To the ancient Egyptians, the world was alive with spirituality and powerful forces. What they could not explain scientifically, such as plague, they laid at the feet of the gods. If someone in the household became ill, and the person could not be cured by the doctors, the family could make offerings to the temples and entreat the gods and goddesses for a cure. An often-used definition of "magic" is "to attempt to affect the workings of the physical world through spiritual means." In this way, the people of Egypt could take some control for themselves, by offering, praying and hoping for help, rather than sitting helpless in worrisome situations.
One of the interesting things about these many gods and goddesses is the fact that they often shared attributes and roles. Isis, for instance, was the Mistress of Magic, but she often wore the same headdress as her sister, Hathor, the Mistress of Love and Music. This associated the two with each other.
However, it is impossible for us to draw a sharp line when identifying gods and goddesses. Some Egyptologists feel that the Egyptians' understanding of religion was actually very complex, more so than it has been understood in the past. With all of the goddesses and gods somehow associating with each other, there is more of a sense of the "divine" than a sense of individual, capricious gods and goddesses such as in Greece.