Ancient Egyptian Religion and the Mystery of the God Thoth



These days if you switch on National Geographic or the Discovery channel you can be positive to operate into a application that talks about historic Egypt and the Pyramids. It is quite obvious that Pharaonic Egypt proceeds to training a profound fascination on people’s minds. Present day people are not exception, but the rule, for practically just about every period in background was mesmerized by the thriller of historic Egypt. Starting with the Greeks, continuing with the Romans, Islamic culture, the Renaissance down to the current, Egypt proceeds to embody the thriller of the beginnings of civilization. For most persons, the legacy of Egypt is a lifeless culture buried deep in the sands of the Valley of Kings: but for a lot of of individuals studying or training Hermeticism, it is however incredibly considerably alive. Today, it is getting to be more and more most likely that at minimum section of the historic Egyptian heritage passed as a result of the figure of the god Thoth to an offshoot of him, Hermes Trismegistus, and then on to the modern instances.

Ancient Egyptian religion is however shrouded in thriller, irrespective of the translations of the hieroglyphs. Today we associate this religion mainly with the cult of Osiris and Isis, as well as the sunshine-god Re. However, it now appears that the god Thoth was an similarly, or sooner or later more essential god than these.

I will have to confess that I have encountered issues attempting to unearth the mysterious figure of Thoth. You can find hardly just about anything up-to-day prepared about him: my key sources experienced to keep on being at the stage of 1922’s basic by P. Boylan (1) and a 1973 guide by J.C. Bleeker (two), none of which deal with the late antique transformation of Thoth into Hermes Trismegistus. For Hermes and Hermes Trismegistus there is quite an enlightening guide prepared by the founder of Western Esotericism research, A. Faivre (three). Nonetheless in the stop the details on Thoth is regrettably disjointed, not up to date and fragmentary, as if destined to perpetuate the myth and mystique of this shadowy god!

The identify of Thoth is shrouded in thriller to begin with – students have not been ready to establish an etymology (four). What is regarded is that he was the moon god, and he involved mostly with the ibis. Why the ibis is not distinct possibly. It has been conjectured that the ibis’ beak has the form of the crescent moon (five) or that the black and white of the feathers advise the moon’s phases (six). What is quite straightforward is that the ibis is a bird nonetheless residing mainly on the floor and around the Nile Delta – that’s why a trinity of the aspects of air, earth and water.

In addition to the moon, Thoth has been explained as the god of composing, scribes, knowledge, magic, night time, the lifeless and purely natural regulation. If this appears like a hodge-podge of traits, there is in truth a deeper relationship among all these aspects. Thoth is the slight vital, lunary counterpart to the brilliant Re sunshine-god – his youthful brother, his messenger and scribe (seven). Thoth signifies the mysterious, dark moonlight that paradoxically enlightens and confounds the intellect. Perhaps C.J. Jung set it in the most effective way when he stated that moonlight is gentle, clean, and unites objects rather than differentiates them as daylight does (8). We usually say that there is ‘magic’ to the moon. Consequently Thoth is the learn of magic and all of individuals ambiguous arts that both make clear and baffle: divination, astrology and alchemy. There is gentle (knowledge, comprehending, regulation) and darkness (thriller, dying) in the figure of Thoth. In truth he has the uncanny capability of uniting both of them, that’s why his attribute of appeaser, of go-betweener. In a well known myth, he is the a person who tends to make peace among the warring Horus (sunshine, purchase, good) and Seth (darkness, chaos, evil). He consequently places an stop to war by sacrificing his arm in the identify of peace, but in the aftermath he restores the plenitude of all a few wounded (9). Is it perhaps from this triad of Horus – Seth – Thoth that Hermes Trismegistus (Thrice Fantastic) comes from? In any case, Thoth’s capability to recover wounds tends to make him the archetype of doctors.

As “health practitioner”, Thoth also looks to maintain the keys to the renewal and rebirth of the system. In one more essential myth, he is the a person to breathe lifestyle into the lifeless god Osiris, and proclaims him the god of the heavens (10). In the well known E-book of the Dead, the passed-away person normally takes the picture of – or becomes Thoth (eleven). Perhaps this is an early sign of that likeable high quality of Thoth that later transformed him into Hermes Trismegistus: his underlying humanity. He is, just after all, the a person who is aware of people’s hearts (twelve).

Thoth is also the guardian of the cosmic purchase – perhaps not in the way we comprehend purchase now, but as a harmony among purchase and chaos (Horus and Seth). It is no speculate that he was named “A’an”, the god of equilibrium (thirteen). As the a person in the middle of the warring factions, he sets a regulation of the just evaluate: for instance, he is credited with appeasing the fiery goddess Tefnet and reworking her into a benevolent goddess (14). He is also the regulation-giver and the judge, building decisions in regards to the heir of Egypt’s throne, Osiris’ put amongst the gods, Horus and Seth quarrels etc.

As a conclusion, I will just let Thoth introduce himself in accordance to a fragment:

“I, Thoth, am the eminent author, pure of hands…the author of the fact, whose horror is the lie… the lord of the laws…I teach ma-a-t (purchase, universal regulation) to the gods, I examination (every) word for its veracity…I am the leader of the sky, the earth, and the nether-world” (15). This is a god with a claim to universality, concealed expertise, and of the divine, purchasing Phrase, who is a loving instructor of humanity.


(two), (five), (14) Bleeker, C. J. (1973). Hathor and Thoth: Two Crucial Figures of the Ancient Egyptian Religion. Research in the History of Religions 26. Leiden: Brill.

(1), (seven), (9), (10), (eleven), (twelve), (thirteen), (15) Boylan, P. (1922). Thoth, the Hermes of Egypt: A Research of Some Facets of Theological Thought in Ancient Egypt. London: Oxford College

(8) Jung, C.G. (1963). Mysterium Coniunctionis : An Inquiry into the Separation and Synthesis of Psychic Opposites in Alchemy, transl. by R.F.C. Hull. New York, N.Y : Pantheon Guides.

(three) Faivre, A. (1995). The Everlasting Hermes: From Greek God to Alchemical Magus. Grand Rapids: Phanes Push.

(six) Plutarch. (1908). On Morals: Isis and Osiris, trans by C.W. King. On the net. Out there at: . Accessed 06 Nov 2008.

(four), (thirteen). Wikipedia. (2008). Thoth’. On the net. Out there at: Accessed 06 Nov 2008.


Source by Jo Hedesan

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