"Seshat in Karnak"
Ink | Acrylic | Watercolor paper
24 x 40 inches, archival ink and acrylic paint on watercolor paper
'Seshat in Karnak' shows the plan of the Amun temple of Karnak in Egypt, Seshat the goddess of architecture (wisdom, knowledge and writing) and the Egyptian Flower of Life symbol.
One of the stone columns of the temple carries a bas relief carving of Seshat. Seshat is depicted with a seven-pointed hemp leaf in her head dress. Hemp was used to make measuring cords during construction of pyramids and temples. Seshat carried out the ritual of 'Stretching the Cord', a ceremony that was performed at night, preceding construction. The Pharaoh and Seshat drive a peg with a cord attached to another peg into the soil at precisely located corner points of the future temple. These points aligned with the constellation Ursa Major. The longitudinal axis of the temple of Karnak is aligned so that on the summer solstice the sun rises exactly on this East-West axis and illuminates the sanctuary deep inside the temple compound.
Adjacent to the temple a 'sacred lake' was constructed where the lotuses grew and priests bathed at dawn before entering the temple. The blue lotus was valued as the sacred lotus. It symbolized sunlight and transcendence. In Egyptian mythology the sun-god who formed himself from chaos emerged from the lotus petals as Ra.
The Flower of Life symbol is the circular sacred geometry overlaying the lotus. This symbol is found in the Temple.