“Lauren Thyme is obviously a person who knows her ancient Egypt profoundly. Her writing gives an almost hallucinatory impression of being there. ALONG THE NILE is far and away the best novel about Ancient Egypt I have ever read.” — Colin Wilson, world-famous author of THE OUTSIDER; FROM ATLANTIS TO THE SPHINX; THE OCCULT and many more.
I met Colin Wilson, a delightfully down-to-earth man, on my second of three metaphysical excursions to Egypt and we became acquainted. He was a much-beloved British author of dozens of books, hundreds of articles and several plays. I’m amazed that he experienced the “hallucinatory impression of being there” when he later read my novel.
But I'm getting ahead of my story. Let me take you to the beginning.
During a meditation in 1996 I received a vision of an ancient Egyptian woman with a huge golden headdress who told me: “Go to Egypt. Go to Egypt. Go to Egypt.” (Later I would find out her name was Hathor.)
I later met with a friend, Donna, who showed me exquisite photos of a recent trip to Egypt. When we got to photos of Dendera, I got excited. “Dendera? What is Dendera?” I asked her.
“It’s a healing temple,” Donna explained. “They also trained priestesses to be psychic and interpret dreams.”
“I have to go to Dendera!” I announced. I didn’t know why but I always trust my gut feelings. Plus I had been a healer and psychic most of my life, so it somehow felt right.
I signed up for a metaphysical tour. Before I could actually go, a group of Islamic terrorists killed some tourists near Hetshepsut’s Temple and the tour was cancelled. I researched online and only found one other tour that included Dendera — Sacred Quest Tours — and signed up.
When I arrived in Giza at the fabulous 4-star Mena House Hotel over looking the Pyramids, I met Quest Travel's owner, Mohammed Nazmy. We felt like instant friends and hugged with joy. Then he handed me an itinerary.
“Where’s Dendera?!” I exclaimed. “Aren’t we going to Dendera?”
“No, Lauren, we had to cancel that portion of the trip. It requires an army convoy for all tours groups and we couldn’t arrange it,” Mohammed said sadly.
“But I have to go! It’s why I joined your tour. Can I take a bus or train — or camel — or something?” I asked impetuously.
“I’m sorry,” Mohammed explained. “It’s an impossible journey on your own. Because of the danger of fundamental Islamists, tour regulations require an army convey to travel to that area.”
I was beyond disappointed.
The next day our tour group visited the Great Pyramid complex. Impulsively I put my forehead (third eye) against a huge stone block low on the Great Pyramid. Suddenly I was in a vision: I was flying through stars in the cosmos. Suddenly I landed on earth. I found myself in a dark, low, narrow enclosed walkway. It curved to the right. There was a tiny doorway with steps leading down.
I ran over to Mohammed to ask him what he thought it meant.
“That’s Dendera,” he said meaningfully.
“Oh, now I REALLY need to go to Dendera!” I cried. “Are you sure there’s no other way?”
Mohammed shook his head. “No, there isn’t.”
Several days later our group toured the Cairo Museum. In front is a large lotus pond with papyrus. I cried seeing it, not knowing why. I wandered away from the group and found the King Tut exhibit. It was beautiful but didn’t stir my emotions. Next to it was the Ancient Jewelry Exhibit. I went inside, looked at the jewelry and burst into tears again. I’m sure everyone must have thought I was crazy, crying over jewelry.
A few days later we flew south to Luxor. At dinner I saw our American tour guide whispering to Mohammed. I knew that meant we were going to Dendera. After dinner, Mohammed announced, “We are going to Dendera tomorrow!”
I suspected it was because of me and my vision. I ran over and hugged Mohammed in gratitude.
When we arrived at Dendera, I walked through the crumbling mud brick entrance, saw the Hathor columns of the Temple. Dendera was Hathor’s Home, the golden woman I had first seen in my meditation, who had instructed me to “GO TO EGYPT.” I fell down, prostrating myself on the dusty ground and cried some more. I was home!
The group went off with our assigned Egyptologist to view Dendera’s Temple and grounds. I couldn’t wait. I ran around the many acres, looking for my vision. Every time I stopped, to gather my thoughts, an Egyptian man came up to me. He was dressed in Western clothes so I knew he wasn’t a Temple Guard, who always wear a galabaya robe. Every time I stopped, he would tell me, “You need to see the crypt.”
I waved him away, saying, “No, thanks. I’m looking for something.” And besides I had been warned not to go off with Egyptian men, because they took “liberties” with Western women.
Then off I would go again, followed by the Egyptian man. I finally got discouraged and went to find Mohammed. He was up on the roof of the Temple. “Mohammed, where is my vision? ” I asked him.
“I think it is over by the Sacred Lake,” he replied, pointing to the now-dry lake enclosed with palm trees.
Off I went again, racing to the sacred lake, down some stairs, and looked into all the cubicles I saw there. Nothing. My vision was nowhere to be found.
The man came up to me once more. “You need to see the crypt.”
I was exhausted and frustrated. “Okay,” I agreed reluctantly. “Take me to the crypt.”
We went into the massive Temple, with a forest of Hathor pillars all around. The strange man led me to a small, unadorned, dark room. He went over to a grate, lifted it up, turned on an electric switch and motioned to me. I was supposed to climb into a hole in the ground with a strange Egyptian man??? I decided to follow him. He helped me down the ladder.
There I was! In the middle of my vision. I was walking along a dark, low, narrow enclosed walkway, which curved to the right. There was a tiny doorway with steps down — to the crypt!!
We crawled through the doorway and made our way down to a beautiful limestone series of chambers, carved with absolutely elegant figures, designs, hieroglyphics, etc. I did a quick prayer for peace (our tour group was called Ambassadors of Peace), a short meditation and took some pictures while the man stood
quietly at my side.
When I was done, he asked, “Do you know what the crypt was used for?”
“No. I didn’t even know there was a crypt here.”
The man continued. “It was to store the sacred jewelry.”
Suddenly everything became quite clear. I had lived here before in another lifetime. I had taken care of, or at least knew about, the Sacred Jewelry.
He held out his hand for me to shake. “My name is Mohammed. I work for Mr. Nazmy in this part of his tour.” Mohammed smiled. “I grew up in this area, in Qena, close to this temple. I used to play here all the time as a kid. Then I grew up, went to University and became an Egyptologist. I work for the Museum
at Luxor. I don’t usually talk to Mohammed’s tour groups. I generally take care of details. But then I saw you get off the bus and knew I was supposed to take you to the crypt."
I was breathless in awe. The universe had gone through some amazing gymnastics to bring me to this moment.
Mohammed continued. “You’re a Daughter of Hathor, aren’t you?” He gazed at the 18K gold Hathor pendant necklace I was wearing, having bought it the day before in a Luxor jewelry shop.
“I’m not sure what you mean. But, yes, I think I am,” I replied.
“You’ve lived here before.”
“Yes, I think I have.”
“I mean, before.” I understand what he meant. The young man was telling me he knew me in a previous life.
I then told him my whole story, including the vision I had at the Great Pyramid. “How did you know to bring me to the crypt?”
He shrugged. “I recognized you when you got off the bus. From… before… I knew you had to see the crypt.”
My mind was in a whirl. No logical thoughts prevailed. Only an immense feeling of joy, a sense of homecoming, plus I was happy that I trusted my messages, visions, and intuitions. As if in a trance, I murmured, “I’m a writer. I’m going to write a book about this Temple someday.”
Mohammed shyly added: “Many people have asked me to help them write their books about Dendera. I’ve always said no.” He paused, then continued. “But YOU I will help.”
Not feeling like strangers any more, I hugged Mohammed from Qena.
When I returned to California, I tried valiantly to stay in touch with Mohammed who had taken me to the crypt. Phone calls were impossible then. Hardly anyone had cell phones. I called his mother’s home, but no one spoke English there. Letters and packages disappeared into the void of a third world country
postal department. I returned twice to Egypt, but Mohammed was out of the country both times. I never saw him again. I wrote the book without him, but I acknowledge Mohammed from Qena as my spiritual guide to the Vision, which morphed into ALONG THE NILE years later.
Lauren O. Thyme 7/23/2012 (first published on Galdepress)
Sacred Quest Tours, Mohammed Nazmy, owner