(Prose Part 1) Transcending Boundaries – Hatshepsut’s Path to Destiny by Alaya Advaita Dannu

Photo credit: http://www.morguefile.com/
Photo credit: http://www.morguefile.com/

Dreams are important because they are moments when humans are stripped of nanderekó or rational thought. Dreamers are in a spiritual state where the awá or “integral being” can emerge, connecting them with a deeper reality. For example, some people can direct their dreams to someone who is several hundred miles distant; others can foretell both positive and negative events that will affect the community (Assunção & Jecupé, 2006)—from “Anyone Who Dreams Partakes in Shamanism”, by Stanley Krippner, Ph.D.

Everyone dreams; not everyone remembers their dreams.

Yes, I am speaking of the dreams we have when we are asleep, not what people call goals and aspirations.

There’s a lot of misconception surrounding dreams amongst communities that are less familiar with them—what they are, why they are, and where they come from. Without going into the details of how they are viewed today by most of Western culture, they are more than figments of our imaginations, by-products of the mind, residue from our day-to-day hooplas, a means to process experiences from our waking state, or subconscious messages whose meanings are limited to schools of thought on dream interpretation that were created from limited perspectives. Once upon a time, dreams were revered as the utterances of the heavens. Once upon a time, dreams were revered for their revelation of the roadmaps to one’s path and purpose—it was where one looked to understand the questions many still ask today: Who am I? [identity]; Why am I here? [destiny].

While dreams and the concept of dreaming are still honored in many cultures outside of Western civilization, I will not deny the existence of the decent amount of conversation on the usefulness of dreams within Western culture.

The operative word is ‘decent,’ because I do not think the conversation is deep enough to satisfy the needs of those whose dream experiences are sublime in the way that makes them difficult to approach with simplicity or blatant scrutiny.

I’ve engaged dreamwork for 14 years, and my experiences have shaped and molded my interests in spiritual and personal development in an unorthodox way: exploring the revelation of identity and destiny through dream work. Dreams, originating from the immaterial realm, provide the Prima Materia for things we wish to bring into the material realm. This idea was never jettisoned from my upbringing; it is an approach cultivated through my ongoing investigations into the validity of dreams and the effect they have on our lives from beyond a Western/clinical perspective. Dreams aid in the shaping and molding of our lives.

I am going to share the dream experience that became the key to further understanding the answers to these questions—“Who am I? Why am I?—demonstrating why it is important to honor them as part of the process to gain clarity in one’s exploration of spiritual and personal growth.

I’ve chosen to share this particular dream first because it is a clear example of identity and destiny. Perhaps in a separate publication, I will explore in-depth and greater detail the symbolism that Hatshepsut embodied, all interpreted from beyond the scope and perspective of a Euro/androcentric perspective.

Have you ever heard of Hatshepsut? The better known female pharaoh of the 18th dynasty of ancient Egypt? I had not heard of her before October 22, 2015. I came across her name when I was searching for a connection between the ancient Greek perspective on divine birth and that of the ancient Egyptians. The sacred practices of one culture inspired that of the other, so I thought I’d find the answer somewhere amongst the research databases I have access to, and Google.

I love Google. There are times I think it is intuitive and knows what I am searching for, and there are other times when it just doesn’t hit the mark. With this particular search, I am not certain if Google understood my words or if it was being intuitively snarky and provided me with something that would throw me off one course of action and onto another.

I searched “divine birth in ancient Greece” and Google came up with a book by Dr. Marguerite Rigoglioso, which I already owned. I modified the search to “divine conception in ancient Greece” and Google gave me Immaculate Conception. Modifying my search again, I replaced “ancient Greece” with “ancient Egypt” and Hatshepsut’s name came up. I clicked on two links: one that belonged to the Oriental Institute of Chicago, and one that belonged to Milestone Documents, which had an appealing title—“Divine Birth and Coronation Inscriptions of Hatshepsut”. I downloaded the document provided by the Oriental Institute without reading it; it wasn’t titled in a way that caught my interest to spend the time reading it in those moments. The second link required a payment of $3.99, of which I was in no mood to spend. I could not preview the document before purchasing, therefore it was not worth the effort or cost: $3.99 is a lot when you’re not working a steady job.

It did not take me long to end my search that day. That night, or rather that following morning, I experienced the dream that flipped everything upside down—or turned everything right side up.

October 22, 2015

“I am Hatshepsut…and I am one of the Sheshu-Hor, which marks the validity of my kingship.”

It was an opening verse that gave an account of her kingship and how she came into being. In being a Sheshu-Hor, she was further worthy of the title and appointment as pharaoh. In my mind I was in shock; as she gave an account of herself as a legitimate pharaoh, I realized I was the one speaking, yet I felt and knew that this was about her.

We were merged and separated repeatedly throughout the entire dream.

The ancestor Falcon to Horus appeared amidst the entire first verse, at key points in the written account of how she came into being, and of her being a descendant of Mehet-Weret. The falcon showed up in the image of a falcon, fully as a bird and not an anthropomorphic being.

I was shown verses of a text that was inscribed on a tall structure that appeared to be a long column of some sort. This text spoke of two things: the descent of the Sheshu-Hor from Mehet-Weret, and Hatshepsut’s connection to this via her being born into the role as a priestess.   

As scenes entered and left my mind, I could feel what she was telling me; she was well-versed in the words of magic, powerful, well-loved by her people, and that there were those in her court that wanted her power.

I entered the next scene as Hatshepsut, before being pulled out of her to observe. This was her bedchamber and she was interacting with her husband. It wasn’t clear to me how she felt about him—but there was a power struggle in the sense that he wanted to wield her power. It was thought that power could be transferred via intercourse, but I am not sure how their interactions affected her rule. She didn’t keep me there long enough to see how this particular interaction played out.

In the next scene, I saw images of her interaction with foreign nations [from the Near and Middle East perhaps?]. But the foreign country she interacted with specifically in my dream, began with a “P”. I was going to assume Persia, but thought against it, waiting to discover its name after I woke up.

It felt like Hatshepsut spent most of her lifetime proving her legitimacy as a descendant of the Falcon, as belonging to the Sheshu-Hor, because she was a woman.

To be continued.

Read (Meet Mago Contributor) Alaya A. Dannu.


Benson, Margaret, Janet Gourlay, and Percy E Newberry. The Temple Of Mut In Asher.   London: Murray, 1899.

Galán, J., Bryan, B. and Dorman, P. (n.d.). Creativity and innovation in the reign of Hatshepsut. Chicago: The Oriental Institute, 2014

Krippner, S. (2009). Anyone who dreams partakes in shamanism. Paper presented as a keynote address at the Annual Convention of the International Association for the Study of Dreams, Chicago, IL, June 26-28, 2009.

Teeter, Emily. “Hatshepsut And Her World”. AJA 110.4 (2006): 649-653. Web. 22 Oct. 2015.

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2 Comments on "(Prose Part 1) Transcending Boundaries – Hatshepsut’s Path to Destiny by Alaya Advaita Dannu"

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I can’t wait to read the second part of this essay. Like the author I have been a student of the dreaming process, only in my case it has been a life time process. I was deeply affected by my dreams as a child, and eventually learned, that for me anyway, dreams were leading me on my life’s journey and that it was critically important to learn what they might be saying. My dreams are always ahead of me, and I still find them baffling, but because I keep a journal I can see how the many stories are woven… Read more »

[…] original essay about my dream of Hatshepsut, first published by Return to Mago E*Magazine at Part I and Part […]