Before Changing

From the Papyrus of Ani

Once the world was formless and empty with night until found by the light and filled. Under a moon both dark and bright, man grew half-obscured, while olive branches bent toward the light and roots dug deep in clay darkness. We create ourselves in the forms we imagine. Years pass. We are what we have spoken.

Where there is a road an old man walks thinking, bent under the weight of his soul clinging like a child to his back. Ra spits his words into the dirt where they cover themselves and wait like seeds. The wheat will rise up singing. The old man walks in circles beneath the circling sun. He makes a journey for himself from mewling infant to old man, old man to renewed god.

The snake comes to take his heart, finding there the sun.

Where there is sky Ra goes sailing and dead men rise to meet him, casting no shadow on the roads, but for their souls like thick clouds passing. All the gods are following as teh Great One rolls around, one with the wind, swallowing breezes. Somewhere on a patch of ground a tired ox slavers in the wind, heat dripping from his tongue. The air is cool in the season of planting and a man may be at home in his body. In his house he eats and praises the meat betwwen his teeth. The earth and men are a kind of truth.

A beam of brightest sun falls like a word against the grave. A new man has taken his boat for an afternoon of fishing. The dead dream quietly, counting their bones, turning in their rags toward the city of death--Amentet, the beautiful. They will walk again.

Queen Neffertiti in the Luxor Casino in Las Vegas


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Awakening Osiris: The Egyptian Book of the Dead.
Normandi Ellis (Translator). Phanes Press: Grand Rapids, MI. 1988.
For non-profit educational use only. ISBN 0-933999-74-7
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