An Encounter in Egypt with Isis
Many in our workshops have expressed interest in my visionary encounters with the spirits, and so I have decided to share some of the more interesting ones that have happened across the years. In 2003, for example, I visited Egypt for the first time, and there was one deity in particular for whom I felt great attraction—the goddess Isis.
I was aware of who and what Isis is in a mythic sense—a goddess who was (and is) the wife of Osiris, the Lord of the Lower Worlds. Isis also played a major role in Osiris’ resurrection after his betrayal and murder by his evil brother Set. Isis was the one who retrieved Osiris’ dismembered parts and reconstituted him. As such, she serves as a symbolic archetype of healing and reconciliation…. as well as soul retrieval.
Isis is also the mother of their son Horus who became the sky god of the Pharaohs and whose embodiment was and is the falcon. As such Isis represents one of the feminine forces of creation, who, with her son Horus, served as the source of the Mary and Jesus myth adopted by the early Christians.
The Temple at Dendara
On the decidedly warm afternoon on January 8, our travel group approached the huge temple of the goddess Hathor at Dendara, west of the Nile River in Upper Egypt. On final approach, we could see that the temple’s massive stone columns in the vast central hall are capped by the four faces of Hathor, each facing in one of the four directions.
In a mythic sense, Hathor, the cow-eared goddess of love, was the historically earlier embodiment of the transpersonal feminine force. Isis came later. In this perspective, Hathor and Isis are actually different attributes of the same transpersonal being. This is why it is often difficult when looking at the temple images to distinguish which goddess is Isis and which is Hathor. The only way of knowing which is which is to read the associated hieroglyph, Isis being represented by the symbol of a three-leveled throne in profile and Hathor by a box (house) with a falcon inside, reflecting her mythic marriage to Horus, the son of Isis.
As a shamanic practitioner and teacher, I was curious as to what might be experienced in a great Egyptian temple that embodied the Hathor-Isis transpersonal force. I was not disappointed…
After our tour of the Hathor temple, I walked around and behind the huge walls of the building where I spied a smaller, ruined structure fashioned of large stone blocks, glowing yellow in the late afternoon light. On asking our guide about it, I was told it was the remains of a shrine dedicated to Isis.
The building appeared deserted, even neglected compared to its monumental companion, yet I felt compelled to approach it. I climbed the steps along one side and stepped onto the shadowed stone platform from which two empty doorways entered into the dark interior of the shrine itself. Both doorways were guarded by the iron bars of two locked gates that excluded intruders.
As I peered through the bars, I could see that the rooms were empty except for the reliefs carved into the walls. There was a niche at the back of the larger room that was empty too, its statuary and treasured objects long gone to raiders and tomb robbers.
I was by myself, and yet I could feel an unmistakable sense of someone or something there. It was elusive at first, coming and going, just there at the edge of my awareness. I glanced carefully around. I was alone on the ruined portico. I sat down in the shade, my back against the wall of the shrine, and I closed my eyes. I entered into the meditative state, and for long moments, I just sat still, my eyes closed, calming my mind, erasing my thoughts, allowing the inner mystical state to slowly expand within me. It was then that I felt it again… a definite presence.
On impulse, my hands felt for the zipper on my small waist pack, and my fingers extracted a small glass crow bead, a blue one, my signature offering. I held it to my lips, eyes still closed, then breathed my prayer to the lady Isis through the hole in the bead, using it as the doorway into the transpersonal realm, offering to her my love along with an account of who I was and my intentions for being there in her shrine.
I waited, holding the bead between my fingers, savoring the moment, then I cracked an eye and tossed the bead through the iron bars into the darkness of her shrine. I smiled, my ritual complete. Then I braced myself against the ancient wall behind my back and accessed the high frequency brain-wave states I have described in some detail in my Spiritwalker trilogy.
Allow me to say that I don’t really know what it is that I do in these moments. I just intend it and the rest then happens. In response, the blood began to hiss in my ears as the exquisite pressure arrived accompanied by the uncontrollable vibrations of the expanding visionary state.
I felt the familiar soaring feeling increase… increase… growing incrementally as my body commenced to shake as I built up my connection with the mind-blowing energy field that the Polynesians call Mauri Ora and Obi Wan called The Force. Most authentic mystics have experienced it at some time or other. It is the power of Life itself… a gift from the Higher Organizing Intelligences associated with this world… the ones we call ‘the Gods.’
The transcendent state expanded within me until it completely possessed me. While my body continued to vibrate, gripped in the invisible fist of power, it was as though a window in my mind opened and a feeling of utter tranquility enveloped me.
Abruptly and unexpectedly, I descended into darkness… into the velvety blackness, and for long moments my conscious awareness was just there, in that place of utter stillness and awesome silence… a state in which all that ever was and all that will ever be is unified in the now… in a state of waiting, of is-ness, of being-ness…
And then… in response to my intention, I suddenly perceived her… the goddess Isis… yet not as some symbolic woman-form or humanized feminine personification.
A brilliance appeared in the darkness of the void... a radiance that expanded into a moving, flowing mass of effervescent cobalt blue light that was alive and shimmering. It had depth, like staring into crystal clear blue water, yet it had no boundaries and in a flash, I was in this blue-ness. It was all around me. It merged with me, or I had merged with it so that in those moments, I was the blue-ness. And I was immediately aware that it possessed a vast intelligence far beyond my own. Simultaneously, her awareness and mine became one…
During this extraordinary experience, the soaring sensations that gripped my physical body amped up to an entirely new level in response to her connection with me. And there was more.
I have said that this was a very warm afternoon (read ‘hot’), yet in those moments, I suddenly experienced a sudden coolness, like when you open a refrigerator and the cold air escapes and flows down over your bare feet…
This is what enveloped me in those moments of vision. I was literally enfolded by a coolness, like a river of blue cold air flowing over me in a wave, engulfing me in a field in which I knew what she knows, I felt what she feels, I thought what she thinks… and in that state, the goddess and I were one.
To say that this was an amazing experience would be an understatement of vast proportions. I was perceiving her on the one hand as her ‘light beyond the form,’ and I was experiencing her directly as ‘the formless beyond the light.’ And there was no doubt in those moments that she—the Isis/mother goddess energy—is real.
Then the vision faded as I heard the footsteps of others approaching the shrine and my focus shifted from ‘there’ back to ‘here.’ Yet the resonance of her grace persisted for several days until I was fully drawn back into my world.
Six years later, on December 9, 2008, I ascended the stone steps behind the Hathor temple once again, I was expectant, to say the least. And this time, much to my surprise, there was an Egyptian guard, in turban and galabeya, complete with moustache, who smiled and looked directly into my soul… then unlocked the gates for me on both entrances to the shrine. I smiled in return and tipped him as he graciously withdrew, leaving me alone.
Wary, I entered the interior of her shrine for the first time, allowing my mind to slowly settle. This time my wife Jill was here as well, waiting outside with some of the others of our group, granting me the space to just be with her.
Then as before, I fished in my waist pack—for three blue beads this time—one for me and one for Jill, and one for a shamanic colleague in New Mexico who had asked me to convey her love to the goddess. I breathed my prayers through the beads… then still standing, I placed my hands on the wall, on both sides of the niche in which her statue once stood and closed my eyes.
As I waited, I felt my fingers discover a deep crack in the stone wall, so I tucked the blue beads there… and then I accessed the high frequency visionary state.
The Second Vision
Once again, I felt her presence expand within my fully aroused consciousness. There was no doubt, no question… It felt familiar this time, and I became aware that this was an old transpersonal connection spanning many lifetimes. In response to this insight, glimpses of the past began to flow through my mind. They were memories of course, but they were not the memories of Hank Wesselman.
‘Then whose memories are they?’ I thought to myself as I watched them… and then the answer came. They were being downloaded from my immortal oversoul field—my personal spiritual aspect that resides in the same transpersonal realm in which the Isis field exists. They were originating from my self-aspect in which all of my former selves are archived.
I watched enthralled as image after image emerged within my mind, like slides projected upon a screen that flowed with mystical vitality and power. As before, the radiance of her light was a brilliant blue and her awareness conveyed a sense of utter acceptance… and a distinctly feminine amusement.
The goddess was amused at my astonished state and my response to what was flowing through my mind… and through hers. Then the imagery suddenly shifted as an issue abruptly emerged from within the memories stored within my own mind. This was a memory of a recent event—one of the great betrayals of my life—one that had happened only just the year before.
For many months I had suffered great anguish and grief over this betrayal. I relived it even as I stood there in her shrine, my hands braced against the wall, my body shaking with the force of her presence… then as before, the temperature abruptly shifted as her cool field once again swept down and engulfed me. I was bathed in the cold radiance of her grace… and in response, I felt my grief over this terrible betrayal ebbing away… slowly dissolving in her blue light… going… going… and then gone.
I understood in those moments that when we are dealing with grief, or with issues of violation and betrayal, Isis is the one to whom we must journey… that Isis is the transpersonal ally who offers the qualities of forgiveness and reconciliation.
I also understood in those moments that my lady Isis and the Himalayan bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, the Chinese goddess Kwan Yin and the Japanese spirit Kwannon are one and the same.
With this insight, I felt rather than saw, her smile.
Then once again, I heard the voices of some of my companions approaching the shrine and my awareness shifted… and the feelings of force that had held me in their grip simply faded away. I was also aware that I had had a major healing from Isis and the edge of anger that I had carried for over a year around that great betrayal was gone.
My gratitude is beyond description.
Several days later, I acquired a small stone statue of Isis in a shop near the Valley of the Kings. It now sits on my desk, facing me as I write. It is of very high quality and is beautifully carved with the symbol of the three-layered throne on top of her head. It is not an antiquity, yet it is not new either. I bought it because it has presence… and through this image, I connect with Isis daily… and I feel her grace.