The Eye of Horus (also known as The Eye of Ra) is a symbol of Egyptian origin that stands for health, knowledge, and power.
It contains rich symbolism that has deep meaning, being a collection of symbols itself.
In addition to health and power, it is also believed to give protection to its bearer. This is the reason that many sailors painted the Eye on their ships before they sailed towards the troubled waters in the sea. They believed that the Eye will provide them safety from both the sea and the pirates.
The Eye of Horus is named after the sun god Horus. The symbol of the Eye is a combination of many different symbols with different meanings, bound together to form a new symbol with different meaning.
The Eye of Horus is composed of three major components:
- The Eye
- The Spiral
- The teardrop
Meaning of Different Components of the Eye of Horus
In order to understand the symbolism and meaning of the Eye of Horus, it is important to look at each different parts of the Eye of Horus tattoo, separately. The dissection will offer a better understanding of the underlying meaning and symbolism of the tattoo of Eye of Horus.
The Eye represents the all-seeing Egyptian god Horus. Horus is the sun god in Egyptian mythology and sun is the source where all the light in the world comes from. The ever shining and all-seeing eye of the sun guides people in their path. So The Eye symbolizes enlightenment.
The Teardrop and its significance in the Eye of Horus tattoo has been argued and explanations for the symbol’s meaning vary. The most popular explanation is that the teardrop is actually the representation of a falcon. Falcon is associated with extraordinarily accurate vision, strength, and power. The theory about falcon makes sense because falcon was important to Horus. In fact, he was believed to have a head of a falcon.
The Spiral in the Eye of Horus is believed to represent serpent. In addition to falcon, Ureaus serpent (an all-seeing serpent, believed to have ability of spewing fire) was also sacred to Horus as it saved Horus and all of Egypt. Serpents also have symbolic meaning of protection, awareness, and balance. The spiral extending from the eye might also have symbolic significance in the form of expansion of post death awareness.
The Eye of Horus, on the whole also has many differing meanings and interpretations. Some of those interpretations are based on the different parts of the symbol and their meanings, but some are entirely different.
For example, the Eye of Horus is also believed to bring vision, equilibrium, and fairness. It is important to note here that some altered versions of The Eye of Horus exist in other cultures too.
While the Egyptian culture sees the Eye as an honor to the god, other cultures have different interpretations and meaning for the symbol of eye. In Indian culture, the symbol of the Eye is perceived as the third eye. The third eye refers to the invisible eye which gives awareness to the people outside the ordinary sight. In modern spirituality, the third eye is associated with the state of enlightenment and wisdom. However, that symbol is slightly different than the Eye of Horus symbol, despite having the Eye.
Reasons for Getting Eye of Horus Tattoo
While having the Eye of Horus as a tattoo, it is better to contemplate why we are getting it. With vast meaning and different interpretations in different cultures, the Eye of Horus can stand for many things. One can have a personal significance or meaning of the Eye of Horus when they go for its tattoo.
Following are some of the reasons for getting Eye of Horus as a Tattoo:
- It can serve as a reminder of the fire that lives inside
- Increase the affinity for the serpent and the falcon
- It can also serve as a mark to signify a transition or cycle in a person’s life
- It serves as a symbol of protection for you and you seek protection from having it tattooed to your skin
- The symbol is also connected to learning and knowledge. Some people get the tattoo as a symbol for their unquenched thirst for knowledge
- It also signifies perspective. The symbol stands for all-seeing Egyptian god of sun mainly because of it being the light source and partially because the sun is in the center of the solar system. So, if you went to the sun, you would have a better perspective to the whole solar system. Similarly, the symbol can mean that the person is striving for gaining perspective of other people
- It can also be seen as an honor to the old Egyptian traditions, culture and religion and an tribute to the ancient god Horus
Apart from the above mentioned reasons of getting The Eye of Horus as a tattoo, many people have their own personal interpretations of the tattoo, too. Some people get the altered versions of The Eye of Horus in order to suit their needs.