SHE
Pool


   No symbol was more powerful or complex to the Egyptians as water. The Nile was the life-blood of the entire civilization; its periodic and regular flooding provided the Egyptians with all their food resources as well as a powerful symbol of the regular and rational workings of the universe. Not only was the Nile the provider of life, it was the symbol of the basic rationality and order of life. Because of this, the Egyptians believed that the cosmos consisted entirely of water before everything else was created, which means that everything in creation was generated out of water. Water, then, represented for the Egyptians the source of all life, including the afterlife.

   The symbol for pool, she , a rectangle containing wavy lines, represented any body of water: lakes, rivers, oceans, etc. This water could symbolically represent the source of all things, that is, the one material substrate out of which everything is made (see the discussion of the One and the Many. It can also represent the source of life, particularly the source of the afterlife. The region of the afterlife was conceived by the Egyptians to arise from a pool of water; unlike the water which spawns life in this world, the pool of the underworld brings about eternal life.

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1997, Richard Hooker
Updated 4-8-97