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Egyptian Scarab: Ancient Symbols And Their Meanings

Egyptian Scarab: Ancient Symbols And Their Meanings

The scarab is an ancient Egyptian symbol that has been around since the time of the Pharaohs. Its meaning and significance have changed over the centuries, but it remains one of the most important symbols in Egyptian culture. They associated the scarab beetle with immortality because it would annually emerge from the ground to die again.

The sun disk, or Khetri, was likewise used as a symbol of life because it would rise each day from behind the horizon to die again in the evening. Here are some things you probably didn’t know about this sacred symbol.

What is a Scarab?

What makes the scarab beetle unique is its head capsule with several little raised bumps, which are not made of stone, but hard scales made of tiny horned insects called “scarab beetles.” Each scarab is different and all of them belong to one species of beetle.

The scarab beetle’s scientific name is Drosophila subdivides. We find it in most of Egypt, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Yemen, Sudan, Ethiopia, Chad, the western regions of Kenya, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Mauritania, and Somalia.

Where the scarab beetle lives

Egypt is the only country that still has scarabs today. There are eight species of scarabs. It knew the country for its grey and white scarabs, a hybrid of two different species that closely resemble the common scarab beetle.

How did the Scarab come to represent immortality?

The Egyptian people believed that Khepri would rise from the underworld each year. The scarab, the sign of the goddess, served as a way for the people to understand how Khepri lived her eternal life. The people believed that Khepri lived her life when the sun hid behind the horizon at night. The people then realized that it was the same way they lived their lives.

The scarab was part of a collection of almost a hundred other symbols, such as the khet or khepri-good. We believe that the khepri was inspired by the Egyptian scribe’s headband, which was worn as the official symbol of the Book of the Dead.

The early Egyptians believed that Khepri symbolized the phoenix, which they believed to be born from dust and perish by fire.

The Iconic Khepri Symbol

Khepri is the sun god, Horus, who brought death. When Egyptians drew his solar disk on the walls of temples, it was called the funeral stele. The artist used the familiar symbol of Khepri to celebrate their deceased kings and to provide them with eternal life.

It Was Also A Symbol Of Immortality

Egyptian mythology linked the scarab’s cycle of life and death with its meaning of being the ancient Egyptians’ link to the afterlife.

I thought the image of the scarab to be one of the earliest representations of a human face. So we believe that it may have symbolized Ra, a great sun god.

Scarab Skeleton Replicas

Also known as the “bag of life,” it made the scarab into a mummy in ancient Egypt. The process was more complicated than it might sound.

Egyptian Scarab Tattoos

Since ancient Egypt was predominantly a tribal society, the most important people in a tribe were the elders. Many tribal people used tattoos to show who is who and to commemorate special occasions. Many tribal people, including the Egyptians, marked themselves with tribal tattoos.

Tribes used scarabs to show who was in charge. They also believed that just like a scarab died each year, so did their chief. Hence, the tribes would mark their chief with a scarab as a mark of their deference.

The scarab is highly spiritual, and it’s believed that ancient Egyptians were a superstitious lot who practiced many strange rituals. They used scarabs and other symbols, like the sun disk, to conduct ceremonies and rituals and mark important dates.

Egyptian Scarab Bracelets

To this day, young Egyptian women still wear scarab bracelets. The scarabs come in various forms, but they all have the same design: two legs ahead, and a larger body with multiple legs. In Egypt, these bracelets are more often worn on the right hand and indicate marriage or impending death.

They usually make the scarabs of gold or silver and feature a red stone (most often jasper) in the middle. We often interpret the black hieroglyphics as the combination of the sun and the moon.

King Tut’s Sacred Bird

Ancient Egyptian women (especially the royal women) were believed to can turn themselves into animals when they became pregnant. It taught Royal women to make animal masks that would act as masks during pregnancy.

The scarab beetle in jewelry

We often used Egyptian scarabs in jewelry today, but it didn’t always use to be the case. Ancient Egyptians wore scarabs around their necks to ward off evil and invite good luck. It wasn’t just a luxury piece, though. We used ancient Egyptian jewelry as talismans and had various uses, depending on the person.

According to Epicurious, the scarab necklace worn by Cleopatra VII, the last queen of Egypt, was made of two intertwined scarabs inlaid with a yellow bead. She wore it as part of a royal coronation rite. This sacred necklace was Cleopatra’s crown. She is also said to have worn a necklace made of 40,000 scarabs inlaid with garnets.

The Egyptian scarab cult

One of the most important features of the scarab is its life cycle.

Conclusion

The Egyptian scarab has many distinct meanings. But, it’s believed that it all began as a symbol of fertility and the cycle of life. It also used the wax or crushed rock that the scarab lived in the ancient Egyptians’ way of life.

Replacing the beetle with a star would be an accurate representation of Egyptian culture, and it also would represent the sun because the star would keep on rising from the east.

The star-shaped scarab represents the moon. We can also see it as a symbol of the constellations Orion and Taurus because the ancient Egyptians believed that these were the keepers of the new moon.

The name of the constellation would then become Orion.

 

See also: Vintage pocket watch

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