Normandi Ellis’ “Medju Neter” Workshop: Using the Egyptian Hieroglyphs as an Oracular Tool

Happy October! These are great days to be a devotee of the Kemetic Neteru in Chicago! Last weekend witnessed the convening of the 22nd Annual Fellowship of Isis Chicago Goddess Convention–more on that in a subsequent post–and for the next several days, noted Egyptian studies author Normandi Ellis is going to be giving workshops in and around the city on various aspects of ancient Egyptian religion and modern-day ritual and divination systems. I had the immense pleasure last night after work of attending a three-hour class Normandi taught at the Life Force Arts Center entitled Medju Neter: The Oracular Use of Egyptian Hieroglyphs.

It was an outstanding class, not just because Normandi is a very warm, wise, and passionately engaging teacher–one who clearly lives and breathes what she teaches, which is not something I can say for all the metaphysical teachers I’ve ever encountered–but because my linguistic and spiritual knowledge of the hieroglyphs (which was, shall we say, considerable prior to my taking the class) themselves has grown exponentially in just one evening. You know that saying that everything you’ve ever experienced has led you to the precise point that you’re at here and now, in this given moment? That everything you’ve ever studied, prayed for with heartfelt devotion, partaken of in ritual and intense communion with your Powers, has prepared you to receive the next installment of power, passion, and purpose to further propel you in your journey? That the people and situations you find yourself in are all meant to be impactful transmitters of a major Cosmic Download? Well, that’s exactly how I felt last night and how I feel now, as the revelation of so many threads of Destiny being woven together–my public Priestessing role and the forthcoming launch of my Iseum in the Fellowship of Isis, my stewardship of Isis-Seshat journal, intense “dreams”/spontaneous shamanic journeys I’ve had in the wake of the Blood Moon Eclipse (whose messages were becoming clear to me), my work in Co-Masonry in Sirius Lodge no. 21–really struck me profoundly. I can’t help but credit the expansive and fruitful influence of Jupiter in my Sun Sign–that so many important connections and vehicles for growth and  “leveling up” in life are just falling into my lap. And for that my spirit is humbled with a deep and abiding–and certainly ongoing–sense of gratitude to my Goddesses, Gods, Ancestors, and Helping Spirits!

Anyway, going back to last night’s class, we wound up learning the pictograms, phonetics, denotations and spiritual connotations of no less than 60 hieroglyphs, from Ab (the Heart, which was prized by the ancient Egyptians as the true locus of intelligence and conscience in the human person–not the brain/mind) all the way to Za-Hor (the Lotus). And, following in the footsteps of ancient Egypt’s temple scribes, we dutifully copied everything by hand onto strips of papyrus that we got to keep (along with a typed up “cheat sheet” of divinatory meanings that Normandi furnished us with). We were, in short, creating our own divination decks of hieroglyphs. Here is a portion of how mine turned out:

Simple ballpoint pen worked nicely!

Simple ballpoint pen worked nicely!

In the last half-hour portion of the class, it was time to demo our divination skills and give each other readings! Normandi encouraged us to try a variety of techniques for doing readings, from the biblical method of “drawing lots” to a 12-spoked wheel (Houses of the Zodiac to illuminate the querent’s condition) to a simple, five-pointed star (in honor of the goddess Isis as the star Sopdet, which, after the Greeks, we’re inclined to call Sirius) whose positions are recounted thusly: (1) the problem or question; (2) trial/challenge; (3) a factor to consider; (4) advice from the Neter whose influence appears prevalent in the reading; and (5) probable outcome. Although this wasn’t suggested, I’m personally fond of the Celtic Cross Tarot spread and find it lends itself quite well to use with hieroglyphs.

This class is something I highly recommend and if you’re in Chicago next Monday night, October 5, Normandi will be teaching it again at Alchemy Arts bookstore in Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood. She will be in town and the surrounding suburbs until the 7th. On that night, she’ll be teaching a class in Northbrook on the ninefold Spiritual Bodies of Ancient Egypt–I plan to make it out there after work to catch that.

And I’ll remember to bring an issue of Isis-Seshat with me! Normandi is also a Priestess in the Fellowship of Isis and she was very excited when she learned that I’d resumed the mantle of Executive Editor after our friend (and my Archpriestess in the Chicago-based Lyceum of Alexandria) Deena passed away in 2013. I thought I’d had a copy of the Summer issue with me in my work bag, but, regrettably, I didn’t. But Normandi smiled at me with Thoth-like tricksterishness and said she was confident our paths would cross again before her stay in Chicago was up. I dare say she’s right!

I’m also really pleased to announce that she agreed to be our Keynote Speaker for our 23rd Annual Fellowship of Isis Chicago Goddess Convention! Huzzah!

And now to write the blog post on the goings-on of the 22nd Convention that recently ended!

Blessings of Sia, Divine intelligence, to all!

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