What is a myth?
A myth is a story that has been told many times to convey some sort of meaning or lesson. The story is told and usually spread to family members or members of tribes/villages. After so long the story would ave evolved and things may have been taken away or added by different people who have told the story. Story telling was the basic creation of myths as story telling was very important in all aspects of ancient life. Myths can originate from thousands of years to explain to future family members why there are storms, or why one ritual is important to that family or something as simple as what could be good or bad luck. Most myths include gods and goddesses or other mythical creatures such as minatours or in Egyptian time’s curses and the afterlife ECT.
® Zeus- God of sky, ruler of all gods.
® Poseidon- God of the sea, protector of water
® Hades- Ruler of the underworld
® Athena- Goddess of reason and Battle
® Hera- Wife of Zeus
® Aphrodite- Goddess of Love
® Amun- King of Gods
® Anubis- God of the dead
® Horus- God of the sky, protector of Egypt
® Isis- Goddess of help and protection of the people
® Orisis- Ruler of the underworld, and god of resurrection
® Seshat- Goddess of writing
® Seth- God of chaos
It’s fascinating to look at how the Egyptians as they worshipped Gods for different aspects of life such as Underworld, Love, and Protection. Their lives revolved heavily around those beliefs and the thought of upsetting one of the Gods meant that a punishment would be made, usually resulting in extremes of flooding or drought. These beliefs and were usually the birthplace of all myths from that era.
Egyptian life was heavily impacted by mythical legends. Most of their philosophies came from observations with nature and their beliefs were based around elements for example the moon/stars/sun and other natural occurrences such as rain and for the Egyptians the Nile river. Gods would be given a specific element, it would be their duty to protect, keep the balance/peace or to help their worshipers.
Language and storytelling was very pictorial during ancient times as myths would appear frequently in the hieroglyphs which decorated temple walls in Ancient Egypt and in scrolls and tablets found by archaeologists.
The After Life Myth.
The afterlife was one of the most important philosophies that radiated in Egyptian life. The afterlife was the one belief that was passed on through generations for thousands of years, it was their biggest belief that Egyptian people would spend their whole life preparing for. The attitudes towards death came to one conclusion; death was not the end of your life but a necessary part of life to help aid your entry to the ‘Afterlife’. This philosophy was also known as ‘The field of offerings’ or ‘The field of rushes’
The afterlife was always portrayed to be the ‘Ideal version of Egypt’ and every Egyptian prepared their whole life for the privilege of being able to pass through to the afterlife if a person was not worthy of passing through to the afterlife by passing challenges in the underworld then that person was doomed to living their life in the underworld. That was every Egyptians worst nightmare. The preparation for the afterlife would consist of mummification which included on removing organs from the body and incasing them in canopic jars to take with them to the afterlife, the heart was precious as it was thought that it was the most important part of the body and an essential part of the process of the journey to the afterlife.
Worshiping the various Gods/Goddesses was another essential part of an Egyptians life, their Priests would create legends and myths about the afterlife and tell people that they must worship the Gods and be selfless in their mortal life to allow them to continue to the afterlife. This was fundamental in their religion and is probably where most of the beliefs and legends came from that radiated throughout life in Egypt.
The myth of the afterlife led to the belief that the soul was perishable and at great risk if the soul had lead a selfless life. If the mortal should lead a good life full of good deeds then they were more likely to succeed in facing the challenges the underworld had to offer. The underworld was feared by every Egyptian and it has been foretold that if your soul cannot pass the challenges in the underworld you are not able to pass through and your life will continue in the underworld forever.
If you were lucky enough to pass through the underworld the soul would be greeted by the God of the Dead, Anubis. He would great each soul at the Hall of Two Truths, it is there where the fate of the deceased is decided in a hearing in front of 42 gods. Scales would be presented which would weigh the heart of the mortal. The heart would be weighed against the feather of truth which belongs to the goddess Ma’at, the good deeds were said to be measured in the heart therefore the more good deeds the lighter the heart would be. If the heart was heavier than the feather of truth the heart would be swallowed by a monstrous creature known i n legends as the ‘Devourer of Souls’. If the Egyptian was eligible to follow on to the afterlife he/she would be greeted by Orisis in the afterlife and be in an everlasting paradise in which they would be able to visit deceased family members.
The myth of the Afterlife has been a myth that has been recorded thoroughly in more than 3000 years of Egyptian history. This just shows the enormity of the strength of myth and legend that has surrounded Egypt’s way of life. The idea of the afterlife links closely to the myth of today that once we pass the body decays but the spirit lingers on into a heaven, and this theory has been put forward by means of religion, showing that our way of life is very similar to that of Egyptians just out beliefs and gods have changed through the power of storytelling and legend through our ancestors.