The Eye of Horus

Ancient Egyptian Gods and Goddesses for kids - The Eye of Horus, the Wadjet

The history of ancient Egypt and the significance of the Eye of Horus in hieroglyphs and symbols

The Eye of Horus
Discover the history and beliefs surrounding the 'Eye of Horus' which features in many images, hieroglyphs, pictures and amulets found in ancient Egypt. Horus was an ancient Egyptian sky god, who was usually depicted as a falcon, whose eyes were originally said to be the sun and the moon. As time elapsed
Ra, the Supreme Solar God was identified as the sun god and according to ancient Egyptian mythology, the right eye came to represent the sun and so it was called the "Eye of Ra" whilst the left represented the moon and was known as the "Eye of Horus". 

It was one of the most important Egyptian Symbols and a symbol of royal power, protection and good health. There are several names are applied to this symbol: the Eye of Horus, the All-seeing Eye, the Eye of Ra and the Wadjet.

The Sons of Horus

Horus, the falcon god

Egyptian Symbols & Signs

The Gods of Egypt

Egyptian Mythology about the Eye of Ra
Egyptian mythology explains the connection between the all-seeing Eye of Ra and Horus. The Sun god Ra ruled the world but the humans turned against him and undermined his authority. The humans had to be punished. The right "Eye of Ra", representing the sun, was depicted as his daughter Hathor, who passed judgement and many humans were killed. But Ra showed mercy, deciding that all humans should be judged at the end of their lives in the Underworld. The left "Eye of Ra", representing the moon, was depicted as his grandson Horus who helped the humans.

Facts about the Egyptian Eye of Horus
The Eye of Horus was an ancient Egyptian hieroglyph and its icon is depicted in art, artefacts, relics. Examples of the icon can be found in the tombs, temples and manuscripts of the ancient Egyptians. The following picture depicts a gold and glass pectoral amulet that was discovered in the tomb of Tutankhamen. It depicts the Eye of Horus flanked by the cobra goddess representing Lower Egypt and the vulture goddess representing Upper Egypt.

Eye of Horus

Eye of Horus

Eye of Horus Fact File

Name: The ancient name for the Eye of Horus was “udjat”. It was also known as the Wadjet

Description & Definition: Description & Definition: It is depicted as a human eye and symbolically with the long tail and brows which are the markings of a hawk. It was used as an amulet or talisman and as a system for measurement

Application / Use: The symbol and distinctive shape was used as:

  • Amulets

  • In funerary ceremonies

Materials: The materials used to make the Wadjet symbol varied according to their use but could be constructed from precious metals such as gold, lapis  and carnelian

Significance: The protective, sacred amulet was worn by both the living and the dead

Symbol: The Wadjet was one of the most potent symbols of ancient Egypt symbolizing healing, restoration, protection and sacrifice

Fetish: The Eye of Horus was believed to be a fetish, an object that was believed to embody magical powers and offer magical protection. It had the power to heal the living and protect the dead

The Eye of Horus - Healing Power and Protection
The symbol was used as a protective amulet and believed to have the power of healing power. According to Egyptian Mythology Horus lost his left eye in his war with Set who tore the eye into six pieces. Thoth, the god of wisdom and magic, was able to reassemble the eye and returned it to Horus. Horus gave the reassembled eye to his murdered father Osiris, thereby bringing him back to life. The symbol therefore represents the power of healing and was capable of bringing the dead to life, as it did with Osiris. The ancient Egyptians used the eye as a funerary amulet for protection against evil and to guide their rebirth in the underworld.

Facts about the Eye of Horus in Egyptian Mythology and History
Discover interesting information and research facts about this iconic Egyptian symbol. The facts about the Eye of Horus provides a list detailing fascinating additional info to increase your knowledge about the Eye of Horus in Egyptian Mythology and history.

Facts about the Eye of Horus from Mythology and Egyptian History

Fact 1: The Eye of Horus, or the Wadjet, is one of the most important ancient Egyptian Symbols, the other notable symbols are the Djed, the Was Sceptre and the Ankh.

Fact 2: A variation of the Eye of Horus is the all-seeing eye or the mystical eye in the Great Seal of the United States, most commonly seen on the dollar bill

Fact 3: In ancient Egyptian mythology the eye was not just the passive organ of sight but symbolized action, protection or anger

Fact 4: Horus eyes painted on the bows of boats both protected the vessels and "saw" the way ahead

Fact 5: Protective amulets worn by both the living and the dead

Fact 6: Today, the Udjat or Wadjet is viewed as a good luck charm and is a very popular symbol for tattoos

Fact 7: The picture of the eye represents a unified Egypt. The winged, protective vulture is wearing the Atef crown that represented Upper Egypt and the Deshret crown, pictured on the on the uraeus rearing cobra, represented Lower Egypt (the North of Egypt)

Fact 8: The 'Rx' symbol which is used by pharmacies and in medicine has its origins in the Eye of Horus.

RX Eye Symbol

RX Pharmacy Symbol

Facts about the Eye of Horus from Mythology and Egyptian History

Eye of Horus - Measuring System
The ancient Egyptians used the Eye of Horus as a notation of measurement to express fractions of volume. They were combined, in various ways, to measure the unit capacity for grains, medicines and pigments. It was a quantification system to measure parts of a whole.

Ancient Egyptian Symbols - The 6 Parts of the Eye of Horus
The Eye of Horus is one of the most important ancient Egyptian Symbols. The eye is constructed in six fractional parts, representing the shattering of the eye of Horus into six pieces. These 6 parts correspond to the six senses - Touch, Taste, Hearing, Thought, Sight and Smell. The inner corner of the eye indicates one half, the iris is one fourth, the eyebrow is one eighth, the outer corner of the eye is one sixteenth, and the decorations below the eye are one thirty-second and one sixty-fourth respectively. The 6 parts of the Eye of Horus were divided as follows:

Eye of Horus

1/2 was represented by smell, symbolized by the right side of the eye
in a form of the nose.

1/4 was represented by sight , symbolized by the pupil.

1/8 was represented by thought, symbolized by the eyebrow.

1/16 was represented by hearing, symbolized by right side of the eye in the form of an arrow pointing towards the ear.

1/32 was represented by taste, by the sprouting of wheat or grain from the planted stalk, symbolized by a curved tail.

1/64 was represented by touch, symbolized by a leg touching the ground.

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