Horus: Falcon

Horus: Falcon
5 records
Horus: Lord of the sky (Falcon)

The god Horus is known from the very earliest periods of ancient Egyptian history. One important papyrus that lists the kings of ancient Egypt describes the Predynastic rulers as the Followers of Horus. Horus is a god with numerous aspects and a complicated mythology, but here the focus will be on those aspects that are most significant.

Some of the earliest documentation on Horus describes him in his aspect as sky god, or Lord of the Sky. His name in ancient Egyptian means the distant one. He was also a solar god and was associated with the daily journey of the sun god across the sky, particularly as the sun rose in the east and set in the west. This aspect of Horus was known as Horus of the Two Horizons, or Horakhty.

Horus was the son of the goddess Isis and the god Osiris. According to ancient Egyptian mythology, in the earliest times Osiris was king and ruled Egypt and the gods. He had a brother, Seth, who desired the kingship. To assume the throne, Seth murdered Osiris. Miraculously, Osiris’ wife, Isis, revived him and he became the ruler of the Underworld. In another miracle, Isis conceived Horus by Osiris, therefore providing Osiris with a legitimate heir to rule over Egypt. There are various accounts of the resulting conflict between Horus and his murderous uncle Seth, but according to myth, Horus gains the throne of Egypt.

As a result of this mythological story, Horus is directly linked with the king and the kingship of Egypt. All ancient Egyptian kings were viewed as Horus, ruling Egypt as the legitimate heir to the rightful king Osiris (i.e. the king’s deceased father).

In mythological terms, Horus was conceived of as a cosmic falcon with the sun as his right eye and the moon as his left eye. In addition to being depicted in full avian form as a falcon, he could also be represented as a man with a falcon’s head. Given his role as the son of Isis and Osiris, Horus could also be depicted as a small child. In the form of Horakhty, Horus sometimes appeared as a falcon-headed crocodile.