Are the Dead Truly Dead?

Egyptians gave as much attention to their dead as they did to the living. Some believe that the Book of the Dead is a morbid book of death but that simply isn’t so. Normally people flock the shelves and pull off one book translated by Budge, however, if you want to explore a more beautiful side to death, a more spiritual, then I’d suggest Normandi Ellis’ book called Awakening Osiris –A translation of the Book of the Dead. After reading that book, and believe me, I’ve read it many, many, many times, I began to wonder if there was something concerning the Egyptians, their mummies, and their outlook on death that we were missing.

Ancient Egyptians did not view their death with fear or hesitation. Death was but a doorway into a new existence…a new life…a new world. They spent their entire life preparing for this journey but also making the best of their life despite their place in society. For instance, a cook used his or hers talents to the best of their abilities because they believed that it was a gift from the Gods. A carpenter was the same way or anyone of any skill or trade.

Pharaohs spent entire lifetimes building huge pyramids and no matter who you were, when you died, those who loved you did not mourn with despair but rather made a ritual of bringing temple cakes and incense to your tomb each and every day where they would leave them for you.

That which can be named must exist. That which is named can be written. That which is written shall be remembered. That which is remembered lives. In the land of Egypt Osiris breathes. The sun rises and mists disperse. As I am, I was, and I shall be a thing of matter and heaven.—Normandi Ellis Awakening Osiris

Egyptians believed that as long as they remembered a person’s name, they would live forever. You can imagine their horror when Christianity and other forms of religions swept through, stabbing the stones of temples in a cruel attempt to rid the world of various Gods/Goddesses and then turning those places of Ancient stone into churches of their own.

Some people don’t realize this but the rituals for preparing the dead in The Book of the Dead were some of the longest lasting funeral preparations surviving culture after culture. They even saw their way into Rome and the only thing that prevented the rituals from going further is that each culture added their own mark, making them longer and longer. Also, eventually, Rome fell under the hands of a One God path so the old ways were long gone.


Here is the question though…

Did the Egyptians have knowledge of other worlds? They claimed that when a person died, they passed through the stages of the Underworld…a place that was a dimension all on its own. It was believed that the person would take their place by the Gods. Some believe that they passed through to another world while others believed the ‘other side’ was simply a reward, an experience spent until the time of reincarnation came.


If this is correct…are the Dead really dead? Perhaps the Spirits that we see are glimpses we catch when the veil is thin. Perhaps these are not spirits or souls lingering about, but actual beings living in another time, another place. And perhaps when the Egyptians believed that death was but a door into another phase of life…another world…they meant more by that then what we first imagined.

It’s something to think about.


Osiris returns from the mountain of sand to the green land of his birth. Morning comes to Egypt. Across an expanse of dirt and stone, cool shadows strain towards the mountain where in dry tombs the dead are yawning, wondering who has lit the temple fire and who has brought sweet cake. I, Osiris, rise and hurry into the two lands of the living. Black earth and red earth join a buckle of sky. I embrace the double horizon. I embrace the two mountains, the east and the west. I am god of the living and dead, embracing my soul and shadow. –Normandi Ellis Awakening Osiris

Visions and Hallucinations

There are traditions around the world where people consume plant matter in order to have visions. Mainstream culture doesn’t have much time for this, and mind altering substances are frequently classified as illegal. It’s worth noting that everything we consume affects our perceptions, and perfectly legal things like alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, sugar and animal fats can all have affects. The absence of things (which it is entirely legal to do to yourself) is also very powerful. There are traditions of fasting and abstaining as part of religious cleansing and dedication. This also has the power to mess with your head and perceptions!

As an insomniac teenager, I discovered that sleep deprivation makes me hallucinate. Or have visions. It depends on how you want to look at it. 24 hours or more without sleep, and I start experiencing things that others do not – I have no idea if I’m seeing what’s there, or if, as is supposedly the case with acid, my brain is responding to reduced input by randomly filling in the gaps, creating a waking dream. I have no idea where science ends and spirituality begins. Perhaps it isn’t important. Add in an insufficiency of food and water, a dash of alcohol or anything else to shake things up, and visions are a certainty.

I’ll share a few of the more memorable ones. They all happened around midsummer, which may not be an accident – I tend to sleep less then anyway, and the energies are strange and crazy for me at that time of year.

Stood on the car park at a folk festival, the Sunday night of a weekend. I’d maybe had 8 hours sleep over two nights. I’d not eaten enough, was very likely a touch de-hydrated – it had been hot, but we’d finally reached twilight. A lone wolf walked across the tarmac, its pelt pale. I watched it for a while before it dawned on me that we don’t get many wolves in the UK, or even unattended dogs for that matter. I asked the people with me if they had seen anything, and found they had not.

An overnight journey south, and the prospect of my first time in ritual at Stonehenge meant that I didn’t sleep at all. It was a misty dawn, and the strands of fog seemed to twirl and shift into tendrils. I watched a herd of wild horses canter across the Salisbury plain. Horses made of mist and memory. I watched the fog play and shift, as though I was seeing water elementals. I was fairly sure I was hallucinating, until at the end of the ritual, I watched one of the other druids there playing with the fog, and it responding to her.

Last year, again at the folk festival, sleepless, exhausted and emotional overwrought. I’d buried a friend of mine the week before, was still raw with grief. Then a friend at the festival announced he was so stressed he thought he could have a heart attack. I retreated as carefully and undramatically into the night as I could, and wept alone, full of fear and anguish. I was too close to death and loss to be able to think at all, and cried until salt levels were depleted, blood pressure plummeted and I felt dizzy and sick. Somehow I made it back to the campsite. There, in the near darkness, I saw figures coming towards me. At first I thought they were people, then I knew they weren’t. When I walked towards them, they ceased to be there. There was a line of willow trees, the remains of an old hedge, but otherwise the campsite consisted of fields. I could see trees. A huge and ancient forest. Deer, fox and wild boar.

I can’t offer any kind of direct meaning behind any of these experiences, but each has touched me deeply. They give me a sense of there being other things beyond the world as I usually see it. Different layers of reality perhaps.

Pagan Holiday for December 15th, 2009

Pagan Days for Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

Tuesday belongs to Mars, Ares, Tiwaz, Tiw (named after), Tuisco & Tyr

As Tuesday belongs not only to the God Mars, but also to the Planet of Mars, we can toss the Element of Fire into the mix ,and have the makings of a very heated and passionate day!

So if you don’t have anyone to vent those wild emotions out on, don’t fret because you can point them into the direction of matters or magical rituals and spells concerning:

anything having to do with marriage, money or wealth, loyalty, enemies, protection, confidence for yourself or another, and of course, courage!


Today in Ancient times, the Greeks were holding a festival for their Goddess Alcyone.

This also marks the 1st day of the Halcyon Days to come. This is when Peace returns.