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Sculpture of Amun by Erwin Winterhalder (1879 - 1968) in the entrance foyer of the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum in San Jose, California

Amun also known as Amon, Ammon, Amen, and Amanais, is a creator god of ancient Egypt. Originally, Amun was a regional netjer of the Old Kingdom (2700–2200 BCE), embodied as a horned, woolly ram or represented as a priest in a ram's-head costume. His name means "Hidden" or "Invisible One." His wife was the goddess Amunet. During the 11th Dynasty (2150-1991 BCE), Amun was worshiped as the tutelary god of the city of Thebes. With the rise of the Egyptian New Kingdom (1550 BCE-1069 BCE), and the defeat of the Hyksos invaders, Amun grew to the level of a national deity and came to be identified with the Sun god Ra whose main center of worship was found in Heliopolis. As Amun-Ra or Amon-Re, he was given a new wife, Mut, and the Moon god Khonsu was their son, forming a holy family known as the Theban Triad. Amun-Ra's fame was carried outside of Egypt, where he was associated with other sky-gods and creator deities, like Zeus. Meanwhile as Amun, the woolly ram, her remained a relatively local deity.

Amun is a self-created deity who gave birth to himself and then created the world. In some accounts he created the world out of his spittle. He is also connected with the wind, as attested in his name, which literally means "Invisible." Amun is unique among the netjeru as he eventually took on the role of not just the king of the ancient Egyptian pantheon but became so central that the other deities were believed to be aspects and manifestations of him. To a certain extent, this particular view of Amun is panentheistic, with Amun being all, and the other netjeru being manifestations of him. This growing power of Amun was also reflected in his priests, who exerted a great deal of influence on politics and on Egypt's dynastic rulers. During the rein of the Pharaoh Akhenaten, who promulgated the worship of the solar deity Aten, Amun was eclipsed, but he returned with a vengeance afterwards, rising to new heights of power through the influence of Akhenaten's successor Tutankhamun, who even adopted "Amun" into his own name. In addition to being a national and imperial deity with a public cult, Amun was deeply involved in the personal piety of Egyptians and was called upon in private acts of worship and supplication. When Egypt conquered the kingdom of Kush (now northern Sudan and southern Egypt), the Kushite ram-god became identified with Ammon as well.

Amon is depicted as a ram with curled horns, often with a solar disk headdress, or as a male priest wearing the headdress of Amun. In later depictions, as Amun-Ra, he is a man wearing an elaborate solar head-piece. His curled horns have given rise to the naming of an extinct family of spiral-shaped snails as ammonites, because their fossilized remains resemble the ram god's horns; thus ammonite fossils can be a modern representative of the god. Hoodoo psychic readers, spirit workers, and root doctors who practice in the North African religion of ancient Egypt or contemporary Kemetic Neo-Paganism, and who call upon the netjeru on behalf of clients, may petition Amun for matters of spiritual cleansing, healing, and spiritual development.


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