I approach the pylon of Her House.
Huge, wooden doors stand before me. Dark wood, ancient and worn. I lift my hand to knock, but before I can, the doors pivot inward, opening. A complex scent comes to me from within. Green things, wet stone, a sweet animal musk, a breeze off a river. I enter, awed by the scale of Her temple.
Inside, it is twilight. It is always twilight; it is the akhet, the horizon, the boundary. The sky is a deep and luminous lapis lazuli with a splash of electrum stars. The temple is a lush garden, with flowers, trees, and wetlands. And beasts, moving. A narrow channel, curved like the bend in a river, has been carved in the stone floor. Nile water flows slowly through it. Fish swim in the green waters. A lioness, crouched at the riverbank, looks up at my arrival. Her golden eyes see nothing in me to be wary of. She goes back to watching the fish. Birds fly from tree to tree, kites and kestrels and more, screeching every now and then. There are serpents and crocodiles. Largely, the beasts ignore me.
I breathe in the soft, warm breath of Her House, but it does not calm me. I am in anticipation. In my heart, I ask Her to call to me, to show me where to find Her. And, as is often the Way of Vision, in a moment, I know where to go. I walk down a stone corridor to Her throne room. As before, She is hidden in indigo shadows. I do not see Her face clearly, but I sense color around Her, lightning blue, fire red, gold the color of lioness eyes.
I kiss the ground before Her beautiful face. “How shall I name You, Goddess?” I ask. “Senet Noferet,” She says immediately. She wants to be addressed as “Beautiful/Good Sister”? I puzzle to myself…a relational identity? “Whose Sister do you think I am?” She asks. I sense Her smile.
For invocations, She says I may use the Coptic form of Her name, Nebetho, Nephtho, or Naphtho. (You see, She knows I am currently Working with Isis under Her Coptic name, so She creates balance.) “I am relationships,” She says. “I am the Weaver of Magics, the Weaver of Connection. I am glad you have come,” She says to me. “I am the infusion of new blood in your Work.” (I understand that She is right.)
“What is Your earliest story?” I ask.
This is what She tells me: “I flew down from the skies. I circled. I landed on the Mound. I built My nest. I was consumed in Fire. I created Magic in My eggs. I alighted upon them and all the animals came forth. I hear My children’s cries. At moments of life and death (birth and death, I think She means), their lives pass through My temple.”
“What is Your joy?” I ask Her.
“When the boundaries become permeable,” She answers. “But they cannot remain so; therefore I am the Festival Goddess.” (What She means, I believe, is that as the Ruler of Boundaries, She sponsors/endorses the boundary-breaking nature of a Festival, whether in the raucousness of a Festival of Drunkenness or in a solemn festival where the boundary crossing is more meditative.) “You set boundaries and You relax them?” I wonder in question to Her. “I teach about boundaries,” She says. “How to set them, how to break them, how to enjoy them, how to transgress them.” (I ask Her to explain what She means by “transgress them”…but my notes are not clear to me at this time—I was entranced, okay?—so I’ll skip that for now.)
In the Pyramid Texts, you might remember, Isis and Nephthys are the Ones Who Nuet sends to give to the deceased their heart. So I ask for this blessing from the Goddess: “May I ask You to give me my heart that I may understand You better?” She reaches toward me, touches my chest over my heart. And in an instant my mind unrolls across the world (the earth, not the Universe). I commune with Her animals, all Her creatures that run or crawl or fly or swim upon the earth. It is both overwhelming and beautiful.
When I started my vision with Nephthys, I realized that I had all kinds of ways to connect with Isis, but it seemed a bit odd to just sub Nephthys’ name for Isis’ (which I did, and it worked, but it was not satisfying to me). So I ask Her for a contact ritual specific to Herself. She tells me to create the circle, then step across the boundary into it. “When you cross,” She says, “it makes the boundary whole.” So I shall be working on that rite.
Overall, She feels tranquil, calming, and patient. “But what of Your Fire, Goddess?” I ask. She laughs and answers, “We are ALL lionesses.” And that is how it went.
This is, of course, my visionary experience with the Beautiful Sister. If you were to do the same thing and ask the same questions, no doubt the answers you would receive from Her would be different. They would be part of your Work, not mine.
But here’s what I would expect: that our experiences with Her would have some resonance, some harmony. Both you and I might get the same sort of feeling from Her. Perhaps She’d say something to you about relationships or animals or boundaries or festivals; or She might say something different altogether. Yet the feeling content of our experiences would—even should, I would say—be similar. That is how we will know that we are in communion with this particular Goddess, the Beautiful Sister, the Lady of the Temple.