Eye of Horus Tattoos
No matter how far into the future we go, we will always have a fascination with ancient Egyptian lore.
There are so many mysteries to be unraveled from this technologically advanced society from hundreds of years ago.
It makes sense that our pop culture is littered with Egyptian symbolism.
Next to Marilyn Monroe, Cleopatra is perhaps one of the most universally recognized sex symbols in the world.
Many stars have sought to emulate her, from Elizabeth Taylor to Katy Perry.
In Ancient Egypt, The Eyes Have It
One of Cleopatra’s most well-known traits to this day is her heavy eye makeup, and for good reason.
Eye makeup enhanced her natural beauty the same as today’s potions, but it was also thought to have benefits for the body and soul.
The Egyptians had spiritual beliefs about eyes, which is reflected in the more recognizable images from their art.
You’ve likely come across the Eye of Horus, or even seen tattoos bearing this symbol.
Maybe you’ve even seen women painting their eyes in the Eye of Horus pattern for Cleopatra costumes.
But what is the Eye of Horus? How has it become such a popular symbol in the world of tattoos?
Let’s explore this symbol, its divine origins, and how it came to appear on so many people’s tattoo designs.
Who is Horus?
Before we talk about the eye, we’ve got to talk about the person behind that eye.
In Egyptian mythology, Horus is the sky god.
He is also known as a war god, a god of kinship, and a hunter’s god, though these titles are not as relevant to the story of his eye.
Because Horus is the sky god, his eyes represent the sun and moon, respectively. The left eye was the moon, his right eye the sun.
Now let’s take a step back for a moment and talk about Horus’s backstory. Horus was born for vengeance.
If you are familiar with Egyptian mythology, you know that Osiris was a pretty important figure.
Egyptians saw him as the King of Egypt which made his brother Set jealous. Set was driven so mad with rage he successfully plotted to kill Horus, and took over the throne.
Knowing what had happened, Osiris’s wife Isis used some tricks of her own.
Through magic, she brought Osiris back to life for just enough time to get her pregnant.
She then hid this pregnancy and quietly raised Horus, Osiris’s freaky, beyond-the-grave love child.
While Osiris ruled over the underworld, Isis raised Horus above. When Horus was old enough, he sought revenge on Set.
Though Horus was successful in his quest to avenge his father’s death- he lost his left (moon) eye in battle.
There are different versions of the story as far as how he lost his eye, but in every version he is saved by Thoth, who restores the eye.
Not only does this shiny new eye have magical powers, but this epic battle is the way the Egyptians explain the waxing and waning of the moon- poor Horus is just having his eye gouged out and restored over and over again!
Eye of Horus vs Eye of Ra Tattoo
Although the Eye of Horus and the Eye of Ra do look similar, there is a distinct difference between them: The Eye of Horus appears on the left eye, while the Eye of Ra appears on the right eye.
Each symbol has its own meaning: the Eye of Horus represents protection and healing, the Eye of Ra symbolizes destruction and chaos.
In tattoos, they are placed apart from each other, usually on different areas of the body.
What Does an Eye of Horus Tattoo Mean?
The Eye of Horus is made up of 6 “parts,” each with a special definition.
The different parts of the eye represent taste, touch, smell, hearing, sight, and thought.
So in some ways, the Eye of Horus can symbolize a feeling of “oneness” or “wholeness,” the feeling that so many aspects of yourself are coming together to create your highest self.
The Eye of Horus can also represent healing.
This would be an excellent choice for someone who has conquered, or is currently battling an illness.
As with many eye symbols in the spiritual or occult world, an Eye of Horus tattoo can also be a protective symbol.
Another, less talked about, interpretation is vengeance.
This tattoo could just as easily be a “f*ck the haters” tattoo for people who have dealt with pettiness, jealousy, and dirty fighting techniques.
The Eye of Horus is a very powerful symbol to have by your side when you want to rise above someone who cut you down.
Eye of Horus tattoos can be executed in many ways.
They are typically all black, though sometimes people incorporate a realistic eye portrait into the design, which can be a very striking contrast to the simplicity of the bold lines.
Some choose the Eye of Horus as a finger or hand tattoo which, when placed over their own eyes, can be a “see no evil” type message.
Others may meld the Eye of Horus with other relevant Egyptian symbols, including:
Ankh & Eye of Horus Tattoos
Another highly recognizable Egyptian symbol, the ankh is the “key to life” and symbolizes fertility, longevity, and spiritual immortality.
Pyramid with Eye of Horus Tattoos
Egyptian pyramids are revered around the world for their majesty and beauty — adding one of these ancient structures to a classic tattoo can be an homage to one of the greatest civilizations ever.
For those looking for an alternative to the common eye of Horus tattoo, consider pairing it with a pyramid tattoo that symbolizes longevity and enduring strength.
Falcon & Eye of Horus Tattoos
Because he is the sky god, Horus is often represented as a falcon, and sometimes even given a falcon’s head.
Getting a tattoo of a falcon with Eye of Horus markings would be a spectacular combination!
Eye of Horus Tattoo Designs
The Eye of Horus is a great image for a little bit of spiritual protection.
Wear it with pride, just respect the roots of the image! It’s not something to get flippantly after everything Horus went through.
Looking for some Eye of Horus ideas? Browse our gallery for some divine inspiration!
Eye of Horus Tattoo Ideas
- Small Eye of Horus Tattoos
If you’re just starting out with tattoos and aren’t sure if you want forever on your skin, consider a small eye of Horus tattoo.
It’s a great way to try out the experience without committing to too much at once.
Not too big and not too flashy, it’s a great choice for anyone who wants to get inked but is afraid of the potential pain.
These small and delicate tattoo designs can be easily hidden, when placed on the wrist or ankles.
- Simple Eye of Horus Tattoos
With a simple tattoo design, you have plenty of options for placement, giving the artist tons of room for creativity.
It’s the perfect tattoo for those looking for a powerful look that won’t be too disruptive.
- Eye of Horus Tattoo Sleeve
Eye of the Horus sleeve tattoos typically tell a story.
Designed in colors or black and grey, a Horus sleeve tattoo often contains other Egyptian symbols for an added layer of meaning.
These big, bold tattoo designs capture the essence of this ancient world while also featuring vibrant colors and smooth lines.
Eye of Horus Tattoo Placement
When you’re deciding on where to place your tattoo, you should consider both its style and its size.
Due to its popularity, you’ll find a huge variety of Eye of Horus tattoos, from small and delicate ones to large pieces that cover entire arms.
It’s all a matter of preference and just how bold you plan to be with this new addition.
- Eye of Horus Wrist Tattoos
Placing the tattoo on your wrist will make your ink more visible, but doing so will also make it more likely to be covered up by a watch or bracelet.
Whether you choose to get a simple or something more realistic and detailed tattoo, these tattoos can easily be hidden with long-sleeved clothing or shown off with short sleeves.
- Eye of Horus Neck Tattoo
For those brave enough to make a bold statement, an Eye of Horus tattoo on the neck is an ideal choice.
You should be aware of the fact that neck tattoos are quite painful and you may experience some discomfort during the tattoo session.
- Eye of Horus Chest Tattoos
Chest tattoos are the perfect canvas for Egyptian tattoo enthusiasts who want to incorporate their love of ancient Egypt into their body art.
You can choose to include other symbols from Egyptian mythology or you can choose to keep your tattoo simple.