Visiting Luxor 2007.

2 September 2009.
This was the diary I kept while in Luxor again during September 07. This was a little different as it was Ramadan and September! Not a good combination. We also had my 19 year old
daughter Hana with us. It was so hot that we spent most of the time in the pool of the apartment we had rented for the two weeks. Not something I usually do but unavoidable this time as it was just too hot to go out. If we were used to the heat it might not have been so bad but we weren’t. But the time was well spent writing and studying and getting to know Luxor and its people a little better.24 September 2009.
We’ve been here
a week and its been far too hot to do anything. We’ve gotten up at 5am on a couple of mornings to go to Luxor Temple and to Deir el Bahri, Hatshepsut’s mortuary temple, but the heat was still too much. That, coupled with the persistence of the vendors and ‘guides’, made for a very difficult and irritating time.
While we were at the temple we were approached by three ‘guides’ who wanted to show us things on the walls. Very frustrating when it happens all of the time.
It was far too hot to do anything so we went back to the apartment and had some breakfast. I studied a little more about Egypt and Alexandria. I was particularly interested in the time when Alexandria began to fall apart. The first three Ptolemy Kings seemed to be enlightened and made big, good changes to the city. After them the succeeding Ptolemy Kings were more ‘decadent’ and the city also became Coptic Christian and its ‘enlightenment’ began to dissipate. I could see that order, cleanliness, structure and productivity come from a few people who are ‘enlightened’ and possess the vision, and soul, to make things possible. However, when these people are gone, things start to fall apart.
Take El Gezira for example. It is on the West Bank of Luxor and is a sprawling, dusty, dirty village. There is one main road through the village which is lined with tiny shops, most of which are no bigger than a kiosk. Along one stretch there are more than 10 grocery shops, one bread shop, a couple of pharmacies, a couple of vegetable shops, a hardware store and a couple of tourist clothes shops.
Each grocery shop is tiny and each one has a cold drinks cabinet. Shelves line the walls and are stacked sparingly with basic foodstuffs, such as Rice, pasta, beans, water, packets of Egyptian food mixes and lots of Tuna. Eggs are small and white but very delicious. These shops remind me of my childhood in rural Ireland in the 60’s where, before the advent of large supermarkets, we bought everything in shops just like those! When we return to England and go into Tesco’s or Sainsbury’s we are overwhelmed by the amount of food on sale. Far too much choice! And most of it unnecessary luxury. We have changed our eating and shopping habits as a result of our trips to Luxor!!
There is a bu
tcher’s shop on this road also where large sides of meat are hung in the open, covered with cream cloth, none of which looks edible. Too many flies!
Our apartment block is on the edge of the village, surrounded by farmland and with a beautiful view of the Mountain range wherein lies nestled the Valley of the Kings and Deir el Bahri.
At night, apart from the mosquitoes, we can hear crickets and frogs croaking and from a small, enclosed farmyard behind our block we can hear dogs barking, cocks crowing, geese honking and chickens cackling. The farmer keeps a colt in there too and only waters him once a day. All day long he is cooped up and one morning we awoke to a terrible racket. The colt had had enough and had gone ballistic, smashing down the door of his stable and kicking the rabbit hutches to smithereens. The place was a shambles. The poor horse was bored, hot and thirsty. Only once did we see the owner take him out, hose him down and give him a run, in circles! If that had been me in there I would have smashed the place up too!!
Altogether it was a noisy place but it made it more interesting as a result. It reminds me of Torremolinos, Spain in the 1970’s, where I grew up. Same dust, same heat, same men. The only difference was the religion, and of course the language! So in many ways Egypt feels very familiar.
The fields in front of us are filled with fave beans and sugar cane and beyond us, beneath the canopy of palm trees, lie small irrigated fields with the beginning of a new sugar cane crop. When I was 12 and living in Spain we used to et the base of the sugar cane stem after peeling off its outer cane. It was delicious. We would roam the fields and help ourselves. You can still do that here in Egypt but in Spain all those wonderful fields full of crops now lie beneath tourist housing and holiday rent
al apartments. Hopefully that won’t happen here in Egypt but it looks as though it might. And its not as if there is a lot of arable land in Egypt. If the land is used up in building for tourists and money what will the people eat?
Here in Egypt, when the farmers are irrigating their fields, which are separated by small banks of soil that create a checkerboard of small fields, Egrets, small and white, eat the frogs which come with the water. I remember watching the same scenes in Torremolin
os! The water fills each small square field and then another is filled until they have all had their fill.
There is a tall palm tree right in front of our balcony which is filled with ripe dates. Sparrows and pigeons eat them to their content but only while the territorial hooded crow
s are away. When they are in residence they perch on a palm branch and ‘caw’ into the air proclaiming their territorial boundaries.
Alongside our apartment block is the main highway which can be very noisy as Egyptian drivers, worse than the Spanish, use their car horns to warn other drivers of their intention to overtake. You’re never taken by surprise by drivers as they also warn you of their coming.
Apart from vehicles the sugarcane laden carts, pulled by donkeys are a frequent sight. Sometimes the carts are loaded with gas bottles and it is unbelievable that one tiny donkey can pull such a weight. They struggle along in the heat, straining to pull their heavy load.

At the moment it is Ramadan and the people fast until sundown, Then they ‘break fast’. At that point, 5-7pm, all the shops are shut while people cook their evening meal. After 7pm the village comes alive again and people eat their meals on blankets in front of their shops. As you pass they all wave and invite you to share in their meal. Groups of women then venture out into the village. It’s a lot cooler now!
Across from one restaurant we ate in was a ‘death house’. This was a house where the men of a departed member of the family stay to pay their respects to, and mourn the departed. The house was open to be visited by all. Each family group have their own ‘death house’. The owner of the restaurant explained this to us but we’re not sure we understood exactly what he said as we have seen other funerals since!
But, from where we were sitting we could see into the house. It lay behind large, wooden entrance gates. Beyond the gates was a courtyard and beyond that a large room full of made beds which were covered in spotless white bedlinen. Occasionally a man would walk around with a sensor full of incense filling the place, inside and out with smoke to repel the mosquitoes. The restaurant owner said that women were not allowed in the death house and that the departed and attendant family could spend up to 15 days there.
There’s a nice breeze blowing at the moment which is a relief as it is 37 degrees C and far too hot to really go anywhere. So I spend my time by the pool, cooking and cleaning the kitchen and drinking copious amounts of tea without milk. The tea is not so strong here so it is lovely without milk. We bought loads of vegetables in the market yesterday so that I was able to make a proper meal. The food here is so fresh and delicious. So different from the food in England unless you grow your own! The kitchen can get damned hot though! I think of my poor mother who owns a restaurant in Torremolinos and who does a lot of the cooking. She must be roasted, God love her!!
Yesterday there was a slight breeze and it was stiflingly hot. We had a visit from three geckos which ran across the living-room and kitchen walls. Lovely creatures and they eat the mozzies. We also have live-in ants, tiny ones which have created a pathway to the sugar! There are also large black ants, pharaoh ants, which make an appearance in the evening. They walk around with their tails in the air, very pharaoh-like!! Not too sure about those. They creep in through the kitchen window which looks out onto the air shafts!

25 September 2007.
We ventured into town today, the East bank of the Nile, and discovered that the way to deal with the heat is to walk slowly and in the shade!! The river crossing is also cool and refreshing as there is always a cool wind blowing. Maybe we should just spend all day crossing back and forth on the river!!

27 September 2007.
We were supposed to be in Cairo yesterday but we got the day wrong believing it was today we were supposed to be going!! Oh well, we were obviously not meant to go. As it happened, Waleed, the guide which had been arranged for us had also forgotten so we would have been stuck at Cairo airport waiting for him and he wouldn’t have turned up anyway!!
Yesterday we ended up going on a camel ride which my daughter Hana really wanted to go on. Not really my thing, give me a horse any day!! But we thought we’d give it a try. We had booked for a one hour ride with a guy called Mahmoud, down by the river. He also owned a shop which sold the usual over-priced clothes. We should have known!! The ride took four hours, which we had to pay for and give the camel boys a tip at the end. It cost us nearly £50 by the time we were finished.
We were down at the camels by 6am. Four boys came with us, Asheraf on the donkey and one holding a camel each. It was hard work staying on. The boys initially brought one complaining camel to its knees and then I was able to mount. As the camel came to standing it lurched forwards, then backwards and we were standing! Christ. What a job! Even when we were on it felt like we would come off at any minute. The saddles, wooden frames covered in thick fabric, felt very precarious. What made things even worse was that my camel took every opportunity to eat!! Each Mimosa tree, every mango or banana tree, sugar cane in the fields could not be passed without a bite! I wondered if we each had the camel who reflected us as I like eating too!! Each time the camel’s head went to eat something the boy holding him would yank his head up and pound him under the neck, yelling at him. Seemed a bit harsh but the camel was intent on eating wherever the opportunity arose!

The boys took us through the village of Gezira, along all the back roads and farms and through another village. All the kids were on their way to school and all waved ‘hello’. I felt like such a tourist. Some older people were really not impressed and resented our intrusion, making it very obvious! I can completely understand how they feel. What is weird for me is that when I lived in Spain we used to take tourists out on horse rides around the back of Torremolinos, before they built the motorway! I can remember well the feeling of taking people who couldn’t ride out for a stroll in the hot summer sun. And here I was being the tourist!! Not a pleasant feeling at all.
Strolling through the village we arrived at the back of Medinet Habu temple. There was a café there who of course was related to either Asheraf or Mahmoud so we had to have a drink. I felt rather uncomfortable as it was Ramadan and the boys couldn’t drink so I opted out of having one. It didn’t seem fair really. Mind you, if I knew then what they were doing I would have had the damned drink!!
I found that the dismounting and mounting the camels was becoming quite painful as on the right side of my saddle the wooden crossbar stuck out too much and every time the camel was prodded to go down on his knees I lurched forward and my thigh hit this wood very hard. By the end of the day I ended up with 4 huge bruises. Why is it that every time I go for a ride on an animal in Egypt I end up hurting myself. The last time I had been riding a horse in Saqqara and the horse shied from another flighty one and I ended up with a huge bruise on the same leg and in the same place! What is that about??
After our ‘refreshments’ we were brought to a primary school and shown around all the classes. God almighty!! I think they did this because when asked what I did I told them I was a teacher. But he didn’t understand that I taught adults not children so obviously I had to be interested in their schools. We were brought around one primary school and it was very embarrassing. I felt like the queen mother, introduced to every class to see what they were learning. We were introduced to every teacher, some of whom were very friendly but others obviously resented the intrusion by ‘tourists’. It was uncomfortable to say the least. I could totally understand their reaction as I would have felt the same in their shoes! Needless to say the payment of baksheesh was necessary at the end!
Continuing on our way back we were brought through another part of the village and had tea in Asharaf’s house. We were all introduced to his family and shown around and then had tea. I felt so uncomfortable. I hate things like this. I like my privacy so I imagine that everyone else does too and I wouldn’t want complete strangers coming to my house for tea. Chris had walked from Medinet Habu as his hernia operation, which he had had a few weeks before we came, was giving him jip. It turned out to be long walk in the heat but he managed it.
The houses here can be somewhat of a surprise. From the outside they can look dilapidated and rough. But as you go through the hall, which is dirt floor, and upstairs to the first floor you enter the apartments and they are beautiful. These boys and men give the appearance of being very poor but many of them are quite wealthy, owning motor boats and camels, bikes and shops. Some of them have more money than we do!! The poor are really poor but are more invisible. But Egyptian men seem to be masters of manipulation making us feel terribly guilty about our ‘comfortable’ lifestyles whilst pretending to be dirt poor. But their manipulations are laced with resentment. What they don’t see is that many tourists have saved for years to come to Egypt and skimp and scrape for the money. The ones who manipulate the most are the ones with the most so their manipulations obviously work. Its such a game!
We finally arrived back in El Gezira. I was exhausted and hot. It had taken over 4 hours for which we were duly charged 125 Egyptian pounds per hour, plus the baksheesh for the boys! Won’t be doing that again!! Asheraf invited us to his house for dinner that night and we said that we would go but we were so shattered we opted out. He generosity was a ruse as he really only thought that he could make money out of us. Plus he wanted to marry my daughter!! Nothing is for nothing in Egypt!
The biggest problem I have here is that I can never tell when people are being nice or if everything is about always making money out of you. After our experiences with the camels I have turned a corner. I have decided that it is OK not to be too friendly. I can say no and risk offending them. They are out to boost their social standing and wealth by making money and bringing us to dinner but they no thought at all for our comfort or anything else. So long as they make us spend as much of our money in their shops and boats etc. then what we want does not enter the picture. I find this challenging as I have spent the past 15 years as a therapist and have come to understand and recognise human motivations and power games. I can see what people are ‘really’ up to and whether they are genuine or not, but here I am stumped! I realised that every culture has its own ‘games’ and in order to understand their behaviour and motivations then you have to experience and learn it. So we’re learning it. We’ve had some very challenging lessons to date but those came later!
27 September 2007 cont’d.
This morning we got up early and went to the Valley of the Kings. That was interesting. We went into KV15, 11 and 34. That is Seti the second, Ramoses the first and Tutmoses the third. We had done KV 11 and it was in good working order! As we walked down the corridor I was aware that all the hieroglyphs and images emitted an energy which filled the place, as though that were its intention. Chris was aware of the vortex which we had activated last time. Combined with the energy-work many other lightworkers do here it is functioning well.
Next we went into the tomb of Tutmoses the third and this one was very different. The art was different and it had two large square pillars. In order to pass into one chamber originally they would have had to cross a deep well of water. The theory is that it was to prevent robbers from gaining access to the kings treasures but it felt more cosmological as the first room, with the pillars, felt solar. It is as though the entire tomb is a symbolic journey to the other side. The well shaft seems to be more about crossing the waters on the sun barque. In the antechamber with the pillars I was instructed to walk a lemniscate pattern around them to activate the solar energy. I keep feeling that the underworld journey is more about an initiatory pathway which is mirrored on the physical plane, as represented by the pillars or that it is manifested on the physical plane through the underworld journey. Many people believe that the Book of the Dead is about the rituals of the dead but it is also the path of initiation of the living who go through multiple ‘deaths’ of the personality in order to serve the Light. It is less of a tomb and more of an initiation. Physical death being only one aspect of the test of soul development. Facing your own physical death means complete letting go, consciously. Soul survival cannot be tested by remaining in a physical body. It must be released into the ethers to continue its soul journey. It is just another part of the initiatory path. From life, to death, and back to life again. The pillared room is the room of the awakened spirit, alive to the sun and aware of the souls ability to be a living pillar of light. The lower level is the level of the underworld, the deeper levels of the soul. That part which we are aware of being but can never truly know until we pass through the door of death. The images painted on the walls tell us of this deeper meaning and the soul’s journey of initiation into the light of awareness. On one of the walls of the pillar there is a picture of Tutmoses with three of his wives and his daughter. The daughter is being suckled by his Mother Isis who is in the form of a tree. Why is the Goddess in the form of a tree? Has this something to do with the Tree of life. The central pillar of which is the Nile? Its interesting also that Tutmoses is shown only with women! Priestesses of Isis? Is the daughter being shown how to gain her nurturing from the Great Mother as all priestesses must learn? Are the three women his wives or are they the child’s teachers who have walked this before her? Or both?! Many years ago I received channelling about how important trees were to humanity but how we have lost that knowledge and connection. The ancient Egyptians were obviously fully aware of that then!
Continuing down into the bottom chamber we saw the sarcophagus. This lower level really did feel like the underworld. The sarcophagus was made of quartzite and the Goddess Nut was on the inner and outer sides of the Lid as though the king should be looking to the heavenly mother for the rest of eternity. He is surrounded by the Goddess. It would seem that his Aunt/Stepmother Hatshepsut had a greater influence on him that is believed. The energy of a column of light was still present here, anchored by the stone. After all this time it flows still.
In the tomb of Seti the second (KV 15) I finally lost my rag with a man who insisted on being my guide but would not take no for an answer. They try and show you something and then expect baksheesh for it. As I walked into the tomb the ticket guy insisted on showing me what I didn’t want to see. I said no in Arabic and said that I wasn’t interested but he kept on and on. I got so pissed off that I stopped walking so abruptly that he banged into my back! I turned to him and said ‘La, Khalas’, no that’s enough. He didn’t listen and kept saying ‘It’s not important’. So I said really loudly and angrily again ‘La KHALAS’. He looked taken aback and went back outside, sulking. He was still sulking when we came back out. What these men don’t realise is that we are not open wallets, contrary to what many Egyptians think. I understand that they are just trying to make money but continued hassling is not the right way to go about it. Why can’t they be educated to know how to deal with tourists/ They might be more successful if they did it a better way.
In the tomb itself we felt not a lot of anything. It also appears to be unfinished and the art is not painted or carved but it does give a good example of how they executed the wall carvings and art. There is a lovely painting of Isis and Nephthys in the entrance and some beautiful carvings. Perhaps Seti died sooner than expected?
On the way out the sulking man still sat on the wall. I nodded to him and said ‘Shokran’ Thankyou. He nodded sulkily back, feeling very sorry for himself.
Later on I received this channelling:
“The different levels represent the different phases of creation. The energies of those phases are represented by symbols which only the priests and scribes would understand. It was their job to ensure that the right energies were in place at every different tomb. Just as today there are many different types of healers dealing with different facets of creative/creation energy, so too were there priests and holy scribes who specialised in their levels and layers of creation energy.
There were lunar and solar priests/priestesses.
There was water and sky, light and life. The green growing things were the creation of Isis, the Great Queen of heaven and Osiris, her Lord, kept them fertile. Amun, the great god of the sun, insured the continuing success of all that lay beneath him. Geb, the Great Sky creator looked down from the Universe, pouring his light onto all the lands ensuring the survival and balance of the planet.
Study the old stories now and re-interpret them so that those who follow in your footsteps understand this sacred cosmology. There are seven layers, as you know. See which ones are in play then record your findings.
When you next return you will be ready to continue your work.
Adonai”.
Advertisements

2 responses to “Visiting Luxor 2007.

  1. I do love Luxor and live here now and I agree that some people are obnoxious but most are lovely. Not sure 'Muslim' has anything to do with it, its just people living in a tourist area. I know this well from my childhood living in Torremolinos!!!! Not much different!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s