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Borrowed from Egyptian ꜣḫ.



akh (plural akhs)

  1. In Egyptian mythology, (roughly) a spirit of the dead that has successfully completed its transition to the afterlife.
    • 1948 Henri Frankfort, Kingship and the Gods: A Study of Ancient Near Eastern Religion as the Integration of Society and Nature, p.64:
      Their abode is heaven; and the Akh, by contrast with the Ba, does not retain any relation to the body.… It is a deceased, a transcendent being, without earthly or material ties; and, as such, it is the most spiritualized of the various concepts of the dead.
    • 2000 James P. Allen, Middle Egyptian: An Introduction to the Language and Culture of Hieroglyphs, p.33:
      After spending the night asleep in their tombs, the akhs would wake each morning at sunrise and “come forth from the necropolis” to enjoy an ideal life, free from the cares of physical existence.
    • 2005 Gary A. Stillwell, Afterlife: Post-Mortem Judgments in Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece, p.118:
      The akh would later become the state achieved when the ba and ka are rejoined.
    • 2009 Janet Balk, ed. Clifton D. Bryant and ‎Dennis L. Peck, “Egyptian Perceptions of Death in Antiquity” in the Encyclopedia of Death and the Human Experience, p.399:
      If a person’s ka and ba were not reunited and akh failed to develop, then everlasting life would not occur.
    • 2015 ed. Eric Orlin, “Afterlife” in the Routledge Encyclopedia of Ancient Mediterranean Religions, p.17:
      Different postmortem aspects of the individual are mentioned in ritual texts, so that it is unclear how they relate to one another: the ka (what leaves the body when death occurs), the ba (the personality of the individual), and the akh (a glorified bodily form).