The Kemetic Neteru Deities, are a Pantheon of Deities based on sacred animals representing various aspects of Nature were central to Ancient Egyptian Kemetic Spirituality.
One of the unique features of the Kemetic deities was their association with scared animals, or “zoo types,” which were thought to embody the characteristics of a particular Deity, and in this entry we explore the sacred animal Zoo types of 10 Ancient Egyptian Kemetic Deities that also demonstrate that the Egyptian Kemetic Deities were represented by sacred animals zootypes found only in Africa.
- Amun (or Amun-Ra): The Unseen Supreme Being, Amun was often depicted as a Ram or Ram-headed man. Rams were common in ancient Egypt and were believed to symbolize fertility and strength.
- Anubis: Guide of the dead, Anubis was often depicted as a jackal or a jackal-headed man. Jackals were common in ancient Egypt and were associated with death and the afterlife.
- The Uraeus is a symbol for the Wadjet Deity. She was one of the earliest Egyptian deities and was often depicted as a cobra, and she symobolises the aspect of wisdom for which Serpents revered in Ancient Kemet.
- Het-Heru (Hathor): The female Deety of love and beauty, Hathor was often depicted as a cow or a cow-headed woman. Cows were a symbol of motherhood and nurturing in ancient Egypt.
- Heru (Horus): The Deity representing the Will’s journey towards submission to Divine Law. Heru was often depicted as a falcon or a falcon-headed man. Falcons were regarded as the master of the sky.
- Auset (Isis): Was the wife of Asar and represented fertility because she was responsible for the first immaculate conception of Heru. Isis was often depicted as a cow or a woman with cow horns. As we have seen, cows were associated with motherhood and nurturing, while cow horns were a symbol of power and divinity.
- Khenmu: Khenmu was one of the most Ancient Deities of Ancient Kemet responsible for moulding man on a Potter’s wheel. Khenmu was often depicted as a ram or a man with a ram’s head. As we have seen, rams were a symbol of fertility and strength, which were important attributes for a god of creation.
- Nekhbet: One of the most Ancient Deities of from the South (Upper Egypt), Nekhbet was often depicted as a vulture or a woman with a vulture’s head.
- Set: Represented the Opposition Heru or the individual will experiences on the journey to achieving its destiny. He is presented as a contender for the throne with Heru, a symbolic expression of the Will on the Hero’s journey quest. and his Zootype was the mythical Set totemic animal called the Sha.
- Tehuti (Thot): The Deity of writing and wisdom, Thoth was often depicted as an Ibis Bird or a man with an ibis head. Ibis birds were common in ancient Egypt and were associated with knowledge and wisdom.
All of the animals associated with these Kemetic deities were found in Africa, which demonstrates the importance of local fauna and flora in ancient Egyptian religion. By associating these animals with their gods and goddesses, the ancient Egyptians were able to create a unique religious identity that was grounded in the natural world. Moreover, the zoo types were not merely decorative, but had deep symbolic meaning that reflected the characteristics of the African Deities they represented.
In conclusion, the zoo types of the 10 ancient Egyptian Kemetic deities demonstrate the importance of sacred animals in ancient Egyptian religion and the close connection between religion and nature. By associating their Deities with local animals, the ancient Egyptians of Kemet were able to create a philosophy that was grounded in the natural world around them.