This post has been one that I have been avoiding/didn’t know how to word it. Needless to say, there has been poking and here I am. This is a tough topic to understand and describe and I would like to do it some justice.
There are multiple different explanations for the blueprint of the pieces of a being’s existence. I call these “Bodies of Being”, because “soul” really doesn’t capture the whole picture. What would be the equivalent of the western idea of “the soul” is a small part of the blueprint.
The setup I tend to have includes the Ba, the Ka, the Ab, the Ren, the Khat, and the Khait (also known as the Khaibit). The Ba is the “piece” who travels the different planes and creates the connection between the physical and the unphysical. The Ba is a conduit of sorts. The Ka is the energetic connection between the world and the being. It could be translated as the core essence (or as I like to know it, a battery) so to speak.
Before a being is born, the Ba and the Ka are joined and is separated at birth. After the being physically “dies”, the Ba and the Ka reform and become the Akh. From the concept of the Akhu, popularly translated as “the Bright Shining Ones” are the beings who came before us (ancestors).
The Khait refers to the “shadow half” that balances the being and causes the balance to be the whole being. Think of it not being a shadow self (the things we hide away in shame or fear), but as the whole picture. A mirror that shows our reflection without hiding anything.
Another term I have seen in reference to the Khait is the Sheut. I personally know the Sheut as the shadow cast by the body rather than the internal self. There is another term, Sahu, which refers to the “shadows from the unseen world”. Sahu refers to what I would translate as wandering non-physical beings that may have previously been physical. A related term, Khu, was an early period Kemetic word meaning “Luminous Man” and would later be adapted by the Romans to mean “ghosts”. These Khu are often beings who were wronged or not buried properly in their physical lives to be able to pass on to the next stage of existence.The other two parts of the Bodies of Being are vessels which holds the others.
The Ab is the heart and the vessel which holds the unphysical selves (the Ba, Ka, Ren, Khait, etc.). The Khat is the physical vessel (the body) that houses all of the selves. The Ren is the name of the being and is the absolute key to identity and control of that identity. There are said to be five Rens the Pharaoh keeps. I personally have multiple Rens as a form of protection; however my one absolute Ren is unknown to even myself. This layer of being can be recognized further in the concept of “shadows”.
The one main thing to remember is each of these pieces all have their own voices, their own desires, and their own goals. There are practices and actions that can be taken to balance, control, and even just understand these parts. The fact there are splinters between selves is exactly why it is VERY important to take care not just of our physical selves, but the non-physical as well.
This entry is meant to be a pocket version of sorts. I have taken from many different sources as well as my own personal interpretation of information. Wikipedia has helped me organize the information, but it wasn’t the major source. I feel it valid to list a few of the sources I have found my information/understanding from. There are many other sources, but these have helped me to organize the information about in my head.
David, A. R. (1998). Handbook to Life in Ancient Egypt. New York: Facts on File.
Rankine, David. (2006). Heka: The Practices of Ancient Egyptian Ritual and Magic. London: Avalonia.
Mertz, B. (1978). Red Land, Black Land: Daily Life in Ancient Egypt (Rev. ed.). New York: Dodd, Mead.
Nicoll, K. (2012). The Travellers Guide to the Duat: (Amenti on two deven a week). Stafford: Megalithica Books.