The Beetle / Scarab of Ancient Egypt
It is the cyclical symbol of the sun, it was at the same time a symbol of resurrection. He is the image of the sun that is reborn of itself: God who returns. In Egyptian painting, the beetle carries the enormous ball of the sun between its legs: like the solar god comes back from the shadows of the night. The beetle is supposed to be reborn from its own decomposition; but it also rolls a fireball in which it has deposited its seed. It also symbolizes the solar cycle of day and night. He is often called the God Khepri.
In Egyptian writing, the figure of the Beetle with outstretched legs corresponds to the verb “kheper”, which means something like: to hold on to existence by taking a given form.
The beetles were also worn as effective amulets because the insect hid in them the principle of eternal return.
It has been found on mummies with falcon wings spread, like on Tutankhamun’s sarcophagus. The beetles were used as talismans to protect and represent the heart. They were invoked according to a formula in the Book of Rights:
Like the god in my heart, my creator who nurtures my limbs…
The beetle was the moral witness of the deceased, and helped him in judging his conscience. It was important for the “accused” (the deceased) to reconcile that part of himself, who could decide on his salvation or sentence. It was therefore customary to place an amulet representing a beetle on the deceased’s heart to prevent the deceased’s heart from testifying against the dead.
He directs man and censorship, he is an independent being, of a superior essence, who resides in the body. As you can read on a coffin of a Vienna museum:
Man’s heart is his own god.
The symbolism also comes from the mores of the pilular beetle, or dung beetle, which rolls its ball for hours to be able, once its work is done, to lay its eggs. This ball represents the egg of the world from which life is born.