By Daniel Giamario
Edited by Barbara Taylor
Even with my passionate interest in civilizations of antiquity and a lifetime of travel to amazing places – 41 countries and counting – I had never touched down in Egypt.
The land of the pharaohs was therefore going to be the final segment of my epic (and, whew, never again to be repeated), 13-week expedition that took me first to Wales and England for the fourth annual Renaissance of the Sacred Feminine adventure in late July, then to the United States for the Solar Eclipse and several SAMS events, then back to Europe for our SAMS cosmology course in Portugal, and then – joined by my wife and travel companion Lynne—setting out for Germany and on to Egypt.
To be completely honest, I’ve been less enamored with the whole ‘Egypt thing’ than many others seem to be however I did want, one day, to experience it for myself.
I will share my impressions in three sections: Highlights; Lowlights; and my summary thoughts, or Conclusions.
- GIZA—Our launch point in Egypt was the Sphinx Guest House, the closest possible hotel to the pyramids that we could get. I was intrigued by this hotel because it’s where Robert Bauval, one of my favorite authors, would stay when on location writing his books about Egypt. Lynne and I had a window view looking directly out at the Sphinx. An auspicious start to our journey!
- INSIDE THE GREAT PYRAMID—Lynne and I were fortunate that the King’s Chamber was open to visitors in 2017, giving us a chance to experience it firsthand. I was even able to lie down inside the empty initiatory sarcophagus. What a treat, as the acoustics within were unbelievable! “Few who have experienced the acoustics of the Great Pyramid’s King’s Chamber have not walked away with a feeling of awe, in some cases coupled with an impression that the chamber was designed to be reverberative…one can literally hear one’s own breathing when the fluorescent lighting is turned off.” (http://www.cymascope.com/cyma_research/egyptology.html)
- AMARNA—With the assistance of a local company we had the opportunity to travel by car about four hours from Giza to Amarna, reportedly a place seldom visited and off the main tourist routes. As a boy, I was powerfully influenced by The Egyptian, a 1950’s color film about the time period of the 18th Dynasty when Akhenaten was king. Amarna is the location where Akhenaten built his capital city. He turned out to be a rather unpopular ruler and was deemed to be a heretic for his efforts to shift Egypt away from its traditional religion, replacing the extant priesthood and established practices with an emphasis on one God, symbolized by the Sun, and giving more prominence to women. The subsequent dynasties were bent on eliminating any trace of Akhenaten and his city was abandoned shortly after his death in 1332 BC. History has placed more emphasis on his well-known queen and co-ruler Nefertiti.Not much of Armana remains today. What does remain, however, is remarkable. The tombs we saw there have some of the most beautiful and inspiring art-work in all of Egypt. The feeling at this remote desert location overlooking the Nile was awe-inspiring for me and well worth the excursion.
- THE GREAT LIBRARY OF ALEXANDRIA—Leaving Giza, we travelled northwest to the coastal city of Alexandria, primarily to see the Bibliotheca Alexandrina: the modern (2002) replacement of the famous royal library that dominated the ancient world of culture and learning from approximately the third century BC to the fourth century AD. The original library suffered many blows over the course of history, starting in 48 BC when Julius Caesar set fire to the city. By midpoint in the new millennium, the library had fallen completely. Historians believe that not a single scroll survived of the estimated 700,000 in the library’s collection.Our visit to the Bibliotheca turned out to be an unexpected treat. The new, somewhat avant garde construction is quite impressive. Built in the shape of a massive disc inclined toward the Mediterranean, the structure evokes the image of the Egyptian sun illuminating the world and represents “the revolutions of time and the constant flow of knowledge.” Eventually the library plans to hold eight million items in its physical collection as well as everything possible online. In addition to four museums and a large planetarium, the Bibliotheca is first and foremost a functional library, teeming with students, as well as a focal point for research, the advancement of knowledge, and the open exchange of ideas. I know of nothing like this anywhere else in the world! Congratulations to Egypt (by way of Qatari and European money) for this great achievement.
- SIWA OASIS—From Alexandria we journeyed by car to the Siwa Oasis, a place also not often visited by tourists. Located only 50 km from the Libyan border, Siwa is heavily guarded by the Egyptian military, with many checkpoints. Fortunately our driver was from a reputable travel agency, so we made it through without incident despite repeated searching of our bags.Siwa is right in the middle of the Sahara Desert and is truly a wonder. It is home to a population of 20,000 people, primarily of Berber (North African) descent, who still retain their Siwi language. The lush Siwa Oasis is also home to some 200,000 date trees and 30,000 olive trees.We loved having the chance to visit this peaceful place which was a relief from the pushiness of the rest of Egypt. My main motivation for visiting Siwa was because it’s the place Alexander the Great journeyed to when, as a new pharaoh he gained access to all the treasures of Egypt including the secret location of the tomb of Hermes Trismegistus. It is said that Alexander came here to consult the famous Oracle of Amun. It’s also where he allegedly discovered the Emerald Tablet (in Hermes’ tomb). We had a chance to visit the remains of the Oracle’s temple but, alas, we saw no sign of the Emerald Tablet!
- UPPER EGYPT, ASWAN, AND NUBIA—Our next stop was Aswan and Upper Egypt. We now found ourselves in the Nubian region with a different race of people and a totally different feeling. We enjoyed Upper Egypt, finding Aswan easier to handle than Lower Egypt. The highlight for me was the light show visit at night to the Temples of Philae, located just outside Aswan. This sacred site was venerated from the Pharaonic era up to the Greek, Roman, and Byzantine periods, with evidence of all these eras stamped into the stone structures. Dedicated to Hathor-Isis, it was the last remaining pagan temple in Egypt dedicated to the sacred feminine.
- FINDING SESHAT – After a somewhat relaxing, three-day cruise down the Nile from Aswan to Luxor, I finally found, in the Temple of Luxor, the goddess I’d been earnestly searching for. There she was on a beautifully carved panel, my favorite Egyptian goddess: I had been having a difficult time finding firsthand information on her on the trip thus far and a few of the guides even said, “Oh, she is not important”. I beg to differ!Seshat was the feminine consort (either wife or daughter) of Thoth and while she never had her own temples, cult, or formal worship, in her time she was among the most important and widely recognized of the Egyptian pantheon. Seshat, whose name literally means “female scribe”, was known as the goddess of all forms of writing, record keeping, and precise measurement. She was also the patron of libraries both for the gods (the Celestial Library) and on earth. She is regularly depicted as a woman with a leopard skin draped over her robe and wearing a headdress of a seven-pointed star arched by a pair of inverted cow’s horns, suggesting a crescent moon.“…Seshat was the essence of cosmic intuition, creating the geometry of the heavens alongside Thoth. In Egyptian mythology, Seshat was originally the deification of the concept of wisdom, and so became the goddess of writing, astronomy, astrology, architecture, and mathematics……One would consider Seshat the feminine aspect of Thoth. The Egyptians believed that she invented writing, while Thoth taught writing to mankind. She was also known to be the one who measured the position of the temples relative to the stars, a ritual known as ‘stretching the cord’.”So, yes, I think she is important! After patriarchy arrived in Egypt, Seshat seems to have been subsumed into Thoth and virtually forgotten. I was so happy to find her in the Temple of Luxor. It is with good reason and respect that I include her in the invocation of the Shamanic Astrology lineage.There is so much more I could say about her. If you are interested, here are a couple of links to visit:
- THE BERBERS AND THE NUBIANS – I quite enjoyed being around the Berbers in Siwa and the Nubians in Upper Egypt. Both of these peoples were originally matrilineal, each with their own language and shamanic/animistic culture. In more recent times, many Nubians and most of the Egyptian Berbers have become dominated by Islam. Nevertheless, I experienced them as retaining a sweeter and more refined essence than the Islamic Egyptians I encountered.
Egypt, for me, was equally a turn-off.
- GRANDIOSITY AND PATRIARCHY ‘ON STEROIDS’ – Although I remain rather fond of the Old Kingdom— I love Imhotep, Thoth, and Seshat and feel that Egypt’s earliest history represents the very summit of human capabilities— I found the latter time frames to be saturated in grandiosity to the level of obscenity. Meaning: patriarchal, unbelievably imperialistic, and racist.The turning point for me was going to the Nubian museum in Aswan, where a variety of ancient writings by the conquering Egyptians were translated into tales of bragging about how many Nubians they slaughtered that day. The inflated tales of Ramses II and Ramses III started to sicken me, somewhat reminding me of Donald Trump and American hegemony. After all, it was Ramses III who, in a series of battles circa 1170 BC (dates are disputed), destroyed the infamous and illusive “Sea Peoples.” My research convinces me that orthodox history leaves out the fact that the Sea Peoples represented the last stand of matrilineal/goddess-oriented cultures attempting to drive back the onslaught of patriarchy. More typical historical records about the Sea Peoples describe them as a mysterious band of maritime warriors who wreaked havoc on the Mediterranean. There are accounts of them attacking Egypt, Turkey, Syria, and Palestine and reportedly they may have even toppled the Hittite Empire, yet historians “know almost nothing about their nationality or culture.”For more on the Sea Peoples, I highly recommend the book Odysseus and the Sea Peoples: A Bronze Age History of Scotland by Dutch author Edo Nyland. Or, you can begin your Web search here: http://www.history.com/news/ask-history/who-were-the-sea-peoples
- MODERN EGYPTIAN CULTURE – I am not sure whether it’s inherently in the Egyptians themselves, or whether conservative Islam has added an impact, but there are elements of the current cultural situation there that are deeply disturbing to me. The full-tilt lying, manipulation, and intrusiveness we experienced became quite difficult to deal with. There seems to be a basic lack of open-heartedness in the general population.Even more disturbing to Lynne and I was the plight of local women. Once again, we witnessed the scepter of extreme patriarchy. With the exception of parts of cosmopolitan Cairo and Alexandria, married women in Egypt are not allowed to leave their homes and are prevented from having much of an education. Tourists who experience a more cursory trip to Egypt – for example, a Nile cruise – may not be aware of how widespread in the country the limits on women’s freedom are. Even the guides we employed, who seemed worldlier and better educated than many, held equally conservative views about Egyptian women.While I am aware that a more progressive and less fundamentalist version of Islam does exist (similarly so with Judaism and Christianity), I fail to see how the versions imposed on so many countries has done any good at all for the people. I find it unfortunate that these structures and sanctions overlay and suppress the original animist, indigenous, and matriarchal souls of so many millions. I have witnessed the same phenomena in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Turkey. And not to limit this critique to Islamic fundamentalism: a similar crippling of cultural roots has occurred from the impact of imposed Christianity in places like Mexico, the Philippines, and Hawaii.
Want to see the ‘triple aberration’ in action? Go to Egypt.
If you’ve read my various articles in recent years you’ll likely be familiar with the thesis I’ve been ardently developing over the past decade based on my deep inquiry into, as human beings, who are we and what the hell happened?
Now that I’ve finally experienced Egypt firsthand, I feel even more confident in my general premise that our current, troubling global predicament arises out of humanity’s subjection to what I have termed ‘the triple aberration.’ If you want to see the triple aberration in action, go to Egypt!
In short, the triple aberration is a combination of the following three influences:
- Extreme patriarchy
- Fundamentalist monotheism
- Patrilineal family structure (Note: the Nubians and Berbers were, until recently, matrilineal)
When you add to these basic ingredients thousands of years of this flavor of Egyptian history, including grandiose monuments erected to celebrate and immortalize imperialistic domination, hierarchical excesses, and megalomaniacal elite leaders, you begin to get the picture. Egypt could be thought of as a living museum to the times in history where an egalitarian people, who respected a knowledge based elite, were overwhelmed and minimized by the might of wealth and power imposed, literally, by whip and chain. And it’s still going on today.
New insights and possibilities
In the rapidly exploding field of “alternate history”, researchers such as Hancock, Bauval, Collins, Lomas, Schoch, and others are expanding our awareness that mainstream history and orthodox archaeology are not giving us anywhere near the whole story.
With respect to Egypt, my most recent understanding is that the Sphinx may very well be as old as Goblekli Tepe in Turkey (11,000 BCE), which places its construction much earlier than the three major pyramids at Giza. This raises very interesting questions.
 What I am wanting to convey here is the recognition that even in egalitarian/gylanic cultures back to Neolithic times, there were still ‘elites’ who were honored as unique and had ‘power’ based on special qualities, abilities, and – primarily – knowledge. This is a very different base for elitism than that which followed in the wake of patriarchy, that is, wealth and control by military strength and superior weapons.
My current sense is that the advanced knowledge that survived the Younger Dryas near-glacial period– knowledge which conceived remarkable sites like Goblekli Tepi, the Great Sphinx, and many other now being revealed – was preserved intact in centers of learning located in, among other places, the Orkney Islands of Scotland, Ireland, and parts of England. When the climate warmed and conditions became more hospitable in the Sahara and Egypt, this knowledge travelled back down again resulting in later constructions such as the pyramids in Giza, thousands of years later.
Watch for further developments concerning this emerging scenario! In the meantime, I recommend an interesting source for further reading: Before the Pyramids: Cracking Archaeology’s Greatest Mystery, by Christopher Knight and Alan Butler.
Speculations further afield
I have always been fascinated by the various theories about where modern humans came from. I’m only going to touch on one part of the story here. Origin stories from many parts of the world include tales of humans coming to Earth from the distant star cluster known as the Pleiades. Polynesia, some Native American groups, Central and South America, and the Philippines all have stories that point to the Pleiades. Their ancient calendars, for example, use the rising or setting of the Pleiades as an indicator of the New Year.
Egypt and Africa in general, however, reference the star Sirius instead. Could there be a difference between Pleiadian-based civilizations and cultures, and those who perceive Sirius as the homeland? Some tell us that the Sirians are more technological and hierarchical. Others say that the Pleiadians are more idealistic and egalitarian.
When you sense into it, can you intuit or feel a difference in these two ‘origin points’?
Which one are you more attracted to, or might you empathize with? Personally, I much more strongly resonate with the Pleiadian strains rather than Sirian (Egypt).
Another line of inquiry is, might there be a possibility of any of this being related to basic archetypal conflicts such as the Cowboys against the Indians? Or the Vikings versus the Gaelic? Or technology versus hunter/gatherers? These are fun questions that may or may not lead to ‘real’ connections.
All things considered, it is certainly worth going to Egypt (while we still can?) to experience it for yourself. Then, you can draw your own conclusions.
If you want to do this in a safe and sanitized way, just take a Nile cruise. Many do and find the experience to be most enjoyable. Should you desire something more, however, my recommendation would be to add excursions to the Siwa Oasis and the city of Amarna. My last advisement would be to do your own research rather than relying on the knowledge of the local tour guides, who usually only recite the ‘official’ story. My bet is that they will probably know less than you!
 There are fascinating variations in current research about the cause of climate fluctuations, including why this ‘short cold spell’ of the Younger Dryas ended rather abruptly approximately 11,500 years ago before the final warming and the official end of the last ice age: noted author and researcher Graham Hancock believes it was a second cometary impact; Robert Schoch, author of the book Forgotten Civilizations: The Role of Solar Outbursts in Our Past and Future, postulates that powerful ‘plasma events’ were responsible; and the late Arysio dos Santos, a professor of nuclear engineering as well as a geologist and climatologist with a wide range of more ‘mystical’ interests, believed the cause to be volcanism. He unfortunately died before completing his research, but his views can be found in his seminal book: Atlantis: The Lost Continent Finally Found.