The amulet known as the Egyptian Cross or Ankh is a potent symbol of Life. Many reliefs in Ancient Egyptian temples show scenes where the king is offered the ankh by the gods. This symbolized the divine bestowal of eternal life.
From the Middle Kingdom, the word ‘nkh (ankh) also meant «mirror» and many mirrors took the form of the hieroglyph. After the demise of the Egyptian polytheistic religion, the Christian Coptic church adopted the Ankh as a form of the cross, known as the Crux Ansata («cross with handle»).
One painting shows the goddess Hathor holding the ankh up under the nose of Nefertari. Queen Nefertari received the breath of life from the goddess herself.
This hieroglyphic symbol was used to represent the union of male and female.
By joining opposites together in perfect harmony, new life is created. The arms stretching out is said to represent the children created from the unification of male and female.
Ptah was often referred to as «the noble djed», and carried a scepter that was a combination of the djed symbol and the ankh, the symbol of life. … the ankh, symbol of life, thoracic vertebra of a bull (seen in cross section) the djed, symbol of stability, base on the sacrum of a bull’s spine.
The djed, an ancient Egyptian symbol meaning ‘stability’, is the symbolic backbone of the god Osiris.
Image via Pane Andov