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Join Date: 26 Sep 2006
Location: WI USA
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musing on overkill...Julie's back from Egypt or is she?


Today's card the 10 of Swords- the last quarter moon in Virgo.

Well folks I am back from Egypt.. at least most of me is back...
My 16 day shamanic journey down the Nile was a tremendous journey an eye opening experience that brought both validation and inspiration. Much of this journey was personal validation about past lives and loves in Egypt. Things I wondered about proved to be true validating and bringing form to old assumptions.

The 10 of Swords, story of Sekhmet trials of the newly initiated and a painter's musings follow...
Sekhmet a lion headed goddess of the noontime sun, the burning rays of the sun also known as the flame. In Egypt this sun in the midst of summer could be a killing sun. Sekhmet is actually a version of Hathor in her vengeful aspect. There is a temple to Sakhmet-Hathor at Kom el-Hisn in the western Delta.

In this legend the sun-god Re fears that mankind plots against him. The gods urge him to call down retribution on men by sending his avenging Eye down to Egypt as Hathor-Sekhmet. As the goddess slays men, leaving them in pools of blood in the deserts where they fled, she transforms into the 'powerful'. During the night the god Re, trying to avert a total massacre of the human race by the goddess who clearly has become unstoppable in her bloodlust, orders his high priest at Heliopolis to obtain red ochre from Elephantine and grind it with beer mash. Seven thousand jars of red beer are spread over the land of Egypt sometimes told as wine. in the morning Sakhmet returns to finish her task of destroying the human race, drinks what she assumes is blood and goes away intoxicated, unable to complete her slaughter.

Now personally I never really cared for Sekhmet she was just too intense and her husband Ptah god of arts and crafts/a mason was said to also be a potter who formed men from clay on a potters wheel this seems to me to be the source of the whole idea of god the father forming Adam and his first wife Lilith out of the dust of the earth. Anyway I always felt drawn to the cat goddess Bast the daughter of Isis twin sister of Horus and the goddess of joy, and dancing. Turns out Bast is version of Sekhmet as well. Bast is dressed in green and represents the east where Sekhmet-Hathor represents the west and the color red. It has also come to my attention that Tufnut(twins with Shu in MAAT's Strength card) is an older version of Sekhmet.

So why this sudden interest in Sekhmet? During our visit to the temple of Karnak in Luxor everyone on the Egypt trip was sent into a small dark temple dedicated to Sekhmet, Ptah(her husband) and their son Nefertum. We one by one each walked alone into the dark temple to face the gods, first Ptah, then Nefertum and then finally Sekhmet. When I stepped into the presence of this ancient stone statue of a human form with a cats face the energy was palpable. When I looked at her her eyes they seemed to glow green it seemed at the time that I was face to face with her and for the first time recognized her as the cat who had accompanied me on all my un-beckoned OBE's of my early adult life. She in her bast form had peaked my interest in Egyptology when I was in grade school by appearing and then disappearing from a book I had been looking at. This mysterious cat who turned up in my dreams and appeared as a ghost to friends who visited my college apartment, was also the cat from the Queen of Wands that spurred my curiosity in tarot in the first place. And here she was standing before me in Egypt. I have to say I was suddenly furious with her. I stared her down and said. OKAY I have done what you wanted (meaning MAAT Tarot) now I would like to have my life back. At that moment I felt empowered I felt yes indeed I could get my live back the one I dreamed of the simple life I had imagined for myself of home, husband and children. A normal life, life like everyone else seemed to live a life that seemed to elude me because I was always headlong into hundreds of paintings that needed to be painted.

Upon returning home there was this feeling of not really knowing what was next. MAAT is done now. The Thanksgiving celebration filled the week and when it was over. There was silence and an empty house and everyone was back to work and school.

This morning I was mulling over Sekhmet again thinking I want to paint her thinking about the symbolism surrounding her,
thinking about the initiation rituals we were introduced to in Egypt. The priests and pharaohs of Egypt went through a secret initiation called passing through the skin. A rite where the initiate is eaten and passed through the body of the animal. This is where the leopard skin clad priests come into play. Only those who had passed through the skin were allowed to wear animal skins. Anyway I was suddenly struck with the idea of how I felt when we stood between the paws of the Sphinx. Visualizing the sphinx with Sekhmet's face instead of the king.
The image in my head right now is the lioness head with the sun shining behind her her face in shadow except for her eyes shining and looking at the viewer like the perfect glass eyes in the statues at the Cairo museum. The sphinx aligns perfectly with the rising and setting sun clearly anyone able to pass though the body of the sphinx would be following the path of the sun.

Another idea that is intriguing me in is the idea about the blood being substituted with wine and Sekhmet being put to sleep by the wine. The idea of blood being substituted with wine reminds me of the Dionysian and Christian rites where the god's blood is turned to wine. The mass includes the eating and drinking of the god's(initiate's?) body and blood. Now the Dionysian (and Pentheus stories) have the god being torn to bits by priestesses after he witnesses their secret rites (moon lodge(menstrual) rituals?) In the story of Pentheus, he is torn to bits by priestesses for the same transgression only one of the priestesses is also his mother who in the frenzy doesn't recognize him. The Dionysian/Bacchus rites were symbolic of the grapes being made into wine. So there it is blood turning to wine, secret rites, cave/tomb/womb initiations, secret rites of the sun/moon, death and resurrection, The priestess/Goddess, put to sleep... and in Christianity put out...or not?? certainly put off -Mary Magdalen???
("Touch me not...I have not yet ascended to the father)

All this seems to be saying something to me.

Your thoughts are welcome,
Julie
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