Sacred Texts  Egypt  EHH Index  Index  Previous  Next 

p. 148




THIS DIVISION, or HOUR, is the first of four which are devoted to the Kingdom of Osiris; its name is METCHET-MU-NEBT-TUAT, its Gate is called SEPT-METU, and the Hour-goddess is MESPERIT-AR-AT-MAATU. Here we see at once that the god AFU-RA has re-entered his boat, and that he has discarded the serpent-boat in which he travelled through the Land of Seker; the boat advances by means of paddling and not by towing. The greater part of the road of AFU-RA in this DIVISION is occupied by a very long building--or series of houses, or chambers, set close together--which contains the forms of Osiris. Here are four representatives of each of four classes of beings, viz., the SUTENIU, or kings of Upper Egypt, the BATIU, or kings of Lower Egypt, the HETEPTIU, or those who have been abundantly supplied with offerings, and the KHU, or spirits of the beatified dead. Thus it seems that the first mansion of the House of Osiris contains royal folk, the rich, and the superlatively good (vol. i., p. 117-120); as AFU-RA passes these by he

p. 149

salutes them, and wishes them an abundant supply of offerings, and entreats them to hack APEP in pieces for him. Immediately beyond these we see represented the transformation of AFU-RA into the living Sun-god. Here is the five-headed serpent ASHT-HRAU, and on his back lies the dead Sun-god; with his right hand, which is raised above his head, he is drawing to himself the Beetle of KHEPERA, which is the type of regeneration,


Click to view

The Serpent Asht-hrau.


or new birth, or resurrection. This is the equivalent of the scene in the BOOK AIM-TUAT where the Beetle descends from the vault of night, and joining itself to the Boat of AFU-RA revivifies the dead Sun-god (see vol. i., p. 103). That this revivification of AM-RA should take place at the end of the SIXTH DIVISION is quite correct, for at this point the god arrives at the most northerly limit of his course. He has travelled due north from Thebes and Abydos, and has occupied

p. 150

six hours in performing the journey; he must now alter his course and travel towards the East so that he may appear at BAKHAU, the Mountain of Sunrise. The path over which he now journeys is called the "secret path of Amentet," and he who knoweth it, and the names of those who are on it, and their forms, shall partake of the offerings made to the gods of Osiris, and receive the gifts which his relatives (abt 1) shall make upon earth.

On the right of AFU-RA are a company of gods and goddesses, and a group of sceptres surmounted by crowns and uraei, and provided with knives; these are the beings who hold and cultivate the territory in this DIVISION, or HOUR, and minister to the wants of the followers of Osiris. Beyond these we have a lion, the two Eyes of Horus, three deities, and three small sepulchres,, into each of which, through an opening under the roof, a serpent is belching fire (vol. i., pp. 124-130). In each sepulchre is an "image" of Ra, i.e., a human head, a hawk's wing, and a hind-quarter of a lion, and these appear to be symbols under which the god was worshipped in and around Annu, or Heliopolis. On the left of AFU-RA are eight gods and four goddesses, whose duty it is to accompany his Boat, and to escort the souls and shadows of men through the Division, and to provide the spirits with food and water. Next is the

p. 151

monster serpent "AM-KHU," i.e., "Eater of the Spirits," whose duty it is to devour the shadows of the dead, and to eat up the spirits of the foes of Ra; from his back spring the heads of the Four Children of Horus, and they come into being when they hear the voice of AFU-RA. Beyond these are four Osiris forms, "which stand though they are seated, and move though they are motionless," and nine serpents armed with knives, which represent the ancient gods, TA-THENEN, TEMU, KHEPERA, SHU, SEB, ASAR (OSIRIS), HERU, APU, and HETEPUI. These gods had faces of fire, and lived in the water of TATHENEN, and they only came to life by virtue of the words of power of AFU-RA, who is now to be regarded as KHEPERA.


150:1 See above, p. 66.

Next: Seventh Division of the Tuat. I. Kingdom of Osiris According to the Book Am-Tuat