Ancient Egyptian Afterlife

The afterlife of the Ancient Egyptians was very important to them.  They believed that if they acted a certain way then they would be able to travel to the afterlife.  They also knew if they acted bad or did wrong things that there was a chance, they would end up in the Underworld forever.

Soul

According to the Ancient Egyptians, there are many parts to a person’s body and these parts work as a whole to decide where a person is going to go when they die.

The Akh is considered the persons body.  This is their physical body with their head, arms, legs, skin, bones, and all parts of the body.

Body

The body is made up of five different parts which is the Ren, Ab, Ba, Ka and the Shadow.

Ren

The Ren is the person’s name, but not their original name.  When someone dies, the Ancient Egyptians believe that the person is given a secrete name.  This name is part of the afterlife and if someone wants to make it to the afterlife, they have to have this secret name.

A name is important for the afterlife because a person must have their name written down somewhere on Earth in order to make it to the afterlife.  The name or the Ren is the reason that grave robbing is such a huge crime.  If a grave robber messes up the name, the person might not be able to go to the afterlife.

Ab

The Ab is a person’s heart.  The heart is the center of it all and is part of the body that is supposed to make a person who they are.  This is the intelligent part of the person.

The heart is considered to be the most important part of a person because it is the only part of the body that knows what good and bad deeds have been done.  The people that want to make it to the afterlife and the Land of the Two Fields must do good deeds and only the heart knows.

Ba

The Ba is the part of the persons body that is his or her personality.  This is the part where people laugh, cry, have emotions, are nice or fun to be around.

The Ba is always symbolized as a bird with a head of a human because the Ancient Egyptians believed that a bird could fly between the worlds just like the Ba can after a person dies.

Ka

The Ka is part of the body that is inside and represents part of the soul.  The Ka is the keeper of the soul and is supposed to make the person make good decisions.

The Ka is represented as a small person that has a big person standing next to it.  The Ka is supposed to help people make better decisions and that is why the big person is always there with the little person.

Shadow

Each person has a shadow and the Ancient Egyptians believed that the shadow was there to protect the person.  When the sun reflects on the body, the sun god guards the body and stops evil spirits from attacking them.

The shadow also helps people to make better choices and not to make bad choices while they are on earth.

Life

Ancient Egyptians believed that life was important on Earth but that it would be even more important in the afterlife.

Egyptians believed that in the afterlife, there was a place called the Land of the Two Fields and this was a place of joy and happiness.

This is the place where the Ancient Egyptians believed that they would someday see the people that they love and be reunited there.

Land of Two Fields

In order for someone to make it to the Land of Two Fields, they had to die and go to the Underworld where they would be judged.

In the Underworld, the god Osiris would open the doors where the afterlife was and if you had a light heart then you would be able to ride on the god Ra’s sails and go to the new land.

If your heart was heavy, you would sink Ra’s ship and be stuck in the Underworld.

When a person died, the Egyptians believed that the god Maat would weigh their heart and would decide where their soul would go for all eternity.

More Facts About the Ancient Egyptian Afterlife:

  • In order to make it to the afterlife, Egyptians had to have a light heart and have their name written down somewhere on Earth.
  • Another thing that had to happen to go to the afterlife was that the Egyptians body had to be mummified.
  • The soul splits and this is what makes the Ba and Ka.
  • The Ba goes to have fun in the Land of Two Fields each day.
  • The Ka goes to make sure the dead persons family is okay.
  • The Ba and Ka meet each night in the tomb of the dead.
  • If the Ba and Ka cannot find their way back to the person, the person never can go to the afterlife.
  • When a person does good deeds, their heart gets lighter, according to the Ancient Egyptians.
  • There are 42 judges in the Hall of Two Truths that the dead must pass through to get to the afterlife.
  • The priests do not go to the afterlife, they go to the land of the gods.

What Did You Learn?

  1. How many parts are there of an Ancient Egyptian body? There are five parts of the body including the Ba, Ka, Ren, Shadow and Ab.
  2. What does a person have to do to make it to the afterlife? A person has to have a light heart, a mummified body and their name written down somewhere to go to the afterlife.
  3. Where does a person go if they do not go to the afterlife? A person that does not make it to the afterlife goes to the Underworld forever.
  4. What happens if someone’s heart is too heavy? If someone’s heart is too heavy, it sinks the god Ra’s boat and they have to stay in the Underworld forever.
  5. What makes a person’s heart light? If the person does good deeds their heart gets lighter.