“These are they who are in the Land of Serser; ‘they have received their bread, and they have gained the mastery over this Lake, and they praise this great god. Ra saith unto them:–‘Eat ye your green herbs, and satisfy ye yourselves with your cakes; let there be fulness to your bellies, and satisfaction to your hearts. Your green herbs are of the Lake of Serser, the Lake which may not be approached. Praise ye me, glorify ye me, for I am the Great One of terror of the Tuat.’ They say unto Ra:–‘Hail to thee, O thou Great One of the SEKHEMU (i.e., Powers)! Praise is thine, and majesty is thine. The Tuat is thine, and [is subservient] to thy will; it is a hidden place [made] by thee for those who are in its Circles. The height of Heaven is thine, and [is subservient] to thy will; it is a secret place [made] by thee for those who belong thereto. The Earth is for thy dead Body, and the Sky is for thy Soul. O Ra, be thou at peace (or, be content) with that which thou hast made to come into being.’ Their food consisteth of bread-cakes, their green herbs are the plants of the spring, and the waters wherein they refresh themselves are cool”
“These are they who make souls to have a right to the green herbs in the Lake of Serser. Ra saith unto them:–‘[Hail, ye] divine sovereign princes of the gods, and ye chiefs of the Lake of Serser, who place souls over their green herbs, let them have dominion themselves over their bread; give ye your bread which is appointed, and bring ye your green herbs to the souls who have been ordered to exist in the Lake of Serser.’ They say unto Ra:–‘The bread appointed hath been and the green herbs have been brought to the divine souls whom thou hast ordered to exist in the Lake of Serser. Hail! Verily, the way is fair; for KHENTI-AMENTI praiseth thee, and those who dwell in TA-THENEN praise thee.’ Their food is of bread-cakes, and their beer is the tchesert beer, and their libations are of cool water; and offerings are made unto them upon earth by those who are with TUI by the divine sovereign princes.”

“Hail to thee, O thou Thigh which dwelleth in the northern heaven in the Great Lake, which art seen and which dieth not. I have stood up over thee when thou didst rise like a god. I have seen thee, and I have not lain down in death; I have stood over thee, and I have risen like a god. I have cackled like a goose, and I have alighted like a hawk by the divine clouds and by the great dew. I have journeyed from the earth to heaven. The god Shu–made–me to stand up, the god of Light hath made me to be vigorous by the two sides of the ladder, and the stars which never rest set–me–on–my–way and bring–me–away from slaughter. I bring along with me the things which drive back calamities as I advance over the passage of the god Pen; thou comest, how great art thou, O god Pen! I have come from the Pool of Flame which is in the Sekhet-Sasa–i.e., the Field of Fire.–Thou livest in the Pool of Flame in Sekhet-Sasa, and I live upon the staff of the hold–god. Hail, thou god Kaa, who dost bring those things which are in the boats by the . . . I stand up in the boat and I guide myself–over–the water: I have stood up in the boat and the god hath guided me. I have stood up. I have spoken.–I am master of the–crops. I sail round about as I go forward, and the gates which are in Sekhem–Letopolis–are opened unto me, and fields are awarded unto me in the city of Unni–Hermopolis–, and laborers (?) are given unto me together with those of my own flesh and bone.”

Thou hast made strong (?) the mouth and the throat (?) of the god Hetep; Qetetbu is its (?) name. He is established upon the watery support (?) of the god Shu, and is linked unto the pleasant things of Ra. He is the divider of years, he is hidden of mouth, his mouth is silent, that which he uttereth is secret, he fulfilleth eternity and taketh possession of everlastingness of existence as Hetep, the lord Hetep. The god Horus maketh himself to be strong like unto the Hawk which is one thousand cubits in length and two thousand–cubits in width–in life; he hath equipments with him, and he journeyeth on and cometh where the seat of his heart wisheth in the Pools thereof and in the cities thereof. He was begotten in the birth-chamber of the god of the city, he hath offerings–made unto him–of the food of the god of the city, he performeth that which is meet to do therein, and the union thereof, in the matter of everything of the birth-chamber of the divine city. When–he–setteth in life like crystal he performeth everything therein, and these things are like unto the things which are done in the Lake of double Fire, wherein there is none that rejoiceth, and wherein are all manner of evil things. The god Hetep goeth in, and cometh out, and goeth backward–in–that, Field that gathereth together all manner of things for the birth-chamber of the god of the city. When he setteth in life like crystal he performeth all manner of things therein which are like unto the things which are done in the Lake of double Fire, wherein there is none that rejoiceth, and wherein are no evil things whatsoever. –Let me–live with the god Hetep, clothed and not despoiled by the lords of the north (?) and may the lords of divine things bring food unto me; may he make me to go forward and may I come forth, and may he bring my power to me there, and may I receive it, and may my equipment be from the god Hetep. May I gain the mastery over the great and mighty word which is in my body in this my place, and by it I will remember and I will forget. Let me go forward in my journey, and let me plough. I am at peace in the divine city 1, and I know the waters, cities, nomes, and lakes which are in Sekhet-hetep. I exist therein, I am strong therein, I become a khu therein, I eat therein, I sow seed therein, I reap the harvest therein, I plough therein, I make love therein, I am at peace with the god Hetep therein. Behold I scatter seed therein, I sail about among its lakes and I come forward to the cities thereof, O divine Hetep. Behold my mouth is equipped with thy horns–for teeth–, grant me an overflowing supply of the food whereon the kas and khus–live–. I have passed the judgment of Shu upon him that knoweth him, so that I may go forth to the cities thereof, and may sail about among its lakes and may walk about in Sekhet-hetep; and behold, Ra is in heaven, and behold, the god Hetep is its double offering. I have come onward to its land, I have put on my girdle (?), I have come forth so that the gifts which are about to be given unto me may be given, I have made gladness for myself. I have laid hold upon my strength which the god Hetep hath greatly increased for me. OF BRINGING A BOAT ALONG IN HEAVEN (From the Papyrus of Nu, British Museum, No. 10,477, sheet 9)

“Praise be to thee O Ra, exalted Sekhem, Lord of the hidden circles of the Tuat…
“Praise be to thee, O Ra… and thou makest thy creations as Governor of thy circle.
“Praise be to thee, O Ra… Thou art he who gathereth together thy gods when thou goest into thy hidden circle.
“Praise be to thee, O Ra… the sender of light into his circle… thou art he who makest the darkness to be in his circle, and thou coverest those who are therein.
“Praise be to thee, O Ra… the illuminator of bodies in the horizens… thou art he who entereth into his circle.
“Praise be to thee, O Ra… thou goest in and comest out and thou comest out and goest in to thy hidden circle…

“Praise be to thee, O Ra_lord of the hidden circles_ “Praise be to thee, O Ra_ who resteth in the Tuat_ “Praise be to thee, O Ra_Governor of thy Circle_ “Praise be to thee, O Ra_the sender forth of light into his Circle_ “Praise be to thee, O Ra_thou art he who entereth into his circle_ “Praise be to thee, O Ra_of the Circles of Ament_”

Hail, thou Runner, Lord, Only One, thou maker of the things that are, thou hast fashioned the tongue of the Company of the Gods, thou hast produced whatsoever cometh forth from the waters, thou springest up out of them above the submerged land of the Lake of Horus. Let me breathe the air which cometh forth from thy nostrils, and the north wind which cometh forth from thy mother Nut.

each of the qerets [circles] has an arret [hall] and these are seven in number traveling to the center where the god resides.

According to the Theban doctrine of Egypt’s New Kingdom, the Netherworld, that is the Daut, consisted of a great valley enclosed by mountains. Through this valley ran a river on the banks of which lived a multitude of monstrous beasts and devils. These were evil spirits who were supposed to be hostile to the souls of the dead.

Theban priesthood who thought of the Duat as a river in a valley through which the soul must pass, a clue as to its real nature comes to us from its description as having been divided into regions each of which, among other things, was called qerert-an Egyptian word that means “circle.” That the Duat was a circular enclosure is further evidenced by a representation found on the sarcophagus of Seti I in which “the Tuat is likened to the body of Osiris, which is bent round like a hoop in such a way that his toes touch the back of the head.” Moreover, as Budge informs us, the text accompanying this representation itself states that “it is Osiris himself who forms the encircling border of the Tuat_”

Besides being called qerert, each division of the Duat was also referred to as arret, that is a hall. What is of interest here is that, according to the “Papyrus of Nu,” these halls of the Duat were seven in number which, among other things, explains the plurality of circles associated with Ra’s habitation.

Ra was also an abider in the Duat. And that here, again, the Duat was represented as a circle is evidenced by some of the Seventy Five Praises of Ra that are found inscribed on the walls of some tombs from the 19th and 20th Dynasties in Thebes in which the deity is lauded as “Lord of the Circles” and “he who entereth [or liveth] in the Circle,” in which Budge makes it clear that the Circles being alluded to are the Circles of the Duat.

In another passage we read that they are apparelled in white linen, that they wear white sandals, and that they go to the great lake which is in the midst of the Field of Peace whereon the great gods sit, and that the gods give them to eat of the food (or tree) of life of which they themselves eat that they also may live. It is certain, however, that other views than these were held concerning the food of the dead, for already in the Vth dynasty the existence of a region called Sekhet-Aaru, or Sekhet-Aanru had been formulated, and to this place the soul, or at least some part, of the pious Egyptian hoped to make its way. Where Sekhet-Aaru was situated we have no means of saying, and the texts afford us no clue as to its whereabouts; some scholars think that it lay away to the east of Egypt, but it is far more likely to represent some district of the Delta either in its northern or north-eastern portion.

Though nearly all Egyptologists agree about the meaning of the word being “the place of departed souls,” yet it has been translated in various ways, different scholars locating the Tuat in different parts of creation. Dr. Brugsch and others place it under the earth, others have supposed it to be the space which exists between the arms of Shu and the body of Nut, but the most recent theory put forth is that it was situated neither above nor below the earth, but beyond Egypt to the north, from which it was separated by the mountain range which, as the Egyptians thought, supported the sky.The region of the Tuat was a long, mountainous, narrow valley with a river running along it; starting from the east it made its way to the north, and then taking a circular direction it came back to the east. In the Tuat lived all manner of fearful monsters and beasts, and here was the country through which the sun passed during the twelve hours of the night; according to one view he traversed this region in splendour, and according to another he died and became subject to Osiris the king, god and judge of the kingdom of the departed.

The souls of the dead made their way to their abode in the “other world” by a ladder, according to a very ancient view, or through a gap in the mountains of Abydos called Peka according to another; but, by whichever way they passed from earth, their destination was a region in the Tuat which is called in the pyramid and later texts Sekhet-Aaru, which was situated in the Sekhet-Hetep, and was supposed to lie to the north of Egypt. Here dwell Horus and Set, for the fields of Aaru and Hetep are their domains, and here enters the deceased with two of the children of Horus on one side of him, and two on the other, and the “two great chiefs who preside over the throne of the great god proclaim eternal life and power for him.” Here like the supreme God he is declared to be “one,” and the four children of Horus proclaim his name to Ra. Having gone to the north of the Aaru Field he makes his way to the eastern portion of the tuat,

The underworld (Tuat), the hidden place or secret region The 15th or last house (Aat) of the Tuat, called Amentet-nefert (beautiful Amenti) and described as the dwelling place of the gods, where they live upon cakes and ale — in this respect similar to the Scandinavian Valhalla, the heaven world or devachan The afterworlds were also referred to as Sekhet-hetep or -hetepet (the fields of peace), called in Greece the Elysian Fields, under the dominion of Osiris, lord of Amenti Some of the texts speak of Amenti as situated far to the north of Egypt, although it is more commonly referred to as the Silent Land of the West Other texts place it either below or above the earth, and the deceased is pictured as needing a ladder to ascend to the region


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