The Nine Bodies: A Religious Theory

by Eleanor Harris

Egyptians believed that humans and other living crea­tures consisted of nine “bodies.” These nine bodies define why the Egyptians believed that it was possible to invoke a creature’s life force into a statue, and thereby gain the creature’s power. They believed in ghosts and apparitions, which were made possible by the existence of the “ka” body; and the “khu” body, discussed below.

Through different bodies, the Egyptians communicated with the dead, projected out-of-body, assumed other creatures’ power, and enjoyed other abilities that you can share today.

The nine bodies are defined and discussed below.

By learning the principles of each, you will understand their uses in magic that are described in later chapters.

, the natural body: which is translated as something which is able to decay. It is the physi­cal body. The word also applies to the mummified body in a tomb. Funeral ceremonies on the day of burial have the power to transform the khat into the spiritual body, the “sāḥu.”The physical body was given to the Earth upon death but the soul resided in heaven. This proves Egyptians believed in an afterlife, eternal life, and resurrection.

SahuSāḥu, the spiritual body: describes a physical body that has obtained a degree of knowledge, power, and glory. It evolves thereby into the sāḥu, which is everlasting and incorruptible. The sāḥu has the ability to become related to the soul and to com­municate with it. When the physical body changes into the sāḥu body, it ascends into the heavens to dwell with the gods and the righteous.

AbȦb, the heart body: the heart. Considered the core power of life, it houses the abstract per­sonality, or the characteristic attributes of the person. It is the instrument of good and evil thoughts. This body can move freely by separating itself from, or uniting with, the physical body at will. It also enjoys life with the gods in heaven.5

, the double body:
literally describes a “double” of image and genius. Considered a copy of the physical body, (compare to contemporary “astral body”), the ka was offered meat, wine, and other  delicacies at funeral ceremonies to sustain it after physical death. The ka Kadwelt within the deceased’s statue, just as the ka of a deity dwells within its statue. Someone who wished to communicate with the deceased read a message, left a written message on papyrus in the tomb, or tied a statue of the deceased in the tomb. Since the ka lived therein, it could, of course, observe and understand.6 There was a priesthood in Egypt, termed Priests of Ka, who performed services, worshiped, and left offerings for the ka in a special chamber within the tomb, called the “ka chapel.” After physical death, the ka required offerings of food and drink. If food and drink were scarce, the ka was given offerings painted upon the walls of the tomb. Magical intent transformed the pictures into suit­able nourishment.

BaBa, the soul body: means something roughly equivalent to “sublime,” or “noble.” The ba dwells in the ka. It continues to pos­sess both substance and form after death. It is depicted in hieroglyphs as a human-headed hawk and its nature is ethereal. The ba can revisit the body in the tomb, re-animate it, and converse with it. It can take any shape desired and passes into heaven to dwell eter­nally with other perfect souls. Like the ka, the ba needs  food and drink to sustain itself. It also partook of funeral offerings.

KhabitKhaibit, the shadow body: is the shadow of the human that connects with the ka and ba as they ingest funeral offerings and visit the tomb at will. The khaibit is associated to the soul, because it is believed to always be near it. The Egyptians considered it part of the human economy. It has an independent existence and is able to separate from the body to move as it pleases.

, the spirit body:
means translucent or shining and indicates the intangible casing of the body. It can be compared to the aura. The khu represents the Khuintelligence, but in many hieroglyphic texts, it is spoken of as what we understand to be the spirit, which is why experts term it “the spirit body.” The khus of the gods reside in heaven. Human khus, during funeral ceremonies, are surrounded by the khus of the gods and assisted to heaven. The khu is imperishable. A special magical formula prepared by the ancient priests enabled the khu of the deceased to pass from the tomb and into the realm of the gods.

The collected bodies of a man or woman, once in heaven, were attributed to Ausar. Like Ausar, the deceased had walked among the living ones and then, at death, resur­rected to become a son/daughter of the Creator. The Egyp­tians believed in deification of the spiritual body.

, the form body:
represents the form of power of a man or woman. The word has been associated with the soul and the khu. At death, the sekhem is called Sekhemto come among the khus in heaven. The Egyptian Sun god, Ra, was often referred to
as “sekhem ur,” which means Great Sekhem or Great Power. In many contemporary Egyptian practices, the sekhem is considered very much a part of human life. It represents the power of the individual that can be built up and directed in magic.

, the name body
: though rarely men­tioned in books, describes the name by which the deceased was called in heaven. Egyptians believed that great power resided in words and names. They believed the gods knew the name of the deceased. The name of a person, deity, or creature was considered sacred and never-changing. HuRenmans and other creatures thus consisted of a physical body, a spiritual body, a heart, a double, a soul, a shadow, an intelligence/intangible ethereal casing, a form, and a name. All of these bodies were bound together, and the welfare of one concerned the welfare of all. In contemporary circles, it is debated whether the ab, ka, or khaibit equates to the astral body. The Egyptians practiced shape-shifting, which is similar to astral projec­tion. In certain texts, the ka is mentioned. In others, a par­ticular body is not named. In chapter 4, you will learn how to shape-shift using the ka/double body.

Excerpted by Ancient Egyptian Magic by Eleanor Harris


Eleanor Harris has studied and practiced Egyptian divination and magic for more than 20 years. She inherited interest in Egyptian religion and magic from her father. Eleanor has been active in a contemporary Egyptian “House of Life,” which is dedicated to teaching and practicing traditional Egyptian magic. She earned her title Qematet en Tehuti, “Priestess of Thoth,” by authoring literary works, lecturing, and providing workshops for interested students. Her other books are The Crafting and Use of Ritual Tools and Pet Loss: A Spiritual Guide, both published by Llewellyn


5 E. A. Wallis Budge, Egyptian Book of the Dead, p. lxi, lxii.

6 Leemans, Monuments Egyptiens, Partie II, pp. 11, 183, 184 referred to in Egyptian Magic, p. 219. 


Our January Titles Are Here!

2016 has arrived, and so have our latest titles! Enjoy!

Hope & Healing for Transcending Loss – Ashley Davis Bush

When we lose someone close, it’s easy to feel unmoored. We need to find a new rhythm to our days and new ways to connect to 9781573246675the ones we’ve lost. Ashley Davis Bush wrote this book to offer you just that: small doses of comfort and hope for getting through your day when you are still heavy with grief. Each bite-sized reading offers reassurance that healing is possible, whether it’s an ordinary day of living with loss or a special anniversary day. Poetic words, combined with photographic images throughout the book, help provide solace along with the perspective that love always transcends even the deepest loss.

Death doesn’t end the relationship; it simply forges a new type of relationship—one based not on physical presence but on memory, spirit, and love.

(Conari Press)

Stay Healthy During Chemo – Mike Herbert, ND with Dr. Joe Dispenza

“This powerful book will change your perspective forever on recovering from cancer. It provides excellent and sound guidelines on protecting your immune system while undergoing and recovering from chemotherapy and will help you conquer your fears and anxiety and replace them with healing and hope.”Ann Louise Gittleman, America’s First Lady of Nutrition and author of the New York Times bestsellingThe Fat Flush Plan

“This book should be handed to newly diagnosed patients after their oncologist delivers the lifealtering news. I imagine the conversation going something like this: ‘The tests show that you have cancer. Our plan of treatment will focus on killing the cancerous cells, but you need to read this book and follow the five steps to stay healthy, strong, and, one day soon, be cancer free.” –Kirsten Rogers, founder of ChemoBites

9781573246750Chemotherapy works to beat your cancer, but it also takes its own toll on your body and your health. During treatment, it is more important than ever to do what you can to keep yourself strong and healthy. The best way of doing that is to work with your body’s innate healing powers.

This book offers a treasure chest of practical guidance for feeling good during chemo and beyond. And it does so through 5 basic steps, supporting you to:


  • Change your thinking and develop an attitude focused on healing.
  • Detoxify with therapeutic baths to promote healing from the inside out.
  • Eat the best foods to create a healing chemistry in your body.
  • Supplement your diet to support healing momentum.
  • Exercise and rest to speed the healing process.

Also included are 100+ simple recipes and a menu-planning guide.

(Conari Press)

Practical Astrology for Witches and Pagans – Ivo Dominguez, Jr.

More often than not, people think of astrology as a tool for divination or the exploration of one’s personality. Astrology is 9781578635757considerably more than that. It is a sacred science, a highly descriptive symbolic language, and it is also a technology that can be applied to ritual, herbalism, the use of crystals, and much more.

But it can be daunting to take on the study of Astrology. After all, it’s a field so huge it would take several lifetimes to master it. And that’s why Ivo Dominguez, Jr., wrote this book—to provide practitioners of magick with a Pagan perspective on Astrology and the core concepts of Astrology that are most useful to building rituals and creating effective magick.

When we look at an astrological chart, what we are actually looking at is a map of the multiple planes of existence summarized and flattened into an understandable diagram—a kind of magickal cartogram. Now, what to do with this map? How can we best use it in our magickal work? That’s precisely what you’ll discover in the pages of this concise, focused, and expertly presented book.

(Weiser Books)

Ancient Egyptian Magic – Eleanor L. Harris

9781578635917This new edition of Ancient Egyptian Magic takes you step-by step through Egyptian religions, magical philosophy, techniques of divination, and magical formulae thousands of years old. No previous experience with the subject is necessary—Harris explains the “hows” and “whys” of magical tools, amulets, words of power, divination, ceremony, and spells. Advanced practitioners will find especially useful instruction on actual Egyptian magical script as found in the ancient papyri such as The Leyden Papyrus, The Papyrus Ani (the Egyptian Book of the Dead), and other important works. Everything you need to start practicing ancient Egyptian techniques is here in your hands!

(Weiser Books)

The Courage to Be Yourself – Sue Patton Thoele

“More than any other author, Sue Patton Thoele has helped me understand what it is like to be a woman in today’s culture. She writes like an angel yet somehow transcends words and communicates directly to the reader’s heart. The Courage to Be Yourself is a classic, a masterpiece, yet it is so honest that each time you read it, it speaks with a fresh, new voice.” Hugh Prather, author of The Little Book of Letting Go

9781573246767Geared to women who too often find themselves meeting the wants of others at the expense of their own needs, The Courage to Be Yourself provides necessary tools to help readers transform their fears into the courage to express their own authentic selves. By sharing her own journey and the journey of other women, Sue Patton Thoele helps readers learn to set boundaries, change self-defeating behavior patterns, communicate effectively, and, most importantly, become a loving and tolerant friend to themselves.

(Conari Press)