Flail and CrookOsiris

A symbol of royalty, majesty and dominion.
Symbol of Guardianship.


The symbolism of the crook is similar to that of the stick and its derivatives, namely; power and authority. The royal Egyptian symbol was called heka when it was in the shape of a shepherd's crook, and was when it had the head of a canine animal and a two-pronged base. The triple sceptre was made up of a whip, a staff and stick, representing domination over matter, control of feeling and domination of thought. It is a symbol of the central axis, like the king himself, the intermediary between god and his subjects, a guarantee of peace and justice. The royal symbol of the kings was adopted from the god Osiris and the ancient shepherd deity, Andjeti. It denoted Pharaoh's role as guardian of the People of the Nile. The crook and flail were used in all royal ceremonies and were part of the mortuary regalia of the kings, ensuring the continued welfare of the diseased in the Afterlife.

The flail has long associations with the gods Osiris, Min, and several sacred animals. And like the crook (Sceptre), it was one of the important insignias of royalty. Some scholars believe it to be a whip, maybe derived from a fly whisk. Whilst others think it represents the ladanisterion, an instrument used by very early goatherders. As such, it would symbolise, past traditions and the shepherding aspects of Pharaoh's role as king. The ancient Egyptian name for a flail was nekhakha .

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