Home Up

Egyptian Temple Ritual - Temple of Amen-Ra at Karnak
During the time of
Amenhotep III , approximately 3300 years ago

  • Elbow close to the body, forearms vertical, hands flat with palms uppermost and bent backwards upon the wrists at an angle of 45 degrees:

soo esta Amoon

Then to the throne of Amun

  •  Head bowed down and touching the ground

khont a vrongtee

Before whose glory I do obeisance" lit. "in front of me is thy power


Az a gam

look upon my offering


see netee

here are two vases (gifts) : lit. "Come vases [plural]"


vaka zoom!

grant a blessing    lit. Loose a blessing


zama ad eiran fees

she, vola, has brought burning incense" lit. Incense, burning, prepared she brings.


Segoona deen

and this perfume"lit. perfume this


Zan na goos-tee eiran feen

accept these her offerings brought: lit Salute these her baskets of tribute made to bring.


A temple maiden would be a cup-bearer, tend to the lamps and arrange the vestments. She would also take part in the services and ceremonies.  Here is an actual account, taken verbatim from a woman regressed to a lifetime in Egypt 3300 years ago:

eest y ah Vol'la.

"Lo! this is Vola. " or   Here is Vola!

Thus begins the first phrase on the gramophone disc spoken by the Lady Nona through Rosemary, at the iipr May 4th, 1936.

"I am holding in each hand a sort of lamp with a pedestal about a yard long. It is of wide, saucer-shape, with a white flame coming out at the top. They are intended to fit into sockets with a metal ring, one on either side of a curtain which conceals a central doorway at the end of a large hall. It is the entrance to a hidden sanctuary, with rounded steps leading up to the centre. The lights were intended to keep away evil spirits, and the incense to keep pure the sanctuary itself.

a'zeen  ta-ah la du-wan

a  - b    b-a -a    g  - f  (musical notes)

"go forth onto the land, in order to stretch out"

This was sung at the great annual Festival of the Inundation, when the Temple-maidens led the procession from Karnak to the Nile.


Within there is an altar, in the centre of which burns an everlasting blue flame, very small, but it seems to come out of the stone. It never goes out, and yet it is never tended. I wonder not if it was some kind of mineral light, for it was a pale, greeny-blue, cold flame which id not flicker; no bigger than the light of a candle, and it seemed to come up out of a tiny aperture in the stone. There was some significance between this flame and the decision of the god to whom requests were made. When the god refused the request, or was silent, the flame gave no white light, But when the request was granted the flame showed it accordingly. "

Memories of The festival of Amoon-Ra:

 "the most important festival of the year...for he was the most powerful of the Gods;  the most feared, and yet one from whom the greatest blessing was sought and hoped for. The great Farang (Pharoh) is in this procession. I can see bulls with long, smooth horns, garlanded with flowers. I was a cup bearer in this service."

At one of our services, which took place once a year, a procession passed along the Avenue of Sphinxes, down one side, and back along the other side to the Temple.  At each of the animals of stone the procession stopped, and we had to touch it with our palm-branches. The animals were not worshipped. The idea was that they were consecrated afresh each year to their duties as guardians of the Temple. This service was to remind them of their guardianship, and to pray that no evil spirits would pass them and so gain admission to the Temple.

Other Temple Gestures

My arms are bare to the shoulders, and I am wearing a pale muslin robe, crossed and pleated over the breast, tightly and beautifully done. I have also a straight undergarment from my neck to my feet, fitting tightly to the body. The outer dress is folded over the front at the waist and hangs down.

I have sandals on my feet, bracelets on my arms; and a broad flat necklace from the shoulder to the collarbone: also a curious head dress like a halo round the forehead, fastened round horizontally, with another band going over the top from front to back. My hair is thick, not curled, and comes down straight to the shoulders, with round discs hanging at the sides of the headdress. Very lovely effect, although artificial, with painted eyebrows, full lips, and painted eyes : it feels my own self.




The god, in the form of a statue, was housed in a shrine, the naos, which was built of stone or wood and was located in the innermost chamber of the temple. The statue could be made of stone, gold or gilded wood, inlaid with semi-precious stones. Often it was less than lifesized.
It was not regarded as an idol, but as the receptacle of the deity´s ka.

Receiving a blessing from Amun-ra

Three times a day rituals were performed at the shrine. At dawn the temple singers awoke the god by singing the Morning Hymn. And after having purified himself, the high priest conducting the Morning Service, broke the seal and drew back the bolts that had been tied last night, and the doors to the god was opened. Now the god received the same purification process as the priests already had undergone. Incense was burned and the god was dressed, perfumed and had cosmetics put on, in the same way as the King would have been prepared for the day.  more


For a silly picture of me dressed as an Egyptian noblewoman








top of page