Kate Monk's Onomastikon

(Dictionary of Names)

Egyptian Religion

Some gods, originally just local deities, gained the status of national cults due to, for instance, the particular favour of a Pharaoh. They often continued to be associated with a particular place such as Amun of Thebes, Ptah of Memphis, Re of Heliopolis and had large permanent staffs of attendants at their temples whilst smaller local deities had their shrines served part-time by local people of high standing. Ordinary people were not allowed in the temples.

Three Forces

Heqa - magic, creativity Sia - perception Hu - divine word

The Ogdoad (Eight)

These were pairs of gods and goddesses who were worshipped in early times. Sometimes the pairs included were different but there were never more than eight. Amun later became one of the most important gods.

Nun and Nunet primeval waters
Heh and Hehet eternity
Kek and Keket darkness
Tenem and Tenemet twilight
Amun and Amunet 'hiddenness'

The Ennead (Nine)

These were the first generations of the Egyptian 'holy family' of deities.

God Attributes Parents Spouse
1 Atum 'the All'   Iusaas
2 Shu (male) dry, preserving Atum? Tefnut
3 Tefnut (female) moist, corrosive Atum? Shu
4 Geb (male) Earth Shu and Tefnut? Nut
5 Nut (female) Sky Shu and Tefnut? Geb
6 Osiris, Asar afterlife, death, judge Geb and Nut Isis
7 Isis, Aset   Geb and Nut Osiris
8 Seth, Sed, Set, Sety, Sutekh storms, evil, chaos (composite animal) Geb and Nut Nepthys
9 Nepthys, Nekhbet, Nebethut Upper Egypt (vulture Nekheb/ElKab) Geb and Nut Seth

Horus, Har, Heru Kingship/falcon head Isis and Osiris  
Imsety guarded parts of the body and the Canopic jars containing them when preserved son of Horus      
Hapi, Hapy, Hapu, Apis? Manifestation of the inundation, fecunditity baboon ''  
Duamutef '' ''  
Qebhseruef '' ''  


God Attributes Symbols Consort Place
Ra/Re/Amun-Re sun, creation Scarab    
Re-Harakhte Re with Horus Falcon-head, winged sun-disc    
Amun creation, war   Mut Thebes
Thot(h) knowledge,moon Ibis, baboon, Apis bull    
Ptah creation Apis bull   Memphis
Anubis judge of dead, mummification Jackal    
Khons(u) childbirth, moon   s of Amun + Mut  
Khnum Potter, lord of the inundation Ram-headed Satet, Anuket  
Khentamentiu Death     Thebes
Montu War Falcon   Thebes
Sokar Death     Memphis
Meresgar   Snake   Thebes
Apedemak   Lion   Nubia
Bes children, music Lionheaded dwarf    
Min fertility/travellers Mummy + whip   Akhmim/Koptos
Iah Moon   assim to Osiris  
Sobek Fertility      
Wepwawet war, then dead wolf on nome    
Sed god of the dead ''    
Harsaphes/Harishaf war, fertility Ram    
Khepi   scarab beetle    


Goddess Attributes Symbol Consort Place
Hathor love, motherhood cow    
Mut divine fury   Amun Ashru
Edjo/Wadjet Lower Egypt cobra   Buto
Bastet ointment, healing cat    
Sekhmet doctors/war lioness Ptah  
Matit/Mehit   lioness   Nekheb/El Kab
Pakhet   raging lioness   Beni Hasan
Mafdet/Mefdet anti-snakebite panther/cat    
Neith/Nit creation/hunt/war shield + arrows   Sais
Maat/Maet justice, truth woman + feather    
Serket guarded dead      
Sekhet-Hor 'she who remembers Horus' Cow-headed    
Seshet/Seshat writing/learning star on pole    
Mehytweret Flood      
Ipet Household hippo    
Taweret/Thermuthis Household hippo    
Shesmetet king's girdle      
Werethkau king's diadem snake    
Satet     Khnum  
Anuket Huntress   Khnum  
Sepdet/Sopdet/Sothis   Sirius    
Renenutet Fertility snake    
Meskhenet fate, birthstool      
Heket/Heqet royal midwife frog    
Selkis Breathing scorpion    
Meretseger   cobra    


The year was divided into three seasons whose names, Akhet (Inundation), Peret (Growing) and Shemu (Drought) originally corresponded to the main events of the agricultural season. Each was made up of four thirty-day months with five festival days added to make a 365 day year. As there was no leap year, the calendar slipped due to the extra quarter day until the season names had no connection with the actual time of the year.

The Papyrus Ebers Calendar

Year 9, Deserkare
New Year's festival month III of Shemu
Tekhy month IV of Shemu
Menkhet month I of Akhet
Huther month II of Akhet
Kaherka month III of Akhet
Shefbedet month IV of Akhet
Rekeh 1st month I of Peret
Rekeh 2nd month II of Peret
Renutet month III of Peret
Khonsu month IV of Peret
Khentykhet month I of Shemu
Ipet month II of Semu

This collection of names was compiled by Kate Monk and is ©1997, Kate Monk.

Copies may be made for personal use only.

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