The popularity of the scarab (pronounced SCARE ub) in Ancient Egyptian culture is undisputed. The scarabs from Friday's collection pictured to the left are patterned after Egyptian scarabs which were pierced lengthwise and probably worn as amulets or talismans. They were also buried with mummies and later worn by Roman soldiers as military symbols. The scarab represents the cycles of birth, death and rebirth, strength, immortality, longevity, resurrection, growth, evolution, fertility and protection.
The symbolism and talismanic properties of scarabs are popular still, and they are often worn or carried for renewal, growth, strength, creativity, fertility, or as a reminder of the cycles of life which places mundane situations into perspective, and as symbols of persistence, much like a phoenix rising from the ashes.
Scarab beetle carvings are usually patterned after the Scarabaeus sacer. These beetles are scavengers and survivors, so it is easy to understand their sacred place in Egyptian culture. They live off decaying vegetation, and most often, the dung of animals. This makes them essential in the recycling of waste and the prevention of disease.
Occasionally, large numbers of scarab beetles would appear in the mud along the Nile in Egypt and this appearance reinforced the cyclical view of rebirth and resurrection.
In an almost comical display, the scarab beetles will roll balls of dung along with their hind legs for long distances. Sometimes they work with another beetle to arrive at their destination where they lay their eggs in the dung ball. During the egg laying process, some beetles will enter the ball of waste, and later reemerge. The dung ball has also been associated with the sun rolling across the heavens bringing life and creation, the microcosm within the macrocosm.
The markings on the bottom of carved scarabs are hieroglyphs, usually indicating the dynasty during which they were carved and could be used as seals, like a stamp. Some scarabs are carved with a wish for luck or well being. They were made of various materials, clay (glazed or unglazed) gems, semi-precious stones such as amethyst and lapis lazuli, metal, etc.
When carved from a stone, the energies of the material should be taken into consideration when utilizing the scarab as a magickal fetish. For example, smokey quartz might be a good material for protection, while you may find that turquoise is a better warding choice for you.
Use your scarab in mojo bags, for beads on zippers or tarot bags, or wear them as beads on bracelets and necklaces. You can create your own scarabs or purchase them ready made. Please see the article here on PaganPath in the How To section to Make Your Own Scarab.