Ancient Egyptian Wisdom

The ancient Egyptians believed that when they died they would be judged on their behaviour during their lifetime before they could be granted a place in the Afterlife. In this judgement the heart of the deceased was weighed against a feather which represented Ma’at, goddess of truth, order and balance

Egyptian mythology is most powerful when understood as a metaphor for our daily lives. This ceremony of transition from death to the afterlife is actually symbolic of any transition we experience in our life. 

The challenge for me this past year has been feeling like I have been chillin at the crossroads for wayyyyy too long. Transitions should be short lived… I’m ready for the next pose… But whenever I try to make that step on the new path its like a large, invisible hand begins to apply light pressure to my chest, gently forcing me to stay at the intersection a while longer to wait for the next green light. Here the signs all say: No sudden movements. Can’t commit yet. Can’t pursue yet. Can’t run fast yet. Can’t dive deep yet. Perpetual Crossroad…

Weighing of the heart, Egyptian Book of the Dead. Scene from the funerary papyrus for Nany, a Singer of Amun, showing the weighing of the heart that is used to judge the dead in the afterlife. Nany is at left, with Isis at far left. The god Osiris is at right. The jackal-headed Anubis is at centre. The baboon on the scales represents Thoth, the god of wisdom. Nany’s heart (on left-hand scale) has been successfully weighed against Mat (goddess of justice and truth), who is the small figure on the right-hand scale. Across top, Nany meets falcon god Horus, and stands by her own tomb. This papyrus dates from the Third Intermediate Period (Dynasty 21), from around 1050 BC, during the reign of Psusennes I and Psusennes II. The papyrus was excavated in 1928-29 from the Tomb of Meritamun (MMA 65 at Deir el-Bahri, Thebes, Upper Egypt.

Anpu is the jackel headed god that watches over the Heart Weighing Ceremony. He is the guardian of the crossroads, the opener of the way. You see, the crossroads IS the judgement. But Anpu won’t allow us through with our heavy heart. The ancient Egyptians considered the heart to be the centre of thought, memory and emotion. If our hearts are heavy with resentment, guilt, jealousy, sadness, and an unfulfilled Ego… we will remain at the crossroads indefinitely because we are not prepared to pass the threshold.

If you are at a crossroads in your life… in any shape, size or form… if your prayer is “show me the way” … you must try to find ways of lightening the heart as a feather. Can you find lightness in the heaviest of situations at home? Can you find LIGHTness in the dark corners of the room. Can you find love in the people that frustrate you the most? Can you serve when you are most vulnerable? Can you find the safety in the moment of NOW no matter how scary and uncomfortable the unknown is?

How can we expect to master running in a race if we can’t even transition to walking properly? How can we expect to succeed on a new path if we can’t even handle the transition with ease and lightness?

How much does your heart weigh? Make it as light as a feather, then perhaps Anpu will open the door for your new path.

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