The Eye of Horus or "udjat" is a symbol often used in Ancient Egypt – imparting protection and life. The symbol is a human eye with the cheek markings of a falcon. It represents the eye of the falcon-god Horus. It was an important talisman for protection.
The Eye of Horus was also the basis for an ancient fraction system – but for now, back to Horus and his eye...
Horus was the falcon god of Egyptian legend. He was a 'living god' – embodied in the Pharaoh. It is the presence of Horus that gave a mortal pharaoh their god-like status.
The legend of Horus reads a bit like a Shakespearean tragedy. Horus' story begins with his parents Osiris and Isis…
Osiris, Isis, and their brother, Seth were Ancient Egyptian gods. Osiris, the god of vegetation; Isis, the goddess of fertility and Seth, the god of the desert.
Osiris was once considered a "living god" too, but when Osiris became pharaoh, Seth got jealous and murdered him. He cut up Osiris' body into 13 pieces and scattered them across Egypt.
When Isis heard what happened to her husband, she took the form of a bird and searched until she found all the parts of Osiris' body. After reassembling Osiris' body, she beat her wings over him to breathe life back into him. Osiris was brought back, but after that, Osiris became god of the afterlife. He appears as a mummy.
Determined to avenge his father, when Horus was old enough, he fought his uncle Seth in a series of epic battles lasting 80 years. The other gods intervened and chose Horus as the winner.
In the course of the fighting, Horus lost an eye. The eye was found by the god Toth, reassembled and returned to health. In a macabre gesture of respect, Horus presented the eye to his father, Osiris.
Through the magical regeneration of the eye, the Eye of Horus became a respected symbol of protection for health, vision, abundance and fertility.