116 THE CURIOUS LORE OF PRECIOUS STONES
that the scarabaei were all males, they especially signified the male
principle in generation, becoming types of fatherhood and man. At the
same time, as only full-grown beetles were observed, it was believed
these creatures represented a regeneration or reincarnation, since it
was not realized that the eggs or larval and pupa stages had anything
to do with the generation of the beetle. Thus the scarab was used as a
symbol of immortality.
however, this was the popular view, it seems unlikely that such close
observers as were the more cultured Egyptians should have been
entirely unfamiliar with the real genesis of the Scarabœus sacer; but,
in this case also, there would have been no difficulty in finding it
emblematic of immortality in the various stages through which it
passed. The larval stage might well signify the mortal life ; the pupa
stage, the intermediate period represented by the mummy, with which
the soul was conceived to be vaguely connected, in spite of its
wanderings through the nether-world ; and, lastly, the fully developed
beetle could be regarded as a type of the rebirth into everlasting
life, when the purified and perfected soul again animated the original
and transfigured form in a mysterious resurrection.
Scarabs are frequently engraved with the hieroglyph
(anch, "life") and(ha, "increase of power").
The emblem of stability(tet) is also employed, as
as many others. In addition to these simple symbols, many scarabs bear
legends supposed to render them exceptionally luck-bringing. The
following are characteristic specimens.1
1 From " The Sacred Beetle," by John Ward, London, 1902, Plate νΠΙ, Nos. 46, 58, 89, 275, 276, 446.