Thursday, 2 February 2012

Cairo

I have only been to Egypt once – it was November 2010. It was an unforgettable, amazing experience. I was undergoing an initiation there (unbeknownst to me at the time) and this was the beginning of a whole new chapter in my life. And a coming home, too.

The name Cairo is Arabic and means “Victorious”; it is the same word that is used to refer to the planet Mars. In Shamanic Egyptian Astrology,  Mars is Set. It is also worth mentioning here the Cydonia plateau on that planet, and the images of a face and pyramids that have been seen. 


The mysterious Cydonia plane on Mars

Owing to time restrictions, I only stayed in Cairo. This post – for my first “C” in the Pagan Blog Project – is about that magickal city. Oh yes, Cairo is magickal and Netjer is still there in Egypt, even in this modern town (Cairo was not founded until AD 969). 



A majestic lion keeps guard on a bridge over the Nile that leads into the city; many emblems and themes from ancient times are echoed in the Egypt of today

Cairo is located just outside the Giza plateau and is inhabited by around 20 million people. November is not the hottest month so I was spared the desert heat, but it was still hot. Feeling Ra on my skin in Egypt felt very different to feeling Him elsewhere in the world. Ra truly was splendid in Cairo!


My main objective was to spend time in the Cairo Museum – which I did for an entire day! I got to see everything except the mummy room (I decided to opt out of that). It took 3 goes – I went to the little café twice to break up the intensity of the amazement I was experiencing. I was overwhelmed, and expected to be.

Beautiful Sekhmet in the courtyard of the Cairo Museum: one of the few pictures that I was allowed to take

The museum itself has a charm its own, although it bothered me that harsh direct streaming rays from Ra were shining onto some very old artefacts including the burial gear from King Tutankhamun’s tomb.


The collection left me speechless.



Giza is actually a suburb of Cairo and seeing the pyramids pop up as I turned the corner off Pyramid Street was dumbfounding. The awe of the pyramids themselves speaks deeply to everyone’s soul – I am not the first to feel dwarfed at the base of Akhet Khufu (The Great Pyramid).


The Kemetic peoples called this The Horizon Of Khufu; I call it breathtaking.
Khufu’s pyramid was closed owing to Zahi Hawass doing an interview at the entrance. (I have an opinion about that but it is not for this post!) So I bought a ticket to go inside Menkaure’s pyramid, but only got a few steps in and was strongly compelled not to continue. I did not make it past three steps down.


Menkaure's pyramid: I had every intention of going in but it did not happen I'm afraid

I found riding the camel terribly uncomfortable on my scrotum and did not fare entirely well the rest of my ride around the field circumference. I have discussed theories with colleagues about the weight of the stone in that area distorting time, and perhaps I was dehydrated too. But the truth is, I don't think I should have entered the Giza plateau with out saying the right formulas. It is a sacred space.


I visited the Coptic museum and was again struck by how much old, old history there was in this land. I got my first real glimpses here of how the ancient Kemetic religion was initially absorbed into Christianity – and felt twangs of confusion as to how the Netjeru could entirely disappear after the Romans finally took over.

The courtyard and entrance to the Coptic Museum

I visited the great Muhummad Ali Mosque and was surprised to learn that it was the only place in Cairo that you could take pictures of both inside and out if you wished!!!! The elegance in design of the mosque itself (let alone the rest of the complex) was truly something to behold – an emerald of Islamic art and homage to Allah.

The mosque complex is visible from quite a distance away



Inside the main mosque

This is a pulpit - which I did not know at the time

I enjoyed the markets and fulfilled another part of my mission – to find Kemetic jewellery and statuary that I had not been able to get elsewhere. I surprised the locals on two occasions – once when I corrected a vendor about a statue of “Isis” he was trying to sell me (it was Maat) and another when I got a papyrus made with my sister’s name and told them which glyphs to use. (They go very quiet and quit pestering to buy more gear on occasions like this).


I loved the food and the people that I met there. I found everyone to be helpful and charming, and found a reverence in these folks that I did not expect. Yes, some tried to rip me off but it was all part of the game and ultimately it was a great experience. The traffic was insane. Yes – worse than L.A.!


The call to prayer which I heard frequently in my 4.5 day stay reminded me that deep religious feeling still courses through the veins of this place. I felt remarkably comfortable in Cairo.


The modern emblem of Egypt still pays homage to the falcon, and features stars depicted in the style of Pharaonic times





1 comment:

  1. Cairo is such a beautiful place; thanks for sharing your pictures and your experiences with us!
    My aunt and uncle moved to Cairo two years ago, and when I have a proper job I'll go visit them. You made me curious about all the beauty that I can discover there.

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