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Egyptian Afterlife

The Egyptians believed that when a person died, the afterlife could be experienced in various ways by different aspects of their being. For instance, the akh was a spirit or ghost that could live among humans, usually in the vicinity of their tomb, yet it could also inhabit the underworld. The ka was an etheric double or life force that could dwell in statues of themselves, to which mortuary offerings by the living could be made.
The journey to the underworld was of great concern with one of the goals being to reach the ruler Osiris (pictured above) who would pass judgment upon them. Towards that end, guidebooks in the form of papyruses might be placed in their tomb which contained details essential for a successful crossing (such as the information featured in the Egyptian Book of the Dead).
After a favorable judgment, entry into the land of the blessed was granted-a place not unlike the Nile Valley, with canals, dams and farms. The departed were said to have the ability to transform themselves into a bird if they liked, and were able to use whatever possessions that had been packed in their tomb. In addition, they were privy to a magical spell that could turn small models of servants (shabti) left in their tombs into living beings who could do their bidding.
--L.L.(1)
Source: Encyclopedia of Death and the Afterlife(2)

1. http://archive.coasttocoastam.com/info/about_lex.html
2. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/157859135X/ctoc

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