Ancient Egyptians imagined the afterlife as a kind of journey you had to make to get to paradise. It was quite hazardous, so you needed help along the way. Spells and magic formulas written on papyrus were placed in coffins and burial chambers in order to protect and aid the deceased in duat, or the underworld. These funerary texts were developed over many centuries into individualized collections known as the Book of the Dead. One of the best-known versions, the Papyrus of Ani, is featured here. Some 192 spells are known, although no single manuscript contains them all. The spells are designed to give the dead mystical knowledge in the afterlife, offer incantations to help preserve different parts of the deceased, and protect the dead from hostile forces. Some of the spells are to make sure you can control your own body after death. Presented in a high-quality format with accompanying illustrations, The Egyptian Book of the Dead is an ideal resource of esoteric wisdom for anyone interested in Ancient Egyptian notions of death and the path to the afterlife.
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