It is from these "Magic Calabashes" that derives the idea of the Canopic jars used by the Egyptians. It is interesting to note that the star Canopus was the (Southern) Pole Star some 14,000 years ago. Who else but the fabled Atlanteans could be navigating the outer oceans by means of Celestial Navigation and of advanced instruments such as the Magic Calabashes and Canopic Jars? How could the Egyptians and other ancient peoples know that Canopus was once the Pole Star, in times so far past? Why, if not for this reason, was the star Canopus so closely associated with Atlas and Osiris, the personifications of the "Pillar (or "Pole") of the World"?
In Greece, the equivalent of the Egyptian
Pylons of Paradise corresponded to the Pillars of Hercules, the impassable
Gates of Paradise. The title of the
Egyptian Book of the Dead
Reu Nut Pert Em Heru (or "Spells for [Safely] Crossing into
the Realm of Light") also embodies the radix
per- (with the addition
that marks the feminine gender in Egyptian).
This mysterious book of the Egyptians is
in reality a recipe for crossing safely into Paradise (Duat or Amenti, the
Egyptian Realm of the Dead). And the trip is done in the Solar Barque,
which safely crosses through the mysterious place after passing the Gateway
(or Pylon) that corresponds to the Pillars of Hercules in Egyptian myth.
The soul of the deceased joins the company of the gods under the figure
of Osiris, with whom he becomes identified after death.
vignettes of the
Egyptian Book of the Dead show in detail the perils
of the crossing into the
Sekhet-Hetepet (or "Fields of Peace"),
the Egyptian equivalent of the Elysian Fields, where the worthy spend their
eternal life hunting, fishing and "banqueting in cakes and beer". One such
is Fig. 6, which shows the deceased in the Solar Boat crossing into the
Sequet-hetepet in the company of two gods, Ra and the Benu bird. The deceased
is pushing the boat with a pole. Here, the deceased explicitly represents the Pharaoh in his role of Osiris as the Barger of Paradise; as Canopus, the Pilot of the Argos Ship (the Ark).
Fig. 7 is shown the arrival of the deceased in the Sekhet-hetepet, in the
manner of a "comic strip". In the upper strip, the deceased and his wife
are before two gods. Next, they ride the Solar Boat, crossing into the
Field of Peace. In the second strip, they get into the place, characterized
by the enormous reeds that give it its other name of Field of Reeds (Sekhet-aaru).
Next, the deceased ploughs the two sides of a field crossed by a river.
The final strip shows the Solar Boat anchored in a canal.
The region is divided in three sections
by two further canals. In one of these are the gods, crouching. The two
pairs of omphaloi represent the two pylons or gates of Paradise. The four
ovals in the extreme right correspond to four lakes; the two birds are
Benus. The boat carries a staircase with seven stairs. The seven stairs
and the seven sections of the region, wholly surrounded by canals confirms
the identity with the seven Islands of the Blest (or Elysium) of Greek
traditions. The boat is the one in which the deceased couple crossed into
the paradisial place.
Fig.8 is shown the first Aat ("Division") of Sekhet-Aaru. In this figure it is
shown isolated, but in others it is shown annexed to the other divisions of the Egyptian Paradise.