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Shamanic Journeys & Alchemical Healing Monthly Newsletter

Dear Friends,

They've done it again— Egypt has taught and inspired the civilized world. We no longer have to look under the sand for a hint of age-old color to help us imagine the greatness of Egypt. Now we can walk with, talk with, and even eat lunch with it!

Photo of several Egyptians holding a banner saying "Egypt Loves You" in front of the PyramidsWe've always been impressed by the exemplary way with which Egyptians have embraced their role as caretakers of their ancient treasures, and by their open hearts and their willingness to accept us into their families. Over the years, it was the gradual erosion of basic rights and freedoms that caused a growing ache and concern for our friends, our family.

When the protests began in the heart of Cairo, we felt fear and concern for the youth of the vibrant Twitter/Facebook world. This was no Tunisia. The tentacles of Mubarak's regime reached far and gripped firmly, and we knew there would be an army of mean and nasty street thugs in the wings, waiting for instructions.

Eighteen days later, it was over. The thugs went into hiding, and every branch of the government vowed allegiance to the people and a new order. Many attempts were made to drag the revolution down into the dark and traditional hard-line form of upheaval, but something new and enlightened carried the day. We stand in awe at the courage we witnessed, and are forced to look with firmness and compassion at the fear we experienced.

Christian Egyptians guarding Muslims in prayer--Tahrir Square, CairoChristian Egyptians guarding Muslims in prayer in Tahrir SquareThis is the lesson, the gift we received from the courageous Egyptians: Courage did not mean hiding when the thugs attacked; courage caused more people to join and to celebrate the coming change loudly and with joy. Courage did not mean reaching for guns and bombs; courage came with music and a shared vision that causes the thugs to retreat into the shadows.

The shared vision we all witnessed can work as a template, not only during the upcoming restructuring of the Egyptian government, but through the Earth changes that are taking us into a new paradigm of cooperation and co-creation. On the scales of Ma'at, fear and greed will not fare well when weighed against the virtues of dignity and respect.

This is a great gift to the world, and I thank my Egyptian family for it.

Meanwhile, while the mainstream news reported a lock-down of hotels and boats that sent almost all the tourist clamoring for flights out of Egypt, our friend John Anthony West had just arrived with a group of sixteen intrepid travelers. At the onset, and each day until they went south to Luxor to board Mohamed's dahabeya for a luxury sail down the Nile to Aswan, each participant was given the choice to stay or return home. And each day the group became more committed to stay in Egypt and let the cards fall where they may… And these courageous tourists were treated to the time of their lives! Following is an account from one of the participants. I wish I had been with them!

Fortunately, the pilgrimage that I am co-leading with Normandi Ellis, departing March 8, is still on. Two of the participants had to cancel, so there is now an opportunity for two people to join this tour. If you are looking for an extraordinary experience and the opportunity to witness history and celebrate with the Egyptian people, this is your chance! Please let us know ASAP, so you can be part of this amazing spiritual adventure.


Blessings and Love,
Nicki Scully and Mark Hallert


Here are a couple of URLs that you might find interesting:
The first one takes you to an interview with another guest on John Anthony West's tour in an American newspaper:
This link takes you to a very short New York Times video interview with our beloved Mohamed Nazmy at the Mena House, post revolution:

Magical Egypt

Written after returning from a tour of Egypt with John Anthony West during the revolution

Dear Friends & Family,

Story and photo in an Egyptian newspaper about John Anthony West's tour being the only one in EgyptJohn's was the only group in Egypt… Our group returned to the US last night incredibly inspired by a magical 18-day trip to Egypt. We arrived in Cairo on January 28, just as the unrest was gathering steam. Soon after we got off the plane, we were notified that no one would be allowed to leave the airport. Spending 12 hours in (any) airport sounds nightmarish, but watching the crowds in Tahrir Square on Egyptian TV (in Arabic!) in the airport Burger King, we met lots of Egyptians who enthusiastically welcomed us, translated the news to us, and communicated their excitement and pride in the unfolding events. Not knowing much about Egypt, my first worry was that deposing Mubarak might mean more restrictions for Egyptian women. Many women in Egypt wear bright headscarves, some wear burqas, and some don't cover their heads at all. One member of our group made friends with several young women in black burqas with only their eyes showing. They turned out to be biology majors in college and plan to become doctors! Other Egyptian women I spoke with convinced me that Egypt is very unlike other countries where radical clerics have taken over. Egyptians love their army, and while there is worry in any kind of cataclysmic event, most everyone we talked to felt that no matter what, Mubarak had to go. They spoke of their dream of a free society with free and fair elections, freedom of speech and the press, and the opportunity to control their own destinies. My deep belief is that they are not going to surrender this newfound precious freedown to radical groups, or to anyone (or anything) else. And the women are strong.

Our tour company heroically managed to get us out of the airport late that night in a bus with the curtains closed. The next day, we convened at our hotel on the outskirts of Cairo, well out of the way of the demonstrations, and guarded (probably unnecessarily, but still welcome) by an army tank. After deep contemplation for 2 days about what might be safe to do, each person made a decision whether to stay or to go home. Although events were unfolding unpredictably (such as the mass prisoner escape) I had a deep certainty that I HAD to stay. Thinking about leaving brought tears and I felt there must be some reason our group had succeeded in being there. I even hoped that we might somehow humbly be of service to the Egyptian people by holding our poise and a deep sense of hope for them for a peaceful resolution to the crisis. Ultimately, most of the group decided to stay. After a initially tense ride through early morning Cairo past numerous neighborhood "checkpoints" (described in the news media as vigilantes, but actually courageous men protecting their homes with kitchen knives and sticks -- with smiles and peace signs exchanged between us and them when they figured out who we were), we flew to Luxor and spent 5 days on a heart-melting cruise down the Nile. All the tomb and temple sites were completely empty -- Luxor and Karnak, Philae, the Temple of Horus at Edfu, Hatshepsut, Valley of the Kings, etc., etc. -- each one more incredibly moving than the last.

It did seem that there was no need to pray or meditate as we drifted up the Nile -- we found it to be true that "the Nile meditated us". As the days went on, we couldn't imagine leaving. People would yell "Welcome to Egypt!" as we walked through Luxor and Aswan. As we moved past fear and into trust, it was clear to us that the Egyptian people's revolution was intelligent and targeted. (For those Enneagramarians, Egypt is a "9" culture, and they finally got mad). I never felt in danger, but we were constantly aware that we needed to be sensible and stay out of the way! We were quite a novelty, though, since in most places we were the only tourists there. It's a sad time for the Egyptian economy, of which tourism is a huge chunk. Apparently, the norm is crowds of thousands, jammed tour buses, and all that that brings. We were able to walk around the empty sites, pray, climb into tombs, feed the temple dogs and cats, visit sites that have been closed to tourists for 20 years, sit between the paws of the Sphinx, and spend time with a pristine mummy still lying in his original tomb that has never been opened to the public. Many of us had incredible heart opening experiences. The Egyptian people are well aware that they are the guardians of these world treasures brimming with powerful energy. As our Egyptian tour guide said, "Egypt is beyond time and space."

We spent our next-to-last day in the completely empty Great Pyramid at dawn Friday morning meditating. Rus led us in prayer for the Egyptian people. Later that day, Mubarak resigned. When we got back to our hotel to eat breakfast, a HUGE double rainbow broke out over Cairo, and a few hours later Mubarak peacefully left the city. Our Egyptian tour guide told us she had NEVER SEEN A SKY RAINBOW BEFORE --(it almost never rains in Cairo --she had seen one once reflected in a waterfall). Happily, one of our party is a professional photographer. He has put together a beautiful slide show, which he has promised to post. Look for the rainbow!

So pack your bags and go to Egypt now before the tourists go back! I think John Anthony West and Quest Travel have a tour coming up in a month or two. We also used Dannielle Rama Hoffman's book, Temples of Light. We found her descriptions of the temple energies to be exactly right.

I will never forget the sight of thousands of Egyptians, just standing there in the Square. I will never forget their generosity and kindness to 16 stray American, Canadian & New Zealand tourists whom they allowed to watch their poignant, elegant, restrained revolution. Our return flight was cancelled, so we decided to go to Tahrir Square as a group on Saturday. We bought Egyptian flags as we drove through downtown Cairo. When they saw us waving them, people reached out their hands to clasp ours at red lights. When we got out, they crowded around asking us to be in pictures with them!! It was overwhelming. We will never, ever forget it. Though masses were still celebrating from the night before, many in the crowd had donned rubber gloves, medical masks and carried trash bags and brooms. They were cleaning up the square, just like they cleaned up their government.

Long Live Egypt!
Many blessings,
Peggy Mainor
Baltimore, Maryland