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Chons
 
In Egyptian mythology, Chons (alternately Khensu, Khons, Khonsu or Khonshu) is an ancient lunar deity, from before formal structure was given to a pantheon. His name reflects the fact that the Moon (referred to as Iah in Egyptian) travels across the night sky, for it means The Wanderer, and also had the titles Embracer, Pathfinder, and Defender, as he was thought to watch over night travelers. As the god of light in the night, Chons was invoked to protect against wild animals, increase male virility, and to aid with healing. It was said that when Chons caused the crescent moon to shine, women conceived, cattle became fertile, and all nostrils and every throat were filled with fresh air.     

Chons can also be understood to mean king's placenta, and consequently in early times, he was considered to slay the king's (i.e. the pharaoh's) enemies, and extract their innards for the king's use, metaphorically creating something resembling a placenta for the king. This bloodthirsty aspect lead him to be referred to, in such as the Pyramid texts, as the (one who) lives on hearts. He also became associated with more literal placentas, becoming seen as a deification of the royal placenta, and so a god involved with childbirth.

During the Middle Kingdom, since the pool at the temple of Mut was in the shape of a crescent moon, Chons gradually replaced the war-god Menthu, as her son in Theban thought. The father who had adopted Chons was thought to be Amun, who had already been changed into a more significant god by the rise of Thebes, and had had his wife changed to Mut. As these two were both considered extremely benign deities, Menthu gradually lost his more aggressive aspects.

In art, Chons was depicted as a child with the head of a hawk, wearing the crescent of the new moon subtending the disc of the full moon. His head was shaven except for the side-lock worn by Egyptian children, signifying his role as Chons the Child. Occasionally Chons was depicted as a young man holding the flail of the pharaoh, wearing a menat necklace. He was sometimes pictured on the back of a goose, ram, or two crocodiles. Chons' sacred animal was the baboon, considered a lunar animal by the ancient Egyptians.     

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This article is copied from an article on Wikipedia.org - the free encyclopedia created and edited by online user community. Although the vast majority of the wikipedia encyclopedia articles provide accurate and timely information please do not assume the accuracy of any particular article. This article is distributed under the terms of GNU Free Documentation License.

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