Thoth’s other names include:
Lord of the Khemenu
Thoth was the god who overcame the curse of Ra, allowing Nut to give birth to her five children, with his skill at games. It was he who helped Isis work the ritual to bring Osiris back from the dead, and who drove the magical poison of Set from her son, Horus with the power of his magic.
He was Horus’ supporter during the young god’s deadly battle with his uncle Set, helping Horus with his wisdom and magic.
It was Thoth who brought Tefnut, who left Egypt for Nubia in a sulk after an argument with her father, back to heaven to be reunited with Ra.
Tefnut, the Eye of Ra, became estranged from her father and fled into Nubia, taking all of her precious water with her. In this land, she transformed herself into a lioness. She raged through the countryside, emitting flames from her eyes and nostrils. Viciously, she drank the blood and fed on the flesh of both animals and humans.
As time went on, Ra missed his Eye, and longed to see her again – Egypt had dried, and the land was in chaos. He summoned Shu to him, along with Thoth, who was the messenger of the gods and famous for his eloquence. Ra issued the command that Shu and Thoth must go to Nubia and bring back his recalcitrant daughter.
Before they set off on their journey Shu and Thoth disguised themselves as baboons. The baboon is an animal sacred to Thoth. Eventually, Thoth and Shu found Tefnut in Begum. Thoth began at once to try and persuade her to return to Egypt. Tefnut, however, wasn’t interested. She liked hunting in the desert and was perfectly happy where she was.
Thoth would not give up though, and wove stories to depict to her how gloom had descended upon Egypt since she had left. The people of Egypt would do anything for her if she’d just return home. Ultimately, wooed by Thoth’s promises, Tefnut relented and returned to Egypt accompanied by the two baboons.
All the way there, Thoth kept her entertained with stories. Tefnut made a triumphant entry back into the homeland, accompanied by a host of Nubian musicians, dancers and baboons. She went from city to city, bringing back moisture and water, amid great rejoicing, until finally she was reunited with her father, and restored to her rightful position as his Eye.
When Ra retired from the earth, he appointed Thoth and told him of his desire to create a Light-soul in the Duat and in the Land of the Caves, and it was over this region that the sun god appointed Thoth to rule, ordering him to keep a register of those who were there, and to mete out just punishments to them.
Thoth became the representation of Ra in the afterlife, seen at the judgment of the dead in the ‘Halls of the Double Ma’at’.
The magical powers of Thoth were so great, that the Egyptians had tales of a ‘Book of Thoth’, which would allow a person who read the sacred book to become the most powerful magician in the world.
The Book which “the god of wisdom wrote with his own hand” was, though, a deadly book that brought nothing but pain and tragedy to those that read it, despite finding out about the “secrets of the gods themselves” and “all that is hidden in the stars”.
Depictions of Thoth
In art, Thoth was usually depicted with the head of an ibis, deriving from his name, and the curve of the ibis’ beak, which resembles the crescent moon. Thoth the Scribe, wrote the story of our reality then placed it into grids for us to experience and learn through the alchemy of time and consciousness.