Eye Of Horus Tattoo Meaning: The Magic Behind The Eye

March 8, 2022
Max Stevens

The Eye of Horus tattoo is a widely prominent tattoo choice, and this attention-grabbing image is one of the most famous symbols from ancient Egypt. 

Humans primarily used this mystical symbol for protection and good health, and these overtly positive connotations are one of the reasons why it has endured the test of time. 

Our contemporary society has a long-standing fascination with anything relating to ancient Egypt, and adorning our bodies with sacred symbols from ages ago is just another way of expressing our enchantment.

Even though using such symbols for tattooing is completely normal nowadays, it’s still more than advisable to thoroughly research any type of symbol before deciding to tattoo it.

We’re going to cover everything about the myth of Horus and the legend of his eye, its common meanings, as well as popular tattoo placements.

Eye of Horus Tattoo on Muscle
eye of horus tattoo on upper back

The Story of Horus

The myth of Horus is one of the most fascinating stories in the lore of ancient Egypt, and it contains all the elements of a suspenseful thriller. 

As the legend goes, Horus was Egypt’s sky god, usually depicted with the head of a falcon. Horus was the son of Isis, the goddess of wisdom, and Osiris, who was lord of the dead and rebirth. 

According to the belief of ancient Egyptians, Osiris was the king of all Egypt. He was treacherously murdered by his brother Set (the god of disorder and violence) to usurp the throne.

Once Osiris was killed, Isis managed to resurrect him through the use of magic briefly, and in this limited period, the two deities copulated, spawning Horus. 

The Importance of The Eye

Once Horus was old enough; he wanted to avenge his father Osiris and remove Set the usurper from the throne. They fought in an epic battle, and Horus managed to defeat Set. 

But, during the final moments of the clash, Set somehow gouged the left eye of Horus and crushed it into six separate parts. 

When they finished the fight, Thoth (the god of the moon) managed to restore the eye of Horus through the use of divine magic. 

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Thoth returned the eye to Horus, but he declined to use it and instead gave the eye to his father Osiris in the underworld. 

Once the eye was placed on the forehead of Osiris, it brought sacred light into the gloom of the underworld. 

The eye placement created a new powerful symbol in Egypt’s mythology, and it became synonymous with healing, protection, sacrifice and love.

The importance of this symbol was immense, and ancient Egyptians used the Eye of Horus for protective talismans for both the living and the deceased.

More About the Eye

african man with eye of horus tattoo on neck
Eye of horus neck tattoo Source: https://www.instagram.com/marybennertattoos/

Besides being intensely important as a mythological symbol, the eye of Horus was also used as a basis for ancient Egypt’s medicine. 

According to their beliefs, there were six types of perception (thought, sight, smell, taste, hearing and touch), corresponding to the six parts of Horus’ eye. 

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The ancient Egyptians also used these six fractions as a dosing measurement system to prepare medicinal potions. 

Eye of Horus and The Third Eye

The symbol of the Eye of Horus also bears a striking visual resemblance to the pineal gland, a tiny gland in the centre of the brain function still isn’t completely understood. 

The pineal gland is suspected to be associated with intuition, and it’s also speculated that it’s the seat of Ajna chakra (otherwise known as the third eye), capable of providing perception beyond common sight.

Eye of Horus Tattoo Meaning

Getting the tattoo of this symbol can mean a couple of different things, but the main meaning is associated with protection. 

Just as the ancient Egyptians wore talismans and amulets with the eye of Horus, adorning your body with this symbol is a sign that Horus is watching over you. 

His eye can also be interpreted as having other magical protective forces guarding you.

The second significant meaning is having intuitive sight. Since the eye of Horus is associated with the third eye, this tattoo can also represent inner vision.

Finally, as Horus lost his eye in a battle to avenge his father Osiris, it can also represent determination and rising against the tribulations surrounding you.

eye of horus tattoo on forearm

Combining The Eye of Horus With Other Symbols

Tattooing the eye of Horus with other symbols from ancient Egypt is frequently done, and the most popular choices for this tattoo include falcons, pyramids, scarabs and ankhs.

Since Horus is a sky god with the head of a falcon, a portrait of this majestic bird is regularly added with the symbol of the eye, and it’s needless to say that they make a great combination.

The pyramids are another fantastic choice, and as they’re the world’s most recognisable monuments representing strength and longevity, they go hand in hand with the eye of Horus. 

The ankh (also known as the “key of life”) and the scarab beetle are frequently combined with other Egyptian symbols. 

Where to Tattoo The Eye of Horus

Eye of horus back of neck tattoo Source: https://www.instagram.com/art_los_tattoo/

Since a tattoo artist can draw this symbol in a wide variety of ways, it makes for an excellent choice for both small and discrete tattoos, as well as large, complicated designs.

A small eye of Horus tattoo looks great on wrists, ankles, behind the ear or on the back of the neck, while larger designs can be positioned on the chest, thighs and back, pretty much anywhere on the body that offers a lot of room.

Getting a full sleeve covered with various symbols from ancient Egypt also has a certain appeal. 

But, if you’re just starting your tattoo journey, you might want to get a small eye of Horus’s just to get the hang of it.

The Eye of Horus Color Arrangement

Tattoos of ancient symbols is usually performed with either just black ink or combining black and grey.

Some people choose to add more colours to the eye of Horus tattoo, although this isn’t common practice. 

The simplicity of this design is frequently enhanced by adding a realistic depiction of the entire eye, and sometimes just the iris.


Max Stevens

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