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Part Four

Samples > Chapter Two

Sowing the Seed


A large group of Priestesses had come to the Sacred Lake. None of them looked at me. They sat on the stone parapet looking towards the setting sun, gently playing their instruments.

I reviewed the day's events in my mind. The ceremony had flowed like a dream. I even thought that mandrake or some other powder might have been mixed into my wine. The Priestesses, after all, were capable of inducing every kind of sacred dream and vision. They could have left me to sleep on the mat and let the Goddess do all the work. But the ceremonies were real. The dancers moved and some of them even touched me. The light strengthened and waned as someone on the roof manipulated the vent’s opening. And what a surprise it was to feel myself releasing my semen inside my own Mereeyet!

Just then the women on the parapet made mournful sounds and I looked up. The sun sat on the edge of the horizon. It was about to be swallowed by Nout, the Sky Goddess. In turn, she will graciously give birth to the Sun, her own father, the next morning. All sounds of music and mourning had stopped. The reddish hue of the sun's last rays lit the eastern parapet of the sacred lake for a moment. The Priestesses began ululating again, lamenting the temporary death of Ra. Then all was quiet. Each one of us, as is our custom, shifted our thoughts from the world outside into ourselves. After a few minutes I looked up. The Priestesses had turned around and were now looking down at me. Some of them began to make cat calls: “Lord Heroo, do you remember Atum?” They had just finished chanting Atum’s creative prowess during our procession around the temple. “Did you know Atum’s phallus was so long it reached right into his mouth?” I laughed, for what may be possible for a God I have never seen on a human being! “Are you ready to spill your seed into the Primeval Waters, Lord Heroo?” I had my first inkling that something I did not expect was about to happen. “Are you a Strong Bull, Lord Heroo?” One of my visions in the Chamber of Conception was that of being the Apis Bull. This sacred bull is released among a large herd of heifers once a year and…. I stopped swimming and thinking. The Priestesses around the parapet stood up and were already in the process of removing their robes and sheath dresses, which they wore against the strong evening breeze. “Are you ready for your heifers, Strong Bull?” At this final call all the Priestesses were streaming down the four sets of stairs, jumping and diving into the water, giggling and screaming "Ka-Nakht, Ka-Nakht,” 'Strong Bull, Strong Bull.'

These Priestesses of the Goddess Hathor now played the role of Noon, the Primeval Waters made fecund from the spilled seed of Atum. They took it upon themselves to collect that spilled seed and I was to play the role of this creator God. Just as the Gods and Goddesses created from Atum’s spilled seed served the Great Ones, it was the Priestesses duty now to bring forth the Ka-Nakht children who would serve the son for whom Mereeyet and I have been praying. They pulled me towards the side of the lake where a small mound of earth stuck out of the water. When we reached it, it turned out to be soft, warm mud. There, one after another, the Priestesses enticed me to erection, mounted me, then embraced me and received my seed. I let my mind wonder, but their skills brought me back to a new erection time after time. ‘How can a single bull successfully fertilize an entire herd of cattle?’ I asked myself. In my own stables the bull did not do it in one day. I had to remind myself that this event was still part of the ceremony. If only two or three of the girls would conceive, their children would be brought to my household as companions, life-long friends and protectors of my son, for whose conception this entire day had been devoted.

I lost track of time and gave myself up to the well oiled limbs and even better trained hands and arms of the servants of the Goddess of Love. It was already pitch dark when four hands raised me out of the water and I heard many happy, chattering voices and giggles recede from the Sacred Lake.

Two Priestesses washed me with clay. Two others led me up the stairs then oiled my body. Someone handed me a new white linen kilt. I put it around my waist and fastened it. Another wrapped a loose tunic around my shoulders and then covered it with a robe. They led me away from the sacred lake on the same path by which we came. The moonless night was a sign of the Virgin. We re-entered the temple through a side entrance that led up several steps into the heart of the temple. Mereeyet was waiting for me. This was the tiny courtyard at the bottom of the stairway from the roof. We walked through the doorway and up another step into the Inner Chamber that held the Holy of Holies, the sacred centerpiece of the Temple. Led by a single Priestess dressed in a ceremonial robe and holding her staff of office, a golden sistrum, we circumambulated the sanctum sanctorum three times. Each time around, the musicians played solemn music louder and stronger until a full chorus of female chanters announced that the Goddess Hathor was ready to receive us, the supplicants.

The thick, ochre colored curtain parted in front of us. Mereeyet and I entered into the most sacred room of the temple. A golden cow gleamed on the altar inside her naos. We prostrated ourselves. The cold flagstone felt good on my forehead after the previous exertions. The High Priestess stood next to the altar with the golden cow. She spoke to us: “Just as you have entered the Holy of Holies of Hathor’s Temple, so your seed has entered the egg within Mereeyet’s womb which is her Holy of Holies. As it is Hathor's pleasure, a male child will be conceived. You must nevertheless consider,” the High Priestess continued, “that there are still many obstacles to that conception coming to its intended fruition. Hathor, who knows the secrets of conception and has ministered unto you this day, is powerless from this point onward to influence the outcome. But there are other Great Gods and Goddesses. You must call upon Ma'at, Seshat and Djehouty in order to have the child develop perfect in soul and spirit. You must call upon Khnum, the Potter that he be perfect in form. Ask Bes to convey to your child good humor and a love of music and dance. Petition Ast and Neb-Hut to protect him from harm. Pray to Tauret, Goddess of Childbirth, that you, Mereeyet, survive the birth along with your son. Call upon Sekhmet, the Lion Goddess when she is in a good mood, that both you, as the mother, and your child may live in good health. And if there are other Gods and Goddesses whose influence you need to secure the intended outcome of today’s successful ceremonies, turn to them at once and let them know that you approach them with Hathor’s blessings.”

When I rose from my belly, I felt weak and shivered. I helped to raise Mereeyet. We both felt the cycle of preparation, exertion and conception had come to an end and we were ready to rest. A Priestess guided us around the outside of the Holy of Holies to the somnabularium where soft sheepskins were spread on the floor. We lay down on the sheepskins. Priestesses covered us with many, many more. We fell fast asleep in the womb of Hathor's temple.

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