Beyond the Pyramids: Secrets of The Ancient Egyptians

By Sophia Maddox | March 30, 2024

Egyptians Viewed Royal Authority As A Divine Force

Step back in time and explore the intriguing world of ancient Egypt, a civilization rich in mystical beliefs and captivating traditions. In this captivating slideshow gallery, we delve into the most peculiar and fascinating beliefs of the ancient Egyptians. From their elaborate burial rituals to their profound reverence for cats as magical beings, the ancient Egyptians had a unique perspective on life, death, and the afterlife.

Discover the secrets behind their captivating beliefs, including the sacred importance of food in the realm beyond, where even gods and humans needed sustenance. Join us on this enlightening journey through ancient Egypt's strange and extraordinary beliefs. Keep reading to uncover the mysteries that shaped this remarkable civilization.

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(Nat Geo Image Collection)

Egyptologists have extensively discussed the extent to which the pharaoh was seen as a god in ancient Egypt. It appears that the Egyptians primarily regarded the authority of the pharaoh as a divine presence. While they acknowledged the pharaoh's human nature and susceptibility to flaws, they also believed that the essence of kingship itself possessed a divine quality.

Consequently, the pharaoh was considered both a human and a god, serving as a vital link between the Egyptian people and the deities. This role involved the pharaoh acting as an intermediary, ensuring justice and harmony in society, and maintaining the favor of the gods through temple rituals and offerings. Due to these responsibilities, the pharaoh held ultimate authority over all religious affairs of the state.

The Tribulations Of The Dead Determine Where Someone Ends Up In The Afterlife

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(public domain)

In the ancient Egyptian beliefs, the afterlife was a complex journey with various challenges and judgments. During the New Kingdom, the soul had to navigate the Duat, a realm filled with supernatural dangers, before reaching the final judgment known as the "Weighing of the Heart." In this judgment, Osiris and the Assessors of Ma'at compared the actions of the deceased (represented by the heart) to the feather of Ma'at, to determine if they had lived in accordance with Ma'at, the concept of truth and balance. If found worthy, the deceased's ka (life force) and ba (spiritual essence) were united into an akh, a transformed and blessed state. Different beliefs existed regarding the destination of the akh, with the realm of Osiris, described as a lush and pleasant land in the underworld, often mentioned as the dwelling place for the deceased.

According to the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead, the journey to the afterlife was challenging and filled with obstacles. The deceased had to pass through a series of gates, caverns, and mounds guarded by formidable supernatural creatures. These creatures were depicted in grotesque forms, often with human bodies and animal heads or combinations of ferocious beasts. They carried enormous knives and had names like "He who lives on snakes" or "He who dances in blood." To overcome them, the deceased needed to recite specific spells from the Book of the Dead, pacifying the creatures and gaining their protection. Another type of supernatural beings were the "slaughterers," responsible for punishing the unrighteous on behalf of Osiris. The Book of the Dead provided the necessary knowledge to avoid their attention. Additionally, there were threats from both natural and supernatural animals like crocodiles, snakes, and beetles, further complicating the journey to the afterlife.