By guest Blogger Diana Kreikamp
The ancient Egyptian Amduat is an important funeral text with twelve illustrations from Egyptian antiquity that describes the journey after life.
The Amduat tells the story of the Sungod Râ as he travels through the twelve hours of the night. At the end of the day the sun has lost his power to shine. Aged and exhausted Râ sinks beneath the horizon of the West. The sun has died and the world becomes shrouded in darkness. Then, twelve hours later, the sun arises again from the horizon of the East. Râ is reborn and his renewed appearance returns the light to the world. Thus, Râ has transformed death into a new life.
The extraordinary thing about the Amduat is the fact that the transformation process of the death and subsequent rebirth of Râ, has been described and depicted in twelve phases, or hours. The Amduat sends a clear message that death isn’t the end. Death is simply a transition from the old into a new phase; a new life. This grants men insight and trust in the mysteries surrounding death. It is clear that the Amduat is so much more than a simple mythical story telling the nightly voyage of the sun.
The word Amduat means; “Book of the Hidden Chambre”. The word can also be translated as “What is in the Duat”. When a person dies, their soul goes to an area known as the Duat. After sundown, the Sungod Râ disappears in the Duat to start his journey through the First Hour of the night. The Sungod sails on a river through this nightly landscape on his boat. There are various Gods and animals standing on both sides of this river to support Râ during his journey. However, there also are creatures there intending to destroy Râ.
Every hour is inhabited by different beings and has a different landscape. For example, one such hour is dominated by a dry dessert whereas another one contains an abundance of water. The twelve hour journey proves to be full of challenges. Râ has to brave many counteracting forces to eventually become reborn at the end of the Twelfth Hour in the Eastern horizon.
To understand the ancient symbolical language of the Amduat, I completed many years of research and translated various old hieroglyphic texts anew to properly understand the underlying message. During ten years I meditated daily using the texts and images of the Amduat. The Egyptian heritage centers on spirituality and goes far beyond the layer of rational thinking. Back then, life was about making contact with the Divine through worship and servitude of the Gods in the many temples.
Meditation exceeds rational thinking and allows you to descend into the dimension beyond the visible and tangible earthly life. You connect with a different layer of knowledge that lies deep within the sub consciousness. In doing so, I discovered that the nightly voyage of the Sungod is a symbolical reference to the universal journey of mankind.
The sun, or the light, is the symbol of consciousness and of the higher aspect of oneself. On a more profound layer, the journey through the Duat is a voyage that makes one aware of his True Self. The Duat symbolises our inner world, or our sub consciousness. In order to become aware of it, we have to descend into our inner world. The knowledge we gain while there, can be brought up so we can reflect it to the knowledge in the world outside of ourselves. The reflection of two opposites gifts us a reference and allows our consciousness to expand, or our awareness to rise.
During our lives, we develop ourselves as a child into adulthood, which makes our consciousness grow naturally. Each time, old perspectives and convictions are let go to make place for a renewed vision and consciousness. This makes us grow and become more aware of who we are and our place in the world.
However, there lies the paradox since this natural process of becoming aware usually happens unconsciously. Most people live their lives without knowing exactly who they are. The connection with the true core, or their Higher Self, is on a subconscious level. Every human being has to follow their own path. When we are conscious of the higher aspect of ourselves, then our inner Sungod can take the lead. Then we can connect and identify ourselves with the hidden light within and use it as our inner power. The Knowledge of our Self reveals our unique talents that can subsequently be put to use in your daily lives to complete the tasks we are meant to do.
The Amduat contains an ingenious system that we can use to become aware of who we truly are. It teaches us to connect with our True Self to awaken in a higher plane of consciousness. By following the sun through the twelve hours of the night, we are brought back to our core and make contact with our own inner Sungod, the Higher Self. On the way, inner blockades need to be cleared that otherwise impede the descent into our true core. Every time again a layer is scraped off in your inner being, similar to polishing a diamond in the rough.
This is an intense process for during this journey your True Self is revealed. Of course, this sounds fantastic. However, do be aware that the confrontation with this light aspect will have the same impact as the confrontations with the shadow part of yourself. We are inclined to deny both sides and to turn a blind eye to the truth.
Death and rebirth
The journey through the twelve hours of the night is an initiation during which a transition takes place. The old consciousness is dissolved and transformed in the rebirth and awakening of a new consciousness. This is why it is a journey of life and death. During our life, only our old consciousness dies to make place for the birth of a renewed self. We no longer are the child we once were, nor the same person we were yesterday. We have transformed ourselves again and again into a renewed version of ourselves.
When working with the Amduat, we simultaneously learn to die in a befitting manner at the end of our lives. That is the moment when we truly experience the journey to rebirth. Therefore, the voyage through the Duat is destined for both the deceased and any living soul on earth.
Even though the Amduat is thousands of years old, the system is still applicable now. In my book I explain the voyage of the sun in great detail. Each hour is described from an academic as well as an esoteric perspective. By bridging the gap between rational and inner knowledge, you are able to gain a more profound understanding. Furthermore, every hour I explain the process of transformation that you will experience when you partake in the journey through meditation.
The Amduat contains many texts and hundreds of Deities to focus your meditation on. These Deities are gateways that open when you focus your attention on them. All of them are reflections of your inner being and set something in motion within you. The resulting inner images then take on a tangible form in real life as well. They subject you to trials and hold up a mirror to you. Each hour has its own energy and specific effect on you. Step by step, you learn to look beyond the outer layers and make contact with the true reality hidden underneath. That is how the Amduat provides a system to stimulate the process of raising awareness in a structured manner.
Reading the book
Do you want to dive into the heritage of the ancient Egyptians; the Amduat? Then read the book; Amduat: The Great Awakening. It contains the nightly voyage through the Duat in much detail as well as a wealth of information about the ancient Egyptian tradition.
Diana Kreikamp, “Amduat: The Great Awakening”.
(Released in May 2021)