If you know anything about Ancient Egyptians you know they had many different symbols with various meanings. These symbols were part of relaying the most important values of their culture.

Some symbols are more important than the rest and many are combined in inscriptions and appear on things like sarcophagi. Many of them are still quite mysterious even today but all are quite fascinating. They hold a great deal of spirituality even when not quite recognized.

Today we are able to comprehend some of the hieroglyphs depicting events that occurred during the age of pharaohs because of these symbols. Understanding these symbols was and is essential to understanding the Egyptians from ancient times. While I cannot explain all of the symbols below I will go over some of the most commonly used ones below. Which ones did you already know of?

12 Ancient Egyptian Symbols and Their Meanings:

1. Ankh

This symbol is easily the most commonly used. It represents life and immortality. It is also known as the Key of The Nile.

2. Seba

Credit: mythologian.net


This symbol was a star symbol. It represented the constellations and the gods of the stars. For those who do not know, the stars were basically referred to as the followers of Osiris and identified as the souls of the dead in the Underworld.

3. Ba

Ba basically looks like a birdman. A human head on a birds body. It is often depicted as leaving someone’s tomb or beside their mummified bodies. It is represented as ‘soul’ or ‘spirit’ and is one of the more detailed symbols.

4. Ouroboros

This was thought to be a representation of life and rebirth. It is basically a snake eating itself. The Egyptians passed this symbol to Phoenicians who eventually caused it to make its way to the Greek Culture. Isn’t it interesting how things travel across cultures?

5. The Eye of Horus

The Eye of Horus also known as Wadjet represents protection and healing. It is known as the symbol of the moon and was believed to have healing powers. According to mythology, it was actually gouged out by Seth.

6. Amenta

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This symbol represents the land of the dead and for some the west bank of the Nile. It looks almost as if an umbrella but with a messed up side. If you ever see this symbol you should know it basically points out a grave as most were buried in the area mentioned above.

7. The Eye of Ra

The Eye of Ra is actually the right eye of Horus. It represents a similar concept and holds a different story. It is said to be the personification of many goddesses in Egyptian mythology.

8. Scarab

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Scarabs are some of the most well-known. They are basically depictions of the actual beetle. These beetles were thought to recreate life out of nothing. They represent the sun and transformation in itself.

9. The Feather of Maat

Credit: mythologian.net


This one is a very common symbol. It is said to be the feather of the goddess Maat and would weigh the souls of others. This feather represents truth and justice. It is said that when each pharaoh died it was up to the next to bring Maat out of chaos.

10. Was (or Was Scepter)

This symbol represents the dominion of gods, a divine dominion. This being more than any earthly power. It ensured the king’s prosperity for as long as needed. The scepter was usually forked at the bottom but it has been changed many times over.

11. Uraeus The Cobra

This one’s meaning was derived from the word ‘iaret’ meaning the risen one. It is a symbol of a rising cobra that represents the connection between gods and pharaohs as well as their authority. It was said to hold magical powers.

12. Primordial Hill

Credit: mytholonian.net


This is a symbol seen in many inscriptions. It is believed that the hill created lands during chaotic process of creation. It is said to be part of their inspiration for the building of the pyramids. The Egyptians believed that during creation this hill rose up out of the sea.


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