Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Enigmatic Symbols of Ancient Egypt - Part I

The All Seeing-Eye

The All Seeing-Eye is one of the most recognizable symbols of ancient Egypt. It is known by many other names as well: The Eye of Horus, the Left Eye of Ra, Wadjet, and the Lady of Flame to name just a few.
How can this one symbol stand for so many different things, you ask? What could Horus, the golden falcon, have in common with Wadjet, the cobra goddess of Lower Egypt? And what does a cobra have to do with the All Seeing-Eye?
To start, Wadjet is also known as Udjat, Uadjet, Wedjoyet, Edjo, and Uto. But that’s not all, there’s more. . . . Wadji means the green one, and this has some correlation with Osiris, the god of the underworld. But wait . . . it gets better! To add to the confusion, this cobra goddess is also associated with Bastet, the cat goddess; Sekhmet, the lioness (Hathor’s alter ego when she’s not the cow); Tefnut, the goddess of moisture; and Mut, the mother goddess of the sky.

How can all of these different gods relate to the All Seeing-Eye? 
Our first step to understanding this symbol is to start with the language. Let’s start with Wadjet, the Egyptian “iaret,” means “risen one.” The cobra goddess was also called the Opener of the Way, and her enigmatic symbol, the All Seeing-Eye, was always painted on the part of the sarcophagus facing east.

        Taking a deeper look at this goddess, we also find that Wadjet is one of the earlier goddesses of ancient Egypt, a primordial goddess, meaning she existed from the beginning. In fact, this goddess was so important to the ancient Egyptians that her image of a cobra wrapped around the sun disk is known as the Uraeus
and holds a significant place in the symbols of ancient Egypt. Even the Pharaoh, seen as a living god himself and son of the sun god, Ra, was recognized only by wearing the cobra which adorned the crown as a sign of legitimacy.

Taking a look at the times that the festivals regarding the Lady of Flame were celebrated is also most illuminating. The Going Forth of Wadjet, an ancient festival, was practiced on December 25th.. The annual celebration for Wadjet was also held on April 21st, and yet again during the Summer Solstice. She was also assigned the fifth hour of the fifth day of the moon. I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to see a strong association with the goddess Wadjet and the ancient Egyptian’s understanding of the Heavens.
In order to shed further light we must look at the other gods and goddesses that are linked to this symbol. The tale of Horus being attacked and his eyes torn out by his uncle, Seth, the god of war, although gruesome, gets us even closer to the true meaning of the symbol. You see Seth had already killed his brother, Osiris, Horus’s father, because Seth coveted the throne. When Horus sought revenge, he, too, found himself at death’s door. He was nursed back to health by his mother, Isis, and his sister/wife, Hathor. His sight wasn’t restored, however, until Ra gifted him with his own left eye, the Eye of Ra.
Ah-ha! Ra’s right eye was known as the sun itself and his left eye the moon. And that is why the All Seeing-Eye, the Eye of Horus, is also called the Eye of the Moon.

     We can see now how the All Seeing-Eye could also be called the Lady of the Flame because it lights up the night sky, but what does this have to do with a cobra goddess?

Before I answer that, let me connect a few more dots. As it is, the moon lights the darkness of night, and as such it holds much power in the Duat, the Egyptian underworld. This is also its connection to green. Osiris is the God of the Underworld, and his resurrection was seen in correlation with the Nile and its effect on the land. He was depicted with green skin, not for death as one might assume, but for the fertile, lush, green growth that comes from the inundation of the Nile and the subsequent resurrection of the land.
The greenish-blue color may also be a clue. The lapis lazuli that the Egyptians so revered was a symbol of water and the heavens. This is an association to Tefnut, the goddess of moisture, and Mut, the mother goddess and goddess of the sky. We all know it is the moon that creates the tides, but this still doesn’t answer how a snake could be equated with the moon.

     In order to answer this, I shall share with you one of the secrets that is within my book, Treasure of Egypt. Wadjet was considered a primordial being from the beginning of time because her image was etched onto one of the greatest symbols of mankind, one that has been here from the beginning, the face of the moon itself.

Ruling from her mighty perch in the heavens above us is Wadjet, the All Seeing-Eye and the Opener of the Way, leading us into the night as she rises up in the east to guide us through the Amduat.


. . . But she is not alone.

You can read more about the All Seeing-Eye and the ancient gods of Egypt in my book, Treasure of Egypt, the first book in the Treasure of the Ancients series. Discover for yourself the origins of the Sphinx itself and several unknown or misidentified hieroglyphs while reading a tale sure to bring out a smile. :O)
- Author Barbara Ivie Green 

Thank you for your readership.

To read the first chapter click here:

To view Treasure of Egypt's Amazon book page and start reading today!
For click here
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The adventure awaits! 

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