in the Egyptian season of Shemu
(Season of Deficiency)
The Egyptian Astrological Sign of Virgo
based on the symbolism from the ceiling mandala at The Temple of Hathor - Dendera
To understand the Egyptian interpretation of Virgo we first need to have a closer look at how they viewed this sign. The modern astrological Virgo/Virgin image is very different from the Egyptian sign that they illustrated as a woman likely a priestess carrying a sistrum and being followed by a horned god. The clues to the meaning of this card come from the work that a priestess would do with a sistrum. The sistrum in a ceremonial use would have been used to drive away negative energy. The repetitious sound would set up a vibration that would clear the energy of the space. The symbol of the Virgin would invoke purity in the sense that she was an individual who was her own person and was not an instrument of the religion she practiced. She may have been sexually active but she belonged to no man. The god behind her seems to resemble Set he carries the haunch of an animal on his shoulder indicating a rite of DIS-membering while her presence represents the power to RE-member.
Full Moon Cycle of Virgo
In the image for the High Priestess we see a woman sleeping above her body is the star spangled body of the goddess Nut. The High Priestess is on an inward journey having a dream or vision. The role of High Priestess is found in the most ancient dynasties then her power wanes during the middle kingdom 2030-1640BC. Known as the Hand of God the high priestess comes back after the Hyksos dynasties begin to fall away. The job of the High Priestess required her to act and sing she remained single and did not have time to raise a family of her own but took young people under her tutelage.
A Dream for the High Priestess Card
“In April of 2011 I had a dream that told me I should use the sleeping Goddess for the High Priestess again. The dream is full of multi-tasking giving readings and being tested in doing a reading and interpreting messages, there is a request for morning prayer at sunrise, and a special request in feeding a guest. In the dream I learn to delegate some of the work I have been asked to do to another woman I know who is a priestess.
A dream symbol of an old fashioned vinyl record that gets shattered and left behind, when I remember and go back to it one of the pieces has a credit card stuck to the back of it that I nearly missed. I symbolically go back to a shattered record and am given credit for something. Then the dream shifts and I find myself looking at a new box of tarot cards in the box there is a note and it says “be a tarot extremist!” I find I am back stage from a performance. It hits me that I am working on the High Priestess and all of my tasks are part of that energy.
My mind begins to go through the energies of all the major cards I have already done. Here is where I usually trade in my dream for information on work I am doing, but I manage to hold on to the dream as well.
The High Priestess Full Moon Cycle of Virgo triggers memories of a more ancient 10 sign Zodiac. Sometime before the Greeks made revisions to the zodiac it may have been made up of only ten signs instead of the twelve. The idea was that the signs Virgo, Libra (the Scales) and Scorpio (which includes Ophuichus or Serpentarius) where just one long woman stretching across the sky, similar to the Goddess Nut. This becomes inspiration to put Nut in my High Priestess card. The goddess Ma’at and her scales are in the Justice card. The Egyptian goddess Selket a scorpion goddess of death and healing would also play apart in the symbolism of the third month. This idea of a triple goddess rang true. It also further fortified the choices of having only female courts representing these three months in the season of Shomu (Deficiency).
Nut or Nuit: Her name is translated to mean Sky may be the origin of our word for night. She is one of the oldest deities found in Egypt. Her origins being found in the creation story of Heliopolis in this story the goddess is the sky above and the god is the Earth below. Mostly depicted in human form, Nut was also sometimes depicted in the form of a cow.
Card meaning: A wise woman who keeps her own counsel. In a reading the High Priestess card tells you that this issue you will need to handle on your own whatever it is keep it to yourself and dream on it. The High Priestess as the full moon cycle of Virgo shakes things up she gets the energy moving, she flushes out the negativity. The High Priestess in your reading let's you know it's time to transform the dead inert into something bursting with life! Shake off the old dusty cover and find that essential nugget within. What's been hidden inside is ready to come out and be revealed.
Queen of Wands
Full moon in Virgo ( Real Sky Astrology full moon of March 27, 2013)
The image of the Queen of Wands is Neferure meaning “The Beauty of Ra” daughter of two pharaohs Thutmoses II and Hatshepsut. She was given the highest female stations within the court her titles include Lady of Upper and Lower Egypt, Mistress of the Lands, and God's Wife, this was the normal role of a royal princess to the pharaoh prior to Thutmosis IV. As her mother Hatshepsut acquired the role of pharaoh Neferure took on duties her mother had as queen in ceremonies and rites. Many wall carvings and paintings of Neferure in the Red Chapel at the Karnak Temple show her functioning in these roles. All of the religious and ceremonial duties illustrated on the walls of the Red Chapel that were performed by Neferure would be fulfilled by the royal queen in later generations. Hatshepsut played a strong role in the administration of Thutmosis I she also held these titles for her father while still a princess. Scholars today look back at this as if it seems unusual but perhaps it was not so unusual at the time and only seems unusual in hindsight because of misogynist changes within the Egyptian laws that were instated after their reign. This early 18th dynasty period seemed to be very egalitarian perhaps even showing higher favor toward royal born women. Since until the reign of Thutmoses III unless you were born of a royal queen or married a royal you were not allowed to be pharaoh.
We know that Neferure’s gender did not inhibit her from being given the best education of her day guided by Hatshepsut's most trusted viziers starting with Ahmose Pen-Nekhebet, who had served under several of the earlier pharaohs and was highly regarded, then by Senemut who was believed the architect of her mother’s mortuary temple and finally by an administrator named Senimen.
Neferure had a half brother; Thutmose III born to a secondary wife only a marriage between Neferure and her half-brother assured his place in the royal succession. In later generations after the changes in laws he would have unquestionably succeeded as the only male heir. It seems that something occurred during this generation that instituted a new gender bias.
No record has been found recording Neferure’s marriage to Thutmoses III, however, there are some authors who believe that Neferure was still alive in the first few years of Thutmose III's rule as pharaoh, and that his eldest son, Amenemhat, was her child. On two depictions the name, Satiah, is recorded as the wife of Thutmoses III, and seems to have replaced that of Neferure. Neferure is found in several places, among them in her mother's Mortuary Temple at Deir el-Bahri, on several statues with Senemut, on stelae in Karnak, and in the Sinai.
The cat found in most images of the Queen of Wands may be a reference to the goddess Bast (Bastet, Ubasti): Egyptian cat goddess of joy and dancing, of the home and of the domestic cat, twin sister of Horus. She sometimes took on the war-like aspect of a lioness as Sekhemet daughter of the sun god Re and was associated with the 'eye of Re', acting as the instrument of the sun god's vengeance. As Sekhemet she is the wife of Ptah (god of craftsman and the primordial mound) and mother of Nefertum (god of healing and beauty). As Bastet her cult was centered on her sanctuary at Bubastis in the delta region. She was depicted as a cat or in human form with the head of a cat, often holding the sacred rattle known as the sistrum.
Card meaning: The Queen of Wands shows us that all magic begins in the mind. Once you can imagine the way something will go it is easier to see it though. The Queen of Wands will show you where your hidden talents are as she is able to walk between the worlds of what is and what could be. She has the ability to start from scratch and create something beautiful with very little resources. She may hold the key to the hidden creative places in your mind. She is the keeper of lost secrets.
The Full Moon this month falls on the second week of the Full Moon cycle of Virgo this year, this highlights the 3 of Wands as the minor card of the month.
3 of Wands
Second 10 days of the Full moon cycle of Virgo
The image for the 3 of Wands is the return of Hatshepsut’s ships from the mysterious land of Punt. No one today knows the location of Punt it is assumed Punt was somewhere easy to navigate from the Red Sea someplace to the south like Yeman or Somalia. What if Hatshepsut had circumnavigated the continent of Africa and made it all the way around Africa to Mali and visited with the Dogons? What if this trip recorded on the walls of her mortuary temple was not just some arbitrary female shopping trip but a feat of great magnitude. She is noted as a successful pharaoh whose reign expanded trade with neighboring countries and as well as contruction at home we see her support of ship making and seafaring. During this period there is evidence of Minoan residents whose artistic style decorated some buildings of the period. Hatshepsut brought home myrrh trees to grow her own resources for the precious incense keeping her priesthood happy. Hatshepsut built a fleet to facilitate trade between Egypt and Punt to bring mortuary goods to Karnak in exchange for Nubian gold. Hatshepsut personally went on this most famous herself. When she arrived home her ships were full of copper, carved amulets, incense, ebony and short-horned cattle, gold, ivory and animal skins and other goods usually transported great distances overland. The carved reliefs at her mortuary temple show that there were 5 ships on her journey According to the temple reliefs, the Land of Punt was ruled at that time by King Parahu and Queen Ati. This well illustrated expedition of Hatshepsut occurred in Year 9 of the female pharaoh's reign with the blessing of the god Amun.
Hatshepsut's successors, such as Thutmoses III his son Amenhotep II continued the Egyptian tradition of trading with Punt. Did Neferure play god’s wife to her mother while Thutmosis III was on extended and continued trade and exploration missions to Punt? Punt was called Ta netjer, Ta Netjer is Arabic for Dendera the temple dedicated to Hathor the Lady of the West.
Card meaning: The 3 of Wands in a reading is an adventure into unknown territory using new technology and discovering new ideas. This is the card that says your ship has finally come in and what you have been waiting for has just arrived. Because this is a card of air, inspiration and seeing things from a new perspective you are most likely to be coming into new ideas rather than monetary gains. Putting the past behind you and moving into the future. Coming home to yourself.