Ancient Egyptian Afterlife

The Egyptians knew that their afterlife depended on how they acted and what they did on Earth.

They knew that in order to be accepted into the afterlife, that they had to do good deeds and to do good things so that their soul would be able to travel to the afterlife and not to disappear or to be stuck in the Underworld forever.

The Akh is considered the whole, physical body.  This body is made up of five parts, the Ba, Ka, Ren, Ab and the Shadow.

The Ba is where a person has their personality, this part of their body is where they have fun, are humorous, charming, kind and warm.

The Ba is represented as a bird with a human head because the Egyptians believed that birds could fly between the worlds.

The Ka is the life inside of your body.  This is represented by a little person that stands next to the drawing of a bigger person or it is represented by two arms that are stretched out.

The Ka is supposed to protect the body and help the body to make good choices.

The Ren is the secret name that each person has.  Everyone is given a name and this name is important for the afterlife.  In order to make it into the afterlife, each person must have his or her name written down someone, at least once.

The Ren or the Name is the reason that grave robbing is such a serious crime in Egypt.  If a robber destroys the casket or takes away the name plate from the coffin, the person might not make it to the afterlife.

The Ab is the heart.  The heart is considered the most important part of the body because the heart is what is considered to hold all of the good and the good deeds that people need to make it to the Land of the Two Fields.

The Shadow is what protects your body.  The reflection by the sun guards the body from evil and protects the people from making bad choices.  It wards off evil from those that are walking on the Earth.

The whole point of life, according to Ancient Egyptians, is to make it to the Land of the Two Fields, this is a place that is heavenly and only has happiness.

This is the place where people will meet with their loved ones and be reunited with family and friends that have went to the afterlife.

In order to get to the Land of Two Fields, the people must be judged.  Those that die go to the Underworld and they are carried to Osiris who opens the door to the afterlife.

If your heart is light, you can board Ra’s sail, but if your heart is heavy, you are stuck in the tomb forever or in the Underworld.  After you die, Maat weighs your heart and if you make it to the afterlife, you are there forever, and your soul can go wherever it wants to go.

To enter the afterlife, you must have a light heart, your name must be written down somewhere, your body must be preserved and then at this time, your soul splits into two parts, the Ba and the Ka.

The Ba flies off every morning to keep a watch over your family that is still alive, and the Ka flies off to the Land of Two Fields every morning to enjoy what is happening in the afterlife.  The Ba and Ka return to the tomb each night so that you can rest until morning and then it all happens again.

The importance of the nameplate on the coffin is that if the nameplate is missing, the Ba and Ka cannot find their way back to the tomb and they become lost forever.

Facts about the Ancient Egyptian Afterlife:

  • Even though the Akh is represented as the body, when someone dies, it is the reunion of the Ba and Ka.
  • The more good deeds that a person does, the lighter their heart gets.
  • After the Underworld, the people go to the Hall of Two Truths.
  • The Hall of Two Truths is where you stand before 42 judges and gods.
  • The “feather of truth” is used to weight the heart.
  • People will go to the Afterlife and the Priests will go to where the gods are.
  • There is nothing but happiness and joy in the Land of Two Fields.
  • In the Underworld, there is a “Duat,” and these are many gates.  At the gates, the person has to name each of the gates guardians to pass to the next door.
  • At the Hall of Judgement, the people must say all their negative confessions such as “I did not steal,” “I did not kill.”

Q and A

  • Q: What is the name of the afterlife?
    A: The afterlife is called “The Land of Two Fields.’
  • Q: How does a person get a lighter heart?
    A: A person gets a lighter heart by doing two deeds.
  • Q: What happens if a person’s heart is too heavy?
    A: If a person’s heart is too heavy, they have to stay in the Underworld, or they disappear.  They cannot go to the Land of Two Fields if their heart is too heavy.
  • Q: What happens to the Ba and Ka each morning?
    A: The Ba and Ka separate each morning and one goes to protect the family, while the other goes to enjoy the afterlife.
  • Q: Why is the nameplate or “Cartouche” so important?
    A: The nameplate is important so that the Ba and Ka know where to go each morning and each night.
  • Q: What does the Shadow do?
    A: The Shadow protects the people who still walk on earth by warding off evil.