Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Egyptian Sun God Horus


Pagans today worship in many different ways, they follow many different old religions and pantheons. One of the oldest pantheons known to man is the Egyptian Pantheon. This pantheon is full of many different Gods and Goddesses, and each one of them has many different versions of themselves. Among this pantheon I have come across many conversations that the Sun God Horus is the first God born to a virgin.

I have been practicing witchcraft since I was 16 years old, and since this is a pagan specific post I will give a quick review of my own experiences. I started studying different religions when I was 13 due to a controversial conversation with my parents, at age 16 due to the influence of a friend and personal paranormal experiences I started actively practicing witchcraft. I am a great believer in research and books. I own more books than I can count and am pulling all this information from sources, I claim now that I am NOT an expert and I do want you all to openly talk about and question this subject in the comments below.

In my studies I had never heard until this year that Horus was ever born of a virgin mother. I will state my knowledge here and than the research in the rest of this blog. I know without reading anything that Horus is the son of Osiris and the Goddess Isis. Though the story around his conception is in many variations, as I will explain most of the Egyptian myths are, they all point to him being conceived through the mating of Osiris and Isis. Isis is by no means a virgin nor is her brother-husband Osiris. Both are Gods, both children of Geb and Nut.

3,000 years before the story of the birth of Jesus Christ there existed a God whom many claim is the first god born of a virgin. His name was Horus, the Sun God, son of Isis and Osiris. This Falcon God of the Ancient Egyptian world is depicted in many myths, he was followed by many and worshiped as a War and Hunting God.

Horus in falcon form is shown upon a standard on the predynastic Hunters Palette in the "lion hunt". Thus he became a symbol of majesty and power as well as the model of the pharaohs. The Pharaohs were said to be Horus in human form. Furthermore Nemty, another war god, was later identified as Horus.

A lot of our terminology today comes from the God Horus. Our word hours; is the track of the sun through out the day. Horizon, which comes from the phrase "Horus has risen". Sun set comes from Horus's rival Set, whom was a God of the Darkness. During the morning Horus would battle Set and win, while in the evening Set would be victorious and darkness would follow.

So lets visit the myth behind the birth of Horus.
-Horus was born to the goddess Isis after she retrieved all the dismembered body parts of her murdered husband Osiris, except his penis which was thrown into the Nile and eaten by a catfish, and used her magic powers to resurrect Osiris and fashion a gold phallus to conceive her son. Once Isis knew she was pregnant with Horus, she fled to the Nile Delta marshlands to hide from her brother Set who jealously killed Osiris and who she knew would want to kill their son. There Isis bore a divine son, Horus.

Upon reading E.A. Wallis Budge's books, which are direct translations and explanations from Egyptian tombs and ancient buildings, I found that the mention of Osiris missing his phallus is only portrayed a few times in Egyptian paintings, it is simple to say that in these few drawings his penis is severed from his body not missing. This is minor note in the story of Horus, I point this out because Isis had to use her knowledge of powerful words to put Osiris back together and than couple with him, maybe the fact that she mated with a reanimated god, one possibly with a artificial phallus, is where the misconception that it is a 'virgin' birth is derived from. Because there is no actual sex.

To point out for those of you who do not know. Virgin did not always mean a person who had not had sex, it's original meaning was a woman without a man, a woman in charge of herself. So this also may be why they say Horus was born of a virgin. During Horus's birth the Goddess Isis hid to bare the child because her brother Set, the murder of Osiris, wanted the son of Osiris to die. So Isis was alone and independent at the time of Horus's birth.

Egyptian Gods and Goddesses have a long ancient history behind them, they come with many names and myths. Horus is one of the main Gods and his life spans predynastic times. I will name each of the important forms of Horus, and a brief description of them.

Heru-ur: Horus the Elder. He is depicted in the form of man with the head of hawk, and also as a lion with the head of a hawk; he also wears the crowns of the South and North united. According to some texts he is the son of Hather and Ra. In late dynasty times he was said to be the brother of Osiris, and twin to Set. He is the Lord of the Sun and Moon. At the city of Sekhem Horus was worshiped in the form of lion, the lord of the south. Sometimes he is identified with Shu, son of Ra. In the city of Ombos Heru-ur was the head of a triad which consisted of himself, and his female counterpart, Ta-sent-nefert, and their son P-neb-taui. Later titles for Heru-ur and Ta-sent-nefert make it clear that this version of them became Shu and his sister Tefnut in later history.

Heru-P-Khart: Horus the younger or “The Child”. He is depicted as a young man wearing a lock of hair, the symbol of youth, on the right side of his head; sometimes he wears the triple crown with feathers and disks, and the like. He is the form of the rising sun and represents his earliest rays. There are seven forms of Horus the younger besides the many forms of just Horus. 1)Heru-Ra-p-khart, 2) Heru-Shu-p-khart, 3) Sma-taui-p-khart, 4) Heru-p-khart, 5) Ahi, 6) Haq-p-khart, and 7) Heru-Hennu.

Heru-Merti: This is Horus as a man with a hawk's head, horns on his head with a solar disk encircled by a uraeus. He holds a Utachati. A passage in a papyrus quoted by Lanzone calls him “Horus of the Two Eyes”.

Heru-Nub: A hawk seated at the head of an antelope.
Heru-Khenti-khat: Horus at the head of sightlessness or Blind Horus. He represents the god when neither of his eyes are visible. He is a new moon god if you want better clarification.
Heru-khuti: Horus of the two horizons. Represents the sun in its daily course across the skies.

Heru-sma-taui: Horus, the uniter of the South and North. He is said to be the son of Hather. He is said to come to earth has a hawk or a certain species of serpent. In this form he is said to spring into existence from a lotus flower which blossomed in the heavenly abyss of Nu at dawn at the beginning of the year.

Heru-Hekennu: He is said to be the son of the goddess Bast.

Heru-Behutet: This is one of the greatest and most important forms of Horus, for he represents that form of Heru-khuti which prevailed in the southern heavens at midday, and as such symbolized the greatest power of the heat of the sun. It is under this form that Horus waged war against Set.

Horus, or Shu in this myth, is the face of the sky, the Sun is his right eye and the moon is his left. During the battle between Set and Horus, Set damages Horus's left eye and is punished by Ra for doing so. This is why the belief in Egyptian mythology comes from that the moon is less powerful than the sun.

In the older stories it is unclear why Set and Horus fought, though they did fight unarmed. In older myths they fight because Horus is avenging Osiris's death and is armed with many iron weapons and accompanied by his followers who are black smiths. There is a story of Heru-Netch-Tef-f which is where the pictures of Horus slaying Hippos and various chained animals come from, it is believed that there was a powerful man that come down the Nile with better weapons than those he encountered this myth was crafted from his experiences and the holes filled in with stories of Horus.

Now I can go on about Heru-Behutet for this is the most important form, but I am writing this in reference to the modern argument that he is the first virgin born God. If you would like to learn more E.A. Wallis Budge's book The gods of the Egyptians volume 1, has a huge chapter on Horus and goes into great detail about Heru-Behutet.

Heru-thema: Horus the piercer. This is the form in one of the myths that Horus attacked Set in.

Heru-Hebenu: the form Horus is worshiped in the city of Hebenu.

Heru-sa-Ast-sa-Asar: Horus the son of Isis, son of Osiris. He is the general rising of the sun, he is the Greek equivalent of Apollo. Text go back and forth between whether he is the son of Osiris or Ra, while others say he IS Ra eventually. This is all lost in time and translation. There is a myth where Horus dies while Isis is trying to hide the child from Set, he is stung by a scorpion and Isis has to beg Serqet, the scorpion goddess, to save him. She succeeds. According to a calender dated Brit. Mus., No. 10,184, Horus began his battle with Set, which lasted three days, on the 26th day of the month of Thoth, and the two gods fought in the form of two men, Horus is now in the form “Horus, the avenger of his father.”

Much like Heru-Behutet, there are many many pages on Horus the son of Isis. I suggest again if you want to learn more you read the book suggested above. I will continue with the important names of Horus.

Heru-Pa-Khart: Horus the Child. The attributes that encompassed the old versions of Horus were carried over to this version, esspecially during the time when Osiris was highly worshiped. This form was eventually forgotten though, and Horus the son of Isis was all that was worshiped.
-From the New Empire on they found that Horus the Child, or Horus the son of Isis was called Harpocrates and worshiped from than on, he was called a form of Ra, child of Isis. This is another connection to him being Ra. 

These are the most important forms of Horus, there are many many more, but due to the nature of this blog I will not bore you all with that information and if you really want it, its simply in the book I suggested above and is easily researched.

Looking at the image to the left you may say "Oh, its the Eye of Ra." a very common symbol seen in todays modern witchcraft and art. This started out has the Eye of Horus, it was a very powerful Sun God symbol and was used for protection, a sign of high birth and for general good health. This symbol was converted to the eye of Ra when Akhenaten became pharaoh and forced all of Egypt to worship only one god, thats a story for a different blog. 

One of the most common myths with Horus is the death of Ani. Horus takes him to Anubis to have his soul weighed and when he passes the test he is presented to Osiris, whom it is said favored those that were presented to him by his son. This could possibly be another connection to the Jesus stories.

There are connections between Anubis and Horus, some stories, as most of them are lost in translation due to time and the destruction of tomb walls and paintings, some say that Anubis is Horus, or that Anubis is a child of Horus. They both worked in the underworld for Osiris and this is possibly why they are linked.

On websites I went to during my Google search, I found the information in parentheses below and nothing to back it, just the ramblings of the people who wrote the websites and references to other websites that just said the same thing. ((Horus was born on December 25th and had three great pharaohs follow a star to him to adorn him with gifts. At the age of 12 he was a great teacher to the people by the age of 30 he had been baptized by the God Apt(Now I don't know if I spelled that correctly and if you know anything about this please post).)).

Here are a few other gods also claiming to be born of virgins: Attis(Greece) born on Dec 25 of a virgin, crucified, and resurrected 3 days later, Krishna(India) born of a virgin, performed miracles, crucified and resurrected, Mithra(Persia) born of a virgin, had 12 disciples, crucified and resurrected. These are the main ones I found but there are dozens more of gods predating Jesus that were born of virgins, crucified, and resurrected.

I keep finding references to Dionysus as a virgin born god, being that the Greek Pantheon is my personal pantheon I am well aware this is wrong. Semele slept with Zeus to become pregnant and when she died at the site of Zeus's true form the baby was sewn into Zeus's thigh where he was born again, which is why he is known as the "Twice-Born". Neither of his parents are virgins. I am confused by the references made in the many “Christianity is a lie and this is why” websites, which I will post them below with the statement that I did not read them fully because I do not believe in christian bashing and the information from what I did read was wrong and I felt it was a waste of my time, if it is of any use to you by all means have at, comments about further readings are welcome.

I would like to thank Jaya, who posted about this topic when I asked what I should write about next. I enjoy learning new things and since the Egyptian pantheon is not well known to me I learned a lot just reading about Horus. Please comment and discuss below, and I repeat I am not an expert and will always point this out.


  1. Found this regarding Horus:
    Here is some commentary on the "conception of Horus" from various Egyptian scholars:

    * "...drawings on contemporary funerary papyri show her as a kite hovering above Osiris, who is revived enough to have an erection and impregnate his wife." (Lesko, Great Goddesses of Egypt, p. 162)
    * "After having sexual intercourse, in the form of a bird, with the dead god she restored to life, she gave birth to a posthumous son, Horus." (Dunand / Zivie-Coche, Gods and Men in Egypt, p. 39)
    * "Through her magic Isis revivified the sexual member of Osiris and became pregnant by him, eventually giving birth to their child, Horus." (Richard Wilkinson, Complete gods and goddesses of Ancient Egypt, p. 146)
    * "Isis already knows that she is destined to bear a child who will be king. In order to bring this about, she has to revive the sexual powers of Osiris, just as the Hand Goddess aroused the penis of the creator to create the first life." (Pinch, Handbook of Egyptian Mythology, p. 80)

    In short, this was NO "virgin birth" as is clear also from repeated references to Osiris' "seed." A "miraculous birth" perhaps because it involves a dead and then revived husband, but not a virginal conception (sometimes wrongly called an "immaculate conception" -- that has to do in Catholic theology with Mary's conception without Original Sin, not Jesus' conception) nor a virgin birth as contained in the Bible (cf. Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38).

    AS found at:

  2. This is the web page...

  3. Awesome! Thanks for the added information ^.^