On the eleventh day in Egypt, we visited the Tell al-Amarna Tombs and Beni Hassan. I liked Beni Hassan very much, however, Tell al-Amarna was much more memorable to me. It was known as the city of Akhenaten, the Egyptian king who is mostly known for his attempts to transition the polytheistic religion of the people to one of a more monotheistic nature. While other deities were still worshiped, Akhenaten honored the sun God, Aten, as the Supreme God. This idea was so disliked that following his death, his name and image was for the most part erased. That is why the hieroglyphs in these tombs were so interesting to me. The images of the hands of the Sun God, Aten are still there reaching down to the figures below. Aten was seen as the giver of life-force energy and I have always liked the idea and the depiction of the rays of the sun as having hands that seem to pat the people on the heads to give them comfort. You can see where the face of the King and even his horses have been removed, which the Egyptians believed took away all of their power. But the hands of Aten still shine down. Tell al-Amarna was really expansive, but much of it is completely razed. There are the remains of one huge pillar that looked like a lotus or papyrus flower which makes a fairly significant statement compared to the barren landscape around it.
Beni Hassan is a high on the cliffs and it is a beautiful site to look down on the Nile from there. The stark contrast between the green vegetation along the river and wind-swept desert beside it was always so striking to me. Beni Hassan is mostly known for its reliefs which show images of what basically are instructions on how to wrestle. Unfortunately, I do not have any pictures to share from inside, but I am sure you can find them online. This must have been one of those sites where you weren’t allowed to take photographs. (Unless you paid of course, and I must not have had any small bills at the time. I will say that is the one thing that I found frustrating in Egypt. For some reason small bills are nearly impossible to come by so when you exchange your currency, they tend to only give you big bills which are then really difficult to break. In general, a tip of anywhere between $1 to $5 dollars would be just fine to give the guards in order for them to allow you take pictures, so I was disinclined to hand them a $20 or a $50 instead. Anyway, if you ever go, take as many $1 dollar bills as you can. You will be asked to tip EVERYWHERE and you just can’t have enough of them. There is even someone standing in front of every bathroom handing out toilet paper which is not kept in the stalls, so you want to make sure you have something for that. You can take your own, but they find it offensive and why do that? I always looked at it as an opportunity to help someone living in an area with a really unfortunate economy.)
The Tarot cards for this day is of course, The Sun. I think the reason why speaks for itself so I’m not going to say much about it other than that it represents happiness, joy and a sense of innocence. Egypt certainly did bring me joy and I sure do miss the warm rays of Aten that don’t always show up so much in Kentucky.
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.