Tag Archives: egypt

Secrets of a Rebel Pharaoh

 Thy dawning is beautiful in the horizon of heaven,

O living Aten, beginning of life.

 

Transformation came to ancient Egypt when Pharaoh Akhenaten banished the old gods and established monotheism around 1350 BCE.

  • The priestly caste lost its power and prestige.
  • Thebes and other royal destinations no longer served as the Paris and Riviera of their time.
  • Pharaoh moved the entire court to an obscure northern desert location that he named Akhetaten after his god.
  • There he built a marvelous white and gold city to honor his deity, a sublime entity depicted by the disk of the sun with cascading rays.
  • For a time during his 17 year reign he lived in pleasant circumstances with his beautiful wife Nefertiti and their daughters.
  • The art of the period relaxed into informality and naturalism.
  • Pharaoh wrote exquisite poems to his beloved god, Aten.
  • He offered a new way to his people, and all seemed well.

 

That was only on the surface, of course, and only among Pharaoh’s most loyal family and supporters.

  • Beneath, in the beating heart of long-remembered Egypt, the old gods stirred.
  • The old priestly caste of Amen-Ra connived to reassert its power.
  • The common people of Egypt longed to demonstrate their unfailing devotion to the deities that had served them well for millennia.
  • Never mind this unrelatable, usurper god who appeared distant and unfeeling.
  • Never mind this heretical Pharaoh who had disrupted eons of stability and tradition.
  • Also, with disproportionate emphasis placed on radical change in religion and little on national security, the wolves were at the gate.

 

Egypt was headed for reversal, with the end result a return to the old gods and old beliefs.

  • Pharaoh, his gleaming white and gold city, and his god Aten were scratched off the stones and monuments, covered by the desert sands, and forgotten by history.
  • He remained unknown until the discovery of his long lost city, now called Amarna, in the 1800s.

 

Upon discovery, the modern world became captivated by the Amarna period.

  • Pharaoh and his revolution were admired.
  • Nefertiti became a subject of fascination and awe.
  • The subsequent discovery of Tutankhamen’s tomb shook the world.
  • My favorites Smenkhkare and Meritaten emerged as mysterious figures that scholars fervently seek to pin down.
  • Some scholars, including Freud, theorize that Pharaoh’s beliefs were instilled by the visiting Hebrew Moses.

 

Again, revel in the beauty of Akhenaten’s words:

Thy dawning is  beautiful in the horizon of heaven,

O living Aten, beginning of life.

 

Cheers & Happy Reading!

Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance

 

 

Mythic Monday: Taurus the Bull

Nebula in Taurus

By ESA/Hubble and NASA (http://spacetelescope/images/potw1008a/) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

In the cave of Lascaux is a depiction considered by some scholars to represent the constellation Taurus. It is, of course, in the shape of a bull. The bull has been honored since ancient times for magnificent strength and fertility.

Taurus the Bull is an ancient and revered zodiac symbol. The ancient Sumerians worshiped a deity known as the Bull of Heaven. He was Gugalanna, the first husband of the Goddess Ereshkigal, the Goddess of the Realm of the Dead. In Egyptian mythology the bull deity Apis served as an intermediary between mankind and the great god Ptah. Apis’ conception had occurred by means of a ray from heaven. The bull also symbolized Osiris, consort of Isis. In Hellenic times in Egypt, the cult of the god Serapis gained prominence, with its core beliefs centering on the great bull.

In Greek mythology, Zeus disguised himself as a bull to pursue the delectable Europa, who played along the seashore. Initially appearing docile, he enticed her to like him and remain close. She felt delighted by him and even hung his neck with fragrant garlands. Seeing his advantage, he convinced her to ride on his back and took her across the sea to Crete, where he ravished her. She eventually lent her name to Europe. Their union resulted in a son named Minos, who introduced bull worship to the Minoans.

One of my favorite books is Mary Renault’s The Bull From the Sea, with its excellent and creative take on the Minoan bull games of Crete.

The vestige of the eminence of the bull remains today with bull fighting and the spectacular running of the bulls.

The glyph of Taurus is a bull’s head with horns.

Taurus is the second sign in the zodiac. It is a fixed earth sign denoting the characteristics of stability, loyalty, and dependability. Persons born with sun in Taurus or other key planetary position are known for being down to earth, stubborn, protective, and inclined to achieve prosperity. They like luxury and the finer things in life and will work hard for them. They enjoy physical activity and being out of doors. They are loyal and protective of family and friends. Emerald is their stone and green their color.

Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic with Paranormal Fantasy Romance

Mythic Monday: Water Bearer

Aquarius By Unknown author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Aquarius By Unknown author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Aquarius is the water bearer or cup bearer. It is symbolized by a man holding a vase of overflowing water. In ancient Babylonia 2000 B.C.E. it was the god Ea holding the vase, and the image was associated with regularly occurring destructive floods. In ancient Egypt it was associated with the annual flooding of the Nile, which signaled the beginning of spring and maintained the blessings of abundance. In Greek mythology Aquarius is often related to the story of Deucalion, son of Prometheus, who built a sturdy chest for him and his wife Pyrrha to survive a great flood. The myth parallels the story of Noah and the Sumerian Gilgamesh.

In astrology the graphic symbol for Aquarius is water. It is an air sign denoting the flow of ideas. Those born under the sign are known for being unique thinkers, mentally agile, sometimes brilliant and sometimes erratic. They have the ability to tune into the universal mind and think outside the box. Here is an artistic rendering of the Aquarian glyph by Swedish writer and astrologer Stefan Stenuud.

 

More: http://www.ericfrancis.com/articles/goddesses.html

http://www.aquariuszodiacsign.net/

http://www.princeton.edu/~achaney/tmve/wiki100k/docs/Deucalion.html

 

Themis’ Thirteen: 13 Dream Vacations

SunriseColdWinterAliciatookAliciatookFABULOUSLet me first say that I love Florida, my birthplace and home. Many people come here on vacation, and there are all kinds of nooks and crannies in Florida I have yet to explore on weekend jaunts. As befitting a Floridian, however, my true dream vacations take place elsewhere.

1. Norway – I’ve had a special kinship with Norway since elementary school and the characters in our reading book If I Were Going traveled to Norway with its mountains and fjords. I think of one of my favorite fairy tales, The Snow Queen, and the original myth of the giantess Skadi. These are reasons my first book is set in Norway.

2. Ireland – Original home of the fae folk I love to write about, as well my favorite poet Ireland9William Butler Yeats. The Emerald Isle calls to me with its plethora of sacred goddess sites.

3. Scotland – Since historical romance novels are my favorite reading and men in kilts are some of my favorite heroes, Scotland it is, including the Hebrides and other remote wild isles with their wind swept rocky shores.

4. England – With a passion for English history and literature, to be in the castles and cottages, to touch the stones and ivy, wow! Incomparable.

5. Greece – To see the places Homer sung about, oh my stars, incredible! To walk in the footsteps of the Mycenaeans, of Achilles, Theseus, and Aeschylus would be like floating on Olympus. This vacation includes Delphi, the birthplace of Apollo, as well as Crete, the Minoan homeland whose culture probably influenced the Irish Celts.

6. Egypt – What wonderful history, architecture, magic, and mystery, and the inspiration for my some of my favorite movies, the 1930s and 40s mummy movies.

7. Turkey – Thrace. Scythians, from whom the Firbolg sprang. In pre-history, this ancient land is the birthplace of goddess culture. Plus, my husband said the people are very nice.

8. New Zealand – Judging from favorite tv shows like Xena and Hercules the Legendary Journeys, the scenery in New Zealand is agonizingly beautiful. Once I had a dream where a basket of black eggs floated to shore in New Zealand, and it was the beginning of the world.

9. Australia – Home of vintage romance author Dorothy Cork. I learned everything I know about Australia and vintage romance novels from her.

10. Alaska – George turned to Sam with his gold in his hand. Love this song and want to go to Alaska. In the “olden days” as a teenager I used to dial O and ask for information in various places just to talk to people from faraway. I once talked to a person in Barrow that way.

11. Wales – Another magical place I long to see, plus the ghost of Richard Burton.

12. Figi– I also have Dorothy Cork to thank for this one. One of her books is set there.

Themis 13. Rome – The ancient and historical parts. So much history!

That’s the judgement of Themis. What is your dream vacation?

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