Ka was the Egyptian conception for one of the seven parts of man, his spiritual double or astral body. The Ka was represented in drawings as a birdlike duplicate of the deceased. It was believed animals and inanimate objects possessed a Ka as well as man. Every mortal received a Ka at birth.

At death the Ka leaves man, but it was supposed to remain near the body and occasionally reanimate it. For this purpose statues were placed near the mummy in which the Ka might find temporary shelter. The Ka was given food by the relatives of the deceased who left provisions in the tomb for its use.

If the relatives were neglectful in providing the provisions, the Ka presumably haunted them. The Ka was differentiated from the soul, called the “Ba,” which left both bodies at death. A.G.H.


Spence, Lewis, An Encyclopedia of Occultism, New York, Carol Publishing Group Edition, 1996, p. 240
Riland, George, The New Steinerbooks Dictionary of Paranormal, New York, Warner Books, Inc., 1980, p. 151