Study Guide

Khonsu

  • Profile

    The kooky kid of dynamic Egyptian deities Amun and Mut, Khonsu is the Egyptian god of the moon. A true multi-tasker, he's also got a lot of other jobs. Khonsu helps regulate humans' lifespans, fights for the pharaoh, heals the sick, and helps out the unfortunate. How does he find time to do all of this? Yeah right—like he'd tell us.

    Basic Information

    Name

    Khonsu

    Nickname

    My favorite nicknames are Khon, Su, and Special K. My worshippers also have a few names for me: the Wanderer (because I'm the moon, which wanders across the sky); Khonsu-Neterhotep (Khonsu the Merciful, who loves helping humans); and Khonsu the Child (because I'm Amun and Mut's baby boy). I'm also the Reckoner of the Lifespan (when I'm called on to figure out how long a human should live) and the Provider (my nickname when I'm invoked as a healing god).

    Yeah, I get around.

    Sex

    Male

    Current city

    I'm worshipped across Egypt, from Edfu to Kom Ombo, Luxor to Karnak.

    Work & Education

    Occupation

    God of the moon and a bunch of other stuff. NBD.

    Education

    I learned at my divine parents'—and aunts' and uncles'—knees.

    Beliefs

    Political views

    I support the pharaoh as divine monarch of Egypt.

    Family & Friends (& Enemies)

    Parents

    My parents change depending on where I'm worshipped. At Thebes, I'm the son of Amun and Mut, but at Kom Ombo, I'm Sobek and Hathor's son. Sometimes, I'm even Ptah and Sekhmet's baby.

    And yes, I'm in therapy.

    Siblings

    I'm related to every god.

    Children

    None

    Friends

    The gods of Egypt and their son, the pharaoh

    Relationships

    Relationship status

    Single and looking for a divine missus

    Interested in

    Any single goddesses

    Favorites

    TV Shows

    Moonlighting 
    The Defenders 
    (I act as the defender—more physically than these guys—for the pharaoh.)
    Egypt Unwrapped 
    (Even I love learning new things about my own country.)
    Falcon Crest 
    (I love this TV show, since I often appear in the form of a falcon-headed man.)

    Quotations

    "Moonlight drowns out all but the brightest stars."
    – J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

    "Here, men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the Moon. July 1969 AD. We came in peace for all mankind."
    – Neil Armstrong

    Moses: "Why did you choose me?"
    Queen: "We didn't, Moses. The gods did."
    The Prince of Egypt

    "A civilization is destroyed only when its gods are destroyed."
    – Emile M. Cioran

    Books

    Twilight: New Moon by Stephenie Meyer 
    (I'm a half-moon kind of guy myself, but I love all of its phases.)
    From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg 
    (I'd stay in the Egyptian wing of the museum.)
    The Phantom Tollbooth by Norman Jester 
    (Since I'm also "Khonsu the Child," I love kids' books—this one in particular.)
    On the Road by Jack Kerouac 
    (I read this on the road from the Nile Delta to Karnak.)
    The Witches by Roald Dahl 
    (The witches remind me of meaner versions of my magical goddess cousins.)
    How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss 
    (I know we didn't have Christmas in ancient Egypt, but this is just a classic.)
    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson 
    (Like Salander, I've got a dark side.)
    Othello by William Shakespeare
    The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald 
    (Who doesn't love a good Roaring '20s party?)
    Hamlet by William Shakespeare 
    (Lady Macbeth switches up on ol' Mac—she's dark, but has a light side—just like the moon.)

    Music

    Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd 
    Can I Kick It? by A Tribe Called Quest 
    (I can never kick it—the moon is always cycling.)
    Walk This Way by Run D.M.C. and Aerosmith 
    What's Love Got to Do With It? by Tina Turner 
    (For mortal humans, love's got nothing to do with their destiny.)
    Everyday People by Sly and the Family Stone 
    (I'm just your average god, hanging with my parents, Amun and Mut, in Thebes.)
    Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin 
    (Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding 
    (I'm more used to sitting on a Nile dock.)

    Movies

    Prince of Egypt 
    (I rooted for Moses here, even though he wasn't a real Egyptian.)
    The Healer 
    (I might be ferocious when protecting the pharaoh, but I'm also a nice guy—just witness all the times I've helped mortals by healing them.)
    Moon 
    (The title says it all. Simple and sweet, just like me.)
    Avatar 
    (Who doesn't love futuristic sci-fi?)
    The Exorcist 
    (I'll get as bad as the devil if someone tries to attack the pharaoh.)
    The Mummy
    Psycho 
    Alien 

    Activities & Interests

    Likes

    Doctors
    Horror flicks
    Planetariums
    Croissants (because of their shape)
    Family reunions

    Interests

    Astronomy
    Medicine
    Divination
    Youth studies (since I'm the favorite kid of Amun and Mut)
    Criminal justice (for when I'm figuring out human beings' fates)

    Groups

    Secrets of Ancient Egypt 
    Astronomers 
    The Ancient Gods 
    My Parents Change from City to City

  • Spotter's Guide

    Khonsu's a busy god. He'll be a boy one day, then an awesome doctor the next. You never know what shape he'll be wearing, so keep on the lookout for him. He often takes the form of a half-man, half-falcon and drags around the royal crook and flail, showing his power. Just don't get too close—he's an avenging god, too, and you don't want to get your head bitten off.

    Sex: Male
    Age: He's ageless, but he's usually shown as a pre-teen
    Build: Slender
    Complexion: Tan
    Hair Color: Black and braided into a side ponytail (which shows he's still a kid)
    Facial Hair: Sometimes he has a beard, but not usually.
    Scars/marks/tattoos: He often has a falcon's head (he's half-bird, half-man). That is one sign that he's a god.
    Jewelry and accessories: He's got some pretty cool tools. He often holds the crook and flail—Osiris and Horus' symbols of authority—and a special staff. He also wears a loose necklace and his crown has a crescent and a disk shaped like the moon on it.
    Clothing: He wears a tight garment that fits him like a glove.
    Armor: None
    Type of Weapon: Divine magic

    Typical Companions

    Amun
    Mut

    Known Hangouts

    Doctor's offices
    His temples at Karnak, Thebes, and elsewhere across Egypt
    Pet store (he has to feed his falcon half)

  • Sightings

    Jan 1, 1970

    Pyramid Text 273 ("The Cannibal Hymn")

    In this text, the king asks his bud Khonsu to destroy the pharaoh's enemies. Unas describes the moon god as his deputy of destruction: Khonsu "slaughters the lords" and "cuts their throats for Unas," among other things. Yowza.

    Dec 21, 2019 - Dec 20, 2019

    The Dispute Between a Man and His Ba

    In this story, a depressed dude chats to his ba, his soul in bird form, about how sad he is. The man calls on the gods to witness his misery. He asks the deities to have some sympathy for him and even requests that Khonsu, who helps decides men's fates, to defend him. Khonsu's love surely went out to this guy's heart—if Khon didn't tear it out first!

    Dec 20, 2019 - Dec 20, 2019

    The Bentresh Stele

    This story tells of Pharaoh Ramses II, who fell for a woman from a foreign land. When Rammy's honey's sister became possessed by a demon, the king sent a statue of Khonsu as healer to her. Khonsu shooed the demon out and saved the pretty princess's life.

    Dec 20, 2019 - Dec 20, 2019

    The Cosmogony of Khonsu

    In this version of the creation of the world, Khonsu's got a big part to play. The god Amun creates a lot of stuff, then travels to the city of Thebes in the form of Khonsu. This story, written on the walls of the temple at Karnak, also shows a snake—Khonsu—creating the world by impregnating an egg.

    Dec 20, 2019 - Dec 20, 2019

    Greek Magical Papyrus

    In this prayer to Khonsu from the Greco-Roman era of Egypt, the devotee butters up the god. He remembers Khonsu's reputation as a god of healing, as well as his vengeful side, when chatting with the deity. Talk about flattery.