Heavenly Judges

The ancient Egyptians went through the drama of the Hall of Two Truths in which the deceased was judged by Osiris, weighing the heart against the pen. The Egyptian guardians of the gates or pylons asked the deceased to convince them that they had spent their lives in virtue (after Osiris) and that they had acquired the necessary spiritual knowledge, which they had to demonstrate using the appropriate magical formula.

The deceased had to pass through seven aritas or reception halls before entering the rajolika of the Reed Fields (Sekhet-Aaru). At the doors or gates of the reception halls stood a guard, an observer and a messenger each, with the task of seeing, announcing the name and accepting each deceased. They usually had animal or bird heads on a human body. From each reception hall, the path led further into one of the seven areas of Sekhet-Aaru.

The first part of Plato’s Myth of Er tells about this hero’s time in the world of the dead. With many souls, he reached some fantastic place that has four openings, two leading to Heaven and two to Earth. Judges sit by the opening and order the souls which way to go. When Air approached, the judges told him to wait, listen and pay attention to what was happening, so that he could report his experience to humanity. From the open sky, Aer saw beautiful pure souls descending, while others came from Earth looking dirty and tired. They were required to pay a tenfold price for all the bad deeds they had committed in their lives. Some souls, such as murderers, tyrants and criminals, could not be redeemed, so they had to go to Tartarus. The judges showed Era a rainbow, the brightest rainbow he had ever seen. It was the Spindle of Inevitability. Many other cultures attributed to some of their gods the task of measuring human souls after death.

In Mandaean cosmology, Abathur Muzaniya (Abyathur), oversees the balances. In Arabic mythology, the Monker appears as a blue-eyed black angel tasked with checking whether the dead have earned a place in Paradise. According to Christian Gnostics, souls are judged by Abel, based on the records kept about them by the heavenly scribe Enoch.

Some judges are of human origin. A person can notice that he knows them from before while the trial is going on, with the fact that the worldly consciousness usually cannot connect them with anyone. They seem very experienced, serious, but also humane. These judges are true priests of God, so I would say that their judgment is also God’s. With their gaze, they penetrate to the core of a person’s soul. It is noted that they know human beings very well.

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