Look A Little Closer

Poking around through major themes and motifs often representative of Ancient Egyptian culture, I stumbled across the concept of eyes. Our exposure to the eye icon regarding Ancienet Egyptian culture is in abundance I am sure, but the significance of this well known image is vastly overlooked. For this, I decided to take a deeper look into the Egyptian Eye we are all familiar with and put a meaning to it.

The image of the eyes above are most closely related to the falcon God, Horus. Most closely associated with the lunar calendar, both the right and left eyes possess significance, the latter holding more. Originally, both eyes were seen as those of Horus’, one representing the sun and one the moon. But, over the course of the years in Egypt, the right eye soon became known as the ‘Eye of Re’, or of the sun. The left eye of Horus, depicting the moon was actually the main piece of concern in a battle between he and Seth over the Goddess, Osiris. In this battle, Seth steals the eye and divides it into 6 pieces which now represent the 6 lunar days. Then, the eye was recovered and restored with the spit of Thoth. This new eye, known as the ‘Wadjet Eye’ represents order post battle or etc.

Today, Egyptians still respect this myth as it is still depicted in present day Egypt in abundance. It is quite amazing to me that an icon can possess so much meaning from something that is thought of as a myth. Not only did all Ancient Egyptians place a great amount of significance on the Eye of Horus, but it was not even one specific meaning. The myth I mentioned above os only one of quite a few that involve the the eye, and yet, all are widely accepted by followers of this set of beliefs, respected as a protector and solution to disorder in society.

1 thought on “Look A Little Closer

  1. I thought this post was very interesting because I really don’t know a whole lot about Egyptian symbols and the myths associated with them. I always knew the eye was an important symbol to the ancient Egyptians but I wasn’t aware of the significance of it in the story shared above. It is very interesting to me that this symbol has a great significance in the lunar calender. I am also going to look into other ancient stories associated with the eye in Egyptian culture.

    I have learned about some Egyptian myths in my art history classes but it was never the focus of the course and I would really like to look into more stories and the meaning behind them. I do know a great deal about Geek mythology from classes I have taken in the past here at MSU. The Greeks worshiped many gods and goddesses like the ancient Egyptians and placed great importance on the stories told about each divinity. Like the Egyptians, the Greeks dedicated shrines, buildings, books, etc. to the gods and used certain symbols to represent the stories associated with them. Learning about Egyptian symbols and the stories attached to them is something that I am very interested in. I hope to one day have they same knowledge of Egyptian mythology as I do Greek mythology.

Comments are closed.