Thursday, 26 May 2011

Excerpt from "The Return" in "Awakening Osiris"

After 14 years, I have finally got back in my possession a copy of a beautiful translation / interpretation of The Book Of The Dead by Normandi Ellis. I lent my original to a friend in 1997! Never got it back!

I want to include striking parts here in my blog, to share with my followers / readers the pieces I feel particularly moved by. This is from 1. The Return:

Where Gods have gathered, the heart grows still. A procession of jabiru walk, laying eggs of other lives, of blue souls in another time.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Senut

So with the Egyptian Prayer book in hand as my guide, I set about my first Senut.

I had a bath in rock salt and placed frankincense, myrrh and sandalwood in it. Sandalwood is a new essential oil for me - I got it on Friday as I learned that it is a preferred scent of Heru and Sekhmet. Interestingly, frankincense and myrrh has always been a staple of mine in my aromatherapy supplies.

I put on my ritual robes - interestingly, a gown I used for a strip act of being an angel! (Yes, I used to be a stripper!: it is a white gown and when I had it made the lady asked me if it was for choir!!) I have also chosen special underwear to wear to Senut as I want a “charged” pair for days when I might need extra power. (Yes I do believe the Mormons have a similar belief). There is some regular jewellery that I wear that I also wanted to wear to Senut as I want these pieces to become alive with Netjer energy too.

I prepared water with an amino acid mix in it (sweet and nutritious) as well as apple and cinnamon rice cakes. I lit frankincense stones and my beeswax candles, and performed the water and salt purification rituals. Touching each object in the shrine with the water certainly did feel like I was “activating them”. (I had forgotten to anoint the actual Shrine itself and Netjer reminded me just after I started the prayer and meditating part!).

I wanted to start opening the chakras but a form of Udjat came through me and we were off! The images in my Shrine hold power - I already knew this. So connecting was not an issue as much as taking the right and best steps to doing so . . . .

I prayed about my relationship with Netjer and my stepping into my Power / Ka Djet / Heka.

The first part was very much on my mind approaching Senut as I was fearful about the ritual. It was a kind of “no going back” after I start the formalities of it. I have a deep sense that I have done this before (another life) and the Names confirmed this, and that I left to experience “individuality” and being on my own. How could I turn my back on the Divine? What was that all about?

I was very comfortable with the “worship” parts - like performing henu for example. I was not sure how I would go with that but it felt very right.

The second part has to do with knowing that I have not fulfilled my destiny and that "damage" from recent years has somehow prevented me stepping into my powerfulness.

I communed about my two fathers and my two mothers, and a fifth Name that resurrected the alchemical and shamanic parts of me again in this lifetime and body. They said that I would come across an object / statue of this Netjer sometime soon and that I needed it for the Shrine. There was also a brief flash on the first two tattoos I am getting on my body of Netjer. And confirmation of to them being “blades”.

A recent entry from the Seshathotep blog about Netjer kaleidoscopes ran through my mind . . .

My body feels different after Senut. And I feel calm. I played Ocean Sounds at Sunset the entire ritual and now as I write what happened.

I feel like Senut is an art and a skill, and that in time I will get better at it and fall into the richness of the relationship that I seek with Netjer as I do.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Tutankhamen and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs



I made my way to this exhibition last Friday on my own - a friend I was going with could not make it owing to an interstate family emergency, so I was maybe a lot more focused and contemplative than I might have been otherwise.

I saw the 3D movie first (which was quite good) and made my way to the line up.

The artistic layout of the exhibit
The exhibition took place in a series of galleries and was very, very well curated. As I had been in the Cairo Museum only months earlier, I did not think this exhibit would impress me as much as it did!

I loved the way the pieces were lit and spaced, and how the placarded info describing each object was also put up top of the cabinet in larger print. It meant we could view the objects from many sides - not just front on.

In one room, projections of the Book Of What Is In The Duat were featured in a somber lit space. The coffin of Tjuya (which I had never seem before) was the centre piece here and it truly is spectacular.


Coffin of Tjuya

Select pieces of information displayed here and there and occasional information on plasma screens (but not too many) gave the exhibit a modern, sophisticated touch. I wish the Cairo Museum pieces were displayed with this much care!

Smenkhare
The exhibit primarily centers on the 18th dynasty King Tutankhamen and his ancestors. In one part of the exhibit they said that DNA analysis confirmed Akhenaton as his father - and in another part that he “might be”. This and the omission of any mention of King Smenkhare at all was the only technical / info glitch that I found.

For those that may not know, Smenkhare was the pharaoh that succeeded Akhenaton and preceded Tutankhamen. I personally believe that once we understand him and his role in the Amarna King lineage we will understand the Amarna period properly.

The canopic coffinette (featured in all the display material for the exhibit) was originally made for Smenkhare. One of the statues of Tut also looked different to the other representations of the pharaoh and it is likely that these were Smenkhare’s also. (The second coffin Tut was buried in was Smenkhare’s).

Banner hanging in museum featuring caponic coffinette that held Tut's liver - this was originally made for the preceding Pharaoh Smenkhare

This exhibit vs Gold Of the Pharaohs
I actually worked on the Gold Of The Pharaohs exhibit when it toured in Brisbane in 1988! (I was working in the gift shop attached to the tour).This exhibition featured pieces centering on the 21st Dynasty. It was well put together but not like this one!

There was one very big difference: at that show, there were guards EVERYWHERE. I mean, they must have had 10 in that display area at least every day. I remember peering into the packing up hall when the exhibition ended and there were guards sitting through that process too.

There were no guards and only a handful of attendants (kids with walky talkies) at Tutankhamen and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs. And this made me wonder if some of the pieces were copies? (I have seen copies of Pharaonic objects before and they are very convincing - witness the Tutankhamen tomb display in Luxor Hotel Las Vegas).

Pieces that made an impression
There were many pieces that jumped out at me. Many of the statues of the Pharaohs and ancestors had a sense of their akhs about them, but some objects definitely had strong heka. Maybe not as strong as I have felt with some other pieces (such as some in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York) but nevertheless “active”. This included a black resin covered wooden leonine ritual statue that had no arms, a statue of Ptah, and a winged serpent statue.

There was a beautiful empty shrine which gave me an idea for mine (I wonder which god - now missing - inhabited that shrine?), large beautiful blue ankhs (that I also had a sense had a lingering “charge”), and a gorgeous blue glass headrest that now “belonged” to King Farouk.

I also paid attention to the awesome Akhenaton head and in particular the “Shu” headdress that it sported. Akhenaton has also been found in statues and images offering “Maat” - it made me think, again, that we do not fully understand what his “religious revolution” was all about (it does not appear that he shut down all the other Netjer after all . . . )

The Shop
On exiting into the exhibition shop I was greeted with more marvels! I bought the exhibit DVD, this Udjat, and really wanted some of the (very expensive) Alexey Vareljon jewellery on display!




Another beautiful object for my Shrine and Altar

I noticed that many of the books related to the exhibition and others were all by Zahi Hawass: his name was everywhere and is also heavily featured in the DVD. I think he has contributed a lot to Egyptology - and I think he likes to take lots of credit for it, too. It seems that he is the self appointed spokesperson for all things Ancient Egyptian now.

Conclusion
When I am in the presence of Netjer – and in the presence of these objects and things – I feel a state of calm, of “perfection” and an “at one ment”. I can not say that this is a religious feeling as I am repelled by the notion of religion, even though I appreciate it intellectually. It is I think a spiritual feeling, and a deep one at that.

I came away with a very strong desire (that is to say stronger than usual) to learn how to read hieroglyphs.

I am so grateful that this exhibition made it to my town.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Shrine

I had been wondering about how I have my Netjer statues on display in my home for all to see and sometimes not being comfortable with this. I then got the Egyptian Prayer Book (by Tamara Siuda) and found lots of inspiration about what I can do.

So yesterday I found the panelling /dividers that I wanted (they are EXACTLY as I pictured them) and found myself getting to the warehouse to collect them just in time (I had been looking in Freedom Furniture and IKEA but they did not have the exact kind I was after). I learned about these particular ones by "chance" - I was practicing Pilates at a pals house and she happened to produce the flyer with them "on sale" on it!



This is where the Shrine sits as part of the open-plan nature of my apartment



From side with doors fully opened




The doors fold open and you can see the inside of the Godbox and the original shelf system that it now encloses
  


Doors open with side view in
  
 


Long view




























Sealed

So now I need to work out which glyph, symbol, or Netjer - mark needs to go on the doors when they are sealed like this. I will make this out of FIMO (polymer clay). I have some ideas already but would love to hear from any of my followers (I have 5 now!!!!) if you have suggestions.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

My Akh, and Nut & Geb meditation cycle

As mentioned in my first post, I am working through the meditation sequences in Shamanic Mysteries Of Egypt, and have just completed the Geb and Nut cycle. I usually leave the altar set up for a few days or until I feel that the sequences / Netjer energy has "passed" or dissipated.

Thanks to Seshathotep I was alerted to the fact that in the Kemetic Orthodox calendar, today (Shomu 5) is a a day to observe this Divine Couple and felt quite synchronous about the whole thing! My altar below:


Meanwhile, other meditations are revealing more information about the Soul Anatomy that so fascinates me, and most recently I completed my FIMO Akh.



By working with the Ancient Kemetic glyphs in a physical way like this I hope to understand more of how our subtle - but not less powerful  - anatomy works. I think the Ancients knew, and have left messages for us to figure out, but I do not know that they can be read with the mind alone.