Meaning of the Egyptian Cross Symbol


The ankh, also called the Egyptian cross, was a symbol of life itself. It has a cross-like shape but with a looped top. It is also known as the key of life, the key of the Nile, or crux ansata (Latin for “cross with a handle”).

This is an ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic symbol that was most commonly used in writing and in art to represent the word for “life” or “living”.

The symbolism and meaning of the ankh have several different explanations and connections. The most significant and acknowledged explanation is that the ankh represented eternal life.

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

The ankh was often used in funerary rites and tomb paintings, temples, and other ancient Egyptian artifacts and artwork, and it is often seen in the hands of gods and goddesses, pharaohs, and other important figures in ancient Egyptian culture.

It was also used in hieroglyphs to represent the word for “life.” The ankh was often carried by gods and pharaohs, and was sometimes used as a scepter. It was also widely used as an amulet in Ancient Egypt.

The ankh was the ultimate gift of life

The Ankh was precious to the Deities and royalty.

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

One 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.

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

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

The goddess Hathor can be recognized by the cow horns she carries on her head.

This popular goddess was also a goddess in foreign lands. Egyptians often worked in mines in other countries; therefore, she was the natural patron goddess of miners.

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 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.

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

There are many different theories about how the two symbols are connected, but the most commonly accepted theory is that the ankh represents the left eye of Horus, while the Eye of Horus represents the right eye.

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

The ankh is also seen as a symbol of resurrection, and Osiris is the god of resurrection. In many ways, the ankh is a symbol of everything that Osiris represents.

Ankh – Fertility Meaning

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

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.

Spiritual Meaning

From the spiritual point of view, the ankh represented the key to all hidden knowledge. The loop symbolizes 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.

Afterlife is the continuation of existence after death and was a vital factor in the Egyptian religion.

How did the ankh come to be associated with the Nile River?

The ankh is an ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic symbol that was most commonly used in writing and in art to represent the word for “life” or “living.” The ankh has also been associated with the Nile River since ancient times.

The Egyptians believed that the Nile was the source of all life, and so the ankh also came to be seen as 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. 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.

Order your Ankh today

The ankh has been used as a symbol of life since the Early Dynastic Period of Egypt (c. 3150 – c. 2613 BCE) and remained popular through the Ptolemaic Period (323-30 BCE) and into the Roman Era (30 BCE-640 CE).

The ankh has maintained its popularity as a symbol of life and knowledge. It is to this day a very sought-after charm. Ankh symbols are used on clothing and a common tattoo. The ankh is also often used as a decorative motif in jewelry, art, and architecture.

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