Category Archives: Egyptian

Seshat: Mistress of the Books

The Egyptian goddess Seshat is one of the lesser-known Egyptian deities, and yet she was an enduring one. Her name means “Female Scribe” and the art of the scribe was her area: the burgeoning state of Egypt needed to keep records, formalize contracts and agreements, and make blueprints for buildings. This made her a useful deity, but also limited her cult, as we shall see.

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Angry Bird: Horus the Warrior

Horus is one of the oldest Egyptian gods, possibly reaching back to predynastic times. His conflict with Set, the desert-god, was one of the basic myths of Egyptian religion, long before Horus joined to the Isis-Osiris family.

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Dr. Fate

In the 1940s comics that first featured Dr. Fate, his parents were a Swedish archaeologist and his spiritualist wife. In a larger, pop culture sense, however, he was the child of Helena Blavatsky and Howard Carter.

Like all the early heroes, he distilled elements that were floating around in the culture already. Both archaeology and spiritualism had their roots in the mid-1800s. Archaeology grew out of the attempt to trace the history of Biblical events, and to establish just how much of the actual narratives could be confirmed by outside evidence.

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Odin’s Eyes: Sun and Moon?

What do the Egyptian god Horus and the Norse god Odin have in common? Both of them are said to have the sun and moon as their eyes. The difference is that this belief about Horus dates back to very early Egyptian religion. As far as I can tell, the same statement about Odin comes from some 19th and 20th century writers.

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Sirius: the Scorcher

Sirius is the brightest star in the night sky – its modern name comes from the Ancient Greek Seirios (“glowing” or “scorcher”). It is actually another one of those binary stars, a white star and a white dwarf. Like Procyon, its nearness to Earth makes it much brighter in the night sky than many other stars. It is brighter than our sun, but dimmer than Rigel and Canopus.

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Procyon: Torch Bearer

Procyon suffers from an inferiority complex – even its name points to a more important star. Procyon means “before the dog”, meaning Sirius, the dog-star. (Fun fact: the racoon genus is called Procyon, because it used to be thought that raccoons evolved before dogs.)

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Rattawy: Female Sun of Two Lands

Rattawy, or Raet, is the feminine form of the Egyptian sun-god Ra. The longer form of her name means “Raet of the Two Lands”. Although her name would suggest that she was merely a form of Ra, she seems to have led an independent existence from the 19th Dynasty onward. It is not clear if she was always an independent goddess or if she was an offshoot of the Ra cult that took on a life of its own.

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new moon in old moon's arms

Khonsu: Divine Child and Devourer of Hearts

When we think of ancient Egypt, the god who leaps to mind is the sun-god Ra, but the Egyptians were also well-provided with moon-gods, including Thoth, Khonsu, and Aah.

Khonsu is probably familiar from the comic Moon Knight, in which he saves the life of mercenary Marc Spector, who takes up crime-fighting to atone for his past. In the comic, Khonsu is said to have four aspects: Pathfinder, Watcher, Defender, and the Watcher of Overnight Travellers, as well as a secret aspect, The One Who Lives on Hearts. (Moon Knight #1)

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Moon Knight: sometimes you want to stand out.

When I started reading comics again, I started with the New 52, because I knew who the characters were, and I figured a reboot meant that newbies like me would find it less confusing to follow.  I had also liked a lot of Marvel lines: Daredevil, the Avengers, Spider-Woman and Moon Knight. I’m still trying to decide how I feel about Spider-Woman, but Moon Knight is great.

Although he is often dismissed as Batman with multiple-personality disorder, Moon Knight is actually a complex and interesting character unto himself. They do have their similarities.

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