Dreaming in Egypt
I have been on an epic journey of Egypt in November 2019, with Dr Apela Colorado and the World Wide Indigenous Science Network.
I created this artwork of the experience and of the dreams we shared. My husband commented that it was a beautiful image, but he wished he understood more what it was about. This was my response.
We started at the very beginning, at the Necropolis of Saqqara where the ruins stand of the Step Pyramid of King Zoser, the first pyramid ever build. You can see it in the top right of the image, directly above the sun. From there we went to visit the Giza Plateau and the pyramids of Cheops, Chephren and Mycerinus. The Great Pyramid is barely visible in the bottom center of the image, as an outline inside Horus. For me personally the Khufu Boat far overshadowed the Great Pyramid.
Unearthed near the Great Pyramid of Giza in an airtight vault, the ancient vessel has archaeologists puzzled over what it was originally intended for. The Khufu Ship was found buried on the south side of the Great Pyramid of Giza by archaeologist Kamal el-Mallakh. He was examining a row of massive limestone blocks covering a rectangular pit. He broke through a slab of limestone to reveal a vault beneath his feet. For the first time in 4,500 years the sun’s rays were shining on the timbers of a great papyriform ship, built and then dismantled and buried at the height of the Egyptian Old Kingdom.
More than a decade later, the ingeniously designed vessel, measuring 143 feet long and 19.6 feet wide, was fully restored without using a single nail.
Therefore the boat dominate the bottom left of the image and, one can see those first rays of sunlight falling on it. If you look closely, you will see the camels in front of the ship, as it was in the desert, rather than in the waters of the Nile, as it appears in the image at first glance.
The Great Sphinx of Gisa was next on our journey and it is a limestone statue of a reclining sphinx, a mythical creature with the body of a lion and the head of, generally believed to represent, the pharaoh Khafre. Facing directly from West to East, it stands on the Giza Plateau on the west bank of the Nile in Giza.
In the image it is far left just down from the center.
Luxor was next on this journey where we visited the Dendara Temple complex and the Hathor Temple. Hathor is the Egyptian sky goddess , goddess of love, music and dancing.
It is one of the most well-preserved temples in all of Egypt.
The colors seen throughout the temples are original, and amazingly vibrant. It is also said she is the goddess of birth and motherhood. She is often depicted as the counterpart of Horus. The corridor to climb to the top of the temple is a spiral, just as a bird would ascend, while the corridor to leave the roof is a straight path down, just as a bird would dive. This is a tribute to Horus.
You can see the beautiful blue ceiling in the top right of the image.
In the top center of the image you can see Hathor swallowing the sun and the radiating light.
On to Abydos and a visit to Osireon, an ancient temple to the rear of the Temple of Seti I.
Next we visited the Karnak Temple and the Luxor Temple.
Karnak is an ancient Egyptian temple precinct located on the east bank of the Nile River in Thebes (modern-day Luxor). It covers more than 100 hectares, an area larger than some ancient cities.
The central sector of the site, which takes up the largest amount of space, is dedicated to Amun-Ra, a male god associated with Thebes. The area immediately around his main sanctuary was known in antiquity as “Ipet-Sun” which means “the most select of places.”
Construction at Karnak started by 4,000 years ago and continued up until the time the Romans took control of Egypt, about 2,000 years ago.
Perhaps the most fantastic building at Karnak was the “Great Hypostyle Hall” built just to the west to the main sanctuary, along the main entranceway. The building is about 337 feet (103 meters) by 170 feet (52 meters),
there are 134 columns in total, the largest twelve of which are 70 feet (21 meters) high and support the central part of the structure. The other 122 columns are about 40 feet (12 meters) tall.
These impressive columns can be seen in the left of the image.
In a small room at the Karnak Temple I was astonished to see the statue of Sekhmet. And was unprepared for the effect on one in her presence. In Egyptian mythology, Sekhmet is a warrior goddess as well as goddess of healing. She is depicted as a lioness, the fiercest hunter known to the Egyptians. It was said that her breath formed the desert. She was seen as the protector of the pharaohs and led them in warfare. Upon death, Sekhmet continued to protect them, bearing them to the afterlife.
Understated just to the left of the center, above the ship you will see her, with a shaft of light illuminating her in the still darkness of her chamber.
Edfu, where the Temple of Horus is was our next stop.
This Ptolemaic temple, built between 237 and 57 BC, is one of the best-preserved ancient monuments in Egypt. Preserved by desert sand, which filled the place after the pagan cult was banned, the temple is dedicated to Horus, the avenging son of Isis and Osiris. With its roof intact, it is also one of the most atmospheric of ancient buildings.
Horus, in ancient Egyptian religion, a god in the form of a falcon whose right eye was the sun or morning star, representing power and quintessence, and whose left eye was the moon or evening star, representing healing.
In the center bottom of the image you will find Horus, the sun shining out of his right eye and the moon, his left eye, as we experienced it above the Isis Temple.