River of the Sun, chapter 13 – The Binding Voices
“Kneel before the sacred third point!”
Amkhren fell to his knees and, once again, faced the clear lake of tranquillity at the temple’s centre. But this time, the sense of potency within his young soul threatened to overwhelm him…
The Vessel of Sekhmet was speaking again, “Behold Shemu, season of Harvest, the home of the Goddess Mut, wife of Amun-Ra, and the patron of our High Priestess, when she travels from the East and into her world. It was the time of Shemu when the High Priestess came across you on the bank of the Nile, seven years ago. Now you have returned, on the cyclic wheel of Neheh, to that same place, but wiser. The river beside which you now stand is full of meaning and potential, but it is also the place where great fear can be generated within the soul – your Ba. Are you a man of courage, Amkhren?
Amkhren swallowed before speaking, “I will try to be so…”
The young priest-to-be felt the body of Sekhmet kneel beside him, pressing close to his flesh, her warmth penetrating his thin robe. “That will be tested before you pass through the portal of Priesthood!” Then her deadly closeness was gone, and soft hands pulled him to his feet, guiding him along the line of the inner temple’s bounding triangle and back to the East. His feet were suddenly leaden, his body weary, as though a heaviness had dropped on him, replacing the sense of vibrant potency he had felt when standing before the Vessel of Khonsu.
He half-shuffled the distance to the Eastern point, then looked up. The impassive eyes of Neferaset looked back into his.
“Amkhren, there must be a weight… for there must be struggle. There will be many trials; but, within these seasons, there will also be gifts.” Neferaset looked over Amkhren’s shoulder. “Vessel of Sekhmet, take our priest-to-be, whose body is made made heavy by what lies ahead, on a further journey; this time around the inner Wheel of Djet, the path of eternity.” Amkhren blinked in astonishment as the high priestess’ fingers stroked polar lines from the middle of his forehead to the temples, banishing the heavy clouds from his face. He became like a person emerging from darkness, glimpsing the first rays of the dawning sun. “Let him receive the blessings of those who mark his future path…”