Influence of magic is a typical feature of any society that is guided and dominated by religious beliefs. Egyptians believed in the healing and protective layer of the Egyptian Amulets. Amulets were worn by the children and adults alike.
In order to give an amulet its power, it had to be made and dedicated in strict accordance with the instructions written in the Book of the Dead. Only then, would the appropriate God’s spirit live within and energize the Egyptian Amulets. There were many amulets such as the amulet of the eye of Horus, amulet of Ankh, The Tyet amulet, the Scarab amulet etc.
Meaning of Egyptian Amulets
The word “amulet” is derived from an Arabic root meaning ‘to bear’or ‘to carry’. The people believed that both good and evil forces existed. Poisonous animals like snakes, natural disasters like floods, illness, bad luck – all these were the hidden forces.
Amulets offered protection of the living or the dead body, against these evil forces. The gemstone of which the amulet is made of, the images on the amulet, the shapes of the amulet; all of these were significant.
The traditional lengthy priestly rituals on amulets were abandoned by Rekh-Khetu. The next modification in amulet tradition was the declaration that a drawing of an amulet or any sacred symbol contained the identical power as the actual amulet. Some amulets were inscribed with a magical formula.
The Eye of Horus consisted of an image of an eye and eyebrow, along with a stylized beard, the symbol of divine kingship. The amulet dedicated to the three Egyptian gods of Osiris, Isis and Horus was the Djet. The Djet was used to cure or protect the wearer against injury to the back in general and to protect the spine.
The Knot of Isis was a stylized representation of the genitals of Isis and was always made of red stone. Almost every woman carried this amulet in order to be granted all of Isis’s wisdom and knowledge.
An amulet called Nefer which was made of gold, promised to bring the deceased boundless happiness in the afterlife. The scarab amulet was also important. scarab or beetle itself possesses remarkable powers, and if a figure of the scarab be made, and the proper words of power be written upon it, not only protection of the dead physical heart, but also new life and existence will be given to him to whose body it is attached.
Egyptian amulets functioned in a number of ways. Symbols and deities generally conferred the powers they represent. Small models that represent known objects, such as headrests or arms and legs, served to make sure those items were available to the individual or that a specific need could be addressed.
Amulet magic was so important to the protection of the deceased that either duplicate amulets or amulets that served the same purpose were sometimes included in burials so that if the primary amulet didn’t work properly, the secondary amulet would take over.