The cargo ship on which I am sailing will soon be coming into the port at Giza. The ship is carrying cotton and I am helping to unload the bails onto the dockside. I have been told that it is time for my initiation into “The Order of the Sphinx”. The heat of the day can sometimes be oppressive but I know a nearby lodging house where I can find food and drink and a bed for resting and replenishing before the ceremony.
The initiation takes place at 3 am and I must be there – it has been foretold in my family that I “Sharmon” am to take the initiation and become part of the Egyptian priesthood. My age is 21 and I am now considered a man and must fulfil the role I have been given in this incarnation in Egypt.
To bed now and rest, this heat is making me feel languid and sleep comes easily.
I wake suddenly and realise I must wash and use the oils that I found on the table beside me to anoint myself. The white robe, which I am to wear I can pack and take with me. Travelling even a short distance at night is almost unbearable in this desert heat.
Approaching the imposing and immobile figure of the Sphinx I wonder how I am to enter into the chamber inside. A hooded figure is there to escort me up the rope ladder to the head of the Sphinx. A slab of stone is slid aside and I descend on a stone stairway into a massive light filled chamber. I wonder how this is possible, that such a huge chamber exists and there is no sign outside of the entrance. This must be a secret which is indeed well-guarded. Before me now is a quartz crystal slab supported by a metal structure. I have never seen this metal before but it glints in the light and seems very flimsy and fine to support such a huge weight. There is a small brightly coloured cushion on the slab on which to rest my head.
I am led to a curtained off portion of the chamber where I am to change into my robe – I can smell incense and spices and have a great feeling of wellbeing. The clear quartz slab is cool and a welcome change to the heat of the night. I rest my head on the cushion and notice that the group of people who were almost unnoticeable around the sides of the chamber now come forward and make a circle around me. They start to tone and chant and I can feel the energy in the room grow. We all seem to be in a hypnotic state. I hear now the stone slab at the entrance slide open and I can see the stars in the night sky. I shut my eyes now as they become heavy and relaxed and see a spiral of light – it fills my internal vision and pulsates and grows in intensity until I become the spiral and it becomes me. My body feels as though it is lifting from the quartz slab and hovering in the air. I feel so light, so free and so complete. Is this what is feels like to enter the afterlife and be at one with the gods?
I am now lying with eyes open and focusing on the opening above my head – it is no longer there and there is no group around me – I am lying on my bed in the lodging place and it is morning and I am due back on my ship. How can this be – was it all a dream? Whether it was a dream or not I feel wonderful and know the experience has marked a transition point in my life. The adventure has begun.
By Julie Parry