge of the dead.
- Major Gods
Amun -- the primary god of Thebes, the creator of all things. He controls the wind and the weather. Usually shown as a human with rams horns and two tall feathers on his head. In some other forms, he is Amun-re and Amun-min, the fertility god, shown as a mummiform shape with an erect phallus. He is part of the Theban Triad, along with Mut (his wife), and Khonsu, his adopted son.
- Anubis -- jackal-headed, the god of embalmers and mummification. He invented enbalming (practicing on the collected corpse of Osiris). He is usually scene in tombs weighing the dead persons heart against a feather, to allow him entry into th enext world. Anubis was the original Lord of the Dead, inthe Old Kingdom, but was supplanted by Osiris.
- Apophis -- a serpent-shaped god of chaos, kept in check by Bastet and Seckmet.
- Aten -- the sun disk worshipped by Akhenaten during the Amarna Period. SHown as a sun with long rays ending in human hands, he may have been the focus of the first monotheistic religion in history.
- Bastet -- the cat-goddess of the Delta, a daughter of Ra. SHe represented the power of the sun to produce crops. She was a friendly diety, although later associated with Sekhmet, the lioness war-goddess. Usually shown as a woman with a cat's head.
- Bes - a fat dwarf with a bushy tail, usually shown with his tongue out, the god of childbirth. It is interesting to not that he is usually drawn from the front, rather than in profile, as are most Egyptian figures.
- Hapy -- The god-representation fo the river Nile. He is shown as a bearded man with roll of flesh on his belly, sometimes with a breast.
- Hathor -- the cow-headed goddes of love, pleasure and beauty. She is often "merged' with Isis in later myths, and transmuted into Aphrodite by the greeks. She eventually became known as a goddess of the dead and the underworld. She is sometimes shown as a human woman with cow ears and tall horns with a disk between. Many temples have columns topped with her image.
- Horus -- falcon-headed god, son of Osiris and Isis. The pharaohs closely identified with Horus.
- Isis -- wife of Osiris, goddess of magic. She was one of the most important of the Egyptian goddesses. Her name means 'throne'. She was held in high esteem as the perfect wife and mother and was the goddess of protection. She is shown as a woman with two tall horns and a disk between them on her head (like Hathor, but without the ears). There are many representations of her with her sun Horus, in poses that strongly suggest the madonna and child images of CHristianity millennia later.
- Khnum -- a ram-headed god with long twisted horns, who created the first man by molding him out of Nile mud on a potters wheel. He was responsible for determining whether the Nile flooded each year and how high the inundation would be.
- Maat -- the goddess of truth and balance, the daughter of Re and Thoth. She is often seen balancing the heart of a dead person against a feather, which is how she is represnted -- a woman with a single ostrich feather on her head.
- Montu -- The war god, a hawk-headed man with a sun disk between two plumes on his head.
- Mut -- An ancient vulture goddess, who later was married to Amun and made part of the Theban Triad. SHe is the mistress of heaven and is usually shown as a cow, or with the double crown of Egypt on her head.
- Nekhbet - vulture goddess, representing Upper Egypt
- Nut -- Goddess of the sky. SHe was the wife and sister of Geb, the earth god. The egyptians believed that she gave birth to Osiris, Horus, Seth, Isis and Nepthys. She is usually shown as naked woman arched over the sky.
- Osiris -- God of the Underworld and judge of the dead. HIs story is part of the major mythology of Egypt. He is usually shown as a mummifed man, with a crook and flail crossed in front of him, and the double crown of Egypt with two feathers.
- Ptah -- creator god and patron of workers. He wsa the husband of Sekhmet. He is always shown as a mummified man, with a clean-shaven head.
- Ra - the primary god, the Sun. He travels across the sky each day in his chariot and through the underworld each night, along with Re. Usually shown as a hawk-headed man with the sun disk on his head, or as a ram-headed god.
- Sekhmet -- lion-headed goddess of destruction. Sekhmet is often seen as another aspect of the goddess Hathor. SHe was also associated with pestilence and disease, as well as healing.
- Seth - god of chaos, usually considered evil. He was subsumed into the concept of the devil by the christian era. He tries to prevent the sun from rising each day. In most inscriptions, he is shown as an animal - a greyhound, dog, pig, ass, okapi, anteater, hippo. HIs human-form has a long downturned snout and squared ears beneath the double crown of Egypt.
- Sobek -- the crocodile-headed god, a protector of kings and reptiles.
- Thoth - Ibis-headed, god of writing and wisdom, the inventor of writing, the creator of language, and the patron of scribes. He gave Egyptians the knowledge of medicine and mathematics.