deciphered the famous stone from Rosetta. Not all the symbols came to light, however. In 1827, when Champollion went to Egypt as part of the Franco-Tuscan Expedition, he was under an edict not to expose anything that may have been in conflict with the Church’s teachings at that time. Not only did he not translate the dates on the Wall of Kings, but these restrictions also caused some rather unique labeling of some of the Egyptian symbols. It is my belief that JeanFrancois knew exactly what most of these hieroglyphs actually represented (due to the rather comical misidentification of some). Not wanting to open that can of worms, I believe he worked around them so as not to bring attention to something the Roman Catholic Church had so long tried to suppress, especially during a time of renewed interest in everything Egyptian. Were any other symbols of the moon overlooked? The rising sun had a symbol that was very close to it. Why was this not a hot bun? The word itself is spelled by using the symbol “N”, a zigzag line, and a round circle with lines across it, which sounds like “kh”. Together, they not only phonetically sounded out the word “nkh”, or ankh, but they also pictorially held meaning for the symbol of life. To better understand the ancient Egyptians’ hieroglyphic writing, we need to understand that the symbols not only phonetically, but also pictorially, represented a word. For instance, the symbol for life is the ankh. The jagged line “N” represents water, in and of itself life-giving. The Nile’s sacred waters gave life to the land. The terms ebb and flow are still used today to describe life. Take the symbol of a half-circle, for instance. This hieroglyph represents the sound “T”. Champollion described this symbol as being a bun, and it is used to denote the feminine, or daughter. Could it be that this is, in fact, a half-moon? The oval on the top represents woman and the stem at the bottom man. The cross expresses the union of the two. Thus, it is man and woman together creating life. This symbol, a circle with lines running through it, is one that has been misidentified. When Jean-Francois Champollion translated the ancient symbols, he described it as being a ball of string, or a placenta. Oddly enough, the second suggestion is more correct, as far as its association with life is concerned. This ball of string, however, represents something much larger. It does, in fact, depict the moon in all its phases. The new moon is symbolic of birth, the waxing of the moon, youth. A full moon, our maturity, and the waning of the moon, our old age and eventual death, followed by rebirth. This connection with resurrection is why I believe its true meaning has been lost for so long. In many ancient cultures, the goddesses were worshipped for this most auspicious gift that included not only birth but also rebirth. This symbol of the striped ball is also quite prominent and is used in many cartouches, quite the honor for a little “ball of string”, wouldn’t you say?