What is the story behind the eye of Horus, what are similarities/ differences with the Eye of Ra and how where these symbols used?
Horus was born miraculously after the death of his father Osiris and was thus next in line for the throne. Set also sought the throne, thus there was a series of “contendings” between Set, Horus and their respective followers for the position of ruler. During one battle Set gauged out the left eye of Horus. Thoth restored the eye to health and Horus offered his eye to his father, Osiris, in the hope it would restore him to life. Thus the Eye of Horus came to symbolise a self-sacrificing spirit, healing, restoration and protection. The symbol is referred to as a Wedjat and in the famous Paris Louvre museum is a Wedjat amulet dated between 500 and 300 BC. Wearing the Eye as an amulet, or as other jewellery is still as popular today.
The Eye of Ra represents the feminine counterpart of the sun god Ra and can be a violent force that subdues his enemies. The Eye acts as an extension of Ra, and is associated with and represented in art by the solar disk of the sun. The Eye Goddess acts as a partner to Ra in the never ending cycle of his rebirth each dawn. The Eye protects Ra against disorder that threatens his rule. As well as being invoked in temple rituals, the eye of Ra also featured in clay models that were used in homes to ward off evil spirits. Many wore the solar disk symbol, especially in head jewellery. Like the Eye of Horus, then, the Eye of Ra is a symbol of protection, restoration and healing.
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