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In another story, Horus loses his eye in a subsequent battle with Set. As such, the symbol is connected with healing and restoration.
The symbol is also one of protection and was commonly used in protective amulets worn by both the living and the dead. The Eye of Horus commonly, but not always.
The Eye of Horus is the most common use of the eye symbol. The Eye of Ra has anthropomorphic qualities and is sometimes also called the daughter of Ra.
Ra sends out his eye to seek information as well as hand out wrath and vengeance against those who have insulted him. Thus, it is a much more aggressive symbol that the Eye of Horus.
The Eye is also given to a variety of goddesses such as Sekhmet, Wadjet, and Bast. Sekhmet once ranged down such ferocity against a disrespectful humanity that Ra eventually had to step in to stop her from exterminating the entire race.
The Eye of Ra commonly sports a red iris. As if that wasn't complicated enough, the concept of the Eye of Ra is often represented by another symbol entirely, a cobra wrapped around a sun-disk, often hovering over a deity's head: most often Ra.
The cobra is a symbol of the goddess Wadjet, who has her own connections to the Eye symbol. Wadjet is a cobra goddess and the patron of lower Eygpt.
Depictions of Ra commonly sport a sun disk over his head and a cobra wrapped around the disk. That cobra is Wadjet, a protective deity.
An Eye shown in association with a cobra is usually Wadjet, although sometimes it is an Eye of Ra. Just to be further confusing, the Eye of Horus is sometimes called a Wadjet eye.
A pair of eyes can be found on the side of some coffins. The usual interpretation is that they provide sight for the deceased since their souls live for eternity.
While various sources attempt to ascribe meaning to whether a left or right eye is depicted, no rule can be applied universally.
Eye symbols associated with Horus can be found in both left and right forms, for example. The crooked top of the staff mirrors the strange animal shape of Set's own head.
After the ankh symbol, the icon commonly called the Eye of Horus is the next most well known. It consists of a stylized eye and eyebrow.
Two lines extend from the bottom of the eye, possibly to mimic the facial markings on a falcon local to Egypt, as Horus' symbol was a falcon.
In fact, three different names are applied to this symbol: the eye of Horus, the eye of Ra, and the Wadjet. These names are based on the meaning behind the symbol, not specifically its construction.
Without any context, it is impossible to definitively determine which symbol is meant. The djed column as an Egyptian hieroglyph represented stability.
The ankh was staff, and djed column was often used in combination with each other in ancient Egypt. Here a pattern of alternating was staves and ankhs is obvious on a pillar at the Philae temple.
With the coming of Christianity, Coptic Christians carved a version of their cross into the column as the temple was repurposed as a church. While the eye is ancient, this depiction within a triangle is not.
Those who use the symbol often see it as representing knowledge, enlightenment, and insight, particularly into spiritual and esoteric matters, although there are certainly other interpretations as well.
The eye might face left or right. Perhaps the most famous depiction of the symbol is in an image of Aleister Crowley, where it is emblazoned on his hat.
Some connect this symbol with the Eye of Providence , which exists within Christian and deist contexts: the watchful eye of a superior power surveying humanity.
This connection is particularly emphasized by conspiracy theorists who believe in an overbearing new world order that inserts its own pagan or Satanic images into otherwise innocuous contexts.
Rather, they are equal-armed crosses that may or may not have a circle within or behind the center point of the symbol.
Coptic Christianity has its own set of symbols. One image from the American Coptic website bears an equal-armed cross set within what is clearly an ankh.
A sunrise is set behind the symbol, another reference to resurrection. Lacking any sort of a Christian cross, it displays only an ankh and a pair of lotus blooms, both references to their ancient culture.