Chapter 1: No Pressure

The hardest things to manage on a trip like this are your own expectations. You’re only going to experience Egypt for the first time once. Is it amazing yet? How about now? How about now? For me, this was not lessened at all by the fact that I was traveling with the spiritual author and channel Patricia Cori and a motley band of fellow spiritual seekers. My trip to England with Patricia and some of these same friends last summer had been spiritually mind-blowing… how could Egypt be any less? And if you don’t have an amazing spiritual experience in Egypt, where are you going to have it? Topeka?

As much as I was trying to stay out of that mindset, for the first day and a half I found myself regularly wondering “Oh, is this it? Is this just going to be a tourist trip where I take photos of pretty things?” There’s nothing wrong with that, but when I’d looked at the itinerary for Egypt the summer before, my head had buzzed and swam, a sign from some higher part of myself that I needed to take this trip, for some kind of greater purpose. It surely seemed to indicate that this trip would be something more than “Hey look, old shit!”

Immediately before leaving for Egypt, I left my job of 19 years to take my chances at doing something new. This was a huge step for me, and the process of leaving showed me that although I had been consciously challenging my fears over the last few years by hanging from parachutes, crawling through caves, bobbing up and down with sharks in the ocean and throwing myself into countless bewildering foreign situations, my largest fear remained: losing the security of my job. I saw how this reached back to the instability of my childhood and realized how much security I received from being good at what I did, appreciated and secure in my role in a workplace “family.” But work had begun to clash with travel and well, hell nope to that. Time to take the leap.

So this Egypt trip looked like it was going to be an epic transition between two big phases of my life. Shortly before the trip, I had a session with my psychic friend Kathryne-Alexis, and we worked on preparing me energetically for Egypt. As the session went on, I felt huge shifts taking place inside of me, knots untying and new energy flowing. Wow. Okay, let’s go.

So you know, no pressure. Just have an amazing experience that changes your life. By Tuesday.

Chapter 2: All The Usual Ancient Splendor

Our first night in Luxor, I was awed by the epic statues lit up under a moon that would grow in phases, night by night, until the grand finale of the full moon over the Great Pyramid on the last night of the trip. Now, the moon was just a sliver, swelling nightly to mark our trip’s progression as the giant pharaoh statues before us marked time on a far grander scale.


Wow, okay. I’m really in Egypt.

My friend Janine pointed out a little tucked-away room in the back of the temple that was barely a closet but that contained a powerful energy. Inside, I put my hands on the wall and very briefly found myself up in the sky, looking down. Okay then. Not a bad start.

In the morning we woke up on the boat, floating on the Nile as hot air balloons dotted the horizon.

We were off to the Temple of Hatshepsut, a woman who ruled as queen and then as the rare female pharaoh after her husband’s death, thus serving time as both the king and the queen of Egypt. She famously dressed as a man and wore a fake beard, because Snapchat hadn’t come out with their gender swap filter yet. I imagine this led to a lot of Some Like It Hot shenanigans.

Off to the left of the main building sits the temple of Hathor, a fertility goddess pictured as a woman with the ears of a cow. Some believe the Hathors were actually an extra-terrestrial race that heavily influenced ancient Egyptian culture.

The entrance to the indoor part of the Hathor temple was gated and locked, and as I stood at the gate and peered into the gloom within, I noticed the two small birds sitting on top of the gate. Patricia often talks about birds serving as guardians of sacred spaces, and these two had the undeniable look of tiny sentries. Their glances darted around to all the members of our group, with a fierceness almost comical for such tiny birds.

As I’ve been working on communicating with animals lately, and most of my success has come with birds, I decided to tune into these two. I mentally put myself into their space and sent them thoughts of loving appreciation.

In that instant, simultaneously, both birds turned to look straight at me and I felt a very strong and clear message of “We’re working here!” before they snapped back to their guard duty. Well okay then! I’ll just leave you guys to it.

The rock face above the temple had a special energy to it, which felt even more significant to me than the temple itself. Patricia pointed out formations in the rock that may have been ancient carvings of the goddess of balance, Ma’at, and Horus as an owl.

. . .

In a blink we were in the Valley of the Kings, where everybody who was anybody in ancient Egypt was buried. The splendor of this is diluted somewhat but every tourist in the world being there at the same time, as well as a complicated pricing scheme for access to the nicest tombs and photo permits that had to be paid for in Egyptian pounds, which none of us even had yet. The guide getting the permits was gone before I even knew what was happening or if 300 pounds was a little or a lot. Long story short, I ended taking a lot of terrible stealthy GoPro footage inside the tombs.

This was all fine and well until the final tomb, when one of the guards grabbed me and accused me of taking terrible stealthy GoPro footage without having paid for the permit it was impossible to pay for. A very coarse, awkward argument ensued: “What’s in your pants?” “Wouldn’t you like to know!” “Is that a camera in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?” ...until I realized I just needed to bribe the guy to go away.

This whole bribery scheme, known as “baksheesh,” is a standard feature of pretty much everything you do in Egypt. I’ve had a few people I told about the trip turn up their noses at me for bribing a guard, but what they don’t understand is that it’s very, very difficult to get out of Egypt without bribing a dozen different people. Guards will snatch your camera out of your hands and run off to snap photos of some forbidden part of the temple that’s off-limits to the public, then expect a bribe for this uninvited favor. You’ll think a temple guard is just doing their job by pointing out that there’s some shit carved on that wall over there, or that the stairs you’re walking down are, in fact, stairs, but they expect a gratuity for this. That guard who grabbed my hand and dragged me down a hallway against my will surely doesn’t expect me to tip him, I was just being polite by not kicking him in the balls and running away. Oh wait, no, he does.

The bribery of the tomb guard/narc went fine, but the entire argument and a hundred other awkward interactions I had with guards that day had left a bad taste in my mouth. I spent the bus ride back to the boat reflecting on how this trip was not the spiritual wonderland I had hoped for thus far. Oh well, they can’t all be-

In that moment, an awareness opened up in my consciousness and I suddenly saw that Egypt was showing me something. I had let this interaction with the guard completely shatter my mood, because I was so concerned with always having harmonious interactions with everyone I meet. Why? That childhood instability had put the belief in my head that I needed to be liked by everyone in order for me to be safe, which was somewhat true when I was three, but certainly not so now. I saw suddenly and very clearly that I was giving away my power by needing everyone to react to me in a certain way. A large portion of the energy and focus I would need to move forward spiritually was currently tied up in this counterproductive attachment to the reactions and opinions of others. This was holding me back, and Egypt was showing me what I needed to let go of to take the next step.

Wow, okay then. I’ve judged you too soon, Egypt. Lead on.

Chapter 3: The Lion Will See You Now

That afternoon we were off to the temple complex of Karnak, and more specifically, the tiny chapel dedicated to the lion-headed goddess Sekhmet, tucked discreetly into a hidden back corner of the compound.

We waited outside the door to the Sekhmet temple as Patricia led members of our group, four at a time, into the temple for a private ceremony.

I thought about what I’d realized on the bus and focused on letting go of all expectations. Standing outside the temple in the sun, hieroglyphics carved into the walls all around us, I began to feel waves of energy flowing from the temple and through me, my whole body waving like a flag in slow-motion. Wow.

Each group coming out of the temple had tears in their eyes, even people who were otherwise stoic for the entire trip. Man, what is going on in there? I was about to find out.

My group was called in. Patricia met us at the entrance to the small room where Sekhmet’s statue was housed. I could feel Patricia’s emotion pouring forth, could feel how meaningful this place was to her. I began to cry. She saw this and welled up herself, looking at me like “What?” Oh shit, an empath feedback loop!

We were led inside the room and stopped in front of the statue of Sekhmet, which stood about six feet high and was illuminated only by a small opening in the ceiling.

Photo courtesy Wikipedia

The huge sun disc above Sekhmet’s head formed a double-image, depending on how you looked at the statue you could see either a lioness with the sun rising behind her, or an alien face, the lion’s ears becoming eyes and the sun disc forming a large round head.

Patricia began the ceremony, thanking Sekhmet for our audience with her, and in the dim light of the chapel I thought I saw Sekhmet’s eyes move. Huh. Might just be my imag- Her hand moved. Okay, focus.

I began to send feelings of appreciation and gratitude into the statue, and in that moment, her hand reached out and touched me on my solar plexus. A flame opened up inside me. Wow, okay! This must be why I’m here, to carry this small flame away with m- And in that moment my thought was cut off as the flame spread through my entire body. I stood there, tingling all over as I felt the fire rush through my extremities.

Then Sekhmet spoke.

“This fire is to burn away everything you no longer need.”

I suddenly saw, more clearly than before, everything I had taken on from other people in my desire to be in harmony with everyone, in my desire to please. I have a strong ability to tune into other people and read them, to see exactly how they are reacting to me and how I am impacting them. This is something that has served me well all through my life, but now I was seeing very clearly the burden it entailed. Everything I had picked up in my ability to step into other people’s shoes. All the parts of myself I had pushed aside and forced down because they were not in harmony with others. The fire moved through me and burned away all this baggage, leaving a blank slate I would carry forward.

I looked up at Sekhmet’s face. Tears flowed out of my eyes and in that precise moment, the Muslim call to prayer erupted all around us.

“Allaaaaaaaaaahu Akbaaaaaaaaaar! Allaaaaaaaaaaaahu Akbaaaaaaaaaaar!”

The sound swelled and permeated the tiny chapel, seeming to snake and twist up toward the ceiling at the tones rose in pitch, as the entire city echoed with prayer and goosebumps rose on my arms. Oh my God. Okay, yeah, I’m not worried about this trip any more.

The ceremony ended and I walked out of the temple and stood outside, the hot Egyptian sun drying the tears on my face.

From there we carried on to tour the other 99% of Karnak. I felt like I’d been emptied out, like after a long fast, only on an entire other level.

The mammoth pillars of Karnak are one of those sights that shifts your whole sense of scale.

The sacred lake of Karnak Temple was filled by hand with floodwater from the Nile, these waters seen as being a gift from the Gods. The lake was used by priests and priestesses to cleanse themselves before ceremonies.

I wandered into one of the many temples with Andrea and Kyle from Australia and quickly found myself at the threshold of a doorway into a large, pitch-black room. Stepping into this room was an eerie leap of faith as it could have been a bottomless pit for all I could see. Any basic faith I may have had that they wouldn’t let tourists blunder into a bottomless pit was undone by the realization that I was in Egypt.

What was in the room? I have no idea, it was pitch black in there. But walking into it was a scary and fun little Indiana Jones experience.

Chapter 4: The Skull
My crystal skull, chilling on the Great Pyramid

That night I met with Patricia for the crystal skull handoff. Last summer in England I had expressed an interest in getting a skull to meditate with, and being as I just happened to be there with someone who knew a hell of a lot about crystal skulls, I wisely asked Patricia for advice as we browsed the shops in Glastonbury.

“These are all Chinese garbage. You don’t want any of these.”

This conversation eventually led to Patricia graciously offering me a skull from her own collection. After I returned home she sent me photos of the skull, and the moment I looked at the pictures I felt my consciousness expand dramatically out of my body to the point where I thought I was going to fall out of my chair. I’d never experienced anything remotely like that from looking at a picture before, it was like my intuition was skipping right past the vague feelings and straight to the screaming alarm bells. Okay, yeah. That’s the one. Can you bring it with you to Egypt?

My ability to tune into crystals and stones had exploded a hundredfold after my experience inside Stonehenge last summer. All of a sudden, I went from experiencing “Yeah, maybe I can feel this… like a light buzzing… maybe?” to picking up stones and having them explode my brain.

At New Year’s this year, my mom and I had attended a four-day Stargate meditation retreat in Mount Shasta. On the first day, all the attendees went around in a circle and we each talked about who we were and why we were there. People had had a rough 2018. To the point where I felt a little bad taking the microphone and announcing that 2018 was my favorite year of my entire life. I proceeded to talk about all the wonderful travel I’d been able to manifest last year.

At lunch that day, another attendee I was eating with asked me how my channeling was going. My what?

“During the introduction, you said you’ve been channeling all over the world.”

Yeah no I didn’t say that.

“Yeah, I heard you clear as day.”

“No, I don’t channel. Well… I mean I did one time but that was an accident.”

Owen across the table laughed. There are no accidents.

I thought back to the time years ago when my friend Scott and I were recording an album late at night, and I slipped into a strange state of consciousness. I could see two streams up above my head. As I tuned into one of them, I felt the stream shift and pour into my head. Images flashed before my eyes. The sky. Some trees. And as I focused on them they stitched together into full-motion video and then I lost consciousness.

When I came back, it was two hours later. Scott informed me, awestruck, that I’d been speaking in a foreign language for the entire two hours. He said my entire demeanor and personality had shifted into someone else.

At the time I wrote it off as just something weird that had happened. But maybe not? Sitting at the table at the Stargate retreat, I laughed. Kobo Daishi had been talking to me ever since my trip to Japan. My Easter Island grandfather had been talking to me ever since Easter Island. Merlin, in England last summer. If that’s not channeling, what is?

“Huh, maybe I am meant to be channeling,” I thought out loud.

Simultaneously, everyone sitting at the table had all the hair on their arms stand straight up, all at once. Whoa. Okay then. Is that why I know Patricia? Am I going to be channeling books like she does one day?

The next day at the retreat, I picked up one of the little silver Stargates in the center of the room and Kathryne-Alexis, who I had not formally met yet, approached me.

“When you’re traveling, you’re channeling energy into the Earth in all the places you’re going, forming an energetic grid. That’s why you’re going to all these places, to help the Earth shift into the next age.”

Hello. My name is Sean. You are?

This was really freaky because I had started to suspect that’s why I was drawn so intensely to travel over the last three years, and especially travel to really messed-up places. But I hadn’t really said this to anyone. It seemed arrogant to even fully believe it myself.

I’d had a reading with another psychic in England in 2016 that had said pretty much this, that I was here in this life to hold a specific vibration that was going to help the Earth shift into a higher plane. But I didn’t quite believe it then. I mean, who would?

Now it made sense. Everything I’d been experiencing. The road trip all over the U.S. in 2012. Feeling my heart inside the mountain in Peru. When Kobo Daishi had told me to project my heart down into the earth on Isla del Sol in Bolivia. It was all an energetic grid. The dots were connecting.

During a powerful meditation on the third day of the Stargate retreat, I found myself inside a vision, flying through the eye of a giant puma when I suddenly felt an intense pressure on my forehead, like a small child was sitting on my head. Wow, what is that? Have I encountered some kind of dense energy? I asked the facilitator if he’d ever heard of this, and he said usually that kind of thing means that some kind of awareness is trying to open up, and you’re working through whatever kind of blockage is there. It was between my third eye and my crown chakra, so it seemed to involve both.

That weight stayed there all through the third day and the fourth. It grew more and more intense during the fourth day’s meditations, to where at the end of the retreat, I couldn’t think at all. I was conscious, and at peace, but my mind just seemed to be shut down. My mom and I went to the grocery store to get something to make for dinner, and all I could do was stand in front of the maple syrup and fail to understand why they didn’t sell any single-serving maple syrups so I could eat waffles.

That night, at the friend’s house where my mom and I were staying, some of the other guests were very eager to get to know us. Our host Caroline had clearly talked us up to her other guests. I could not deal with this at all. I could barely form sentences.

“Are you on Facebook? Can I get your Facebook? Do you play guitar? Let’s play guitar together!”


I turned in early.

The next morning we stopped into a crystal shop in town owned by family friends of ours. My mom had someone she wanted to talk to in the shop before we left town, and I figured I’d just wander around and look at the crystals. I was still in an extremely altered state and didn’t think I could manage any conversation.

I wandered over and picked up a huge Lemurian seed crystal, and as I did, I felt an intense pressure push up against the blockage around my forehead, only now from the inside. Huh. The longer I held the crystal, the more I realized I could work with it to remove that block. It was expensive, but it seemed likely that working with the crystal would also help prepare me for working with the crystal skull.

I walked over and picked up a pretty piece of Bumblebee Jasper, looking at the orange and yellow swirling shapes all over its surface. Suddenly, I found myself underneath the ground in the desert. What? Am I a rock? It felt very strange but I also felt very happy to be there. Very content, at peace. Whoa, weird. I put the Japser back down and walked away.

And then walked back and picked it up again. I noticed that the swirling patterns in the rock formed figures that looked like ghosts. Like ancestors, I thought. And then suddenly I was inside a memory of a Navajo past life. I was only there for maybe ten seconds, but it was very intense and clear in those moments, running through the red rock landscape of Southern Utah that I love so much in this life.

Okay fine Jasper, you’re going in the basket.

I picked up a beautiful piece of Ocean Jasper. Oh man, my mom should get this. She’s so connected to the ocean. I walked over and showed her the piece. That’s nice, she said, handing it back and returning to her task of collecting supplies for her crystal grid.

Huh, that’s weird. Why would I- I suddenly flashed back to the week before, when I was standing in the surf in Southern California on Christmas Eve. I’d spent the last few years working on what felt like a wound in my heart. Inner child work. Healing work. More and more. It all helped, but it still felt like the wound was there. Sitting up on a big rock, watching the ocean, I felt prompted to climb down, take my shoes off, and wade into the water.

As I did, the waves came in and washed over my feet, and I felt something peculiar. I stopped and looked down. The pain in my heart was draining out through my feet. Each wave that came in, the water swirled around my feet and pulled that pain energy out, draining it out of my body and drawing it into the water, pulling it back into the sea as the wave receded. Each new wave drew more and more out. I began to notice the water elementals swirling in the water itself, and it looked like they were pushing the little waves toward me, as they drew out more and more of this heart wound.

Huh. The ocean. Okay other Jasper, you’re going in the basket too.

Why am I carrying around this Kyanite? *read read read* Oh, this develops your ability to channel. In the basket. Selenite. Pink Calcite. Beautiful gold flake mica. Basket, basket, basket.

They say don’t go to the grocery store when you’re hungry. I would add, don’t go into a crystal shop right after you’ve been in Stonehenge or have had your brains exploded by a four-day meditation retreat. Or do, actually, just get ready to eat rice for a few months.

Over the months that followed, I meditated with all of these stones, each one seeming to serve a different purpose. Gradually, the blockage sitting on my forehead began to disintegrate. My mom had bought me a huge crystal singing bowl tuned to the heart chakra last year when I was working on that heart wound. I followed that up after New Year’s by getting a bowl tuned to the crown chakra and played that regularly, the resonance of the bowl vibrating my entire apartment, my very being. My body seemed to drink the tone in with a sensation I can only describe as delicious.

Now, here we were in Egypt. I held the skull in my hands and closed my eyes.

Suddenly I was up in a pillar of light, with Egyptian hieroglyphic symbols streaming all around me. Everything was a jumble of light and images and figures. Then I was back on the boat.

“Yeah, you’re supposed to have training before you can do that!”

I guess I have been practicing, in my own way.

Okay. It looks like I’m ready to work with this guy. Thanks Patricia. What’s next, Egypt?

Chapter 5: Hold My Goat

Andy from New Zealand and I reclined on deck chairs on the top of the boat as we slowly cruised up the Nile. This if the life, I thought. I’ve never traveled like this before. So serene. The landscape streamed by endlessly, the deserts, the palm trees, the towns. Whenever we entered a town, the children would come running to the water’s edge to scream and wave at our boat. The first few times this happens, it’s so exciting. You stand and wave back. What amazing children. What an amazing experience! After the 20th town you kind of wave half-heartedly without getting up from your lounger. After the 40th town we were discussing constructing some kind of scarecrow where we could just pull a rope and it would wave to the children. Sorry kids, but there are just an awful lot of you guys.

I spent a lot of time trying to figure out if Egyptians were really this friendly, or if there was some kind of government propaganda campaign instructing everyone to wave at the tourists. Tourism in Egypt had cratered after the revolution of 2011, and it still had not returned to anything like the previous levels. Relatively recent terrorist attacks had not helped matters either. Everyone I asked told me the people were genuinely thrilled to see us, as we were the first boat they had seen in ages and tourists brought much-needed money into the local economy.

The same held true as we drove through the various far-flung small towns of Egypt.

Still, everybody is waving. I mean everybody. Okay, maybe not that kid, he just flipped us off. I feel better now.

Distance did not seem to matter in this waving equation. You’d squint and realize that farmer kneeling in the mud way out in that field on the banks of the Nile was waving at you. Oh, hi dude! Andy and I began to joke about seeing a dot at the top of one of the distant mountains, and having to assume whoever that dot was, was waving to us.

“Why aren’t they waving back?” *single tear*

Regular readers of my blog will no doubt wonder if I had to survive on pocket lint in Egypt, but I’m happy to report that vegans have nothing to fear when visiting The Gift of the Nile.

A special thanks to the boat staff who graciously made me vegan food every day.
F me? Okay, maybe the staff didn't like me as much as I thought.

My favorite interaction with the staff came a few days into the trip, when I realized the feather pillow I was sleeping on was the reason I was waking up every morning feeling like I’d been hit by a truck. Darned allergies. I made my way to the front desk to request a foam pillow.

My timing was superb as there was a Galabeya party happening in the lobby by the front desk at exactly this moment, which involved the entire staff playing drums really loudly for an hour.



The staff’s English was a work in progress, though it was 700% better than my Arabic.



I folded my hands in a prayer gesture, then rested my head on them, like I was sleeping.

“Yes, sir! You have a pillow!”




“a what?”



I tucked my hands into my armpits and waved my arms like chicken wings.


I mimed sneezing. The front desk attendant looked at me like I was completely insane.

This was all repeated again for the manager while the drums continued to obliterate every sound in the room.


They replaced my roommate Martin’s pillow with a foam pillow.

My favorite part of every day on the boat was being up top when we’d cruise through a town right as the Muslim prayers were beginning. This happens approximately every 15 minutes, so I got a lot of this favorite experience. If you’ve never visited the Muslim world, it’s unlike anything else, to be in a town when the prayers begin. The sounds coming from all directions all around you, suddenly the whole world is doing this one thing. It’s entirely magical.

Drifting through town on a boat was even better, as you could hear the prayers from several different mosques at the same time. Sometimes even from different towns on opposing sides of the river, the sounds weaving together all around you. Just a completely otherworldly experience.

Many towns seemed to be experiencing a loudness war between the different mosques, as those with the bigger speakers attempted to out-pray each other, booming out across the cityscape.

We began to wonder how the different mosques managed to start their prayers at exactly the same time. I mean, the official decree starts with “before sunrise,” “noon” and “before sunset” and gets even less specific for the other two daily prayer times. How are they so synchronized?

Andy and I cracked up at the thought of the one asshole mosque that started early and everybody else had to drop everything and sprint to their microphones.

“Hold my goat!”

We decided this would also be an excellent slogan to have printed on a t-shirt.

Nothing topped watching the beautiful sunsets as voices echoed throughout the city, declaring in Arabic “God is okay!” and “I don’t have a problem with God as a theological concept but personally I tend to side with Kant!”

Also a special thanks to Andy for letting me steal all of his best jokes for this chapter.

Two days into our trip, there was a terrorist attack in the Sinai Peninsula. This wasn’t particularly close to where we were, but it was in Egypt, and so were we. And the authorities were clearly very paranoid about tourism (one of Egypt’s largest industries) being damaged any further by some dude from Minnesota getting shot in the ass. Once we heard the news about the attack, it suddenly made sense why our boat had suddenly and mysteriously acquired a police escort boat and we now seemed to have cops with us everywhere we went.

The most hilarious and surreal manifestation of this phenomena was during our visit to the town of Menia. We were all antsy to get off the boat (EJ was pacing laps around the deck) and I was sad that I’d yet to have the experience of wandering around in a city in Egypt. So when we docked in Menia, we all got to get off the boat and have a walk through the city.

Flanked by an Egyptian death squad.

I’m only sort-of kidding about the death squad part. These guys may or may not have killed a bunch of people within the last two weeks, but the point is we were surrounded by a ring of soldiers who were carrying machine guns and wearing cartel-style face masks for our entire parade through the city. This was one of the most surreal experiences of my life.

Traffic backed up behind us further than I could see, as the city ground to a halt for our surreal adventure, police motorcycles flanking our platoon.

“Shame. Shame. Shame.”

Who said that?

Was I intimidated? Looking at my photos, apparently not very much since I took photos of the same frivolous weird shit I take photos of anywhere else:

Now this is what I call blending in! Where’s our parade float? The locals were all spilling out into the street just to see the western celebrities who had taken over their town. I don’t think they see a lot of tourists here. Little kids were running past the death squad guys just to shake my hand. Aww, that’s adorable.

Well Sean, you’re getting your wish to walk around in the city. Is it worth it?

Of course it is. This is incredible.

Sean I just come to your blog for the award-winning photography

A few nights later, we repeated this same stunt in Beni Suef, a town much closer to Cairo, where the locals were considerably harder to impress. A bunch of white people being paraded through town by a death squad? Yawn. Must be a Tuesday.

This soldier was clearly not thrilled with having to be out so late on a school night.

The reaction to us here was much less “Hello you special people!” and much more “Don’t they have cars where you live? Get out of the street white dummies!”

This did not in any way stop me from photographing my true love, oddball forms of transportation.

A+ on your buses, Beni Suef. It took me a while to figure out they were driving down the street with the door open and the hood up for air-conditioning purposes.
A+ shit car.
"Where are you staying?" "The House." " are terrible."

Or my secondary love, weird stores that should not exist:

"Why you take photo of us shopping at Shitbags?"
Always a bridesmaid.
The bear is modeled after the guy in the window, right?

The police protection grew so intense that at one point, some young dudes way off on the shore yelled at our boat as it went by on the Nile, and our police escort boat detached and went all the way over there to give them the what-for. I don’t speak Arabic but apparently they weren’t yelling “I hope you have a wonderful time in Egypt!”

Chapter 6: Faceless Gods

The Hathor Temple in Dendera is absolutely overwhelming, with its massive, beautiful pillars and ornate detail carved into every possible surface.

Even the ceiling. Your neck hurts until you realize you can use your phone’s selfie camera to get pictures of the ceiling without performing a dangerous yoga pose.

Virtually every likeness in the temple has had the face chiseled out. This is extremely common across Egypt. The explanation I heard was that crusading Coptic Christians did the chiseling, destroying graven images of pagan false gods. It seems like it goes beyond this, though. The Egyptians believed an image or carving of a god or a person can be inhabited by that being’s spirit. After my experience at the Sekhmet temple, and my experiences with the Moai on Easter Island, I tend to agree.

The pharaohs themselves would demand the destruction of art depicting their rivals. This was taken very seriously. And religious shifts in Egypt resulted in the destruction of art depicting the previously-worshiped gods. Ages later, a thief stealing from an abandoned temple might damage the face of a god pictured there, removing their power to bring about retribution for the theft.

Walking through the temples, it’s amazing to see the amount of work and detail that went into chiseling out each and every face, even in extremely difficult to reach locations.

A statue is lucky if only the nose is broken off, though how powerful is a god if they can’t breathe?

Outside the main Hathor Temple there’s a smaller building with a Spirit Door at one end. These were the abstract form of a doorway carved on a wall, a gateway to the Underworld meant to allow spirits to enter the temple.

Janine called me over. “Feel this doorway!”

I put my hands on the utterly solid wall and pushed. Whoa! I felt my consciousness project down a long corridor inside the wall. Oh wow, that’s crazy. Where does that even go, and in what dimension?

In the crypt below the Hathor Temple, there’s a famous carving of what appear to be ancient Egyptian light bulbs. Would this explain the absence of soot on the ceilings of these crypts, and how all of this artwork was carved in what would otherwise have been the pitch black?

“Uhm, that’s weird Sean.” You haven’t even seen the helicopter yet.

Getting down into that crypt involved climbing down a ladder and crawling through a small gap near the floor. There’s no educational value in that statement, I just want credit for having done it.

Quickly we were off to Abydos, one Egypt’s most sacred places. One of the highlights of Patrica’s book about her experiences in Egypt is her story of spending days upon days in Abydos, examining the artwork in all of the different chapels within the temple. She spent one entire day studying a carving of the goddess Ma’at, who held a smaller Ma’at in her hand, who held a smaller Ma’at in her hand, who held a smaller… on and on. What incredible detail! At the end of the day she commented on this carving to the main guide for the temple.

“Where did you see it?”

It turned out this carving was a bit of a ghost in and of itself. The guide and several of the guards had seen it, once each, but always in a different place within the temple. None could ever find it again. Finding this ridiculous, as she had just spent the better part of the day in a single room studying this specific carving, Patricia returned to find the image gone. WTF, Egypt?

I asked our guide Tarek, who had studied Egyptology his entire life, if he’d ever seen the Ma’at carving.

“Once, long ago. Never again.”

My experience of pushing on the spirit door in Dendera had already opened my mind to the idea that these temples were portals into different dimensions. Clearly the Ma’at carving existed in one of these other dimensions, and you had to shift there yourself, intentionally or not, to see it.

Spoiler alert: I never saw the Ma’at carving. But I did see this one of a helicopter, a jet and an aircraft carrier.

That’s no joke, it’s way up near the ceiling at the top of one of the pillars in Abydos. The official explanation is that the ancient Egyptians carved one hieroglyph on top of another and it just happens to look exactly like a modern helicopter, jet and aircraft carrier (or submarine, depending on your preference). Believe what you want, for me that explanation is kind of silly. I personally believe most of our mainstream ideas about ancient history are bullshit and that civilization on Earth is far, far older than we’re taught. I think we’ve attained our current levels of technology and beyond several times in the past, within the cycles of civilization rising and falling. So I don’t have a problem with these carvings possibly being what they look like they are. Maybe for you, the light bulb is a big symbolic flower penis and the helicopter is… well, whatever the hell you think the helicopter is.

Elsewhere in the temple, Bailey put his ear up against a mysterious stray ear that was carved into the wall. Do you hear anything? Or is the temple listening to us?

While wandering around the temple looking for Ma’at, Janine and I came across a chapel with two spirit doors carved side by side at one end of the room. Ooh! We put our hands on the first door. Whoa! This one is pushing me back, rather than pulling me through the wall like the last door. Huh. I moved over and put my hands on the second door. This one pulled me down a long tunnel that I could see in my mind’s eye. The two doors together formed a spiral, like a revolving door. For two-way inter-dimensional traffic?

Outside, we stared down into the Osirion, a subterranean temple located next to Abydos. Patricia had written about this temple at great length in her book, how it was built in an entirely different style than anything else in the area and appeared to be from a far older culture. We were all eager to go down there. Only the guards wouldn’t allow it.

Negotiation, negotiation, negotiation, bribes. Nope. Nothing doing. There was a very strange undercurrent the entire time we were in Egypt where there seemed to be a lockdown on all of the most spiritual locations. Any kind of meditation or prayer is strictly forbidden in any of these locations. If you’re going to meditate, you need to look like you’re tired and just resting your eyes for a second. Otherwise you’ll have a guard up in your face.

The party line on this is that it’s because Egypt is a Muslim country that frowns upon pagan worship. And that makes sense, but what I was seeing really seemed to go beyond that, to the level of some larger intention to shut down these places of spiritual transformation, locations that can open up human potential. I realize that sounds paranoid, and I thought the people who were talking that way on the trip were paranoid until I saw it myself, again and again and again, in ways that didn’t make any sense otherwise.

Do you have a crystal on you? Better keep it in your pocket or a guard will kick you out. The guards were constantly running around, making sure no one was doing anything spiritual.

The other side of this was seeing the infrastructure development taking place at these sacred locations. It’s easy to write it off as improving the tourist experience, adding an information center here and a gift shop there. Bathrooms, parking, etc. But after you see this at enough places you start to wonder if these are intentional steps taken to break the energy of a place. Let’s tear out these trees and put in toilets. Let’s build a road underneath Stonehenge. Patricia was particularly heartbroken at the transformation Abydos had undergone since her last visit. You guys should have seen it then.

I looked down into the Osirion and then closed my eyes. In a chaotic blur of images, I traveled through a long series of tunnels down deep into the Earth. Oh wow. Is that what’s down there?

Over the course of the trip, it gradually came out in conversation that I’ve been traveling an awful lot lately. People were curious to know if I was independently wealthy or else how I was making this work. I was actually the opposite of wealthy at the moment, having just quit my job. But this opened up some amazing opportunities to talk about manifestation.

After my job shifted into less travel-friendly mode at the end of last year, I began to think hard about what else I could do. It seemed like an impossible situation. Even the more restrictive version of my job offered far more vacation time than any new employer was going to offer. I looked into freelancing, but it soon became apparent that this would basically be the same thing as starting my own business, and would involve an intense focus on self-promotion and networking that seemed at odds with where my life was going spiritually.

However, all the threads of my spiritual life these last few years have carried a consistent theme that we are the creators of our lives, and you attract events in sync with how and where you focus your own energy. Focus on how you’re trapped by the golden handcuffs of the generous-but-not-generous-enough vacation time at your current job, and you’ll get more of the same. To get something different, you need to change your focus from what you don’t want to what you do.

The consistent advice is to focus intensely on what it is you want, and not on how you’re going to get it. There are a hundred different avenues an event or circumstance can take to come into your life, most of which you likely wouldn’t even be able to imagine. If you focus on just one “how,” all of those other avenues are shut down and that event may take much longer to find a way down the one avenue you’re allowing, if it’s even possible at all.

I thought about what I really wanted. More freedom to travel, without losing the income necessary to actually do the travel. That’s good, but pretty abstract and hard to imagine clearly. I thought about all of the trips I had planned for 2019 that I’d had to cancel once my job clamped down. The one I was the most sad about was my planned trip to Antarctica. Hmm. Maybe I should start there.

Every day I would picture myself on the deck of the boat on the way to Antarctica, watching the icebergs drift by. Day in and day out, I put more energy into that scene, picturing it clearly and sending thoughts of gratitude and love into the image in my mind.

And simultaneously, I started paying a great deal of attention to how I thought about work and my future. Any time I found myself thinking in terms of limitation and lack, I shut that down and focused on freedom and abundance. This wasn’t an overnight change, but I stuck with it.

And I could feel the energy move. Over the course of a few months, a job opportunity came up which seemed promising. But there was no way they would approve all the travel I have planned, I thought. Stop. Visualize them approving all of it. Picture myself on the deck of the boat. Again and again.

Eventually, I was offered the job. All of the travel was approved, and I received a large raise to boot. The day I signed the offer letter, I booked my trip to Antarctica.

Honestly, even though I believed in these concepts mentally and had felt things shift energetically as the process moved forward, I was still kind of shocked that it worked so well. I manifested something I’d previously thought was impossible. In retrospect, I think there are two sides to making this work. One is the technique of focusing on the what, not the how. The other is what I’ve been going through, painfully and laboriously, these last few years: Working on clearing childhood trauma and limiting beliefs. Everything we’ve carried around our entire lives. The deep-seated belief that we don’t deserve more than we have. That we’re not good enough. That we haven’t worked hard enough. Everything that shuts down our ability to be clear within ourselves and form an image that we bring forward into this reality.

Chapter 7: The Weirdest Pharaoh

We stood in the open desert, the sand having gone a long way toward reclaiming the steps we were climbing up the dunes to see boundary marker announcing that we had entered Tell el-Amarna, the land of the Pharaoh Akhenaten.

Amarna is remote and not heavily touristed. Most want to come to Egypt to see Akhenaten’s famous son, Tutankhamun. But we were there for Akhenaten himself, because that dude was clearly an alien.

We looked up at the stele depicting Akhenaten and his wife, Nefertiti, raising their arms up to the sun, the sunbeams reaching back at them, each beam ending in a hand. Akhenaten and Nefertiti’s heads are bizarrely elongated, their eyes angular, and Akhenaten’s feminine hips, thick thighs and long, spindly arms draw a sharp contrast to the virile, manly ways every other pharaoh in Egyptian history was depicted. That and his breasts. As recorded by the ancient scribe Aerosmith the First, Dude looks like a lady.

Historians have struggled to explain Akhenaten’s bizarre appearance. Some have suggested that this was just a very, very different style of art that was only popular during Akhenaten’s reign. As if making your pharaoh look like the Elephant Man was a fun artistic whimsy that wouldn’t get you killed instantly. Others have shrugged and suggested that Akhenaten must have had some really horrible disease. Never mind that his wife is shaped just like him in all the depictions of her, and so are their children. So whatever was wrong with him must have been both hereditary and communicable.

What if that’s just what he looked like, and he wasn’t ashamed of it? If he was just an otherwise boring pharaoh who happened to look like he was from Venus, it wouldn’t really matter, but Akhenaten acted pretty much like you’d expect a benevolent alien who landed on Earth to act. He threw out all the known fear-based religious tradition in Egypt and taught his people about Aten, the God within them that exists within all things. He ruled with his wife as an equal. Artwork shows Akhenaten cradling and kissing his baby daughters, a wild departure from the stoic images of every other pharaoh.

Realizing he was rowing against the tide in trying to transform Egypt from within its established cultural and religious structures, Akhenaten had the capital moved from Luxor to Amarna, an empty desert where he had a new city built.

All of this went about as well as you would expect, with endless resistance from people who weren’t ready for something so new. Akhenaten eventually retreated from leadership, and his mummy has never been found, leading to the belief that he returned to whatever planet or dimension he was originally from.

Some have gone so far as to call Akhenaten the First Christ, a first, failed attempt to bring a new consciousness to the Earth, hundreds of years before the Buddha and then Jesus Christ came along.

I didn’t know anything about Akhenaten before the trip, but when I was on the bus in England last summer with Patricia’s group, looking at the itinerary for this Egypt trip, it was when I got to the picture of Akhenaten that my consciousness suddenly expanded way up out of my body and I got that unmistakable “Hey dummy, drop everything and do this trip” feeling. So I didn’t find the alien theories hard to believe. All through the trip I was reading The Emerald Tablets of Thoth, the translation of a mysterious ancient set of tablets telling of Thoth the Atlantean, and his story of traveling to Egypt after the fall of Atlantis and raising the primitive people there up into a highly evolved culture. Clearly there was some crazy shit going on back then, why not this?

The stele of Akhenaten and Nefertiti out there in the desert looked like a wall but felt like a door. Standing before it, my body buzzed. I was thinking about how you go about passing through solid stone when the time came for us to leave.

Arg. But I couldn’t regret the timing of this at all because we were off to see the main course. Akhenaten’s royal tomb.

I should put “tomb” in quotes, because for one, his body wasn’t found in there, and more importantly, they pretty much call everything in Egypt a tomb so you won’t go thinking it’s a portal to another dimension or a time machine. We wondered if Akhenaten’s “tomb” was the portal through which he returned to wherever he came from.

Guards were bribed, and bribed again, and guards came from other towns just to be bribed so we could be alone down in Akhenaten’s “tomb.” Inside, everyone crowded around the weird hieroglyphics that look a lot like a UFO:

(I think Kyle took this)

Eventually the momentum of the scattered and rambling members of our party bouncing around within the “tomb” wound down and we rolled downhill, settling into the main room in the deepest part of the structure. We sat down for a group meditation.

Sitting in a large circle ringing the room we closed our eyes, and the chanting began. Organic and unpracticed, the sound of everyone’s Oms blending together and then rising and falling in intensity, filled the large underground chamber. Lorrie brought out the crystal singing bowl she had been dutifully carrying everywhere we went, waiting for the opportunity to play it at the right moment. This was that moment.

The sound of the bowl rose above the chants with a tone both chilling and beautiful. The voices and the bowl rose and fell, rose and fell and then- holy shit what was that? Voices that didn’t sound like anyone in our group seemed to be coming straight out of the walls. This is getting crazy. The stone room reverberated as the group was bound together by sound.

I had brought the crystal skull with me, hidden from the prying eyes of the guards in my shoulder sling bag. I shifted the bag into my lap and cupped my hands around the skull. The air was already buzzing from the otherworldly sounds of the chant and the bowl, and very quickly I was expanding out of my body. Images were flashing before my closed eyes. More bright lights, hieroglyphics.

Then my body shifted into a very strange place and without warning I felt my molecules break apart. I had experienced this once before, last summer inside Stonehenge when I broke apart and merged into one of the giant standing stones. I’d never experienced anything like that again, until this moment, as the cloud of my atoms pushed across the room and straight through the wall on the opposite side.

On the other side of the wall there was a tall white staircase of stone with gold symbols painted on the sides of the steps. There was no railing, the space dropping away to nothingness to the side of the steps as they curved upwards. I walked up the stairs, to the open doorway at the top. Through the doorway there was nothing but sky, in every direction. I stepped through the doorway and that’s when things really got weird.

I can describe a feeling of flying, the image of a bird, but beyond that it breaks up into an experience that is very difficult to conceptualize, let alone put into words. I was for some time in a place where my mind couldn’t follow. The next thing I was aware of, was seeing before me a higher aspect of myself, who I am at a level far beyond this incarnated human consciousness. And then I went from seeing this aspect to experiencing it, becoming it. The only words that come to mind was that I experienced being Christed light. That’s not a term I’d ever used before, but it was the understanding I came away with, and I tear up when I remember what I experienced in those moments.

Suddenly I was yanked back into my body. One of the guards was sitting next to me, in a mock-meditative pose, and he was tapping my shoulder and trying to sell me the same stupid rock I’d turned down when we first entered the site. I gave him a look that was not of Christed light and he shuffled off to go bother someone else.

We agreed to leave the “tomb” multiple times before we could actually tear ourselves away. On the way back up to the sunlight, I realized what Egypt had shown me. The first days of the trip had shown me all the things holding me back, the habits and patterns holding me fast to the human experience. Akhenaten’s portal had shown me what these things were holding me back from. What would be available to me once I shed those limitations and took the next step forward. Wow.

From there we carried on to the tomb of Ay. Ay was one of Akhenaten’s advisors who went on to mentor Tutankhamen after… well after Akhenaten went wherever he did.

Some believe Ay murdered the young pharaoh Tutankhamen, whom he then succeeded as pharaoh. Visiting his tomb, this seemed entirely possible, as it was a very strange place that didn’t seem to rule out the possibility of some kind of black magic going on during Ay’s time. A narrow staircase in the back of the tomb strangely leads down to nothing but a large round boulder sitting on the ground at the base of the stairs. Patricia and several members of the group were down there when strange voices began to emanate from the tomb. I didn’t like the feeling of that whole area so I wasn’t there for the ventriloquist act, as I was too busy investigating the tomb’s two powerful spirit doors.

Janine and I put our hands on the spirit door on the left-hand side of the tomb. Immediately I was pulled down a long tunnel. I could see the inside of this one more clearly than I had at any of the other spirit doors. Wooh. I stepped back and walked away. When I came back a second time and put my hands and forehead on the door, I was pulled down the tunnel again, but this time I saw the sky at the end and I suddenly realized that although I was being pulled along seemingly parallel to the ground, the portal actually went up into the sky. There was some strange dimensional shift happening where directions as they appeared to us did not matter.

I walked over to the spirit door on the opposite end of the tomb and leaned against it. Ah! This one felt distinctly like falling. The sensation was of being pulled forward, into the wall, but as I traveled along I recognized that I was actually falling down, like skydiving into a black abyss. It was a little frightening.

Janine came over and we put our hands on the door.

“What do you see?”

“It’s a spiral…”

“…a spiral of stars. A spiral nebula.”

We were both seeing the same thing. Two portals to completely different locations. Who knows what Ay used these things for when he wasn’t hanging out with the talking rock downstairs?

Every night we’d return to the boat after our adventures, and those of us who weren’t too spent from the day would stay up far too late talking. Everyone clearly relished this rare opportunity to talk with like-minded souls about the kinds of esoteric things your family wishes you’d stop bringing up. Last summer in England I had walked face-first unsuspecting into this world of wild conspiracy theories and extremely different ways of viewing the events of our world. Wait, did you just say Hilary Clinton is a clone? Oh man, it sounded like you said the Vatican’s the world center of Satanic worship! Wow, I like you guys, but I don’t know…

Since that trip I’d read a lot and reflected, meditated and thought a great deal about these things, and had begun to doubt, then question, and then actively step outside of the consensus view of reality that the vast majority of people live in, and had caught up to the rest of the group.

Except about Donald Trump.

I think the average person would be more than a bit surprised to discover that really cutting-edge New Age spiritual people are fond of Donald Trump. It seems incongruous from the standpoint of our stock cultural conversation. Isn’t he, like, the exact opposite of all the things you guys stand for?

But step back for a second and consider the possibility that things are much worse than you think. That the world is controlled by very dark people who are actively feeding off of and perpetuating our misery for their own benefit. That the wars, terrorist attacks, large-scale disasters and left vs right political theater are all just manufactured distractions engineered to keep us divided and powerless. Distracted by the election drama and the Kardashians and Game of Thrones and the new iPhone, so that we throw our power away and while away our lives on trivia without ever realizing who we really are.

In that world, Hillary and Obama were just another branding exercise stamped on a very dark status quo. And anyone getting elected who wasn’t supposed to be, even if he’s a grade-A asshole, is a good thing.

After all, what happens to the saviors who don’t look at least a little bit like the bad guys? MLK? JFK? RFK? Malcolm X? Hmm, they don’t last long. Maybe you have to be a little bit dirty for them to even let you in the door.

That’s the idea anyway. And I could get there, sort of. I could see someone like Trump getting a peek behind the curtain, being suddenly snapped out of a lifetime of self-interest by the horrors on display within, and using whatever power he actually has to try to tear it all down. Or even just knocking some of it down on accident as he flails for attention. Or maybe his soul is working on a level his personality is completely unaware of.

A lot of new-age folks go much further than this, though, believing that everything negative you see about Trump is all an act, a clever ruse to camouflage the good work he’s actually doing in the background.

And I mean… anything’s possible… but Trump? Really? If it’s an act, he’s been putting it on for an awfully long time, long before he was elected.

But then again, if my experience in the crop circle in England last summer woke me up to anything, it’s that the media is not what it appears to be. It’s a control mechanism. Anything I read in the news now, all I think about is “What is this supposed to make me think and feel? And who wants me to think and feel that way, and why?” There’s absolutely no reason for the giant corporations that own the media to enlighten us for our own benefit. Everything is for a strategic effect.

And once you head down this rabbit hole, once you see enough of the amazing things that you’ve personally experienced being repeatedly and consistently disparaged, the constant efforts to remind people what it’s acceptable to think or believe, to define acceptable discussion within narrow parameters, it all starts to feel like pure propaganda. And you start looking at the heroes we’re given and you ask why our media is building them up. And you start looking at the villains and goats and ask why we’re being hit over the head again and again with the message that they’re bad and wrong and we shouldn’t listen to a word they say.

But man... Trump is such an asshole!

As soon as the topic of Trump came up on the boat, I was on one side of the discussion, and everyone else was on the other. Guys, come on. Trump? Let’s get real for a second here.

The more we discussed the pros and cons of The Donald, I became more and more aware of an uncomfortable energy swelling in the center of my chest. Huh. Something powerful has come up that needs to be cleared. I need to keep digging to get to the heart of what this is all about.

And so I kept tilling, giving a running commentary of what I was feeling inside as we talked about what Trump might really be doing. It’s such a house of mirrors. Who really knows? Either side could be completely deluded. How do you even-

In that moment, I penetrated the uncomfortable, nauseous energy swirling in my chest and clarity opened up for me. I saw, in a beautiful, crystalline moment, that this wasn’t about me coming around to seeing Trump as a secret operative for the light. I saw with total clarity that my judgment of Trump, my opinion about who he was and my feelings about the things he says and does, were like fishhooks holding me fast to him, attaching me to the level of vibration where that judgment was occurring. I could not move on to the next step, into that Christed light, as long as I was attached to this judgment, and attached to the idea of myself as someone who felt this way. It all had to go.

I laughed, since the New Year’s Stargate retreat my mom and I had attended had two major themes, both of them seemingly simple but in reality, when truly absorbed, paradigm-shattering: Love of self, and moving out of judgment. I saw this at the Stargate, when I was able to truly step into love of self for the first time in my life, and it changed everything. It felt like rain in the desert. What immense power there was in that moment, stepping out of the disempowering social conditioning of how we’re supposed to view ourselves. And the realization that comes when you truly touch that love is that judgment can only exist from a limited perspective. In truth, there can be no judgment. Of yourself, or others. There is absolutely no room for it in the fullness of who we really are.

I’d had some previews of this epiphany, in the months leading up to the Egypt trip. Moments when I realized that the building blocks of my personality were melting away. Desires fading, opinions beginning to feel irrelevant, and (ironically for someone who writes extensively about his travel from a first-person perspective) the very sense of my life as a “story” disappearing. It felt, strangely, like becoming less human. That sounds terrible in that we tend to think of some grim machination as the only alternative to our humanity. Becoming something sub-human. But there is something beyond our humanity, something you transcend into as you let go of the attachments that have defined you. The nauseous energy in my chest transmuted into light and I was at peace. For someone who has spent so much of his life studying Buddhism, I felt like I truly grasped the concept of non-attachment for the first time.

Damn. Thanks Egypt. Thanks Donald.

Chapter 8: Give it a Whirl

The rapidly-shifting security situation in Egypt had one major side-effect for us and our plans: The police didn’t feel it was safe for us to travel to the Bent Pyramid or Red Pyramid that were on our agenda for the day, so instead we sailed straight through the day to get to Cairo early for a special surprise.

I laughed when I heard what the surprise was: We were going to see a performance of legitimate Sufi whirling dervishes. I laughed because last year in Uzbekistan I had stumbled across a past life of mine as a Sufi dervish, and at the time I’d thought “I need to get to one of those performances somehow.” Earlier that same year, thoughts of “I need to get into a crop circle and inside Stonehenge somehow” had manifested with me doing exactly those two things with Patricia in England, and now here we were, about to go see some dervishes. Sorry guys, I may have something to do with why we’re not going to the Bent Pyramid.

The performance was held inside a bizarre ancient building in Cairo, which seemed completely incomprehensible to me at the time. We were led down strange dark corridors and climbed through a gap in some metal railing (most of us, Solfrid attempted to dematerialize straight through the bars, with limited success) to get to the room where the performance was going to take place.

I later discovered that this was a mosque, madrasa and mausoleum complex built in 1503. We were passing through some corner of the mausoleum to get to the khanqah, a building designed for gatherings of the Sufi brotherhood. We took our seats in the cozy but tall main hall of the khanqah as the musicians took the stage.

The drums began and suddenly and quite unexpectedly I was pushed straight out of my body. Oh my god. The singer’s voice wailed above the pounding drums and I struggled to reach down into my body and hold on. It felt as if I was hanging on only by my little toe, the rest of my consciousness hovering over the audience, pulling me upward. I imagined what would happen if my body just suddenly slumped into EJ sitting next to me, or rolled down the stairs.

The sound of the drums bounced off the stone walls, the reflections concentrating and intensifying the sound. I looked up and saw the spectral forms of people swirling over the performers, traveling in a spiral up into the central tower of the hall.

I was reminded of the Native American community meeting my mom and I attended in Minneapolis last year. The focus of that meeting was on opiate addiction, and with so many people in the audience struggling deeply with addiction, stuck in a low vibration and with visible dark gray entities attached to them, I was worried about the effect on me of spending time in that environment. But before the meeting began, tribal members entered playing drums, and as the sound pulsed through the church I could feel all the entities and stuck energy being blasted out of the room, until the church felt completely clear by the end of the ceremony.

Was this different? The spectral forms swirling above didn’t seem to be openly negative and didn’t seem to be repelled by the drums, it was almost as if they were being invoked and this was all part of the Sufi ceremony. The procession of spirits swirled and spiraled slowly up into the central dome of the hall as I struggled to stay in my body.

They haven’t even started dancing yet! This is just the introductory music! The sound of a flute floated over the pulsing drums and a man’s wailing voice, singing a language whose literal meaning was a mystery to me, but the energy pushed me further up toward the ceiling.

I looked up again and the form of the hall itself began to shift. I was looking up into the tower, which carried high up into the air before being capped by a small dome and a ring of windows. As I looked at the walls, they began to flatten, like I was looking at a two-dimensional photograph, and then the walls inverted, the corner where the walls met becoming convex rather than concave, like the whole building was an origami folding that had just turned itself inside out. I was looking at the same interior walls, but now we were outside, and these were the exterior walls of the building. It felt like being inside a giant M.C. Escher painting.

And then the dancers began. Wearing long skirts covered in colorful patterns, they began to spin. The spinning skirts hovered parallel to the floor, giving them the appearance of spinning tops, or low-flying UFOs. The dancers’ eyes glistened as they pointed, one hand up to the heavens and one hand down to the Earth, tying the worlds together and entering some kind of trance reverie.

Gradually the dances became more complex, secondary skirts detaching and twirling over the dancer’s heads, their bodies forming odd, undulating geometric shapes and the patterns on the skirts pulsing and blurring, practically daring you not to fall out of your body and roll down the stairs. Oh my god.

After it was over, we stumbled out in a daze, Patricia particularly seeming drunk on dervish magic. We spilled out into the streets of Cairo and ricocheted like pinballs amongst the big city chaos happening all around us, blurs of lights and traffic and street people, drifting through the night in what we vaguely hoped was the general direction of our hotel.

Chapter 9: Hello Bullshit

Standing outside the ruins of the Great Temple of the Aten in Amarna, a small Egyptian boy greeted our bus.

“Hello Bullshit.”


“Hello Bullshit.”

Some killjoys in our group (Andy) insisted that he was just attempting to say “Hello, Bonjour” but I will never believe this. If that’s the world you want to live in, you can have it.

Entering the batshit craziness that is the city of Cairo, all I could think was “Hello Bullshit.”

Traffic snarled in every direction, as 19.5 million people all attempted to drive somewhere at the same time. The civilized formalities of lanes, right-of-way and not pushing other cars out of your way just because you can were all completely abandoned.

Don’t take my declaration of “bullshit” as a sign that I did not enjoy Cairo. I love bullshit when it’s done well. Bailey and I sat in the back of the bus and laughed continuously at both the funky cars and the “driving” going on around us.

Thanks for captioning my photo for me, reality.

Every car was scarred by its time in Cairo, as driving there is a contact sport. They made the cars of Dublin look pristine in comparison. My favorite car in the bacchanalia of Cairo traffic was the Subaru Super Carry, a weird little mini-bus thing that everyone seemed to be thrilled to be riding in.

This all was, as you may have guessed, slow going. I was fascinated by the women walking up the street carrying enough goods to stock a Wal-Mart on their heads.

This only got funnier when one of those women passed us and we never caught up with her again, given the butt-numbing speed of Cairo traffic.

The bus puked us out into the Khan El Khalili bazaar, with instructions to meet at such and such a place at such a such a time and yep, that’ll definitely happen, no way I’m going to wander way off the grid and end up in some kind of underground Egyptian Fight Club.

I got a photo of our group at the lamp shop:

And three “mister mister buy necklace”-es later, I made a bee-line straight out of the Disneyland section of Cairo.

The bazaar stretched on improbably far, but eventually I was in the city and walking through blocks of apartment buildings. The looks from the locals made it clear I was out of place.

I navigated down some narrow back alleys and found myself in the section of the town where the locals buy things. Blacksmiths banged and hammered near giant tanks of gas that seemed to be uncomfortably close to open flames. Local people bought mixing bowls and other daily necessities as I squeezed my way through, the only white face in the crowd.

Eventually the alley spilled out onto a main street, which had way more sheep on it than any other big-city street I’ve ever walked on.

On the drive over, we’d marveled at the local people who were just walking in the street, between the cars, like lunatics. Now I was one of them. What do you want? There’s no sidewalk.

Too late!

After dodging cars with the locals for a while, I ducked up a side alley and found myself in another bazaar, this one populated entirely by locals. I was in a heaven of wondrous, wondrous bullshit.

Heil baby Hitler!
Just Say Vo To Mouthy Children.
Dammit Turkmenistan bear girl, I thought we talked about this! The phone call said I have seven days!
I do not believe those toys are really from Ice Age 5. I call bullshit. Why would there even be a gun in a prehistoric animal movie play set? The Shooting toy above this attempts to answer that question via a beautiful dinosaur gun with a penis trigger.
Nothing is sexier than a crotch panda. Nothing.

I met many locals in the bazaar, one of whom lured me down a back alley and attempted to sell me perfume. This was a hilarious miscalculation on his part.

Eventually I looked at the time and decided that I should be a responsible tourmate and make my way back to the rendezvous point, unlike my regular habit of getting so deeply enmeshed in local color that I end up having to sprint down a mountain two seconds before the bus pulls away. After all, we were in the middle of Cairo and I wasn’t sure where I was going to even find a mountain.

I navigated through the local bazaar in the direction of the tourist quarter, which took forever due to their being approximately three inches of empty space in this entire section of the city. But after about twenty minutes I finally turned the final corner, to find… oh shit.

"I think we might be goats. Guys? Are we goats?"
Look I don't have time for this, get back to me with whatever you decide.

You guys again. The street sheep were at the furthest point of my wander. I wasn’t where I thought I was at all. Uh-oh.

I began to rapidly backtrack, taking no chances by attempting to return exactly the way I had come.

Cairo delighted in this opportunity to throw more random weird shit at me.

At one point I found myself trapped in an alleyway, as two cars had met head-on in the middle of the alley, heading in opposite directions. There was no room for either to turn around. Several motorcycles were stuck trying to squeeze by them, and the throng of people I was in the middle of was stuck like hair in a clogged drain.

After far too long I found my way back to the tourist bazaar, now desperately late. But my relief soon faded as I realized what an absolute maze the back alleys of the bazaar were. Weird shit streamed by and I was completely lost and desperately late.

After approximately a thousand more turns, I stopped a shopkeeper and asked him how to get to Fishawy restaurant, our meeting point.

“Ah yes my friend, right this way. Just walk out to this street and take a taxi south. Ten, fifteen minutes ride tops. You can’t miss it.”

Holy shit, I’m that far away? I headed out to the street, which was jammed solid with traffic. Okay. I think I live here now.

I stopped a local and asked him about Fishawy and the directions the shopkeeper had given me. I turned out he was giving me directions to a completely unrelated restaurant that served fish. Thanks Egypt.

Well, at least I didn’t get in a taxi. Jesus. Where am I?

I had a sudden brainstorm and showed the local this photo on my phone, which is the only reason I’m not still in Egypt today.

I’d taken the picture where the bus let us off, which was near the restaurant. Several turns later I was there. The group hadn’t left yet, they were too busy fending off the advances of an extremely determined purse salesman and this bizarre woman, whose adorable daughter was scouting around for unattended wallets.

Nice to meet you! I'm a little gassy, myself.

Chapter 10: The Sphinx

“Leave your cameras on the bus, we’re going into the Sphinx.”

It was 3:30 in the morning and the Giza plateau was deserted. Stray dogs weaved between us like temple guardians as we walked in procession to the Sphinx.

Behind the Great Sphinx’s giant, impassive face, a full moon hung in the night sky. This was one of those rare moments in life when you stop and realize you will never, ever forget this.

Like everything worth doing in Egypt, this took some bribery. Regular tourists can’t get anywhere near the Sphinx. You see it from the road, or at a distance from the official tourist bazaar on the opposite side, while some guy tries to sell you a blacklight poster of two camels boning.

Like this.

But if you know the right people and bribe the right guards, you can stand between the paws of the Sphinx under a full moon, knowing that this moment will be burned into your memory forever.

We gathered between the outstretched front legs of the Sphinx’s lion body and the twenty-six of us joined hands for a group meditation in the moonlight.

My hands began to quiver. Am I shivering? It wasn’t that cold. The tremble turned into a full-blown shake. I took stock of my body and realized I wasn’t cold, I wasn’t shivering. Something else was going on.

We banded together and set our intention for this this time at the Sphinx, then prepared to take our turns standing up against the Dream Stele, a huge carved slab on a platform up against the chest of the Sphinx.

Photo courtesy Wikipedia

The stele was said to have mystical properties, was it another portal? I guess I was about to find out. I looked over at my friends EJ and Solfrid, who I’d bonded with the most closely on this trip, and hoped the three of us would get to go up to the stele together. There was some kind of energetic alchemy happening between the three of us and I wanted to see how the Sphinx would play into this.

As members of our group began to take their turns up on the stele, my hands shook more and more violently. Oh my God, what’s happening to me? My entire body began to shake. EJ looked at me like “Are you okay??” I wasn’t sure.

Then everything in the moonlight around me faded into nothingness, and I was standing in an immense void. Before me, there stood a figure made of pure light. The figure was too bright for me to make out details, but it appeared to be some kind of priestess wearing a headdress. She reached out her hands and handed me some kind of vessel, which was too blindingly bright for me to make out clearly. Wow, okay, what is this for-

I looked up at the Sphinx and its giant eyes, and then face, lit up bright against the night sky. And in a moment I was floating above the ground, level with the face of the Sphinx, the glow of its light surrounding me. And just as suddenly I was back in my body on the ground, leaning up against the Sphinx’s massive limestone leg.

Whoa. What is going on-

Patricia began speaking.

“The Sirians are speaking to me.”

Patricia channels the Sirian High Council, a group of teachers from the Sirius star system.

“Go into your emotions in this place. We can connect in to this location, but we do not have the power of your emotions on this plane. Help us connect in.”

Okay, I thought. I looked up at the Sphinx, and suddenly felt a connection to the Sphinx itself, and through the Sphinx out into space. Oh wow. I’ve never connected with the Sirians before, but this definitely feels like something.

I drew up a feeling of gratitude and love from inside me, and mentally projected it into the Sphinx.

In an instant, that love and gratitude shot back to me, but multiplied a thousand fold. It was like a laser that exploded every cell of my body.

I can’t really say or write anything that captures how powerfully overwhelming this was. It was like a massive river of emotion pouring through my tiny body. To call it overwhelming suggests that I had any previous frame of reference for this experience. My concepts of what emotion is, and what my beingness could even contain, were completely obliterated in that moment.

My body had gone beyond shaking and into a state of violent convulsion. And then Patricia called us up to the stele. Oh my God.

I stumbled toward the platform, everything tilting sideways as my body lurched and floated forward. I have no idea how I’m going to get up onto that platform but I really want to see what happens if I make it.

Somehow I ended up there with EJ and Solfrid, up against the Dream Stele. I turned around and leaned back against the slab.

Everything about my body was completely outside of my control. My whole body was convulsing as this energy of love and gratitude poured into and through me. I couldn’t hold onto it, it was obliterating me completely. I would have been worried about falling out of this reality entirely if I had been capable of thinking at all. My sense of what my body was, what my consciousness was, shuddered and broke apart as everything became choppy and violent. The only thought that streaked across my awareness was that I can’t hold this, I can’t contain this energy, I’m going to split apart into a million pieces. I can’t hold my body together, I can’t hold myself up against this stone slab.

As I leaned back into the stele in desperation, surrendering to the hope that something would hold me together before I was completely subsumed in this energy and left this life entirely, I felt myself sink into the stele. I slid backwards into the stone itself until I was sitting inside it, reclining as if into a rocking chair, as the stone somehow melted around me and held me up. I felt the legs of the Sphinx wrap around me in a motherly embrace, and everything tilted side to side as the Sphinx rocked me back and forth.

Held by the Sphinx, I let go. And in that instant, sound erupted from the horizon.

“Allaaaaaaaaaaahu Akbaaaaaaaaaaar! Allaaaaaaaahu Akbaaaaaaaaar!”

The first prayers of the day exploded out of the black night as the entire city rose up in prayer.

In that moment I let go, and the emotional energy of all that love and gratitude thundered through me and radiated out across the horizon, into the city and out to every person in Giza and Cairo. I completely surrendered and became a conduit to everything the Sirians and the Sphinx had to transmit into this plane of reality.

This flow continued on for what felt like several minutes, then Patricia called for the next group to come up to the stele. I opened my eyes and saw Patricia looking at me. Her face looked like someone else entirely. Her eyes radiated that she was in a deep trance.

“Are you okay?” she asked. I think I may have nodded. I still had no idea what my body was doing.

“You stay up there.”

Yeah, thanks cuz I’m not sure I can move.

More people came up on the stele, I’m not even sure who. The river continued to pour through me and out into Cairo. I’m not sure how many rounds of our group rotated through before I climbed down from the stele.

Oh God. That was the most powerful experience I’ve ever had in my life. Am I still alive?

Patricia came over to me.

“I thought we were going to lose you. Can I give you a hug?”

“Sure,” I may have said. Patricia hugged me and in that instant, the sound rose up all around us.

“Allaaaaaaaaaahu Akbaaaaar! Allaaaaaaaaaaahu Akbaaaaaaaar!”

If I’d been in my mind at all I would have wondered how it could possibly already be time for the next round of prayers. In retrospect this doesn’t seem logical or possible at all. But there we were.

“It’s always the singing with you,” Patricia laughed.

“I noticed that,” I whispered.

“Better than England?” she asked.

“Yeah,” I answered. “Yeah.”

“Thank God,” she laughed.

Later that night, after dinner, Patricia described what she had seen when I was up on the stele.

“You melted into the stone. I saw you sink back into it, like you were disappearing into mud. You were going deeper and deeper in until the last of your face had almost disappeared completely. I thought we were going to lose you.”

I hadn’t told her about what I had experienced at all. She had seen it herself.

“I was worried you were going to disappear into the stone and we were going to lose you. I had to disconnect because you were pulling me in with you.”

We both marveled at this confirmation of what we had experienced together. I think I’ve generally transcended the need for this kind of validation to prove to myself what I’m experiencing is real, but I was none the less grateful for this beautiful moment, this recognition of the magic of our shared experience.

Chapter 11: The Great Pyramid

“Okay, everybody on the bus! Time to go to the Great Pyramid.”

Oh my God. Oh my God. Jesus, Egypt, are you kidding me? I’m still not sure I didn’t die back there in the Sphinx’s embrace, and now we’re going inside the Great freaking Pyramid?

I’d thought going straight from Stonehenge to the crop circle in England last summer was an impossible, mind-blowing spiritual overload. It turns out that was just the warm up.

In the weeks before the trip I had been reading Patricia’s book about her years of experiences in Egypt. I was frustrated that reading the book was taking forever, because I kept falling asleep every time I sat down to read it. I wasn’t bored in the slightest, but still, every time, I’d get a page into it and ZONK. So frustrating. But then… I started to remember what was happening when I was zonked. I started to come back with more memories and awareness of where I had been. I realized that when I was reading the book, every time I’d come across a new spiritual concept or out-there multi-dimensional idea, I’d shift into a higher state of consciousness where I would experience that concept first-hand.

The first several times this happened, I’d come back and just assumed I had fallen asleep, since I’d lost consciousness. But then I started to remember the “dreams” I was having while I was away, and gradually I came to remain conscious through the entire experiences.

In one of the most memorable of the experiences, I found myself standing in Egypt, with the pyramids and the Giza plateau stretching out before me. As I took in this sight, I became aware that all of this physical matter was just energy vibrating at a slower rate of speed. And in that moment I could see into every atom in the plateau, as it all visibly became the energy that it was and I penetrated into the zillion-headed center of this reality, into the vibrational core of every atom that made up the plateau, simultaneously.

Wow. As we drove up to the Great Pyramid, which sat buzzing on the plateau in the early morning light, I remembered this experience. Now I’m going to go inside the pyramid in a different way. If I can walk.

Wobbly as I was, I somehow made it up the steps that snake around the huge blocks that make up the exterior of the pyramid. Then through a very unofficial-looking gap up in the side of the structure known as the Robbers’ Tunnel, and whoosh, you’re inside Great Pyramid of Giza.

Our group had private access to the pyramid, thanks to yet more bribery. Half of us headed down into The Pit below the pyramid, while the rest headed straight for the King’s Chamber, far up in the center of the pyramid.

The passage down into The Pit was three feet high, a long diagonal ramp that goes on for hundreds of feet, far further than any human being should ever have to walk in a deep crouch or crawl. Either option is deeply painful, and the taller you are, the deeper your squat-walk must be.

Once you reach the Subterranean Chamber, you look around this rather strange, cavern-like room, which has a deep pit at one end and apart from that, a strange hallway that leads to a dead end. A huge machine that I guessed was a dehumidifier hummed near the room’s entrance.

Hmm. Not a lot to see in here. I leaned up against the wall and closed my eyes. Within a moment, I felt the room itself moving. Swirling, swirling, swirling, I felt the room move around the pyramid like lost traveler, spiraling through the structure at a rapid pace. Huh.

The climb up out of the pit was like the climb down, only much more difficult because now you’re going up, up, up. After an eon, you reach the tall Grand Gallery, where you can mercifully stand up and listen to your legs cursing at you in Latin. And then you begin your climb up the Ascending Passage, which is also three feet tall and just as ridiculous as the Descending Passage. I alternated between crawling and shuffling upward in a crouch, depending on what hurt more in that moment, my thighs or my knees.

On and on, the dusty passage carries you up through the stone corridor, until it levels off and you’re crawling down a long flat tunnel leading to the King’s Chamber.

I heard strange sounds reverberating down the tunnel, coming from the direction of the King’s Chamber. Huh. Is our group playing music in there?

I eventually reached the end of the long crawling tunnel and stood up, inside the King’s Chamber, and inside a wildly surreal scene.

My group was standing in a circle in the center of this dark, rectangular room, which was finished in dark granite slabs. The room is strikingly minimalist, the only feature being the granite sarcophagus sitting at the far end of the room. The sarcophagus looked like a rectangular stone bath tub. The mainstream view of the Great Pyramid is that the structure is a tomb and monument to the Pharaoh Khufu, the King’s Chamber and sarcophagus his burial site. Only his body was never found here. And this is… yeah it’s not a tomb.

The esoteric view is that the pyramid is a gigantic energetic device, creating a powerful space for spiritual initiation. The sarcophagus in the King’s Chamber is the focal point, which serves as a dimensional portal, or perhaps even a time machine.

And now we were inside.

The sound I’d heard in the tunnel while approaching was my group, chanting in unison. The sound reverberated intensely off of the dark granite walls. I joined the circle and linked hands with the friends on either side of me. The chorus of voices rose and fell in an organic, wandering pattern.

I sang a deep bass note and felt it link up with the voice of Wes at the opposite side of the circle across from me, forming a geometric shape and a foundation for the higher voices rising above.

Patricia was pulling people out of the circle, one by one, for their time inside the sarcophagus.

The chanting grew more and more intense, until Lorrie’s high, wailing voice rising above the chorus dialed up the intensity even further. It felt like we were opening something, and I was briefly unnerved, thinking for a moment that I hoped we knew what we were doing. I let go and went with the experience, let go of consciously trying to sing any certain note or in harmony with the others. Sounds came out of me that I didn’t initially recognize, as if the chant and the King’s Chamber were playing me like an instrument.

Stranger and stranger sounds wove into the texture of the chant. Odd, gurgling, almost electronic noises... I wondered repeatedly how in the world someone was making that sound, and why.

Photo by Solfrid Kaba

Talking about this over dinner later, it turned out that no one was. We were all wondering where those sounds were coming from. Whatever we opened up in that space, this was the sound of what came through. Patricia told the story of a previous visit to the King’s Chamber, when the group chant brought through the spectral form of Tibetan Monks, who were visible in the air and whose chants were audible to everyone in the room.

I was never at any point certain that there wasn’t some kind of stereo playing in the chamber along with us, so many of the sounds and harmonies didn’t seem to be coming from the group.

Floating on the waves of this eerie chant, who knows how much time passed, and then Patricia was taking my hand and leading me to the sarcophagus. I climbed over the lip and down inside, somewhat in disbelief that I was actually getting to do this. I knew I wouldn’t have much time, because the guards were starting to freak out and bribes or no, they were going to kick us out soon.

I laid down and closed my eyes. Okay, what’s supposed to happen here? Talk about pressure, I’m going to get one minute in possibly the most intense spiritual location on the entire planet. Don’t waste it! But how do you not waste it? I crossed my arms over my chest in a pharaoh pose. Nope, nothing. Huh. I laid my arms down by my sides.

And then I sank. I felt myself lower down several feet below the sarcophagus itself. I felt and could see Bailey standing over the sarcophagus high above me, and felt his protective presence guarding over my experience. Wow, that’s nice. I-

My eyes began to flutter. Rapidly. Like blinking and reopening your eyes as fast as you physically can. And then faster. Faster. Holy shit. Am I doing that? Why am I doing that? Flash flash flash flash. I quickly realized this was happening much faster than I could even physically close and open my eyelids, at least willingly. It was something that was happening to me. Then my face began to twitch. Hard. Fast. Intensely. It was like if you scrunched your eyes closed as hard as you can, constricting all of the muscles around your eyes and pinching them shut. And then letting go. But you did this several times a second, over and over. Like an extremely rapid form of Morse code, my face twitched and eyes fluttered in a blur of binary off and on, off and on, off and on.

Patricia tapped my foot. Time to get out of the sarcophagus. Wow, had minutes passed? It felt like I was in there ten seconds!

I awkwardly climbed out of the sarcophagus, my face still twitching and my eyes fluttering open and closed, rapidly and intensely. I stumbled over to the wall and sat down against it on the floor. Twitch twitch twitch, flutter. Oh God, is this going to stop? Am I having a seizure? Did I break my brain? I tuned into my intuition and got the message to let it happen. Don’t get in the way. I let go of any effort to control what was going on with my face and the scrunching and fluttering sped up. Patricia called for everyone to stand and join hands in a circle for the closing prayer.

Oh man I’m not sure I can do that but I’ll try. In the dark of the chamber, no one could see my face freaking out.

Then it was time to go. I crawled through the long descent out of the pyramid, my eyes completely spazzing out and my face twitching like a wire with too much electricity running through it.

The descent was a blur, and once we got outside, I sat down on the pyramid away from the group and put my sunglasses on, so no one would ask me what was going on with my face. Twitch flutter twitch twitch twitch.

Photo by Solfrid Kaba

I think this is some kind of activation, my initiation. Whatever is happening to my face is a symptom of what’s happening energetically on a spiritual level. I hope I got all of it. My face spasmed in rapid succession. Okay yeah I think I got all of it. I held my crystal skull and channeled the energy of the sarcophagus into the crystal, so that I could work with this energy more later, after I returned home.

My eyes spasmed and fluttered continually for three hours after I left the sarcophagus. And then intermittently for days afterwards. Even now, six weeks later, whenever I think of the sarcophagus my eyes go into a cycle of clenching and fluttering against my will.

God, that was crazy.

Photo by Solfrid Kaba

After a trans-dimensional nap back at our hotel, EJ, Martin and I made our way back to the pyramid and Sphinx in the daylight. I couldn’t believe what a different experience it was. Regular tourists get nothing from this place. Nothing but selfies.

EJ and I marveled at the shafts of light that were cutting through the clouds and forming huge pyramid shapes in the sky, behind the physical pyramids. Look, nothing you do is going to surprise me now, Egypt.

That night as we were saying our goodbyes, I pulled Patricia aside and described my experience in the sarcophagus and what was happening with my face. She’d led a lot of people through this King’s Chamber experience, had she ever heard of anything like this?

“It’s your third eye opening,” she said, matter of factly.

Oh shit. It is. I laughed, since this has been my greatest wish since my experience at the Stargate, to clear that blockage and open up that energy center and its associated abilities. I hadn’t thought about it a single time during the entire trip to Egypt, but in the end I got exactly what I was wishing for.

Since I’ve been home, I’ve sat and meditated with the crystal skull. When I hold it in my hands and close my eyes, they twitch and squint rapidly and an intense ball of energy forms at my brow. The experience is almost painful in its intensity, but I just ride it out and let things progress how they need to.

A friend I was describing this to asked me what was supposed to happen when my third eye opened. After all, I already see a lot beyond the physical. My thought was that these visions would become clearer and more regular. But what has actually happened has been even more interesting.

I’ve written before about my experience after most of my trips over the last two years, where after I get home, I spend several weeks in a strange place where every morning I wake up still wherever I was traveling to, then undergo a very disorienting shift where the scene shifts into my apartment in Minneapolis, where my body physically is, and I’m wide awake the entire time. I’ve grown accustomed to this extremely bizarre experience, which frightened me greatly the first few times it happened.

Since Egypt and the sarcophagus, this seems to have advanced to the next level. Much like my experience of zonking out into another dimension while reading Patricia’s book, and then retaining the memory, I’ve found myself having very strange experiences. In the middle of the day I find myself off visiting other people in distant places, and then I’m back in my apartment. It seems totally normal until I think for a second and realize that physically, I never left. It’s impossible for me to just have been on the other end of the country, today. But I was. It feels completely natural and normal in the moment, it’s only in retrospect that I realize something completely impossible just happened.

I’ve struggled to describe this to people, as it sounds completely crazy. But I think what is happening is that I’m becoming more consciously aware of my existence in different dimensions. We all exist in all of those realities, but there’s a veil of forgetfulness where we don’t really remember where we go when we’re asleep, it’s all jumbled together in vague memories and symbolic interpretations that we remember as dreams. It seems that veil is thinning for me where I’m not losing consciousness as I move between those dimensions. I thought it only happened when we were asleep, but now it seems that we actually phase back and forth during the day as well, we just don’t remember it, as our brains paper over the incongruous experience in an effort to form a cohesive picture of 3D reality and “normal” experience.

Whew. That was an epic. Both in the experience itself and the writing. I’ve become aware, very recently, that as we write, we channel energy into our words. I can feel it now. With any luck I’ve channeled some the energy of those Egypt experiences clearly into these words, and formed a bridge for a reader connect to them. Maybe that’s what the girl at the Stargate meant. Channeling all over the world.

When I sat down to write this entry, I was very worried. How do I tell such a big story? What order do I tell it in? Will it capture the experience at all? Will it be funny? As I’ve been writing it though, those concerns have melted away, in a wave of relief. The personality has the desire to entertain, of course. To please and to be liked. But as I fell into the flow of the writing, those personality desires took a back seat to the stream of energy going into the words, the encoding of this experience into form that others can tap into.

And looking back at it now, I laugh as I realize this writing experience has been a microcosm of the entire trip itself, and what Egypt was trying to show me. Letting go of those personality patterns that were holding me back and surrendering into a deeper experience of who I am, beyond all of the protective strategies and coping mechanisms I’ve used to navigate a human life. Thanks Egypt. You may have broken my brain, but I love you for it.

. . .

June 22, 2019
Thank you , thank you , thank you. Much love KA

June 23, 2019
That was a great read. I felt there in some way, but Imhotep never saw lightening from I-90...


Russia Following the Ikea-style instructions on the tube, I pierced the seal like I was opening a tube of Krazy Glue, crossed my fingers and squeezed the tube into my mouth. Oh. Oh my god. Oh my sweet Christ. It wasn’t soup-flavored paste at all. It was legit mushroom soup, somehow, squirting cold and wet into my mouth. Oh god. My stomach tried to burrow straight through my nuts and down into the chair I was sitting in to avoid any contact with this soup.

Japan After my colonic, I navigated the various butt-drying, odor-evacuating, and music-playing buttons on the toilet, all of which are marked with cryptic little graphics like a whale spouting or a rainbow. You basically mash buttons like you’re pooping on a Playstation and hope it all works out in the end.

Vatican City Vatican City is the smallest country in the world, at 0.17 square miles. That means you could fit over 38 million Vatican Cities inside Russia, the world’s largest country. Wait that can’t be right- Look, that’s what math says. I didn’t make this world, I just like to imagine 38 million Popes wrestling bears and pretending it’s not cold out when, dude, it’s wicked cold outside you big weirdo.