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Ptah

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Ptah
Ptah

Ptah is a creator god and one of the oldest Netjeru in the Egyptian pantheon. He is known from 1st dynasty (approximately 3000 BCE) representations and was the primary god of the Old Kingdom capitol city of Memphis. Our word for Egypt (Greek Aigyptos) may derive from Hwt-ka-Ptah “Mansion of the Soul of Ptah”, an ancient Egyptian name for Memphis. Ptah is represented in human form wrapped in a tight shrouded garment, with a straight beard, the skull cap of a craftsman and a broad collar with fringed counterweight. He holds a staff composed of the sacred Ankh (Life), Was (Dominion), and Djed (Stability/Immutability) symbols. He is represented with the blue skin used which is used for other primordial creator deities.

Ptah, as creator, is associated strongly with the Primordial Mound, the first land that rose from the ocean of chaos, and is called Ptah-Tatennen in this form (Tatennen is another very ancient deity, associated with the Earth and with Memphis). He creates by means of his Heart (Mind) and Tongue (Speech) and is the fashioner of the bodies of the gods and living things. He is the god of artisans, especially metal workers, and his High Priest in Memphis was titled “Foremost of Craftsmen”.

Ptah’s sacred animal was the Apis Bull, revered from early times through the Roman period. The Divine Triad who were worshiped and honored in Memphis consists of Ptah, his Consort Sekhmet, and their son Nefertum. In art, Ptah is depicted with the Djed (Stability) symbol, often shown just behind his shrines in temple reliefs or forming the supports of the shrine itself, symbolically holding up the sky. Some of the primary titles used to honor Ptah are “Lord of Truth”, “Hearer of Prayers”, “Great of Strength”, “Lord of Heaven”, “Uplifter of the Sky”, “Creator of the Arts”, and ”First Primordial One”. As “He of the Hearing Ear”, Ptah was petitioned by ordinary people, often at special shrines built into the outer walls of places that they could approach. In the New Kingdom, Ptah was theologically linked with both Ra and Amun as a triple Creator deity, and also became a popular funerary god in the form of Ptah-Sokar-Osiris. The Memphite Theology, a very famous theological text, eloquently describes Ptah’s roles as the Creator and fashioner of the world, living things, and the bodies of the gods and goddesses themselves.

Devotees of Ptah call upon him for works of spiritualism and devotional works.

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