"The Egyptian Book of the Dead is full of spells for becoming a bird - a swallow, a falcon, a heron, or the benu bird the Greeks identified as a phoenix, the bird that is reborn from the ashes of its own funeral pyre. Sprouting wings was clearly one of the preferred Egyptian ways of entering the Otherworld and embarking on a happy afterlife. The ba soul is already winged; it is depicted in many inscriptions as a human-headed bird coming or going from the body of the soul traveler."
[Robert Moss, The Dreamer's Book of the Dead]
[artwork by Poen de Wijs]