The Eye of Ra’s Hidden Symbolism

Eye of Ra
The Eye of Ra is an ancient Egyptian symbol that represents the eye of the sun god Ra. It's often depicted as a stylized eye with a solar disc in the center and is associated with protection and royal power. 

What is the meaning of the Eye of Ra?

The Eye of Ra is an ancient Egyptian symbol of royal power, protection, and good health. It’s often associated with the sun god Ra. 

In ancient Egyptian mythology, the Eye of Ra was a powerful force that protected and defended the Pharaoh, the royal family, and the people of Egypt. It was also believed to have the power to bring prosperity, health, and good fortune to those who possessed it. 

In addition, the Eye of Ra was often depicted as a symbol of royal authority. It was often used as a protective amulet or talisman to ward off evil spirits and bring good luck.

eye of ra
Some depictions of the Eye of Ra symbol

The History and Legend Behind the Eye of Ra

According to Egyptian mythology, the Eye of Ra was a powerful force that protected and provided for the Pharaoh, who was seen as a living embodiment of Ra on earth. One myth associated with the Eye of Ra involves the goddesses Hathor, Sekhmet, and Bastet. 

Ra became angry with humanity in this myth and sent the Eye of Ra, personified as the fierce lioness goddess Sekhmet, to punish them. Instead, Sekhmet went on a rampage, slaughtering humans and threatening to destroy all of humanity. 

Ra tricked her into drinking beer dyed red to look like blood to stop her. Believing that she had fulfilled her purpose, Sekhmet stopped her rampage and returned to Ra. This myth may have been intended to explain the destructive power of the sun and its life-giving power.

The Eye of Ra in Other Mythologies

The Eye of Ra was also associated with other aspects of Egyptian mythology and religion, including the concept of Ma’at (truth, justice, and order).

In some myths, the Eye of Ra is the daughter of Ra, who helped him create the world. In others, the Eye of Ra acts as a protector of the Pharaoh and has the power to defeat enemies.

The Eye of Ra was a famous symbol in ancient Egypt and continues to be used as a symbol of protection and power in modern times.This popular Egyptian symbol was also frequently associated with and personified by many Egyptian goddesses, including Sekhmet, Hathor, Wadjet, and Bastet.

In various Egyptian texts, the Eye of Ra was described as a mother, a sibling, and a consort.

What Does the Right Eye of Ra Mean?

The Eye of Ra is a popular religious symbol in Egyptian art.

Fertility and Birth: The Eye of Ra portrayed a mother and Ra’s companion, thus depicting procreation, fertility, and birth. Its life-giving power was observed in ancient Egyptian temple rituals.

Great Power and Strength: The Ancient Egyptians trusted her power, which they compared to the sun’s heat, which could become out of control and violent. The aggressiveness of the Eye of Ra extends not only to humans but also to deities, representing the ancient Egyptian god Ra’s destructive side.

A Protective Symbol: The Ancient Egyptians glimpsed her as an overprotective mother of her subjects and land. The Eye of Ra was considered a mark of royal authority and protection because it was painted on amulets used by Pharaohs to protect themselves against spells, malicious entities, or opponents.

Eye of Ra Tattoo Meaning

The Eye of Ra is often tattooed as a symbol of protection, strength, and power. It can also be tattooed to honor ancient Egyptian culture and mythology. In addition, some people choose to get the Eye of Ra tattooed for personal or spiritual reasons.

Whatever the case, the Eye of Ra is revered and significant.

eye of ra
Eye of Ra symbolism is seen in art and tattoos.

What Does the Eye of Ra Tattoo Symbolize?

Getting an Eye of Ra tattoo can be a way to express your love for Egyptian culture and a badge of protection you want to wear while walking around this world. This tattoo generally depicts a lengthened eye with a single line above it that shows the eyelid. 

Typically, the meaning of this tattoo is associated with the protection provided by the Eye of Ra. You don’t have to be religious to get this tattoo and benefit from its protection. Egyptian eyes can be tattooed as a protective symbol or as a superstitious belief. 

However, many people will get this tattoo simply because they like Egyptian tattoos or want to highlight their deep Egyptian roots. These tattoo ideas are shared among Africans, Middle Easterners, and African Americans.

Eye of Ra vs. Eye of Horus

Eye of Ravs.Eye of Horus
Protective Symbol, Rooted in Rage, Violence, and DestructionSymbolic MeaningHealing Symbol
Right EyeWhich Eye is It?Left Eye
Sun God RaWhich God Does it Represent?Warrior God Horus
Red IrisWhat Color is the Eye’s Iris?Blue Iris

Despite their similarities, the Eye of Ra is a much more fierce symbol than the Eye of Horus. The Eye of Horus is associated with healing, regeneration, and divine intervention from the gods in Egyptian mythology. Conversely, the Eye of Ra is a protective symbol rooted in rage, violence, and destruction.

The Eye of Ra is typically depicted as the right eye and the Eye of Horus as the left eye, but no universal rule applies. According to the Hieroglyphs and Arithmetic of the Ancient Egyptian Scribes, the right eye was known as the Eye of Horus. In addition, amulets of both the left and right Eye of Horus can be found in museums worldwide.

Furthermore, the Eye of Horus is associated with the god Horus. It is frequently, but not always, depicted with a blue iris. On the other hand, the Eye of Ra usually has a red iris. Both eyes represent protection, but how this protection is displayed distinguishes the two.

eye of ra
Examples of the Eye of Horus

Is it Okay to Have the Eye of Horus Tattoo?

The Eye of Horus symbolizes protection, healing, and advancement. The Eye of Horus tattoo can represent self-improvement. This is an excellent option for someone who has overcome a challenge.

If you found this article helpful, check out this post on the deep meaning of the Anubis symbol.


Vanessa's liberal arts background has prepared her well for Symbol Scholar. A self-proclaimed theology nerd, Vanessa has interests in world religions, Reformation theology, history, and more. When she's not working, Vanessa enjoys spending time with her family, reading, exercising, and watching professional basketball.

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