Land of Ancient Time. Ground of Being. Spirit of Her Presence Residing.
Walking across the dry sands of the ancient Runde River beneath the time-worn Chilojo cliffs of Gonarezhou, Zimbabwe, I come across a feather. It is dusty and old, yet still intact. Our guide informs me it is from the wing of a Vulture. I had hoped it was an Eagle feather, and notice my disappointment.
As we continue our walk through this land of elephant, lion, leopard, hippopotamus, giraffe, eland and porcupine, the burning light of the Sun like a great fireshawl holding us in her heat, with the feather still in my hand, I find myself asking and so who are you, grandmother Vulture?
Looking to the skies the Vultures circle high, edges of wings disappearing into the sunlight as their eyes search landscapes beneath for carcasses ready for transmutation from decay to renewal.
And so it is that I begin to understand the story of the Vulture, Grandmother indeed, known since Old Africa as the Great Mother who hath existed from the Beginning, and in ancient Egypt Nekhbet the White, Mother and Protector of All - white as her waste (guano) which passes pure as snow through the process of her digestion, transforming all that is no longer alive and useful into matter which fertilizes and renews. One of the greatest Keepers of the balance of Nature and All that is dependent upon her.
Another of her titles is ‘Daughter of the Sun’ and ‘Eye of Ra’.
Her outstretched wings, twinned with Wadjet the protective Cobra Goddess, formed the headdress of the Queens of Egypt and the ancient goddess Mother Mut. Together they were known as the Two Ladies, protectors of a unified Egypt.
She who has protected and served to purify through all time is now classified as an endangered species. Who knows this?
Under a timeless Sun Grandmother Vulture stretches her wings and calls out Remember! Remember! Our Origins are One. We share this Land and Light!
(Original Painting - Acrylic on canvas - 90cm x 90cm. 2017)
Artwork / images are copyrighted © Zenta Zebergs, zentaimprints
First Light – Nekhbet Mother Vulture
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