The History of the Ankh

The Ankh Symbol: A Short History of Its Use From Ancient Days to Modern Times

Written by Peter J Morris

Although the Ankh’s use as a popular icon in recent decades has been largely commercial, the roots of this symbol suggest that it enjoyed a mystical—almost semi-religious—application for thousands of years before the modern time.

The Ankh in the Ancient World

The Ancient Egyptian cultures are usually the ones credited with its universal application; however, research suggests that it had widespread use throughout Africa both prior to and post the Dynasties.

The Egyptians are said to have used the Ankh as a hieroglyph to represent the concept of ‘life’. This is a narrow interpretation of a symbol which, in its physical form, was used by the Ancient Egyptians in a variety of ritualistic scenarios. The Ankh is invariably associated with one of the primary deities — such as Horus or Isis — and is often portrayed in wall-paintings as being wielded by kings and priests in a regal or religious setting.

Some researchers believe that the Ankh was a precursor for the cross of redemption which became central to the tenets of Christianity.

The Ankh in the Modern World

Today, these oblique references to the possible metaphysical qualities of the ankh is widespread within the New Age movement. Even those who do not specifically subscribe to the Ankh’s mystical qualities are often seen wearing or carrying an Ankh as an item of jewellery or personal adornment for it is widely believed that the glyph can bring the wearer increased luck and good fortune.

Looking for More Information About the Ankh Symbol?

The Power of the Ankh: How to Use the Ancient Symbol of Life to Transform Your Health, Wealth and Destiny by Peter J Morris book cover

This has been a very very short history of the Ankh symbol. If you want to learn more about the cultures that have used the Ankh throughout the centuries as well as how you too can harness these abilities in your own life, you might be interested in my book, The Power of the Ankh: How to Use the Ancient Symbol of Life to Transform Your Health, wealth and Destiny.

About the Author

Photo of Author Peter Morris

Peter Morris is a historian and esoteric researcher.

Peter has studied history, metaphysics, spirituality and the paranormal for over 35 years. He has written articles for The Dursley Lantern, Gloucestershire Earth Mysteries/3rd Stone and Un-X Magazine.