Khonsu (also Chonsu, Khensu, Khons, Chons or Khonshu) is the Ancient Egyptian god of the moon. His name means "traveller", and this may relate to the nightly travel of the moon across the sky. Along with Thoth he marked the passage of time. Khonsu was instrumental in the creation of new life in all living creatures. At Thebes he formed part of a family triad (the "Theban Triad") with Mut as his mother and Amun, his father.
In Mythology Edit
His name reflects the fact that the Moon (referred to as Iah in Egyptian) travels across the night sky, for it means "traveller", and also had the titles "Embracer", "Pathfinder", and "Defender", as he was thought to watch overnight travellers. As the God of light in the night, Khonsu was invoked to protect against wild animals, and aid with healing. It was said that when Khonsu caused the crescent moon to shine, women conceived, cattle became fertile, and all nostrils and every throat was filled with fresh air.
"Khonsu" 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 placentafor the king. This bloodthirsty aspect leads 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.
In one popular myth, Thoth gambled with Khonsu and won enough moonlight from him to add five extra days to the year, enabling Nut to give birth to Isis, Osiris, Set and Nephthys.