Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles "The sky is open. The Earth is open. The West is open. The East is open. The south half of the sky opens. The north half of the sky opens. The doors are wide open. The deadbolts are unlocked. And it is here that Ra appears in the horizon." This litany allowed the already purified deceased to accompany Ra in his solar barge, as he travelled the firmament in search of the solar god. It belongs to the most popular of the sacred texts of ancient Egypt: the Peri Em Hru, the Book of Coming Forth by Day, more famously known as the Book of the Dead. Those texts were written 1.500 years before Christ, at the beginning of what was called the New Empire a time when ancient Egypt reaches its maximum splendour. But, in fact, they originated from older texts. The Book of The Dead is a recompilation of several funerary writings that the ancient Egyptians had already started to carve in tombs and temples 5.000 years ago. The first testimonials of Ra, the sun god, started to emerge at that time. But other more diffuse ones were also present. The debate must have started in trying to discover where Ra was in the hours of darkness. The ancient Egyptians deducted that a place should exist under the firmament where the sun could regenerate itself and, thus, be able to re-emerge in a new dawn. They called it the underworld. It was home not only to the gods and the deceased worthy of eternal life, but also to the forces of evil and darkness. It's the eternal struggle between good and evil, light and darkness, life and death. Opposing principles that cannot exist one without the other. Maintaining the balance between the underworld and the real world was the main concern of the ancient Egyptians. A disruption of that harmony would destroy their existence and, subsequently, their greatest ambition: eternity. MAGICAL EGYPT CHRONICLES FROM ETERNITY For the ancient Egyptians, the Nile was the main connection between their lives and an infinite supply of provisions. The progress and wellbeing they achieved thanks to that fountain of life allowed for the creation of one of the most extraordinary civilizations that ever existed. But its waters hid an underworld of darkness and mystery for its first settlers. The Nile was one the spiritual paths that combined life and death, the real world and the underworld. Unlike most civilizations, for the Egyptians the colour black was not associated with either mourning or sadness. Instead, it symbolized the power of regeneration. For them, it was a miracle that, year after year, the Nile's black mud fertilized their lands, following its annual floods. "When those floods occur, they leave behind a fertile land called the Kemet. In fact, Kemet was the name given to Egypt by the ancient Egyptians. It's a very fertile land in which the Egyptians could farm their crops and live in. Even today, 90% of Egypt's population lives around the Nile, which is the provider of those crops." They didn't limit their observation to the sacred river. They noticed that every year before the floods a star would appear in the firmament. "They studied the stars exhaustively. The beginning of the Egyptian year coincides with the reappearance of a particular star called Sirius, following a long period of invisibility. That event in mid-July occurs at the same time as the flooding of the Nile, whose waters give life to Egypt. The appearance of the star symbolizes the celebration of the new year." That was a key-factor for the development of Egyptian culture. Knowing when the floods occurred allowed them to determine the right time to sow. That and the great projects of water channelling, turned their lands into the most fertile lands on the planet. The main application of that knowledge was the development of the first and most perfect calendar ever made in ancient times, and which is still the basis for the one we handle today. For the ancient Egyptians, the first day of the year was the day Sirius appeared in the firmament. A year divided in twelve months of thirty days each. In order for everything to match up, five days were added at the end of the year the days of Anubis, the jackal-headed god. The year had three seasons of four months each: flood season, sowing season and harvesting season. Two stellar phenomena have been proven to set the rhythm of the Egyptians' life: the journey of the sun god Ra that ensured both the renewal of the days and the balance between the two worlds and the miracle of the annual flooding of the Nile, thanks to the apparition of the goddess Sotis: the Sirius star. The Dogon people of south Mauritania also relate Sirius with their crop cycles. This dance belongs to Bulu a ceremony to favour the fertility of the land, before the first rains. Most civilizations have personified in supernatural entities the powers of creation and forces of Nature responsible for their survival. And all of them have tried to communicate with their gods or even transport themselves to the place where they lived. The Northern Sanema,or Yanomami, live in one of the least explored areas of Venezuela: in the Caura basin, an affluent of the Orinoco river. They have a curious way of travelling to the world of the spirits of the jungle. They inhale a powerful hallucinogen called sacona, or yopo, that they get from the bark of the Ama-ahí tree. It's with that that they can find their Moresby the part of the soul that lives in their protective animal. Like the Yanomami, many of New Guinea's people believe in supernatural entities that live in the jungle. The Asaro live in the highlands near the border with Indonesia. Known as "the clay men", the Asaro have long since taken advantage of those beliefs, changing into spirits to defend themselves against their enemies. In Isla del Sol, in Lake Titicaca, the yatiri pays homage to Tata Inti, the sun god. At dawn, the holy fire's smoke rises invoking Viracocha the Inca god that created the world from this island. Man prayed for the sun to come out every day, but also wondered if it could come out on its own.