One of my favorite symbols that came from ancient Egypt or Kemet, is the ankh, which represents eternal life. Many people see the ankh in jewelry and mistake it for a Christian cross. Actually, the head of the ankh is teardrop shaped and it’s set on a T shaped body. The T part of the cross symbolizes life or wisdom, and the circle or oval stands for eternity. It is also believed by some authorities that the ankh is a union of a female symbol (the oval, representing the vagina or uterus) and a male symbol (the phallic upright line). Either way, the ankh is the hieroglyph that was considered most powerful during those ancient times.
On the paintings on the walls of the tombs and on the temples and monuments, gods and goddesses are depicted holding up the symbol in a protective posture or offering it to figures of the afterlife. During the 25th dynasty, it represented the one god, the sun god, resting on the horizon – the circle resting on a horizontal bar. The ancient ones believed the ankh to hold the power of protection, royalty, honor, sanctity, wisdom, power and authority.
On the trips I have taken to Cairo with my husband, the ankh is still ubiquitous around the ancient sites and it’s a best-seller among souvenir hawkers. Even outside Egypt, the symbol is seen in the art, jewelry, tattoos and clothing of popular culture, still worn as an amulet as it was centuries ago. It’s a wonderful thing to consider that this symbol that celebrates the sacredness of life has become a part of the collective human consciousness.
I often use the ankh as a pendant on the Wrap and Soul waist beads I create.
For me, not only does it represent a celebration of life, but it’s special because it’s the symbol of the planet Venus, and the universal symbol of womanhood. The ankh harnesses a feminine energy, pays homage to our ancestors and the journey of LIFE.