THE Boat of AFU-RA, leaving the abode of the SOULS OF THE TUAT, now enters that of the BAIU-SHETAIU, or the "SECRET SOULS," and we find that a change has taken place as regards the crew. The goddess of the hour called TENT-BAIU has taken charge of the Boat, a hawk-headed god acts as steersman, and the number of the other gods is reduced to four. The region now entered by Afu-Ra is called NET-NEB-UA-KHEPER-AUT, and it is 309 (or 480) atru or leagues in length, and 120 in width; it is, in fact, a continuation of the domains of Osiris, and in it is the House of Tet wherein the great god of the dead himself dwells. The Boat of AFU-RA is preceded by three boats (vol. i., pp. 45-47) of a mystical character, containing hawk-gods, and mummied forms of gods who are akin to Osiris. Facing the boats are four forms of Osiris, with their arms and hands covered. Having arrived in this Division, AFU-RA cries out to its god, Osiris, who straightway creates these secret boats and sends them
to bring AFU-RA to the place where he is. The abode of Osiris is situated on the NET-ASAR i.e., the "Stream of Osiris," a name given to the river of the Tuat in the THIRD DIVISION, and it is at the head of this river that the throne of Osiris rests according to some copies of the Theban Recension of the Book of the Dead. The inhabitants who are seen on both banks of the stream are called PERTIU, and they live on lands which have been allotted to them by Afu-Ra; in return for these they serve Osiris and defend him from the attacks of all his enemies. As the boat in which AFU-RA stands and the three other boats move on, the gods on the banks move with them and guard them, and when they have escorted the great god to the end of their territory, they return to their old places and await his coming on the following night.
On the right of AFU-RA are twenty-six gods, and of these eight are forms of Osiris, four of Osiris of the North, and four of Osiris of the South; all are under the rule of KHETRA, who is the "Warder of this Field" (vol. i., p. 60), but it is only when they hear the words of AFU-RA that they come to life. The work which they do in this region is to hew and hack souls in pieces, to imprison the shadows of the dead, and to carry out the sentence of death on those who are doomed to destruction in a place of fire; they cause fires to come into being, and flames to burst forth on the wicked.
[paragraph continues] Now in this case also the beings who are doomed to be burned in a place specially set apart for this purpose cannot be of the number of the gods who protect Osiris, for they were created by Ra to serve this god in this Division of the Tuat, and to attend upon himself as he made his journey through it each day! They must, then, be the dead of olden time who have reached this Division, but who through want of friends and relatives upon earth to make proper and sufficient offerings daily, or through some other cause, have failed to find nourishment and have perished in consequence. The realm of Osiris had to be cleared of such beings, and the gods whose duty it was to protect him destroyed them with fire. We may note, too, that in this Division the shadows and souls of the dead were supposed to wander about, and though we do not know how they arrived there, or exactly why they failed to please Osiris, it is quite certain that they were regarded as a danger to the god, and destroyed in consequence.
On the left of AFU-RA stands a row of deities (vol. i. p. 50 ff.), some wholly in animal forms, who appear to have taken part in the burial ceremonies which were performed for Osiris; the exact functions of many of them are unknown, and the names of certain of them are not found elsewhere. According to the text these gods are clothed with their own bodies of flesh, and their souls speak from them, and their shadows are joined to them. Having been addressed by
they sing praises to the god, and when he has passed from their Division they, as well as the gods on the right of the BOAT, lift up their voices and weep. In return for the lands which were given them by Osiris, in the possession of which they were confirmed by AFU-RA, these gods have certain duties to perform, viz., to take vengeance upon the fiend SEBA, to make Nu to come into being, and to cause HAPI to flow. From this it appears that SEBA possessed at times power over Nu, that is to say, the great celestial watery mass which was the source of the river NILE in Egypt; to destroy this fiend was all-important, for without water the inhabitants of the Tuat could not live, and the cessation of the flow of the NILE would cause the ruin and death of the people of Egypt. It is interesting to note the connexion of the NILE with the chief domain of Osiris, and it is, no doubt, a reminiscence of the period in the history of the god when he was a water-god. A knowledge of the beings in these pictures and of the texts of this DIVISION was considered of very great importance for the deceased, for, knowing their forms and their names, he would not be terrified by their "roarings," and would not in his haste to escape from them fall headlong into their pits. In this DIVISION of the Tuat we see that AFU-RA was absolute master, and that he is made to create its inhabitants to serve Osiris, and Khenti-Amenti, and himself, and to allot to them places to dwell in, and food to keep them alive. When he withdraws his light from them they
weep, and sink into a state of inertness to await his return on the following day.