The Egyptian Book Of The Dead was one of the two types of Funerary Texts written by the Nile Valley Civilization Ancient Egyptians of Kemet for the purpose of assisting Ancient Egyptians in their journey to pass Divine Judgment so they could enter the Afterlife in accordance with the Ausarian Religion of Ancient Kemet.
The Egyptian Book of the Dead was made up of several parts such as The Book of Gates narrating the passage of a newly deceased soul in the underworld or Duat into the next world which also corresponded to the journey of the Sun through the underworld during the hours of the night.
Each part of the Soul’s Journey in the Egyptian Book of the Dead involves encounters with particular Neteru Deities that assist in the Transmutation of the Soul to the land of the Ancestors in the Star Sirius.
The Pyramid Texts
The Pyramid Texts were written before The Egyptian Book Of The Dead and they are the oldest Ancient Egyptian funerary texts, going back as far as the Old Egyptian Kingdom.
These Pyramid Texts which preceded the Book Of The Dead were reserved only for Egyptian Royalty and they were sculpted onto the walls and the Sarcophagi of the Pyramids at Saqqara from the end of the 5th Dynasty, as well as throughout the 6th Dynasty right up to the period of the 8th Dynasty.
The earliest Pyramid Texts date at least as far back as 2400– 2300 BC with some Historians suggesting that they may even be older going back at least 10 000 years to the earliest period of Pre-Dynastic Egypt.
The following is an extract from the Pyramid Text of the Pharaoh Unas:
‘O Ausar Unas…Thou exists at the side of God after death.
He sits on the Throne of the Supreme Being
Make Salutations, you Angels (Neteru) to the King’.
During the Old Kingdom (2686 BCE– 2181 BCE), Pyramid Texts were now also found in the Tombs of Queens and this spread of funerary Texts would culminate in the use of individual Coffin Texts amongst the ordinary Egyptian people who could not be buried in the auspicious Pyramid Tombs of the Pharaohs but still needed their Souls to be guided in the afterlife.
Egyptian Book Of The Dead (Pert Em Hru)
The Egyptian Book Of The Dead or Pert Em Hru are a collection of Egyptian Funerary Text spells inscribed on coffins starting in the First Intermediate Period.
Initially The Book of The Dead was based on the earlier Pyramid Texts, however, in time The Book Of The Dead developed to meet the needs of everyday common people dating back to 2100 BCE.
Due to the limited writing space available on Coffins, some of the Egyptian Coffin Texts were shortened and became The Egyptian Book Of the Dead.
The following is an extract from The Book Of The Dead of the Egyptian Scribe Ani:
“Tehuti anncounces, the heart of Ausar, the Scribe Ani has in very truth been weighed, and his Soul has stood as a Witness for him; and it hath been found true by the Trial in the Great Balance…”
The Purpose Of The Egyptian Book Of The Dead & Pyramid Texts
The Egyptian Book Of The Dead and the Pyramid Texts were written to serve the purpose of epitaphs in remembrance of the Spiritual Quest of Ancient Egyptians to live according to the Law of Divine Justice or Maat.
As such, the Book Of The Dead served as guidance of Divine Law for the Egyptian Soul in the Spiritual Realm of the Dead in the same way the Laws Of Maat provided guidance for the Soul to follow Divine Law in the Physical Realm during life.
The culmination of the Soul’s journey in the Underworld was the Weighing of the Deeds of the Soul on the scales of Divine Law by the Egyptian Deity Tehuti (Thot).
After the weighing of the Soul, the Ancient Egyptian Book Of The Dead provided for two possible outcomes.
The first and best outcome was entrance into a good afterlife with the Ancestors symbolised by being admitted to join Ausar (Osiris).
If the Deeds of the Soul did not balance with the Scales of Maat, then the Soul was consumed by the Beast Ammit which meant that the Soul would be reincarnated into a new Body for another lifetime of learning on Earth so that it could become self-aware of its Divine essence in the likeness of Ausar by living according to Divine Law in the next lifetime.
The purpose of The Egyptian Book Of The Dead was to serve as the final Chapter of the Soul’s journey in which the Soul was held accountable for its decision to either accept or deny to follow Divine Law (Maat) during a person’s lifetime.
As such, whilst a lot emphasis has been placed on the spells and incantations of The Book Of The Dead, the purpose of the Book Of The Dead was not Mystical or Magical.
Instead, The Book Of The Dead was treated as important as Life itself by the Nile Valley Civilization Ancient Egyptians of Kemet because The Book Of The Dead would ultimately guide the Soul in the outcome of life’s most important task which was the Soul’s reckoning with the Supreme Being (Ausar).
Living according to Divine Law or Maat was the ultimate purpose of Life for Ancient Egyptians and for this reason the true purpose of Ancient Egypt’s Book Of The Dead should be understood in the context of the Ausarian Religion which was followed by the Ancient Egyptians as the path to Man realising his Divine Essence or Likeness to the Supreme Being, Ausar (Osiris).
From this perspective, the most important purpose of the Egyptian Book of the Dead was in serving as a guide in the Transmutation of the Soul to the land of the Ancestors in the Star Sirius in accordance with the teachings and principles of Hermetic Alchemy in Kemet.