To me, the temples of Egypt are like chakras running along a watery spine. Carrying the true soul of the country. In The Inner Guide to Egypt, an essential companion on my journey, Alan Richardson and Billie Walker-John see them travelling from the root at Philae to the crown at the delta. I’ve always experienced them flowing in the other direction, with the delta as the root, Philae as the crown and Karnak at the heart. But I’m aware that each temple has its own chakra system deliberately encoded within it. As with the human chakras, these are vast radiating spirals of energy not static points. Above Philae, intrepid travellers can find the lesser known energy centres that culminate at Abu Simbel, a portal to the stars.
When cleansing chakras with a crystal, my hand spontaneously spirals out in one direction and then, when reenergising, spirals back in the other. I pay no attention to the direction of the spin. I trust that the crystal does what is appropriate. So I was interested to see that the itinerary for our December 2014 trip reversed much of the order of the trips we had taken in February 2013 when on our healing pilgrimage for Margaret (see Light Becoming and The Big PS on my website). This time it was a thanksgiving and introduction for Margaret to the sacred places where her spirit had rested during her transmutation. A rewinding of the soul.
So, with barely time to catch our breath, we arrived on the boat, slept for a few hours and got up incredibly early to take a trip to the Valley of the Kings. Where Margaret discovered that the tombs were not at all the oppressive mausoleums she had expected but rather the joyful gateway to new life. I had taken her through the Gates of the Underworld, as shown on the tomb paintings, as a preparation for her stem cell transplant (you can read about that on her blog Under Cover of Darkness, soon to be a book and another of these blogs). But now she was actually here, living her new life. Then we went to Dair El Bahari to pay our respects to Hathor, who had been so instrumental in that healing.
Next morning we were at Edfu at first light. To me this is the throat chakra. It was very different to the aggressive night-time visit we’d made on the trip before. Back then Margaret was undergoing very aggressive chemo that took her to the edge of death and beyond for the cancer in her throat and the temple mirrored that. This time Horus the twice-born welcomed us.
Terrie and I peeled off from the main group to follow the path of the solar barque to the roof. Once a year Ra was ceremonially carried there to be regenerated by the rising sun. We also had time to look at the extensive medical library on the walls of this temple. It is incredible how much the ancient Egyptians knew of natural healing methods. Malachite, used for eye complaints, is a natural antibiotic although it has to be used with care as it can be toxic. The old healers were past masters at balancing such things.
And then it was off to Horus’ other home. Kom Ombo, the only dual temple on the Nile. This is where he holds the balance of the dualities with my old friend Sobek who also played an important part in Margaret’s healing. It was an ancient medical centre. Being in this temple at night was a privilege, it enfolded us lovingly. The doors of perception are opened and cleansed in this temple, so we could call it the third eye. This is where we’d had some powerful synchronistic experiences with Sobek and Hathor on our previous trip.
We overnighted at Aswan the beautiful. Although I couldn’t see much as we were moored tight up against another boat and I had to keep my curtains closed for three days until we were on the river once again. Very symbolic! This is, after all, the place where Isis brought Osiris for burial and rebirth. But the view from the top deck was amazing especially when captured by Terrie’s fantastic photography skills. I love this place.
It gave us the opportunity to take Margaret to Philae Temple (there’s another blog about that!) and to celebrate her return to health with coffee and cocktails in the civilised ambience of The Old Cataract Hotel.
A quick trip to the Nubian museum to check on the portal we had opened the previous year, and it was time to return to the Old Cataract for lunch. Our trip back to the boat took us around the peaceful backwaters of Aswan in the aptly named:
After returning down the Nile, another very early start took us back to Luxor and onto Karnak for the winter solstice sunrise. Perfect timing as it was our last day.The Egyptians put on an amazing show, as did Ra himself. It was both fun and awe-inspiring to join in the celebrations. It felt less like something put on for the tourists and more like a ritual honouring. A time of great heart opening. You can see some of the pictures on Facebook but here’s a few more, all courtesy of Terrie Birch.
A quick breakfast snack and then our pilgrimage was completed at Khephera, where it had begun back in February 2013. Then I’d placed Margaret’s photo on the statue and we, together with most of the people from our trip, progressed the ritual seven times around the stone asking for her healing. Khephera is a master astrologer and keeper of the cycles of time and space. Margaret could now make her own encircling. The soul rewinding was complete and Terrie and I were released to go to honour Sekhmet – but that’s another blog.
However, it wasn’t exactly The End. We returned to the temple in the evening for the fantastically tacky-and-I-wouldn’t-miss-it-for-the-world Sound and Light Show. It’s such a privilege to walk in the temple in the evening. So different to the day. And it was close to the time when the sun changed zodiac signs and the new moon rose. A perfect ending.
My thanks to Terrie Birch for her amazing photography and excellent company and to Margaret and Stephen who made the journey possible and who made the leap from luxury sea cruising to Nile-boating with grace and ease. More blogs to follow so:
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