Sekhet-a-ra is the daughter of Pharaoh and is destined to become ~ with her brother Neyah ~ co-ruler of Kam, as Egypt was called thousands of years ago. As a child, she develops a strong love for the teachings of the mystery schools. She also begins having psychic experiences. As a result, she is sent to the temple to receive special training to become a “winged pharaoh” ~ a ruler and a priest with clairvoyant powers. This training leads to a remarkable ordeal, a four-day initiation into the inner mysteries.
This novel, a “far memory” recall of an earlier lifetime by its author, catapulted Joan Grant to world-wide fame when first published in 1937. It has been an esoteric classic ever since.
ART : (Left) Bronze sculpture of the Goddess Bastet represented as a cat-headed woman (wearing gold earrings), holding a lion-headed aegis in Her left and playing the sistrum with Her right.
664/525 BCE (Saite Dynasty); now in the Barakat Gallery
When the time came for me to return to Earth, a Messenger of the Great Overlords told me that I should be re-born in Kam; and the two who would fashion my new body would welcome me, for we had been companions aforetime, and the ties between us were of love and not of hatred, which are the two threads that bind men most closely together upon Earth; and for my brother I should have one with whom I had travelled long upon the great journey.
When this was told to me, the sorrow, which all know when they must leave their true home and go to the place of mists upon another day’s journey, was lightened: for I should have companions in my exile.
While my mother still sheltered me with her body, my father sought to find a gift that would tell her of the love that filled his heart. He could not tell her of his love in words, for words are but the fleeting shadows of reality. Carvers in turquoise nor workers in gold or ivory could please him with their finest craftsmanship. One day, as he was walking in the gardens of the palace in the cool of the evening, he thought of making a garden for my mother, a garden such as had never been seen before. Only by this could he symbolize his love. For nothing can be greater than its creator; and though a carving may be a song in stone, it is born of the sculptor; but the plants of the earth are the children of the Gods.
And so, in a curve like the young moon, he planted trees to shade her from the sun at noon-day, and bushes with aromatic leaves to spice the air for her refreshment. And for the bow-string of this living bow, there was the lapping water of the lake, which stretched its silver to the setting sun, Amenti in the West. Then he mustered a host of grassy spears, which closed their ranks to make the smooth green lawns; and he starred them with little flowers, scarlet and yellow, violet, blue and white, which grew to make a carpet for her feet. From lands beyond the boundaries of Kam he brought the scarlet lilies of the Land of Gold, and trumpet vines that grow far to the south, where men walk in their own shadow; and from the north he summoned lemon trees, white oleanders and anemones, and flowers that keep their perfume for the moon, to fill the dusk with their drowsy sweetness. And honeysuckle entwined arbeeta flowers and the blue convolvulus to make her wreaths.
When I was twelve days old, my father for the first time took her to this garden that he had made for her. It was surrounded by a garden wall, and upon the lintel of the door of cedarwood were carved their names, Za Atet, and Merinesut, ‘the beloved of Pharaoh’s heart’. Together they went into the flowering shade, where the paths were secret as gazelle tracks through the reeds. When she reached the heart of the green quiet and saw a garden more beautiful than any she had dreamed, she said that here the petals of the flowers were as though the clouds of sunset had been carved in blossoms by the Sun-god Ra, who upon the Earth could never before have found such pleasure for his rays. And both agreed that it must have pleased the god to see his children here so glorified.
ART : Cat catching birds among the papyrus stems ~
Detail from the hunting scene in the “House of Eternity” of NebAmon, “scribe and grain accountant in the granary of the divine offerings in the Temple of Amon at Ipet-Sut” during the reign of King Amenhotep III (ca. 1390-1352 BCE); now in the British Museum
So they named this place Sekhet-a-ra, ‘the meadow of Ra’. And to me they also gave this name.
My brother, who had returned to Earth three years before me, was called Neyah. For at his birth the Priest of Maat in attendance, seeing those who came to speed him on his way, had said: “Hence is one who is worthy to rule over the people of Kam, for the companions of his spirit are long in years. And this child shall be called, Neyah, ‘born with wisdom’; for his master bore this name when in the Old Land he listened to the voice that warned him of the coming of the Great Rain. And just as his master guided his people when the evil ones had disappeared beneath the waters, so shall this child guide the people of Kam when they are assailed by evil ones, who in their turn shall be engulfed by the sea.”
ART : Scene from the ceiling of the Hypostyle Hall of the Temple of Hathor at Iunet (Dendera), first strip west:
To the left, the God of the South Wind in His form of winged ram with four heads, wearing the Solar Crown with the Uraeus, and standing on a shrine;
To the right, two of the four pairs of the eight Gods of the Ogdoad of Khmoun/Shmoun (Hermopolis Megale),
(from right to left) Nun and Naune (the Gods of the Primeval Ocean), Heh and Hauhet (the Gods of the Infinity); the male Gods are represented frog-headed, while the Goddesses are serpent-headed.
Winged Pharaoh by Joan Grant
First published in 1937 & still available
ART : Painted relief of Osiris and Isis in the temple of Seti I @ Abydos