There are many examples of Egyptian myths used in contemporary society. In ancient times, Egyptian myths were used as a way for people to get a better understanding of the world in which they lived. They were grand stories of heart pounding adventure that sought to explain the prophecies of a world foretold and the key to the mysteries of life. Quite often fragments of oral legend are used as popular examples of Egyptian myths. They are mostly depicted in movies and television shows as a base for a storyline.
Examples of well-known Egyptian myths include:
This is the story of the water called "Nun" and the great shining egg called "Re." Re took the shape of a man and became the first Pharaoh, ruling for thousands of years.
But as he grew older, people laughed at him and no longer obeyed this rules, so Re had a daughter who he sent out to slay those who had disobeyed him. After a while Re decided to take back his daughter's powers.
Re grew old but he found Isis, a magician, who was able to protect him from snakebite and who gave him peace.
Osiris was a popular ruler who had an evil brother named Seth who created a custom coffin and convinced Osiris to get in. The sealed coffin was eventually found by Isis, Osiris' wife, under a tree; however, the body was no longer in the coffin since Seth had scattered the parts of Osiris throughout Egypt.
Isis was able to put Osiris back together and they had a son named Horus. Horus grew up and went out to battle to find Set and avenge the death of his father. Neither one won.
Osiris was declared king of the underworld, Horus was named king of the living and Set became ruler of the deserts and the god of chaos and evil.
The King of Egypt, Son of Ra, had many sons. His favorite was Thutmose; but, Thutmose was not designated to be the next King.
One day Thutmose came across the Great Sphinx which was covered in sand up to its neck. Thutmose sat down by the Great Sphinx and took a nap. While napping he dreamed that the Sphinx told Thutmose that he would be king if he uncovered the Great Sphinx.
When Thutmose woke up he remembered his dream and promised to uncover the Sphinx. He eventually became the King of Egypt.
This myth follows the journey of a father and son who boldly go to the land of the dead. Unlike most myths, in this one it is the son who teaches his father an invaluable life lesson.
The Story of the Land of the Dead
There was once a father and son, both of regal lineage, who sat watching two funerals from the archs in the palace at Thebes. The son, a renowned child magician, watched both funerals carefully as the father, who was a Prince in the palace, watched in awe of only the rich man’s funeral.
As it was, the father and son of royal lineage sat watching both funerals rather precociously until the father made a comment that the son would not soon forget.
“When I die, I want my funeral to be like that of the rich man!” he said now watching both funerals proceed to load up on the boats on the Nile.“I hope your funeral is like that of the poor man,” the son replied.
To this statement, the father was crushed. He could not believe that his own son would want a poor man’s funeral for him. Seeing his father’s anger, the boy tried to explain what he meant to his father.
“Things just aren’t what they seem father. I will show you.”
The boy knew the secret words that could open doors to worlds unseen, including to the land of the dead.
For this, their lives in the land of the dead would mirror how they chose to act in life.
So the boy and his father went to the temple of Osiris where the boy spoke the magic words that would set their souls free to travel to the land of the dead.
In the spirit world the boy and his father took on the bodies of golden birds with human heads. It was on this most dangerous journey, that took them through several levels of worlds unseen, that took them finally to the land of the dead.
While there the two stood witness to the judgments handed down to each man.
The poor man was sent to forever dwell in the fields of peace.The rich man was sent to the pits of fire.
On the way back the father understood why his son had wished the fate of the poor man to him.
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