I realized this morning as I was sorting through all of my pictures from my Egypt trip that I forgot to mention in yesterday’s post one of the sites that we visited that day. That is one of the reasons that these blog posts have been so helpful for me. It is just so hard to keep it all straight and my memory fails me. Thank goodness for pictures, I never want to forget it and I had failed to recall that we also visited the Valley of the Queens on the ninth day there. Before I talk about the tenth day in Egypt, I would be remiss not to at least share a few pictures of it. The hieroglyphs there were the best preserved of any I saw, and the colors were just unbelievable. I was also glad to see that these were all behind glass because some people (like Kennedy) cannot resist touching. I am sure that it is because they were kept from being touched that they remained in such great condition. So, this first grouping of pictures are all from the Valley of the Queens.
Having shared a little more from day nine, I can go on to the tenth day in Egypt. On this day we went to visit Dendera and Abydos. There is so much to talk about from both of these locations! I will just try to mention a few of my favorite things so this post doesn’t go on forever. The Dendera Temple is also known as the Temple of Hathor and you will find her image carved into the tops of many of the supporting columns. Hathor is the Goddess of love and music, and Her temple was so fascinating. What I remember the most about this complex were the amazing ceilings. They were so insanely high and completely covered in reliefs that were painted and still had some of their magical color. There is a fascinating connection to astrology at this site and the “Dendera Zodiac” can be found on the ceiling of one of the smaller rooms. Unfortunately, the original was removed and the one that is there now is a replica, but it was still a beautiful piece. In yet another room within the temple the star covered Goddess of the Heavens Nut, is carved and painted all the way across the ceiling. She arches over the room as the night sky, reaching from one side to the other, with her hands and feet firmly planted in each corner. In another area, what is left of an old staircase leads up the wall and carved in relief along it, is a procession of Gods, Goddesses, priests and pharaoh that was just absolutely wonderful. (Please note that some of these things may be hard to make out in the pictures that I took, but you can find many that are clearer online.)
The Dendera complex also has some very interesting hieroglyphs that somehow seem different than others. There is one wall in particular that depicts images that look sort of out of this world. It resembles energy sources that could pass for transformers and seem to be powering spotlights of some kind. Very peculiar and a favorite of the show, Ancient Aliens, I am sure.
Moving on to Abydos, this is one of the most ancient cities of Upper Egypt, and the Temple of Seti I. For those of you who have read or heard of the book, The Search for Omm Sety by Jonathon Cott, this is the beloved temple of Dorothy Eady, who claimed to be the reincarnation of one of the temple girls and the lover of Pharoah Seti I. This was another temple where the hieroglyphs were just so captivating. I could have wandered around looking at them all day long. Another “ancient Aliens” favorite, this site has images that resemble things like helicopters, submarines, planes and UFOs. There were some areas where they were working on the cleaning and conservation of the hieroglyphs and that was interesting as well. I was enthralled with all of the images of the Gods and Goddesses holding up their hands to offer energy, blessings and healing to the Pharoah. This was the first place where it dawned on me that it looked like someone performing Reiki. As a Reiki practitioner myself, I just loved this idea. There is actually an Egyptian form of Reiki known as Sekhem or Seichim, which reminds me of the healing powers of the Goddess Sehkmet, so it feels appropriate. Since returning home, I have researched and worked with this form of Reiki and I really do enjoy it.
Abydos was the cult center of Osiris and there is also a temple there that is dedicated to him. It was originally known as the Tomb of Djer. Don’t quote me on this but if I remember correctly, there may have been a transition due to the similarity of the name or word “Djed” as in the “Djed Pillar” which I discussed in an earlier post. As the Djed was considered the “backbone” of Osiris, it makes sense that this was one of the tombs where it would be believed that he was laid to rest. What I loved about this particular building was its more unusual structure which seemed more below ground. Unfortunately, because of this, it suffered from flooding and we weren’t allowed to go down inside. However, I was glad that we were still able to see an ancient carving on one of the walls that is thought to be one of the earliest examples of the symbol of the Flower of Life found so far. I have always loved that symbol, but I had never associated it with Egypt, so that was interesting.
Today, I would like to choose two Tarot cards, one to represent each site. For Dendera Temple, The World card feels right, and for Abydos, The Hierophant. I like the World Card so much. It represents being surrounded and protected by Divine and Benevolent Beings, among other things. In both the Rider-Waite and the Nefertari Tarot decks, the focus is on the ultimate Mother of the Gods, the Earth Mother or Mother Nature. In both decks she is depicted as a naked woman which represents being completely open and honest in your approach to her. As the Mother of Mothers, she also symbolizes unconditional love. The energy at Dendera is certainly reflective of this, as the Goddess it is dedicated to, Hathor, is the Goddess of Love Herself. Additionally, the wonderful image of The World card from the Nefertari Tarot deck shows the Goddess Nut arching over the Earth God, Geb, with the God of Air, Shu, in between. She seems so protective and it reminds me of the images of her painted on the ceilings at Dendera. The Hierophant card fits so well with Abydos because it is a Greek word which means, “He who proclaims what is sacred,” and it is such a sacred place and has been for so very, very long. Since Abydos was the cult center of Osiris, the image of Osiris on the Nefertari version of the card is perfect as it’s representation. The Rider-Waite Hierophant is holding up his hand in the traditional form of a blessing. It also makes me think of so many of the hieroglyphs which illustrated their own Gods and Goddesses holding up their own hands in similar gestures of peace. I also love the similarity in the words hieroglyph and hierophant. The origins of the root hieros come from the Greek words combining sacred, holy or priestly. Abydos is definitely all of those things and the hieroglyphs are unquestionably sacred texts.
Rev. Kennedy Turner is the owner of The Cat's Meow, Tarot and Talismans, LLC in Louisville, Ky. She is a Psychic Medium, Professional Intuitive Tarot Card Reader, and Certified Healing Reiki Practitioner. She also designs and blesses jewelry for use as protective personal talismans and charms, tailored to meet your individual needs.