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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in isis

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
My Journey to Revolutionary Egypt


Much as my friends were trying to dissuade me from visiting a country in revolutionary turmoil, I decided to travel to Egypt, hoping to find an answer to the riddles in my mind. It was a burning hot desire, an obsessive thought born after the explosion of the Revolution.

It was November of 2011. The country was ruled by SCAF, the military council that had taken over after the dictator Hosni Mubarak had been ousted. The spirit of the Revolution was alive and well, so once again the people of Egypt organized massive mobilizations.

I was aware of the dangers in demonstrating in Egypt. For months I had been in touch with activists and had read lots of horror stories. Questions were pounding on my mind. What if the demonstration was attacked by security forces, armed thugs, and snipers, as had happened during the Revolution? What if I got arrested and ended up in one of the country’s notorious jails where political prisoners were routinely raped and tortured?

Yet, time and again I could hear a voice calling out: “Will you risk your life for me?” It could have been the voice of Isis, Egypt, or the Revolution. In my mind all three had merged into one. I wouldn’t miss this opportunity for anything in the world!

So, there I was, in Tahrir, whose name means “Liberation,” the iconic square of the Revolution. I had been there just a few days earlier to visit the world-famous Museum of Cairo. That first visit was a pilgrimage to the treasures of the past that have kept me under their spell for so long. Isis and Osiris were there, staring at me with their inlaid eyes, holding the key to secret longings.

The second visit to Tahrir was a pilgrimage too, but of a different nature. Demonstrating side by side with Egyptian revolutionaries felt like a dream come true. The place was overflowing with protesters, many of them women wearing the hijab, the Muslim scarf, on their heads. They were key figures, just like they had played a leading role during the Revolution.

The march was a huge success, as well as the rallies organized in other parts of the country. It was reported that three million people demonstrated that day all over the country. The atmosphere was almost festive. Protesters seemed proud and strong. The energy of the Revolution was palpable—and there’s nothing like a revolution if you want to raise energy!

b2ap3_thumbnail_Tahrir-11-2011.JPG

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  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ says #
    I consider my work in the Green Party Greece to be spiritual, but of course I don't mention that to my Green friends. And as you s

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Taking the Veil

In the time of secrets, before dawn, the mists veil the mountains. In the time of silence, at midnight, wisps of clouds half-hide the moon. At the shore, the edge of mystery, the thinning surf shrouds the sand with lace. 

 

These veils—there and not there, insubstantial—grace and soften hard lines. They are compassion, they are ease, they are consolation.

 

I want a veil of mist and mystery, of lacey lightness, to waft over me and softly settle on me, shelter me, cover me. I want to draw it over me, blessing myself, crowning myself. I want to put myself under the wing of protection, and from this hiding place to look out from safety and look in with focus. In fact, I want to go within and within, to penetrate my darkness and find a deeper, richer one inside it. And then I want to look out, grounded in that powerful core.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_22573479132_3700a80e9f_k.jpgAlready in Salt Lake City we could see that the sun was moving away towards a darker time of the year, even against the dazzling sunset backdrop of mountain peaks in the distance. I had dreamed since 1993 of attending the Parliament of the World’s Religions, not realizing that I would have taken on a whole new religious identity by the time I got to attend my first one this October. So immersed had I become in that path that I was invited to play the role of Isis in a ceremony honoring many of the traditional goddesses who have been worshiped around the world, from Amaterasu to Kali to Oshun and Brigid. Read more about Goddesses Alive here. For each of us costumed as a goddess, including a fabulous mask by noted artist Lauren Raine, there was no script. Our task was to be the goddess while narrators and music set the ambience for an audience sitting in the round.

In the weeks leading up to this performance I was focused on logistics: my first wig (think Donna Summer); jewelry, robe, choreography. I will not in this lifetime ever again resemble the willowy figure of Egyptian paintings, and I had no intention of wearing a tight, transparent sheath, so I opted for a shimmering loose caftan. Then two days before our flight I fell, twisting and breaking my ankle. Choreography would be limited to arm gestures and it was anyone’s guess whether I would be able to perform sans wheelchair.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

What does Egyptian religious practice look like in the 21st century?  Maybe more to the point, why do we turn for inspiration to a culture which disappeared nearly 1800 years ago?b2ap3_thumbnail_Pached1.jpg 

The second question makes me think of my friend Marion who just loves to travel.  He’s been in more countries, more times, than I can count.  He and I have mused together about how deeply one is changed by stepping outside of everyday life and being immersed in something completely new and different.  For some of us, religious travel is just the tonic needed for a weary soul. 

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  • Tony Lima
    Tony Lima says #
    I'd like witches to be more reserved in this new age... I'd like witches to be more open to sexual love as an omnipotent attribute
  • Tony Lima
    Tony Lima says #
    Pagan worship concepts - nothing wrong except that many were mislead by unrealistic fears, and expectations that never materialize

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_Nebamun-2.jpgMore than 50 ancient hieroglyphs depict birds: ibis, quail chick, hawk, vulture, duck, plover, goose, swallow, sparrow, cormorant, egret, ostrich, heron, flamingo, lapwing, hoopoe, guinea hen and falcon, plus variations on each of these.  It’s a veritable feast for modern bird lovers; tomb paintings like Nebamun hunting are still more delightful, showing the teeming color of life in the Nile marshes. 

Egyptian cosmology is closely tied to birds, too.  During Sep Tepi (sacred time), a bird of light flies out of the dark waters of Nun and lands on the primordial mound called the benben. This bird was thought to be an early form of Ra, and Herodotus thought the bennu was the phoenix of later Greek myth, the firebird which rises reborn from its own ashes. 

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