Are you looking for an exciting and symbolic tattoo idea? Check out these 75 awesome ankh tattoos and get the inspiration you need!
Are you looking for an exciting tattoo idea that is symbolic, meaningful and yet attractive? An ankh tattoo could be just what you’re looking for.
An Egyptian ankh tattoo is a great choice for any part of the body as it can be sized up or down to suit your design.
It’s also a tattoo that has plenty of deeper meaning, so whether you’re interested in ancient Egypt or whether you have a unique message that you want to express through your body art.
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Here are 75 awesome ankh tattoo ideas that are sure to give you the inspiration you’ve been looking for.
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What Is The Ankh Symbol And What Does It Represent?
If you’re considering getting an ankh symbol tattoo, you’ll want to know what it looks like and what it represents. Here, we’ll take a closer look at what the ankh symbol is and what the ankh tattoo meaning could be.
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The ankh is one of the best-known symbols dating back to the ancient Egyptian period. In hieroglyphics, the ankh was used as the symbol to represent eternal life.
Featuring a point-down teardrop or oval set on top of a T-shape, the ankh’s origin is still highly debated today.
Some experts believe that it is supposed to represent the strap of a sandal, although why this would be used in such a context isn’t obvious.
Others say that the ankh symbol is similar in shape as the tyet, or knot of Isis. Again, though, the meaning of this is obscure.
The primary explanation that is universally accepted is that it represents the union of the male and female – with the male represented by the upright line and the female represented by the oval. No evidence actually exists to support this interpretation, however.
Generally in Egyptian art, the ankh is usually shown along with gods, with the majority being found in images relating to funerals. Funerary statues have been found of pharaohs showing them clutching an ankh in each hand.
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There are also many images remaining in tombs that show the gods holding ankhs. There are a number of images showing gods pouring water in the form of ankhs over the pharaoh’s head in a ritual of purification.
This is thought to reinforce the relationship of the gods and the pharaohs and their status as gods on earth.
During Amenhotep IV (also known as Akhenaten)’s reign, the Ankh became especially important. Ruling during the mid-1300s BC, he was the father/father-in-law of Tutankhamun.
Akhenaten created his own state religion and moved the capital city from Thebes to a new city in the desert.
Many of the artworks dating from this period show the pharaoh and his family underneath the sun, with the sun’s rays ending in a hand which often held Ankhs, suggesting that the sun has life-giving properties.
So, what does the ankh symbol mean? Essentially, it suggests beauty, eternal life and the blessing of existence.
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It encourages us to be grateful for the life that we have been given and to remember that we will all, eventually, return to where we came from.
Why Get An Ankh Tattoo?
When it comes to ankh tattoo designs, there are many reasons why you may choose to get one.
Perhaps you’re interested in ancient Egyptian culture and mythology? Or perhaps you’re more interested in choosing a tattoo that has a deeper and more symbolic meaning? Or maybe you just like the look of the ankh symbol and want to add it to your body art?
Whichever applies to you, Egyptian ankh tattoos are a great choice either on their own or as part of a larger back piece or sleeve.
At its most basic level, the ankh represents the abundance and life that we all enjoy every day. However, there is more to this hieroglyphic symbol than that.
It also illustrates how elements combine to create that life. Some experts believe that the loop at its top represents the sun as it touches the horizon to give the land growth.
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It is also believed to be a combination of female and male powers and their union.
Some of the symbolic meanings that could be attributed to the ankh when represented in tattoo form include:
- The divine
- Hidden wisdom
- Evolution and growth
The Egyptians probably also saw the ankh as a key that unlocked the gateway to mysterious realms and even the underworld.
Some experts believe that the loop at the top of the symbol represents a portal through which the entrant would experience an altered state.
In Egyptian writing, the ankh was used to represent the word “afterlife”, so a piece of body art featuring Egyptian cross tattoos could represent this mythology.
Some Inspiring Ankh Tattoo Ideas
If you’re ready to get inked, you might want some ideas to help you include an ankh symbol in your tattoo.
As the ankh is one of the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic characters, it’s possible to combine it with other hieroglyphics to create a personal message or to form a name. This will add even more meaning and significance to your tattoo.
A small ankh on its own is a great symbol if you only want a small tattoo for a hand, finger, behind the ear, or ankle. It can be depicted in a simplified form that will be effective and attractive but neat enough to be discreet.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for something more dramatic, the ankh is a wonderful addition to a larger piece for the back, leg or arm.
It can be designed in a detailed way, with lots of color and additional Egyptian imagery featuring gods, the sphinx, pyramids, or other recognizable symbols for a truly impressive result that is sure to impress.