My Back piece done by Kali at Lefty's Tattoo in Pittsburgh. This is a representation of the rising and rebirth of the sun.
The overall theme is the rise of the sun out of the underworld (Tuat). The Underworld being the lowest part of the back and the exiting and growth of the sun happening as you travel up the back. The Left side is the sun/day and lower/northern Egypt. The right is the moon/night and Upper/Southern Egypt.
At the bottom is the Sundisk of Ra. It is a symbol of protection especially passageways. This is appropriate for both the ideas of the chakras and the gods above. Above the sundisk in the center is Aker (Sef (yesterday) and Tuau (today)) Sef faces toward the right which is night, the sunset and looking into the past. Aker is symbolized by the European lion, spotted lion. On Aker's back is the symbol for the sunrise. They are the lions that guard the exit and entrance to the underworld (Eastern and Western horizons). The gateways to the horizons exist between two mountains. The table like symbol above the sun is pet, the symbol for the sky. The two mountains with the sun and sky symbolize the sunrise or rebirth of the sun.
Watching over the rising of the sun are on the left Uadjet, the winged snake, the guardian of the pharaoh, Lower Egypt, recorder of history and keeper of time in both the mortal and underworld.. Below her is Khnum the creator god in his ram form. He fashioned the bodies of mortals and the much of the Earth from Nile clay.
On the right are Anubis, god of the underworld as well as poisons, medicine and the rituals of rebirth. Above Anubis is Nekhbet, the vulture goddess and sister of Uadjet. She is the protector of Upper Egypt, guardian of the pharonic family and protector of women particularly in child birth.
Above in the center is Khepera, the scarab. He symbolizes the newly risen sun and the creative power of the sun. He also stands for motion, rejuvenation and motivation. To the left is Sobek, the crocodile god. He is the symbol of fatherly protection and the Nile River. He is associated with the aggressive, destructive powers and the nurturing paternal powers of the river. Sobek symbolizes the wilder forces of the world He is also the protector of the priests who care for reptiles. Behind Sobek standing on the mound of creation is Benu, the heron. He is the phoenix of the Egyptian mythos. He is the one who ignited Ra with the fire to light the sky at teh begining of creation. He symbolizes rebirth, regeneration and new beginings.
On the right is Thoth, god of sciences, math, language, the divine recorder and overseerer of all the world, counter of stars and grains of sand. Thoth is the symbol of the meticulous and perfected and the exact opposite of Sobek's wildness. Thoth has in his hand the palm bow used to count the passing of time; whether in seconds, minutes, hours, days, years..etc. all is recorded on his sacred palm bough. Behind Thoth is Re as the falcon on the mound of creation. In this pose he symbolizes the darkness that existed at the very beginning of creation. This is also a form Ra is given in the underworld on the solar barque.
Above all of this is Aten the healing and life giving powers of the sun. This is the sun at its full intensity and power. His hands reach down over everything and spread life.
Over all this is a tattoo that symbolizes cyclic patterns, life, protection and the balance between erratic and structured. It shows the whole of Ma'at's influence on the solar cycles and the passing of time.