Ra

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Name

Ra

r
a
N5
Z1
C2
or
N5
Z1
C2
or
C2
or
N5

Sun

Names - Alternate

Re
Ra-Heruakhty (Ra [is] Horus of the Horizon)

Appearance

Ra most often appears as a hawk-headed man with the uraeus-enclosed sun-disc atop His head.

He can also appear as an Egyptian desert cat, especially in His role as a slayer of Apep (Greek: Apophis).

In early dynasties, Ra was never anthropomorphized, but rather conceptualized in the image of the obelisk.

Parents

Ra is one of the oldest Kemetic deities as His worship is recorded as early as the second dynasty. In fact, in some of the oldest creation myths, Ra was the self-created one; the divine being who became self-aware within the primordial waters of chaos and created the Seen world.

Children

Ra is said to have many children, in fact, as creator, all beings are considered his children. Most notably among them are: Bast, Djehuty, Hethert, Sekhmet, Shu, Tefnut, Yinepu, and the Eye of Ra.

Epithets

  • Lord of all Creation
  • The Great He-She
  • Father of the Gods

Roles

From the earliest times, Ra has been revered as the creator of the universe and Lord of all Creation. He is the created world's first defense against the forces of evil (isfet) and is the quintessential King of the World.

Worship Centers

Festivals

  • Wep Ronpet

Creation Story

In the story of the Ennead, Ra is often merged with Atum, to form Atum-Ra. In other versions of the same myth, Ra rises out of Nun as Khepera.

Myths

As the sun, Ra travels through both the daytime and nighttime skies in his barque. At sunrise, Ra takes the form of Khepera as a beetle rolling the sun through the sky. At noon, Ra takes the form of Ra-Heruakhety. And at sunset, Ra takes the form of the elder, Atum. The myth states that from the old cycles Ra had to take, he eventually became old and too weary to run the kingdom as Nisut, he appointed Shu in his place as Nisut. And Nut lifted Ra up on her back to his place in the sky. Now Ra travels through the skies still, every sunset he is swallowed by Nut, and every morning Nut gives birth to the rejuvenated Ra, in his form of Khepera.

In addition to this creation myth, we have a few other myths involving Ra:

  • When Ra was still Nisut and aged, Aset tricked Ra into telling her Ra's secret name (Ren)
  • Ra created Sekhmet from his Eye to destroy mankind when he overheard mankind plotting against him

Hymns

Ancient

Homage to thee, O thou who risest in the horizon as Ra,
Thou restest upon law unchangeable and unalterable.
Thou passest over the sky, and every face watcheth thee and thy course,
For thou hast been hidden from their gaze.
Thou dost show thyself at dawn and at eventide day by day.
The Sektet* boat, wherein is the Majesty, goeth forth with light;
Thy beams are upon all faces;
The [number] of red and yellow rays cannot be known,
Nor can thy bright beams be told.
The lands of the gods, and the lands of Punt* must be seen,
Ere that which is hidden [in thee] may be measured.
Alone and by thyself thou dost manifest thyself when thou comest into being above Nu*.
May I advance, even as thou dost advance;
May I never cease to go forward as thou never ceasest to go forward, even though it be for a moment;
For with strides thou dost in one little moment pass over the spaces which would need millions and millions of years
[For men to pass over; this] thou doest and then thou dost sink to rest.
Thou puttest an end to the hours of the night, and
Thou dost count them, even thou; thou endest them in thine own appointed season,
And the earth becometh light.
Thou settest thyself therefore before thy handiwork in the likeness of
Ra [when] thou risest on the horizon."

[1]

Offerings

Food/Drink

  • Oranges
  • Popcorn

Items

  • Obelisks
  • Pyramids
  • Suns
  • Rays

Stones

Scents

Colours

  • Red
  • Yellow
  • Orange

Flowers

  • Sunflowers
  • Lotus flowers
  • Water lilies

Prayer Associations

Common Misconceptions

External Links

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