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Tattoo Related Terms

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Tattoo Related Terms E


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Do I really have to explain where Egypt is? Okay thank you. hehe. Any ways, there are many different symbols that are used in Egyptian art. Most of these symbols are also used in their writing, which is called Hieroglyphics.

Some of these symbols are:
Ankh- The ankh is a symbol of life.

Ankh within a glass-eternal life This derives from a tradition of the pharaoh drinking a potion every day in order to remain strong and youthful.

Ba-The part of the human soul that remains with the deceased. The Ba is often depicted as a bird with a human head.

Cats-Guardians of the underworld, they ensured that no one got out. (courtesy of Bob McLure)

Crook and Flail-symbols of power and authority granted by Osiris The crook symbolizing the king being the intermediary between his disciples and the gods and the flail symbolizing the kings "herding" of his servants.

Djed pillar-a symbol of stability, is said to represent Osiris's backbone

Eye of Horus/Eye of Ra-said to be Horus's damaged right eye that was healed, it represents the sun. It is also called the "Udjat" or eye of Ra. The mirrored form is the "Wedjat", which is said to represent the moon and is called the eye of Horus.

Frog-symbol of fertility and regeneration.

Gods- One thing to greatly remember with Egyptian deities is that their nature often changed with the change of power from one King to the next. This would also bring about the creation of new gods so all of the following didn't necessarily exist at the same time nor had all of these attributes at the same time. It gets quite confusing so I will not go too far into depth as to avoid too much space usage.
-------Amon: Creation deity, combined with Ra to make the gods, one animal form=ram

------Anubis: god of the mummification. one animal form=jackal

-------Atum: Creation Deity, caused the division of the sexes

------Bastet: The cat goddess - daughter of Re. one animal form=cat woman

--------Bes: Protected women in child-birth. Associated with many other things as well, such as music, dance, war and slaughter one form=ugly dwarf with long arms and crooked legs.

---Duamutef: Protector of deceased person's stomach.

--------Geb: Represents the earth, also guide to the heavens.

--------Hapi: God of the Nile and protector of a dead person's lungs.

------Hathor: Goddess of the heavens, earth, and the underworld, said to have been Horus' wife. one animal form=cow

-------Horus: Often shown as a falcon and became identified with the pharaoh. one animal form=hawk

-------Imsety: Protector of the deceased person's liver.

-------Isis: The protectress; typified the wifely and maternal virtues. Wife of Osiris and queen of the gods. one form=female with wings

-------Khnum: Creation Deity, sculpted man and animal and breathed life into them, also a water god.

-------Min: Fertility god, bestowed sexual powers to men. one animal form=white bull

---Nephthys: God of the dead.

-------Nut: Goddess of rebirth and the sky. one form=woman arched across the sky w/ or w/o water pot/

-------Osiris: Revered Lord of the Underworld as well as earth and vegetation. one form=man holding crook and flail and wearing a tall, narrowing crown.

-------Ptah: Deity of craftsmen. one form=shown as mummy wearing a cap holding a scepter

Qebehsenuef: Protector of the dead person's intestines.

-------Re (Ra): The sun god - often combined with Amun as Amun-re. one form=human with falcon head crowned with a sun disc and a uraeus.

-------Seth: Lord of lower egypt. Osiris' brother and god of chaos and confusion. one form=man with head of a long-nosed beast having long square ears.

-------Shu: God of the air. one animal form=lion

------Sobek: Crocodile god. one form=human with crocodile head crowned with plumes.

----Taweret: Protective deity of childbirth. one animal form=hippopotamus and human female blended together.

-------Thoth: Patron of scribes; god of wisdom and the weigher of the hearts of men against the feather of truth before the afterlife. one form=usually symbolized as a human with the head of an ibis (long beaked bird) crowned with a crescent moon topped by a moon disk.
Lotus-Associated with the sun and rebirth since it bloomed by day and slept by night, thought to have possibly given birth to the sun.

Ouroboros-a snake swallowing it's own tail symbolizes the constant and eternal flow of the universe. This symbol actually travels through a few cultures throughout the centuries.

Pyramid- symbol of ascension

Scarab-thought to roll the sun across the sky daily, also thought to be a symbol of the sun god Ra.

Shen/Shenu-resembles an ohm symbol with a twine wrapped in the would-be opening. This symbol represents a coil of rope and is a symbol of divine protection. It is called a Shenu when it is encompassing a name and the person is thought to be under divine protection. It was also called a cartouche.

Sphinx-a sign of wisdom and protection, this human headed beast torso was thought to have access to all parts of the universe and thus the knowledge of it as well.

Tyet-resembles a person or an ankh with bent arms, it is also called the knot of Isis or the blood of Isis. It is possibly related to the blood which flows during menstrual cycles but is also found upon pictures of funerals so there was more than likely more to it than that.

Uraeus-a coiled serpent that is the symbol for the king of lower egypt. It is also associated with royalty and deities since it is one of the symbols for Ra which is said to have protected the kings by spitting fire from his mouth.

Winged disk- A disk with a serpent on both sides of it as well as a wing represents, would you guess, yes the sun once again.


This topic includes earth, air, water, fire, and also extends to other elements of existence. These can include any forces or base forms that we deem to have impact on our lives or to be useful to us such as hot and cold, day and night, sun and moon, wet or dry, etc. Sometimes people get the alchemic symbols for the element that they relate to or the four main ones.