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Ankh

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Among the modern signs widely used as personal amulets, the Egyptian Cross, the Key of Life or the Ankh have gained great popularity. Many sacred symbols that came to us from Ancient Egypt really have amazingly powerful energy, because it is believed that people who lived many centuries ago actually knew much more about the laws of the Universe than you and I. Today we will talk about the meaning of the Ankh symbol: you will learn the legends associated with the origin of the magic sign, get acquainted with the varieties of the magic cross and understand whether you should purchase such a talisman.

The meaning of the Egyptian cross

First, consider the history of the origin and meaning of the Ankh – the Egyptian Cross. Initially, this symbol was used only by the priests of Ancient Egypt. This conclusion was made by archaeologists on the basis of drawings found during excavations, which depicted scenes of the transfer of a sacred sign from the hands of a priest to the Pharaoh. Therefore, it can be assumed that the first meaning of the Egyptian Cross Ankh was the immortality of the soul: after the end of life, only the physical body died, and the soul went on to travel further. And today, in many cultures, the magic sign is associated precisely with the continuation of existence after the end of life on earth.

The second meaning of the Ankh cross is dualism, the connection of heaven and earth, the connection of a person with the Higher Forces. It is believed that in every person there is something divine, and something human is not alien to the Gods. Every inhabitant of the earth can learn the secrets of the universe, gain great wisdom if he lives and develops in accordance with spiritual laws.

The Egyptians had another legend associated with the mysterious cross. It talks about the suffering of the goddess Isis, who lost her beloved Osiris, because the latter was killed by her brother. The cruel relative forbade burying the body of the sister’s beloved person in the ground, and instead ordered it to be chopped into pieces and scattered in different places. The inconsolable Isis walked the world for a very long time, looking for the parts of Osiris, and then, when she found, she connected them together and, with the help of her magical power, breathed life into the lifeless body.

True, Osiris did not live long, but this was enough for Isis to conceive a child from him, to whom the healing abilities of his mother were transferred. This is how the god Horus was born, who is often depicted with the sign of Ankh in his hands. The tragic story of Isis and Osiris connects the Cross of Life with love, over which even death has no power, with the union of the masculine and feminine, as well as with protection from evil forces and witchcraft.

So, what does Ankh mean if we try to put together all the knowledge about the sacred sign?

  • Immortality of the soul, eternal life
  • Spiritual wisdom
  • Comprehension of the innermost, immersion in the secrets of the universe
  • Symbol of immortal love, guardian of family happiness
  • Connecting masculine and feminine energies
  • Powerful protection against any negativity: evil eye and damage, curses, witchcraft, intrigues of enemies, ill-wishers

In modern occultism, the Ankh symbolizes the body of a person with arms outstretched to the sides. The vertical line in this interpretation is the spinal column, the loop is the energy center. It turns out that the entire symbol can be read as the vertical of life in relation to the human essence.

What does Ankh look like?

Traditionally, the Egyptian Key of Life is depicted as a cross with a noose at the top. According to ancient legends, each crossbar has a special meaning:

  • Vertical line – a person’s life path
  • The horizontal is a border that mere mortals are prohibited from crossing
  • The loop is eternity. If we trace the cross from bottom to top, then we will fall into a loop, which will again return us to the vertical.
  • The intersection of all lines is the point at which all energy is concentrated
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On the territory of Ancient Egypt, only priests and pharaohs were allowed to use the Ankh symbol, since only rulers had the right to an afterlife.

Varieties of amulet

There are three types of the Ankh cross. Each of them has its own sacred meaning, so you need to be especially careful when choosing a magic sign as a personal talisman.

  • The first type is an ordinary cross with a loop. It is used as a powerful protective amulet, which gives the owner health, endows him with vitality, endurance, and helps to overcome any difficulties more easily.
  • The second type is the same cross, on the four sides of which the sacred symbols of the four elements are depicted. This sign is associated with immortality.
  • A third, rarer type is used in black magic and in Gothic movements. Such a symbol has a ring attached to the horizontal itself. It is believed that in this form, the Egyptian symbol of the Key of Life turns into the Key of Death and symbolizes the gateway to the other world.

Rules for wearing and activating a talisman

Using the Egyptian Ankh symbol in magical practice is highly discouraged for beginners. He is able to awaken very powerful forces and release the essence of the other world through the opened portal, so you need to be very careful with a magic sign.

Anyone can buy or make an Ankh protective amulet on their own. If you want to make a personal talisman with your own hands or order it from a professional craftsman, use a metal suitable for the gender: silver is suitable for women, gold for men. It is better not to wear the amulet on a chain – it is believed that the chain weakens the magical properties of the Egyptian Cross, so it is better to hang the amulet on a black leather cord.

Before wearing, the talisman must be activated with the energy of the moon and sun. First, clear the magic object from extraneous energy by holding it under running water. Then leave it on the windowsill overnight so that the moonlight falls on the Key of Life, and the next day expose it to the sun for several hours. After that, the amulet can be worn.

If you feel discomfort while wearing a magical jewelry for a long time, wear it not for the whole day, but only for a few hours. Over time, your energy will become attuned to the ancient sign, and you will be able to wear the amulet all the time. If possible, try not to take off the talisman at night – it is believed that in a dream it can give important clues, awaken insights, revelations, and show signs.

Ankh Art

On Egyptian wall reliefs, papyri and other works of art, the Ankh was depicted in the hands of gods or rulers. Most often, the symbol of immortality appeared in scenes depicting the transition of the pharaoh to the afterlife. 

God used to bring the Ankh to the face of the embalmed pharaoh, allowing him to inhale life-giving power and be reborn in the next life.

One of the plots describes how the god of the sun washes two rulers with a stream of rays-ankhs. In this context, the cross with a loop can symbolize the cleansing power of water. However, some experts suggest that washing was part of the rite of rebirth.

Ordinary Egyptians were rarely depicted with the symbol of eternal life. It was an exclusive attribute of the gods and their physical incarnations – the Egyptian pharaohs. It was believed that both groups of rulers have the sacred right to bestow life.

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Symbolism

Throughout centuries of history, the Egyptian cross and its variations have been used by many cultures and religions, which have given it different meanings.

Life source

According to legend, the merger of Osiris and Isis led to the creation of the universe. This allows us to interpret the Ankh as a union of male and female energies, as a result of which a new life appears. 

Sign of Immortality

The cross with a circle inspired the Egyptians with faith in the cyclic existence of the soul. After the death of a person, she goes to the other world, and then is reborn. The looped part of the cross, symbolizing eternity, made it possible to see in death not the end of life, but a transition to another state. 

Ankh, who embodied the idea of ​​immortality and infinity of being, was sometimes called the “Key of the Nile”. The ancient Egyptians associated the waters of the great life-giving river with universal energy. The river itself was a symbol of eternal life, a portal that allows you to cross into the world of the dead and return to the origins again. 

Embodiment of harmony

Ankh was interpreted as a sign of balance between opposites – flesh and spirit, earthly and divine, sun and moon, masculinity and femininity. The Egyptian cross symbolized the reconciliation of antagonistic forces and the balance in the universe.

Attribute of power and strength

The gods of the Egyptian pantheon were depicted with the symbol of eternal life, which demonstrated the absolute power they possessed in the land of the living and in the afterlife. Aknkh in the hands of the earthly rulers – the pharaohs – was a confirmation of their divine origin and the right to control the fate of the people.

Symbol of love and fertility

According to one version, the cruciform lower part of the Ankh reproduces the male reproductive organs, and the upper, rounded “handle of the cross” reproduces the female uterus. It was believed that the merger of the male and female principles – Osiris and Isis – every year made the Nile full-flowing and ensured fertility on earth.

Enlightenment sign

The Egyptian cross was associated with the key to the hidden secrets of life and death. The Egyptians believed that they opened the door to the realm of the dead. It was also believed that Ankh could endow a person with psychic abilities (the gift of clairvoyance, prophecy, healing), and allowed him to penetrate into the other world.

Can I get a tattoo?

The Egyptian Ankh cross as a tattoo can be found very often today. But often – this is just a tribute to fashion and nothing more. And only a few owners of a magical drawing really think about its sacred meaning. If you thought well and decided to apply a body pattern on yourself, realizing that it can radically change your life, do everything possible so that the meaning of the Ankh tattoo does not turn from a symbol of life into a symbol of death. Don’t get a color tattoo – the Egyptian Cross is best done in black and white. The ideal location is on the right side of the body.

How to wear an Egyptian cross

  1. Men are advised to purchase Ankh amulets made of gold, women – of silver. 
  2. Before putting on the amulet, hold it under running water or rinse it in any natural reservoir.
  3. You should not hang the Ankh on a precious metal chain, so as not to weaken its magical effect. It is best to use a leather cord. 
  4. During the first hours of wearing the Ankh, monitor your well-being. 
  5. Get rid of the amulet if you find signs of physical weakness and other health problems. If within 2-3 days you feel a surge of strength, then you have full compatibility with the amulet. Wear it in good health.
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Meditation with an Egyptian cross

Ankh can serve not only as a powerful personal or home amulet. It is often used in meditation exercises, mainly aimed at strengthening the spirit and connecting with divine healing energy.

The practitioner should be comfortably dressed, without any clothing or accessories compressing the body. Eliminate any distractions prior to the session.

Exercise rules:

  1. Meditation begins with concentration on the breath. Take 3 deep breaths, then let your body breathe freely. 
  2. When you feel focused on the present moment, visualize pure white light around you.
  3. Then begin to create in your imagination the figure of the Egyptian cross, radiating vibrations of peace and health in a halo of white light. Accept divine energy with gratitude.

This exercise should not take more than 5 minutes. Come back to the present moment by focusing again on your breath.

Ankh and Orthodoxy

Not many people know that the Christian cross owes its appearance to the ancient Ankh. The fact is that during the first 2.5 centuries after the death of Christ, the cross on which he was crucified was associated with the means of execution. He could not be depicted: it caused heavy feelings in the souls of the adherents of Christ. The ancient Ankh, a religious sign recognized by that time, made it possible to depict the cross without offending the memory of Jesus. 

In the 4th century, the Ankh was adopted by the Egyptian Orthodox Church as a symbol of life after death. Prior to this, the main Christian sign was a stylization of the letter “alpha”, resembling a fish. However, the new symbol – the cross – was perceived as “more positive”. Over time, it spread throughout the Christian world. The round or “Gothic arched” upper part of the Ankh survived until the Middle Ages. Then it was replaced by a crossbar.

Despite the outward similarity of the crosses – ancient Egyptian and Christian – they have different meanings. If the Ankh was a symbol of transformation, then Christians refer to the cross as an iconographic image of their faith (Something similar happened with the Irish and Armenian crosses, presumably based on Ankh’s design).

Modern Orthodoxy does not recognize the Egyptian cross, considering it a pagan symbol. Parishioners are allowed to wear the Ankh only as a decoration, but not as a ritual sign that encourages magic and witchcraft. 

Interesting Facts Ankh

In the cultures of the peoples neighboring Egypt, the Ankh was perceived as nothing more than a decorative element.

Moses, who learned wisdom from the Egyptian priests, introduced the hieroglyph Ankh into the Hebrew language, along with many other mystical words.

The symbol ♀ has been used in a wide variety of areas:

  • in Tarot cards, the origin of which is connected with the ancient Egyptian tradition:
  • in alchemy to designate the element copper;
  • in biology to determine the female sex; 
  • in astrology to designate the Roman goddess Venus, thanks to which Ankh has become an attribute of numerous female cults. 

Ankh in other cultures

And finally, we will briefly tell you what Ankh means in other cultures.

  • Northern peoples associated endless life, eternal youth, absence of old age with the magic sign
  • Among the Indians, the Ankh symbolized the water element and its qualities.
  • Christians identified the cross with the immortality of the soul
  • The hippie movement perceived the sign exclusively as the personification of love.

As you can see, the Egyptian Cross of Life is a very powerful symbol that must be handled with care. You should never buy an amulet for children, only an adult can wear the Ankh.

Ankh
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