Tuesday, February 3, 2015

travel essential

During my time(s) in Egypt, I've been given a small scarab beetle twice. Once from a shop worker near J's flat. We were picking up something small for my dad, and the man has seen J often and made small talk with us. He gave us both a scarab beetle--one white, one blue. J kept the white one. I received my other scarab in the Khan El-Khalili market, a massive souk in Cairo. J and I met a seller who made us laugh every time we saw him. I stopped in and bought some things as he talked life and spirituality with J("It's kind of like that movie with Will Smith and the dog..."). He handed me the beetle before we parted ways, saying "for good luck."

Side note here on the scarab beetle in Egyptian history: scarab talismans were often found in tombs as symbols of eternal life and protection. It is also seen as a symbol of the sun:

The Scarab beetle symbolized the sun because the ancient Egyptians saw a likeness between the scarab beetle rolling the dung and the sun god rolling the sun, making it shine on Earth. In ancient Egyptian religion the scarab was also a symbol of immortality, resurrection, transformation and protection much used in funerary art. The life of the scarab beetle revolved around the dung balls that the beetles consumed, laid their eggs in, and fed their young represented a cycle of rebirth. When the eggs hatched the scarab beetle would seem to appear from nowhere, making it a symbol of spontaneous creation, resurrection, and transformation. A scarab amulet provided the wearer with protection and confidence in the certain knowledge of reincarnation. (landofthepyramids.org)

Whenever I travel, this little guy comes with me. When I am nervous during a flight, I take it out and rub it between my finger and thumb.

As is evident on the underbelly, where I've worn its blue away.

Tomorrow I bid farewell to Ohio with my little beetle bud in palm. Onward I go. Onward to Cairo.

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