Once there came to the court of the Prince of Birkasha, a dancer with her musicians. And she was admitted to the court, and she danced before the prince to the music of the lute and the flute and the zither.
She danced the dance of flames and the dance of swords and spears; she danced the dance of stars and the dance of space. And then she danced the dance of flowers in the wind.
After this, she stood before the throne of the prince and bowed her body before him. And the prince bade her come nearer, and he said unto her, “Beautiful woman, daughter of grace and delight, whence comes your art? And how is it that you command all the elements in your rhythms and your rhymes?”
And the dancer bowed again before the prince, and she answered, “Mighty and gracious Majesty, I know not the answer to your questionings. Only this I know: The philosopher’s soul dwells in his head, the poet’s soul is in the heart; the singer’s soul lingers about his throat, but the soul of the dancer abides in all her body.”
I know I have posted some articles about Sennedjem before (here, here and here), but I believe it is worth returning to this artist of divine Gods and Goddesses again.
One of the most glorious and revealing galleries in Ramses the Great and the Gold of the Pharaohs is the one that holds a single object. It is the outer coffin of the ancient Egyptian artisan Sennedjem, who lived in Deir el-Medina (in Egyptian, Set Maat or “Place of Truth”) during the reigns of Ramses II and his father, Seti I. He was part of an elite group of skilled craftspeople and artists who lived in this walled village on the west bank of the Nile at Thebes and worked primarily in the tombs in the nearby Valley of the Kings. Sennedjem held the title of “servant in place of Truth,” indicating that he was one of the teams responsible for constructing and decorating the royal tombs. Sennedjem’s own tomb was on a hill overlooking the workers’ settlement. A small pyramid sits on top of the entrance to an offering chapel. Below that lies Sennedjem’s decorated burial chamber. The painted reliefs from the walls and ceiling of that chamber are reproduced in the exhibition and surround Sennedjem’s coffin, as they did when the intact tomb was discovered in 1886. These are some of the most famous scenes from Egyptian tombs, showing his progress from death into the afterlife. famsf.org
It is undoubtedly a treasure for us humans that there were such artisans to show and let us know the divine life of Gods and Goddesses and the peoples in those days. And all in all, we could say that this kind of art is inspired by Gods and Goddesses and can be stated as divine work, and here with this gorgeous coffin for him, we recognize the respect given to this artist.
The image above: Coffin of Sennedjem by Chris Irie
Now let our dear Madam Marie Grillot tell us about this precious coffin and its fascination.🙏💖
The external coffin of Sennedjem, craftsman of the Place de Vérité
Sennedjem was, under the reigns of Sethi I and Ramses II (XIXth dynasty), one of the “servants” of the “Place of Truth”. Cabinetmaker or more probably mason, he lived, with his family, in one of the stone houses covered with a roof of palm leaves of “Set Maât her imenty Ouaset”. Founded at the beginning of the 18th Dynasty during the reign of Thutmose III, this royal institution was dedicated to the artisans who worked on the excavation and decoration of the eternal abodes of the Valley of the Kings, the Valley of the Queens, and even necropolises more distant. “The fact that we often refer to them as ‘workers’ sometimes tends to substantiate the misconception that the community of the village of Deir el-Medina was at the lowest rung of Egyptian society. In fact, these men were craftsmen, for the most part highly qualified and distinguished for their know-how,” specifies Pierre Grandet in “The artists of Pharaoh, Deir el-Medineh and the Valley of the Kings”). Protected by high walls, the members of the community also had places of worship and, on the slopes of the Theban mountain, a necropolis in which to dig their eternal home. It was there that, at the very beginning of the reign of Ramesses II, Sennedjem was buried, and until the end of the time, ramesside other members of his family…
Their tomb was rediscovered in January 1886 by “gournawis”. In “Hidden Treasures of Egypt”, Zahi Hawass recounts the following circumstances: Only days of excavations, Salam and three of his friends made a spectacular discovery: at the bottom of a still unexplored burial shaft, they found a wooden door whose ancient seals were intact. Salam immediately informed Maspero, who happened to be in Luxor for its annual inspection visit”. In his correspondence to his wife Louise on February 3, the Director of Antiquities told this story: “The vault is approximately 5 m long by three wide. It is vaulted, with a shallow burial and painted with vivid colours; unfortunately, the paintings and texts are only excerpts from the Book of the Dead. It was filled to the top with coffins and objects: eight adult mummies, two child mummies, a family of these priests of the cemetery about whom I spoke to you in the letters I wrote from Turin in 1880 (?) The mummies are superb, of a beautiful red varnish with elegant representations, but they are only the least interesting part of the discovery. You know that the mummies were carried to the tomb on sledges, held by men or drawn by oxen. Our tomb contains two of these complete sledges: first the floor, with the rings intended to pass the sticks, when one wanted to carry, then the movable panels of the catafalque in which one locked the coffin, then the lid in cornice… and c This is how we will exhibit everything at the Boulaq museum. Alongside this, the complete furniture: eight large canopic boxes, around forty small funerary statuette boxes, around a hundred charming limestone figurines, around twenty painted earthenware vases, a new bed different in shape from the first two,… In addition, a beautiful armchair with a canvas bottom imitating the tapestry; two stools with canvas bottoms imitating red leather, a folding chair, bouquets of flowers, a cubit, an ostracon containing a very curious historical novel, although very short”…
Mandated by Gaston Maspero, Eduard Toda “accompanies” the artefacts from the tomb of Sennedjem, on the boat bound for the Boulaq Museum (1886) Toda Fund Library Víctor Balaguer Museum (Vilanova)
Sennedjem’s body lay in a magnificent stuccoed and painted wooden mummified coffin. His mummy “was protected by a wooden board covering his body and his funerary mask and representing him dressed as he was alive” (Hanane Gaber, “At work, we recognize the pharaoh’s craftsman”).
The whole was placed in an imposing “sarcophagus” of polychrome and varnished stuccoed wood. 2.60 m long, 0.98 m wide and 1.25 m high, it takes the form of a naos, adorned with a coved cornice, topped with “a domed roof rounded at the ‘front, whose gentle slope joins the cornice at the rear’.
It is entirely covered with hieroglyphic scenes or inscriptions. In “The Tomb of Sennedjem at Deir-El-Medina TT.1”, Martha Sara Saujaume specifies: “Its decoration corresponds to the type of drawings of the 19th Dynasty, in particular for the yellow colour of the background of the vignettes and for the decoration with vignettes corresponding to the Book of the Dead, in very bright colours such as blue and red, as well as texts from the same Book of the Beyond arranged in vertical columns… The decoration on the sides is divided into two registers. Lower comprises columns of text with chapters from the Book of the Dead. In the upper register, we find the Four Sons of Horus and vignettes from the Book of the Dead”…
Top of the lid of the external coffin of Sennedjem Varnished and painted stuccoed wood – 19th Dynasty – the reign of Ramses II from his tomb – TT 1 – at Deir el-Medina discovered by Salam-Abou-Douy de Gournah and by the Service des Antiquités in January-February 1886 registered in the Diary of Entries of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo – JE 27303
Represented standing, two by two and turning their backs, the four protective goddesses watch over Sennedjem: at the head are Selkis and Neith, at the feet Isis and Nephthys, each with one arm along the body, the other slightly spread in protective sign. Moving, charming, they are wearing a three-part black wig with a light headband. The hieroglyphic sign is placed on the top of their skull, which allows their identification. They are dressed in tight dresses held by straps, and their neck is adorned with a lovely necklace with multiple rows…
Martha Sara Saujaume notes the presence of “family” representations, such as: “the deceased and his wife Iineferti seated on chairs. She hugs her husband by the shoulders while they play Senet before a table of offerings. This same scene is found inside the access door to the funeral chamber of the deceased. To the right of this scene, we see the ba of the deceased, Sennedjem and Iineferti, on a white chapel. In front of him, the deceased is kneeling in adoration before the two lions holding the Horizon on their shoulders….”
Detail of the door to the tomb of Sennedjem – stuccoed and painted wood – 19th Dynasty – the reign of Ramses II from his tomb – TT 1 – at Deir el-Medina – discovered by Salam-Abou-Douy de Gournah and by the Antiquities Service in January-February 1886 registered in the Journal of Entries of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo – JE 27303 – on display since April 2021 at the Nmec (National Museum of Egyptian Civilization) in Fustat
At the time of the burial, to facilitate the hauling of it towards the vault, the sarcophagus was deposited on a sledge: “On the skids of the sledge of the funerary tank of Sennedjem, wheels which left their mark there, had been adapted to facilitate the transport of the heavy and cumbersome piece of furniture. This type of funerary tank with a sledge base only seems to appear in the 18th Dynasty and to disappear with the end of the New Kingdom” (Ruth Anthelme, Christian Leblanc, “Ramses the Great”).
This external coffin has been registered in the Cairo Museum Entry Journal JE 27301. It will be presented at the “Ramses & the Gold of the Pharaohs” exhibition to be held from April 7 to September 6, 2023, at La Grande Halle de la Villette, in a scenography featuring the most beautiful scenes from the funerary vault… Let us remember that, for Bernard Bruyère, the tomb of Sennedjem (TT 1 – TT = Theban tomb): “is not only one of the most beautiful and best preserved in Thebes; but it is, moreover, a perfect, complete and typical example of a large family tomb comprising the four regular components, the courtyard and the chapels accessible to the living, the well and the vault reserved for the dead”…
Sennedjem and his wife Iyneferti are represented on the walls of their tomb – TT 1 – Deir el-Medineh discovered by Salam-Abou-Douy de Gournah and by the Service des Antiquités in January-February 1886
It is interesting to specify that Khonsou, son of Sennedjem, rested in an almost identical external coffin (JE 27302) which was at the “Ramses the Great” exhibition, organized by Christiane Desroches Noblecourt, from May 15 to October 15, 1976, at Grand Palace in Paris.
Honestly, it was a great surprise for me to know that Federico Fellini, the great master of surrealism in movies, was interested in connecting to a psychologist and analysing his psyche. And as Dr Freud’s famous dream analysis was considered, he met Jungian psychotherapist Ernst Bernhard to learn more about himself.
At the beginning of the nineties, in contrast with the academic environment that considered Freud’s thought scientific while rejecting that of Jung, I undertook a study on Jungian thought in Italian literature. An essay was dedicated to Andrea Zanzotto‘s “Mother-norm”. I got in touch with the poet, who told me about the psychotherapy he had undergone for years, and when my book came out, he suggested that I send a copy to Federico Fellini, to whom I had dedicated a few pages. Ernst Bernhard
A major discovery for Fellini after his Italian neorealism period (1950–1959) was the work of Carl Jung. After meeting Jungian psychoanalyst Dr Ernst Bernhard in early 1960, he read Jung’s autobiography, Memories, Dreams, Reflections (1963) and experimented with LSD. Bernhard also recommended that Fellini consult the I Ching and keep a record of his dreams. What Fellini formerly accepted as “his extrasensory perceptions” were now interpreted as psychic manifestations of the unconscious. Bernhard’s focus on Jungian depth psychology proved to be the single most significant influence on Fellini’s mature style. It marked the turning point in his work from neorealism to filmmaking that was “primarily oneiric”.
In Making a Film, Fellini said that he had been dazzled by Jung, the Zurich doctor who had made him discover unknown landscapes and new perspectives from which to look at life. It was his analyst, the German Jew Ernst Bernhard, who introduced him to Jung.
Fellini was one of the many Italian authors and writers who frequented his studio in Via Gregoriana, which overlooked Rome and a world many feared. During the therapy, the analyst used the I Ging, the Chinese book of changes, and this created scandal; some strongly advised him not to use it. He had even taken him to confinement in the fascist camp of Ferramonti, from which he would have been deported to a Nazi concentration camp in Germany if, at the last moment, the orientalist Giuseppe Tucci had not managed to make his return to Rome.
He remained hidden for months in a secret room of his study. Dissatisfied with the Italian version of the I Ging based on the German version of Richard Wilhelm, he entrusted a new translation to one of his patients, Bruno Veneziani, Italo Svevo’s brother-in-law.
I have never believed in success in any post to share today (I hope you enjoyed it.); as you know, I repeatedly said many different businesses surrendered me! Even now, there are so-called Spaces on Twitter (online seminars) to which I have (honourably) been invited, and it takes more time. Anyhow, it is life! Next week I will not be able to post anything, because we are travelling to meet friends in northern Germany. Have a wonderful time, everyone, and let’s pray for peace and love. 🙏💖✌🌹💖🙏
I think this issue, Anima, is an essential key to understanding our inner souls. We don’t have to make this mistake that the anima is of female nature, and it’s not to do with males. I think Dr Jung, with his thesis Anima and Animus, wanted to explain the genderless of the soul. I hope I don’t sound so big-mouthed. Still, when I think about our existence on this earth and keep asking the same question: why are we here, and what is the meaning of life, I become more convinced that maybe we did send out of paradise to hell, as it’s written in the holy books, though, not to this beautiful earth as hell! We were sent to our own hell, where we must meet our own evil and learn to know and handle with.
I might go too far (I don’t really know how deep this “far” could be!), but I know for sure, as far as we recognize, the fantasy world is unlimited. That’s why I am trying to discover my still unknown inner to find the answers to many questions…
We believe that what we feel and think inwardly must be compared to others we know. Therefore, we cause misunderstandings in participating in our society: I am talking about excessive expectations!
It is a term of Participation mystique or mystical participation, derived from Lévy-Bruhl, which Jung gladly chopped on:
The further we go back into history, the more we see personality disappearing beneath the wrappings of collectivity. And if we go right back to primitive psychology, we find absolutely no trace of the concept of an individual. Instead of individuality we find only collective relationship or what Lévy-Bruhl calls participation mystique (Jung,  1971: par. 12).
He continues in his “Individuation; Anima and Animus”:
The fact that a man naively attributes his anima reactions to himself, without realizing that he cannot identify with an autonomic complex, recurs in female psychology, but to an unprecedented extent, if possible. The fact of identification with the autonomous complex is the essential reason for the difficulty of understanding and representing, quite apart from the inevitable obscurity and unfamiliarity of the problem. We always naively assume that we are the only masters in our own house. Our understanding must, therefore, first get used to the thought that even in our most intimate soul life, we live in a kind of house that at least has doors and windows onto the world, the objects or contents of which affect us but do not belong to us. This premise is not easy for many to think about, just as it is not easy for them to really see and accept that their fellow human beings do not necessarily have the same psychology as they do. My reader may think that the latter remark is probably an exaggeration since one is generally aware of individual differences.
But one must consider the fact that our individual consciousness psychology emerges from a primordial state of unconsciousness and, therefore, indifference (termed “Participation Mystique” by Lévy-Bruhl).
As a result, awareness of difference is a relatively late acquisition of humanity and probably a relatively small slice of the indeterminately large field of primordial identity. Differentiation is the essence and the “conditio sine qua non” of consciousness. Therefore, everything that is unconscious is undifferentiated, and everything that happens unconsciously proceeds from the basis of indifference, so it is initially completely undecided as to whether it belongs or will belong to the self. It cannot be determined a priori whether it is with the other person, with me, or with both. Feelings also do not provide any reliable clues in this regard.
>Participation mystique, or mystical participation, refers to the instinctive human tie to symbolic fantasy emanations. According to Carl Jung, this symbolic life precedes or accompanies all mental and intellectual differentiation. The concept is closely tied to that of projection because these contents, which are often mythological motifs, project themselves into situations and objects, including other persons.
PARTICIPATION MYSTIQUE is a term derived from Lévy-Bruhl. It denotes a peculiar kind of psychological connection with objects, and consists in the fact that the subject cannot clearly distinguish himself from the object but is bound to it by a direct relationship which amounts to partial identity. (Jung,  1971: paragraph 781). <
Here is a highly recommended old recording of Jung’s life for fans. I have only a wish from my highly accepted Jungian Masters; if you please pronounce the name of Dr Jung in original German: “Yoong” and not Yang or young! Actually, the word Jung means Young, though he’s never been called young; his name is Jung (Yoong) Carl Gustav! Have a lovely weekend. 🤗💖🙏
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