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Come day and night, I battle the dreaded Apophis. A task suited to me, and me alone. A task which none of my fellow gods can achieve. Why you may ask? Because I am the Sun. The light which shines upon the world. And I have no use for death.
~ Ra

Ra is the Egyptian god of the sun, creation, and the king of the Egyptian gods. He is one of the oldest deities in the Egyptian pantheon and was later merged with others such as Horus, becoming Ra-Horakhty (the morning sun), Amun (as noonday sun), and Atum (the evening sun) associated with primal life-giving energy.

Appearance

Ra had many different forms but his most common form was that of a falcon or falcon-headed man, especially when the deity being depicted was the composite Ra-Horakhty. But he was also often portrayed as a bearded man, a man with the head of a ram or scarab beetle, a solar disk with or without an encircling cobra as a symbol of power, or the benben, the pyramid-shaped hillock

History

Origins

In some myths Ra was self-created, and had created everything else as well, either directly or indirectly. In other myths he is the son of Khnum and Neith, making him the brother of Serket and Sobek. Most of the other gods were descendants of, or extensions of, Ra. According to one popular liturgical formula, Ra (and the sun god more generally) was “the one, from whom came millions,” in all myths he is the brother of the chaos snake Apep.

Reviving Sanna

Ra is perhaps known for reviving the deceased Sentinel, Sauelsuesor. The sun god detected her lingering essence and noticed that it was fading at an alarming rate. Curious, he took hold of her essence, and gingerly placed it into the warm embrace of the sun. A sun spot formed in place around Ra's hand as it was plunged into the flames and when he slowly rose his hand, Sanna's head emerged laid unto the god's palm.

A total of seven sunspots formed in response to the reformation of Sanna within the sun itself with each spot being a part of her physical being, example where one sun spot became her arm, the other her leg, and the others her lower and upper body. The formation of these sun spots also took the shape of a symbol that was familiar only to Sanna. The symbols represent Sanna's "cleansing" of the her defilement at the hands of the Scarlet King, where Ra washed away the areas on her body that the Scarlet King touched.

After being fully resurrected, she was given a new name and a new purpose. She also developed a close bond with Ra.

Senile Sun

The story relates how Ra has grown old and his human subjects begin to plot his overthrow. Ra is upset and calls a council of the other gods who encourage him to smite the humans for their ingratitude. Ra summons The Eye of Ra, usually personified as a goddess, which is a powerful force that alternately does Ra’s bidding or breaks free of his control to wreak havoc. Either way, The Eye of Ra always brings some form of transformation and this story aligns with all others concerning the Eye in this regard.

Hathor is the Eye of Ra here and is released to destroy humanity. She kills thousands before Ra realizes what he has done and repents, begging her to stop. Hathor has lost all reason through the slaughter, however, and become the savage Sekhmet who, in her rage, cannot hear him. Ra orders 7,000 jugs of beer to be dyed red to resemble blood and has them poured out on the plains of Dendera. Hathor-Sekhmet drinks the blood-beer, passes out, and wakes as Hathor who pledges herself as a friend to humanity henceforth.

Ra is tired of ruling over humans, however, and asks the goddess Nut to carry him into the heavens. Nut turns herself into a celestial cow and takes Ra skyward on her back. On his way, Ra creates the Field of Reeds and organizes the administration of the world, leaving it to the other gods. Human beings will henceforth be responsible for maintaining order in keeping with the will of these gods and Ra, having retired, will only concern himself with driving his great barge across the sky.

Ra on Earth

Prior to his departure, Ra ruled over his creation directly from earth. Ra created the laws which were later given to humanity by Osiris and Isis in the golden age of their reign before Osiris was murdered by his brother Set who usurped power (until he was defeated by Osiris’ and Isis’ son, Horus the Younger, who restored order). Ra’s presence on earth was recognized by sunlight and the growth of crops as well as the changing seasons.

Amduat

Throughout the day, Ra sailed across the sky in his barge and then descended down into the underworld at night. The sun barge now transformed into the evening barge known as the Ship of a Million Souls which picked up the newly arrived and justified dead to bring them to the paradise of the Field of Reeds. Ra at this time becomes merged with Osiris, the judge of the dead, and Osiris is seen as the “corpse” and Ra as the “soul” of the single deity Ra-Osiris.

As this deity, Ra confers with Osiris on the deepest of levels, perhaps confirming which souls have been rightly justified before transporting them, and then traveling on through the underworld darkness toward the dawn of paradise. As the barge rolls through the underworld, it is attacked by the serpent Apophis who tries to kill Ra and prevent the sunrise. The gods onboard fight the serpent off with the help of the justified dead while, on earth, the living encourage the defenders through ritual ceremonies, channeling positive energies to strengthen those on board. Every night Apophis attacks, and every night he is defeated. Ra and his crew sail on toward dawn, the justified dead are delivered to their destination, and the sunrise was then seen as the sign that Ra was again victorious, and the Egyptians would see another day.

Personality

As the primary identity of the sun god, that most widespread and potent symbol for the divine in ancient Egypt, Ra’s status among the gods was virtually without equal. It was only fitting that, to the Egyptians, it would have been he who created a large portion of the cosmos, ruled it, and provided the model for all later rulers. And one can see how it would have been a great source of prestige for another god to be combined with Ra, the uttermost wellspring of cosmic power.

Ra in his youth was brash and bold but as he matured over the ages he became a wise and compassionate god king, setting an example towards his fellow gods and his own children. His compassion even extends towards other divinities such as when he aided in the reconstitution of Sanna, a Sentinel of Creatio that was ravished by the Scarlet King. Through Ra's kindness and actions, Sanna was forever in his debt and grew to deeply care for him. Ra was also fearless and relentless, as demonstrated during his battles against the Ogdru Hem during the primeval epochs of Earth and his eternal battle against Apep, the serpent of darkness, preventing him from devouring the Earth.

However, unlike most immortal gods, Ra would actually, but ever so slowly, age like a mortal. As a result, Ra would become senile with behavior close to that of an infant. The senile Ra acts like a little toddler. He is unable to remember himself, although he tries to express his wisdom through random childish comments. At times however, the real Ra shines through where he makes strange comments that display wisdom when looked deep into. He also had enough presence of mind left to admit his mistakes when he thought Sekhmet had gone too far in her rampage after the mortals mocked Ra and no longer worshipped him.

Powers and Abilities

Ra is undoubtedly the most powerful Egyptian god, said to be the "heart" of the pantheon for without him they would be in disarray and destroy each other. His power was far greater than that of any of the other gods, both during and after his role as a chieftain of the Egyptian gods, and also had him attain a high seat of authority among the Council of Godheads alongside his fellow chieftains Zeus, Odin, and Indra. Set, the Egyptian god of chaos, admitted that he would stand no chance against Ra and would resort to trickery to defeat him as he is outclassed in sheer strength and power.

His right to this position was sealed by the fact that, since the ancient Egyptians thought that the “natural” order and the political order were two inextricably intertwined aspects of a single, overarching cosmic order, Ra had created the political order and the institution of kingship along with the rest of the cosmos. Even after Ra’s own kingship ended, he remained the head of the divine council, and the rulership was passed to his son Shu, then to Shu’s son Geb, then to Geb’s son Osiris, and finally to Osiris’s son Horus.

Ra also held dominion over the sun and its light, with his presence alone being enough to even make the Old Ones wince. Ra is capable of manipulating the flames of the sun as well, to where he would not only inflict enormous damage to the likes of Cthulhu but understood that he needed to not overdo his power for it would threaten to destroy the Earth. Ra also has a vast assortment of other abilities, capable of creating and destroying life at a whim, including other gods. One of his more impressive accomplishments is being able to revitalize and reform Sanna, a primordial who predated him. Another is him eternally battling the chaos serpent Apophis and achieving victory each time.

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