Ancient Egyptian Symbols To Engrave On Your Skin

June 20, 2017

|Josue Brocca

Looking at the symbols of Ancient cultures is like looking out a window into the past. Hieroglyphs, ideograms, and ancient scriptures are all, in a sense, a type of time travel. Transcending millennia, symbols come to us as clues to understand our ancestors' worldview, their systems of belief, and their complex mythologies. Every symbol hides a secret underneath its form; perhaps that's why we find them so entrancing. 
The wisdom hidden in Egyptian hieroglyphs were buried under layers upon layers of Greek and Roman tradition that our ancestors were obsessed about. The glory of Ancient Egypt was forgotten and its beautiful hieroglyphic texts became unreadable. While its civilization may have declined over 2,000 years ago, its relics, monuments, and ruins have endured the harsh passing of time. It wasn't until Napoleon's conquest of Egypt during the late eighteenth century that we started to understand the legacy of this Ancient culture. Then, in 1798, Pierre Bouchard discovered the Rosetta stone, which was written in three different types of text —hieroglyphs, demotic, and Greek—, and it became our main source to decode the meaning of Egyptian sacred symbols. A single piece of stone became the key to 3,000 years of human history and knowledge. 

Egyptians defined hieroglyphs as the words of gods. To them, all of these beautiful symbols bore a sacred meaning. Should your skin bear the wisdom of this ancient culture? 


ancient egypt tattoos
The ankh is one of the most well known symbols of Ancient Egypt and it represents the concept of eternal life. Because of this, sarcophagi and funerary images were often depicted with this symbol of the afterlife. The origins of the symbol are unknown; however, it is under debate whether its form (the oval and the T shape) actually represents, respectively, the male and female. A perfect choice of tattoo for anyone who believes in the eternity of existence. 

ancient egypt tattoos

Eye of Horus 

ancient egypt tattoos

Another of the most known symbols of Ancient Egypt is the "Eye of Horus," which consists of an eye with a smooth eyebrow over it. The eye's bottom gives way to a line that goes downward and other one that goes up in a curve, possibly with the purpose of imitating the face of a falcon, associated with divinity. According to Egyptian mythology, Horus was the son of Osiris, a god who was killed by his brother, Set. With the help of his mother —Isis—, Horus brought his father back to life to make him the Lord of the Underworld, sacrificing one of his eyes to heal his wounds. In this sense, Horus' eye is a symbol of sacrifice, restoration, and healing. Because of this, it was also believed that it had protective properties, and although it was also a part of funerary purposes, it was worn by the living. In certain contexts, this Eye was also associated to the Sun God Ra, but in these cases it was usually accompanied with a red spot, and it served as symbol of focus and awareness. 

ancient egypt tattoos

The symbol of the Eye of Ra inside an equilateral triangle, however, does not date back to Ancient Egypt. It is actually a product of Western occultism, and the people who use it associate it with knowledge, and spiritualism. 

Scarab Beetle

ancient egypt tattoos

The Khepera, also known as Scarab, depicts a robust two-dimensional beetle with its wings opened in a U shape. The scarab was associated with the concepts of new beginnings, enlightenment, and rebirth. In Ancient Egypt's mythology, Khepri was a beetle-shaped deity associated to the morning sun. A perfect choice of tattoo for anyone starting out a new path in life.

ancient egypt tattoos

These symbols have transcended thousands of years with their precious meanings. Why not giving them a place on your own body?  

The cultures of the world offer thousands of beautiful designs and tattoos that you can get on your skin. Be sure to look at these beautiful collection of Japanese tattoo designs . Also, be sure to check out the 10 secrets your tattoo artist will never reveal to you.  

British Museum

Josue Brocca

Josue Brocca