The Cataclysm of Ra

The Cataclysm of Ra


The concept of cataclysm is very common in almost all mythologies and religions. It is when the ‘god’ or ‘gods’ decide that humanity is not serving them anymore and, thus, they order humanity’s destruction.

Such a concept is not missing in ancient Egyptian mythology. According to the creation myth, men were created from the tears of the sun god Ra. Ra used to live on Earth and ruled his kingdom for many ages; however, once he grew old, men ceased worshipping him and rebelled against him.  What followed was a plot to take over his throne. These actions naturally made Ra furious, and he called for a secret council with the other gods. Ra’s father, Nun, supported Ra’s anger and suggested that mankind should be punished. Nun’s daughter, the goddess Hathor, was selected for this mission. In one night she went out amongst humankind and—like a lion—began killing men, women and children in all the places they were hiding, striking and slaying mankind while drinking their blood.

The actions of Hathor threatened to completely destroy mankind, something that Ra did not want as he still wanted to rule them. In order to stop Hathor from continuing her slaughter, he devised a plan to trick her. With the help of his faithful followers he arranged for large quantities of beer to be mixed with red dye so that it would look like blood. Then they brought seven thousand jars of beer and poured the contents on the fields, flooding the fields where Hathor would return to continue her slaughter. The next day Hathor returned to eliminate the rest of the humanity and saw the large pool of ‘blood’. She started drinking from it until she became so drunk that she couldn’t remember why she was sent there, and when she returned to her father, Nun, she slept for many days.

In the end, Ra was still disappointed by the rebellion of men. Nothing could have been as it was before, so he called for another council of the ‘gods’ where he announced that he was going to retreat into the heavens, leaving the god Shu behind to assume his position of ruler over mankind.

It is obvious that Ra and the ‘gods’ once lived with humans on Earth, ruling over them. This is not a new concept but a repeated pattern, and causes one to question if the gods of Egypt really existed and if so, who they were and what their true role was. Was it only to rule mankind and demand their devotion and worship as virtual slaves, or to help humanity to evolve?  Unfortunately, a good, long look at society, its wars and destruction, forces us to realize that there has not been any significant evolution.

Some have hypothesised that Ra, was in fact an extra-terrestrial.  Indeed, Ra is often depicted as sailing through the sky on a ‘solar boat’.  For ancient humans who had never encountered advanced forms of technology, a being that could travel through the sky in a spacecraft would certainly appear to be a ‘god’.  But if he were in fact an extra-terrestrial, for what reason would he want people to worship him? And what was his purpose upon the earth?

By John Black

Related Links

Egyptian Myth: Hathor's Rage and the Destruction of Mankind

The Legend of

Ra and Hathor

Legend of the destruction of Mankind

Related Books




Immortals in the Egyptian pantheon are so strange compared to Greek/Judeo-Christian interpretations of immortality. Ra dies, resurrects and grows old hardly immortal by any means.

angieblackmon's picture

i kinda feel oddly bad for Hathor. I mean you have a group of people that get together and pick you to go out and break some stuff...and you do it so well, they don't want you to do it anymore, so they "spike" her drink so she passes out...probably woke up with the worst hangover too!!

love, light and blessings


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