Necromancy: Shadows Talking – Part 1a

Saturday, May 7th, 2016

 

Did you ever read stories like J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan or Hans Christian Anderson’s The Shadow as a child? Do you know what they have in common? They both told of shadows who seemed to have a mind of their own. They left their owners at night to scout and do all sorts of amazing things. Why would I bring up children’s tales in reference to necromancy?

I was recently playing with my son when it dawned on me. I’ve been noticing lately that he’s been crying a few times while fearfully staring at the wall or certain points on the ceiling. I was trying to figure out what could be wrong when it hit me: He was scared of his shadow! If you think about it, at one point or another we all were afraid of our own shadow. It is the darkness that always follows us. It mimics us, but often in strange or distorted ways. It can stretch, grow or shrink; changing its form as the mood takes it. This fear of our other, dark self-has existed since the dawn of humanity. Even now the concept still holds a strong fascination.

*Note: I’m going to be paraphrasing from Wiki, Book of the Dead and PGM here, so please forgive me. I wanted to get the idea across and straight to the point.

The ancient Egyptians believed that the soul of a person was composed of five elements: the Ren (name), the Ba (the soul), the Ka (life force), the Sheut (shadow), and the Ib (heart). The Ba (soul) was everything that made a person unique. It was the personality that passed on along with the Ka (life spark) into the afterlife. You know how certain people have out-of-body-experiences? This is your Ba astrally traveling while your body dreams.

The ancient Egyptians believed the Ka (soul double) could only be sustained with food and drink. For this reason, food and drink were presented to the dead. Although the dead could no longer consume the physical aspect, the Ka of the offerings could be. The heart was believed to be the most vital since it was the key to the afterlife. They believed the heart survived after death and gave testimony at the Weighing of the Hearts Ceremony.

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Anubis (a death god) would be the examiner of the heart and place it on the scales. If the heart was heavier than the feather of Maat (truth), it would be devoured by the monster Ammit (soul-eater). Your name (Ren), it was believed to live as long as it is remembered. The ancient Egyptians, therefore, made it their business to put their ancestors on prayers to inscriptions with lists of their achievements.

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And finally the Sheut, or a person’s shadow. The shadow is always present. It is impossible to exist without one and vice-versa. The ancients surmised that it, therefore, contained a bit of that person and contributed to their being. A person’s shadow could be detached and captured. Shadow boxes with magical inscriptions were created for the Pharaohs to help protect their shadows from harm at night for just this purpose. A person’s shadow could travel at great distances very fast and had protective powers. It could haunt an enemy, give them nightmares, cause insanity or worse. Statues of gods and humans were sometimes referred to as their shadows.

In the Book of the Dead, spells #91,#92, and #188 were used to preserve the Sheut:

THE CHAPTER OF NOT LETTING THE SOUL OF A MAN BE HELD CAPTIVE IN KHERT- NETER. The Osiris Ani saith:- Hail, thou who art exalted! Hail, thou who art adored! Hail, Mighty One of Souls, thou divine Soul who inspirest great dread, who dost set the fear of thyself in the gods, who are enthroned upon thy mighty seat. Make thou a path for the Spirit-soul and the Ba-soul of the Osiris Ani. I am equipped with [words of power]. I am a Spirit-soul equipped with [words of power]. I have made my way to the place where are Ra and Hathor.

RUBRIC: If this Chapter be known by the deceased he shall be able to transform himself into a Spirit-soul who shall be equipped with [his soul and his shadow] in Khert-Neter, and he shall not be shut up inside any door in Amentet, when he is coming forth upon the Earth, or when he is going back into [Khert-Neter.]

THE CHAPTER OF OPENING THE TOMB TO THE BA-SOUL AND THE SHADOW, AND OF COMING FORTH BY DAY, AND OF HAVING MASTERY OVER THE TWO LEGS. The Osiris the scribe Ani, whose word is truth, saith:- The place which is closed is opened, the place which is shut (or sealed) is sealed. That which lieth down in the closed place is opened by the Ba-soul which is in it. By the Eye of Horus I am delivered. Ornaments are established on the brow of Ra. My stride is made long. I lift up my two thighs [in walking]. I have journeyed over a long road. My limbs are in a flourishing condition. I am Horus, the Avenger of his Father, and I bring the Urrt Crown [and set it on] its standard. The road of souls is opened. My twin soul seeth the Great God in the Boat of Ra, on the day of souls. My soul is in the front thereof with the counter of the years. Come, the Eye of Horus hath delivered for me my soul, my ornaments are established on the brow of Ra. Light is on the faces of those who are in the members of Osiris. Ye shall not hold captive my soul. Ye shall not keep in durance my shadow. The way is open to my soul and to my shadow. It seeth the Great God in the shrine on the day of counting souls. It repeateth the words of Osiris. Those whose seats are invisible, who fetter the members of Osiris, who fetter Heart-souls and Spirit-souls, who set a seal upon the dead, and who would do evil to me, shall do no evil to me. Haste on the way to me. Thy heart is with thee. My Heart-soul and my Spirit-soul are equipped; they guide thee. I sit down at the head of the great ones who are chiefs of their abodes. The wardens of the members of Osiris shall not hold thee captive, though they keep ward over souls, and set a seal on the shadow which is dead. Heaven shall not shut thee in.

RUBRIC: If this Chapter is known by the deceased he shall come forth by day, and his soul shall not be kept captive.

APPENDIX (From the Papryus of Nebseni, Sheet 6)

That which was shut hath been opened [that is] the dead. That which was shut fast hath been opened by the command of the Eye of Horus, which hath delivered me. Established are the beauties on the forehead of Ra. My steps are long. My legs are lifted up. I have performed the journey, my members are mighty and are sound. I am Horus, the Avenger of his Father. I am he who bringeth along his father, and his mother, by means of his staff. The way shall be opened to him that hath power over his feet, and he shall see the Great God in the Boat of Ra, when souls are counted therein at the bows, and when the years also are counted up. Grant that the Eye of Horus, which maketh the adornments of splendor to be firm on the forehead of Ra, may deliver

my soul for me, and let the darkness cover your faces, O ye who would imprison Osiris. O keep not captive my soul. O keep not ward over my shadow, but let a way be opened for my soul and my shadow, and let them see the Great God in the shrine on the day of the counting of souls, and let them hold converse with Osiris, whose habitations are hidden, and those who guard the members of Osiris, and who keep ward over the Spirit-souls, and who hold captive the shadows of the dead, and who would work evil against me, so that they shall [not] work evil against me. A way shall be for KA with thee, and thy soul shall be prepared by those who keep ward over the members of Osiris, and who hold captive the shadows of the dead. Heaven shall not keep thee fast, the earth shall not hold thee captive. Thou shalt not live with the beings who slay, but thou shalt be master of thy legs, and thou shalt advance to thy body straightway in the earth, [and to] those who belong to the shrine of Osiris and guard his members.

THE CHAPTER OF NOT LETTING THE SOUL OF A MAN BE HELD CAPTIVE IN KHERT- NETER. The Osiris Ani saith:- Hail, thou who art exalted! Hail, thou who art adored! Hail, Mighty One of Souls, thou divine Soul who inspirest great dread, who dost set the fear of thyself in the gods, who are enthroned upon thy mighty seat. Make thou a path for the Spirit-soul and the Ba-soul of the Osiris Ani. I am equipped with [words of power]. I am a Spirit-soul equipped with [words of power]. I have made my way to the place where are Ra and Hathor.

RUBRIC: If this Chapter be known by the deceased he shall be able to transform himself into a Spirit-soul who shall be equipped with [his soul and his shadow] in Khert-Neter, and he shall not be shut up inside any door in Amentet, when he is coming forth upon the Earth, or when he is going back into [Khert-Neter.]

THE CHAPTER OF OPENING THE TOMB TO THE BA-SOUL AND THE SHADOW, AND OF COMING FORTH BY DAY, AND OF HAVING MASTERY OVER THE TWO LEGS. The Osiris the scribe Ani, whose word is truth, saith:- The place which is closed is opened, the place which is shut (or sealed) is sealed. That which lieth down in the closed place is opened by the Ba-soul which is in it. By the Eye of Horus I am delivered. Ornaments are established on the brow of Ra. My stride is made long. I lift up my two thighs [in walking]. I have journeyed over a long road. My limbs are in a flourishing condition. I am Horus, the Avenger of his Father, and I bring the Urrt Crown [and set it on] its standard. The road of souls is opened. My twin soul seeth the Great God in the Boat of Ra, on the day of souls. My soul is in the front thereof with the counter of the years. Come, the Eye of Horus hath delivered for me my soul, my ornaments are established on the brow of Ra. Light is on the faces of those who are in the members of Osiris. Ye shall not hold captive my soul. Ye shall not keep in durance my shadow. The way is open to my soul and to my shadow. It seeth the Great God in the shrine on the day of counting souls. It repeateth the words of Osiris. Those whose seats are invisible, who fetter the members of Osiris, who fetter Heart-souls and Spirit-souls, who set a seal upon the dead, and who would do evil to me, shall do no evil to me. Haste on the way to me. Thy heart is with thee. My Heart-soul and my Spirit-soul are equipped; they guide thee. I sit down at the head of the great ones who are chiefs of their abodes. The wardens of the members of Osiris shall not hold thee captive, though they keep ward over souls, and set a seal on the shadow which is dead. Heaven shall not shut thee in.

RUBRIC: If this Chapter is known by the deceased he shall come forth by day, and his soul shall not be kept captive.

APPENDIX (From the Papryus of Nebseni, Sheet 6)

That which was shut hath been opened [that is] the dead. That which was shut fast hath been opened by the command of the Eye of Horus, which hath delivered me. Established are the beauties on the forehead of Ra. My steps are long. My legs are lifted up. I have performed the journey, my members are mighty and are sound. I am Horus, the Avenger of his Father. I am he who bringeth along his father, and his mother, by means of his staff. The way shall be opened to him that hath power over his feet, and he shall see the Great God in the Boat of Ra, when souls are counted therein at the bows, and when the years also are counted up. Grant that the Eye of Horus, which maketh the adornments of splendor to be firm on the forehead of Ra, may deliver

my soul for me, and let the darkness cover your faces, O ye who would imprison Osiris. O keep not captive my soul. O keep not ward over my shadow, but let a way be opened for my soul and my shadow, and let them see the Great God in the shrine on the day of the counting of souls, and let them hold converse with Osiris, whose habitations are hidden, and those who guard the members of Osiris, and who keep ward over the Spirit-souls, and who hold captive the shadows of the dead, and who would work evil against me, so that they shall [not] work evil against me. A way shall be for KA with thee, and thy soul shall be prepared by those who keep ward over the members of Osiris, and who hold captive the shadows of the dead. Heaven shall not keep thee fast, the earth shall not hold thee captive. Thou shalt not live with the beings who slay, but thou shalt be master of thy legs, and thou shalt advance to thy body straightway in the earth, [and to] those who belong to the shrine of Osiris and guard his members.

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If a person managed to preserve all five elements, he would become an Akh – spirit with special magical abilities and allowed to live with the gods. Ancient Egyptians would write letters to the dead (specifically the enlightened ancestors who reached Akh status) for divine intervention in their lives. They would leave the letters at ancestral burial sites since they were considered direct spiritual portals to the underworld. These necromantic portals were accessible both ways. The dead could travel to the living and the living vice-versa.

Since the shadow is part of the soul of a person or thing, any magics that involved manipulating said shadows were considered unnatural and part of the necromantic arts. Since shadows were not bound to the grave, they could go anywhere. Shadows all belong to Anubis though. They must return to the afterlife to serve him. Those that do not, wander the earth. This myth is probably the earliest explanation for Shadow People/Folk/Men sightings.

Here we have an excerpt from the Greek Magical Papyri giving us instruction how to awaken, summon and feed your shadowy servitor.

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Basically, if you go to the middle of a field at 6:00 AM to make a specific offering to your shadow, you can supposedly contact your shadow spirit self and bind it to do your will. It doesn’t specify what astrological day/timing to perform the ritual, but personally, I would do it on a Sunday (given the connection to the sun) and dedicate it to Ra. As for getting up at the crack of dawn, my inner “La Madama” is yelling “Ain’t no one got time for that!” But maybe that’s just me.

Would you want to be like Peter Pan, sending your shadow ahead to work for you?

Comment and let me know what you think!

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