Tag Archives: Smenkhkare

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: Cat Sith

Black cat on window

By No machine-readable author provided. Share Bear~commonswiki assumed (based on copyright claims). [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

The Cat Sith or fairy cat is a fearsome feline of Celtic folklore. Known primarily in Scotland, but also in Ireland, she is a huge monstrosity with sharp teeth and claws and bristly fur that stands on end. Her eyes can mesmerize. A patch of white gleams on her chest, glowing like a lantern as she pads across the crags in the moonlight. The favored haunting place for this spectral fright is the Scottish Highlands. The Cat Sith has the uncanny ability to change to a woman nine times, and some proclaim her a witch rather than a fairy. The word sith comes from the word sidhe, which refers to the supernatural fairy folk of the British Isles.

As a child I had numerous black cats and always found them to be good luck. They tended to have Egyptian names such as Nefertiti, Sekhmet, Nephthys, and Smenkhkare. I have mentioned before what a fan I am of the 1930s mummy movies, right?

A cat sith plays a supporting role in Time Singer, book 4 of the Wytchfae series. Her name is Annis, her white patch is in the shape of a star, and she can turn into a woman at will. Fierce and ferocious? To be sure!