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“In Their Own Words” Reflections on a Journey to Egypt, 2010
contributed by members of the November 2010 Journey to Egypt
Today we visited the temple of Khnum to be rebuilt on the Master Potter's wheel. As Nicki led us in meditation, I could feel myself spinning on the wheel. We were joined by the muezzin singing the Muslim call to prayers. A whole clan of ravens—the shape shifter—landed nearby and crowed loudly as our new bodies were formed on the wheel.
As an initiate, I stepped forward at Khnum to reclaim my new body, just fashioned on the master potter's wheel. Along with it came many gifts from Spirit. I am not consciously aware of what they are yet… Meanwhile, the sand of the Sahara and the red rock dust of Sedona mingle together in my shoes.
The Egypt In My Heart trip with Nick and Joan Borysenko afforded us some unbelievable opportunities. To walk into the Temple of Isis at Philae in the pre-dawn darkness and emerge into the light after our ritual was truly magical. We sat and watched the sun rise over the Nile.
And then there is me. What did I come home with? Strange food cravings!! Not exactly the lingering effects I was hoping for, but I just stayed quietly with it these past two weeks. No controlling, no questions&hellipjust a lot of eating. ;-)
I've also been remembering so many special moments. Much of it feels like a beautiful story someone told me rather than something I actually experienced myself.
There was that knowing I had the first day that we had all been together before. There was the sense of awe… I had to see those magical stars in the sky as we approached the temple of Isis. And then just a few days later, I was floating weightlessly in those same stars as all the Gods circled me.
I remember Paula's lovely, loving, gentle eyes as we “activated” each other during the circle ceremony and also, just moments before, Emil pulling me aside and saying “You ARE Hathor.” I remember one morning after washing my face being convinced my eyes were just a bit more slanted.
I remember being so immersed in conversation with Kristi and so out of touch with my own body that I didn't even notice my coffee wasn't getting into my mouth but rather was spilling into my lap. I'll never forget Joan's singing or Renee's laugh or Wendy's smile or standing in that beautiful healing light with Julie. My stomach is still a bit sore after Tina making me laugh the hardest I have laughed in as long as I can remember.
The views from the top deck of our ship were like a dream as was the delightful irony of “breaking-in” to the temple of Sekhmet to make a spiritual connection. I felt my heart open and grow more and more each day, not only to giving love but also to receiving it. And, the way Catherine looked at me as if she was seeing something so special in me--something I certainly don't yet see myself—truly changed me forever.
Sadly, as far as my own dreams, I rarely remember them. Some mornings there is a glimpse that I had one and then the details are quickly lost. But, there is something new about these glimpses since I've been home. My dreams haven't been magical or terribly symbolic, but the one thing I have noticed is that you are all in them now… in Tuscany with me, at the market, on my deck, at my Buddhist center. Of all the people I've said good-bye to during my travels, I haven't missed any of them as much as I miss all of you. Fortunately, on a much more significant level, I've taken you all home with me in a very real and profound way.
I'm quite sure you were all in my dream last night, guiding and helping me, because I woke up with such clarity about my food craving and this calm, happy yet tired mood I've been in. I gave myself one of Linda's giant “DUHHHHH's” when it suddenly all made sense. The seeds we planted in Egypt…of course…the egg…DUH…they are growing…I am pregnant with whatever it is we all went to Egypt to give birth to. And, now I will nurture, protect, and care for it and patiently await its miraculous arrival. :-)
Most people do not get to see Egypt in this way… I have never been on a trip like this and maybe never will again. Yet, we never know what life will put before us and this is the element of surprise and adventure that beckons to us if we open to the unknown.
Each temple was an initiation in and of itself, let alone the work we did at each site. We had most of the temples and places to ourselves, so there were many sunrise and sunset ceremonies and rituals shared. To stand in these places with no outer interference was special, to say the least, and allowed the full feelings and energy of each place to enter in.
To begin, we were cracked open in the first sunset ceremony at the most ancient pyramid, the step pyramid in Sakkara. As the upside down pyramid from above symbolically touched my head, the outer shell fell away and I felt it crumble into pieces around my feet. I was left exposed to the elements and vulnerable to the gifts ahead. We burned as the phoenix into the ashes of the past life. The Sphinx was the next place of opening, for she is the guardian and messenger of the mysteries. We were guided to open ourselves to the download of her gifts and knowledge… pretty amazing!
In this ash state, we encountered our own darkness within and planted a seed, an egg within ourselves… to germinate there until the last ceremony. The egg was received at the temple of Isis, on the Isle of Philae, which was a boat ride in the early morning darkness. The ceremony was about the heart, and planting seeds of new life. As the sun was about to rise, we sat at the edge of the temple overlooking a lake. Here we allowed the first rays of the morning sun to penetrate the heart and 3rd eye Chakras and activate the work we had done. There I felt an incredible strength enter into my being… not sure what it meant, but I wanted to stand straight and tall and it felt great! The heart was opening… I cried a lot during this trip.
Part of the process was the reconciliation of opposites, which was very powerful and necessary to move ahead—the heart and mind coming into union. Still in our ash state, we went to the temple of Horus where Horus overcame his brother, Set, who was the symbol of darkness. The temple at Edfu honors this, and my being trembled as I tried to catch my breath, feeling the fear and darkness and destruction of the inner battle we all must face. Nowhere else did I feel this.
I only had one dream while I was there and it was a vision of a lion set against the backdrop of a temple… that was it. So, I held that vision, not knowing what it meant… until we encountered Sekhmet, the lion headed goddess of fierce compassion and healing. She is why I came to Egypt and this was a "wow" moment for me. We had to sneak in to see Sekhmet, as they are restoring her sanctuary. "Guerrilla Shamanism", we called it! Fun and exciting, but seeing her took my breath away and the tears flowed deeply from this heart once again. Abydos, which was one of the favorites, honors Osiris and is where Isis put Osiris back together again and so we were symbolically put back together… refigured and transfigured as it were… very powerful! We received the backbone of Osiris, called the djed for all you “jedi” masters!! This strengthened my already growing strength within. For me, the best was yet to come… amazing as that may sound.
We returned back to Cairo after 4 days cruising on the Nile, where it was a joy seeing life go by from the boat. The last and final ceremony was in the King's Chamber of the great pyramid on the Giza Plateau. Of course, we entered at dusk by ourselves with the new moon rising. Climbing the narrow stairs, hot and sweating, we were ready (so I thought) for what lay ahead. The room was small but big enough for all 44 of us. Sitting in a circle, we each awaited our turn to be in the King's sarcophagus. Lying down in the deep, penetrating darkness that surrounded us, the ray of life, golden like the sun, entered through the point of the top of the pyramid, coming into us at the heart and lighting us up - blazing its life into us from the Heavens above. "Wow" is all I can say. When this was completed we gathered in our circle, standing now, we were instructed to take the egg out of ourselves and hold it in our hands. We let it open to the seed that was held within. We moved closer together and we all planted our seed in the fertile soil of the center of our circle, visioning the world held in the light of truth. Singing praises of love and peace and thanksgiving with tears streaming down my cheeks, we walked down the stairs and out of the Great Pyramid, into the fresh air and darkness of the night. And so ended the most amazing journey of this lifetime.
In Egypt, I learned to love again. I learned to feel my heart and not be afraid of that deep truth and beauty to be expressed outward once again. Life can dull us and close us and I was reopened, validated and strengthened. And now, in one instant as I boarded the plane to come home, it has become a memory of un-estimable value—the alchemical gold that I will always carry within me. For me, the deepest significance of all the magic and mystery of Egypt is reflected back to us to re-member who and what we truly are… magical and mysterious beyond words, for words cannot adequately explain what happened there or what this is or who we are. I hope you have a feel for it… we all carry this journey within.