Egyptian Gods: Khonsu

Khonsu was an ancient Egyptian God of the Moon since the earliest times in Egyptian Mythology. His name Khonsu also spelled as Chonsu, Khensu, Khons, Chons or Khonshu which means “The Traveller” or “The Wanderer”, reflects to the moon wandering across the night sky. He is also revered as the god of time.

Khonsu also had given titles such as Embracer, Pathfinder, and Defender as he was thought to watch over night travelers. Khonsu was invoked to protect against wild animals, increase male virility, and to aid with healing. It was believed that Khonsu cause the crescent moon to shine, cattle to become fertile, women to conceive and every throat of the people were filled with fresh air.

His appearance portrayed as a young man wrapped in white mummy wrapping with the royal sidelock and punt beard hair (worn by Egyptian children), wearing lunar headdress that shows the disk of a full moon cradled in a crescent new moon. He holds the crook and flail with only his hands that free from the mummy wrapping. Occasionally, Khonsu also depicted as a falcon headed man wearing wearing the crescent of the new moon subtending the disc of the full moon on his head.

In early times, in “Cannibal Hymn” (part of the Pyramid Texts) Khonsu is a bloodthirsty deity, who helps the deceased king to slay deity enemies in the Underworld which describe him as “Khonsu who lives on hearts”. He appears to be a violent and dangerous god but he went through a complete transformation of character during time.

Khonsu was associated with a number of other gods such as Thoth, Ra, Shu, Min, Horus and Osiris. He also appears in several different aspects as Khonsu the Child (Khonsu pa-khered) or Khonsu the Provider (Khonsu pa-ir-sekher) or Khonsu, decider of the life span (Khonsu heseb-ahau).

According to the myth, Khonsu is the son of Amun and Mut, together constituting the Theban Triad. Nevertheless, he is also considered to be the son of Sobek and Hathor (associate him to Horus) and son of Osiris in Edfu.

Khonsu was worshipped throughout Egypt and many temples were built to honour him including temples at Memphis, Edfu and Hibis, but his main cult center was located at Thebes.