The Eye of Ra

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The Eye of Ra

The Eye of Ra, also known as the Solar Eye, is an ancient symbol that embodies power and authority. Moreover, it is a symbol of fire and light, concentration and quick reaction. According to ancient Egyptian beliefs, the Eye of Ra was able to burn evil people.

The Eye of Ra was illustrated in the form of a cobra, usually with wings in honor of the Egyptian goddess Nekhbet - the goddess-hawk, and always with a solar disk.

The Solar Eye was identified with Wadjet, a goddess in the shape of a serpent, and also with Nekhbet, Ma'at, Hathor, and all goddesses that had been portrayed in the form of a lioness - Tefnut, Sekhmet and Mekhit.

Wadjet was usually depicted as a snake belching flames and venom with a solar eye, which burnt all of its opponents with the fire.

The core image of the Eye of Ra is the south Egyptian cobra, known for its ruthlessness. The Eye of Ra was a symbol of royal majesty, of the power of life and death, of the ability to control the people and destroy the enemies of Ra.

The Eye of Ra was an integral part of the decoration for the headdresses of the pharaohs, in the form of a serpent on the forehead, which was attached to their tiara and later, the crown itself. The crown of Ammon was embellished with two eyes of Ra.

Pictures of the Eye of Ra being used as a sign of protection are included in the decoration of buildings, tombs, and in famous drawings found in the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead.

The Egyptian Predynastic era included two warring factions - Upper and Lower. After their unison in 2900 BC, the country continued to be divided into two administrative districts - Upper and Lower Egypt.

Thus, Egypt was divided into two parts, patronized by two goddesses - the south was under the auspices of Nekhbet and the north - under the patronage of Wadjet. Nekhbet and Wadjet were daughters of Ra and thought of themselves as his All-Seeing Eye.

The crown and before it - the diadem of the pharaohs, symbolized the unification of both parts of the country over which the Eye of Ra watched closely.