wedjat symbol meaning

Wedjat Symbol (Eye of Horus) – History And Meaning

The wedjat or the udjat eye, also known as the Eye of Horus, is a symbol in ancient Egyptian religion that denotes healing, well-being, and protection. 

Egyptologists have interpreted that hieroglyphs with pieces of the wedjat symbol denote fractions in ancient Egyptian mathematics. This theory has been challenged, however.

What we know is that this symbol was used in amulets and was thought to protect their wearers and to bestow them the power of recovery and regeneration. 

Wedjat amulets were used by both the living and the dead.

Wedjat Symbol (Eye of Horus) – History And Meaning

If you want to learn more about the Wedjat symbol, read on to find out the meaning, history, and significance of this Egyptian symbol.

wedjat symbol

Wedjat Symbol History

According to various Egyptian texts, the ancient Egyptian god of sky Horus’ right eye was the sun and his left eye the moon, and that the wedjat symbol takes from the mythical conflict between Horus and his rival Set. 

As per the Pyramid Texts, dating to the late Old Kingdom from circa 2686 BC to 2181 BC, Set tore out and stole an eye of the god of the sky.

The eye was restored and returned to Horus by Thoth, the god of the moon. Horus then offered the eye to his late father Osiris, sustaining in the afterlife – thanks to the eye’s revivifying powers. 

The wedjat or Eye of Horus came be linked with funerary offerings. It was also equated with all the offerings to gods and goddesses in temple rituals. 

The symbol appears often in ancient Egyptian art. The wedjat was one of the most popular motifs for amulets that remained in use from as far as 2686 BC until 641 AD – from the Old Kingdom to the Roman times. 

Pairs of Horus eyes were painted on Egyptian coffins from around 2181 BC to 1650 BC. This symbol was adopted, to some extent, by the neighboring cultures – Canaanite, Syrian and Nubian, to name some.

The Wedjat Symbol

wedjat symbol

The wedjat or Eye of Horus was one of the most popular amulets in ancient Egypt. It was a symbol of the healed eye of the sky god Horus. 

Horus is often depicted as a falcon-headed man, thus, the wedjat eye features a combination of both human and falcon elements.

It appears as a human eye with a horizontal cosmetic line that extends from its outer corner and mixes it with the stylized markings of a falcon’s face, which are reflected in the vertical extension below the pupil and in the diagonal line with a curled or spiral tail. 

The wedjat eye or Eye of Horus symbolyzes healing, well-being, and protection, as well as rebirth. However, it also came to denote other concepts.

A prominent example of this is the moon because of its waxing and waning that was likened to the injury and restoration of Horus’ eye.

An amulet in the wedjat’s shape was believed to protect its wearers and to give them the power of recovery and regeneration. This was popularly worn back in the day, not only by the living but the dead as well.

Wedjat Symbol Meaning

The ancient Egyptian name “wedjat” or “udjat” means “the one that is sound.” It translates to “whole,” “completed,” or “uninjured” eye, so it is not clear whether it refers to the eye of Horus that was destroyed and restored or the unharmed one.

The wedjat symbol represents healing power, well-being, protection, and rebirth. It is depicted as a stylized eye with distinctive markings and was believed to possess protective magical powers. 

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