(Continued from Part 1, which has been updated)
As I mentioned in Part 1, the more interesting aspects of the Egyptian ankh are not necessarily what it means standing alone, but how the Egyptians used it in their texts and illustrations.
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. Wikipedia notes:
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… ((http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ankh))
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. Chevalier and Gheerbrant note: [Read more…]