How did the ancient Egyptians derive their beliefs from the world around them?
The deities to the Egyptians were the main focal points in many of their lives. The beliefs and rituals surrounding these Gods formed the core of ancient Egyptian religion. Many of their Gods and Goddesses represented natural forces and phenomena, such as the fertile land caused by the river nile or even baboons warming themselves in the morning sun. Egyptians supported their gods via offerings and rituals as so these forces would continue to function. Gods were believed to be present throughout the real world and were capable of influencing events and lives. They could be interacted with through shrines in homes or official temples. All temples at this time were run by the Pharaoh, who claimed to be Gods representative. In these temples Egyptians prayed for divine help. These relationships that the Egyptian people had with their Gods was a fundamental part of Egyptian society.
One prime example of a God whom was derived from the surroundings of the Egyptian people is the god of fertility and childbirth Tawaret. She was often shown as a Hippopotamus as the people who lived near the Nile were often terrorised by over protective mother Hippos who are very aggressive to protect their young. Tawaret was very popular in the first dynasty of Egypt. As she was overall the goddess who protected women during pregnancy and childbirth. It was probably often believed at this time that in order to survive childbirth it was necessary to pay to Tawaret. Tawaret was also believed to be the wife of the first God of evil Apep. Apep in Egyptian mythology was an evil demon associated with darkness and chaos, he was often portrayed as a snake. This once again shoes Egyptians adopting their surroundings into Gods. The early Egyptians must have been quite terrified of Snakes, likely due to the lethal strangling power, venom and ability to go unnoticed. Apep is also reponsible for a physical phenomena, the eclipse. It was believed that each night Ra (the god responsible for the Sun) passed down into Duat (Egyptian underworld) to fight Apep, Ra would almost always win except for certain days in which Ra is momentarily devoured by Apep, this was the way that the Egyptians explained the eclipse.