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Thursday, September 24, 2009

God of the Week -- Khnum

Thursday, September 24, 2009
In Egyptian mythology, Khnum, was one of the earliest deities in the mythology. He was honored as the god of the source of the Nile. And as such, since the Nile brings down silt and clay, the Egyptians believed that he made mankind out of clay on a potter wheel. Later it was believed that he made the other deities as well.

Khnum was also honored as the protector of the waters of the Underworld. Because he was so often portrayed with the head of a ram, he was sometimes recognized as a god of fertility. Later he was also given the job of creating the soul along with the body, the soul being called 'ka'. According to the Book of the Dead he was prayed to since it was believed that he could intervene when you stood before Ma'at for judgement after your life was over.

O my heart ...
Do not stand up against me as a witness!
Do not create opposition against me among the assessors!
Do not tip the scales against me in the presence of the Keeper of the Balance!
You are my soul which is in my body,
The god Khnum who makes my limbs sound.
When you go forth to the Hereafter,
My name shall not stink to the courtiers who create people on his behalf.
Do not tell lies about me in the presence of the Great God!

-- Heart scarab spell, translation by Thomas J. Logan

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