Ancient Egyptian Myths and Legends by Lewis Spence

By Lewis Spence

This awesome in-depth survey explores animism, totemism, fetishism, construction myths, Egyptian priesthood, cult of Osiris, a variety of deities, booklet of the useless, alchemy, Egyptian paintings and magic, legends, and a number of different attention-grabbing themes. An erudite, basically written paintings, superior with over 50 photos and illustrations.

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Such freedom, argues primi31 ANCIENT EGYPTIAN MYTHS tive man, must have the liberated soul, un trammelled by the hindering flesh. So, too, must gods and spirits be winged, and such, he hopes, will be his own condition when he has shaken off the mortal coil and rises on pinions to the heavenly mansions. Thus the Bororos of Brazil believe that the soul possesses the form of a bird. The Bilquila Indians of British Columbia think that the soul dwells in an egg in the nape of the neck, and that upon death this egg is hatched and the enclosed bird takes flight.

There can be little interest for the general reader in mere measurements and records of bulk. Mummification Mummification was, as has been said, probably an invention of the Osirian cult. The priests of Osiris taught that the body of man was a sacred thing and not to be abandoned to the beasts of the desert, because from it would spring the effulgent and regenerated envelope of the purified spirit. C1l >. Po. c: '" (page 29) I. Model of a Funeral Boat with figures symbolizing Isis and Nephthys 2 .

There is but little substantiation for the latter part of this statement, however. The bacabs were closely identified with the Maya chac, or rain-gods. 2 See my Myths of Mexico and Peru. ANCIENT EGYPTIAN MYTHS at the tomb appears to have been almost of a theatrical character, and symbolized the night journey ofRa-Osiris. The prescribed prayers were recited, and incense was offered up. The kinsmen of the deceased were loud in their lamentations, and were assisted in these by a professional class of mourners who' keened' loudly and shrilly as the procession slowly approached the mastaba, or tomb, in which the mummy was to be laid to rest.

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