Ankh also called the Egyptian cross was a symbol of life itself. The Ankh represented eternal life. It signified wisdom and insight on the highest level and it was also a fertility symbol.
The ankh was widely used as an amulet in Ancient Egypt. The Ankh was the Ultimate Gift of Life. Many reliefs in Ancient Egyptian temples show scenes where the king is offered the ankh by the gods.This symbolized the divine bestowal of eternal life. Nefertari receiving ankh painting shows the goddess Hathor holding the ankh up under the nose of Nefertari. Queen Nefertari received the breath of life from the goddess herself.
Hathor was one of the great goddesses. She was goddess of women, female sexuality and motherhood. Hathor was the protector of joy, music and happiness. This popular goddess was goddess also to foreign lands. Egyptian often worked in mines in other countries; therefore she was the natural patron goddess of miners.
Queen Nefertari was the wife of Ramesses the Great. She was one of the most popular queens of Ancient Egypt. Horus and pharaoh Images of the ankh were all over the place. The painting shows the Horus passing the ankh to a pharaoh.
Horus was the son of Isis and Osiris. He was a sun god and often linked with the falcon. The eye of Horus was a common symbol of protection.
As a symbol of fertility the loop represented the vagina and the line below the penis in union with the vagina. This certainly also reflects the creation of new life not to be misunderstood. This is man and woman in perfect union. By joining together man and woman in perfect harmony, new life is created.
The arms stretching out is said to represent the children created from the unification of male and female.From the spiritual point of view the ankh represented the key to all hidden knowledge. The loop symbolized the eternal soul as it has no beginning or end.The cross in this spiritual interpretation represented death. The ankh was the key to unraveling the mysteries of life and death.
Life Prosperity Health“Life, prosperity and health” was a common phrase in Ancient Egypt. It was often written after the names of kings. These three magical words were regular at the end of letters. They were truly words of great blessings. The ankh has maintained its popularity as a symbol of life and knowledge. It is to this day a very sought after charm and a common tattoo.
The Ankh was also associated with life after death. The dead were sometimes referred to as “ankhu”, and sarcophagi were also known as “neb-ankh” (possessor of life). From the Middle Kingdom, the word ‘nkh (ankh) also meant “mirror” and many mirrors took the form of the hieroglyph. After the demise of the Egyptian polytheistic religion, the Christian Coptic church adopted the Ankh as a form of the cross, known as the Crux Ansata (“cross with handle”). The Ankh was often linked with the Djed (representing stability) or the Was (representing strength) to form a powerful amulet thought to invoke the god’s protection over the bearer.