Meaning of Egyptian Symbols in Dark Horse's Official Music Video

www.last.fmIt might look simplistic up-front, Katy Perry changing her name to mimic Cleopatra and dressing up with Egyptian effects. If it was only simple, why so many effects and different symbols? What is the meaning behind the different takes? MUSICinsideU goes behind the music video to explain the symbols.








  • "A crazy long time ago in Memphis, Egypt." Juicy J is from Memphis Tennessee, something Katy plays with, possibly even where she got the idea for Egyptian symbolism for the video. 
    www.last.fm
  • Boat scene: Katy-Patra on the Nile. It might not look very Egyptian, but Egypt-experts say Cleopatra was half-Greek, so the Ancient Greek style dress (similar, but down to the ankles), blond-white hair and a reference to the Greek goddess of love Aphrodite isn't completely out of place.
  • First suitor: The offer of a diamond (in wedding-ring position) brings to mind the Hope Diamond, legendarily stolen from the Indian goddess Sita, goddess of motherhood. This will be Dark Horse theme: male trying to get over female, but the femme fatale striking back. (Suitor turned to sand.) Katy's ending up with a grill of jewels links to Cleopatra drinking pearls to show off her wealth. 
    www.last.fm
  • Egyptian god scene: Katy-Patra plays with a gold snake, meaning based on Cleopatra having committed suicide with a snake. OR: the Egyptian goddess Isis (see below took power over the Egyptian god Ra by a snake.
  • Why those gods? Katy chooses gods of weather (think "ready for a perfect storm"), war and women:


  • (Hawk-head) Horus: god of sky and war [The big blue eye Katy carries in the suitor scenes is the "Eye of Horus", meaning life and power]

  • (Ibis-head) Thoth: god of music and magic

  • (Jackal-head) Anubis: god of death and magic 

  •  (lioness-head) Sekmet: goddess of destruction and war

  • (lion-head) Maahes: god of weather and protecting the maternal line

  • Second suitor: Spicy food offered while the suitor holds onto the only cup is based on a legend of how King Solomon seduced the Queen of Sheba. Katy prefers to turn him into sand than submit to him. 
    www.last.fm
  • Turquoise scenes: Katy is surrounded by Egyptian symbols, but the color turquoise was used in Egyptian tombs. It's in a turquoise background that Juicy J comes out of his mummy-coffin.
  • Third suitor: car presented, suitor turned into cubes.
  • Fourth suitor: what's the crocodile head? The crocodile-man is the Egyptian god Sobek, god of the army and Pharoahs... the meaning is male power, something Katy rejects too.
  • Pole-dancing scene: meaning? Katy turns her power on all men, thinking she can command them by making them want her. 
  • Climbing the pyramid and growing wings? Katy-Patra takes on the form of the Egyptian goddess Isis, with wings and power over the dead. 
  • Last suitor, getting turned into a dog: Cleopatra claimed she had power over her lover Mark Anthony as if he was "her lapdog." (It's funny how she makes that suitor look like Pitbull, then turns him into a puppy himself.)
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