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aperture in the western wall, and passing through the opening thus disclosed, mount gently into a kind of grotto, at the bottom of the Well, a square perpendicular shaft with footholes cut in the precipitous sides ; from the top of which a level passage runs to the Queen's Chamber, * that is, the “ Birthplace of Osiris” mentioned in the Ritual, the Chamber of his mother, the Queen of the Pyramid. Returning from the bottom of the Well to the Entrance Passage, and pursuing our course still further downwards, we come, after a short level continuation beyond the bottom of the slope, to a subterranean chamber or abyss. This Insernum is hewn out of the solid rock and roofed over with massive stones ; but the floor is inaccessible, being covered with huge blocks of varying height resembling. a pool of petrified flame, and a small passage opening beyond leads to nothing.
Precisely similar is the progress of the Departed, described in this portion of the Ritual. While the inner man (or “Ka") is renovated in the First Hall of Osiris, the soul new-born, “the mystery made by the gods” being accomplished (LXIV.), comes forth from the Second Hall, the Chamber of Isis, where Osiris was born. Then passing the gate of Anruhf at the head, or northern opening, of the Well, as the gate of Rusta is the southern or lower opening—“the name of the southern gate is Rusta," says the Ritual, “the name of the northern gate is Anruhf”—the soul descends the ladder of the sepulchral shaft, as may be seen in the Papyrus of Ani, into the grotto or Chamber of the Waters at the bottom of the well, the Third Hall in the House of Osiris. In the depths of that Well of Life, wherein, as the Sai-an-Sinsin tells us, approach is made to Osiris, takes place the Regeneration of the Renewed Man (or Ka) by reunion with the new-born soul amid the living waters. "I give the waters of life to every mummy,” says the goddess Nout, who presides over the waters, in the inscription on the vase of Osur-Ur (given in Records of the Past), “to reunite it with the soul, that it may henceforth be separated from it no more for ever. The Resident of the West has established thy person amid the sages of the divine Lower Region”-it will be observed that both the Western position and the Lower Region accord with the position in the Pyramid ; "he giveth stability to thy body, and causeth thy soul not to distance itself from thee. He evoketh the remembrance of thy person, and saveth thy body
* The only authority at present for the title of Queen's Chamber is that of the Arabs ; but it is far from improbable that they obtained it from tradition, and it accords with the papyrus mentioned above.
entirely and for ever.” Here, too, the sacred bark, each portion a living spirit endowed with a mystic name, awaits the Departed, now the Initiate; that saving bark whereby he is to pass the deep waters of death, and to approach securely the Fourth Hall in the House of Osiris, the subterranean abyss, or Place of Ordeal, whence they who cannot endure the fire pass away to nothingness. And from that same well also where he regains his living soul he catches through the opening above his first glimpse of the “ Celestial Nile” (CX.), the river of lise which rises beneath the throne of the Creator, Tum, that river on the waters of which the Immortals move for evermore.
Resuming our exploration of the edifice, and turning back from the Infernum, as the deceased turns back from Hades (CXIX.), we remount the Passage of the Horizon, until we come to a granite gate, or portcullis, built in the roof. This great gate, which originally was totally hidden by masonry, and was only discovered by the falling of a stone when Al Mamoon was forcing his entrance into the Pyramid, stands at the threshold of the Secret Places. Not only was the whole gate carefully hidden, but the lower portion of the passage within was blocked inside with enormous stones, still unremoved, and perhaps irremovable. So that even now the Lintel is still hidden, and admission is only effected through a hole forced by violence in the wall of the passage above the blocks within. With the obstruction of the doorway the experience of the deceased precisely corresponds. “I have come, says he, later on, “through the Hidden Lintel; I have come like the sun, through the Gate of the Festival.” And, after a litany to the celestial intelligences who keep account of the moral actions of mankind, he approaches the difficult portal, and beseeches admission to the Double Hall of Truth, the Chambers of Confession and of Illumination, the Fifth and Sixth Halls in the House of Osiris. Here, as in the material building, so also in the Ritual, resistance is offered at every step to the further advance of the Initiated (CXXV.). "I will not let thce go over me,” says the sill, “ unless you tell me my name." "The weight in the right place is thy name,” is the profound reply of the Initiate.
For, as the raising of the portcullis depends upon the true adjustment of the weight, so also is Justice the virtue without which the upward path remains for ever closed. Creeping with difficulty through a small hole forced in the concealed passage above the blocks, we find ourselves in a low corridor about 129ft. long, inclined upwards (nt an angle of a little more than 26deg. to the level of the Pyramid),
and corresponding to the First Hall of Truth. Then, stooping beneath the low gateway by which it is terminated (but not obstructed) at the top, "the Gate of the Festival,” already mentioned, we stand upon a kind of landing-place, from which the whole system of the interior passages opens out. On every side is the “crossing of the pure roads of life," of which the coffin of Amamu speaks. On the western side is the mouth of the well, “the Gate of Anruhf,” leading down to the "roads of darkness." Before us lie the Fields of Aahlu, the blessed country where the Justified executes the works which he is privileged to perform for Osiris. “I have digged in Anruhf,” he says later on ;" I have drilled the holes”—the holes, that is, for the good seed which shall bear fruit in the King's Chamber, where the corn grows "seven cubits high," the holes which we shall see are drilled in the ramps of the Southern Ascending Passage, but to which no signification has yet been attached.
Beyond the fields the road leads direct to the Hall of New Birth, where the soul received her second life in the chamber of Isis, the mother of Osiris, the incarnate Deity dwelling in the House or Humanity. From the entrance, too, of the passage diverge the interior ladders spoken of on the ancient coffin of Amamu (the “ladder of the earth” having been already ascended outside the building). Sheer downwards, “the ladder which has been made for Osiris” descends into the Well. Northwards the Passage of Justification slopes to the Hidden Lintel. And southwards, still upward, but with a very slightly different inclination, runs the Southern Ascending Passage, called by some writers the Grand Gallery, forming the upper portion of the Hall of Truth, the Chamber of the Orbit, or Sixth Hall in the House of Osiris. This remarkable structure consists of a corridor about 158ft. long and 20ft. high, built entirely on a slope, floor, walls, and roof, except a small portion at the southern or upper end. On either side of the sloping floor are twenty-eight ramps, each with a hole in it, the reference to which in the Ritual has been already noticed. And at the upper end the slope of the floor line is closed abruptly just above the Queen's Chamber (or Hall of New Birth) by a block three feet high forming a dais, or throne of judgment. From hence the top of the block, or seat of the throne, runs level for about sixty-one inches; the wall at the side of the seat thus formed being not quite vertical, but impending very slightly towards the slope. At the back of the throne the gallery is brought to a termination by the southern wall closing down within forty-two inches of the seat, and VOL. IX.-No. 55.
leaving as an exit further south a narrow and grave-like tunnel. In the sloping roof of the gallery running upward from north to south, at a somewhat greater inclination than the floor, are thirty-six overlappings, corresponding to the number of decades in the orbit of the Egyptian year. And on the side wall of the daïs (at the upper end of the gallery) are five cusps, one above another, marking the birthdays of the five deities which terminated the orbit, while the crowning Jubilee of the Leap Year is masonified in the throne to which the whole ascent leads up immediately above the Chamber of New Birth. Finally (though there are other correspondences of a similar character, upon which it would be too long to enter), along the sloping walls are seven overlappings, one above another, arching over to the summit, and in the position corresponding to that occupied by our own globe among the planets runs a deep groove, or orbit, along its entire length. Thus we are confronted with a startling connection between the "Orbit” or “Passage of the Sun," which plays so prominent a part in the Ritual, and the “Chamber of the Seven Rayed,” mentioned in the same sacred writings; the Chamber, that is, of the “ seven great spirits in the service of their Lord, the Creator, who," the same books tell us,“ protect the coffin of Osiris,"—the Hall of the Orbit crowned by the seven-fold radiance of supreme Intelligences who overarch the splendour of creation.
A burst of triumph greets the adept as, mounting the Ascent of Justification, he accomplishes the Passage of the Sun (CXXVI.) and approaches the Chamber of the Orbit, the Hall of Illumination. deceased,” we read (CXXVII.), “ passes through the Gate of the Gateway. Prepare ye his hall when he comes. Justify his words against the accusers. There is given to him the food of the gods of the Gate. There has been made for him the crown which belongs to him as the dweller in the Secret Place.” In another place the Justified himself exclaims, “I have opened the gate of Heaven and earth” (at the junction of the Passages of Orbit and of Equinox). "The soul of Osiris rests there. I cross through the halls. No defect or evil is found in me." And once more the deceased prays that he may pass this hall. “Place me before thee, O Lord of Eternity. Hail, dweller of the West, good Being, Lord of Abydos. Let me pass the roads of darkness; let me follow thy servants in the gate."
A similar note of exultation marks the passage in the Sai-an-Sinsir where we read of the great Tribunal and the House of Light. “Thou comest into the House of God with much purity,” exclaim the mourners, addressing the Departed. “The gods have abundantly purified thee in the great tribunal. Thou art not shut out of Heaven: thy body is renewed in the presence of Osiris. Thou hast not been shut out from the house of Glory. Thou seest the path of beauty, completing every transformation which thou desirest." And the ancient coffin o Amamu bore on the outside this inscription, full of desire and hope, “ An act of homage to Anup, who passes the deceased over the distant paths, the fairest of the Karneter—" that is, the land of the holy dead. "Thine eyes,” say our own sacred writings, "shall see the King in his beauty; they shall behold the land that is very far off.”
Shortly beyond the Hall of the Orbit the structure changes its material to granite, forming as it were a house of itself within the Pyramid—the House of Light within the House of Osiris, entered by the grave-like passage behind the throne. This is the House of Glory described on the coffin so often quoted, the house to which the illuminated soul approaches after passing the tribunal of Osiris. Here is the "gate of the pure spirits," which they alone can enter who are washed in the waters of Life, and radiant with the splendours of the Orbit. And here apparently takes place the solemn address described in the Sai-an-Sinsin of the gods in the House of Osiris (called in the Ritual the gods of the Horizon), followed by the response of the gods in the House of Glory. And straight on the Illuminate passes through the low channel, first into the beautiful ante-chamber or “ Flace of Preparation,” and then onward by the same low passage—each portion of which has a distinctive festival enumerated in the Book of the Dead-to the goal of his migration, the Seventh Hall in the House of Osiris, with its four portcullises and its open sarcophagus. Awake, awake, Osiris,” so sing the mourners to the beloved Departed, now glorious in the House of Light, and united indissolubly with the divine Being, “awake ; see what thy son Horus hath done for thee. See what thy father Seb hath done for thee. Raised is the Osiris.” Again, in the final chapter of the Ritual (that of the Orientation) allusion is made both to the portcuilises and to the sarcophagus or coffer. “I have opened the doors,” says the Osiris-soul, “I have opened the doors.
Well is the Great One who is in the Coffer. For all the dead shall have passages made to him through their embalming." “Now he is a god," the same chapter continues. “ His place is protected from the millions of fires. O Ammon-Ammon, the Ammon who art in Heaven. Give thy face to the body of thy son. Make him well in Hades. It is finished.”