Mapping the Road Not Taken: Four Egyptian Myths and a Second Chance at Life

My book poses many “magical questions”—and I’m going to begin digging even deeper into the historic and mythical underpinnings in its pages, here and on social media @SusanRubin1 on Twitter and @SusanRubinWriter on Instagram, in a new series: Mapping the Road Not Taken. Together, we’ll travel through the pages of my book—and at every stop, I’m going to ask you to answer a magical question. Leave your response in the comments here or on social media.


Note to Self: If you’re talking about Death, sound cheerful. Or at least mysterious. Try for both!

I am an unreligious person. Spiritual, but definitely not a member of the Bible Book Club. That leaves me fending for myself on the Big Box Store of Life: Death.

Early in my life I read about Egyptian mythology, after I saw the Boris Karloff movie The Mummy. I seriously took on the study of mummification much to the annoyance of my teachers. It made Death alluring not terrifying. (For reference, here are the mechanics of mummification: an instrument is stuck up your nose and pulls your brains out; another instrument is stuck in your torso and organs are pulled out and re-filled with incense, cinnamon and myrrh. So much better than worms munching on you down to the last drop, or an incinerator melting you in two hours.)

Egyptian mythology says that your heart gets weighed against a feather when you die. I like that. You get judged for what you did with the lifetime you just lived. If you lived a full life, and found the meaning life has for you, you die and move onto another level. If you didn’t fulfill your Contract with Creation in this life, you get sent back to do better. What great news: A Do-Over!

This is why I put the Egyptian gods Osiris, Isis, Set and Nephthys into my new book, The Road Not Taken. In case you missed it in history class, they are four siblings who marry each other: Osiris and Isis were blissful, Nephthys and Set were not.

My book’s protagonist is introduced to these gods and goddesses by her 50 million year-old mentor, who flies her back thousands of years to when these myths were created. In her travels, she has a brief encounter with each of the Egyptian gods, Osiris and his nasty brother Set; and starts friendships with both Isis and Nephthys. (If you already want more, click here to pre-order the book, which comes out in September.)

All four of these mythical heavyweights eventually join my protagonist for an epic caper—one involving art theft across the space-time continuum—but first, they teach her, in their own ways, how to seize her own power. How to live beyond the boundaries of her human life. How to begin her next million years of life. How to do it over until she got it right.

Which brings me to today’s magical question:

What is the life you’re waiting to live—and when will you begin allowing yourself to live it?

Tell me in the comments below, or on Twitter and Instagram! If any of this is makes you tingle with curiosity, talk to me. I will answer you. I can’t be the only person on the planet who doesn’t know how to cope with death through traditional religion—or the only woman who has gone wandering in search of herself.

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