In September of 1978 the Grateful Dead gave three concerts at the Great Pyramid in Egypt, climaxing two weeks of adventure and magic. Given free rein on the Giza Plateau, we clambered all over the pyramids, inside and out. My first ohming experience was in the Kings Chamber, with a number of our entourage. To this day I cannot be in the presence of ohming without remembering the peculiar resonance that so startled me that first time.
At dawn each morning I would walk from the Mena House, our hotel, to the Sphinx, where the guards would let me stand between its paws and spend sunrise offering cornmeal and making prayers. Later, I would sit quietly in the pit, a chamber deep beneath the pyramid that was neither lit nor open to the public at that time. A friend and I had convinced the guards to let us enter the narrow passageway, and, with stubs of candles (flashlights felt out of place here) we would inch our way down the deep shaft on our butts. There in the darkness we entered the uniquely expansive energy of a great, unfathomable mystery.
During the days, when we were not investigating the pyramids, our ragtag band of intrepid tripsters spilled out into the neighboring villages and engaged in magical enounters fraught with layers of spiritual meaning and synchronicity. Although most of us were ignorant of the Egyptian Mysteries at that point, we nevertheless sensed that we were responding to something big. We saw ourselves as emissaries of peace and joy, and we felt sure that our presence was both amusing and uplifting for our surprised hosts.
Early one morning in predawn darkness I began my climb to the top of the Great Pyramid with a local guide, Farad. It was steeper than I imagined. I forced myself beyond the vertigo that gripped me as I scrambled from one giant granite block to the next. By the time I reached the top, the sun was cresting the horizon, a huge globe of pale golden light, rising from the hazy city skyline, pierced by graceful minarets.
A small group was already there when I arrived, hushed and reverent. Our awe never subsided, but eventually we all climbed back down together and followed my guide for quite a distance across the desert and into the village where his family lived. His wife spoke no English. She prepared breakfast for us, squatting in front of a couple of propane burners in a small, almost bare room. She dressed me in her flowing black village dress, and wrapped my head in her long black scarf. The special knot she used to hold the scarf in place conveyed to all Egyptians exactly which village the wearer came from. Farad told me to keep my distance from the others in our group, and during the long walk back along the roads of Giza, I found myself reflected in the eyes of every Egyptian woman I passed. Because of my clothing, they looked at me directly with penetrating gazes. It was during these exchanges that I first glimpsed the depths of my loving connection with Egypt.
My life was forever changed. Although I knew I would return, I could not yet know or understand the pull that would keep bringing me back to Egypther people, her magic, and the pervasive phenomena of synchronicity.
As the magic would have it, another gift had come to me that morning. At the top of the pyramid I met Zuni for the first time. She had traveled from the states for the concerts, and because of the auspicious moment of our meeting, we decided to become immediate friends and go into business togethertraveling to Egypt.
Zuni and I returned to Egypt three weeks after leaving and twice more in 1979, supporting our travels with an import business. My attempts to understand my connection to the source of the magic during these times were modest at best. The monuments and temples of Egypt are very old and many are well preserved. Though they are the pride of a great nation, there is currently little appreciation in Egypt for the spiritual vitality that still resonates in those walls. It would be some time before the true reason for my passion for Egypt would reveal itself.
During one tour of the land of the Pharaohs, we sailed down the Nile from Luxor to Aswan on a felucca, an ancient type of small sailing boat, for four days. We were traveling with friends, including my daughter Spirit and Zunis daughter, Amber. We fished, bathed, and swam in the river, and slept on the deck of the boat under the stars.
One bright morning while moored on a bar in the nether zone between here and there, Amber took a dive off the edge of the boat into what she thought was deep water. It was only knee deep at most. She came up screaming, but she couldnt move because of the compression to her spine. We pulled her out of the water and laid her on the deck of the boat. We were all stunned, and helpless. I remember the next moments as if in slow motion. First was the panic when we realized that between us all we had just enough skill in first aid to apply a Band-Aid to a small cut. Lacking in any training beyond the use of quartz crystals that I had received from Oh Shinnah, I grabbed the small one Id brought with me and went to work, focusing my intention and praying for divine intervention, while holding my hands over Amber. The pain abated, and Amber was able to move soon after, fully regaining her mobility.
It was time to find a teacher or focus for my studies that would help me to accomplish the goal that had moved to the forefront my mindthe goal of becoming a healer.