Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Sekmet’s breath blew hot across the dessert and the sands shifted. The ancients were gathering in the temples. The pieces were once more in place, for it was time…
“I always knew that one day, you would create a sculpture or other piece of artwork just for me.” These were the words of Leslie Pelton, one of my all time best customers and now friend.
Years went by and I was busy with my shows and family. Life went on. Finally, I agreed to create one of my Goddess Ceremonial Necklaces for Leslie. When I told her I was going to start on one soon, my intentions were good but in the back of my mind, the necklace was only going to be the beginning of what I had planned for her.
I wanted to create something for Leslie that would speak of her life today and more importantly, I wanted to create a sculpture of Leslie’s past life in Egypt. For surely after everything Leslie has related to me through the years, she just had to have lived there eons ago.
Leslie was patient, thinking she was waiting for just the necklace. She had given me several special pieces of her own jewelry to incorporate into it and I know it must have looked like I was dragging my feet, but in reality, I was letting all that she had told me about her life in Egypt simmer in my brain. I wanted to be sure that the necklace and the sculpture would speak to me, as well as her. It had to be right.
I started working on “Sekhmet’s Breath” by sculpting a female figure who would reside on the wall. I have named these type of sculptures, “Daughters of Antiquity.”
Beginning the Isis sculpture
As I picked up the clay to start the piece, something strange happened. It was as if time had stood still. I was no longer standing in my studio but felt like I was in some far off place. I discarded the books and information entirely and my hands began slowly and methodically sculpting. I think other artists experience something similar to this. It is as if the creative spirit or muse takes over. Hours passed. Yet to me, it was as if no time had elapsed at all. As I stood back to gain perspective on my piece, I had an eerie feeling. It was as if Sekhmet’s eyes were following me as I walked around her. It was as if she were alive!
Isis begins to come to life
I wanted to write a story to go with Leslie’s sculpture as I usually do for the necklaces but I was at a loss for words at this point. All I could think about was that this was indeed a very special sculpture and I wanted the story to match.
Fortunately for me, Lisa Wright, of The Wright Stuff, came along. Lisa is an extraordinary writer. I love going to her blog postings to read her magical stories. Much to my surprise, Lisa volunteered to write Leslie’s story. I was overjoyed. After reading what Lisa wrote, I was more than overjoyed… I was ecstatic. It was as if Lisa had jumped into my mind and created a perfect story. I think you will agree.
So, sit back because you are about to take a trip to another time and place. Perhaps you will be in Madagascar or Casablanca or even in Istanbul, or perhaps you will be in Egypt….
Sekmet’s breath blew hot across the desert and the sands shifted. The ancients were gathering in the temples. The pieces were once more all in place, for it was time…
I tried not to feel nervous as I reluctantly admitted I was lost and alone in a foreign city. I’d allowed myself to be willing victim of the cacophony of sound, light and smell that wrapped and carried me with the excited crowds. I’d drifted and dreamed and not noticed when the rest of my travel group and their tight agenda moved on.
The tide had left me now, the surf and surge of humanity retreating and I stood in a dusty alley, my body adorned with dangling tourist paraphernalia and looking around in desperation for some clue back to familiarity.
The wind had picked up and sand stung at my eyes as I made my way through the strangely silent labyrinth of alleyways. Where had everyone gone? Where were the gaudy tourist shops, the hawkers and scurrying children? Where was the ever-present soundtrack of traffic and voice?
My heart beat furiously and panic rose in my chest which was hot and tight. I reached instinctively to touch the heavy necklace that rested there with its medley of the strange charms I’d laboriously collected over the years and added to only this morning.
The final piece it seemed had found me. While taking in the streets this morning before the heat took grip, a young woman approached with her basket of cheap tat, hoping for a sale. I tried to avoid her, not wishing to get involved in unnecessary haggling but there was something strangely compelling about the babble of language coming from this stranger. She took my hand and gazed deep into my eyes. Her own were the color of the market spices flecked with sparks of gold. She pressed a tightly wrapped packet into my hand. I tried to protest but a jostle from the crowd made me lose my footing and when I regained balance the woman had gone leaving me with feelings of guilt and unease. This only increased when I unwrapped the brittle paper and lifted a clay face of such exquisite beauty to the light. I began to tremble because something began to tell me that the answers to questions I had long sought were about to be answered. I reached to the necklace and slotted the face into the space reserved for it. The space my dreams had told me to craft – just as the positioning of the emerald, the dolphin, the feathers and other charms and the push to find them in the oddest collection of bazaars, antique stores and auctions around the world had been mapped out for me.
As the clay sculpture took root in the perfectly cast setting, I felt a blast of heat course through my necklace, or was it just my own adrenalin-fuelled reaction? I had no idea what to make of the turn of events but guessed that if I waited, perhaps the answer, just like another piece of the necklace, would find its way to me.
It seemed I was right. Here I was clutching my talisman in fear, lost in a strange city where suddenly nothing felt the same. The wind was picking up drifting into dust devils down the alleys and seemingly whispering secrets. The sand stung at my eyes and I ran in blind panic – straight into the arms of… surely not? I looked again at the strange costume, the ancient headdress and the exact same powerful eyes I had seen just seen yesterday at this Goddess’ temple. But this was no portrait, no carving or representation. This was living, breathing flesh albeit surrounded by an other-worldly glow. This was ancient Egypt wrapping me in sheets of light and lifting me from the ground. “Come with me” smiled the Goddess Isis, “For Sekmet is wild and free again, and only you can stop her”.
The adventure was just beginning…
Sekhmet's Breath Goddess Ceremonial Necklace
Hours and adventures later, at last there was time for Isis to explain the significance of the necklace. Each piece held its own magic but together lay their strength. As each jewel and amulet had joined its sisters on the chain, so the metaphysical powers of its wearer would increase. She would see what others couldn’t, instinctively know the lessons of her past reincarnations and resolve the issues that time took away from them.
The scarab beetles are a symbol of your regeneration and creation. As the centuries have unfolded, each of your lifetimes has been recorded and saved.
The dolphin is symbolic of water. Water cleanses problems from past lives and rejuvenates the soul. The dolphin represents the death of a past lifestyle and the birth of a new life. The dolphin also connects mankind with the world of the sea, is playful and intelligent and guides your adventures.
The Sphinx adores the sun - Ra. It waits for it to return each day. It is the Sphinx's adoration for the sun that causes it to rise out of itself, out of the earth from which it is made, to reach continually for the higher level of its being, called by the light. This adoration causes the life within it to become holy: forever striving, Life meeting Light. Sekmet, daughter of Ra, feeds her power to you through these forms. This represents your desire to return to your life in Egypt.
Double headed Sphinx
Even though the earrings placed at the lobes of Sekhmet hold no long history, they are meaningful to you because of the power they invoke. They are a part of your current life and bursting with energy and love.
Your green stone stores the knowledge of your forebears - it is full of love and healing and can soothe a troubled mind.
And the final piece – the human face of Isis, the Goddess of love, magic, fertility and healing. Not often shown to the world (for she preferred to hide behind animal representation), Isis protects you as you journey through each life and will be there to help you fulfill your destiny.
So there you have it. I hope you enjoyed Lisa’s story as much as I did. If you’d like to know more about Lisa and visit her wonderful blog, please check her out at Lisa Wright and The Wright Stuff. Also, I have some good news. Lisa has agreed to write the story for the next custom necklace I create. If you would like one, just click my e-mail for details and Lisa and I will go to work to create a very special piece for you.
Many thanks Lisa. You were able to bridge the gap between the USA and Egypt all from your computer in the UK. What a wonderful world we live in.
Oh, and I almost forgot… what happened next?
… I awoke suddenly with pains in my head in a dusty tomb at the feet of a statue of an Egyptian Goddess. A crowd of tourists is gathered helping me to my feet. I was totally disorientated and confused. Where was I? Where was Isis? Sekhmet? A woman gently called my name and I recognized her as one of the members of my tour party. "You fainted dear" she explained.
Fainted? Was I dreaming then? Had the events of the last days been nothing but the illusions of a fever-stricken tourist?
I was sure in my heart that what I had experienced had been real. As my legs regained their strength I looked up and noticed for the first time the statue at whose feet I had awakened. It was labeled 'unknown Goddess'. I knew different. It was Isis and she was wearing, carved in stone, the identical necklace to my own...
A close up of Isis
Another picture of Isis