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How did the Ancient Egyptians worship their Gods?
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EgyptianEyes
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 10:09 am    Post subject: How did the Ancient Egyptians worship their Gods? Reply with quote

What sort of rituals did they perform when they worshiped their Gods/Godesses?
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Ranoferhotep
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a difficult one. Here we have to make at first a distinction between the worship of the A.E. Godís by priests and the worship of the Godís by the ordinary people. The first performed daily and occasional rituals, including prayers, several semi-magical acts and giving offerings to the Godís. From what the A.E. priests did we have quite some knowledge that we can find back in the remaining temples were these rites are described and depicted. E.g. we know that there was in most temples a daily rite, held in the morning, at noon and in the evening. The morning rite was more extensive than the rite at noon and in the evening. In short the morning rite was as following: The Priests entered the sanctuary or sanctuaryís of the temple were an image of the God or Goddess was kept in a shrine. The priests presented themselves to the God, and woke the God by presenting a statue of the Goddess Mašt. Then they got the image out of the shrine, dusted the socle or support, they undressed the statue, and washed it. After that they anointed the image, perfumed it and in some cases they even put make-up on the statue. Then the statue was dressed again, the dresses were three ribbons of cloth, white, green and red. Followed by a kind of cloak from red linen that had a protective function. The statues could also be ornamented with jewels (bracelets, pendants, colliers), crowned and given regalia. Libation offerings, offerings of incense were brought to the God followed by presenting offerings of food and drink. The amount of food and drink offerings could be very different and varied from temple to temple and God to God. Large temple estates gave big food offerings, since the presented food and beverages were afterwards distributed to the temple community who could feed of them. After that, the presented offerings were taken out of the sanctuary, the image of the God was placed back in the shrine which they sealed with rope and clay. Before putting out the candles that lit the sanctuary, the priests straw sand around the naos which contained the shrine and wiped out their footprints with a broom. Do understand this is a general explanation, rituals could differ from temple to temple and God to God. In case of the worship of Aten in the time of Akhenaton, the ritual took place in the courtyard of the temples dedicated to Aten and not to an image of Aten, but directly towards the sun in the sky. The rites at noon and in the evening were apparently more modest and even took place in front of the closed shrine or in some cases even at the doors of the sanctuary. On festival days, the image of the God could be taken outside the shrine and sanctuary, placed in a barge and be carried around the temple and even outside the temple, with stops now and then to present the God more and other offerings than on the daily ritual. Some Godís also traveled on some occasions through the country to visit other temples. E.g. during the festival of Opet, the God Amun, his Consort Mut and son Chons, who resided in the temple complex of Karnak visited the temple of Luxor for several days. The Goddes Hathor who resided in Denderah, visited yearly her consort Horus who was venerated at Edfu. Those festivals were mostly also an occasion for the people to worship the God, though they never saw the image since it was hidden in a shrine and barge, covered with a white cloth. The daily rites performed in the sanctuary of the temple were after all done behind closed doors and the common people didnít have access to that part of the temple. So far a bit of explanation of how the Godís were attended by priesthood.
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Sivaroobini
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 7:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I happen to be a Hindu, and Ranoferhotep's description (together with what our guide told us when we visited temples in Egypt) is very similar to the way the Hindu priests still perform rites for our gods in temples today!

Can I ask if gender was also a factor? Like, was there any rule stating that only priestesses could perform the rites for the goddesses like Isis, Hathor and Bast? Or could females also perform rites in the temples of male gods like Amon, or was that restricted to male priests?
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Osiris II
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as I know, the role of women in the temples was limited to that of singers and dancers
The singing was usually used to "waken" the god in the morning,with dancers preforming during the feeding, bathing and clothing rites.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now I must say I never read anything about female priests in A.E., but I havenít read yet everything ever written about A.E.. Which is almost impossible. I do remember that in the temple estate of Amun at Karnak the title ďGods WifeĒ existed. Whether this is (was) a priestly title Iím not sure.

But like Osiris II said, women werenít excluded, we know of female temple dancers and singers, whether they did every time performed is uncertain. My guess is that they were more called on during festivals rather than the normal daily service. But that is only a guess.

A bit off topic: I find Hinduism also very interesting, I have not so much knowledge of it. Buddhism I know a bit better, Iíve visited Thailand twice and it was nice to see also common people bringing food offerings to the Buddhist temples, as offerings of flowers, incense and gold foil. In certain parts of Thailand, there are also some Hindu temples, as Chinese temples and even there people go offering. I was always in awe of that, and even Iím a follower of the A.E. Godís a (Kemetist), In most temples I visited I brought an offer of lotus flowers or incense whether it was to Buddha or a Hindu or even Chinese god.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do not forget the God's Wife of Amun and Divine adoratrices Smile
They were highly ranked priestesses and did more than just sing and dance.

And in the Old Kingdom there were Queens with titles like Priestess of Djehuty, Priestess of Tjazepef (Khamerernebty I and II), Priestess of Bapef (Hekenuhedjet), etc

And Bunefer was Priestess of Hathor, Priestess of Tjazepef, Priestess of the Horus Shepsesket, and Beloved and revered priestess of Shepses-nebti.
The last 2 referring to her as a priestess in the cult of the king. No idea what her duties were though.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Anneke. I knew about the queens bearing priestly titles. I regard that however a bit more like with the king, being one of the many tasks of their office. And on certain occasions, like important festivals, they will surely have preceded the ceremonies. But it wasnít a daily task for them. I totally wasnít sure of priestesses that were appointed to serve in daily office. Apparently it seems so.
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Sivaroobini
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I remembered having read something about Priestesses of Hathor once, years ago, which is why I was a little confused; I wasn't sure if the Egyptian temples allowed priestesses (who were not the Queen) to serve in daily office. Thank you! Smile

(in Hindu temples, only men can serve as priests)

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I regard that however a bit more like with the king, being one of the many tasks of their office. And on certain occasions, like important festivals, they will surely have preceded the ceremonies.


That's what I thought about the Queens, too!
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Ranoferhotep
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

until now Iíve only tried to give some insight in priestly attentions to the Gods (and keeping it as basic as possible). The common people were also very religious. They couldnít enter the temples however, that is to say on to a certain point. I will try to give some insight in that one to, coming up shortly.

pyramids jeee, this looks like a teaser from National Geographic or Hawass, sorry folks, I couldnít resist Laughing
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thewayshemoves
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Someone mentioned earlier the similarities to Hindu of the god traveling to other temples. Just to add to that part, there is a sect of Judaism, I believe in Africa, where the priests of different temples throughout the area cover replicas of the ark of the covenant with a white cloth and carry them on sleds that in their language could also be translated as boat or barge. They then converge together at a single point where they are accompanied by massive dances and tons of music and singing and chanting, and then after the high priests perform their rituals, the arks are then carried back to their temples in the same kind of energetic procession they left them in. This take place over the period of a few days in which people don't sleep, some even collapsing from the exhaustion of dancing and singing. This judaistic form of worship has closer ties to the processions of the ark mentioned in the Bible and Torah than any modern Judaism, starting with Moses who was indeed raised in Egypt and not only raised there, but by the princess herself, where he would no doubt have had the finest Egyptian education. Intersting.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thewayshemoves wrote:
Someone mentioned earlier the similarities to Hindu of the god traveling to other temples. Just to add to that part, there is a sect of Judaism, I believe in Africa, where the priests of different temples throughout the area cover replicas of the ark of the covenant with a white cloth and carry them on sleds that in their language could also be translated as boat or barge. They then converge together at a single point where they are accompanied by massive dances and tons of music and singing and chanting, and then after the high priests perform their rituals, the arks are then carried back to their temples in the same kind of energetic procession they left them in. This take place over the period of a few days in which people don't sleep, some even collapsing from the exhaustion of dancing and singing. This judaistic form of worship has closer ties to the processions of the ark mentioned in the Bible and Torah than any modern Judaism, starting with Moses who was indeed raised in Egypt and not only raised there, but by the princess herself, where he would no doubt have had the finest Egyptian education. Intersting.


And which archeological proof have we that Mozes was raised in Egypt, and even by the princess herself? And under which Pharaoh did this occur?
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AFAIK, there is no mention of a man raised by a princess as her son who became the leader of the Jewish population in Egypt, just as there is no historical mention of any Exodus on the scale it is mentioned in the Bible.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 2:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe I worded my intent wrong. Since I was referring to the modern similarities between what was mentioned earlier about Hinduism and it's similarity to what was further mentioned about Egypt, I don't guess it matters if Moses existed, does it? The fact he's mentioned as existing in the traditions and texts of these people, and referenced as learning such things in Egypt was the point. Moses doesn't actually have to exist for a culture to have a race memory of traditions that may or may not have come from Egypt, but are indeed very similar. What I mean is, the people carry around replica arks, covered in white cloths, etc. etc. as already mentioned, making them similar to the aforementioned Hindu tradition and the aforementioned Egyptian tradition, and the Bible explains it comes from Moses, who in the Bible was taught such things by Egyptian royalty.

I wasn't intending to imply that Moses had to exist and be a real person, merely that the similarity to worship exists, is attributed to Moses, and attributed to Egypt, to which the similarity is speaking of.

It could obviously be a coincidence that a sect of Judaism still follows what was described in the Bible, and which has similarity to some forms of AE worship, but the fact they attribute their similarities to AE worship to AE, sort of makes you wonder if it's not plausible they did indeed glean some of their beliefs and rituals from AE, as they certainly did of Babylonian, Sumerian, Canaanite, etc.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 3:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are certainly a lot of parallels and borrowing going on in this region around that time. Sargon was said to have been abandoned in a river in a basket, as was Moses. It's fairly obvious the Bible liked to borrow from traditions surrounding it. If Biblical chronology is to be taken correctly it would be about the 18th dynasty, which probably why there's people claiming Judaism was forged out of the Aten. What's surprising is that it's not only fringe people saying stuff like that. Ahmed Osman has a masters in Egyptology and quotes the story from Josephus, allegedly given to him by Manethos along those lines. http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/moses.htm is a summary of what I'm talking about. I personally still can't find the evidence to believe Moses existed, as the 18th dynasty said nothing about something as profound of the ten plagues, losing a ton of slaves or conscripted workers, and losing a lot of wealth (the Bible says the Israelites took a lot of Egyptian gold). Then again the false victory over the Hittites shows that Egypt wasn't in the business of always recorded it's shortcomings truthfully. That being said, behind all the mythical borrowings and naming of heros as in any other saga or epic, the fact similar religious rituals are attributed to Egypt probably means that in some way they can actually be attributed to Egypt, though not necessarily through Moses, or anything resembling the story of the Exodus. The Bible doesn't attribute Genesis to it's obvious parallels with Enuma Elish, or Noah to Gilgamesh, so I assume that referencing Egypt holds some weight, although written in a legendary form which probably no real proof can be found, because it never really happened that way. But what better way to sell your god and explain your similarities to the "heathens" than to create such an epic story?
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:19 am    Post subject: Moses Reply with quote

Many years ago I was fortunate to study under Pro S G F Brandon in Manchester. Moses is an Egyptian word meaning born of so he is anonymised. The biblical record shows that Joseph entered Egypt when a non-egyptian king was on the throne i.e the Hyksos, which is why he had only to explain that they were ' Shepherds ' i.e Hyksos to get land and privileges from the king.
They fall under the cosh when the Egyptians reconquer Egypt (AHmose). For some years they are all Hyksos inc Jews etc bottled up in Avaris ( recorded Egyptian history) . Face with eventual defeat the Jewish group lead an exodus and this was most likely the Exodus.
This motley group lead by Jews eventually became ' the Jews '
The bulrush myth was dealt with by Blavatsky long ago. That is already extant in that region another king. But odd pieces such as Moses being a murderer and friends withe Royalty may have a ring of truth though it may not be Egyptian royalty i e Hyksos
Avaris was rich so lots of gold but the exit party could not have been very big as they had to feed on the way over the arid territory.
It is long time to establish themselves in Isreal so it is not surprising to see the first references to Israel hundreds of years later.
A small group a half starved nd weak nomads would initially have been dependant on the charity of the people w of the territories they settled and passed through,
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