Ankh



The Ankh is a symbol of eternal life, often thought to have evolved from the female reproductive system. It is an enduring icon that remains with us even today as a Christian cross.

For the ancient Egyptians, the Ankh Hieroglyphic sign was the symbol of life and is associated with the Egyptian glyph for magical protection. As the Egyptian hieroglyphic character that read "eternal life" ancient Egyptian deities are often depicted carrying ankh signs. Isis, Ra, Osiris, Hathor, Hathor, Anibus, Anqet, Ptah, Satet, Sobek, Tefnut, and many other gods and goddess of Egypt often hold or wear an Ankh sign. It 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; this is thought to symbolize the act of conception or blessings of fertility.

In some esoteric traditions the ankh is symbolic of the Sun and the Sunrise, with the loop representing the Sun rising above the horizon, represented by the crossbar, and the vertical section below the crossbar being the path of the sun. There are also various symbolic meanings among a diversity of Neopagan traditions and Spiritual movements including a variety of concepts relating to life, immortality and the occult.

During the Amarna period, the ankh sign was depicted being offered to Akhenaten and Nefertiti by the hands at the end of the rays descending from the sun disk, Aten, and in various tombs and temples it is placed in front of the king's face to symbolize the breath of eternal life. Hence, the ankh symbol is not only a symbol of worldly life, but of life in the netherworld. In older traditions the dead are referred to as ankhu, and a term for a sarcophagus is neb-ankh, meaning possessor of life.

Ankh is also known as “the key of life” “the key of the Nile” and as crux ansata in Latin meaning "cross with a handle."

Ankh’s are often carried as magickal amulets for protection, fertility, strength and health.

The precise origin of the symbol remains a mystery to Egyptologists, and no single hypothesis has been widely accepted.

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