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Book of the Dead exhibition opens today

This post was written by Elysia
on November 4, 2010 | Comments (0)

I noticed an interesting article in the travel section of USA Today about an exhibit opening at the British Museum in London today, running through March. It guides visitors through the famed Egyptian “Book of the Dead.” USA Today reports:

A major new exhibition at the British Museum hopes to shed new light on the book, which was not a single volume, but a series of spells and illustrations inked onto papyrus scrolls and designed to help the dead make the perilous journey to the afterlife.

So I headed over to the British Museum website to find out a little more about the exhibit. According to their main page on the exhibition:

Many of the examples of the Book of the Dead in the exhibition have never been seen before, and many are from the British Museum’s unparalleled collection. These beautifully illustrated spells on papyrus and linen were used for over 1,000 years, and the oldest examples are over 3,500 years old.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see these fascinating and fragile objects on display.

In addition to the unique works on papyrus and linen, superbly crafted funerary figurines (shabtis), amulets, jewelry, statues and coffins illustrate the many stages of the journey from death to the afterlife, including the day of burial, protection in the tomb, judgment, and entering the hereafter.

So if you’re planning a visit to London sometime this winter, it sounds like an amazing museum to visit. If not, the website also features a minute-and-a-half-long video summarizing the exhibit, though I’m sure it can’t compare to seeing these treasures in real life. In fact, on display in its entirety for the first time will be the longest Book of the Dead in the world, the Greenfield Papyrus, measuring 121 feet in length.

If you’re not able to travel to London but crave some Egypt-related exhibits, see if the exhibit on King Tut will be stopping in an area near you. It’s currently in Denver and New York City, and in February will move to St. Paul, MN. In April, it heads to Melbourne, Australia.

book coverOr… do some armchair travelling! We currently have two recent books that involve pathworking and meditation with the Egyptian deities: one is Pathworking with the Egyptian Gods by Judith Page and Jan A. Malique, and the other is The Inner Guide to Egypt by Alan Richardson. In Richardson’s book you’ll be actually traveling down the Nile river in a mystical Henu boat. Both books will help you connect with your own authentic spirituality, with help from the Egyptian neters. If you’re new to all of this and would rather take a step back first to get an overview, check out Egyptian Paganism for Beginners.

book coverOr, if it’s the Book of the Dead itself that captivates you, turn to Michelle Belanger’s “postmodern Book of the Dead,” Walking the Twilight Path. In it she compares the Egyptian and Tibetan books of the dead and shamanic lore and breaks it all down into exercises and journaling prompts that will gradually enable you to walk between worlds. (It also has great cemetery photos!) This is a wonderful choice as the wheel turns to the Dark Half of the year, and we feel the need to do some internal explorations of our own. Remember that you can use our Browse Inside function to get a better look at any book on our website.

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