(Prose) “Mary” As a Title by Alaya Dannu

Photo By Olaf Tausch. CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Holder of Mary – Entry dated October 14, 2015 – meditation:

Yesterday, I was told to rest. As the evening came along, I was informed that they’d have to give me another title. I did not know or understand at the time, what they were speaking about. They also implied that there was much work to be done.

So, this morning I meditated after waking up to find out what the new title is and what it may mean:

I saw an image of feminine hands holding a very old pot – clay or ceramic, maybe; and then I saw a hallway from an old Egyptian temple, in a soft glow of yellowish-gold; then a throne chair appeared at the very beginning of this hallway, as if it were blocking the rest of the hall beyond it. I sat in the throne chair momentarily, looking over the landscape, across a river, and at another temple. Then the scene changed to a wall mural. A falcon-headed figure sat in a chair, holding a long staff in its right hand. The bottom of the staff was raised in a downward diagonal as if the figure was going to place the bottom of the staff into the container that was before it on the floor. There was a slightly drooping lotus at the top of the staff; some attendants were around.

All of these images were in response to my request to understand the new title. Then this came through, “The Holder of Mary.”

 

Coming out of this meditation, I mulled over the meaning of “Mary”. I knew nothing of Mary through the Christian lens, so I did not invest any energy into exploring the name through that avenue. I decided to search for an ancient Egyptian reference to the name “Mary”, seeing as there was a lot of Egyptian imagery in the vision.

A brief web search turned up a common denominator – it is related to ‘mry’, ‘meri’, or ‘mery’ which means ‘beloved’. But what does that mean? To better understand the meaning of a dream image, one must acknowledge the multidimensional nature of dreams and shamanic journeys via meditative states. Considering the dreams and meditations I’ve had before this and after, and the clear reference to ‘Mary’ as a title, understanding the meaning of ‘Mary’ in this case meant I had to dig deeper. This also meant looking to how the ancient Egyptians used this word.

In D.M. Murdock’s book, Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection, there is a chapter dedicated to the epithet Mary, titled “The Virgin Isis-Mery”. As noted in my initial web search, the epithet of “meri” or “mery” in Egyptian simply means “beloved,” in addition to “desired”, “delight”, “loving”, “lover”, and the “loving one” (125). She also quotes Dr. Alfred Wiedemann stating, “The Egyptian word Meri means, very generally, “the loving or the beloved,” and serves in this sense as a title of goddesses, and is as often used as a proper name…” (131).

It was an epithet that was used by several figures in ancient Egypt – from deities down to government officials and ancestors. Murdock explores the variety of ways, or “formulas” of how mry is used, and demonstrates how it is usually attached, or in reference to, a deity like “Meritneith” – beloved of Neith, or “Meryt Seshat-Nit-Nebthet” – beloved of Seshat, Nit, & Nebthet. But what’s most relevant to this meditation is the application of this epithet to specific goddesses, namely those that are known as virgin goddesses – Mut, Neith, Hathor, and Isis. In ancient Egypt, a “virgin mother of God was evidently called Mery” (Murdock 135). These virgin mothers are the progenitors of the parthenogenetic mystery of bringing forth the sun, which is embodied by the son; this is where the inspiration for the story of the Virgin Mary came from.

There are several dreams prior to and after this meditation that references the “Queen of the Sea…” or the “Oldest of the old that brought forth the sun…”, other epithets of these virgin goddesses, which speaks to the story of how woman came into being, the nature of my essence, and connection to their mysteries.

What it means to be the “Holder of the Beloved” is probably as simple as looking at the parthenogenetic stories of these goddesses, and the symbolism of the pot.

 

              “I saw an image of feminine hands holding a very old pot – clay or ceramic…”

 

I could not tell if the pot was clay or ceramic, but I knew it to be a pot, and it was held by feminine hands. I immediately associated the pot as a representation of the womb, drawing from the spiritual knowledge from my upbringing. Not only is the pot symbolic of the womb the world over, it also represented the womb to the ancient Egyptians. “In European, African and Near Eastern contexts, it is proposed that the pot is analogous to the uterus… [which is] in alignment with beliefs concerning posthumous transitions to the afterlife through the body of the sky-goddess” (Power and Tristant 1478). This same reference of the pot as symbolizing the womb is also found in India. I mention this here because it relates to womb-worship within Hindu sacred lore, often in connection to a mother goddess. The womb is worshiped in the form of a container – usually a pot, and sometimes a wicker basket – serving as a surrogate womb (Pattanaik 53). The association of the womb to a wicker basket can also be found in the role of the Arrephóroi of ancient Greece. To quote Marguerite Rigoglioso, “Indeed, the very term arrephoros, “Bearer of the Sacred/Secret Things,” suggests a veiled reference to the parthenogenetic priestess herself as ultimately “bearer” – that is, vessel – of the divine child” (69-70).

              I saw a hallway from an old Egyptian temple, in a soft glow of yellowish-gold; then a throne chair appeared at the very beginning of this hallway as if it were blocking the rest of the hall beyond it. I sat in the throne chair momentarily, looking over the landscape, across a river, and at another temple.

I do know that the Egyptian temple was built as a replica of the heavens on earth and that the temple walls served as the official record for that temple, the deities that were “housed” or represented by the temple, and the kings and queens that served them. The throne chair represents the lap of the mother – the seat of power that was bestowed upon her “suns”, the pharaohs – personified in the virgin mother goddesses Mut, Neith, Hathor, as well as Nekhbet. Perhaps the temple I sat in was a representation of this mystery?

What’s interesting to note about Nekhbet is that her hieroglyphic representation is that of a vulture, which was believed to conceive parthenogenetically. Known as the “Mother of Mothers” and “Mistress of Heaven”, her connection to motherhood and childbirth is represented through Mut. Additionally, the lotus was one of her symbols, “which symbolized the sun, of creation, rebirth, and regeneration…” (“Nekhbet, Goddess of Egypt” 2), all of which are symbols connected to the mysteries of the virgin mother goddess. A tidbit I’d found interesting in my research of Nekhbet after my first encounter with her in my dreams in November 2015, was that her priestesses were known as muu (mothers), her temple is the oldest oracular site in ancient Egypt, and she was the protectress of pharaohs (Egyptian Gods: Nekhbet 1).

Returning to the imagery in the meditation, rivers – to me – symbolize life, and water is usually associated with the womb as a representation of the substance that gives life. Think Oshun of the sweet waters, an Orisha that is usually personified as the river. I know this is bringing in symbolism from another culture, but it’s not entirely unrelated. Think of it as another cross-cultural reference.

              Then the scene changed to a wall mural. A falcon-headed figure sat in a chair, holding a long staff in its right hand. The bottom of the staff was raised in a downward diagonal, as if the figure was going to place the bottom of the staff into the container that was before it on the floor. There was a slightly drooping lotus at the top of the staff; some attendants were around.

I wonder if there is a mural in existence depicting this scene; somewhere in the remaining temples in Egypt, or in an exhibit in a museum? I’d be tickled if there was. The falcon-headed figure is not always attributed to Horus the son of Neith or husband of Hathor. He is the embodiment of several mythological roles. Known as “the distant one or one who is above, over” (Metzner 164), Horus was also the oldest deity recorded in ancient Egyptian history, one of the primeval gods of the First Time, the tutelary deity of Nekhen, and the earliest representation of kingship (Butler 2009). In this scene, he sits in a chair, of which I will identify as the throne, appearing to place a lotus scepter into the pot. Remember the symbolism of the lotus from above? It represents the sun, rebirth, and creation; this scene speaks to me as the son, an embodiment of kingship (or the action of the Great Mother within the material world), demonstrating his perpetual arrival and departure through womb (the pot).  As noted earlier, the pot in ancient Egyptian burial rites represented the womb.

There is an Utterance in the Pyramid Text of Unas that resembles this very last scene of this meditation – Utterance 213. There are two translations – one by Samuel A. B. Mercer and the other by R. O. Faulkner – where the last line varies slightly. Without getting caught up in semantics, this text refers to the king’s journey to the Duat; not dead, but alive.

But, since I am not interpreting this vision as an exact replica of the text, I am treating it as I feel I should – a pure vision/dream that is relaying information to the dreamer. I see these references to the ancient Egyptian religion a way to provide an explanation of the mysteries of the virgin mother goddesses from antiquity. The concept of virgin birth was prominent within the ancient Egyptian belief system, so I feel it would be natural to utilize their imagery to provide an explanation.

In the end, the title of “Mary”, is directly related to the divine birth mysteries of the mother goddesses of antiquity. It isn’t an epithet that’s exclusive to Christianity or ancient Egypt, as it is also found in India assigned to a Mother goddess of the Tamil people, Mariamma. The Holder of Mary, as is the title that was bestowed upon me at first as an impression, then revealed in detail this meditation, is a direct reference to the virgin mother goddess and Her divine birth mystery. This is a lineage – an age-old lineage – that all women naturally inherit.

With this, I am in awe of the intelligence of the Source – the Great Mother, and her means to communicate a very intricate message, over a series of dreams, over a period of years. It provides a greater clarity into the why of the prayers, practices, and rituals that I have had to engage as part of my commitment to my duty and purpose in this life. I am a woman, and I am descendent of the Mother Goddess.

 I know I’ve completely spun the interpretation of this pure vision/meditative journey with ancient Egyptian religious beliefs and mythology. What’s important to be mindful of is how I view and understand my dreams. I do not look at them as isolated phenomena. They are a non-linear continuum of what I like to identify as an “expression” or “disclosure” of my inheritance as a woman. This is not the only pure vision/revelation that references the characteristics and mysteries of the virgin mother goddesses of antiquity. But this is the experience that provided a direct (and obvious) link to it.

Women of and in the world today, this is our inheritance, and you are invited to reclaim it.

 

Meet Mago Contributor Alaya A. Dannu.


Works Cited

Butler, Edward P. “Horus.” Henadology, 23 Mar. 2009, https://henadology.wordpress.com/theology/netjeru/horus/. Accessed 27 Feb. 2017.

 

Egyptian Gods: Nekhbet. http://egyptian-gods.org/egyptian-gods-nekhbet/. Accessed 27 Feb. 2017.

 

Meltzer, Edmund S. Horus. In D. B. Redford (Ed.), The ancient gods speak: A guide to Egyptian religion (pp. 164). New York: Oxford University Press, USA., 2002.

 

“Nekhbet, the White Vulture Goddess.” Land of Pyramids, 2015, http://www.landofpyramids.org/nekhbet.htm. Accessed 27 Feb 2017.

 

Power, Ronika K., and Yann Tristant. “From Refuse to Rebirth: Repositioning the Pot Burial in the Egyptian Archaeological Record.” [Antiquity], vol. 90, no. 354, 1 Dec. 2016, pp. 1474–1488, https://www.cambridge.org/core/article/div-class-title-from-refuse-to-rebirth-repositioning-the-pot-burial-in-the-egyptian-archaeological-record-div/7E77AE24D521DF29778CB577D8B0C034, 10.15184/aqy.2016.176.

 

Rigoglioso, Marguerite. The Cult of Divine Birth in Ancient Greece. New York, Palgrave Macmillan, 19 May 2009.

 

S, Acharya; Murdock, D.M., Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection. Stellar House Publishing. Kindle Edition., 2008.

 

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4 thoughts on “(Prose) “Mary” As a Title by Alaya Dannu

  1. “To better understand the meaning of a dream image, one must acknowledge the multidimensional nature of dreams …” As a Jungian therapist I continue to be astonished by the multidimensional nature of dreams. Whenever “Mary” appears in whatever guise I see the Mother aspect of the Goddess coming to life in some way…However, in the Bible there are as many as three Marys’ and each one has her own aspect or role. There is no reason to discount Mary regardless of one’s religious affiliations because like it or not she is one of the “Mothers” as well as being other manifestations of the most ancient goddess.
    By the way I also work with clay. Many years ago when I discovered clay at the edge of the river I sculpted my first bird goddess. Later I had a dream about Mammutu and discovered later that in ancient times the “mother’ of clay carried this name!

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    • Thanks for your comment, Sara. This essay in no way discounts “mary” in any of her “roles” assigned to her within any tradition. As multidimensional as dreams are, so too is everything else around us. Highlighting religious meaning denotes a religious dimension based upon the dictates of that religion. What this essay is highlighting is a much more primordial source and aspect of the concept embodied within the term “mary” or “mary” as more of a label/title than just a name. Names in antiquity were more of epithets than what names are used for today [right there you have a multidimensional aspect of the concept ‘name’]. Deeper still, what this essay is hinting at is an antiquated lineage that has been concealed/veiled throughout the ages, and “mary” is more of a title within this paradigm, as opposed to however she is viewed in modernity. When a primordial source speaks to something, it is best to look at it from the very same lens – that of primordiality, and not from the dictates of a religious framework that is far removed from it.

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