Our metaphysical tour group was scheduled to go to Karnak¹, an immense temple complex covering many acres, built and added to over many centuries. A buzz went around our group when Mohammed Nazmy, owner of Quest Travel, announced that our group would be having a private showing inside the Ptah Sanctuary, including a very-famous statue of Sekhmet.
I confess to my almost-total ignorance at that time. Prior to this first trip I knew virtually nothing about Egypt, except perhaps the Giza complex with its pyramid and sphinx, Isis, Osiris, Ramses the Great and Cleopatra. So when the name Sekhmet was introduced, I shrugged at the excitement. Being from a mental Missouri, I needed to be shown.
When we got to Karnak, I was overwhelmed by the immensity of the place. I could have easily gotten lost, so I stuck close to our group. And of course I didn’t want to miss the private viewing of the popular Sekhmet.
It was late morning and the temperature was reaching 127°. I drank water non-stop and my legs were swollen from the heat, but I doggedly followed the others. Emil Shaker, our group’s Egyptologist and resident comedian, led the way to the Sanctuary of Ptah. We had to wait for a prior group to finish their visit to the famous sanctuary, so we waited in whatever shade we could find.
Finally it was time to go inside. A quiver of excitement passed through me as we entered the tiny sanctuary. It was quite dark, lit only by a small opening in the ceiling to allow light into the room. The granite walls were bare of decoration. In the middle of the dining-room-sized space was the black basalt statue of the Neter Sekhmet. (Neter is the ancient Egyptian word for beings like Sekhmet, Isis, Anubis, Amun, and so on, which roughly translates to “energy source.”)
Sekhmet, with her stylized Lioness head and larger-than-life-sized body of a woman, was placed on a granite platform. Including the sun disk over her head she stood well over seven feet tall. I had to look up to see her eyes. She was holding a carved ankh, the key of life, in one hand, placed at her side, and a Was scepter in the other.
To say she was commanding is an understatement. She took my breath away!
We had been advised throughout our travels in Egypt to avoid touching any of the antiquities, to maintain their condition for future visitors. Yet at this sanctuary we were not only allowed – but encouraged – to touch Sekhmet. Emil showed us the ritual of touching Her. Each of us was instructed to touch the top of Sekhmet’s head, then our head. Then touch Her heart and then our heart. Finally we were asked to move out of the way to allow the next person in line to do the same.
We lined up single file in front of her. When my turn came, I dutifully did as Emil had demonstrated. Her head, my head. Her heart, my heart. Then I stepped aside, to stand next to Her. I reached out to touch Sekhmet’s arm. It was cool to the touch, especially after the blazing heat outside. I stroked it, amazed at both the coolness and smoothness of the basalt.
Suddenly – without warning – I felt the arm move under my hand. Then the statue turned and looked at me!!
Her gaze was kindly, almost motherly, yet compelling. Involuntarily I screamed. Statues are not supposed to move! Then I ran outside.
I stood trembling in the courtyard of the sanctuary of Ptah, wondering if I had lost my senses, or was it the heat? Did I make it all up? Sekhmet’s moving arm felt real beneath my hand and yet.
Several women from our group joined me outside. They were grinning at me.
One of them said, “That was amazing!”
“What was amazing?” I asked coyly, wanting verification, without exposing myself to ridicule.
“The statue. She turned and looked at you!”
“You saw it?” I could hardly believe her.
“Yes,” the woman continued. “But that isn’t all. The most amazing thing was when Sekhmet turned and looked at you, a LIGHT came out of her head and into your head!”
“What?!” I exclaimed. “Oh, my goodness, what does this mean? Did she do that to you?” I asked her.
“No,” the woman said sadly. “Just you.”
The other woman nodded her head yes in agreement. I, alone, had been selected for the Neter’s gaze, a metaphorical “tap on the shoulder.”
I made a mental note that when I returned home I needed to research this Lion-headed being whose statue could move. Who is she? Why did she do that? What does she want from me?”
I wouldn’t have long to wait. Meanwhile, Emil our tour group’s Egyptologist, teased me incessantly during the rest of the tour about my being Sekhmet!
I had been back from my metaphysical tour in Egypt for a week. I was dressed and standing in front of my mirror, applying make-up, preparing to go out. Unexpectedly Sekhmet appeared in the upper left corner of the mirror, looking as she had in Ptah’s sanctuary, only alive now, not a statue.
“I have chosen you,” she told me clearly, without introduction, then continued. “I want you to return to Egypt as soon as possible, buy merchandise and start a store.”
I doubt anyone argues with Sekhmet, yet I couldn’t help myself. “But… I’m a terrible salesperson and I can’t run a business,” I tried to explain to her.
“This is not about making money,” Sekhmet continued undeterred. “I want you to bring Egypt to the People.”
“Okay,” I agreed reluctantly, assuming correctly she meant I was to buy ancient Egyptian reproductions to sell to interested people of the world. I would have been better off giving items away as I lost a lot of money in the 7 years I ran The Egypt Store. Sekhmet was right in saying it wasn’t about making money. But life with Sekhmet would turn out to be quite an adventure, worth every penny.
I consulted the internet for information about Sekhmet. Everything I read about her was terrifying. Goddess of Wrath. Blood-thirsty. Ferocious. Avenger for her father Ra towards non-believers, drinking their blood in a frenzied rage, unable to stop murdering people until Thoth tricked her with red beer. Drunken Sekhmet then went to sleep and awoke as Hathor – so the legend goes. Where was the motherly Lioness who looked at me so gently and fondly in Egypt? And the Sekhmet in the mirror who gave me orders, but not in a frightening way. Rather like a mother lion nudging her young cub in the direction she wanted it to go.
If you have already read my article Along the Nile: True-Life Mystical Experiences in Egypt and Dendera you might be saying “Aha!” at this moment, because of the connections between Hathor and Sekhmet — and me. But that’s another story.
I decided to trust my own experiences and intuitions with Sekhmet, rather than relying on what I read. I’m glad I did. The Sekhmet I know and love is not like the awful stories from the Internet. Nowadays, many people are having positive, albeit challenging, experiences with the Lioness Neter as well, so I feel vindicated. My coming years with Sekhmet would be an interation of Lauren’s Law #4: “Be aware. Transformation just ahead!”
I then contacted Mohammed from Quest Travel, to find out when his next metaphysical tour was scheduled.
He was pleased to hear from me. “The next tour is a special one,” he told me with excitement. We are having a number of famous guest writers traveling with us, lecturing as well as conducting a Symposium: John Anthony West, Robert Bauval, Graham Hancock, Robert Temple, Michael Baigent, Colin Wilson, and Dr. Zahi Hawass (Dr. Hawass symposium only). ”
I signed up at once and five months later I was back in the bosom of Mother Egypt.
Two miracles happened during this second tour.
1 — Sekhmet told me to stand between the paws of the Great Sphinx at dawn in order to download information from the Book of Records. Mohammed took me to see Dr. Hawass to get permission. Because of that, our entire group got to experience dawn at the Sphinx.
2 — I asked Mohammed if our tour could go to Abydos. I had written about the area in my new novel, Along the Nile, and needed to observe it in person. I hadn’t seen any pictures of it, not even on the Internet. He explained the problem was the same as Dendera. We needed an army convey to get there and Abydos wasn’t on our itinerary. But then, as the magician he is, Mohammed made sure to get us to Abydos. The cliffs and surrounding landscape looked exactly as I had described it in my novel, although never having seen it in person (P.S. I'm psychic).
Before I got to Egypt the second time, Sekhmet taught me “how to create” — she informed me that she was primarily a Neter of Creation (not destruction), that creation comes into being from the unformed universe through a combination of desire and passion, like the big bang. She taught me how to “hold the energy” so that my own creativity would be enhanced through temporarily withheld desire and passion. She told me that she had made me her High Priestess.
Through her tutelage I came to appreciate her enormous impact on Ramses III (Ramses the Great). A number of carvings can be found with Sekhmet (often with her consort Ptah, also a creator/architect/master builder) bestowing energy and blessings on Pharaoh Ramses. Thus, rather than thinking of Ramses the Great as an egotistical maniac who couldn’t stop building enormous projects, I began to see him in the light of Being Chosen by Sekhmet, to build lasting monuments for us to discover thousands of years later.
I think I understand Ramses because the following seven years under Sekhmet’s influence was a dizzying collage of creations:
meeting and becoming acquainted with wonderful people —
Normandi Ellis (author of Awakening Osiris and others, tour leader to Egypt);
Nicki Scully (author of Shamanic Mysteries of Egypt, etc. tour leader to Egypt);
Karen Tate (author of Sacred Places of Goddess, founder of Isis Navigatum, radio show Voices of the Sacred Feminine, tour leader to Egypt);
Linda Iles (Lotus of Alexandria Lyceum; Bast, Cat Goddess of Ancient Egypt);
Lady Olivia Robertson (Archpriestess and founder of Fellowship of Isis - now deceased);
John Anthony West; (A Traveler's Guide to Ancient Egypt)
Robert Bauval (The Orion Mystery);
Graham Hancock (The Message of the Sphinx) ;
Robert Temple (The Sirius Mystery);
Colin Wilson (The Outsider, From Atlantis to the Sphinx, now deceased),
Loreon Vigne (owner/operator of the Isis Oasis, now deceased);
Charles - who also helped me with The Egypt Store - and Joanne Elliott (Priest and Priestess, writers and poets);
Vivianne Pulido Price (who also helped me with The Egypt Store);
deTraci Regula (author of The Mysteries of Isis);
and others too numerous to mention; locating and buying merchandise from excellent local importers and selling on the Internet at The Egypt Store website, at Psychic and Metaphysical Fairs, and on Ebay (in its early years);
writing my novel Along the Nile, and writing numerous articles for my new Time Travel website (closed);
locating and listing 106 metaphysical tour groups with information about their tours (for free) on my Time Travel website (closed);
taking workshops and weekly classes with High Priest of Sekhmet, Peter Paddon (author of Through the Veil, etc.) who was chosen by Sekhmet at the British Museum, and who subsequently ordained me as Priestess of Hathor;)
studying ancient Egypt intensely for 10 years; lecturing and teaching on ancient Egypt in public forums and schools;
establishing and consecrating my own Egyptian Temple / Iseum of Hathor, Sekhmet and Anubis in the ancient Egyptian way granted through the Fellowship of Isis;
performing weekly public rituals in my Temple / Iseum that I called "Becoming Rituals" (Becoming Hathor, Becoming Sekhmet, etc.);
organizing and leading a third tour to Egypt and performing "Becoming Rituals" to each Neter at the Neter’s home (Isis at Philae, Hathor at Dendera, Anubis in his chapel at Hetshepsut’s Temple, and so on.).
Then without warning, Sept. 11, 2001 blasted the world into a new era. In 2002 the stock market crashed, which wiped out most of my income. I moved in with Paul, a former partner, and closed my Temple / Iseum. No longer would I perform public rituals. Within a year I would close The Egypt Store and my two websites as well. The Egyptian chapter of my life ended. But like the phoenix, I arose from the ashes into a new life.
Sekhmet left, moving on to others whom she could guide and counsel in new creations.
Peter Paddon explained to me — "Sekhmet disappears as suddenly as she arrives."
I feel blessed and honored to have been “chosen” by her and will never forget my sacred time as her Priestess.
Lauren O. Thyme 8/14/2012
(See me on Facebook)
¹ Karnak, wikipedia