Meaning of the Ankh / Egyptian Cross Symbol


The ankh, called the Egyptian cross, was a symbol of life itself. It has a cross-like shape but with a looped top.

Some refer to it as the key of life or the key of the Nile. Another term for the ankh is “crux ansata” (Latin for “cross with a handle”).

The ankh was an important symbol of the gods and pharaohs. In some cases used as a scepter. It represented their power and authority over life and death.
On occasions the Egyptians added it at the end of the pharaoh’s name.

The meaning of the ankh has several explanations and connections. The most acknowledged explanation is that it represented eternal life.

It signified wisdom and insight at the highest level. The ankh was also a fertility symbol.

The Egyptians used the ankh symbol in funerary rites and temples. Gods, goddesses and pharaohs are frequent users of this symbol. No doubt this was a common amulet.

In hieroglyphs the ankh represent the word for “life.”

According to the Ancient Egyptians the ankh had healing powers. It was an important element in healing rituals and ceremonies.

The ankh was the ultimate gift of life.

The Ankh was precious to the Deities and royalty.

Reliefs show scenes where a god or goddess offers an ankh to royalty. This symbolized the divine bestowal of eternal life.

Nefertari receiving ankh
Nefertari receiving ankh

One painting shows the goddess Hathor holding the ankh up to Nefertari. Queen Nefertari received the breath of life from the goddess herself.

She was one of the most popular queens of Ancient Egypt. Queen Nefertari was the wife of Ramesses the Great. She died in 1255 BC.

Hathor is one of the great goddesses in Egyptian mythology. She is the goddess of women, female lust and motherhood. Hathor is the protector of joy, music and happiness.

You can recognize Hathor by the cow horns she carries on her head.

The goddess Hathor was also a goddess in foreign lands. Many Egyptians worked in mines in other countries. She was the natural patron goddess of miners.

The Ankh was a symbol of the union between the god Osiris and the goddess Isis. It represented the balance of male and female energies.

The Ankh is related to the knot of the goddess Isis. It symbolizes her connection to life, fertility, and motherhood.

Horus and the pharaoh

Images of the ankh were all over the place. The painting below shows Horus passing the ankh to a pharaoh.

Horus and pharaoh
Horus and pharaoh

Horus was the son of Isis and Osiris. He was a sun god and linked with the falcon. The eye of Horus was a common symbol of protection.

The ankh’s connection to the Eye of Horus is deep and complicated. It has been the subject of much debate and speculation over the years.

There are different theories about how the two symbols are connected. Many believe the ankh represents the left eye of Horus. “The Eye of Horus” represents the right eye.

The ankh’s connection to the Egyptian god Osiris is strong and deep. It is a symbol of life and fertility. Osiris is the god of both of those things.

The ankh is also a symbol of resurrection. Osiris is the god of resurrection. It is a symbol of everything that Osiris represents.

Ankh – Fertility Meaning

As a symbol of fertility, the loop represented the female organ. The line below represented the male organ.

This is man and woman in joining together in perfect harmony. This reflects the creation of new life.

Spiritual Meaning

From the spiritual point of view, the ankh was the key to all hidden knowledge. The loop symbolizes the eternal soul as it has no beginning or end. The cross in this spiritual sense represented death.

The ankh was the key to unraveling the mysteries of life and death.

Afterlife is the renewal of existence after death. This was a vital factor in the Egyptian religion.

Anubis, the god of the afterlife carried the ankh. The same goes for Isis, the goddess of the underworld.

Why is the ankh connected with the Nile River?

The ankh represented the word for “life” or “living.” The ankh has been linked with the Nile River since ancient times.

The Egyptians believed that the Nile was the source of all life. The ankh was a symbol of the life-giving power of the river.

Life, Prosperity and Health

Life Prosperity Health

“Life, prosperity and health” was a common phrase in Ancient Egypt. The Egyptians wrote this phrase after the names of kings.

These three magical words were regular at the end of letters. They were words of great blessings.

Order your Ankh today

Kemetic Orthodoxy/Kemet

The Ankh is a symbol of Kemetic Orthodoxy. It is a symbol of their connection to ancient Egyptian religion.

Kemet is a term used by its members. It is short for the longer term Kemetic Orthodoxy.

Kemet is a modern revivalist religion. It draws inspiration from the ancient Egyptian religion.
Tamara Siuda founded the movement in the late 1980s. It has since grown into a vibrant community. This religion has members all around the world. The main temple is in Joliet, Illinois.

The Kemetic Orthodox centers around the worship of the Netjeru. Netjeru is the word for the gods and goddesses of Ancient Egypt.

They believe that the Netjeru are not mythological figures. They claim they real beings.

Members strive to form a personal relationship with the gods and goddesses. They do this through prayer and ritual.

The Kemetic Orthodoxy believe that the Netjeru are not omnipotent or omniscient.

They view the gods and goddesses as being more akin to powerful spirits. The deities can offer help and guidance to those who seek it.

The religion emphasizes the importance of Ma’at. This is the ancient Egyptian concept of truth, balance, and justice.

Rituals involve offerings and prayers to the Netjeru. Recitation of ancient Egyptian hymns and spells are not uncommon.

They place a strong emphasis on ancestor veneration. Many members incorporate practices from their own cultural backgrounds into their practice.

The Kemet Clergy

One of the unique aspects of Kemetic Orthodoxy is its structure of clergy. The religion has a hierarchical system of priesthood, with three main levels.

1. Remetj (lay members who have not undergone initiation). They are friends of this religion.

2. Shemsu (members who have undergone initiation into the religion). They are followers of the faith.

3. Hemet (ordained priests).

The Hemet serves as spiritual leaders of religious ceremonies. The Shemsu and Remetj are encouraged to take an active role in their own spiritual development.

This is a unique way to connect with the ancient Egyptian religion.

Naturally they use the symbols found to Ancient Egypt. The ankh is a symbol of eternal life in Kemetic Orthodoxy.

In video games, the ankh is a symbol of power and immortality. We find this in the game “Tomb Raider: Anniversary”.

In this game the ankh is an artifact that grants immortality to the player.

The Ankh has been used as a symbol of power and immortality in movies. This symbols appears in the movie “The Mummy Returns”.

The ankh is an ancient artifact that brings the protagonist, Rick O’Connell, back to life.

In music, the Ankh has been used as a symbol of life and immortality. The band “Iron Maiden” has a song called “The Trooper”.

It includes the lyrics “Ankh with the Scorpion Tail.”

In comics, the Ankh is often used as a symbol of power and immortality. You can find this in the comic book series “The Sandman” by Neil Gaiman. It is a powerful artifact that grants immortality to the character Morpheus.

The ankh has maintained its popularity as a symbol of life and knowledge. To this day it is a sought-after charm.

Ankh symbols are on clothing and a common tattoo. It is used as a motif in jewelry, art, and architecture.

Many regard the ankh as a symbol of life, power and authority till date.

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