There is a statuette of an icon of the Egyptian Mysteries in my porch, Mighty Anubis, great Initiator and Lord of the Dead. I pay him respects before bedtime and again before going to work in the morning. This has gone on for years and likely to continue for many more. Funny how certain behaviours become second nature to us. All part of being human I say to His Nibs, he gives me an inscrutable look. I shrug my shoulders.
This relationship between neter (abstract/divine principle) and human may have its roots in the dawn of human civilization. Death has walked hand in hand with humanity for eternity, the only constant in a world that appears stable but never has been. At what point did the solitary jackal become elevated to divine status by the ancient inhabitants of the Nile Valley? When did personal religion become overshadowed by State religion? All these ideas rolling about in my mind with nowhere to go. What relevance do they have in my life I ask him. Not much, he replies, but it certainly focuses the mind on the journey you are engaged in now. Oh. I need to learn to just BE and live in the present? Makes sense Wise One, you certainly give sound advice. Don’t push it, he replies smiling. I bow my head in mock apology and wonder what else is coming.
Insight and self-awareness he whispers in my ear. I look at his face and then outside, which is bright and sunny on this Solstice day. There is more to ancient Egypt than death, a perception that has rightly changed. Looking at the past from our comfortable lives will always contain within it a hint of romanticism. The ordinary folk had lives which were often harsh but tinged with pragmatism. We are still deciphering the fragments of the ancient Egyptians’ mundane and spiritual lives. There is quite an art to walking in the footsteps of those that are long gone and I am still learning the techniques. On this occasion the call has been quite strong. Something has been bothering me for weeks and it refuses to go away. By this time you may or may not be wondering what I am doing talking to a statuette. My sanity was looking healthy last time I looked. To the worshipper of these ancient beings the image of the deity WAS the deity, a vessel containing the divine within it. I hope that clears the confusion, somehow think it doesn’t but unimportant at this stage. Dear reader, what is unravelling before you is a symbolic landscape and this is only the matinee before the main show starts. The Walker between the Worlds has made his pronouncement and I obey.
My mind shifts subtly and I am in a different space. Clasping an amulet of Anubis in my hand I walk through a blue door into a timeless scene somewhere in Egypt. The rising Sun is resplendent in gold and flame. Its colours are echoed in the desert sands beyond the jewelled green of the vegetation along the life giving Nile. This is where it all started, where one part of the cycle will end and another begins. Much like everyday events in our mundane lives. At times there appears to be a mathematical precision to life events.
“Of course there is” a voice answers behind me.
The man is tall and well muscled. He wears a short white linen kilt and simple rush sandals. In his left hand he clasps the uas sceptre. His eyes are dark and bright, almost as if there was a light behind them. There is an air of great wisdom and humour about him. Nevertheless I need to be careful, illusions can be a dangerous distraction. I ask him in the name of the One that creates and destroys what his true name is three times. Three times he answers. All is well. He nods and offers a hand, which I grasp and both of us walk towards a simple reed hut further down the riverbank. We talk in low tones. I am here for an important reason, that much is obvious.
“Insight and self-awareness you said Mighty One. What did you mean by that” I question him quietly.
“That is for you to find out. I can only show you the way to greater Knowledge. The path is for you to walk. Raise yourself from the torpor that traps and blinds you to the Inner Light. It is time now to act.” He is sure and firm in his words.
I see the truth of what he is saying but how to achieve this regeneration of Self? The skies start to darken and the ground shakes. What on earth? He mutters that it has begun and I need to be fearless. I have no intention of breathing my last in the astral, damn right! My right hand grips the sceptre Anubis had passed to me and I stand ready to face anything now. One tiny thought ambles through my head at that moment, do the ironing when I get back. Even adventurers and dimension travellers have to deal with the mundane aspects of life. I digress, apologies.
The darkness is total now, we can’t see anything. The ground beneath our feet has changed, it is humming with energy. The silence is periodically broken by the sound of “things” moving through water. It feels rather eerie. Are we on the Primeval Mound? He answers in my head that we are indeed. It seems that thought comes before speech, only because my vocal cords are unable to operate properly in this wilderness. Time seems to behave in strange ways in this place. I use my sceptre to navigate the mound, movement is slow but my mind is functioning at top speed. I think of being elsewhere on this patch of land and find myself there in the next moment. Feels like the dense material body is unable to function properly in this Universe, it is the realm of pure consciousness. The God interrupts my thoughts and announces that it is time for the Light to appear. I think I know what is coming.
I can sense “Him” rising through the endless depths of the water around us and tentatively reach out. The energies I connect with are intense and very uncomfortable, and then a shimmering wall enfolds me and a voice that warns I am not ready to face the Unknowable yet. A relief. The darkness is soon pierced by an intense golden light that illuminates as far as I can see. The silvery waters of Nun stretch into infinity, the surface occasionally broken by emergence of strange creatures – serpentine and frog like animals. Humans aren’t meant to be here, it is a place for gods and silence.
The light intensifies in one area and we witness the rising of a beautiful blue lotus from the depths. What a tremendous sight! One by one its mighty petals unfurl to reveal an utterly sublime sight, a golden child. The child appears asleep. Not so as he raises his head to reveal a face that is serene and wise. His eyes are the colour of lapis lazuli and his skin a luminous gold. Wondrous Re, He who is self-begotten. I never thought to be witness to such a sight. The light infuses every single atom of this Universe, including me. His consciousness is pure Light. Hard to describe the experience, even harder to understand its implications. The Ignorance of Darkness has been pierced by the Light of Knowledge and Understanding. So Mote it Be!
Too soon I am back on the riverbank and facing my Initiator. I hand him the sceptre and bow with my right hand over my heart. Till we meet again Walker between the Worlds, Mighty Anpu, Lord of the Dead. The blue door beckons, my point of safety and entry out of the illusionary world of the astral. I shut it firmly behind me and find myself back in the porch staring at His Nibs. The archetypal symbols and players will take their time in revealing the truths contained within the experience. The inner life does not give up its secrets that easily.