Egyptian Symbols and Their Meanings

There are many Egyptian symbols which derive their meaning from natural phenomenon or things found in nature. The mysteries associated with these symbols make them an interesting topic of study. Here are a few Egyptian symbols presented with their respective meanings.

Ancient Egyptian Symbols and their Meanings

The ancient Egyptian symbols have influenced the culture of this country to a great extent and have led to the development of different belief systems. Read more on ancient Egyptian culture.


One of the Egyptian symbols, Ankh is generally seen in hands of Egyptian gods and denote eternal life. These gods are portrayed as holding the ankh to someone’s lips. Meaning of such images is explained as follows: the gods offer ‘The Breath of Life’ which is needed in the afterlife. More on Egyptian gods and goddesses.


The symbol, Ba is used to denote the personality of someone. As per Egyptian beliefs, Ba leaves the body when a person dies. It returns to the tomb of a deceased person every night. The Egyptians used mummies and statues to house the Ba which returns at night.


Meaning of the symbol, Amenta underwent changes with time. Earlier, the Amenta symbol meant, the Land of Dead or Underworld. Later, the term was used for horizon of sunset. The sunset observed from the west bank of Nile and burial of dead in the same place led to the symbol being associated with the west bank itself.


The symbol shenu, which is also known as cartouche is depicted by a loop which encloses a name. The loop is said to be the protector of name written inside.

Primordial Hill

The primordial hill symbol is similar to pyramids in its appearance. It is believed that the primordial hill emerged from the Sea of Chaos at the time of creation. The primordial hill symbol has been the source of inspiration behind the creation of pyramids and temples in Egypt.

Eye of Horus

Among the different Egyptian symbols, eye of Horus is associated with royal power and protection. The symbol personifies Wadjet, the Egyptian goddess, also known as Edjo, Uadjet and Uto. Read more on Egyptian god Horus.


The scarab symbol is represented by the dung beetle. This Egyptian beetle symbol has the following story behind it. The dung beetles would roll the eggs laid by female beetles and bury them in the soil. Young beetles would come out of soil and it would appear that they have emerged from nowhere. This made scarab, the symbol of spontaneous creation. Read more on Egyptian scarab beetle.


The Ouroboros is a sign/symbol of totality. It is represented by the picture of a snake which is swallowing its own tail. The Egyptian symbol of life is depicted by the same picture/image. The concept of ‘life’ as a whole incorporates birth, death and rebirth. The Egyptian symbol of death too, is represented by the image of snake.

Egyptian Love Symbols

There is no single image/picture to depict the Egyptian symbol of love. The throne of king, Tut Ank Amun is said to be one of the Egyptian symbols of love. In some cases, lotus is also considered to be the symbol of love.

The ancient Egyptian symbols have always been a matter of interest among historians. These symbols reflect the culture of ancient Egypt and open a whole new world of belief and mythology of the Egyptians. The hieroglyphs of Egyptian writing system should be studied to get into the depth of Egyptian symbols.

Hope these Egyptian symbols and their meanings presented in the article above, were helpful in familiarizing you with the various symbols of ancient Egypt. One can learn a lot about ancient Egypt through these interesting symbols, by studying them further.