Size: 30,3 x 22,6 cm
Materials: Watercolour on watercolour paper
Number twenty-seven in my series of 100 Sacred Symbols is the Scarab beetle from Egypt. The background texture was created using salt on damp paint.
Scarabs were really popular in Ancients Egypt and were used in many ways for about 3000 years. For example as amulets and seals and on jewellery. The winged scarab symbolized self-creation or rebirth and the one without its wings spread symbolized the unborn. The Scarab was also a symbol of immortality, resurrection, transformation, protection, spontaneous creation.
The Scarab symbolised the Sun because the ancient Egyptians saw the likeness between a Scarab beetle rolling its dung ball and Khepri rolling the Sun.
Khepri was often depicted with a scrab above his head, as a scarab beetle or as a scarab beetle-headed man. The ancient Egyptians believed that Khepri renewed the sun every day before rolling it above the horizon, then carried it through the other world after sunset, only to renew it the next day.
According to one source I found, the Egyptian Scarab hieroglyphic ‘Kepher’ means: ‘To succeed to be’, ‘to make oneself, to give oneself a given form’, ‘to rebuild oneself’.