Uraeus Symbol

Uraeus ancient egyptian snake cobra hat symbol

The "Uraeus" or "The Rearing Cobra" was an important sign of royal regalia in ancient Egypt. It is usually seen on headdresses, crowns and the brow of statues of kings and queens and even extending to deities. 

This sacred serpent symbol symbolises the connection between the Gods and the Pharaohs, and wearing the Uraeus conveyed legitimacy to the royal personage. The rearing cobra indicated that the ruler enjoyed the protection and patronage of Goddess Wadjet, the Lower Egypt deity. After the unification of Egypt, the Uraeus was depicted together with the Vulture, which was the symbol of Nekhbet, the patroness of Upper Egypt. The merged symbol was called ‘The Two Ladies’, the joint protectors of the country.

tutankhamun Uraeus Symbol

Later, the pharaohs were seen as a manifestation of the sun god Ra, and so it also was believed that the Uraeus protected them by spitting fire on their enemies from the fiery eye of the goddess. In some mythological works, the eyes of Ra are said to be uraei. Wadjets existed long before the rise of this cult when they originated as the eye of Wadjet as a cobra. Wadjets are also the name of the symbols called the Eye of the Moon, Eye of Hathor, the Eye of Horus, and the Eye of Ra—depending upon the dates of the references to the symbols.

cobra Uraeus SymbolAs the Uraeus was seen as a royal symbol, the deities Horus and Set were also depicted wearing the symbol on their crowns. In early ancient Egyptian mythology, Horus would have been the name given to any king as part of the many titles taken, being identified as the son of the goddess Isis. According to the later mythology of Re, the first Uraeus was said to have been created by the goddess Isis, who formed it from the dust of the earth and the spittle of the then-current sun deity. In this version of the mythology, the Uraeus was the instrument with which Isis gained the throne of Egypt for Osiris.