This DIVISION, or HOUR, or CIRCLE, as it is described in the text, is called AMENT, and it contains the secret ways, and the doors of the hidden chamber of the holy place of the Land of SEKER, and his flesh, and his members, and his body, in the forms which they had in primeval times; the main gate is called AHA-NETERU, the gods are called BAIU-AMMIU-TUAT, and the goddess of the HOUR is SEMIT-HER-ABT-UAA-S. The Boat of AFU-RA is towed by seven gods and seven goddesses, and is preceded by a few gods who are led by Isis (vol. i., pp. 87, 91, 95, 99, 100, 107, 111); the texts make it clear that AFU-RA continues his journey by the help of KHEPERA. The corridor of RE-STAU through which he travels now bends upwards, and passing by
the secret abode of SEKER, by which it is hidden, once more descends to its former level. The Land of Seker is in the form of an elongated ellipse, and is enclosed by a wall of sand; it rests upon the backs of two man-headed sphinxes, each of which is called AF and lives upon the voice, or word, of the great god. The duty of these is to guard the Image of Seker. The form in which this god is depicted is that of a hawk-headed man, who stands between a pair of wings that project from the back of a huge serpent having two heads and necks, and a tail terminating in a bearded human head. The Land of Seker is covered by a pyramid having its apex in the form of the head of a goddess, and above it is the vault of night, from which emerges the Beetle of KHEPERA When the Boat of AFU-RA comes to the pyramid, the Beetle ceases to converse with the goddess of the apex, whose duty it is to pass on its words to SEKER, and betakes itself to the Boat, and begins the revivification of AFU-RA, who is led on without delay to the end of RE-STAU, where he is received by the MORNING STAR and the light of a new day.
The IMAGE of Seker, which has been described above, lives in thick darkness, and any light which is seen there proceeds from the "eyes of the heads of the great god whose flesh sendeth forth light," and the god himself lives upon the offerings which are made to the god TEMU upon earth. When AFU-RA has passed by in his boat there is heard in the Land of
[paragraph continues] Seker a mighty noise which is like unto that heard in the heights of heaven when they are disturbed by a storm. On one side of the Land of Seker is the serpent TEPAN (vol. i., p. 95), which presents to the god the offerings made to him daily; on the other is the serpent ANKHAAPAU, which lives upon its own fire, and remains always on guard. Close by are the emblems of the various forms of Seker. Behind the serpent TEPAN is a lake of boiling water, from which project the heads of those who are being boiled therein. This lake or stream is called NETU, and it is situated in the region of the kingdom of Seker which is called AMMAHET, the unfortunate beings who are in the boiling water weep when the Boat of AFU-RA has passed them by.
The gods who stand on the other side of the corridor through which AFU-RA passes are all invoked by him, and they all are assumed to help him on his way, not because they are in duty bound to do so, but because he acknowledged their power by asking their help. Some of them he appealed to because he had created them, but others are manifestly the servants of Seker, and their duty it was to guard his kingdom. A number of them are gods who were set over the waters which lay in the northern part of the DIVISION, and it was all important for AFU-RA to have their friendly help when he left the back of the serpent and rejoined his own boat. In one portion of the region to the left of AFU-RA
we see the HETEP-NETERU, i.e., a company of eight prods, and the goddess QETET-TENT; the work of these gods is to be present at the destruction of the dead in the Tuat, and to consume their bodies by the flames which they emit from their mouths, and the goddess lives partly on the blood of the dead, and partly on what the gods give her. These gods are provided with blocks on which they cut in pieces the dead, and when they are not thus employed they sing hymns to their god, to the accompaniment of the shaking of sistra; they exist by virtue of the word of power which they have received, and their souls have been given to them (vol. i., p. 110). The dead who are here referred to are those who have succeeded in entering the dread realm of Seker, but who, for want of the influence over the gods there, which could only be obtained by sacrifices and offerings made upon earth, and by the knowledge of mighty words of power, were unable to proceed to the abode of Seker.
When they arrived in the AMMAHET, some of them were cast into a lake of liquid fire, or of boiling water, and others were first cut in pieces, and then consumed by fire. Thus there is no doubt that there was a hell of fire in the kingdom of Seker, and that the tortures of mutilation and destruction by fire were believed to be reserved for the wicked. Of the rewards of the righteous in this kingdom we have no knowledge whatsoever, and it seems as if the scheme of the Other World of Seker made no provision for the beatified
dead; at all events, it provided for them no fertile fields like the Sekhet-Hetepet of Osiris, and no Boat of Millions of Years wherein as beings of light they could travel in the company of the Sun-god for ever. The religion of Seker proclaimed that the god lived in impenetrable darkness, in a region of sand, closely guarded by terrible monster serpents, and it had little in it to induce the worshippers of the god to wish to be with him after their departure from this world. The cult Of SEKER is one of the oldest in Egypt, and in its earliest form it, no doubt, represents the belief as to the future life of some of the most primitive inhabitants of the country; in fact, it must have originated at a period when some influential body of priests taught that death was the end of all things, and when snakes and bulls were the commonest forms under which the gods of the neighbourhood of Memphis were worshipped. The oldest presentment of the Land of Seker which we have is, of course, not older than the XVIIIth or XIXth Dynasty, and it must be remembered that it is the work of the priests of Thebes, who would be certain to remove any texts, figures, or details which they found inconvenient for their views. It is tolerably certain that the form in which they depicted it is much shorter than that in which it existed originally, and that the attributes and duties of many of the gods have been changed to suit the necessities of the cults of Osiris and Amen-Ra. Such changes have resulted in great confusion, and at the present time it is impossible
to reduce these most interesting, but at the same time most difficult, scenes and texts to their original forms. The priests of Amen-Ra found it to be impossible to ignore entirely SEKER and his Land, when they were depicting the various Underworlds of Egypt, but it is very suggestive that they make the path of AFU-RA to be over and not through his kingdom, and that AFU-RA had to go on his way without entering the pyramid beneath which reposed the IMAGE of SEKER in the deepest darkness of night, in fact without seeing SEKER at all. On the other hand, they attached the greatest importance to the knowledge of the pictures of the FOURTH and FIFTH DIVISIONS, and they believed that it would enable the body of a man to rejoin his soul, and prevent the goddess KHEMIT, from hacking it in pieces, and would secure for the believer a share of the offerings made to Seker.