Step 1: Purification


An image of the goddess Nūt from the interior of a Roman period Egyptian coffin.


According to the Pyramid Texts, the first step of the deceased pharaoh on his journey to the afterlife is to be adequately prepared.  Being a pharaoh alone was enough to guarantee him access to the afterlife; after all, as royalty he is divine in nature, and his path to the Hereafter would actually be a journey back to his home with the gods (Davis, 166).  However, just because it was his right to ascend to the Hereafter doesn’t necessarily mean the pharaoh could automatically just waltz on up.  First, his corpse had to be purified, which in turn would purify his soul.  Usually in the texts, it is the goddess Nūt, who symbolized the sky and celestial realms, who would be in charge of preparing the pharaoh for his trip.


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