Horus is an ancient god of Egyptian mythology, whose cult survived so long that he evolved dramatically over time and gained many names. The most well known name is the Greek Horus, representing the Egyptian Heru/Har, which is the basic element in most of the other names of Horus. Horus was so important that the Eye of Horus became an important Egyptian symbol of power.
Originally, Horus was the god of the sky, and the son of Ra, the creator (whose own birth was thought due to the Ogdoad). His mother was originally said to have been Hathor, since Hathor was considered as a representation of the Milky way, which encirles the sky, specifically as the cow whose milk produced it, and so Hathor was thought of as Ra's wife. Since he was god of the sky, Horus became depicted as a falcon, or as a falcon-headed man, leading to Horus' name, (in Egyptian, Heru), which meant The distant one. Horus was also sometimes known as Nekheny (meaning falcon), although it has been proposed that Nekheny may have been another falcon-god, worshipped at Nekhen (city of the hawk), that became identified as Horus very early on.
As Horus was the son of Ra, and god of the sky, he became closely associated with the Pharoah of Upper Egypt (where Horus was worshipped), and became their patron. The association with the Pharoah brought with it the idea that he was married to Isis, in her original form, who was regarded as a deification of the Queen. Due to Egyptian beliefs about the soul, the bodies of the deceased royalty were mummified, and four internal organs were transferred to canopic jars, and so Horus, embodying the Pharoah, was said to be the father of these four children, deifications of the jars, known as the Four sons of Horus, with Isis, his wife, as their mother.
It was said that after the world was created, Horus landed on a perch, known as the djeba, which literally translates as finger, in order to rest, which consequently became considered sacred. On some occasions, Horus was referred to as lord of the djeba (i.e. lord of the perch or lord of the finger), a form in which he was especially worshipped at Buto, known as Djebauti, meaning (ones) of the djeba (the reason for the plural is not understood, and may just have been a result of Epenthesis, or Paragoge). The form of Djebauti eventually became depicted as an heron, nethertheless continuing to rest on the sacred perch.
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Encyclopedia of Thelema
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