Sometimes in the end we realize it was just another beginning. And that is where the seed of hope is sowed.
When your destination is the Temple of Isis of Philae on the downstream of the Aswan Dam, all you need to do is wait to comprehend that truth.
Official boats from the Marina of Philae Temple wait to take you to the island. On boarding, drift along with the lukewarm breeze and the gentle sound of the water lapping the sides of your motored-boat. Watch the rays of the sun gently melt away all around you and the seamless scenic beauty accompanying you. Inhale deeply the smell of the surroundings and try to go back in time when Philae was still a commercial hub.
As soon as you approach the Temple, your eyes will be drawn towards the trembling reflection of the Temple in the water. Due to the rippling effect, the image will appear to be moving and alive. And yes, indeed this place was once alive but all it remains today is just a reflection of the past.
Situated on the Agilkia Island, the Temple is dedicated to the Goddess of healing, protection, and magic, Isis, her husband Osiris god of the underworld and Horus their son. Built between 380-360 BCE the Temple formerly stood on the Tropic of Cancer which was carefully aligned to celebrate the solstice. Later the Temple was dismantled and moved by UNESCO to the safety of the island to protect it from being over-flooded.
Stepping out of the boat as you climb the small flight of stairs, an open courtyard will greet you. Walking down the path it is not difficult to wonder how the place might have been back in the olden days.
Interpreted as the ancient Mother Goddess, scenes from Egyptian mythology of Isis bringing Osiris back to life, giving birth to Horus, and mummifying Osiris after his death adorning the walls in great detail, will make you speechless. You will understand that what you are seeing here belongs to a strong cult of worship that bore the promise of life after death, or resurrection.
Although ‘Philae’ which in Greek or Pilak in ancient Egyptian means “the end” and refers to the last outpost where the Goddess was worshipped, her cult had managed to survive much longer than that. This is when you realize that in reality, the Temple bears the message of hope and life to all.