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. 

Certainly, I was weary when Aset and then Sekhmet began to turn up in my meditations and dreams -- the latter was a real surprise since I’d never even heard of her!  It took me some time before I finally allowed my inner self to make that long journey down the Nile.  Everywhere I looked, it seemed, the doors of my heart sprang open, welcoming what felt like long-forgotten vistas.  Meanwhile, I blossomed like a lotus opening in the morning sun to reveal its golden center.  I had found my soul home. 

But being raised in a churchgoing western culture leaves some deeply-ingrained conditioning.  How to nurture the new garden planted within?  How to make sense of the complexities of multiple Egyptian cult centers, the absorption, conflation, mixing and evolution of religious culture over the centuries? 

Inevitably, many of us turn to Egyptology, the non-religious archaeology of ancient Egypt.  This allows us to explore our own source texts, listening for the wisdom we crave in our own lives.  Few pre-Christian religions left a written legacy; those of us drawn to Egypt are blessed to have a treasure trove of religious and other documents we may study.  Even those, however, can be arcane, their meaning obscured by thousands of years and half a world of distance. 

But that very obscurity teases some of us by presenting gates through which we can pass into our own subconscious, and thereby into communion with All-That-Is.  Over the next few columns I will be discussing more about personal Egyptian practice in the hope that some standing on the shore may discover their own boat of a million years and begin their journey up the Nile.