Kabbalah: Ushabti, Shabti
Egyptian Shabtis - an answer to a prayer
These pages are excerpts from the book, Kabbalah's Secret Circles, by Robert Zucker. Read more sample chapters and download a free PDF sample compliments of the author.
Photo below: An Egyptian Ushabti (Shabti), a funerary figurine.
Shabti (also called ushabti, or Shawabti) are magical, clay figure statues produced in the early dynasty of the ancient Egyptian empire.
Shabti is the Egyptian word for "answerer." The term shabti applies to these figures, prior to the Twenty-first dynasty (21st) of Egypt, after the end of the First Intermediate Period.
Shabti also applies to statuettes inscribed with Chapter Six of the Book of the Dead. Otherwise, they might better be defined by the generic term, funerary figurines. (wikipedia: Ushabti). The Shabti were also called Ushabti and Shawabti.
The Shabti Index
Egyptian myths claim that ushabtis are funerary figurines help do the work of the owner after they are deceased. An Egyptian prayer is made to the statue to bring it to life. Most shabti's are made of clay, some are wood carved. The power of dirt, or clay, was believed to have life-giving properties. Read about theory on life from clay.
Ushabtis (shabtis), like golem, are suppose to obey the orders of the owner. But these statuettes animate to specifically serve the soul of the deceased- whose name is carved into its chest along with the prayer to "carry the water" and "do the work" in the netherworld.
The earlier shabti may have planted the cultural seed for the later golem and teraphim legends.