Ancient Egypt Symbols 

Ancient Egyptian symbols were employed to depict a variety of notions and ideas from Egyptian mythology over various periods of Egyptian culture. Several of these Egypt symbols were associated with Egyptian gods. These symbols were employed by the Egyptians to decorate their temples, portray their gods in inscriptions, and manufacture amulets to help them cope with their hardships.

In many circumstances, the symbolism that some images have in their context helps us to grasp them better. This is especially true in Egypt, where magic and man are entwined, with numerous instances of copying the exterior shape of an object and associating it with deities with specific attributes. We know that the Egyptians did not strive to recreate reality, but rather to give form and presence to those realities that exist behind many masks and contain the essential core of existence.

Several of these ancient Egyptian symbols were passed down from past civilizations, while others arose at different times over Egypt’s history. In certain circumstances, the following Egypt symbols have hieroglyphic equivalents in the Egyptian writing system. We’ll take you on a journey through this page to learn about the most important and well-known ancient Egyptian symbols, their meanings, and their many names.

Don’t quit reading; there’s still a lot to learn

Ankh Egyptian Symbol

Ankh, also known as Anj, is an ancient Egyptian hieroglyph that represents perpetual life and is one of the most well-known ancient Egyptian symbols. This is one of the most common hieroglyphs in writings and Egyptian art, always in reference to the gods. The Egyptians believed that the gods were in charge of perpetual life. As a result, images of their gods with the Ankh reflected their power over life and death, and therefore became known as the “Egyptian emblem of death.” The gods were frequently shown as holding an ankh by its knot in their hands. By its lower end, it is also usual to depict the gods with crossed arms and an Ankh in each hand.

Ankh Cross

At several pharaohs, representations of a deity holding the Ankh near the lips are also prevalent. This represents the gods’ gift of the breath of life, which is required for life after death. The Egyptians regarded the Ankh as a protective charm that they wore. They also created Ankh-shaped mirrors to symbolize the reciprocal representation of birth and death.

Despite the fact that it is one of the most prominent Egypt symbols, several ideas regarding its origin exist, none of which is definitive. Coptic Christians eventually adopted a variant of the Ankh cross as a sign of their beliefs.

Eye of Horus

The Eye of Horus is an ancient Egyptian emblem of safety and healthy life. Horus, the deity of heaven who is portrayed as a hawk or a man with a hawk’s head, inspired the emblem. Osiris, Horus’ father, was slain by his brother Seth, according to Egyptian mythology. Horus pursued justice and lost his left eye in a series of battles with Seth. Tot, the god of magic and knowledge, was able to heal Horus’ eye, which he then offered to Osiris in exchange for his life. As a result, the eye of Horus may represent sacrifice, healing, and secure shelter. Horus’ two eyes have a specific meaning in Egyptian mythology.

Eye of Horus Secrets of Perfection 1 (1)

His right eye was traditionally identified with the Sun, and his left eye was associated with the Moon. The left eye was known as the Eye of Horus, and the right eye was known as the Eye of Ra, as Ra was the Sun god. Despite the fact that the two eyes are different Egyptian symbols, they speak to the same notions. Making funerary amulets in the shape of Horus’ eye was also a frequent practice among Egyptians.

Scarab Beetle

The scarab beetle is an ancient Egyptian emblem associated with the deity Jepri, a sun god who is said to represent one of the sun god Ra’s various forms. Dung beetles lay their eggs in dung balls, which they subsequently insert into a hole in the earth. This caused the Egyptians to believe that these beetles were self-producing, and they compared this trait to that of the god Jepri, who is reborn as the Sun every day. As a result, the beetle is seen as a symbol of the rising Sun in Egyptian culture.

Scarab beetle meaning in ancient Egypt

The Egyptians created a variety of scarabs, or beetle-shaped amulets, to represent the Sun, the resurrection, and to seek its protection in life and death. They also created beetle-shaped burial amulets. They used to be larger and have hawk wings in this example. These amulets were worn around the deceased’s heart to safeguard him on his trip to the afterlife. [More information on the Egyptian scarab beetle and its significance may be found here.] 

Djed Pilar Egyptian Symbol

In Egyptian mythology, the Djed Pillar is one of the oldest Egypt symbols. It is linked to Ptah, the creation deity, and Osiris, the god of death, and represents power and stability. This symbol is also known as Osiris’ backbone because of its connection to the deity Osiris. Amulets in the shape of Pilar Djed’s sign were popular among Egyptians. These were for both the living and the dead and were put near the spine in the latter circumstance. It was also customary to engrave the form of the Pilar Dyed on the bottom of the coffins, located in the exact location where the deceased’s spine would be put.

The ancient Egyptian Symbol “Tyet”

This ancient Egyptian emblem, commonly known as the Knot of Isis, represents the goddess Isis. This is an unidentified Egypt symbol that bears some geometric resemblance to the Ankh sign. Its symbolism is also comparable to that of the Anj, since the Tyet is said to represent life and well-being. The knot of Isis got its name from its resemblance to the knots used to tie the goddesses’ robes together. This sign is frequently seen with Pilar Dyed, the emblem of Osiris, the god of death. As a result, some scholars have interpreted this shared portrayal as a sign of the life-death duality.

Maat’s Pen

Maat is an abstract notion associated with justice and truth in Egyptian mythology. This Egypt symbol was frequently shown as a goddess, Ra’s daughter. One of this goddess’s characteristics was that she wore an ostrich feather on her head, which was regarded as Maat’s feather.

Maat Egyptian Symbol

According to Egyptian mythology, this Egyptian symbol was used at Osiris’s trial. When a departed person arrived in the afterlife, he or she was subjected to a trial. The decedent’s heart was placed on one side of a scale, and Maat’s feather on the other, during Osiris’s trial. If the heart weighed more than Maat’s feather owing to the crimes it carried, it was thought that the corpse lacked the authority to enter the underworld and was swallowed by the goddess Ammy.

Ka and Ba Symbols in Egypt

According to Egyptian mythology, the names Ka and Ba signify the two halves of the human spirit. Every person was born with a spiritual element known as Ka. The Ka symbol in Egypt was thought to be an essence apart from the human body, but one that had to stay within it. Even after the individual died, the Ka remained within his body, waiting for the opportunity to meet the Ba and go on the journey to the underworld.

The Ba is also an imaginary notion that refers to a person’s distinctive features, which may be interpreted as his character and which lives on after death. After death, the Ba Egypt symbol would depart the person’s body to proceed to the underworld. He may return to the tomb to rejoin the Ka until the two were united for eternity in the underworld after Osiris’ judgment. The Ka’s emblem is Heka, an Egyptian goddess associated with sorcery. The Ba was shown as a human body with a bird’s head on another side of the story.

Seba Symbol

This ancient Egyptian symbol was used to depict the stars in Egyptian art. The Egyptians were well-versed in the heavens and constellations. This emblem was frequently used to embellish temples and tomb interiors. The Egyptians thought that the stars also lived in the underworld, the Duat, and that they descended there every night to follow the Sun. The underworld was represented by the sign of a star inside a circle.

Shen Ring

The Shen ring is symbolic of immortality and security that depicts a circle with a tangent line depicting a knotted rope. Shen, the Egyptian word for “surround,” is the name given to this Egypt symbol. On certain occasions, this sign was drawn in a more extended shape to become a cartridge with the names of pharaohs inscribed within. This was to show that the pharaoh’s ring, Shen, would always protect him.

Scepter Uas or Was

The Egyptian scepter Uas, also known as was, was a sign of authority and supremacy. It was frequently shown in the hands of divinity or king. A scepter with a forked base was used as this emblem. The head of some supernatural creature was generally adorning the top of it.

The Uraeus Egyptian Symbol

Uraeus is a portrayal of the snake goddess Uadyet, who was used to depict the pharaohs’ confidence and power. This Egypt symbol featured on crowns and burial masks in Egyptian mythology to indicate the relationship between pharaohs and gods. Uraeus was utilized for decorative purposes in jewelry and amulets, in addition to its role with the pharaohs. It was also used as a hieroglyphic in some case scenarios.

Crook and flail

The Cayado (Heka) and the Mayal (Nekhakha) were initially two Egyptian symbols of the deity Osiris, but they represent the pharaohs’ sovereignty throughout time. The staff signified the Pharaoh’s function as it shepherds to his people, while the flail signified the Pharaoh’s role as a nourishment provider to his nation

Ajet 

The dawn, the scene of the rising sun, and the horizon are represented by the Egyptian symbol Ajet. Amulets in the shape of this sign were widespread among Egyptians to symbolize the sunrise and the rebirth of the Sun every morning. The two lions of Aker, the deity of the horizon, were frequently represented as guarding this emblem.

Menat Egyptian Symbol

The Menat was a type of Egyptian necklace with a distinctive design and a balance to hold it in place. The goddess Hathor and her son Ihy were linked to this Egypt symbol. It was the amulet through which the goddess Hathor released her strength, according to Egyptian mythology. It may be seen as a sign of fertility, birth, life, and regeneration in many of her depictions.

Winged solar disk

The winged sun disc is an ancient Egyptian emblem, although it was also employed in other ancient societies. Because it was employed in temples to depict the divinity of Behdety, the god of the midday sun, this emblem was also known as Behdety. The Egyptians who wore this symbol wore it as an amulet to protect themselves. It has also been shown as an attribute of other Egyptian gods in rare situations.

Sistrum

The sistrum was an ancient Egyptian instrument that was used in ceremonies to honor Hathor, Isis, and Bastet. This instrument featured a handle and a series of metal parts that made a distinctive sound when shaken, and it was shaped like the Anj sign. The deities Isis and Bastet were frequently shown with one of these instruments in their hands. This sign was employed by the Egyptians to symbolize scenes of dance and joy. In the form of the sistrum, there is also a hieroglyph.

The Eye of Ra Symbol in Egypt

The Eye of Ra is a mythical creature. During the Predynastic Period, the eye sign was connected with the protecting goddess Wadjet, and it remained so even after it was subsequently identified with Horus, Ra, and others through the Distant Goddess theme.

In Egyptian mythology, the faraway story of the goddess takes many forms, but there is one regular trend: a goddess fights against the king of the gods, abandons her home and responsibilities to travel to a distant land, and must be brought back (or tricked into returning), resulting in some kind of transformation. The goddess was personified by the Wadjet Symbol of Egypt, who could take numerous shapes and was dispatched to fetch her. The Eye of Ra is dispatched to gather information for Ra since it is commonly represented in mythology (such as those of the distant goddess) as a sign of her attentive presence over the existence of all creatures. Across Egyptian history, Wadjet has remained a significant icon.

Egyptian Symbol Ouroboros

The Ouroboros is a figure depicting a serpent-like creature swallowing its own tail and forming a circle with its body. The Ouroboros Egyptian Symbol represents the endless cycle of things, as well as perpetual effort, eternal struggle, or futile endeavor because the cycle repeats itself regardless of measures taken to stop it.

Cartouche Symbol in Egypt

The “Cartouche” or “cartridge,” a sign of safety for ancient Egyptian pharaohs, has become a highly desirable artisan treasure in Egypt. In hieroglyphic writing, the “cartouches” signify a knotted rope that wraps the pharaoh’s name and protects him for all eternal existence. Nowadays, visitors and Egyptians alike like to use them in a variety of metals, including gold, silver, and copper, among others, depending on the buyer’s budget plan. It has an oval form with a tight knot at the end. The names and surnames of the owner are written in Egyptian hieroglyphics on the inside, along with emblems of their ancestors, much as they were for the ancient Egyptian pharaohs.

The term “cartridge,” which refers to the holy circle that houses the royal onomastics, is not a pure Egyptian term; it matches the French term “cartouche,” which was coined by Napoleon’s soldiers during their tour to Egypt at the end of the 18th century since it resembled ammunition cartridges.

Lotus Egypt Symbol

The lotus blossom was considered a holy plant in ancient Egypt, and it was depicted within pyramids and temples. According to legend, the flower is associated with the creation of the universe and the god Vishnu, from whose navel a lotus flower sprang, from which another deity, Brahma, the creator of the cosmos and life, arose. Horus, the sun deity, was also said to have been born from a lotus blossom, according to another tale.

Canopic Jars

A canopic vessel is a container used in ancient Egypt to deposit the viscera of the dead after they had been washed and embalmed. The procedure was designed to maintain the body’s illusion of oneness. The name is Greek, and it is supposed that Menelaus’ ship pilot died in a city of the same name. It is also stated that the deity Osiris was depicted in the city of Canopus, near Alexandria, in the shape of a container with a human head figure.

During the Egyptian era, there were four different types of canopic containers, each of which came to symbolize the Sons of Horus, divinities who were thought to be destined to preserve their contents from destruction.

These were the gods we’re talking about below:

Amset: This was the vessel with a human head that we discussed before. Its purpose was to keep the liver healthy. The lid of this vessel, on the other hand, was shaped like a papion’s head (a sort of monkey), and the lungs were housed within.

Kebeshenuef: This cup was known for having a hawk’s head-shaped cover and was used to store the organs and their contents.

Duamutef: Its lid was formed like a jackal, and it was used to preserve the dead’s stomach.

Each of these canopic containers was guarded by a goddess, particularly Isis, Nephthys, Selkis, and Neit, whose purpose was to direct them to the four cardinal points, which were as follows: the liver to the south, lungs to the north, intestines to the west, and stomach to the east.

Deshret Crown

The Red Crown of Lower Egypt and the red desert region on each side of Kemet (Black Land), the lush Nile River valley, were known as Deshret in ancient Egypt. In ancient Egypt, it was known as the Sekhmet when coupled with the Hedjet (white crown) of Upper Egypt, which formed the Pschent (Double Crown). In Egyptian mythology, the earth god Geb, the country’s first monarch, replaced Horus with the ruler of Lower Egypt. The Deshret was worn by Egyptian pharaohs, who were regarded Horus’ successors, as a sign of their rule over Lower Egypt. Other deities, such as the protecting snake goddess Uadyet and the creator goddess of Sais, Neith, who is commonly shown wearing the Red Crown, wore the Deshret or were associated with it. The late Red Crown would be merged with Upper Egypt’s white crown to create the double crown, which symbolized the country’s authority, or “The Two Lands,” as the Egyptians put it.

Seth was the ruler of Deshret, the Red Land, which encompassed the deserts and foreign territories that surrounded Egypt. It was regarded as a chaotic, unruly, and dangerous area.

Hedjet crown

Hedjet is the official term for pharaonic Egypt’s white crown. It was joined with the deshret, Lower Egypt’s red crown, to produce the Pschent, Egypt’s twin crown, following the union of Upper and Lower Egypt. The vulture goddess Nekhbet, seen at the head of the cobra goddess Wadjet, the uraeus on Pschent, was sometimes employed as a symbol for the white crown.

Pschent crown

The Pschent was an Egyptian double crown worn by monarchs. It was known to the ancient Egyptians as Sekhmet, which meant “the two most strong.” It merged with Lower Egypt’s red Deshret Crown and Egypt’s white Hedjet Crown. The pharaohs’ dominion over all of Egypt was symbolized by the Pschent. He was adorned with two animal emblems: an Egyptian snake, known as the uraeus, poised to strike, symbolizing the Lower Egyptian goddess Wadjet, and a vulture, symbolizing the Egyptian tutelary superior goddess Nekhbet. These were utilized for the two women and were attached to the front of the Pschent. A second cobra eventually took place the vaulted vulture head.

Tree of Life Symbol in Egypt

There were various types of acacia trees in Egypt, some of which had thorns. Because they all have hardwood, they are associated with eternal life and rebirth. It was used to make gum, but it might also be employed in medicine since its green fruits contain an astringent component. The acacia is referenced frequently in Ancient Egyptian writings, and it was quickly linked to the goddesses Iusausa of Heliopolis, Hathor, Nut, and Sejmet, giving it a solar connotation.

It was assumed that the divine community was born beneath this Tree of life Egypt symbol and that it oversaw the life and death of all creatures. The acacia tree appears to be associated with Osiris in some way, as evidenced by the presence of a sequence of trees that may be identified with the acacia in depictions of the god’s tomb.