||Sa Sekhem Sahu!
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My Experiences at the Sekhmet Temple (Page 2)
Spring Equinox, 2001:
Dedicated to Sekhmet, a (potential) magazine article I wrote in March/April 2001 to fulfill a class assignment. I also made a quick trip out to the Temple for New Moon on March 24/25.
Fall Equinox, 2000:
My visit for Fall Equinox 2000 (no photos scanned in yet - sorry!) was quite an adventure. I'd originally planned on being at the Temple just for Friday and Sunday nights and spending the bulk of my vacation time out near Area 51, but Mama Sekhmet obviously had other plans....
Friday night was the official ritual. As always, it was a beautiful ceremony and a wonderful opportunity to visit with the men and women of the Las Vegas Pagan community... which seems to get larger and friendlier each year! It was especially good to discover that not only has Crone Witch Patricia found a Maiden (a lovely young woman called Crimson Tiger), but has also taken on several men as students during the past year, so look out ladies... Sekhmet Priests are on the way!
Saturday I spent the morning at the Temple (nothing like "quality time" with Mom to get your chakras balanced and your energy flowing!), then took a nice long hike during the afternoon, startling a HUGE jackrabbit in the process. Of course, I've never seen one in person before, so maybe he was just normal size. In which case... WOW! And to be honest, I think we actually startled each other. But Saturday night was really the highlight of the day... a Native American pipe ceremony! It was a deeply moving ceremony and I offer up my sincere thanks to Crone Witch Patricia for sharing her personal ritual space with us, and to Toni Vessels, the pipecarrier with whom I shared the guesthouse with that weekend, for allowing me to participate... and teaching me enough Lakota to offer up my prayers and thanks to the spirits of her tradition in their native tongue.
Sunday morning found me back at Mom's knee (yes, I pretty much lived up at the Temple itself for most of my visit), then I headed back for an afternoon of visiting with CW Patricia and the other weekend guests (okay... and napping... all the energy at the site tends to lead to short nights) before joining Toni at the drum circle in Red Rock Canyon that evening. Yes, Virginia... the hippy and rave cultures are alive and well in Las Vegas... and they all get together to drum at Red Rock every Sunday night! It was a high-energy, well-run and friendly circle, but far too short since the rangers came to kick us out at dusk :-<.
Monday morning I FINALLY made it up before sunrise and... with my cloak tossed over my pajamas -- desert mornings are COLD!... got to greet Kephera is all His glory from Mom's eastern doorway. And then, sadly, it was time to head back Los Angeles for yet another year. Unless, of course, Mom starts calling me at Spring as well....
Fall Equinox, 1999 (photos):
March 14, 1999 (sampai meditation):
Good morning . I want to thank you all for inviting me here today to share the blessings of the Goddess with you. My name is Aostara and I'm an eclectic Pagan priestess of Sekhmet, a Goddess of Healing and Balance. 'Sekhem' is an Ancient Egyptian word meaning 'Sacred Power' or 'Divine Strength'. In the old language, adding a 't' to the end of a word indicated female, so 'Sekhmet' represents the Sacred Power of the Feminine the Goddess manifest in Nature, the spiritual realms, and within each man and woman. She is called the Goddess of 10,000 names, but in reality the Goddess has billions of names, for She exists in part in each one of us. With that in mind, I invite you to close your eyes, take deep, centering breaths, and join me on a journey to discover your own personal Goddess .
As the everyday world fades away, you find yourself standing in the cold darkness of a moonless desert night. The sky above glitters with innumerable stars, and off to the east you sense more than see the beginnings of the sunrise.
Silhouetted against that deepest of blues is a cluster of small trees an oasis surrounding a domed, sand-colored structure. This is the Temple of Sekhmet, built to honor the Sacred Power of all Goddesses, and as you approach the temple grounds you feel the warmth of this energy surround you.
There is a light breeze and in the trees around you you hear the gentle song of wind chimes, and in the dawning light you catch glimpses of brightly colored prayer flags fluttering in the branches.
As you follow the white gravel path toward the Temple, you notice that it has four arched doorways one facing each of the cardinal directions and the signs along the path instruct you to enter by whichever represents the type of healing you feel you need most at this time:
You enter feeling the healing energy wash over you as you pass through the threshold -- and the quickly lightening sky reveals a slate and gravel floor, a central firepit, and a myriad of Goddess images from around the world. These images cover and surround the corner altars, and spill out onto the niches and shelves built into the walls.
In the SouthWest are the Maidens, Nymphs and Virgins:
Yemaya, Bast, Venus, Persephone, Artemis, White Buffalo Calf Woman and the Virgin of Guadalupe
In the NorthWest are the Mothers, Comforters and Bodhisattvas:
Gaia, Demeter, Corn Mother, Kwan Yin, Hathor, Tara, Isis and Mother Nature Herself
In the NorthEast are the Wise Women, Dark Ladies and Crones:
Hecate, the Fates, the Norns, Cerridwen, Kali, Lillith, Nephthys and Spider Grandmother
And in the SouthEast are the Warriors, Defenders and Healers:
The Morrigan, Durga, Brigid, Athena, Pele, Oya, Freya, and of course, Sekhmet,
represented here by a human-sized basalt statue seated on a throne and holding an ankh the symbol of life in Her left hand. Her feline head bears the face of a lioness gazing lovingly at Her cubs, and Her human body is covered in a floor-length red dress.
To Her left is a large papyrus scroll which reads:
Let My worship be in the heart that rejoices, for all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals. And you who seek to know Me, know that your seeking will be in vain unless you know the Mystery for if that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without. For I have been with you from the beginning, and I am that which is attained at the end of desire .
To Her right is a black scrying mirror as tall as you are a magic mirror in which you can see you own personal Goddess, She who embodies aspects of all the Goddesses in this Temple and many others, depending on your needs. She may have a message for you, or She may simply send healing to your mind, body and spirit. Take a moment now to look into the mirror and contact Her .
As your Goddess fades from the mirror, the image of you sitting in meditation in this sanctuary appears. The Goddess tells you that you may use this mirror as a gateway to return to the Temple and visit Her whenever you like.
As you step though the mirror, you feel the warm glow of Her love accompany you, and you see the Lioness smile .
When you're ready, open your eyes and return to this time and place ..
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