Ancient Egyptian Gods
. Popular understanding of the gods of Ancient Egypt
associate their worship with a barbaric
focus on totems
and animal worship
is a prime example, as are Roman
writers like Horace
, and somehow the tradition continued to this day.
Egyptian logic works rather differently than ours; there is no real concept of paradox. Thus, there is worship of Sobek-Ra, who is both Sobek and Ra individually, rather than a combination of the two. Same with animals: Horus is a god and a falcon, but not a falcon god, celbrated as a god in his aspect as falcon rather than a god who is a falcon.
The worship of actual animals creeps into the religion at a very late date, and is indicative of political destabilisation. As the country disintegrates, and access to local shrines becomes more difficult, individual and personal cult arises. It is rather easier to focus on an immediate figure rather than a distant statue; this leads to the mummification sites containing thousands of ibises or crocodiles or whatever other animal has been instilled with divine characteristics by the individual or local temple.
This represents a decay of classic Egyptian religion, and should never be viewed as an inherent or original feature.