Udja. Welcome to Al Minya!
Al Minya has a site with an image of the Blind Harpist, so we absolutely had to go there. Because this is a Musical Initiatic Journey. I had never heard of this place before. My first visit was in 2018, then again in 2020.
We spent the entire day there both times, visiting many different sites and locations that were completely mind-blowing, everything happened so fast, I simply must return every time I am in Kemet…
Here is an introduction from askaladdin.com
Monuments And Ancient Sites In Al Minya
Al Minya is 246 km away from Cairo and is one of the most important governorates of Upper Egypt because of its unique location midway between northern and southern Egypt. In addition Al Minya has many historical sites and monuments that go back to different eras from the Pharaonic era to modern times.
Al Minya stretches for around 135 kilometers on both banks of the Nile at 18 kilometers wide from the east to the west. The size of the city is approximately 32,000km and its population is around 4 million.
Al Minya was the capital of Egypt in (1373 – 1390) BC when Ikhnaton and his beautiful queen, Nefertiti, lived there in the small village of Tel El Amarna in the Markez of Malawi, which was the center of the worship of the God Aten. This was the first time in Egyptian history when the Egyptians worshiped one god, changing the religion that encouraged worshiping many gods especially the famous god Amun.
The bridge of Upper Egypt had an important role in other stages of the Egyptian history. During the Roman era, it was the center of the worship of the god Thut, the god of wisdom and knowledge…..
Akhenaten: Okht Aten or Tel Al Amarna, the capital of his kingdom.
There is a small museum for Akhenaten, and most of his abode is in ruins. When he changed the culture to One God, he lost the support of most of the Kingdom, and was unable to obtain limestone and other enduring materials for construction. So, he used the Sun and Clay. This is why most of his structures are in ruins….you can still feel the energy however….
Adam my guide told me that Queen Nefertiti and her mother-in-law Queen Tye, did not get along, living together was very unpleasant, An Nefer, and so Queen Nefertiti moved out of the palace, down the street. They eventually got a divorce! It is said that after the divorce, he married KIya and made her his beloved Wife, however, she was never known as the Royal Wife….
Blind Harpist: High Priest of Aten, during reign of Akhenaten; the Tomb of Meryre, Meirire; Al Amarna, New Kingdom.
There are at least 47 sites with a Blind Harpist, which marks another one of the Harpists Songs. “These songs display varying degrees of hope in an afterlife that range from the skeptical through to the more traditional expressions of confidence” (Ancient Egyptian Literature Volume 1: The Old and Middle Kingdom”, Miriam Lichtheim, University of California, 1976, pg. 115, pg. 175-178
The singer Tjeniaa says:
How firm you are in your seat of eternity,
Your monument of everlastingness!
It is filled with offerings of food,
It contains every good thing.
Your ka is with you,
It does not leave you,
O Royal Seal-Bearer, Great Steward, Nebankha!
Yours is the sweet breath of the northwind!
So says his singer who keeps his name alive,
The honorable singer Tjeniaa, whom he loved,
Who sings to his ka every day
Harper Song from the Tomb of Paatenemheb, the time of Akhenaten
Make holiday, don’t weary of it!!
Look, there is no one allowed to take their things with them,
and there is no one who goes away comes back again.
In Ancient Egypt the “Harper’s Song” (or Song of the Harper) is a poem which was inscribed in the tomb along with the image of a blind man playing a harp. It is thought that the harpist played and sang the song during the mortuary feats for the deceased.
From Harper’s Song: Tomb of Intef
“Hence rejoice in your heart!
Forgetfulness profits you,
Follow your heart as long as you live!
Put myrrh on your head,
Dress in fine linen,
Anoint yourself with oils fit for a god,
Heap up your joys,
Let your heart not sink!
Follow your heart and your happiness,”
Harper’s Song: Tomb of Inherkhawy
” set your home well in the sacred land
that your good name last because of it;
Care for your works in the realm under God
that your seat in the West be splendid
The waters flow north, the wind blows south,
and each man goes to his hour.
So, seize the day! Hold holiday!
Be unwearied, unceasing, alive,
you and your own true love;
Let not your heart be troubled
during your sojourn on earth,
but seize the day as it passes!
Put incense and sweet oil upon you,
garlanded flowers at your breast,
While the lady alive in your heart forever
delights as she sits beside you.
Grieve not your heart, whatever comes;
let sweet music play before you;
Recall not the evil, loathsome to God,
but have joy, joy, joy, and pleasure!
O upright man, man just and true,
patient and kind, content with your lot,
rejoicing, not speaking evil
Let your heart be drunk on the gift of Day.”
Basically, the older songs discuss the struggles of living with the knowledge that death comes no matter how wonderful life is. And the newer songs (ie, after the Greek Invasions) discuss enjoying life to the fullest because no one escapes death anyway…
Now that I have started playing the harp, I would like to learn some of these songs, and of course, write a few of my own. When I was there in 2020, a lovely chant came through me as I sat in from of the Blind harpist: Mery Maati Mery Ra. You will hear it in one of the videos below. My experience at the site revealed to me that as the Blind harpist, I must remain Blind to the politics and chaos around me and remain in the stillness, blind to the ignorance and hypocrisy, and remain focused on creating beautiful music and sweet sounds that keep us in tune with the Divine, with Neberdjer, and lead us to Enlightenment.
The first time I visited El Minya, it was the first stop on a whirlwind tour. The second time, we began in Aswan and worked our way towards Cairo. By the time we got to the Blind Harpist ,for the very first time, I recall being in a state of shock/euphoria. I had no real understanding of where we were, or the significance. This is why I am going back every time….We had so much fun going from Temple to Temple. Next time, I will have my bearings, and, I will have a battery pack and extra data cards for all of the photos! AND, they will be labeled with names and locations….and, maybe you will join me?????
2021 Update: I made it back, with battery packs, however, I did not label my photos well, and lost almost half of them! LOL! I am planning another trip once it is safe to travel again.
Click the link above for a detailed description of the site, from ask-aladdin.com. I have included some photos from this site in the video.
Djehuty: Tuna Al Jebel
There were like 2000 roads underground, filled with tombs, mummies, in the catacombs. We saw actual baboon mummies, Ibis mummies. It was like an underground city. There were even street signs! A wonderful song for Djehuty came through while I was in the catacombs, standing near the tomb of a priest from ling ago….
In 2020, I had an amazing time meeting some of the children that were playing outside of these sacred sites. They were fascinated by my presence, and kept asking me my name! lOL! Then they were following our group. I am sorry to say that those were some of the photos and videos that went missing. Perhaps they will remember me when I return….
Funeral Houses: Tomb of Isadora
Isadora was a wealthy and beautiful young woman living in Hermopolis during the time when the Roman emperor Antoninus Pius (AD 138–161) ruled over Ægyptus. She fell in love with a young soldier from Antinopolis (current Sheikh ‘Ibada), and they wanted to get married. However, her father refused, so the young couple decided to elope. Unfortunately, Isadora drowned while crossing the Nile. Her body was mummified, and her father built an elaborate tomb for her, featuring a poem of 10 lines inscribed in Greek elegiac couplets. At some time after her death, a cult developed around her tomb. Isadora’s mummified remains are still present, encased in glass, in her mausoleum—a prominent building at Tuna el-Gebel.
Take a Day Trip!
Al Minya is considered a Day Trip from Cairo. I hope to spend more time at all of these sites again very soon. Because it is not on the usual, well-traveled Tourist Path, it is very different from the other places that I have been. I can still recall the joy at seeing the Blind Harpist for the first time, and the hospitality of the vendors and guards, that were surprised that we traveled so far out of the way to experience the wonders of Al Minya.
Here are video slide shows only visit in 2018, and 2021
When we visited the Akentanyen Temple Ruins, I gathered some sand. When I got home, you won’t believe what I found!!!
I am so grateful for Adam, my Spiritual Brother, at SacredJourneyEgypt.com for making all of this possible.
Dua Sebai Maa, Dua Seba Dja.