Today’s raku pottery vase, ‘The Eye of Horus’, tells the tale of a feathered god, an 80 year struggle for power, avenging the death of a father, a missing testicle and eye and a race down the Nile. Did your parents ever say ‘It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye.’? Horus’ mother might have wanted to mention this to him.
Horus was depicted as a falcon, or a human figure with a falcon’s head. Fittingly he was the Egyptian god of the sky. His right eye represented the sun god Ra, and the left eye was symbolic of the moon. One could literally say he had stars in his eye, or at least a star.
That would be fitting because Horus was kind of a big deal, as he was a contender for the throne of Egypt. But he was not alone in contention for the throne!
His rival and uncle Set, who had murdered Horus also wanted the throne of Egypt, and both of these gods liked to fight dirty. Their battle would last for over eighty years and would include many contests arbitrated by the other gods and battles between the two.
In one such battle, Horus would lose his left eye, ripped out by Set, but Set did not get off lightly. He lost a testicle. Eventually Horus would recover his eye, and the god Thoth would heal it. Thus the Eye of Horus has come to represent, healing, restoration and protection.
And some people worry about laser eye surgery!
At the time it was commonly believed that an evil eye could cast a spell on the heart with just one glance. To counteract this the Eye of Horus often acted as a protective symbol.
You may be wondering how this 80 year old battle would end? In a boat race and some trickery. Tired of the constant fighting and upheaval the gods decided a boat race would determine the victor for the throne and the end to this conflict. Horus somehow convinced Set to use a stone boat. He had painted his own boat to look like stone as well, only his was made of wood.
As you can imagine, Set did not get very far. His boat sunk. Horus had avenged his father’s death, and many of the future pharaohs of Egypt were thought to be his reincarnation.
What do you think of our vase ‘The Eye of Horus’ and our story? You can read more stories and see lots of beautiful pottery on our page of raku vases here. You can also be among the first to get a copy of our book, ‘A Potter’s Dream: Myths & Legends’ by supporting our crowdfunding campaign here. You can even get some great pottery with the book.