A Book of Gates

I wanted to look and see if my directions were “off” and they were. The general meanings for the directions are as follows, according to McCarthy.

South Forward Future

North Behind Past

East Left Into Life

West Right Into Death


I was back at the wall with my dual face. We began moving back to the large open cavern we had stopped at the previous journey. I could hear oars in the water, but couldn’t see them or those pulling them. I could see ropes from the boat being pulled along, but couldn’t see the people pulling it or even their outlines.

As we continued and entered the large cavern, a snake came up from somewhere, towering over the boat itself. This was Apep. It’s mouth opened and I could see it’s fangs, despite the darkness.

A shot of light came from behind me, from the left, another from the right followed. More followed from different directions. These were the Justified and Priests that were to subdue Apep, to allow the boat to pass. I knew I wasn’t to fight in this scenario, but didn’t know why.

Apep, fell back into the water and this caused a wave to come over the side of the boat, getting me wet. I tasted the water and it had a hard water, a mineral taste to it that I identified as raw and earthy.

We continued through the cavern lake and I could see large cauldrons with large tall fires marking the entrance to the Third Gate. Trouble was, every time we got close to it, it would move or the terrain would change, such as shoals blocking our path or water levels rising or lowering to make an area impassable.

Me : “I don’t understand why it keeps moving as we get close or even remotely close.”

Ma : “Have you asked it to appear?”

This struck me as odd, but I accepted it. “I ask the Third Gate to appear for me.”

An impenetrable section of rough, sharp rock somehow moved and the illusion of there not being a passage fell away. I didn’t know how I knew it was an illusion and this was never expanded on.

The boat approached the gate and could see the Guardian, the cobra Renenutet stood there, swaying slightly as her tongue flicked in and out. I could sense a “measuring” of me, but not hostility. I held up my hand and as I went to dissolve whatever was blocking my path, she moved before I could.

As I pondered why she moved before performing the act, the ground shifted again, the water levels rose, the Gate swung open, and the boat continued through the gate. It was almost pitch black on the other side.

Ma : “There are no light sources here.”

Me : “Then I must make my own.” and I let my light shine through the tunnel as the boat started moving slowly. She nodded and returned me.

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I was in the same tunnel, in basically the same spot I left off at last time. I could hear the oars propelling the boat through the narrow passageway. As I turned to look at the front of the boat, I could see four people in linen or similar pulling the boat.

“Why are they pulling the boat, if the oars are already doing the work?”, I.asked.and I.looked to the oars. There weren’t any I could see or sense, but I could hear them. At this point, I realized that the passage was so narrow that using oars wouldn’t really have been possible. " Where are the oars?"

Ma : “There are none.”

Me : “Why do I hear them?” I could feel the lurch that accompanied the pulling of the oars, so this added to my confusion.

Ma : “You hear them because you want to.” For some reason, I accepted this answer without question. The sound of the oars and the lurching of the boat ceased at this point. Mostly.

I noticed small, sealed up openings in the wall that weren’t much larger than a foot wide, but couldn’t tell what they were sealed with. Some type of mortar had been used to hold a stone or metal plug for it. It reminded me of catacomb chambers, for some reason. I asked about them.

Ma : “They are rooms for others to use as they see fit.”.

Me : They have awfully small openings." I could sense that they were larger on the other side.

Ma : “How much room do the dead need?” She didn’t say anything more about it.

The boat continues until it came to another lake. This one was full of rocks jutting out of the water. I could.tell the boat would have to take a specific path, as the rocks demanded it.

We pulled to the side and climbed out. I stripped out of whatever robe I was wearing and decided to bathe in the water. Despite it looking like only being a few inches deep, I was completely submerged. Ma’at did the same. When finished, I redressed and got back into the boat.

In a short distance, we came to a structure that was similar to a fountain, without the running water. Sometimes, water would run through it, I was shown, but it was dry today. In the center of it were various shapes that reminded my of composite animals, but I couldn’t place most of the features. I recognized the snout of a warthog, some cloven hooves, but that was about it.

We got out and started wading through the foot high water as the boat took another path around the back of the fountain. For some reason, it was important that we wade through the water, rather than walk on the rocks.

We met the boat and climbed back on. As we did, it went back into a narrow tunnel and the slow downwards increased slightly. I noticed the speed of the water flowing also increased.

After a few minutes without anything to look at, she sent me back.

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