Go to Article Home PageAMULETS AND SYMBOLS OF EGYPT (MEKT AND UDJU)
© Copyright 2006, All Rights Reserved.
The ancient Egyptians used amulets and talismans extensively in their magickal work. The word amulet and talisman are often used interchangeably. Famed Egyptologist E A Wallis Budge says that the word ‘amulet’ is derived from an Arabic word meaning ‘to bear, to carry’. An amulet or talisman is something filled with magickal energy which is worn or carried on the body to bring specific desires or events to the individual who carries, wears or bears it. In Egypt, they were often carved from gemstones: carnelian, lapis lazuli, turquoise, feldspar and serpentine being used most often. Gold, copper, bronze and iron were also used to fashion the amulet or talisman. Faience was the most popular of all, however. Faience is a clay paste mixed with sand, formed into a shape and then fired. The sand base in the clay is what gives the faience its dreamy blue color. These are the most common symbols used in Egyptian Talismanic magick:
The SCARAB (dung beetle) is the symbol of rebirth and protection of one's life force. Carved in carnelian it symbolizes life force. Carved in lapis lazuli it symbolizes one’s connection with the Divine and one’s rebirth onto another plane of existence.
The ANKH (oval at the top, horizontal line and handle underneath) symbolizes the life force and rebirth.
The BUCKLE or KNOT OF ISIS (TET) represents protection, understanding in the afterlife of one’s karmic debts, resurrection and fertility. Carved in carnelian it represents resurrection and fertility, when carved in red jasper it brings understanding of karmic debts and in lapis it represents protection.
The EYE OF HORUS (UTCHAT) symbolizes strength and healing (when the eye faces left) and protection and inner sight (when the eye faces right). Most often carved in carnelian for both uses.
The HEART symbol protects the heart from illness and bring vital life-force when carved in carnelian. It also represents self knowledge when carved in lapis lazuli.
The DJET (often a symbol of Osiris – a rod with 4 horizontal lines at the top) gives life to the spirit, connects matter and spirit, balances the 4 elements (physical, emotional, mental, spiritual), gives stability when carved in wood (usually persea or sycamore wood).
The NEFER (Vertical line crossed at the top by a short horizontal strike with a circle at the bottom) represents good luck and happiness – most often carved in carnelian.
The SAM (horizontal line at the top, followed by a ‘V’ shape ending in a heart shape) symbolizes sexuality and love – most often carved in lapis lazuli
The SHEN (Circle with a horizontal line underneath) represents eternity, karmic knowledge and is most often carved in lapis or carnelian.
The PILLOW or HEADREST (2 horizontal bars connected by a short rod in the middle) is used to overcome enemies, give protection during sleep, to help return the spirit to the body after astral projection and is most often fashioned from hematite or iron.
The LADDER symbol helps to connect with the gods, aids in the transition in death, soothes the suicide and is carved in carnelian or lapis.
The MENAT (handle with substance coming out and to the side of the top) represents balance, joy and health. Most often fashioned from gold, lapis and turquoise.
The PAPYRUS SCEPTREbrings health, renewal and youth, - made from gold or mother of pearl.
The COLLAR (neckpiece close to the neck like a choker coming down over the collarbones) represents freedom and connection with Goddess energy. Usually made from gold, lapis and carnelian in strands together.
The FROG protects in childbirth and is associated with the protection of children, often fashioned from malachite.
You can draw one of these symbols on parchment or (if you have the tools) carve one of these symbols into the appropriate stone before charging it with energy. The use of talismans and amulets is a universal practice perfected by the Egyptians. Tie into the ancient practices by using an amulet or talisman in your magickal practice and see how it works for you!
© Copyright 2006 Karen Charboneau-Harrison, All Rights Reserved.