Saturday, May 15, 2021
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E.A. Wallis Budge: The Book of the Dead

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Author: E.A. Wallis Budge
Title: The Book of the Dead
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Gramercy Books
Rated: * * * * *

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Listed as: "Fascinating compendium of ancient Egyptian mythology, religious beliefs and magical practices. Includes spells, incantations, hymns, magical formulas and prayers. All explained by one of the most knowledgeable and respected Egyptologists of the early 20th century. B&W illustrations, photographs and hieroglyphics throughout. 704 pages." "E.A. Wallis Budge was the Curator of Egyptian and Assyrian Antiquities at the British Museum from 1894 to 1924. Along with his post at the British Museum, he was a Sometime Scholar of Christ’s College, a scholar at the University of Cambridge, Tyrwhitt, and a Hebrew Scholar. Best known for his numerous translatory works, Budge collected a large number of Coptic, Greek, Arabic, Syriac, Ethiopian, and Egyptian Papyri manuscripts. He was also involved in numerous archaeology digs in Egypt, Mesopotamia and the Sudan. Budge is perhaps best known for translating The Egyptian Book of The Dead (also known as The Papyrus of Ani), as well as analyzing many of the practices of Egyptian religion, language and ritual. Of his written works, Budge made the first books oriented toward students of hieroglyphics. They consisted of translated texts and hieroglyphs, as well as a complete dictionary of hieroglyphs. In addition, his published works cover areas of Egyptian culture reaching from Egyptian religion, to Egyptian mythology, and magical practices. Budge was knighted in 1920. He died November 23, 1934 in London, England." ~ While some scholars suggest Budge's translations are flawed it seems to me that it is only because he entertained more esoteric perspectives in some of his other writings though he is highly acclaimed in more metaphysical circles. However, not being learned in translating Egyptian myself I cannot say and I have not yet read any other translations of this text. However, that being said I found the book overall very interesting and have discovered many points of historic and esoteric reference which seem relevant. Personally I think one can only comprehend even a portion of the meaning behind the text if you have researched some of the esoteric doctrines, otherwise it's just a bunch of meaningless jibberish and repetitive lines with unusual name references and unusual practices. However, even with some previous research leading me here I do find the constant trading of gods and powers to be slightly disconcerting. What is most disconcerting to me is that there are segments where the author sites how interesting another segment of text is from another document that is basically of similar writing but where the segment in question differs and he prints the heiroglyphic version without translation. Thus, anyone who is not learning in translating heiroglyphs remains in the 'dark' about what he's trying to clue us into. Personally I find the Egyptian texts all very long and drawn out and repetitive yet intrigueing at the same time. This is definitely not for anyone who does not take specific interest in Egytology for either historic or esoteric reasons. It would bore you stiff. However, for those who do find that interesting, or who have found their paths leading them here you will likely find many useful references buried within these pages that will at the very least work as confirmation of prior experiences or comprehension or may even be enlightening on varying levels. My favorite part is The Chamber of Torture which speaks much of The Watchers. Anyone curious about The Watchers of Enoch or UFO theories will find this interesting: "Deliver thou...from the Watchers, who carry murderous knives, who possess cruel fingers, and who would slay those who are in the following of Osiris...May their knives never gain mastery over me. May I never fall under the knives wherewith they inflict cruel tortures...The sinner who walketh over this place falleth down among the knives [of the Watchers]...Deliver thou...from the Watchers who pass sentences of doom, who have been appointed by the god Nebertcher to protect him, and to fasten the fetters on his foes and who slaughter in the torture chambers; there is no escape from their fingers. May they never stab me with their knives, may I never fall helpless into their chambers of torture." I'll let you ponder that one on your own. However, when it comes to the ancient spirituality of the Egyptians one must remember they were not polytheistic sun worshippers afterall but pantheistic monists who had esoteric doctrines about natural things like the sun.


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