Friday, August 21, 2015

What does it all mean? Egyptian Symbols


Ancient Egyptian culture has many symbols. The following chart describes the meaning of a few of the more common ones:
  1. SEKHEM
    The Sekhem-scepter was a  ritual scepter that symbolized authority and was often incorporated in names and words associated with power and control.
  2. WAS
    The Was scepter was a visual representation of  "power" or "dominion." Naturally, its earliest depictions in Egyptian art found it in the hands of the gods and goddesses, such as  Osiris and Ptah. In their hands, the Was scepter was combined with the ankh and djed. The pharaohs also often carried it.
  3. WADJ
    Wadj might have originated in the hieroglyphic script for a stylized papyrus stem and the words for 'green' and 'flourishing'. It was used as an amulet that was important enough to merit its own spell in the Book of the Dead. Wadj-amulets were worn by the living as well as the dead. In iconography, the Wadj occurs as a sceptre held by a goddess.
  4. ANKH
    While the origins of the ankh might be obscure, the meaning is certainly clear: "life". The ankh is carried in the hands of many Egyptian deities and usually represents the life-giving elements of air and water. It was often shown being offered to the king's lips as a symbol of the "breath of life."
  5. KNOT of ISIS (Tjet)
    There is much debate about  this symbol, which often appears with the Djed . It is similar to the knot used to tie garments in place, and so is often called the "knot of Isis". Knots were thought to bind magic and Isis s the Mistress of Magic, so this is not  an unreasonable suggestion. Others suggest  it is 'the girdle" or 'the blood" of Isis, and the e symbol represents a cloth used during menstruation or an ancient charm for menstrual cramps. Still others suggest it represents the female reproductive organs and Isis in her role as the universal mother. Whatever the original meaning, there seems to be a link toIsis,  blood, power, and regeneration.
  6. WADJET EYE
    Also known as the Eye of Horus, it was an ancient Egyptian symbol of protection, royal power and good health. The eye is personified in the goddess Wadjet . It is also known as ''The Eye of Ra.''
  7.  CROOK AND FLAIL
    The crook and flail were symbols of  royal power, usually crossed-over each other and held across the chest of Kings and the god, Osiris, the mythological first king of Egypt.
  8. DJED PILLAR
    The Djed pillar is said to represent Osiris' backbone, and there are many references in Egyptian literature to this association. Wallis Budge believed that it was the oldest symbol of Osiris, representing his body as well.
  9. SCARAB
    The scarab beetle was a symbol of rebirth and represents the god Khepri, who was thought to push the sun disc through the morning sky as a scarab beetle pushes its ball of dung.