Ancient Egypt for Kids - What ancient Egyptians needed to do to reach their afterlife or the Magical Land of Two Fields Illustration

Ancient Egypt for Kids
What ancient Egyptians needed to do to reach their afterlife>

To the ancient Egyptians, the Land of Two Fields was a real place. Historians refer to this "place" as the afterlife or the netherworld. To the ancient Egyptians, it was the place, an actual place, you went to after you died. One of the reasons the god Osiris was so honored in ancient Egypt is because it was Osiris who opened the door to the Land of Two Fields for everyone.

It took more than dying to enter the Land of Two Fields. You had to earn your way into your afterlife by doing good deeds while you were alive. The more good deeds you did, the lighter your heart became. If your heart was not light, you could not board Ra's board and sail away into your Afterlife. To avoid any chance of trickery, the goddess Maat weighed your heart after you died. If your heart was not light enough, you were stuck in your tomb forever. But once you were in, you were in. You only had to sail away in Ra's boat once. After that, you had a free pass, and your soul could come and go. There was not a lot of crime in ancient Egypt. Everyone wanted their heart to be light.

There were two other requirements you had to satisfy before you could enter the Land of Two Fields. Not only did your heart have to be light, you also had to have your name written down somewhere, and you had to have a preserved body. That's because the ancient Egyptians believed in a soul. They believed your soul split into two parts after you died. One part, the Ba, flew off every morning to keep watch over your living family. The other part, the Ka, flew off every morning to the Land of Two Fields, to enjoy your Afterlife. Both the Ba and the Ka returned each night to your tomb, so you could get some sleep. In the morning, the cycle started again.

If something happened to your preserved body, or if your name was not written down somewhere, the Ba and Ka would get lost on their way home. You would disappear. You would never again be able to watch over your family, or be able to enjoy your afterlife.

Before a person could get to the afterlife, a real place to the ancient Egyptians, you had to make it through the underworld, another real place to the ancient Egyptians. The underworld was full of monsters and dangerous animals with big teeth. You could not survive your travel through the underworld without magic. The ancient Egyptians purchased magical spells from spell sellers in the marketplace. These spells were supposedly guaranteed to help you fight off monsters and protect you on your trip though the underworld.  Spells were written on papyrus scrolls. The spells you purchased were buried with you.

 These spells were known collectively as the Book of the Dead. This book was not a bound book that you would read or leaf through. The Book of the Dead was a collection of spells. These spells were not secrets. Most were famous. But they had to be prepared for you by a spell maker, to make sure they were magical. Spells could be written on a scoll, one spell after another, or could be written individually, with open spaces where you would add your name. It all depended on what you could afford.

The ancient Egyptians believed it took a lot of work and a lot of planning to safely reach the Land of Two Fields

Here what ancient Egyptians needed to do to prepare for and reach their afterlife:

Save yourself! Make sure you have your Ba and Ka

Make sure you have your name written down somewhere - Cartouche

Do lots of good deeds (lots and lots) and keep your heart light!

Fill your tomb with grave goods, especially tiny little clay people to do all your work for you in your afterlife

Make sure your gravegoods included some amulets to protect you from evil

Buy some magical spells in the marketplace from the Book of the Dead, or them specially created for you on a very long scroll - if you were rich enough.

Before you died, hire or assign someone to prepare your body (mummification sequence)

Before you died, make sure you had a written agreement on how you wanted your mummy to be dressed - look good in your afterlife

Enjoy your funeral - make sure you had mourners lined up to howl and carry on, to make sure the gods noticed you

Watch out for Grave Robbers

How to navigate the Egyptian underworld (animated, video)

Play some interactive mummy games and learn more about mummies the fun way 

Free Powerpoints about Ancient Egyptian Afterlife