The Eye of Ra Meaning
The Eye of Ra is a being from ancient Egyptian mythology that functions as a female equivalent of the sun god Ra and a violent force to subdue his enemies. The eye is an extension of Ra’s power, equated with the disc of the sun, but also behaves as an independent entity, which can be personified by a wide variety of Egyptian goddesses, including Hathor, Sekhmet, Bastet, Uadyet, and Mut. The eye goddess acts as mother, sister, consort, and daughter of the sun god. She is his partner in the creative cycle in which he begets a renewed form of himself that is born at dawn. The violent aspects of the eye defend Ra against the agents of disorder who threaten his rule. This aspect of the Eye goddess is often represented by a lioness or by the ureus, or cobra, a symbol of protection and royal authority. The eye of Ra is similar to the Eye of Horus which belongs to a different god, Horus, but shares many of the same concepts. The disastrous effects when the eye goddess loses control and the efforts of the gods to restore her to her benign state are prominent motifs in Egyptian mythology.
The eye of Ra is implicated in many areas of Egyptian religion, including the cults of many goddesses who equate themselves with it. Its life-giving power was celebrated in temple rituals and its dangerous aspects were invoked in the protection of the pharaoh, of sacred places, and of ordinary people and their homes. [ Read a full article about the meaning of Egyptian symbols ]
The Eye of Ra Symbol
The Egyptians used to refer to the sun and moon as the ‘eyes’ of particular gods. The right eye of the god Horus, for example, was equated with the sun, while the left eye was equated with the moon. The Egyptians sometimes called the lunar eye the ‘eye of Horus’, a concept with its own complex mythology and symbolism, and called the solar eye the ‘eye of Ra’ – the pre-eminent sun god in ancient Egyptian religion. However, in Egyptian belief, many terms and concepts are fluid, so the sun could also be called the “eye of Horus”. The red or yellow solar disc represents the sun’s red or yellow disc.
The red or yellow sun disc represents in Egyptian art the eye of Ra. Because of the great importance of the sun in Egyptian religion, this emblem is one of the most recurrent religious symbols in Egyptian art. Although Egyptologists often call this emblem the “sun disc”, its convex shape on Egyptian reliefs suggests that the Egyptians may have considered it a sphere. The emblem often appears on the heads of deities associated with the sun, including Ra himself, to indicate their connections with the sun. The disc could even be regarded as the physical form of Ra. At other times, the sun god, in various forms, was shown inside the disc as if enclosed within it. The Egyptians often described the Sun’s movements across the sky as the movement of a boat carrying Ra and his retinue of other gods, and the sun god may be equated with this solar boat or shown with the boat inside it. The disc is often referred to as Ra’s “daughter” in Egyptian texts. Like the Sun, the Sun is often referred to as the “daughter” of Ra in Egyptian texts. The sun is often referred to as the sun.
Like the Sun, the Eye of Ra is a source of heat and light, is associated with fire and flames. It is also equated with the red light that appears before dawn, and with the dawn star that precedes and signals the coming of the Sun. It is also associated with the red light that appears before dawn.
[ Read a full article about Famous Ancient Egyptian Symbols and their meanings ]