RIVER MOTHER: the Face of the Sphinx is the story of an extraordinary Nubian female shaman/leader whose face becomes the face of the Sphinx. The story is set in the Proto-Egyptian Mother Goddess period c. 6000 B.C. and is told by River Mother herself. She begins by describing her birth and early life in a hunter/gatherer tribe in Nubia and then the shamanic training and prophetic visions that eventually drove her to journey to the Nile delta where her spiritual beliefs clash with those of Semitic tribes immigrating from the north.
She rises to that challenge by becoming a great visionary leader whose impact on the spiritual and physical lives of the delta’s inhabitants eventually bring them to honor her as a living Goddess by carving her face on a rocky outcropping on the Giza plateau—an outcropping that was gradually transformed over the next 3500 years into what we now know as the Great Sphinx of Giza.
Although River Mother is a fictional character, I should point out that her story is not a fantasy. It is rooted in known artistic, cultural, weathering and historical facts of that period, many of which point toward the likelihood that the face of someone like her is the face on the Sphinx.
While River Mother’s story can be read simply as a good adventure tale set in an extremely distant, mysterious period, it is also can be taken as a metaphoric representation of what happened when hunter/gatherer tribes from Nubia and the Semitic Levant intermixed in the Nile delta during the period 6500-3200 B.C.—thereby producing a preliterate Proto-Egyptian culture with distinct racial, spiritual and social characteristics that eventually gave birth to literate Dynastic Egypt with its belief in the immortality of the Pharaoh’s soul and all the related spiritual/psychic beliefs and practices, most noticeably the mummification, burial and journey of the Pharaoh to the afterlife to become one with Osiris.
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THE SPHINX: WHEN WAS IT CONSTRUCTED AND WHY, a companion
site to RIVER MOTHER, can be accessed by clicking here:
“This book will cast its spell as soon as you start reading. It has something for everyone. I raced through it once, and then settled down for a reread. River Mother gets my vote. I would recommend it to anyone. The danger, treachery, and surprise in this story keep us moving right along with River Mother as she narrates her story. Her fears and loves and friendships are at the front of the action, and there is no lack of character in those that surround her.”Scylla Liscombe, Poet, Dancer, Artist
“I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in prehistory. Correctly read, the book (in the tradition of Castaneda) will alter how you perceive reality. I devoured the book in two days. A prize-winning poet, Spring (writing out of a small apartment in Cozumel, Mexico) takes you on a mythical journey you will never forget. ”Jim Anton, Publisher, Muse Press
“Wow! I couldn't put this book down! I have always dreamed of being an Egyptologist, I absolutely loved everything about this book! The adventures River Mother took kept me on edge waiting for the next obstacle she had to overcome! There was never a dull moment starting from the beginning. This is DEFINITELY a book I will recommend to everyone!!"
Ashley Kedward, High School Student
Here are several chapters of RIVER MOTHER to give you a taste.
Chapter 2: Three Summers
I was sitting under a large palm when my grandmother called to me from the riverbank, “Come here, River Baby.” She and my mother were standing in a small shallow pool in the mud of the river bank.
My grandmother’s name was Monkey Mother. When I reached the pool, she took my hand and bent down to speak to me. Her eyes were shining like moon water. She placed her mouth against my ear and whispered, “Lie down, baby” Her voice sounded far, far away. I laid myself down in the black, shallow water and looked up at the bright blue sky. Suddenly, without saying a word, the two of them grabbed my wrists and ankles and lifted me up and flipped me over like a stretched hide.
I could see myself in the dark pool. My eyes were shining. I had the strangest thought—that the eyes looking back at me didn’t belong to me. Right then, I heard a voice inside myself: “Listen to me, little one—your eyes no longer belong to you. They belong to the long scar winding down the center of your face and body.”
My grandmother and mother held me there for a few moments then they flipped me over again so I was once more looking at the bright blue sky.
My grandmother whispered in my ear “Remember what you saw in the dark pool, River Baby.” Then the two of them dropped me on the river bank and began sweeping the pool clean with stalks of grass.
Then my grandmother sat me up and held my head so I couldn’t move it. She looked at me like she was very far away and told me she had brought me to the pool because she wanted me to see what she had seen the day I was born.
“You were born on the day when Ra stays longest in the sky. I knew it was an omen, but I didn’t know what kind of omen. When you finally came into the world,” she said, “your face was veiled with skin and I knew then you were going to be a great leader. I split the veil with a flint and scraped it back. Your eyes were looking straight at me like they were speaking to me. You screamed and it coiled up inside me like a snake. I grabbed the flint and carved a winding river down the center of your face and body.”
“Why did you do that?” I asked my grandmother.
“My hand became possessed. I couldn’t stop it.”
“What does the river scar winding down my face and body mean?” I asked.
“It means you are going to be a great prophet.”
I looked at my mother. Her head was bowed. She had been silent until now. Without looking at me she whispered, “Your name is no longer River Baby. That is the name we gave you until it was time to tell you your true name.”
“When is that going to happen?
“Now,” she whispered. Her eyes were dark and shiny.
“Because you are being reborn as I speak.”
“How do you know?”
“I can feel it. So can your grandmother. You could feel it too if you didn’t ask so many questions”
My grandmother nodded. I tried to stop, but I couldn’t—“What am I to be called?” I asked.
“River Mother” she said.
“Do you mean my children will be rivers?
“No. It means your children will be river things.”
“You mean water?
“No. Not water.
“You mean fish?
“No. Not fish.
“No one knows that.”
As soon as she said that, I felt another body enter my body.
“Who was that?” I asked my mother.
“Who you really are,” my mother said.
Chapter 3: Six Summers
I played with all the children in our tribe, but my cousin Runs Like Cheetah was my favorite. We were always laughing and running.
His father was called Antelope Hunter. He was also my uncle. He hunted with a cheetah and was the greatest hunter in the village. His eyes were large and dark without any white. They were like an animal’s eyes.
He always spoke to me when I visited Runs like Cheetah and asked how my mother was. Then one day, he didn’t say anything to me. He just followed me with his eyes, like he was hunting me. It scared me. I knew something had changed in him but I didn’t know what. After that, I didn’t go there any more. I waited for Runs like Cheetah to visit me.
Runs like Cheetah and I were the same age. He was strong, but I was just as strong. When we wrestled, sometimes I would throw him down and sometimes he would throw me down. But what I liked about him best was he was always laughing.
He could run like the wind. We would start out together but I would soon fall behind and then I would see the high grass dividing around him and then I would see him on a far away hill running and running.
One day he said to me, “I like to run more than anything.”
“What about laughing?” I asked him. “Don’t you like laughing more?”
“I like them both best,” he said laughing.
“Then why don’t you run and laugh at the same time?”
“If I am walking, I can laugh, but when I am running like the cheetah, I cannot.”
“I don’t know. I just cannot. I asked my mother why this was so, and she said, ‘When you run like the cheetah, you are no longer a boy. You are a cheetah. Cheetahs are fast, but they can’t laugh. Only the human people can laugh.’ She began making faces and soon we were both laughing so hard we couldn’t stop. I love her more than I love running when we are laughing together.”
The mother of Runs Like Cheetah was the leader of our tribe. Her name was Moon Under Water. She sat at the head of the Circle of Wisdom. She was also my mother’s sister. After I had become River Mother, she told my mother to always place me in the shadows beyond the Circle of Wisdom whenever it met.
I would sit in the shadows with my mother and listen. It was always the same. Moon Under Water would listen to each of them but say nothing. She would listen to the mothers. She would listen to the hunters. She would listen to the healers. She would listen to the makers. To each of them she would listen.
When they had all finished speaking, she would turn to each of them and speak to them, one after the other, and each of them would listen.
She would tell them that she had heard the truth, or that she had not heard the truth.
No one argued with her.
To those from whom she heard the truth she would either say “Your truth is good for all of us. We will take your truth and listen to it within ourselves,” or she would say, “Your truth is only for you. Take it within yourself and follow its path.”
To those from whom she had not heard the truth, she would say, “You have wandered from the path of truth. This is not good for you. It is not good for the tribe. There is darkness in your heart. It is blinding you, causing you lose your way. If you allow the darkness to stay, it will enter the heart of the tribe. We cannot allow this to happen. You must tame the darkness, or the tribe will do it for you.”
Then she would leave the circle. Each time she passed me in the shadows, she would look at me as if she were asking a question.
I asked my mother, “Why does Moon Under Water always look at me like that?”
“She is waiting.”
“Waiting for what?”
“She is waiting for you to catch fire.”
Chapter 4: Nine Summers
Runs Like Cheetah kept looking at me like he knew a secret about me. He couldn’t stop laughing. Finally he said, “How can you be River Mother? You are just a little girl. You don’t even have breasts”.
He cupped his hands on his chest, pretending he had breasts. “Look,” he laughed, “Even I have breasts, look at then move,” and he started to walk around moving his hands up and down like breasts.
I pulled his hands down and said, “Breasts don’t matter. My children will not be children like you and like me.”
“What will they be then?”
“You mean water?”
“No, not water.”
“You mean fish?”
“No. not fish
“What are they then?”
“No one knows.”
“When will they be born?”
“I don’t know.”
“How can you be a mother then? Mothers know everything. You don’t even know what your children will look like, or when they will be born.”
I didn’t know what to say. He suddenly began looking at me again like he knew something and said, “Let me look between your legs, maybe I can see what the river things will look like.”
Just then, a shadow entered me and placed my hand hard against his chest. He stopped laughing.
A fierce voice spoke through me. It said, “River things cannot be seen. They are things of the spirit.”
“Did you hear that?” I asked.
“Yes,” he replied.
He was frightened. I took his hand and placed it down against my belly where the scar ended. He tried to pull his hand away but I held it tight. “Keep your hand there,” I told him. “Can you feel where the scar ends?”
“Yes, I can feel it.”
“Close your eyes,” I told him. “Now take your finger and follow the scar up my body very slowly until you feel it stop just above my eyes.”
I closed my eyes and waited for his finger to move. I could feel it begin to rise up, following the winding scar. He was trembling. Finally, he stopped, just above my eyes.
I opened my eyes. “Did you see anything,” I asked.
His eyes were still closed. “How could I? My eyes were closed.”
“Did you feel anything?”
“Yes, the scar felt alive, like it was moving.”
“That is how river things feel,” I told him. “When it is time, they will swim up and be born just above my eyes.”
“How do you know this?”
“I can see it in my mind,” I said.
“Can I open my eyes now?”
“Yes, Open them and look at me.”
He tried to look away. He was still trembling.
“Look at me,” I said, “don’t be afraid. What do you see?”
“Someone who looks like you but is not you,” he replied.
“That is what River Mother looks like.”
I was on fire.
Click Here for a Kindle, Soft Cover or Free PDF
Click Here for a Kindle, Soft Cover or Free PDF