“In Ireland, novels and plays still have a strange force. The writing of fiction and the creation of theatrical images can affect life there more powerfully and stealthily than speeches, or even legislation. Imagined worlds can lodge deeply in the private sphere, dislodging much else, especially when the public sphere is fragile.”
By Brigid Gallagher
The temple was dedicated to Hathor, goddess of music, dance, The Arts and sacred healing.
Inside the hypostyle hall, the high priestess spoke softly to a group of young girls – the new initiates.
“You have been chosen to serve our goddess. Do as you are asked, and you will reap the rewards for many lifetimes to come.”
Hannah turned to survey the scene – the beautiful sandstone columns carved by so many skilled hands, each one unique; the walls so colorful and expertly painted. The great hall was illuminated by torches fuelled by oil from the sacred olive tree. The oil was used in many healing rituals inside the temple and was considered by many as a secret elixir for youth. It could be applied to the skin after bathing, to scars or wounds, used in cooking…
The olive oil trade had brought prosperity to the people of the Nile.
“Follow me,” said the priestess, “Your learning is about to begin.”
The girls moved to a room hidden beyond the altar. It was dedicated to healing and dimly lit. Each wall was decorated with images from Nature, skilfully painted using natural dyes and pigments from lichen, leaves, and other plant materials.
The ceiling was the most exquisite feature, depicting the heavens, complete with a vast array of stars and constellations. Each sign of the zodiac was represented – the ram, the bull, the fish, the water carrier…
The priestess presented the group with a silver box encrusted with turquoise and lapis lazuli and inlaid with mother of pearl. It was heart shaped and incredibly beautiful.
“Please take a message from the box. It will signify your major lesson for this lifetime.”
“Tell no one what you have read, for your message is a sacred secret.”
One by one, the girls took a card from the box, read their message, and returned it to its home.
“It’s time to wake up. We are visiting Dendera today and the Temple dedicated to Hathor – the cow goddess. Our guide will be arriving in thirty minutes.”
Hannah and her mother were taking the trip of a lifetime after her parent’s acrimonious divorce. Hannah was fascinated by ancient Egyptian culture and hoped her grades would be good enough to study Egyptology.
A little later, a small group of tourists stood in wonder at the beauty of such a well-preserved temple – now 2000 years old. The carvings on the columns of the great hall remained fresh, and the walls were embellished with row upon row of ancient hieroglyphics.
“We are now entering the temple’s healing room,” their guide announced.
The visitors leaned back in unison to observe the magnificent ceiling.
“The ceiling portrays a little of the vast knowledge of an ancient civilization. It is an incredibly accurate depiction of the heavens.”
The guide continued, “In this small heart-shaped box, we discovered a number of pieces of papyrus inscribed with gold. They are all identical, each reading:
First, learn to love thy self.”
Brigid P. Gallagher
Brigid P. Gallagher aspired to become a doctor but God had other plans!
In 1986, she embarked on a series of studies to become one of the first natural medicine practitioners in Scotland. She eventually became a tutor for a number of community projects, a women’s prison, and the Open Studies and Summer Schools of Stirling University from 1993 to 1999.
In 1999, she relocated to Donegal, Ireland – the home of her ancestors. Four years later she succumbed to a mystery illness which was eventually diagnosed as fibromyalgia.
Stopping the World forced Brigid to reassess her life, and creative writing became a significant part of her healing process.
She retrained in organic horticulture and taught this subject in schools until 2016.
Watching the Daisies – Life Lessons on the Importance of Slow was written to inspire others on their self-healing journey.
Brigid blogs at https://watchingthedaisies.com
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