The 15th day in Egypt began with a visit to the shore of the Mediterranean. For me this was sort of the climactic point of the whole trip. We had begun at the far south end of the Nile and worked our way all the way up to the North. It was just a beautiful place, the water and the sky were so blue, the temperature was perfect, and it was early so no one else was around. You could see the Lighthouse of Alexandria off in the distance and I love the symbolism there. The light that guides you home. We weren’t there for swimming, but I couldn’t resist the urge to jump in anyway. It felt like a baptism of sorts. I had to experience swimming in that lovely sea. I am so very glad I did. Fortunately, it is so dry and warm there that you dry off in about two minutes.
From the beach we moved on to the catacombs of Kom El Shuqafa. On the way we passed the Bombay Pillar and I did manage to get a few quick pictures as we passed. The catacombs were discovered when a poor donkey accidentally fell into an access shaft. At least they kept him there and he was sort of memorialized which was nice. These catacombs were right in the middle of the city and they went so far down underground! I could see why no one knew they were there. They also had a much more Roman/Greek influence in the carvings and reliefs, although still clearly Egyptian too. It was an interesting mix of styles. Sadly, I don’t have any pictures to share from this location. Another "no pictures" place. (Please do know that if you really want to see what any of these sites look like, you can find lots of images available on online.)
The last place we visited that day was the Alexandria Library (or Bibliotheca Alexandrina). What a tough piece of history that is to swallow. To imagine the loss of all the knowledge that was kept there to a fire…it almost makes me physically ill to think about it. What actually happened is up for debate, but supposedly it was Julius Caesar that started the fire which burned everything to the ground. The idea of someone doing something like that on purpose is incomprehensible to me, but who knows. I just wonder how different the world would be if we still had access to all that literature and information. Heartbreaking. The new Alexandria Library is built in a very modern style. They didn’t try to recreate it and I don’t think there were any records of what it looked like originally anyway. It is a beautiful and impressive building and absolutely huge. It is more than just a library. It houses six libraries in one as well as art galleries, a laboratory and a planetarium among other things. There are symbolic nods to the original Library in some of the design, but the main goal of the University of Alexandria was to continue the tradition of this being a major source for the storage and dissemination of knowledge and learning. Countries from all around the world have donated books and documents. I am incredibly grateful that it is there and functioning again.
The 15th day of this trip goes well with the Hermit Tarot card. Traditionally this card can be seen as encouraging you to follow the light of your spiritual truth, but the reason I have chosen it has more to do with the connection to inner knowledge and reflection. The Hermit is a guru, someone who receives his information not only from books but from his higher self and God or Spirit. The Alexandria Library is certainly still a place of knowledge and a vessel for the wisdom of all nations. As I look at the Hermit, I would compare him holding out his lamp to illuminate his way or that of others, to the Alexandria Lighthouse shining like a beacon in the night. In the Rider-Waite Tarot deck, the ground is covered in snow and can be likened to having forgotten oneself. Here in the Nefertari version, it reminds me more of things (like knowledge) being lost in the sands of time.
My name is Kennedy Turner and I am the owner of The Cat's Meow, Tarot and Talismans, LLC. I am an intuitive Tarot card reader, medium and healing Reiki practitioner. I also design, cleanse, bless and consecrate jewelry and other objects for use as protective personal talismans, tailored to meet individual needs.