The Nile River: Religion And Practices

Ancient Egyptians are some of the most intellectual peoples of our history. They’ve built amazing cities and statues that are still being explored today. Among these statues and cities are their creations of art and depictions of beliefs. Their religion and practices are considerably complex and some of them being based around the evolution of the Nile River. Egyptians are among the many interesting people of the past; whose beliefs were out of this world. Religion in Egypt commonly included gods, magic, medicine, and the beliefs in a higher power, as well as, life after death.

The practices of the Egyptians were somewhat extreme. They believed that their leaders were of higher power, and thus worshipped them. Understanding World Societies states that “Somehow the idea developed that a single individual, a king, was responsible for the rise and fall of the Nile. The king came to be viewed as a descendent of the gods and thus a god himself (McKay et al, 2015).” The people of this time worshiped many different gods, which is why they viewed their leaders as gods because of the qualities they shared. Most of their religion is made up from heka. Heka means magic in Egyptian and it is also the god they say was part of the creation of humanity. The Egyptians overall principles were called ma’at. Many of the Egyptians beliefs came from their beliefs in the gods. Other gods included Isis, Osiris, Ra, Bastet, and Ptah. These are just some of the gods they worshiped daily.

One of the most famous practices of the Egyptians was magic and medicine. The Egyptians were extremely skilled in healing with their knowledge of plants and herbs. They understood how important cleanliness was along with taking care of their patients. One thing that ancient doctors did not understand was how the human organs worked. So, when someone died of unknown causes the Egyptians assumed it was a spiritual condition. “The cause of disease was usually understood as the consequence of sin and, when that seemed not the case, that the patient was under a demonic attack, was being plagued by an angry ghost, or that some god felt they needed to learn a lesson( ).” Most likely if this were to happen the doctor would then try magical spells to cure the patient. Heka (meaning magic) was the god of both magic and medicine. Ancient Egyptians believed that magic was the reason of creation and the solution to everything involving everyday life. Their lives were centered around magic, which is why ancient books show spells along with procedures.

Other practices and beliefs that they felt strongly about was the afterlife and a “higher power”. Egyptians sacrificed animals to gods to get blessings as well as staying accountable to the ma’at. “During one's life on earth, one was expected to uphold the principle of ma'at (harmony) with an understanding that one's actions in life affected not only one's self but others' lives as well, and the operation of the universe ( ).” The ma’at was a way of keeping themselves accountable of their actions so that one day they can enter the afterlife with good judgement. Osiris if the god of Death, also known as Judge of Death. It said in legends that he weighs the hearts of the dead to decide judgment against ma’at. There are many different gods of death. Some being children of Osiris and some being different variations of Osiris. Ultimately, Osiris is the first god of death and judgment.

Ancient Egyptians were extremely advanced in their time. Whether it came to medicine or their wild beliefs. They worshipped leaders as gods as well as worshipping the gods themselves. Their belief in medicine helped shape medicine across the globe. Also their radical beliefs have created stories for telling and history for learning.         

16 December 2021
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