Egyptian Symbols and Meanings

Egyptian Symbols and Meanings

The ancient Egyptians’ artistic architecture, symbols, amulets, and other objects meant to bring good fortune and protection were manifestations of the fusion of the physical and spiritual aspects of life that formed the basis of their culture. Written on temple walls and obelisks and utilized in religious and magical rites for the living and the dead, these ancient Egyptian symbols were crucial in transferring the culture from generation to generation. For the ancient Egyptians, this life on Earth was but a stop along the way to an afterlife where they would continue their journey eternally. Traveling around Egypt with a tour guide may be like having your very own enchanted emblem that takes you to all the must-see cities and sites, like as Aswan, Cairo, Alexandria, and Luxor, where you can find artifacts and information about the ancient Egyptian civilization. Hieroglyphs, the ancient Egyptians’ visual language, were revered as “The Words of Gods” and preserved the most significant moments in Egyptian history, religion, and culture.

Some of the Famous Egyptian Symbols Of Protection / ancient Egypt symbols of power/Egyptian symbols:

Ancient Egyptian Symbols and Meanings

There was a wide variety of pharaonic symbols, rites, and uses in ancient Egyptian life. Because these symbols had significant value in the history of the Pharaohs, it was necessary to address them. The Egyptians’ inventiveness in their manufacturing and reliance on them were evident in many areas of their lives, including social, religious, cultural, and recreational pursuits.

  1. The Ankh
  2. Djed
  3. Eye of Horus
  4. Eye Of Ra
  5. Was
  6. The Scarab beetle
  7. Cartouche
  8. The Lotus
  9. Uraeus
  10. KA
  11. BA
  12. Canopic jars
  13. Winged Sun
  14. Ouroboros
  15. AMENTA
  16. Tiet
  17. Feather Of Maat
  18. Crook and Flail
  19. Deshret Crown
  20. Hedjet Crown
  21. Pschent Crown
  22. Tree Of Life
  23. Seba
  24. Ajet
  25. Menat
  26. Sistrum
  27. Nemyss
  28. Obelisk
  29. Shen ring

Egyptian symbols, such as the Ankh, the Lotus flower, the Ka and Ba, and the soul and spirit, are often associated with religion, daily life, death, love, power, and weakness.

The Ankh

Egyptian tomb paintings and other art frequently feature the ankh, which is known as “the key of the Nile” due to its association with the union between Osiris and Isis. The ankh was also associated with the cult of Isis, and it was depicted as a “cross with a handle” to represent eternal life. The ankh is the most famous symbol to emerge from ancient Egypt. [Indulge in a comprehensive article about the Ankh symbol]

The Djed

Known as “The Backbone of Osiris”, It represents strength and stability and is linked to the Osiris god of the underworld and Ptah god of creation which makes it a symbol for resurrection and eternal life.

Ancient Egyptian believed the Djed pillar was the combination of four pillars that held the four corners of the earth.

It was also used as a fertility pole raised during festivals which emphasized balance in life and hope in the afterlife, provided by the great gods of Ancient Egypt.

A Djed column is often on the bottom of coffins where the backbone of the deceased would lay in order for the soul to stand up and walk into the afterlife.

Wadjet (The Eye of Horus) – Egyptian Symbol for the God – God of protection Egypt

Also Known as (Uto, Udjat, Wedjat) the Eye of Horus represents healing, protection, good health, and royal power, it’s the most famous of ancient Egyptian symbols. The left eye belonged to the sky god Horus who gave it away to save his father Osiris.

This symbol is extremely famous and powerful at that time as it had healing powers and was used as a medical tool to measure the ingredients while making the medicine.

The eye represents the moon and is considered a symbol of sacrifice. His right eye is known as the eye of Ra the sun god and prevents negative energy.

Eye Of Ra

There are different myths about the origin of the Eye of Ra symbol. still, utmost experts believe that the symbol was actually the right eye of Horus and came known as the Eye of Ra in ancient times. The two symbols substantially represented the same conceptions. That said, according to different myths, the Eye of Ra symbol was linked as the instantiation of numerous goddesses in Egyptian tradition, similar as Wadjet, Hathor, Mut, Sekhmet, and Bastet.

Ra or also known as Re is the sun god in Egyptian mythology. thus, the Eye of Ra symbolizes the sun.

The “Was” Sign & Had Significance

One of the most significant Egyptian symbols is the “Was Sceptre.” This staff had a straight shaft, a crooked handle shaped like an animal’s head, and a forked base; the crooked top mirrored the peculiar animal shape of Set’s own head. The scepter also symbolized the dominion of the gods and, according to ancient Egyptian belief, the continuation of a king’s prosperity.

The Scarab – an Egyptian symbol of protection

One of the most well-known symbols of ancient Egypt during the first intermediate period (2181-2040 BCE) until the rise of Christianity.

This symbol is seen in Egyptian art and iconography which is a species of the dung beetle. It rolled the dung into a ball and laid its eggs in it and the dung served as food for the young when they hatched.

Ancient Egyptians saw life coming from nothing which represented transformation, the recreation of life and resurrection. The scarab was identified with the God Khepri who was more like Ra assistant, that roll the ball of the sun across the sky.

Etymology of the Cartouche

An ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic nameplate, a cartouche has clear associations with the sun and represents protection from evil spirits in this life and the next. The shape of the symbol, which was originally an oval with a horizontal bar, was occasionally used as a cartouche. In this context, the cartouche was meant to symbolize heavenly protection, and it looked a lot like the ouroboros serpent biting its own tail.

Lotus Symbol

The lotus symbol is considered to be a true icon in Egyptian mythology and ancient Egyptian art. The lotus flower a.k.a“Water lily” closes at night, sinks underwater then wakes up in the morning, that’s why it became a symbol of the sun, creation, and regeneration.

The Lotus has associated with Atum-Ra the sun god as a giant lotus emerged from the primordial waters of Nun and from which the sun-god appeared, and the cult of Osiris as the symbol was related to funeral imagery and with the deceased entering the underworld which symbolizes reincarnation.

The symbol was commonly used in the art to represent Upper Egypt. It was found in honored places all over Egypt, on the architecture of the capital tops of Egyptian pillars representing the tree of life, in the tombs, in Hieroglyphics, written in papyrus, found on thrones and the headdresses of the divine pharaohs.

Uraeus sign

Sign of Uraeus
Uraeus, a Greek word meaning “rearing cobra,” was a significant emblem for the Egyptian gods, goddesses, and pharaohs. Learn about the origins, beliefs, and mythology of the “Uraeus” symbol—a symbol of the goddess Wadjet, a royal deity from ancient times.

According to Egyptian mythology, the god Geb bestowed the cobra upon the pharaohs as a royal emblem, and the fetishized artifact was thought to contain magical abilities and provide protection from evil spirits.

KA symbol

The ka-badge
It represents the process of event of life It also represented the life force or spiritual power that lived within the body of a person and survived death Ka( consort) or the ghost, a material spirit born with man, has been made of light material isn’t seen, similar air, and be in the form of its proprietor, any image exactly identical to him. The consort of the child was a child, and the old man of the old man, After his death, Ka joined the body until Ba returned, and Ka and Ba united to help the dead person to come back to life again.

That’s why they tried to mummify the body to live ever, and the Ka set up an eternal place for his
ka, ” was associated with the place where the body was placed in the burial chamber in the cemetery and was left only through the false door to enter the sanctum.

the ancients made the statues and put them in the tombs to replace the “ Ka ” rather than the body if stolen or cultural, and further than making these statues because the further they make sure their eternal eternity.
In hieroglyphs, ka is represented with arms stretched up or forward.

BA symbol

BA initial
BA It’s the heavenly spirit and human personality in the spirit world because it’s always conceived in the shape of a bird with a human head carrying the features of the departed person as if it were a reference to his personality and spirit where she leaves the body after death to the sky where she lives in the stars, and also return to visit the body between Anne and another.
Ba appeared in numerous Egyptian eulogies tombs and temples and papyrus hovering around the tomb of the owner where the body lies motionless as if there’s a retired force to return constantly to see her body, which has been attached to her throughout her life on the earth.

Ancient Egyptian canopic jars

Canopic jars of Ancient Egypt
The canopic jars were the holders used to hold the internal organs because The ancient Egyptians believed that when a person passed away they would return again to the afterlife The ancient Egyptians believed that they would need all internal organs after death in the afterlife ’ Canopic jars were created to contain all of the organs so that upon entering the afterlife.

  • I msety a man with a head to save the liver.
  • Duamatef with a jackal head to save the stomach.
  • Happy with the head of the baboon to save the lungs.
  • Qebehsenuf with the head of a falcon to save the bowel.

Sun with Egyptian wings

Winged Sun
Not only did other ancient civilizations adopt the winged sun as a symbol, but Egypt did as well. The god Behedti, who rules over the noon sun, was represented in temples by this emblem, which was also known as Behdety.

The Egyptians believed that this emblem would ward off evil spirits when worn as an amulet. There are instances where it is shown as a quality of other Egyptian deities as well.

Ouroboros in Egyptian

One of the symbols of the sun, it represents the travels of Aton, one of the aspects of the sun god. Its represent rebirth, perpetuity, and recreation.

The symbol was created when Atum out of the dark waters in the form of a serpent renewing itself every morning. It is known as an infinity symbol, it’s used in many different cultures like in Greek and Norse mythology.

Amenta

Ancient Egyptian Symbols and Meanings,
The ancient Egyptians saw Amenta as a sign of the underworld, or the realm of the dead. In its original form, the menta represented the horizon, where the sun would set. Over time, it came to symbolize the western bank of the Nile, where the Egyptians laid their graves. That is why, according to popular belief, amenta came to represent the underworld.

Tiet

An Egyptian symbol that looks a lot like the ankh is the tiet or tyet, which is also called the knot of isis or the blood of isis. Its significance was also thought to be comparable to that of the ankh. The idea is that it represents existence.

Because of their shared interpretation of life’s duality, the ankh and the Djed pillar of Osiris—both associated with the goddess Isis—were the most common places to see it used.

The exact origin of its name is a mystery, although legend has it that it was bestowed upon the recipient as a symbol of the magical abilities bestowed by Isis’s menstrual blood.

Feather Of Maat

Maat’s feather is one of the most common Egyptian symbols used in hieroglyphics. The goddess Maat defined justice in Egyptian culture and the Ma’at feather can be seen in the context of “ assuring justice ” in ancient eulogies.

This is because the ancient Egyptians believed that one’s heart would be weighed against the Maat Feather in the Hall of Two trueness when one’s soul entered Duat. If his heart was set up equal or lighter than this it would mean that he was a righteous person and he’d go to Aaru( paradise ruled by Osiris). still, also his heart would be eaten by Ammit, the goddess who ate the soul and he’d be cursed to remain in the Underworld forever, If not.

Cross and flail

Angular and flailing
Originally representing the god Osiris, the crook and flail eventually came to represent the power of the pharaohs. In particular, the staff stood for Pharaoh’s position as shepherd to his people, and the flail for his function as source of sustenance.

Deshret Crown

Deshret, also known as the Red Crown of Egypt, is the symbol that represents Lower Egypt, the lands of the goddess Wadjet. It’s also used as the symbol of Kemet, the rich lands within the home of Seth.

Hedjet Crown

Crown of Hedjet
Hedjet the White Crown was one of the two crowns of Egypt representing the kingdom of Upper Egypt. It was conjoined with the Red Crown of Lower Egypt, Deshret to form the Pschent, Double Crown of Egypt when the country was united.

Crown of Pschent

Pschent Crown
Pschent was the Egyptian Double Crown, made up of the Red Crown (Deshret) and the White Crown (Hedjet), which stood for Lower Egypt and Upper Egypt, respectively. It stood for the cohesion of Egypt and the absolute dominion of the Pharaoh over the entire country.

Tree of Life symbol

Ensign representing a tree of life
A potent emblem and emblem of ancient Egyptian mythology and symbolism, the Tree of Life was associated with the existence of water.

The legendary Tree of Life, which was central to Egyptian mythology, was believed to have bestowed both immortality and insight into the rhythms of time.

The Egyptians revered palm trees and sycamores as sacred trees, with the latter being especially significant due to the belief that two trees should grow at the entrance of heaven, where Ra was believed to be present every day.

There was a Tree of Life in Heliopolis’s Temple of the Sun deity Ra.

At Heliopolis, the sacred tree of life was first revealed alongside Ra, the sun deity.

Seba

This symbol was used in Egyptian art to represent the stars. The Egyptians had a good knowledge of the stars and the constellations. They frequently used this symbol to embellish the temples and the innards of the tombs.
The Egyptians believed that the stars also inhabited the Duat, the Duat is the underworld or the realm of the dead, and that they descended there every night to accompany the Sun. The symbol of a star inside a circle was a way of representing the underworld.

Ajet

Symbols for Ajet
Ajet is an Egyptian hieroglyph, which meant a representation of the Horizon and the Sun above it, its diurnal birth and setting. therefore embodying the idea of sunrise and sunset. The circle in the center represents the Sun and the shapes set up at the base would be the symbol of the Djew or mountains.

In ancient Egypt, it was the place where the sun rises and sets; it’s frequently restated as “ horizon ” or “ mountain of light ”. It’s generally set up with the symbol of Ajet, guarded by the god Aker, the god of the underworld, composed of two lions that turned their tails on him, these lions represented the history and moment, and the eastern and western midairs of the Egyptian underworld. The symbol Ajet was also companied with the generalities of creation and revitalization.

Menat

Egyptian symbol of the menat
The Menat was an Egyptian collar with a characteristic shape and a corrective to keep it in the right position. This collar was associated with the goddess Hathor and her son. According to Egyptian mythology, it was the amulet from which the goddess Hathor uttered her power. In numerous of her representations, it can be interpreted as a symbol of fertility, birth, life, and renewal.

Sistrum from Egypt

Egyptian Sistrum, The spectrum
Hathor, Isis, and Bastet were all venerated in ancient Egyptian rites with the usage of the sistrum. Shaking this handle-mounted instrument—whose form was reminiscent of the Ankh symbol—released a distinctive sound.

Isis and Bastet, two goddesses, were frequently depicted with one of these instruments in her hands. The Egyptians associated this sign with joyful celebrations and dances. Additionally, the form of the sistrum represents a hieroglyph.

The Egyptian sign of Nemyss

Nemyss Egyptian symbol
The pharaohs of Egypt wore the ceremonial headpiece known as the nemyss. King Tutankhamen’s sarcophagus is the most famous thing from it. From the crown of the head to the nape of the neck, the nemyss descends in a fan of folded linen. Many magical groups and Kemetists still make extensive use of the nemyss.

The Egyptian obelisk

Obelisk Egyptian symbol
Along with the pyramids, the obelisk is among the most recognizable symbols of ancient Egypt.

The obelisk is a type of architectural feature characterized by a thin, tapered pyramid with a pyramidal cap. Obelisks typically consisted of a single piece of stone.

Ancient Egyptian pharaohs would have obelisks built at his command to beckon the Sun God Ra for protection. The obelisks were typically sited at the temple entrance because they served as both a symbol to honor the deity and a place for the god to rest, according to popular belief.

An obelisk’s primary symbolic meaning lies in its association with the “energies of the earth,” a representation of the dynamic and fertile principle that permeates and emanates from the dormant and fertile element. The obelisk is a solar sign with a very masculine quality; its towering, regal form is reminiscent of the phallic element, and this is no accident. In ancient Egypt, the Nile River overflowed due to the sun’s and seasons’ ebb and flow. This left behind a dark-colored, highly fertilizing silt that turned the dry sand into arable land, guaranteeing the community’s existence and survival. The hermetic science of alchemy, which symbolically returns to its principle, is named after this dark area, which the ancient Egyptians referred to as kemet.

As a sign of the pharaoh’s authority, the obelisks served to remind the people of the connection between the ruler and the divine.

Symbol of Shenu & The “Shen ring” in Egyptian

A circle of rope that has no beginning and no end, in order to form an unbroken bond which symbolizes infinity, completeness, eternity and protection which made its symbol extremely popular and well – presented.

The word “Shen” comes from the Ancient Egyptian word which means “encircle”, everyone including kings wore the amulet of Shen.

Many deities like Horus and Isis are seen holding the Shen which made the ancient Egyptians honor the Shen as a symbol of symmetry and perfection.

Ancient Egyptian Symbols and Meanings

Ancient Egypt is known for its rich and fascinating history, and one of the most intriguing aspects of this ancient civilization is its use of symbols. Symbols were an integral part of the Egyptian culture, and they were used in various aspects of life, such as religion, architecture, and art.

These symbols held deep meanings and were believed to have magical and protective properties. They were used to convey ideas, tell stories, and represent the beliefs and values of the ancient Egyptians. In this article, we will explore some of the most prominent ancient Egyptian symbols and their meanings.

The Egyptian mythology includes great stories to discover, you can buy and witness these memorable symbols by booking unforgettable Egypt tour packages or enjoying an incredible Nile cruise to observe the majestic temples of Egyptian pharaohs and explore the myths of gods and goddesses. Plan your holiday from here.

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