Egyptian Book of the Dead - Spell 015
Type of Spiritual Experience
This Papyrus is from the Book of the dead of Nakht, from Thebes, Egypt; late 18th Dynasty, 1350-1300 BC. It shows agricultural scenes in the ‘field of reeds’
Nakht was a royal scribe and overseer of the army (general) at the end of the Eighteenth Dynasty (about 1550-1295 BC). His Book of the Dead is a beautifully illustrated example.
This papyrus shows Spell 110, a series of addresses to deities who dwell in the 'next world', specifically in the Field of Offering and the Field of Rushes. It shows areas of land surrounded by water. Nakht is shown with Thoth at top right, with the balance and feather of Maat (referring to the Judgement Scene). He then paddles his boat across the Lake of Offerings where two mummiform deities stand before a table of offerings. Nakht is also shown worshipping the Heron of Plenty. He is shown pulling flax, reaping, and ploughing below. The boat of Wennefer (a name for the god Osiris), shown with a head of a snake, is moored in a channel of the water at the bottom. Three deities of the ennead (group of nine gods) are shown bottom right.
[Source: R.O. Faulkner, The Ancient Egyptian Book of t, (revised ed. C. A. R. Andrews) (London, The British Museum Press, 1985)]
From The Book of the Dead of Anier
The Book of the dead of Anhai showing Anhai and her husband undertaking various activities in the Field of Rushes including hacking up the earth, pulling flax, reaping grain, ploughing and paddling across the lake of Offerings.
Four members of the Great Ennead sit on an island, the heron of abundance and a god of the underworld are being adored.
A description of the experience
The Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead – translated by R O Faulkner
From Spell 15
Greatly feared, Power of Powers, whose throne is far from the evil doers; greatly majestic in the Night-bark, mightily long lasting in the Day-bark, may you glorify N in the realm of the dead, may you cause him to endure in the West, he being devoid of evil. May you ignore my wrong-doing and may you set me as one honoured with the spirits; may you protect my soul in the Sacred Land, may it navigate in the Field of Rushes, because I have passed on in joy