The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary







This article is about the Egyptian god. In Polynesian mythology (specifically: Society Islands), Ra is an alternate spelling for Roua. Ra is also a character from the film Stargate. See RA for uses of the two-letter combination RA.
The Eye of Ra, also called the Eye of Horus

Ra (sometimes spelled Re or Rah -- also Atum) is the sun-god of Heliopolis in ancient Egypt. From the fifth dynasty (ca. 2400 BC) onward he was combined with the Theban god Amon to become the foremost deity of the Egyptian pantheon. He remained paramount for centuries except for a brief suspension during the time of Akhenaten (1350-1334 BC) when direct and exclusive worship of Aten, the sun disk itself, was imposed on the kingdom of Egypt. In later times, he was associated with Heryshaf.

He was also the father of Heget.

Ra is a self-creating god, fashioning himself from Mehturt, a mound (see Ogdoad) that came from the waters of Nu, or a lotus flower. He also created Shu and Tefnut out of his Censored page or mucus, Hu and Sia from the blood from his Censored page and humanity from his tears.

A Pharaoh makes an offering to Ra
A Pharaoh makes an offering to Ra

The sun is either the entire body of Ra, or just his eye. In Heliopolis (the capital of his cult), Ra was worshipped as Atum (the setting sun), Re-Harachte (Venus) and Khepri ("the rising sun"). He was later associated with Horus.

Though Ra and Atum ("he who completes or perfects") were the same god, Atum was used in distinctive fashions. He was primarily the symbol of the setting sun and was also a substitute for Ra as the creator of Shu and Tefnut from either Censored page Censored page, (perhaps via autofellatio) or mucus. Atum was himself created by Ptah in some mythologies. Atum was the father of Hike.

Atum was the head of the Ennead and was represented by Mnewer, the black bull. He was associated with the snake, lizard, beetle, mangust , lion, bull, and ichneumon (mongoose).

Ra traveled through the underworld every night in a ship, and was protected (such as from the monster Apep) by Set and Mehen. During this journey, he was known as Auf or Efu Ra.

Hathor and Ra once argued, and she left Egypt. Ra quickly decided he missed her, but she changed into a cat that destroyed any man or god that approached. Thoth, disguised, eventually succeeds in convincing her to return.

Amon-Ra's identity with Zeus or Jupiter was acknowledged by the Greeks and Romans. The Greeks even gave the name Diospolis, City of Zeus, to Thebes. He was also associated with the Phoenix.

The symbols of Ra are a golden disk or the symbol ⊙ (Circle with a point at its centre), see Solar symbols.

Ra in modern fiction

In the Stargate movie and Stargate SG-1 TV series, Ra was an alien from the species called Goa'uld.

See also: Khepri

External links

  • Autofellatio and Ontology

Last updated: 02-07-2005 04:53:31
Last updated: 05-03-2005 17:50:55