Tag Archive | ancient Egypt

BunniHoTep and the Graffiti Artist

Once upon a time in the city of Memphis a strange symbol started appearing on the sides of temples. They found it carved on grain warehouses. They found it carved in the sides of house walls. They started to find it carved everywhere.

This worried the people and it was beginning to worry the gods and goddesses. It was three spirals close together each facing outward. No one had ever seen it before. What did this strange graffiti mean and who was doing it?

The deities had a meeting. They had to know who was defacing their temples. Was it a curse? Was it a blessing? Did it mean anything at all?

So they decided BunniHoTep should find the culprit. She was the Finder of Lost Objects, how big a step was it to finding the person or being responsible for this symbol? Besides this symbol was being found very close to the ground not far above BunniHoTep’s head surely this was a job for her?

So BunniHoTep thought that since her Temple hadn’t been decorated yet she would sit on the Temple porch and sip of cup of chamomile tea and wait. She really didn’t have to wait too long before she spotted a small red- haired child at the side of the porch. So she sat and watched and sipped her tea to see what the child would do.

The child had hair that looked to be on fire and the only place BunniHoTep had seen hair like that was on the Delta when she watched the ships come in. What was a child that looked like that doing here? The child looked very out of place with her very pale skin and hair.

The small girl took out a small chisel and started to carve the symbol. BunniHoTep watched and waited. She kind of liked the design so she didn’t really want to stop her. The child carved intently with her tongue poking out the side of her mouth as she concentrated. As the child appeared to be finishing her carving BunniHoTep stood beside her. “ Why are you doing that?” BunniHoTep asked and indicated the newly carved spirals. The child jumped and quickly hid the chisel in her tunic.

BunniHoTep could see the child had been crying by the tracks of her tears down the slightly dirty face. “I want to go home!” the child burst out. BunniHoTep was a moved by this. It wasn’t the answer she expected at all. “Where is your home?”

“I don’t know! Very, very, very far away, I’m so lost!” the child cried.

BunniHoTep heard that magic word “lost” and her heart broke. She knew that wherever that child was from it wasn’t anywhere in Egypt. “How did you get here and what are those symbols?”

The child was sobbing now and BunniHoTep guided her into the Temple to a soft pillow and sat the child down. The child’s sobs started to subside to hiccups. “I… I… I was on a boat that sank with my family. I’m the only one left.” The child continued to sob quietly. BunniHoTep said gently, “Can you tell me your story if I give you a cup of tea and a biscuit?” The child nodded.

The child held the cup in both hands and started, “My mum and dad were traders from a place that is a long ways away. Where I live it is green and lovely. We have mountains and lots of streams. We have bunnies like you we call conies and deer and tiggies and ….” BunniHotep held her hand up and stopped the flood of speech. “Could you slow down and tell me how you got here and what your name is?”

“Oh, My name is Sesi and our boat sank in the sea. We had a storm. I think Taranis was mad at us.” BunniHoTep had no idea who Taranis was but she let the child speak. “I was on a big box and it floated into the harbour and I got off. I lost everyone else.” The child looked sadly at BunniHoTep. “And?” said BunniHoTep, “How did you get here?”

“I walked. No one would help so I followed a group of traders and I ended up here. I’ve been hiding ever since. The animals here are very strange not like home at all.”

“If I can send you home will you go?” BunniHoTep asked. “And why do you keep carving those spirals?”

“You have so many goddesses and gods here I thought they wouldn’t mind if I made the mark of the goddess I love, she’s very beautiful and they say I look like her. No one here looks like me. My mama used to mark my forehead with it before I slept and I missed it.”

“Who is your goddess?” BunniHoTep asked. She always liked knowing about new goddesses that could be new friends.

“Her name is Brighid and she has red hair and she has a big hammer, and a spindle and she sometimes has wheat and and she has a flame that never goes out and and and she protects the wells and springs and she has three ways of appearing to us. She can be old or like my mama or very young like my sisters. I have one thing left of my own and it belonged to her.” The child held out the battered stump of a sad looking beeswax candle. BunniHoTep was intrigued when the child finally ran out of words. She’d never heard of a goddess that could be three ways and she was very glad the child had stopped crying. And she wanted know what was special about a candle.

“Why did you keep a candle?” BunniHoTep asked.

“Because my mom used to have us keep vigil by the candle once every 20 days for people who needed help, and so that Brighid’s light is always in the world to remind us to care for others.” BunniHoTep thought that was a lovely idea and she also thought that Isis might like people to keep a flame in her Temple too.

BunniHoTep needed to think for a moment so she asked the nearest Priestess to take her new friend for a good wash and a new tunic. She promised the child she wouldn’t leave and that they would talk in awhile when she had a solution. So BunniHoTep pondered and pondered. She decided to take the child back to the harbour and see if any of Kanin’s friends were around to take her home. So they made their way back up the Nile and on the way they lit the candle to remember people’s hurts and they spread the flame to other lamps in Temples on the river. When they got to the harbour they were almost finished building a new ship of strange design. Sesi started to run. “Mhathair! Athair! A very tall man and woman came running and grabbed Sesi and swung her in their arms.

The man looked down at rabbit who had finally caught up. “Did you bring her back to us?”

BunniHoTep replied smiling, “I was going to try to find someone to take her home but I see now I don’t have to do that.”

“Thank you, for taking care of Sesi.” Sesi’s parents said.

“I thank her for teaching me about Brighid and her flame. We will keep it safe here in Isis’s and my Temple. Goodbye Sesi! Safe journey!”

“Beannacht leat!” and the family got ready to sail.

BunniHoTep, Bring Your Light – a Yule Story

Once upon a time in the dark of a mid-winter night a star fell to earth.  BunniHoTep heard a loud thump and rushed out of her cozy nest. She really hated to leave it. It was nice and snug and soft and a chilly mid-winter night all together a lovely place to sleep.

But she knew a noise that loud probably wasn’t a good thing and she was the Finder of Lost Objects so she had better go.

She got to the steps of her Temple and a bright light met her eyes. She threw a paw in front of her eyes and drew her soft shawl closer around her and hurried towards the light.

The light was quite a distance away from the street of Temples out in the desert. And as she got nearer she could hear it making strange noises like laughing. So she hurried across the sand as well as she could. She didn’t know where the other gods and goddesses were. It had been quite a loud noise but she seemed to be the only one who had wakened.

As she got nearer she noticed the light was human shaped but also was very like the Sun. The shape kept changing colour. First it looked like an Egyptian, then it looked like the pale men that came from the North in ships, then it was dark as beautiful polished ebony like her friend Yemaya. Next it was golden as cream and very small. Then it was a reddish bronze. BunniHoTep was very curious and as she got close to it for it was changing from boy to girl with each change colour she stopped and asked, “Who are you? Do you need help?”

A laugh rang out that sounded like the sweetest of the Temple bells. “Oh, no, I’m fine. I lost my bearings for a while. I’m Love and I’m here because you called me.”

BunniHoTep sat down with a thump. “I called You? How on earth did I do that?”

“Remember when you wished on a star awhile ago for people to get a long and be nicer? We, the stars heard you. So we decided I’d come for a while to see if just for a while, all the people would be kinder to each other. I can only come for a small time. You see all the people all over the world will see me born this night in their likeness. Some people will call me Saturn, some will call me Mithras, some will call me Jesus, to others I will just be the light of Love, but all will see me as their symbol of Love and as the Sun who is born in mid-winter. And maybe for a while the world will be a magickal place of kindness and peace.”

BunniHoTep was quiet for a bit thinking. “You aren’t a god?”

“Oh no!” the Child of Light laughed again. “I’m much bigger and smaller than a god or goddess. Love has all kinds of shapes. I’m just here to remind the people and you of that.”

“Every year I will come again at this time and maybe sometime in the future all people will be kind and loving to each other and I won’t need to come, and if they don’t remember you will have to help me.”

“How do I do that?” BunniHoTep asked.

“By being yourself, BunniHoTep and as a symbol and to guide me here will you do something for me?” Love asked. “Would you light candles and lanterns in the trees around your Temple?”

“Oh yes,” BunniHotep agreed.

And that is why people all over the world are reminded to be kind and loving at mid–winter. And why people light the way for Love to return all over the world. So when you light the tree you brought inside remember to guide Love back to your heart.

BunniHoTep and Hathor’s Mirror

BunniHoTep and Hathor’s Mirror

 

Ammit was having a really bad day. Her job was to eat the hearts that were rejected by Ma’at. These were very bad people who had not lived well. People whose hearts weighed more than a feather on Ma’at’s scales. These were people that had no good in them or very little at all. People who willingly chose to do bad things.

 

Most days Ammit stood by the scales and did not have to eat a single heart for most people in the world are good and choose not to hurt other beings. And Ammit was glad. She would much rather eat something that did not taste as bad as a bad person’s heart. It takes a very good and kind person to do Ammit’s job. Nobody else could eat all those hearts full of negativity, apathy and just plain evil and still be a good loving being.

 

Today she had had to eat three people’s hearts. That almost never happened. All of them had said mean things about how ugly she was and that someday she would be just like them. That night after she had finished her day with Ma’at, Ammit slunk back to her small mud temple and didn’t even stop for tea with BunniHoTep like she usually did. She was feeling very ugly and hurt. She had let herself listen to what the people has said to her and the things that they had said her were mean. She lay in her mud wallow and cried. Sometimes she wished there was someone else who could do her job but she knew there was no one else to do it. She had been created to do it.

 

Ammit the Devourer, the people called her and she had been made to look as scary as possible. She was part crocodile and part hippo and part lion. She had looked in the Nile one morning when it was calm and still and seen herself and vowed never to do it again. She scared herself and if she scared herself what would other people do when they saw her? She had no idea why BunniHoTep would want to be her friend but she was and that made a little pool of comfort in her stomach most of the time but not tonight.

 

Ammit dug deeper in her mud wallow and saw only darkness around her. She was so sad. She wished she had a nice job to do for the gods and goddesses. She lay there in the quiet mud and wallowed in it.

 

 

BunniHoTep sat in her Temple with the tea all made and she’d found some of the nice papyrus roots for Ammit to eat. Ammit said they tasted sweet and washed the bad out of her mouth. BunniHoTep waited and waited and Ammit didn’t come and then BunniHoTep went looking for her in Ammit’s Temple and it was dark and not even the porch light was on and BunniHoTep knew that Ammit had had a really bad day.

 

BunniHoTep decided to hop up to TempleRow to see how bad it had been. She got halfway down TempleRow before she found anybody to ask. Hathor was standing outside her Temple decorating it for the next festival in a few days with fresh flowers.

 

“Hi BunniHoTep, how are you this fine evening?” Hathor asked.

 

“Wondering how Ammit’s day went. She didn’t come to tea and her porch light isn’t lit and her Temple is very dark. That never means anything good.” BunniHoTep answered.

 

“Oh! You didn’t hear? Ammit had to eat three people’s hearts today. It was awful but then the people were too. Poor Ammit! They said awful things to her.” Hathor said thoughtfully.

 

“Did anyone say something nice to her after she had to eat the hearts?”

 

Hathor thought carefully. “No, I hadn’t heard anyone had. I wasn’t there so I really don’t know.

 

“Uh oh, I bet she is hiding. She feels every bad thing they say to her, you know. Then she goes into her Temple and hides because she thinks everyone feels that way.”

 

The two goddesses thought for a moment and then BunniHoTep had an idea. “Hathor, is your mirror near by?”

 

“Always.” Hathor pulled it off the belt she wore around her robe. “Why? Do you think we can help?”

 

“It shows how you really are on one side and what others think of you on the other, right?”

 

“Yes, do you think we should show it to Ammit?” asked Hathor.

 

“I think we should.” replied BunniHoTep.

 

And the two goddesses hurried down TempleRow to Ammit’s small mud Temple.

 

“Ammit, are you in there?” They called.

 

“Yes, go away.” came a small low voice.

 

“No, Ammit you need to come out of there. You missed your tea and I missed my friend.” BunniHoTep said.

 

“No, you didn’t. No one misses me.” said Ammit sadly.

 

“Yes, I do and come out here right now!” BunniHoTep said firmly.

 

There was a long pause while they could tell Ammit was thinking. “You really want to see me?” She asked.

 

“Yes, we do and we have something to show you.” said Hathor.

 

“Hathor? You’re there too?”

 

“Yes and you need to come out here right now.” she said even more firmly than BunniHoTep had.

 

There was a sucking sound and Ammit’s crocodile head came out and then the rest of her followed.

 

“What did you want to show me.” Ammit asked suspiciously.

 

Hathor took her mirror out from behind her back. “What do you see Ammit.”

 

Ammit looked cautiously and cowered away. “That’s awful! It’s horrible! Why did you want to show me that when I know how I look.” Ammit collapsed to the ground and started to cry.

 

“Oh, Ammit! We’re sorry but that is the side that shows how other people think of you like the people whose hearts you ate today. That isn’t really you.” Hathor quickly flipped her mirror around.

 

“Now look.” She commanded.

 

Ammit took a cautious peek and then another and then she stared.

 

“That’s the real me?” She said in wonder. “Honest?” Ammit couldn’t stop starring. “I’m beautiful.”

 

BunniHoTep patted her friend. “Yes, Ammit, you are. This is the side we see not the side the evil ones see. People who love you usually see you better than you do yourself and Ammit your outside can be scary but your heart isn’t.

 

Ammit just stared at the mirror. “That’s how you see me?” and her tears began to fall.

 

Hathor answered this time. “That’s we see you.” and she leaned down to hug Ammit.

 

“Don’t believe what all those evil people say about you. They’re being evil, that’s why you have to eat their hearts so that they can’t do more evil. Now could we all go have tea and get cleaned up? I have some of your favourite things today.”

 

Hathor nodded and reached down to help Ammit out of the mud. “Just remember it’s what you look like in the eyes of people who love you and what you know about yourself that counts.” She brushed the mud off her robe and the three walked over to BunniHoTep’s Temple and sat quietly watching the sun set at the end of TempleRow. Ammit smiled for the first time that awful day. It was good to be loved.