Doing a bit of reading has me pondering basic cosmological structures. Which I touched on, briefly, when I posted the map that was published in the Guide, but I’m looking from a different angle at the moment.
There is a gradient of formlessness and form to be seen in that image of the cosmos: we, resident primarily in the world of that which is knowable and known, visible and seen, bounded and contained, and having a distinct shape, have our residence primarily in the top half of the world, where potential has, for the most part, been realised – or is in the process of becoming so.
But if we enter the akhet and the realms of dream, the residences of the blessed and mighty dead, the personal homes of the gods, we have crossed a gate to a realm in which shapeshifting – a subject of a huge number of spells – is common, though one must take care not to adopt a form that falls too close to formlessness (such as a fish), where the rules of the seen world risk becoming inverted, and the powers can be seen more readily wearing their own faces.
And if we go deeper, the perils are sharper – the nightmare forms dwelling in Rosetjau, the lair of the enemy.
And if we go deeper still, back into the depths of the past and the bottom of the bottomless, the very edge of being where it melts into the Nun, we find the Mysteries, through which possibility and growth are released into the world of the existent, to bubble upwards, conveyed by the Boat of Millions towards the surface, carrying life by which forms may be animated.
It is true that the ancestors are guardians of the flow of life into and out of the Duat, that their blessings come with the turnings of the year: the ancestors are the mirror into which we look, seeking our origins. The flow of that which the gods bring up from the Nun passes through their hands as it reaches the gates of morning.
And of that we make worlds. We choose how we conduct our lives, we eat and offer and live, and we pass back the forms that we have created into the akhet in the evening, in the shapes of our dreams, the passage of our travelling souls, our own selves when we come to our mooring day.