Mother, Daughter, Queen & Priestess in Ancient Egypt

divine women

Exploring ancient temples is an exhilarating experience, especially when your tour group includes a renown Egyptologist.  Jared Rubalcaba lectures on the topic of the Divine Feminine in Egypt which was initially presented at the Divine Feminine Conference at Dallas For Worth, TX.  He deciphers the symbolism and stories behind the ancient carvings and structures. In the following video he shares photos and videos from a recent tour of an Egyptian temple. The architectural features and artistic elements reveal the worldview and beliefs of the ancient Egyptians. He explains the reliefs, sculptures, and inscriptions that adorn its walls and columns. Along the way, we’ll also get a glimpse of Jared’s personal reflections on the role of divine femininity and the power of symbolic language. So, pull back the curtain on original religion and meet the Divine Feminine worshiped during a fascinating era of human history.

Lady of Countless Names

Mistress of the Dance

She who creates Harmony

Goddess of Mystery

Lady of Stars

Mother of the Gods

Mistress of the Gods

Serpent Lady of the Heavens

Beloved of all the Gods

The Shining One

The Bringer of Light

Great of Magic

Eye of Ra

Giver of Life

Ruler of Eternity

Goddess of the Mysteries


Golden One

Bright One

Lady of Joy

Our Beautiful Mistress

Lady of the Sea

She Who Has No Equal

Lady of Life

Female Sun, Mistress of Suns

Her Father’s Wife


The Sweet One of Love

Who Illuminates this Land with Her Shining Eyes

Lady of Myrrh

Mighty One

Provider of Milk

Mistress of the Horizon

Primordial One

Great Mistress

Great One of Love


Lady to the limits (of the Universe)

Queen of All the Gods

Queen of Spirits

She Who Gives Life

She of the Beautiful Eyes

She Who Illuminates the Earth

Female Chief of the Great Seat


Great One of Dread

Lady in the Circle of the Sun

Sopdet (the star Sirius)

Lady of Eternity

Sovereign of Women

Sun Goddess



First Among the Goddesses

Lady of the Palace

Lady of the Isle of Flames

Mistress of Wrath

Mother of the Stars

Mother Full of Beauty

Who Came into Being at the Beginning

Who Burst Forth from the Nun

Lady of the Sycamore

Beautiful in all Her Names

Forbidden Adventure

Forbidden Adventure

Transcription of presentation given by Jared Rubalcaba at the DFW Divine Feminine Conference on April 22, 2023.

As impressive as this list is, I assure you, there are many more names and titles of the goddess. And these aren’t even names – these are just some of her epithets. I honestly just got tired of typing them all up. But I hope this illustrates just how much Egypt has to offer regarding the divine feminine.

Now, first, let me say I’m humbled to have been asked to speak on such a meaningful and sacred topic. I’m also thrilled that the awesome ladies who organize this event thought to include Egypt. Because if you dig deep enough, you’ll find her – the divine feminine – in virtually every culture and religion across the globe. But I think you’d be hard-pressed to find more information about her anywhere than in Egypt.

Now, I’m not going to pretend to be objective. Everyone has a perspective, right? Even when we say, from a scientific point of view, that what is seen is never independent of the observer, the very act of observation imposes a perspective. And a mother in the heavens is part of my perspective because of my own personal experiences. She’s a given, so proving that she exists with textual evidence was never my main interest.

I wanted more information about her, and that’s a major part of what drew me to Egypt – not having to work around redactions and editorializing or later reworking by scribes. Right? It’s not copies of copies of copies that are altered as they go through the millennia. We’ve got the original texts right over there, carved in stone.

And I felt like so many wonderful scholars are working so hard simply to justify their belief in her existence. And I know that that’s oversimplifying, but it just felt like at the end of the day, so often, you’re coming away with little more than, “Yep, she’s there, all right.”

Meanwhile, in Egypt, there’s no hiding her at all. She’s front and center. She is central to every text. She’s splashed across every wall. So for me, the experience of Egypt is expressed in this glyph: “AMES,” to rejoice, to be glad, rejoicing. Specifically, it’s the rejoicing of a child having found and been reunited with its mother. You’ll note the determinative here of the small calf nursing from its mother.

In a passage from Dendera, a temple dedicated to the goddess, it said, “There is beauty in seeing her. How joyful to see her! How sweet to follow her! How beautiful is what she places in the heart.” Well, spoiler alert, what she places in the heart, among other things, is light and truth. Now notice, it didn’t say how wonderful it is to read about her. No, it’s experiential, right? To see her, to follow her, to find what she placed in your heart.

Well, ultimately, it seems to me that no one can tell you what the divine feminine is, not in any meaningful way that’s going to change your life. She must be felt, remembered, and experienced. Which is a process that I’d suggest is probably less about DIScovery and more to do with REcovery.

Any discussion of Egyptian gods, be they male or female, begins with their word for God: “NETJER.” And that’s this glyph here, this flag, that’s “NETJER.” Often translated as “God” or “Gods,” however, it’s probably more reflective of their beliefs to say “divine” or “divine being,” as in the western tradition of angels populating the heavens. Could be any being at some level of divinity. And so right from jump street, we need to appreciate the ancient mindset when it comes to names. They don’t just sound nice, right? They have meaning. Names are titles, titles that convey purpose, qualities, functions, or powers. So, one name or title can apply to many different beings. Likewise, one individual can have multiple names, like the list we saw earlier.

So, when we see this extensive pantheon of gods, I want you to understand that a great many of them are different expressions of one being, like different facets of an individual. You could be a daughter, a mother, a sister, a wife, a soccer coach, a CEO, a horse whisperer. You could be all of these things combined in one individual. So the result is we get a bunch of figures all with differing degrees of power and unique functions, but they all share a common origin. They all originate from the NUN. Now the NUN, that’s their word for the primeval ocean, okay? These are the infinite primordial waters of dark, unorganized matter that exists outside of time and from which all life emerges.

In fact, they’re also called the Shu and Ankh, right? The Sea of Life. It’s said that the breadth of the Nun exhales the Breath of Life. Well, in the Nun, there is no beginning, right? It’s outside of time, so you’ve got this infinite number of tomorrows and endless number of yesterdays if you can somehow wrap your mind around that, right? And it’s all captured in this eternal now from where all life emerges. In this image, we have the mother depicted twice here, once as Hathor the cow, and once as the heavens, Nut, over here on the left. Between them, we see the hawk, which is the symbol for this glorious risen life emerging from those waters beneath her.

Well, critically, this means that we share a common source. You could say that we exist upon the same principles – like begets like. Intelligence doesn’t arise from non-intelligence, as in the Gospel of Thomas, right? That’s an early Christian document. In fact, some will say that it perhaps predates the four canonical gospels in the Bible. And by the way, it’s found in Egypt. And there we read that a horse begets a horse and a god begets a god. You become like what you come from.

So, you see in Egypt, their link to the gods is based on affinity and sameness. It’s not completely other and apart. Okay, therefore, if you were to say, along with the Egyptians, that you’re a daughter of Amun or you’re a son of Ra, well, that has profound implications. And an ancient Egyptian knew this in their heart. They’re like children this way, not in naivety or gullibility, but in the absolute certainty of their own knowledge. Things were called in the heart are accepted as true, not suppressed by tradition or even silenced by their own inner critic.


And this is where the Scarab comes in. Most of you will have seen this symbol in connection with Egypt. It means to be, to become, to evolve, transform, or progress. It’s also used for the sunrise. It’s a symbol used for ascending gods, divine beings who are in this process of becoming or at some stage of progression. Well, progression toward what? Becoming what? What their parents are. They’re following the pattern of a Most High Father and Mother. So, we wind up with this hierarchy of beings at all different phases. But when I say that, I don’t mean in the sense of a corporate bureaucracy. Okay, it’s much more like a family with different levels of experience, different roles, and responsibilities.

And this is why they use the image of a beetle, right? Like this larva and a dung ball that transforms, right? As it emerges into that beetle. Or the Egyptians will use the tadpole turning into a frog or the serpent, right? The snake that sheds its skin. These are all creatures that change form without losing their essential individual identity, like we saw with getting all those names and titles, right? One name doesn’t replace another. It’s added to it. It’s acquisitional.

So, the first name or title of the goddess I want to explore is Nut, not to be confused with the Nun, those cosmic waters. Rather, Nut is situated within those cosmic waters like a beautiful swimmer floating overhead. She is the Starry Sky spreading from horizon to horizon, or even more particularly, the Milky Way.

Here’s a wooden spoon carved into the likeness of Newt as a swimmer, holding a duck. Well, why a duck? That’s the hieroglyph for son or daughter, right? So she’s literally holding her child in her arms as she swims through the heavens. Here’s her face floating in the waters of noon, and Nut is called “She Who Illuminates the Heavenly Waters.”



Her head and arms are in the west, where she embraces the setting sun. Right, the dead, be it a son or a daughter, it doesn’t matter, she takes them to her lips and swallows them.

After a period of gestation within her brilliant body, they are born from her womb in the East, and this is the very epitome of motherhood in Egypt. 

Their word for mother, in fact, is “MAUT.” It’s written with the vulture hieroglyph (MWT). “MAUT” means mother, but it’s homophonic. It sounds the same as “MAWT,” their word for death. So they would see an underlying link there, a relationship, right? Like the vulture who takes dead carrion to feed its young, right? Bringing life from death. So Nut pulls this corruption and death into her to bring forth renewed life. And she’s not only the sky above, but she’s thought of as the duat.

The Duat, that’s their term for the Netherworld, the realm of spirits, and it’s located within Her body, right? So it’s a hidden place. It’s here, but dimensionally apart from our level of reality, or our density, if you prefer. And the duat is sometimes called a place of darkness, and it is, but the word “Dua” means “Dawn,” so it’s dark but expresses growing light. Okay, it’s a place of transition. You’re not meant to linger there unless you choose to. One moves through the duat.  It moves through all of these regions, and in doing so, you’re becoming more and more your true self, sloughing off anything that’s not the authentic you.

And that’s what these figures you’re seeing here are. They’re all at different stages in the journey, going at their own pace until they can ascend out to higher spheres. So here’s another image giving this idea, with Nut as the Milky Way or the heavens above, and her husband is lying down below.

This is Geb as the Earth. Now, Geb is the quintessential divine king. He’s the king with two sons, Osiris and Seth. Osiris has chosen to be the heir, right? He’s given the title of firstborn, but Seth is jealous and murders his brother. So Osiris is the dying and resurrecting God, and I just wanted to put Geb in perspective there for you.

Okay, so that’s who we’re dealing with now because the journey starts with a return to the arms of Newt. She’s often named the sarcophagus, from the Greek, right? σάρξ (Sarx) meaning flesh or meat, and φάγω (phago) to eat. So “flesh eater.” So it’s not surprising that we find depictions of her on the lids of sarcophagi, where she can welcome a child back home.

These images are carved or painted on the underside of the lid of a sarcophagus, so that when it’s lowered, the goddess can spread out over and embrace the deceased. Even the story sealing on a pyramid can convey this same idea. And this design at the base is the palace facade, sometimes called the Heavenly Palace or the pillars of Heaven, representing the great king Geb. So his wife, Nut, is the sarcophagus, but if we really drill down into the text, we’ll find that it can also be thought of as both Nut and Geb. So this is the union of heaven and earth.

When the sarcophagus is closed with Nut as the lid and Geb as the base, the couple surrounding their child, this is what the deceased initiate is returning to – the protection and love of a heavenly mother and father. It’s both maternal and paternal space. When the lid is lowered, male and female are united so that rebirth can occur.

Well, we said in Greek it’s flesh eater, but in Egyptian, they have a bunch of different names for the various parts and layers. Because you can have as many as three or seven or more layers to a coffin.  The entire assembly can be called the Neb Ankh, that’s the Lord or the possessor of life. So they name this coffin the Possessor of Life because it reflects their mentality: death is just a passage to life, a new state of being.

The innermost coffin is called the Suchet, that’s also the word for egg or embryo.   So again, life can emerge from this. One of the names of the mummiform coffin or the wrappings themselves was “wut,” what an Egyptian would say, which probably relates to “wuttut,” the verb meaning to beget. So that directly ties back to that idea of Geb and Nut joining to effect their child’s re-birth.

And the actual mummy, by the way, after all the rites were performed, was called the “sa,” meaning noble, honorable, dignified. So death is the ultimate initiation to a new, more noble existence.

In fact, the oldest religious texts in the world address this very thing, and this is my very favorite stop in Egypt. This is the Pyramid of Unis, and I realize that it doesn’t look like much on the outside after having been dismantled through the millennia, but the inside is still intact and covered with these most profound of texts. And if you’re with me, I’ll take you through it, and you know, we move through the rooms, and I’ll translate right off the wall, so you know that’s pretty rad. But in the Host Pyramid Texts about the sarcophagus, we read, “Your mother has spread herself over you. She has caused you to be divine. She encloses you from all evil things in her name of great enclosure.” Well, did you catch that? She caused you to be divine. It’s this idea of the holy uniting itself with what is unholy in order to make it holy, right? Like if a queen Weds a commoner, well, that doesn’t make her common. Rather, the commoner is elevated to a new royal status.

Another one, uh, from the Pyramid Texts, this is a blessing recited as the coffin lid is closed, and it’s this magnificent dialogue between Geb and Nut, the father and the mother. And Geb calls out to Nut, and he says, “Nut, you were glorious and powerful before you were born.” Right? Like, how awesome is that? She’s been glorious and powerful in the eternities prior to this particular creation. You see, he continues, “May you unfold this deceased initiate with life and power so he will not die. May you make him a glorious being inside you.” And like I said, this is the oldest religious text we have in the world. And just like I mentioned at the beginning, right? She’s front and central in every text. Well, the opening lines to this whole thing are spoken by the heavenly mother as Nut, and she is speaking about her child, the deceased, right enclosed within her womb. And she declares his or her identity as is her right. She says, “Check this out. She says, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.'” And then Geb calls to him and says the same thing, “This is the Son of my body,” and the father is also well pleased with him.

Then, the mother announces her intentions, and all of this – the very purpose of his creation. She says, “I have given to him the horizons that he might be empowered therein as Horakati.” Well, we learn here that she gives her children horizons, and this is the hieroglyph for horizon. It means horizon – it’s a point of transition or transformation. They are thresholds or gates. Even the very temples themselves in ancient Egypt had the pylons out front, and they were styled to look like the akhet – this gate, this threshold. It separates the outside world from the sanctity of the temple. Okay, you’re changing from one state to another.

Well, why did she say why are they given these horizons or series of experiences? So that they can be empowered, she said – strengthened and enriched by meeting and passing through them. Just like Horakty, right? Horus of the horizons before them. We get in this idea that transition or change is inevitable. Right, challenges will be had, but our resultant growth and enlightenment – well, that is optional.

But part of this journey through the various gates entails passing through the waters of Nun, that creative primeval ocean of unorganized elements – entering this place outside of time. I often think of, like, Shavasana for any of you who do yoga. Shavasana, it’s often called corpse pose, right? At the end of the practice, typically, when you just lay there like a dead body. Well, I’ve heard many yogis say this is perhaps the most important pose in yoga. Shavasana, where everything that has come before is now integrated within you. Or that moment at the end when you reach up and inhale, and you’re collecting together all that you’ve done and you’re bringing it into your heart, right? Where the benefits of the practice – concentrating energy and intention – permeate throughout. So that’s, uh, how I think of, like, this timeless moment and the Nun.

But these renewing waters can also be expressed in the embrace of the goddess herself, and this is one of my very favorite images in Egypt. I call it “Water Hands” – the goddess reaching out with the symbol of water above her hand, and her embrace is that cooling, rejuvenating water. It invokes a love and kinship so complete that two beings are brought into unity. It’s the expression of at-one-ment.

And I can’t help but think of an injured or heartbroken child running to its mother’s arms. Right at her touch, they experience this soothing, cool, calming relief – water hands. And it works on another level too. Here, where it’s phonetic, this symbol for water is a glyph in and of itself. And it’s “Nene,” to me, literally what it’s saying to me. To me, with her arms out, beckoning, welcoming one into her embrace.

So now let’s address the queen in Egypt. The queen is an earthly type of the goddess. They pattern themselves after her because actual power was gained only by conforming to the life of the gods. So you raise yourself up from the earth, and then heaven reaches down. Like is attracted to like, and heaven is united with earth, and real power is achieved. In one of the hymns to Hathor, Isis, it says, “None enter the palace without her approval,” and that is absolutely the queen’s role. Sometimes even allocated to her daughters, the princesses, where they would give this approval. And one way that could be signaled is like this image here where she’s bearing the sistra. Okay, that’s this musical instrument, and we’ll talk more about that in a second. It’s got a lot of layers of meaning, but one certainly, in this context, would be the expression of that approval. Like she’s vouching for him, right? “Hey, this guy’s okay, we don’t need to kill him, he’s with me.” That’s what one of the roles of the queen or the princesses would be.

Now, the queens of Egypt were no mere bystanders, it has to be said. They’re shown rallying troops, putting down rebellions, affecting matters of state, having correspondence with foreign dignitaries. They’re usually the high priestess. They had their own temples, tombs, and pyramids. All of the religious texts that we find have also been dedicated to the queens. So, there are no wallflowers. And this is actually the queen that I wanted to address here. This is Nefertari. And I’m using her, not because she’s typical – she’s anything but typical. In fact, I want to use her because she seems to be so close to the ideal of an Egyptian queen, and she was much beloved by the people and by her husband, Ramses II.

And so, if we visit these his and her temples that are here at Abu Sambal, the southernmost tip of Egypt, we find this beautiful temple to the goddess. It’s dedicated to Hathor and to the queen Nefertari, or you could even say Nefertari as Hathor, or perhaps Nefertari in her capacity to become like Hathor. And even on the facade, many have noted how she is displayed at the same height as her husband, the king, which is absolutely fitting for this particular temple. On the floor plan, we see the facade out front, the entrance leading to the vestibule, and then the main hall here.


Now you’ll note there are three doors that move into the transverse chamber and then the innermost chamber or the Holy of Holies. And so now we’re going to move through this.

Right at the entrance, we find Hathor. Remember we said none enter the palace without her approval? Well, that’s so much more true for the temple. And Hathor herself can be thought of as the temple. She is the temple. She gives access to it. And in fact, we see that in the writing of her name. It’s a two-part glyph with that rectangle or square being “hot,” meaning a temple or palace or mansion, and then the hawk inside is the god Horus or horse. So she’s literally the Temple of Horus. She greets us right at the beginning.

Now, as we move into the main hall, we see these six pillars all decorated with the sistrum, that’s that musical instrument that we mentioned earlier. And somewhere on each one of these pillars, you can see Nefertari using the sistrum. And that was a musical instrument sacred to Hathor and used almost exclusively by her priestesses. And remember I said often the sistrum relates to the princesses, right, or the daughter. And in fact, that’s what this whole main hall is about. Right, we would say this is the realm of the Priestess or the Daughter.

Now, as an instrument of Hathor, who is the goddess of music, right, she restores order through music, through vibration or the sound of creation. It’s this shaking of the instrument, right, it’s movement, it’s life and progression, all the things that we’ve been talking about, the harmony of the spheres. So this whole entire Hall reverberates with music, the sounds of the sistrum, the voices of the priestesses singing and praying like the very breath of this sacred structure, giving it life, right, because in Egypt, the temples are considered living things. And this then is the breath of life. It is her power and magic that she wields.

When you’re standing in an Egyptian temple, you’re not just flipping through a book, right? It’s not just page after page. You’re surrounded by the sacred geometry of the place, and then that combined with the sounds and images. So you’re plopped down right into the middle of a cosmic story. The geometry is an invisible but like the spirit of the place is palpable and draws you in as a participant in the eternities.

Now any musician can tell you that music consists of the notes, but just as crucially, it requires the rests between notes, right, the those silences. They’re just as important. Otherwise, you have this just blur of sound, right? So you get the breath and the pauses between movement and repose, sunrise and sunset, the warp and the weft, the catabolic and anabolic processes that renew life, solution, dissolution, going out, coming in.


Now, before we get much further, we have to discuss this goddess here. This is Mott, and the concept of Mott is the personification of Truth. She is light and Truth; what is correct and proper. This is her iconography with the feather on top of her head. When you see that, that is Mott. She is rightness or righteousness, and above all else, one strives to live in harmony with Mott, with what is true. Her presence is absolutely required in a temple to authorize and approve the rituals performed, so she assures that everything is being done in harmony with the heavens. I cannot overstate that because without Mott, it’s all make-believe. She has to be there. Hathor says, “I place Mott in your heart in order for you to do it well,” and the Egyptians are even judged on that right in the afterlife, according to the degree with which they’ve been true and faithful to The Mott in their hearts. They came here with Mott, and they’re expected to be sensitive to it. The heart is that organ that’s most sensitive to light and truth. As they go through life, they’re expected to discern between truth and error and to be accumulating more and more truth. It was so deeply ingrained in their daily lives that that was all that was required to govern their society – the concept of order and correct principles.

We don’t find a codification of laws like we get in Mesopotamia or the like. So, this whole ritual sequence kicks off when Hathor offers the monotone necklace to Ramses. This is her offering, her favor, and initiating ascent. Female initiates volumes have been written about Hathor, but to be just excruciatingly brief, she is the goddess of love, beauty, romance, sex, beer, joy, dance, music – all the joys and pleasures of life. The beautiful parts of life that make it worth living. And this is the monotone necklace. It was worn around the neck or held in the hand and shaken like a musical instrument, not unlike the system now. When she offers it, she is transmitting love and desire and beauty. Without that inner meaning, it’s all worthless. Like how we said earlier, if you don’t have Mott, truth, and correctness, it’s all make-believe. Well, likewise, without this love and vitality present, it’s all dead, a lifeless pantomime. She endows the performance with passion and life. It’s like, at her touch, it all goes from black and white to full-color specter vision. It’s all centered on this love and adoration. And, in fact, we said Dua, right, when we were talking about the Dua. Dua is the dawn. Well, it’s also their word for worship, and it means adore. So, the two go hand in hand. Without sincere adoration, it’s just pointless performance without any real power.

Okay, so Hathor initiates the proceedings in response to the king’s own devotion to her and to his wife. Now, here we have Nefertari with the system and the flowers before a goddess called Anuket. Now, she’s got that system, which is indicative of her role as a daughter, and that is the quality being emphasized in this goddess, Anuket.

Um, when we look at Triads, and she is part of a Triad, typically throughout the world, when we see Triads, we see a father, a mother, and a son. But with Anuket here, we have a father, a mother, and a most high Heavenly daughter, so there’s a lot more to her. Right, she’s also the goddess of beauty. She has power over the life-giving flood waters. But in this particular context, in this main hall that we’ve said is the realm of the daughters, the aspect of Anuket being focused on and emphasized here is her role as that Heavenly daughter.

So, Nefertari is approaching her as one daughter to another. And while all this is going on for Nefertari, meanwhile, Ramses is on his own journey, offering before the gods and receiving blessings until each of them arrives separately before a god and a goddess: Hathor and Horus. And here, the two are being used as the exemplars of the glorious couple, and the king and queen are approaching them for their blessing.

This is just like the most iconic of couples in Egypt: Osiris and Isis. And I love this, even how you write their names just epitomizes their relationship to each other. We see here his name is written with the throne hieroglyph and the eye. Okay, so it’s Aus, Ear. The eye is pronounced “ear,” that’s the verb to make, to create, to achieve. Okay, so he literally achieves the throne, that’s his name: Ausir. And then now check out her name, Isis, right? She literally is the throne. So we have that thrown-ice with the “T” the feminine “T” and then the egg hieroglyph here. And that egg, perhaps indicative of her own primordial state or even her ability to gestate life within herself.

Okay, so do you see how beautiful this is? I mean, without her, he has no throne. Without him, she’s just got an empty seat, right? The two are absolutely reliant upon one another. Or here, where she wraps her wings around him, she unfolds and encloses the masculine, the divine feminine beside her consort, says, “I am around you. I am your temple.” And we can even see that in probably the most famous symbol from Egypt, the winged Sun disc. And it’s got a ton of meanings, okay, but one of them surely here would be this combination of the male and female, her wings and his light, as they rise and move through the heavens together.

But note, with her arms around him, she surrounds him. She’s got his back. She is called the protectress. She is this refuge and safety for him. And I have to make this clear because none are more protective of the Sacred Masculine than her because the gods do not become divine on their own in Egypt, right? Nor do they dwell alone, nor will anyone else hoping to become like them. So she protects him, and I assure you, she is formidable. She’s called “Isis the Great of Magic.” And here you see her stretching out her hands at the front of the solar bark, exercising her magical powers to subdue Apophis.

Apophis is the embodiment of chaos and entropy, and so she binds him and cuts him up. Here she’s shown subduing Set, right, the great adversary of God. She’s at the front of the bark, right, while Horus is plunging his spirit into him. Isis is at the bow again, kneeling on the Mott Stone of Truth, right? Because this isn’t just something done according to their whims but it’s dictated by what is correct; what is true.

And so, she’s binding Set with these chains. And then, here we see them victorious with the enemies under his feet. But note, she has placed him there. Okay, look at this right-hand gesture. Now, this is not a hard and fast rule in ancient Egypt. Okay, there are definitely exceptions to this, so not every time, but often, the right hand is indicative of the active principle. Okay, while the left would be more of the receptive, the passive. Okay, so this isn’t just her, you know, waving. She is placing him there. Together, the two have overcome and been victorious. And this goddess is so fierce, she’s frequently depicted as a lioness. And as such, she has many names, but most commonly known as probably Sekhmet. Okay, Sekhmet the Lioness, and it’s written with this scepter here. Is Sekhem, the word second, and it means power, literally. That’s what the word means. So she is, which means the powerful one or she who is powerful.

Here’s another lioness standing next to a pretty statue. Now, while we’re still in this Great Hall for Ramses, these series of rituals culminate in the offering of Ma’at to Amun. Okay, now remember, Ma’at is light and truth, but she’s often called the daughter of Ra because he’s so in harmony with it. Right, with light and truth. He embodies it. He promulgates it throughout the cosmos. And so, it can be said to be his daughter. And in my opinion here, um, this offering of Ma’at might very well represent Nefertari as a daughter of Amun-Ra. Okay, it’s like Ramses is saying, “Look, I have found and united with one of your daughters, a Ma’at, a wisdom one with the potential to become as the gods.” And of course, it also highlights that everything has been overseen and dictated by Ma’at with the goal of generating greater light and truth. And it must also be said that in order to offer Ma’at, it presupposes that one has it, right? That they have acquired light and truth, they’ve been true and faithful to what they came with, and they’ve continued to acquire more light. And now, Ramses with his heart full, he’s able to offer this increased light and truth to glorify his God.

Now, in the main hall for Nefertari, it culminates in her approaching the threshold to the next chamber. Okay, in this threshold in the shape of an akhet, it’s flanked by two goddesses. Hathor on the left and Ma’at on the right. Okay, now remember, Ma’at is the word for mother that vulture, and Hathor is her role as the daughter is being emphasized, right, with the system in this very specific context.

Okay, there’s a lot more to Hathor, but here we could say that we have daughter and mother, and that’s what’s happening, right? As we’re moving from this Great Hall, this main hall, the realm of the daughters and the priestess. Well, here we are at an akhet, and we have movement to a new phase. When Nefertari passes this threshold, she will be leaving the realm of the daughter behind and entering a new stage in her Ka-pair, her cape at her becoming, her evolution. This new stage is going to be defined by the Eternal Mothers.

And so now, this is just my interpretation of this Temple, but we’ve got three doorways here, and I think what we’re seeing is again a his and hers situation, where she uses the left and he enters on the right, and then later the two will come together in the center. So as we move now into the transverse chamber, with Nefertari on that left side, we immediately see her up high, offering to the Hathor cow on the boat and the Papyrus Marsh where she nurses her son. Here, Hathor’s sailing high up on the wall through the Heavenly field of reeds, right? This paradise on the path of Ascension. And then at the opposite end of the hall, on the right, that’s his side, Ramses is over there making the same offering to Hathor on the opposite end.

Well, why is Hathor a cow, right? There are many, many reasons, like, for instance, her horns. Well, that’s the glyph, what meaning “to open,” and we’ve already talked about her opening the temple, opening the gates, here these points of transition. The cow also has year-round lactation, just about every mammal can drink its milk, so it’s this wonderful symbol for a universal mother, the mother to all.

Even when Hathor is shown in her anthropomorphic version, right, like as a woman, she still will often retain those cow ears because, uh, that ear in and of itself is a word in Egyptian, right? It’s a hieroglyph, sedum, meaning to listen or to hear. And I really want to make this point clear: she is not a distant, uninvolved goddess one only whispers about. She’s approachable, she listens to her children, and cares for them deeply. And for the Egyptians, Hathor was an intensely personal goddess that they could talk to. She’s also the goddess of music, so it’s this musical ear, right, the ability to hear the right notes and sing the correct tones.

And now we come to probably the most stunning image in this Temple: the female triad, Nefertari being blessed by Hathor and Isis. Hathor on the left, Isis on the right. Recall too that Isis is Sothis, that’s Sirius, the brightest star in the sky that rose just before dawn on the Egyptian New Year. By the way, Hathor too, probably less known but just as true, she can also be thought of as the star Sirius, so the two are signaling the approaching dawn and Nefertari’s coming ascension.

Also, the goddesses are very often described as fiery, like flame-spitting cobras, right? That uraeus, that rearing up cobra, it spits flames, or the lioness with a flaming sword, or the fiery eyes of Ra. They’re even crowned here, note the two sons between their horns, so there’s this intense burning glory that surrounds the queen. Here, she’s being encircled in flames. She’s brought into their company, instructed, blessed, and endowed with power by them.

Well, from here, she’s seen offering to that triad that we discussed earlier, the father, the mother, and the daughter, because now she’s identifying with both aspects of the goddess, and the feminine role is naturally being emphasized here with mother and daughter. So much has been experienced by Nefertari individually up to this point, right, but in these final stages to achieve a fullness, the Egyptians portray her as joining with the sacred masculine. So only now does the couple come together before the goddess, and this is the first time in this Temple we see the king and the queen together as they stand before Tawaret, this great goddess. Her name literally means “the great woman, mother of the gods.”

And so now we have Ramses in between the two ladies, right, he’s surrounded by them, the same encircling fiery glory is present here. Past and future before him, the divine feminine wrapped around him, and the flowers and the plants that he offers, those are called rinpet, okay, rinpet. It’s from the same root as the verb renpi, meaning to become young, to make fresh, to be rejuvenated. It’s also, by the way, year or years. So you get renewal through the renpet, through the years, or renewal on the New Year. It’s all of these themes of renewal and rebirth and rejuvenation.

And thus now that they’ve come together, it all leads to the innermost chamber, the holy of holies, where two become one.

And now we have Nefertari on the left, offering to Mut and Hathor on the right. It’s that mother and daughter, and she’s offering incense. There’s this censer that she’s holding, it’s in the shape of an arm with the hand and a cuffing shape here, and you put incense in there. The word incense, by the way, it’s similar to NETJER. Remember we said the gods’ NETJER being divine? Well, seneh shatir is the word for incense, meaning to make divine. So she’s divinizing herself, she’s joining their company as a daughter and a mother.

Now on the other side, we have Ramses on the right, offering to himself and to his wife enthroned as gods. And you know, in my opinion, this is a much misunderstood depiction. This isn’t about self-aggrandizement or worshiping the God within. It’s about knowing thyself, recognizing one’s potential, remembering and staying the course with a view towards the eternities and achievement of that potential, right? So he’s seeing what he and his wife can become, that just like Isis and Osiris, they are a couple who can do the works needed to achieve the throne together.

Then the pair are literally combined into a single silhouette sculpted out of the living rock as a single pillar. And I know that this image is hard to see, it’s been much deteriorated through the millennia, but this is what it’s intended to look like, with these two figures blended into one. It’s the Hathor cow, or you could even say Nefertari as Hathor, striding out of the west. Okay, she’s striding out of the western mountain, so she’s facing the sunrise. And then emerging from between her legs is her husband Ramses, and the two are together again facing the east, facing the rising sun, their glorious future.

So two blended into one. Now, it has to be said though, that they’re not a singular androgynous character, they still retain their identity. Okay, they’re still female and male, but they’re together, two as one. But being one deprives neither of their individuality. They’re equally and totally reliant upon one another.

So now they exit the entrance into the rising sun, as we said, and we have these reliefs on either side of the door. The reliefs are mirrored; it’s the same one on the right and left. We have the king and the queen overcoming their enemies, but as it says in the reliefs, it’s not just their enemies, it’s the enemies of God. So you have husband and wife together, emerging victorious over chaos and the forces antagonistic to their progression.

Note also that we have her with that raised right hand. That’s not just her as a meek decoration cheering from behind. This is that active right hand raised, just like Isis exerting her magical power. So too here we have the queen participating in this. They’re overcoming together.

And so you exit the entrance. How cool is that? You go back to where you came from, but you’ve been through all of this. So you’re not just the same now, you’re improved and increased, you see? It’s not this hamster wheel of returning to the same point over and over again; it’s more like an ascending spiral, rising toward perfection. The origin is the destination; you come from the light, you return to it. The beginning is the end. It’s the same, only we are changed.

And if you come to Egypt with me, this temple is just our first stop.

Well, before I end, I want to take just a brief and holy and adequate moment to acknowledge and thank the divine females in my own life. There have been many. At the very top of that list, first and foremost, is my wife. I also need to thank my business partners, my sister, my mother, my grandmother. It has been a gift from the heavenly lady to have you all in my life, and I dedicate this modest effort to you.

Now, if you don’t hear anything else that I say, I want you to hear this ending, okay? Because I want to conclude not with any more clumsy commentary, but with my translation of an actual text. This is Hathor in her own words:

“I am Hathor who brings her horse and who proclaims her horse, and my heart is that of the lion God. There is no limit to my vision; there are none who can encircle my arms. I am the primeval lady of all who live on Ma’at. I am the Eye who lives on truth, who lifts up the faces of all the gods, and all the gods are beneath my feet. I am she who elevates his beauty and assembles his glorious powers. I am the Eye of Horus whose equal does not exist. I am she who established his name, and I have flourished. I came into being before the heavens were fashioned, and they give me praise, and before the Earth was founded, and it exalts me. I have searched out and sought out, and see, I have acquired what I sought, and come with my horns and display my beauty. Come before my face, and I will cause you to be exalted.

I am the Mistress of the Helm; I am the Lady of Life; the Guiding Serpent on the radiant paths. I am the Third One, the Lady of Illumination who guides the great ones. I am the Mistress of Magnificence on the paths of the cloudy sky. I am Hathor, Mistress of the northern sky. I am Isis, born of Nut, who displays her perfection, who gathers her glorious power, and who lifts up Ra.

Thank you.

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