Facts about ra the god of the sun in Egypt

Facts about Ra the god of the sun in Egypt | Ra Egyptian god

Ra Egyptian god

Ra Egyptian god was known as the god of heaven, the lord of the sun and creator of the origin of life within Egyptian mythology. He was the symbol of sunlight, which grants life but is also responsible for the cycle of death and resurrection.
Ra is the god who represents the midday sun, in its maximum splendor. It is said that in ancient Egyptian it was within the gods, one of the most important figures.

Ra god of Egypt

The story of this god in Egyptian mythology has a fabulous context because it is said that in the beginning of the world there was no light and only darkness existed, accompanied by a large expanse of water that was known under the name of Nun.
It is said that Nun’s power was so great that from inside the darkness he made a big and shiny egg sprout and from inside that egg Ra emerged. Neither his parents nor his wife are known, although some writings place him as the son of the gods Nun and Naunet because of the history of his origin.
The god Ra had an infinite power that gave him the opportunity to do whatever he wanted, even change his form. Although he was a human man, he was constantly transforming himself into a bird.
Among his powers was also that of the word, since it is said that everything he named took shape and if it was something inanimate, it gave it life. His name alone had so much power that it was always kept secret so that no one could use it.
He is physically represented as a man with the head of a hawk, or a hawk when he took the form of a bird, crowned with the solar disk which was surrounded by the ureum, an image that became the preferred protective emblem of many pharaohs, holding the cross of the ankh and a scepter.
With this representation it takes the form of Ra-Harajti, which means the midday sun and being worshipped under this evocation by the people. Sometimes he appears walking in a walking position and in other images he is seen sitting on a throne.
The god Ra set out to create the sun saying that “at dawn I am called Khepri, at noon Ra and at dusk Atum, appealing to the power of his word.
Some accounts suggest that at dawn the god Ra swallowed a multitude of gods alluding to it with the stars, which disappear at dawn and reappear at dusk. It is said that with this action, the god Ra absorbed the powers of the gods, thus renewing his own vitality and then throwing them out every night.

Ra god Egypt

Being considered the god of creation began with the first appearance of the sun which came to illuminate the darkness. The sun rose above the horizon, but then, at sunset, the lord sun, falling from the heavens to hide again.
After this the god Ra named Shu with his mouth, and the winds that were first gathered and began to blow originated. To complement the scene, Ra evoked the name of Tefnut, and immediately the rain became present drop by drop.
He continued with the process of creation and later named Geb, who just by naming him, the earth was formed and to keep him company he named the goddess Nut, and the firmament was arched over the earth. In love with his beloved Egypt, Ra named Hapi so that the majestic River Nile would be created, and it began to flow through Egypt, fertilizing the fields and the wide valley in its path.
After creating the sky, the earth, the rivers and nature, Ra continued to name one by one all the things on earth, becoming real and alive just by naming them. Finally, she gave names to men and women, and civilizations spread out, populating the whole earth.

Ra god of sun facts

Among the characteristics we have that he is a god who possesses the body of a man with the head of a hawk, on which he carried the solar disk.
Ra god was only one of the many solar deities that existed in ancient Egypt along with Jonsu and Horus. It is said that he was the official god of the pharaohs, he is even considered to be their son.
The god Ra ruled Egypt for thousands of years bringing welfare and prosperity to its inhabitants. During his rule he kept the fields productive by getting good crops. He was the major ruler who imposed his laws to maintain the order of the peoples and their civilizations.
With his eye of Ra gave a terrifying glance, thus creating the goddess Sekhmet, an evil goddess. As a creator of the fields, besides the sun he also represented fertility and germination power. He was the ruler of the world.

Ra god of sun

Ra god of sun, and patron of all known creation. Although it is well known that according to Egyptian mythology Ra did not create everything, “The creator of all things” can be read in some ancient inscriptions.
It is known that Ra is recognized as the one who allows life, by traveling on a barge (Mandjet) carrying sunlight through Nut according to this mythology. Furthermore, Ra is one of the three fundamental entities of the sun, Ra being the dominant or most intense of these entities.
Was the main protector of the pharaohs. He was in charge of bringing everything to life, and he fought every night against the evil and chaos that came from Apophis to break the cosmic balance.

Ra mythology

Ra’s role was to sail through the heavens during the day in his ship called “The Boat of a Million Years”. In the morning, when Ra emerged from the east, his ship was named “Madjet”, which means “to become strong”. At the end of the day, the ship was called “Semektet”, which means “to become weak”. Ra was reborn at dawn the next day. During his journey through the heavens during the day, he fought with his main enemy, an evil serpent called Apep, or also, The Lord of Chaos.
Ra, in the form of a cat named Mau, defeats the evil snake, Apep. This is part of the reason why cats are so revered in Egypt.
Ra created himself out of primordial chaos. He is also known as Re and Atum. His children are Shu, the god of dry air and the father of heaven, and his twin sister Tefnut, the goddess of moisture and humidity. As a lion-headed goddess, Tefnut is responsible for dew and freshness. Humans were created from the tears of Ra.

Although Ra was highly revered and worshipped by the ancient Egyptians, there is a story that suggests that he eventually weakened. In the Legend of Ra, Isis and the serpent, as Ra grew older, dripped with saliva. Isis knew that Ra’s power was hidden in his secret name. Isis collected Ra’s saliva and created a snake with it. She placed the snake in Ra’s path and bit him. Isis wanted the power that Ra had always enjoyed, but she knew she had to get him to tell her his secret name. Finally, because of the pain he was in, Ra allowed Isis to “search through him” and in doing so, she healed him and Ra’s power was transferred to her.

God Ra symbol

The Tree of Life is an important religious symbol for the Egyptians. The Tree of Life was located inside the solar temple of Ra in Heliopolis and was considered sacred. The fruit that sprouted from this tree was not available to humans, but only in the aging rituals reserved for the pharaohs. The Tree of Life is also known as the mythical and sacred tree of Ished. Eternal life came to those who ate the fruit of the Tree of Life.

Ra is usually represented as a man with the head of a hawk or bird, in this animal head you can notice that he carries the solar disk on his back. In addition, he is sometimes accompanied by the traveller’s staff or a tabernacle, to refer to his passage through the sky.

It should be known that the importance of Ra was enormous as the main god of the pharaohs, who were the guides of an entire society. This is why the cult of Ra had such an impact in Egypt around 2400 BC. Where the pharaohs claimed to be the reincarnation of Ra.

Although we can find many references to Amun-Ra, which is the name of the deity when combined with the Theban god Amun. Both preserve their symbolism, powers and cults, being the national god.

The symbols that represented Ra were the Pharaoh’s headdress, the disc of the sun, the sunlight and the Egyptian eye of Ra, an earlier version of the eye of Horus. Sometimes he was seen as a cow or even an ox.

Boat of Ra

It was believed that Ra traveled in two solar boats called the Mandjet (the Million Years Boat), or morning boat and the Mesektet, or evening boat. These boats took him on his journey through the sky and the Duat, the underworld of Egypt. When Ra traveled in his solar boat, he was accompanied by several deities, including Sia (Perception) and Hu (Order) as well as Heka (Magical Power). Sometimes members of the Aeneid assisted him in his journey, including Seth, who defeated the serpent Apophis, and Mehen, who defended him against the monsters of the underworld. When Ra was in the underworld.
When Ra was in the underworld, he joined Osiris, the god of the dead, thus acquiring this function as well.

Temple of Ra and worship of Ra

Among the temples where he was venerated was the famous Karnak, known as the fortified city, or “the most revered place” as it was known in the early days of the ancient Egyptian. It was located opposite Luxor, in an area of ancient Thebes, where the most important religious complex in all of Egypt resided.
Also, the Luxor temple, which was located in the heart of ancient Thebes. It was dedicated to the god Amun under his two aspects of Amun-Ra, who was considered the god of the sky, god of the Sun and the origin of life in Egyptian mythology.
Luxor was the place that concentrated the worship and where the processions took place, which were the activities that were done to honor the god Amon-Ra. By 2400 B.C. he had become the main god of the pharaohs, is even considered as one of his reincarnations.
During the period of Amarna, which dates back to the 14th century BC, the pharaoh Akhenaten suppressed the cult of Amon-Ra, transferring it to a single solar deity which was the god Aton, the deified solar disk, but after the death of the pharaoh the cult of the god Amon-Ra was restored.

Relationship with other gods, Gods united with Ra

Since the XII Dynasty which was the time between the years 1990 BC to 1785 BC, the myth of the god Ra was compared with Amun of Thebes and many other gods, except the god Ptah.

Amun-Ra Egyptian god

It is said that Amon-Ra was a deity of the Theban culture which became the most important in the region once the city of Thebes began to grow notably, thus becoming the capital of Egyptian supremacy
The Thebans achieved wide and decisive power after they expelled the Hyksos, who were foreign rulers who took control of Lower Egypt in the mid-17th century BC, from their territories, thus laying the foundation for the 17th Dynasty to remain in power for several decades.
In the beginning Amon was considered the god of air, but then he was linked to the myth of the god Ra, so then his name became Amon-Ra, who was the god of the sun and life in Egyptian mythology. He became the most transcendental god of this culture, and was so relevant in ancient times that he was conceived as the most important and powerful deity.
Amon-Ra had a huge feathered crown on his head. He was physically represented as a red- or blue-skinned man.
In another of his representations he appeared as a normal and complete man, while in other images he was symbolized with the body of a man but with the head of an animal, but both with the crown of feathers.
It is said that in his hands he held two typical objects of the Egyptian culture, one of them is the uas scepter, which was a rod which contained the head of a fantastic animal on the tip of it. This object was a symbol of authority and mastery.
The other of the objects he held in his hands was the ankh cross, also known as the Egyptian cross, called the key of life, for that which was the god that gave life. This was a god that captured the attention and devotion of the Pharaohs, becoming more important to them than the god of war.
It was considered as the omnipresent god, because it had the power to be everywhere, could intervene in everything because everything was seen. It was the god most requested by the Egyptians and Pharaohs, who resorted to the evocation of his name with the intention of granting them favors.
Within the ancient scriptures he was described as a Pharaoh and also considered the king of ancient Egypt. Because Amon-Ra was considered a pharaoh, he enjoyed the devotion given to him since in his culture they were taken as divine beings besides being the political authorities. During his worship he received special treatment from the Egyptians under the belief that he was an immortal being.

Atum and Atum-Ra

Atum-Ra or Ra-Atum was another composite deity formed by two different gods, although Ra was more similar to Atum than to Amon. Atum was more closely related to the Sun, being also the creator god of the Aenead. Both Ra and Atum were considered the parents of the gods and pharaohs, being widely worshipped. In ancient myths, Atum was the creator of Tefnut and Shu, being born from the ocean Nun.

Ra and Osiris

At the same time, the god Ra also appears with Osiris, representing it as the god of the resurrection and life, even transforming his name, which kept secret that the new evocation became Ra-hetep-em-Usir meaning “Ra that lies in Osiris.
In ancient times, the god Ra was considered the god of the dead and adviser of the dead, an attribute that was in conflict with Osirianism, it was later that Osiris triumphed as sovereign and judge of the dead.
In times of Ramses II who was the third pharaoh of the nineteenth dynasty of Egypt, and detected a solar synthesis, clearly expressed in the tomb of Nefertari, Egyptian queen and wife of the pharaoh, which defines the “complex soul”, representing the union of Osiris and Ra, symbolized as a mummy and where he prayed the saying: “Osiris, who rests in Ra, and Ra who rests in Osiris.
The scriptures of the New Kingdom recall the scale with which the god Ra weighs the consciousness of the dead. However, this function in the funerary world, did not detract from the other advantages of Ra, limited in its extension by the authority that grew from the thoughts and ideals framed in the so-called Osiris.
Ra appeared on the primeval hill, rejecting chaos through light and heat. In some cultures he is taken as the creator of men, whose origin comes from their tears, and from the gods themselves.

Ra hours

Two of these deities are the god Ra and the god Horus. Ra was considered in ancient times as the god of heaven and therefore with mastery of the elements that were in it so also was given the title of the god of the Sun.
Because his myth is located in the dates of the beginning of the world, it was granted as a power to the god Ra the gift of giving life so it was also known as the god of fertility. Ra was taken as the icon of sunlight, the one who granted life. He was also given the responsibility to be the watchdog of the cycle of death and resurrection.
He was the god that the sun in all its phases and seasons. In his depiction of the noonday sun, he showed his full splendor. He was considered the most important and respected god of the entire dynasty in methodology for the power of creation.
He could transform himself into other gods according to the season of the sun that he adopted so it was said that every night he passed through the world in the form of the god Auf-Ra, which means “the setting sun”.
While the god Horus, was the god of the cosmos in Egyptian mythology. Considered to be the founder of the Egyptian peoples. At one point of coincidence with the god Ra, he was considered the god of heaven, but unlike Ra, Horus was also considered the god of hunting.
The myth of Horus if you have a record of who their parents were, which were the gods Isis and Osiris, while the myth of the god Ra are no parents and rather is attributed something fantastic to his birth alluding even that it was not born but was created by magic and came out of an egg.
Another point of agreement between both stories is that the two gods are described as men with falcon heads, only that one has on his head a lunar disc and the other a double crown, it is said that it was in the time of the New Empire where the god Horus was associated with the god Ra, but Horus prevails as the oldest real god who was shaped like a hawk.
One of the characteristics that highlight Horus was that it contained in its eyes the sun and moon, but then the religious attributed to the god Ra have power and authority over the sun, leaving the eye of Horus as the representation of the moon.
Some writings indicate that the god Horus was for a long time the protector and defender of the boat of the god Ra. It is also noted that it was with the help of Horus, the god Ra could establish his dominance over the northern regions.

Eye of Ra

The best known symbol of Ra is his eye, which is similar to the eye of Horus, but embodies several similar notions, one of which is the sinister outcome that occurs when the goddess of the eye loses control and the gods try to bring her back to peace. This is a key fact within the accounts of Egyptian mythology
The Eye of Ra, is an element of ancient Egyptian mythology that symbolizes the female counterpart of the god Ra. In addition to this, it shows another phase of the god, his violent face and with great strength with which he manages to dominate his enemies.
Besides being a symbol, the eye is an extension of the power of Ra. This power is related to the bearing of the disc of the sun. It is also an element that helps him to differentiate himself as the independent entity that he is.
With respect to its violent character, the Eye becomes protection and defends the god Ra from any element or enemy that threatens to destabilize his government. The character of danger presented by the goddess of the Eye, is represented by a lioness, along with a uraeus or cobra, which have meaning of protection and real authority.
The Eye of Ra was involved in several areas of Egyptian religion, including the cults of the goddesses who were associated with her. The power it possesses to give life has been celebrated during multiple rituals in different temples.
The characteristic of being a dangerous amulet was used to protect the pharaoh, but also sacred places and common people within their homes.
Other of the representations that the eye of Ra has is its destructive character that manifests the power of the god Ra. An example of this is the heat of the sun, which can be so rigorous in Egypt, which has become a weapon more efficient than any other with which you could attack the god.
The solar uraeus represents the Eye as a dangerous force that surrounds the god of the sun and protects him from his enemies by launching flashes of flame that become a deadly poison. Sometimes he uses this type of encirclement to surround the boat, called the “Hathor of the Four Faces”, which figure the vigilance of the Eye in the four cardinal points.

In conclusion, we hope this article has provided you with a greater understanding of Ra, his symbolism, and his place in ancient and modern times. Thank you for joining us on this enlightening journey.

Explore more about package holidays to Egypt by visiting our website or contacting our dedicated team for further inquiries. Your adventure through the wonders of Egypt awaits! Plan your holiday from here.

Planning Your own package holidays to Egypt?

Tell us about your Dream Tour , and We will make it Real

    Personal Information

    Tour Duration

    You are asking about