Anubis weighs, Thoth records and Ammit waits to devour the heart laden with sin Ancient Egyptian cult worship existed before the people of the area separated into the religions of Islam and Christianity. The Egyptians believed that in order to have everlasting life after death, you need a sound Ka and Ba. The Ka is the name for the soul, the immaterial spirit or personality of a person or god. The Ba is the shell or physical body left behind. Ancient Egyptians believed that an individual needs both of these to remain intact (hence their elaborate embalming rituals) and pure in order to have a chance at living in paradise after this realm. The Ka is also known as a person's "Double," that travels into the spirit realm during dreams or out-of-body experiences, either into the Underworld/Duat or into Heaven. Not only do a person's Ka and Ba have to be preserved in order to enter the divine realm, but they must be in perfect balance with Maat, as weighed by Anubis and Thoth in Tuat to reach heaven. Where is Tuat, one might ask? The Book of the Dead places this realm on the dark side of the moon (Blavatsky & Judge 2).

Instead of seeing death as an end to life, the ancient Egyptians saw it as the beginning of a dangerous journey (Wikipedia 3). That is why they had texts such as The Book of the Dead (known to ancient Egyptians as The Book of Coming Forth by Day) to guide the dying with magical formulae intended to justify a person's deeds (negative confessions) and teach them how to avoid complications during this important voyage.

In order to reach the realm of the gods, the Egyptians believed a person must first travel through the Underworld, where their heart is weighed on a scale by Anubis (son of Osiris and Nepthys) and Thoth (Kinnaer 2). All of a person's good and bad deeds would be considered. If a person had committed an excess amount of bad deeds, a monster known as "Eater of the Dead," or Ammit, with the head of a crocodile, would eat the hearts weighed down with sin.

The ancient Egyptian's concept of Duat was that it was beset with all sorts of carnivorous animals and evils that only a well-instructed individual could master through spells which would prevent him or her from suffering things such things as walking upside down or eating excrement (Shand 1-5). The word Tuat literally means "Other World" and it was believed to be a realm of darkness, filled with lakes of fire. It would be easy for a person to be discouraged here and only through masterful and honest preparation would one avoid death of the Ka and Ba and subsequent reincarnation on earth. In this manner people would be tested and worthy devotees proved themselves lovers of Ra.

Kinnaer, Jacques. "Anubis: Gods and Religion in Ancient Egypt." 2004. http://www.ancient-egypt.org/glossary/religion/anubis.html

Shand, Richard. "The Nightmarish Underworld: The Pyramid Texts." Mystae.com. 2004. http://www.mystae.com/restricted/streams/scripts/duat.html

Blavatsky, H. P. and William Judge. "Ancient Landmarks XX: Egyptian 'Immortality.'" THEOSOPHY Vol. 15, No. 11, September 1927. "Wisdom World." http://www.wisdomworld.org/additional/ancientlandmarks/EgyptianImmortality.html

Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. "Egyptian mythology" and "Egyptian soul." 2004. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egyptian_mythology http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egyptian_soul

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