The ankh’s connection to immortality and modern vampires as well as an ancient one.
By: Alexandria Addesso
Even if off the bat you are not familiar with the word “ankh” you probably have seen one. The ankh is a cross-like symbol that has a loop at the top. It is most associated with ancient Egypt because it is found again and again in Egyptian hieroglyphics. It is believed that the ankh symbol was most commonly used to mean “life”.
Yet there is another connection to the ankh symbol, and whether it was used historically or if it is a modern appropriation of the symbol is much debated. What we are speaking of here is the ankh’s relation to vampirism. The Vampire Legacy Ankh, which is the basic ankh but with jagged tooth-like edges, is a symbol that is currently used to represent culture, traditions, and philosophy of the Black Veils and the Legacy 23 projects of Endless Night Vampire Ball, Sabretooth Clan, and the Vampire World. These are modern vampiric groups, but does the ankh also have ancient vampire roots?
The ankh is also historically associated with Osiris, the god of death and rebirth, because of these ankhs were often placed with mummies in order to symbolically convey the gift of immortality. Over time the ankh came to be a key to unlock the gates of death, who else possess immortality? Vampires. As time went on the ankh was also adapted symbolically by other groups. The Rosicrucian’s, a spiritual and cultural esoteric movement which arose in Europe in the early 17th century, as well as members of Hermetic orders often use this symbol in their rituals. Coptic Christians also employed it as a symbol of life after death.
But what about the vampires?
Were they a thing in ancient Egypt and what is their connection to the ankh? Possibly the very first vampire ever discussed in human history was the ancient Egyptian deity Sekhmet. The lion-faced goddess Sekhmet was both the goddess of war and a blood sucking goddess which was one reason people worshipped her in droves. They didn’t want to be her next snack.
Sekhmet is often depicted with the ankh symbol. The symbol is also used to mean “the breath of life” being that many ancient Egyptian works of art show deities placing the ankh on kings and queens’ lips thus bestowing them eternal life. The breath of Sekhmet is believed to have formed the desert.