Egyptian Cartouche is an oblong, or oval, the magical rope which was drawn to contain the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics that spelled out the name of a King or Queen. The “cartouche” can be found on Egyptian monuments and papyrus documents and the magical rope was used to surround the name and protect it. They served as written birth records for persons of high status in Egyptian society at a given time.
The term, “cartouche” is a relatively modern one coined by the soldiers of Napoleon’s expedition in Egypt, who saw the sign the likeness of the cartridges or “cartouche” used in their own guns. The cartouche, known in ancient Egypt as the shenu, is derived from the Egyptian verb, Sheni, which means to encircle. It is very similar to the Shen sign, a more circular form, and in fact, the earliest use of the cartouche in which the king’s name was written was circular and identical with that sign.
The ancient Egyptians attached a great reference to the cartouches. The common notion amongst them was that placing the cartouche at a particular site would ensure its protection. They would often place the cartouche upon the tombs of the Egyptian elite. It is because of this practice that archaeologists have been able to identify tombs of the royalty and learn about the mummies that lay inside the graves. The Egyptians of those days viewed the person as reaching the level of an empowered deity from the level of a mortal, and the five names given to him by tradition served as a memorial of the eventual transformation. Nonetheless, the birth name was used to inscribe on the Egyptian Cartouche.
The cartouche hieroglyph also appears in many decorative contexts such as the finger rings and decorated cartouche-shaped boxes. Some of these rings and chests were based on the form of the twin cartouches. Cartouches are usually positioned vertically but they can also be positioned horizontally to make them fit more comfortably into a design. The arrangement of the hieroglyphs inside is then reorganized to accommodate the horizontal layout.
Egyptian Cartouche is based on ancient Egyptian (or older) knowledge and should not be confused with tarot cards. The ancient Egyptian symbols depicted on the cards capture the essence of the forces or energies that govern the universe. Many believe the Egyptians gained their knowledge of these forces from an even earlier advanced race who, in turn, were instructed by extraterrestrials from the Sirius star system. The symbols, colors, and meanings of the cards accord both with the designs found on Egyptian temples, pyramids, tombs and old papyri, and with a secret arcane tradition that has been handed down from century to century.