The ankh is one of the most mysterious and iconic symbols in history. It has been used by many cultures throughout the ages, with each group attributing its own unique meaning to the symbol. But where did this ancient symbol come from, and what does it mean? In this short piece, we will explore the origins and symbolism of the ankh, and see how it has been used throughout history. It has been used for thousands of years by a variety of cultures, and its true meaning remains a mystery to this day. Some say that the ankh is an ancient symbol from Egypt, while others believe it has Nordic origins. Whatever its true origins may be, there is no doubt that the ankh holds significant meaning for people even today.
Where does the ankh come from?
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The first documented sighting of an ankh comes from Ancient Egypt. It was a very popular symbol from approx 3000BC, and it was often used in art and architecture. It is believed to represent the sun, life, and fertility. The ankh was also frequently used in funerary rites, as it was thought to be a powerful symbol of life after death, as a representation for the concept of life as whole, so it was often used as a funerary amulet. In the ancient art discovered featuring this symbol, pharaohs and Gods were found to be holding this symbol.
The ankh symbol has also been found in ancient Nordic artifacts, such as the Oseberg ship which you can see in person in Oslo. This has led some to believe that the ankh is of Nordic origin. However, there is no concrete evidence to support this claim. It is possible that the ankh was introduced to the Nordic people by traders or travelers from Egypt.
The ankh meaning in Christianity is blanketed in uncertainty. There are many that believe the symbol to be of the Holy Trinity, while others believe it represents the cross of Christ. Whatever its true initial meaning may be, the ankh is an influential symbol with a long and mysterious history.
The African ankh meaning is also shrouded in mystery. Some believe that the ankh is a symbol of fertility, while others believe it represents the Sun. There are African spiritualists who have taken the symbol back as a way to show pride for the variety of important history within their cultures. There is no clear set consensus on the meaning of the ankh in African culture but if you would like to research more so as not to appropriate culture but to appreciate it with care, I'd advise looking into resources such as www.blackpast.org
What does the ankh mean?
As you can see, there are many different interpretations of what the ankh means. Some believe that it represents the cycle of life, while others see it as a symbol of fertility or the sun. The true original meaning of the ankh remains a mystery to this day. However, its long and rich history is sure to continue to fascinate people for years to come. As it's an open practice symbol, anyone can adopt it and make it their own. So, what does the ankh mean to you?
To me, it simply reminds me of the Ancient Egyptians who so boldly loved their afterlife, that it was not related to death in that final sense. If you look at the ankh, it can look like a snake shedding it's skin with it's head at the top, tail at the bottom, and shedding at the sides. Snakes have strong symbolism for rebirth, for transformation. It also reminds of the astrological sign for Venus, and a nod towards how there is beauty in life and it's processes.
How can we use the ankh in magickal practice?
What is important about wearing an ankh is that it is worn with respect. Symbols have power, and the ankh is no different. It is a potent symbol with a long and rich history. When wearing this, it is important to be mindful of its varied meanings and power. Be open to discussing it with love and appreciation for all it has stood for.
The ankh can be used in magick and ritual as a way to connect with the Ancient Egyptian gods. It can also be used as a talisman to protect against evil forces. Some people believe that the ankh has the power to heal, and it is often used as a symbol of healing in spiritual practices. It can be associated with celebrating life within the Wheel of the Year sabbats, as well as being a key symbol to visualise with whilst processing your death work and shadow work.
The ankh can be worn as a necklace or hung on the wall as a decoration. It can also be placed on an altar or used in ritual work. However you choose to use it, the ankh is a formidable symbol with an abundant history. When used with respect, it will be a stunning everyday tool in your magickal practice.
Written by Lizzie Burgess from Backyardbanshee.com where you can find many free tarot spreads and spells to enjoy.