Thursday, 16 February 2012

Duat

The Duat is the “otherworld” refered to by the Ancient Kemetics where people would go after they had lived upon the earth.


Duat is generally written with the hieroglyph:



The hieroglyph for Duat is a star, however, some have also suggested this could also be an, um, anus

 

What can be found in the Duat is the subject of detailed texts such as the Book of Gates and the Book of Coming Forth By Day. Traditionally thought to be situated west of the Nile, as well as in the heavens (hence the hieroglyph) and in later times under the earth, the Duat does not quite fit with the Christian concept of heaven and hell and according to the Kemetics is a real world that exists beyond this one.



I could not have a post about the Duat without including the beloved Netjer Sokar: here he is depicted between two wings of a serpent in this depiction of part of the Duat which I am fond of



I began questioning the Christian concept of the afterlife from a very early age, so when I came across the Duat concept it was another Kemetic chord that struck deep within my soul parts.



In drama school, I wrote and performed a play set in the Duat called “Lost Souls”. As I understand it, the TV show “Lost” echoed the concept of people that had died inhabiting an after realm but were unaware of it, at least until the end (I only saw Seasons 1 and 2 of “Lost” so don’t know how it ended).



I began writing a novel 15 years or so back that was set in the Duat. I imagined it as a heightened and strangely different place to the world we are used to mixed with strangely similar realities. Denizens fell into two categories – those that had died (their skin took a blue hue) and those that were sleepers – peeps that were still alive here that were visiting in their Kau. If the latter were snapped back into their bodies too quickly, a kind of storm was created by the rush of their Duat form back into their Khat or earth form!

The main city was Los Muertos (that and Draconia are very non-Kemetic titles) but other places were taken straight out of the Kemetic texts.

Here is the map I created of the Duat for my novel, based on what I had explored by reading the Kemetic texts from those days.


The map of the Duat I created for a novel I was writing in the 90's; initially it had the working title, "Westgate"



From my notes of the writings of the time:

Hetbenbent – also known as Sun City – the place where you found yourself if you were having good dreams; the energy of the twin suns could be felt here and in another city, Netherkhert, the strongest; those that followed the path of monotheistic religions ended up here somehow

Rostau

This is the place where royal ones from all over the earth – and sometimes from other worlds – come to live after death; there is much more a sense of pervading Ancientness here than the other cities where the remains of some long gone spiritual mystique are still to be recognised in the design and feel of the place


Amenta: the funeral city and soul processing port

A very strange place is Amenta. It has the austerity of an airport, the silence of a temple, and the commerce of a busy city. It was constructed as a utility, a place to perform a function, a long, long time ago by the ancients, and has remained untouched since; almost sterile in appearance and feel, it contains several thousand hive like domes that store souls awaiting processing and awakening for their new life on Am Duat; modern day note: if I was going to film this story the main “temple” of Amenta would be filmed in and around Chek Lap Kok – Hong Kong’s airport

Not entirely articulated in my writings of the time but where I was going with it:

Neterkhert – the real heaven where the Netjer live or lived

Seket hetepu – the fields of peace where people “landed” after leaving their bodies permanently on the earth or planet of origin

The purple sea – an actual ocean of energy that required changes in frequency in order to cross it



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