ancient egypt: history and culture
Ancient Egyptian deities: Ha, god of the western desert
Main menu Main Index and Search Page History List of Dynasties Cultural chronology Mythology Aspects of Life in Ancient Egypt Glossary of ancient Egyptian terms Herodotus on the pharaohs Ancient Egyptian texts Apologia and Bibliography

  For best results save the whole webpage (pictures included) onto your hard disk, open the page with Word 97 or higher, edit if necessary and print.
  Printing using the browser's print function is not recommended.



Ha     Ha (MdC transliteration HA) was the god of the western desert and its oases, known also as Lord of the West, Lord of the Libyans (against whom he defended Egypt's western borders) or Lord of the Transfigured Ones. He was depicted as a human, wearing the desert hieroglyph on his head. He was the son of the otherwise unknown god Iaaw.[1]
    An ancient deity, he was originally a fertility god, but replaced Ash during the First Intermediate Period as god of the western desert. In the Late Period he became the personification of the West, while Sopdu embodied the East and Dedun the South. He was the tutelary god of the 7th nome of Lower Egypt and protector of the king. In the Pyramid Texts of Unas Ha looks after the needs of the dead king:
It is the arms of Ha which remove his (i.e. Unas') hunger.
PT 204, Old Kingdom [2]
On sarcophagi of the Herakleopolitan period he is depicted sitting on the right, i.e. the western, side of the deceased.[3]
    Ha was also a defender of Osiris Khentamenti against Seth, who by the time of the Ptolemies had become the personification of evil:
If you come from the West, the gods of the West, Neith, Wadjit, Sachmet, Bastet, Anubis, Reshef the great god (and) Ha, Lord of the West, will throw you down. The will fulfill their destination concerning you.
Papyrus of Imhotep, son of Pshentohe, New York MMA 35.9.21, Ptolemaic Period [4]

[1] John Lawrence Foster, Ancient Egyptian Literature, University of Texas Press, 2001, p.240
[2] After the transliteration and German translation by D. Topmann ed., on the Thesaurus Linguae Aegyptiae website, Altägyptisches Wörterbuch, Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften => Pyramidentexte => Unas-Pyramide => Sargkammer => Ostgiebel => PT 204
[3] Manfred Lurker, Dictionary of Gods and Goddesses, Devils and Demons, Routledge, 1987, p.136
[4] After the transliteration and German translation by F. Feder ed., on the Thesaurus Linguae Aegyptiae website, Altägyptisches Wörterbuch, Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften => späte Ritualbücher => Späte Totenliturgien => Papyrus des Imhotep Sohn des Pschentohe New York MMA 35.9.21 => 3. Die Enthüllungen der Geheimnisse der vier Kugeln aus Ton

October 2005
September 2008

CSE xhtml validated