The temperature changed quite dramatically as the light quickly faded into the close radiance of a single flame. Time ceased to exist, all sound had disappeared after the door to the outside world had been completely sealed.
The tiny flame burned constantly in a small bowl of oil, maintaining it’s steady glow upon the smooth black basalt of an enormous figure of Osiris, a figure whose shadowy presence dictated the atmospheric purpose of the small chamber.
The dryness of the air caused a shallowness of breathing whilst in the chamber of Priests, and each hour dragged past in a confusion of time.
Was it day or night?
Long after the funeral procession had left the temple, the only sounds remaining in the underground chamber had been the soft shuffling of bare feet upon the white sand that lay scattered across the floor. Even these soft sounds seemed to be swallowed up in the heavily concentrated attention of the priests.
At an agreed stage of the procession, they had entered into a meditative silence which allowed them the opportunity to communicate in a far more complex and sophisticated language. Their thoughts flowed in a sharing of energies.
The enormous stone sarcophagus lay in the centre of a sacred burial room, far above the chamber of Priests, and they commenced their ritual in a ceremony of preparation that would stretch into days and nights. All of their training would be necessary now to assist them in their long abstinence from food, water or rest.
The High Priest made the first incision as a pungent smoke poured out from the clay censer, filling the chamber. Each priest carried his own supply of precious unguents and anointing oils that were magically prepared from cedarwood, frankincense and myrrh; expensive and small golden globules of tree-resins that were carried to Egypt along the delta from far away, and ground into a fragrant paste of aromatic richness. Blending the bittersweet camphor-lemon smells with the overwhelming stench of an opened body was as familiar to the priests as the yeasty smell of new-baked bread is to the baker. Releasing the viscera, the High Priest made note of the way in which the man’s organs lay, checking the size and colour of his liver and heart, as the priest-scribe dutifully made his symbolic markings upon the papyrus.
Each jar received it’s wrapped organs into a fluid of oils and resins that had been prepared especially for the purpose of preserving human tissue.
As the priests completed their linen wrapping of the onwards journeying guest, they recognised that the time had finally come for them to make the resonant sounds of voices blended in a harmony of tones.
A powerful sound that would vibrate and carry the soul of their guest into a tunnel of transformation, a powerful sound that would vibrate and carry the body of their guest up and into it’s enormous sarcophagus in the burial room above.
Placing the magnificent death-mask upon the face and head of the now mummified body, the High Priest began to intone the long chant of initiation.
His voice rose and fell in a rhythmic pattern of such commanded energies that each priest automatically aligned himself with the initiation chant and commenced a long and complicated cycle of tonal sound and sequenced breathing until all light faded, all time faded, and every atomic molecule within the chamber let go it’s agreed contract of orbital attraction and repulsion.
All tension fell away and a doorway opened into the subtle regions of the space in-between.
Anubis maintained the fixed-design pattern sequence of every priest’s living essence as his chanting continued to hold the doorway open for them to journey through and alongside the body, up and into the sacred burial room.With satisfaction he noted that every initiate had easily accomplished the task.
Bowing to their High Priest, the entourage completed the long ritual of the burial ceremony as Anubis offered his hand to the newly arising soul to follow him into the dark passageway and on, into his next life.
The remaining priests slid the lid of the stone sarcophagus closed, and traveled smoothly out of the temple, and into the desert dawn.