Imagine yourself within the sacred chambers of Sekhmet in Egypt or beside the temple of Isis in Pompey. This is the journey Karen Tate shares with her reader as she travels amid the ruins that once glorified the goddesses in a lifelong quest to meld with the sacred feminine.
"Months and years after the journey, the effect was still with me. Our experiences, though out of the ordinary and perhaps even a little bizarre by traditional standards, were real. Yet are they much different from visions and epiphanies documented by ancient, even Biblical scribes? I know for myself the strength and courage I felt permeate my being in the presence of Sekhmet in her temple in Karnack. That resolves seemed to steel and guide me through trials and transformations that challenged me in the time beyond this journey, helping me find strength to stand in my truth and integrity." (p 95)
Tate's explorations led her to understand the depth and breadth of goddess worship before it was suppressed. While she began to challenge monotheism at an early age, it took decades before she understood how much we have lost.
"Worship of Isis spread beyond Egypt and knowledge of her flourished throughout the world from the lips and hearts of those who came to know and love her. Immigrants, sailors, soldiers, merchants and her priesthood of men and women all sang the praises of Isis throughout the Mediterranean regions and Asia Minor, including Italy, Greece, Britain, Gaul, Spain and Germany. In still other countries she became intermingled with local deities of the regions. In fact, Isis was so beloved throughout the world her worship for a time was a serious threat to fledgling Christianity. Here was a powerful but loving and accessible Goddess who suffered many of the same trials and tribulations in her life as her worshipers....She became a favorite among both the common folk and the elite who resonated with this Egyptian religion of deliverance and immortality. To quote R. E. Witt, author of Isis in the Ancient World, 'If western civilization could have somehow developed on a matriarchal basis, Isis might have been too stubborn a mistress to dethrone."(p. 98)
Tate describes the ancient rituals she discovered and provides modern-day adaptions that are designed for both the solitary seeker and those who prefer group interaction. Her discussion of the noble rituals and practices reveal how goddess worship uplifted women from every strata of society.
"While the cult of Isis began among the slaves and families of freedmen who staffed the great houses of the wealthy, the worship of Isis in Pompeii gradually and solidly took hold of the aristocracy until it became the city's semi-official religion. Roman emperors had statues commissioned depicting them in Egyptian regalia in honor of Isis. Daughters of commoners and high ranking government officials devoted their lives to Isis in the capacity of priestess. The wealthy had shrines in their gardens in honor of her." (p. 104)
Tate's journeys are not restricted to Egyptian deities. She includes a wide range of goddesses, goddess rituals and sacred sites as she shares her journeys with her readers. Her photographs add another dimension to enjoy. Perhaps the most powerful part of the book is the emotional depths she shares as she describes entering these holy sanctuaries, imbued with ancient beliefs, and experiencing them as a brand new reawakening in the modern soul.
Walking An Ancient Path
Rebirthing Goddess on Planet Earth
by Karen Tate