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Ancient Egyptian Ankh

Only Kings, Queens and Gods were allowed to carry this symbol. The Ankh is the Egyptian sign of life and indicates  that the King or God holding it has the power to give life or  take it away from lesser mortals.

The Ankh as a symbol of  the life giving elements of air and water was often used by a  God or Goddess who holds the Ankh before the King’s nose,  giving him the “breath of life” or as streams of water in the  form of ankhs running over the King during ritual  purification.
 
 

Ancient Egyptian Ankh symbol



Ancient Egyptian Ankh symbol


The scepter was a popular one for the Gods to hold and became a symbol of well-being and happiness.There are three principal ways that the Egyptians used  the Ankh symbol, by itself, in their drawings:    Probably the most common depiction of  the Ankh is being clutched in the hand by the gods and goddesses  on the upper loop portion of the symbol.

The Ankh appears frequently in Egyptian tomb  paintings and other art, often at the fingertips of a god or  goddess in images that represent the deities of the afterlife  conferring the gift of life on the dead person’s mummy.

 In other words, the Egyptians believed that their gods  “held” eternal life in their hands, and could bestow it upon  certain persons at their pleasing.  Gods and Isis are depicted holding the Ankh to show that they  command the powers of life and death and that they are immortal.

Ancient Egyptian Ankh symbol

The dead also carry it at the time their souls are  weighed or when they are aboard the Boat of the Sun God, as a  sign that they seek this same immortality from the gods.  Furthermore the ankh symbolized the spring from which flowed  divine virtues and the elixir of immortality.

Therefore to hold the  ankh was to drink from that well. It was sometimes held upside  down by the loop – especially in funeral rites when it suggested  the shape of a key and in reality was the key which opened  the gateway of the tomb into the Fields of Aalu, the realm of  eternity. 

 Sometimes the Ankh is placed on the forehead, between the eyes,  and then it symbolizes the duty of the adept to keep secret the  mystery into which he has been initiated – it is the key which  locks these secrets away from the uninitiated.

 Blessed by the  supreme vision, endowed with clairvoyance to pierce the veil of  the beyond, he cannot attempt to reveal the mystery without  losing it forever.The act of giving the ankh to the king or pharaoh is also depicted, in two different ways.

 First,  it is shown in  the introductory baptism or purification ritual of the  king, where he receives a type of washing and  anointing by the gods pouring the life-giving water over  him, represented by Ankh symbols.Water does more than purify--it gives life, literally,  to all organisms; the water of life is a worldwide  concept. “The ramifications of the subject are  enormous”.

There is no mistaking the meaning of  the little ankh (life) symbols which pour from the  sacred vases in Egyptian baptismal scenes such  as in the temple of Ramses II at Karnak, which  shows the king being baptized with ankh and was  (divine power) symbols as he enters the temple  and which bears the inscription, “Water for his  father, that life might be given to him.”
 
 The second  way the ankh is given to the Egyptian royalty was by the god or goddess holding the symbol to  their mouth or nose. Anqet, Ptah, Satet, Sobek, Tefnut, Osiris, Ra, Isis,  Hathor, Anibus and many other gods often hold the ankh  sign, along with a scepter, and in various tomb and temple  reliefs, place it in front of the king’s face to symbolize the  breath of eternal life.

 So in this sense, the god or goddess is bestowing or  endowing the king, queen, or pharaoh with eternal life, or  breath of life, by touching the ankh to their nose or lips.

 It  is interesting that the ankh also represents an “utterance  of life” or an oath, symbolized by the binding of the knot,  and as such also possibly depicts the god or initiate at the  same time uttering words of eternal life, or making an oath  or covenant in order to gain eternal life.
 
 
 
 Ankh Pictures :-

 

Ancient Egyptian Ankh symbol

Ancient Egyptian Ankh symbol
 
 
Ancient Egyptian Ankh symbol

Ancient Egyptian Ankh symbol

Ancient Egyptian Ankh symbol



Ancient Egyptian Ankh symbol



Ancient Egyptian Ankh symbol



Ancient Egyptian Ankh symbol
 
 
 


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