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 Ancient Egyptian Symbols

flailcrook.jpg (5591 bytes)Flail and Crook

A symbol of royalty, majesty and dominion.
primordial-hill.jpg (4793 bytes)Primordial Hill

The Egyptians believed that during creation this hill rose out of the sea of chaos to create dry land. The idea of this hill rising had a profound effect on the egyptians, being used as every thing from temple layouts to the possible inspiration behind the pyramids.
shen.jpg (4286 bytes)Shen

A loop of rope that has no beginning and no end, it symbolized eternity. The sun disk is often depicted in the center of it. The shen also seems to be a symbol of protection. It is often seen being clutched by deities in bird form, Horus the falcon, Mut the vulture. Hovering over Pharaohs head with their wings outstretched in a gesture of protection. The word shen comes from the word "shenu" which means "encircle," and in its elongated form became the cartouche which surrounded the king's name.

shen ring
eye-of-horus.gif (1291 bytes)Udjat - Eye of Horus

The sound eye of Horus. Symbolizes healing and protection. 
The eye is personified in the goddess Wadjet (also written as Wedjat, Uadjet, Wedjoyet, Edjo or Uto and as The Eye of Ra or "Udjat"). Horus was the ancient Egyptian sky god who was usually depicted as a falcon. His right eye was associated with the sun Ra. The eye symbol represents the marking around a Peregrine Falcon's eye that includes the "teardrop" marking sometimes found below the eye. The mirror image, or left eye, sometimes represented the moon and the god Djehuti (Thoth).
eye of horus
ka.jpg (2417 bytes)Ka

The ka is usually translated as "soul" or "spirit" The ka came into existence when an individual was born. It was believed that the ram-headed god Khnum crafted the ka on his potter's wheel at a persons birth. It was thought that when someone died they "met their ka". A persons ka would live on after their body had died. Some tombs included model houses as the ka needed a place to live. Offerings of food and drink would be left at the tomb entrance so the ka could eat and drink.
winged-solardisk.jpg (6092 bytes)Winged Solar Disk

This is a form that the god Horus Behudety (Horus of Edfu) takes in his battles with Seth. The god Thoth used his magic to turn Horus into a sun-disk with splendid outstretched wings. The goddesses Nekhbet and Uazet in the form of uraeus snakes joined him at his side.
tiet.jpg (2294 bytes)Tiet

The exact origin of this symbol is unknown. In many respects it resembles an ankh except that its arms curve down. Its meaning is also reminiscent of the ankh, it is often translated to mean welfare or life. As early as the Third Dynasty we find the tiet being used as decoration when it appears with both the ankh and the djed column, and later with the was scepter. The tiet is associated with Isis and is often called "the knot of Isis" or "the blood of Isis." It seems to be called "the knot of Isis" because it resembles a knot used to secure the garments that the gods wore. The meaning of "the blood of Isis" is more obscured but it was often used as a funerary amulet made of a red stone or glass. In the Late Period the sign was associated with the goddesses Nephthys, Hathor, and Nut as well as with Isis. In all these cases it seems to represent the ideas of resurrection and eternal life.
djew.jpg (2394 bytes)Djew

Which means mountain, the symbol suggests two peaks with the Nile valley in the middle. The Egyptians believed that there was a cosmic mountain range that held up the heavens. This mountain range had two peaks, the western peak was called Manu, while the eastern peak was called Bakhu. It was on these peaks that heaven rested. Each peak of this mountain chain was guarded by a lion deity, who's job it was to protect the sun as it rose and set. The mountain was also a symbol of the tomb and the afterlife, probably because most Egyptian tombs were located in the mountainous land bordering the Nile valley. In some texts we find Anubis, the gaurdian of the tomb being referred to as "He who is upon his mountain." Sometimes we find Hathor takeing on the attributes of a deity of the afterlife, at this time she is called "Mistress of the Necropolis." She is rendered as the head of a cow protruding from a mountainside.
atef.jpg (4350 bytes)Atef

The atef crown was worn by Osiris. It is made up of the white crown of Upper Egypt and the red feathers are representative of Busiris, Osiris's cult center in the Delta.
2crown.jpg (2465 bytes)Pshent

The Double Crown, the red crown and the white crown put together to represent a unified Egypt. Although Egypt was not always a unified nation it was stronger that way.Therefore unification was desirable. Narmer (Menes), the founder of the First Dynasty around 3100 B.C., was the first man recorded wearing this crown.
sesen.jpg (2424 bytes)Sesen

A Lotus Flower. This is a symbol of the sun, of creation and rebirth. Because at night the flower closes and sinks underwater, at dawn it rises and opens again. According to one creation myth it was a giant lotus which first rose out of the watery chaos at the beginning of time. From this giant lotus the sun itself rose on the first day. A symbol of Upper Egypt
flame-khet.jpg (2211 bytes)Khet

This symbol represents a lamp or brazier on a stand from which a flame emerges. Fire was embodied in the sun and in its symbol the uraeus which spit fire. Fire also plays a part in the Egyptian concept of the underworld. There is one terrifying aspect of the underworld which is similar to the christians concept of hell. Most egyptians would like to avoid this place with its fiery lakes and rivers that are inhabited by fire demons.
heart.jpg (2288 bytes)Ieb

This symbol represents a heart. The Egyptian believed the heart was the center of all consciousness, even the center of life itself. When someone died it was said that their "heart has departed." It was the only organ that was not removed from the body during mummification. In the Book of the dead, it was the heart that was weighed against the feather of Maat to see if an individual was worthy of joining Osiris in the afterlife.
gold-nebu.jpg (2350 bytes)Nebu

This symbol represents gold which was considered a divine metal, it was thought to be the flesh of the gods. Its polished surface was related to the brilliance of the sun. Gold was important to the afterlife as it represents aspects of immortality. By the New Kingdom, the royal burial chamber was called the "House of Gold."
The Menat, also known as Menyat or Menit, is the emblem of Goddess Hathor. A ceremonial object, it was a heavily beaded wide collar or necklace, having a crescent-shaped front piece and a heavy counterpoise at the back that kept it in place. The Menat is supposed to have been associated with life, fertility, potency, birth, renewal and joy.

The Goddess Hathor, who was also referred to as the 'Great Menat', was believed to use the Menat as a conduit for passing her power. The priests and priestesses of Hathor are often shown holding or wearing the Menat at official occasions.

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More Symbols:

African Symbols
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Healing Symbols
Jewish Symbols
Love Symbols
Masonic Symbols
Norse Symbols
Sacred Symbols
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Tarot Symbols
Colors Symbols
Heart Symbols
Math Symbols
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Persian Symbols
Talismans Symbols
Metal Symbolism
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Dragon Symbolism
Occult Symbols
Solar & Lunar Symbols
Wiccan Symbols
Gauguin Symbolism
Atheist Symbols
Bird Symbols
Water Symbols
Mythological Symbols
Kabbalah Symbols
Lotus Flower
Tibetan Symbols

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