Amun (Amen, Aman, Ammon, Amon, Hammon) (the invisible one) In Egyptian mythology, a god whose presence could be sensed in temples when pennants attached to the flagstaves in front of the pylons fluttered. Amun and his wife Amunet were part of a group of eight primeval gods who were known as the Ogdoad of Hermopolis.
Sometimes Amun and the sun god Ra were combined to form the composite god Amun-Ra. At first Amun was merely a god of local importance. However, after the princes of Thebes gained sovereignty over Egypt, making their city the new capital of the country, Amun became a prominent god in Upper Egypt and was looked upon as “King of the Gods.” At that time Amun’s sanctuary at Karnak was a comparatively small building consisting of a shrine surrounded by a few small chambers and a forecourt with a colonnade on two sides.
When the Theban princes became kings of Egypt, their priests declared their god Amun not only another form of the great Amun creator sun god who was worshipped under such names as Ra and Khepera, but they gave him all the attributes that were ascribed to the sun gods and proclaimed him the greatest of them all. When Amun was coupled with Ra, forming the composite god Amun-Ra in the Eighteenth Dynasty, he became the mysterious creative power that was the Amun-Ra source of all life in heaven, earth, and the underworld. Eventually the priests of Amun claimed that there was no other god like Amun, who was the “one one” and had “no second.”
In Egyptian art Amun-Ra is usually portrayed as a bearded man with a headdress of double plumes, various sections of which are colored alternately red and green or red and blue. Around his neck he wears a broad collar or necklace, and his close-fitting kilt or tunic is supported by elaborately worked shoulder straps. His arms and wrists are decked with armlets and bracelets. In his right hand is the ankh, symbol of life, and in his left, the scepter. The tail of a lion or bull hangs from his tunic. Sometimes Amun-Ra is given a hawk’s head surmounted by the solar disk encircled by a serpent. When Amun appears with his wife, Amunet, he is often portrayed as a frogheaded man and she as a uraeus-headed woman. When Amun is shown with the uraeus, Amunet is depicted with the head of a cat.
Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, Third Edition – Written by Anthony S. Mercatante & James R. Dow
Copyright © 2009 by Anthony S. Mercatante
The Hidden One; Lord of the Libyans; Lord of the Setting Sun and Moon; The Time Lord; Earth Father; Giver of Breath; Giver of Life; Vizier of the Humble Who Answers the Voice of the Poor
ALSO KNOWN AS:
Amon; Amun; Amen; Amoun
Egypt, Libya, and Nubia vie to claim him
Ammon is Lord of the West: literally speaking, that means Libya, which lies on Egypt’s western border, but from the perspective of ancient Egyptian cosmology, west indicates night because the sun sets in the west, as well as the realm of Death. Thus, Ammon controls the gates to the realms of night. He is the Double Lion of Truth (“doublelions” indicate “yesterday” and “tomorrow”).
Ammon was among the preeminent deities of ancient Egypt, a state-sponsored god. Pharaohs ruled by his grace. Hatshepsut claimed Ammon was her actual physical father (he had visited her mother), hence bestowing on her the right to rule. Her successor insisted that Ammon supported his royal claim instead.
When Ammon came into being, nothing existed but him. He is self-generated: he gave birth to himself. He is the Time Lord. He is an oracular spirit because he controls time: past and future.
Ammon’s most famous oracle was at the Oasis of Siwa (variously in Egypt or Libya, depending on politics), known as early as 7,000 BCE. When Alexander the Great arrived in Egypt in 331 BCE, among his first stops was Ammon’s Oracle to seek sacred confirmation of his title of King of Egypt. The oracle declared him to be of divine origin, pleasing and comforting Alexander immensely. Alexander never revealed the full prophecy he received but continually sent generous offerings to the shrine.
Ammon was so beloved, widely venerated, and influential for millennia that many different nations claimed him as their own. The general modern scholarly consensus is that he originated in Libya and may be an indigenous Berber (Amazigh) deity. However, he was adored in ancient Nubia: some suggest that as his origination point. The Phoenicians loved him, too. Clearly, Ammon was able to make himself at home among many cultures, philosophies, and peoples. He is an adaptable spirit, often seen in the company of other spirits.
There are two sides to Ammon; the father of pharaohs was also the deity of the masses:
• He protects the rights of the poor in courts of law.
• In his path of Ammon of the Roads, he protects travelers.
• He is the deity of oases, both literal and metaphoric.
• Ammon provides sweetness, safety, and abundance amidst danger and deprivation.
A man, a ram, or a man with a ram’s head. He may also manifest in the form of any of his sacred creatures.
As the official Egyptian state-deity, Ammon was depicted as a young prince wearing ostrich plumes and displaying a massive, erect phallus.
Ammon had major temples in Luxor, Karnak (Thebes), and Siwa. The oasis at Siwa (also known as Siouah or Suwa), dotted with bubbling saltwater wells and freshwater springs, straddles the threshold of Egypt and Libya. He also had shrines at other oases, including Bahariya Oasis, El-Kharga Oasis, and El-Dakhla Oasis. Ammon had temples throughout Nubia, but his home is at Jebel Barkal, the flat-topped sacred mountain between the third and fourth cataracts near Napata, north of modern Khartoum.
Ammon was the presiding spirit of one of ancient Egypt’s most beloved holidays, “The Beautiful Feast of the Valley.” Celebrated with dancing and picnicking among tombs, this holiday was an annual reunion of the living, the dead, and the spirits who watch over them. It was celebrated during the Egyptian lunar month of Shomu, preceding the Nile inundation.
Ram, goose, bull, snake
Colour and gemstone:
Ammon is the chief deity of the Theban Triad, along with Mut and Khonsu. In Nubia his image stood alongside Amentat, Apedemak, Arensnuphis, Bes, Horus, Isis, Khonsu, Mut, Tefnut, Thoth, Satis, and Sebiumeker.
Water, earth, air (wind, breath)
Water, earth, air (wind, breath)
Incense; offer him one of the several perfumes named in his honor.
The Mother Who Is Father
ALSO KNOWN AS:
Amunet; Amaunet; Ament; Imentet; Amentat
One spirit emerged in the primordial past incorporating both male and female genders. Eventually it split into two, with Ammon as the male spirit and Amonet as the female. She is usually described as his “female counterpart,” but he could just as easily be described as her “male counterpart.” Amonet possesses the same powers as Ammon.
A snake-headed woman, a cobra
Amentat; Ammon; Mut
Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses– Written by :Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.