You can’t come to Egypt and not take a ride on a camel, apparently. So, we did. We got up early and crossed the Nile from Aswan‘s east bank across to its west bank, where all the culture related to the afterlife was situated. On the western bank, just below the tomb for the Aga Khan III, is a small stable of camels and their keepers – mere slips of boys with eager grins.
We ensured the indignity of our unpractised and unbalanced mounting of the Desert Taxis didn’t go unrecorded, and then began our stomp up through the sand and rocky paths towards the remains of the monastery founded by the legendary Saint Simeon (or Simon The Tanner, as he was also known).
Our guide for this short expedition was the delightful local lady “Maggi” (a shortened version of a lovely Nubian name that she knew we wouldn’t be able to pronounce, let alone retain in our tiny western brains. She was right – we couldn’t. It must be the effects of the sun?).
Sat atop the rocky ridge overlooking the Nile at Aswan the monastery initially appears to be quite compact, but as you enter the building you realise that it is split into the lower religious section consisting of a large courtyard and a small church. Up some stone steps the larger expanse of the functional elements of the complex become apparent, with areas for stabling camels, toilets, a laundry, extensive sleeping quarters and storage rooms.
After our guided tour we were left to our own devices for as long as we needed. Up here, on this deserted desert ridge we were the only visitors, and we left to explore the place at our leisure. Immediately I got my dowsing rods out and began to investigate the area for interesting subtle energy spots.
My first quest was to find whether there was any Spirit of Place at this location. There was. I asked to be taken to the spirit’s current location and the rods began to direct me to an area of the monastery that I hadn’t been to as yet. Eventually I arrived at a small room with one triangular end which had no windows. This would surely not have been a place of residence without windows? Mind you, from what we had heard St Simeon was a strange man. We heard the story of a hole in the ceiling through which Simeon had his hair held by other monks so that he wouldn’t fall asleep while reading scriptures. If his eyes drooped then the monks gave his hair a tug to keep him awake! And I thought I was dedicated to the cause!
The rods twirled around into a circle at a spot to the southern end of the room.Q. Was this SOP the spirit of St.Simeon? YES. Further inquiries began.
I put the rods down and began to connect to the land and sky, putting up some protection around me in case it was needed. Then I began to attune myself to the thoughts and feelings of this SOP. What came back was a fleeting glimpse of the personality of St.Simeon. He was a man with a stern countenance and a short temper. I got the impression that he frequently told others off and was not above punishing them personally for not being holy enough. Then I got an overwheming sense of his piety. He was devout to an extreme level. This came though in a feeling of a pang in my heart area. This man loved his God like most people love their life partners.
Disconnecting, I thanked the SOP for this information, then set about trying to find the most energetic spot in the complex. As I followed the rods back towards the lower portions of the complex where the religious structures were, M joined me again. What are you looking for, she enquired? I told her and she said, “I think you’ll find that the best place is inside this church.” I didn’t want to prejudice the results, so I acknowledged her feeling and then carried on following the rods. As I walked down the steps to the lower section the rods swung into the church.
The Confession Hole
As I walked through the doorway into the church I felt like I had walked into an electric fence! The jolt or energy was palpable and all the hairs on my arms stood on end. I observed this with a wry smile, and behind me I heard M say, “Can you feel that? There’s something here, for sure.” I agreed.
The rods turned to the right and weaved a path to the half-domed ceiling that was still showing the remnants of coloured stucco plaster. Our guide had explained that this was once a painting of The Virgin Mary. As I got to the point of standing underneath the painting on the ceiling, at the centre of the semi-dome then the rods turned to indicate the most powerful point in the complex. Interesting!
I asked some questions about the spot. Was it male or female? Mostly female. How strong on a scale of 1-10? 7. Pretty strong, but not overwhelming. I looked down the straight line that formed the central pathway from the dome to the feature at the other end of the church that had been described to us as a confession hole. This was a hole in the wall through which confessions were heard. Was there any flow of energy from the power centre down the straight path?
There was a flow of interlacing male and female energies going from the Virgin Mary apse down to the Confession Hole. At this point a curious onlooker decided to join us. The local lad was clearly amused and intrigued by my funny rod wiggling but I had little time to explain in words that he might be able to translate. I carried on regardless.
As the flow went into the room behind the confession hole I walked around into the small room. Inside I asked if the flow terminated at this spot – it did. In which case I might expect there to be some energy formation there. I dowsed to see what shape the energy was in. It formed a familiar pattern – a shape that I can only like to a pair of rounded horns except that the rounded ends of the horns are wider than the base. I had an inkling that this simple shape was not the whole picture. I asked the dowsing rods if there was anything else to be found in this shape and they said that there was. I asked to be shown this other shape and as I began to walk in ever-decreasing circles I realised that there was a male spiral inside the U-bend of the rounded horns. The following photograph shows the shape:-
This was a familiar shape from my sigil dowsing in the British Isles. This was one small confirmation that earth energy is a global phenomenon whose two-dimensional forms appear to have some consistency across wide geographical areas, lands separated by oceans and only connected at a deep level. Unless, of course, I was the common factor?
That was as far as I got in the presence of this curious onlooker and M was also beginning to look like we ought to get back to our guide. I knew the cues, and so put the rods away. There were many other much more famous and interesting places left to visit, so I was sure I would find more curious phenomena in the next few days.
As we returned to our hump-backed taxis M’s camel “Jimmy” fled at the sight of us! Once retrieved we made the much more cheek-clenching descent down the rocks sandy paths back to the camel’s stable. At the reek of dung and the infestation of flies we knew it was time to perform our first camelian dismount. It wasn’t a pretty sight and must have amused the stable boys no end.
We took the short motor-launch ride back across the Nile to our cruise boat, and I began to think about the next set of temples that we would visit – Karnak, Luxor and Dendara.