Dorothy Eady: The Reincarnation of Omm Sety Priestess of the Nile
On the banks of the Nile near an ancient temple built to the god Osiris by Pharaoh Seti I, lived an elderly English woman. But this was no ordinary lady. Dorothy Eady 'died' at the age of three and when she woke up her life had changed forever. She was convinced that she had once been born across the sea in ancient Egypt. She claimed that she had been an Egyptian Princess.
Many young children tell the story of past lives. Parents tend to put it down as imagination or telling tales. But in the case of Dorothy Eady, her reincarnation story wasn't so easy to dismiss.
She insisted that she had been a woman named Bentreshyt. She went on to claim that she had served at the court of King Seti. Her strange journey into the distant past, which she described in 1973, began as a child after she fell down a stairway and was declared dead by the family doctor.
Dorothy was born in 1904 into a wealthy family from South London, England. Her life was very much like anyone else's until that fateful day when she fell down the stairs. Strangely, her parents and even the family doctor declared her dead. It was only when the doctor returned with a nurse to check her over, he found that the little girl was very much alive and well.
Soon after, Dorothy took to hiding under tables and behind furniture. Her strange behaviour didn't stop there. Instead of turning back into the little girl that she was before the accident, her actions become even more bizarre.
She bewildered her parents with demands to be taken home. On another occasion, when her parents took her to visit the British Museum in London, Dorothy's behaviour became even more bizarre when they entered the Egyptian Galleries. Among the Mummies of Ancient Egypt, were statues of all the Egyptian gods and goddesses.
For no apparent reason, Dorothy rushed up to them and began kissing the feet of the statues.
Then to her parents horror, she began screaming in a voice that sounded strange and old. the words that came out of her mouth stunned them.
Dorothy stated that she wanted to be left 'with my people'.
On a separate occasion, Dorothy was shown a photo of of the temple built by Seti I. She immediately told her father that the temple was her real home, a conviction she never lost as she got older.
She then went on to claim that she had known Seti, and that he was a kindly man. As her convictions grew, Dorothy began to learn how to read hieroglyphics at the British Museum.
She astounded her teacher with her ability to learn the symbols easily.
Dorothy explained to her that actually she wasn't learning a new language, just revising the old language that she had forgotten.
Her behaviour didn't just affect her parents. There were many times when her insistence that she was the reincarnation of Omm Sety caused her and her parents embarrassment.
Her Sunday School teacher, at her wits end, asked Dorothy's parents to keep her away from the class purely because she was upsetting the other children.
On one occasion, Dorothy compared Christianity with 'heathen Ancient Egyptian'. Heathen in this sense meant pagan, or of the earth.
She then refused to sing any Hymns that inferred derogatory names aimed at Egyptians, such as, 'curse the swart Egyptians'.
Her regular visits to Mass by the Catholic Church, were terminated because she kept referring to it as 'liking to the Old Religion'.
After a bombing raid during World War 1, Dorothy went to live with her grandmother in Sussex.
Here she continued her study of Ancient Egypt. As she grew older, she became fascinated with archaeological sites, and began to collect Egyptian Antiquities.
By the time Dorothy was living in Portsmouth after working at Plymouth Art School, she took part in various Egyptian roles, such as drama, and singing. At one time she actually took on the role of Isis, and sung the lamentation to Osiris at his death.
At the age of 27, Dorothy started work in London at an Egyptian Magazine. Here she wrote articles supporting Egyptian politics and independence.
It was during this time that she met her husband, Eman Abdel Meguid, an Egyptian student.
In 1931, Dorothy moved to Egypt, and on arriving, she knelt down and kissed the ground. Then she announced that she had come home to stay.
She went on to have a son with Eman, and she named him, not surprisingly, Sety. Hence the name that she was given. Omm Sety, or mother of Sety.
Bentreshyt: a.k.a. Dorothy Eady's Previous Incarnation
Dorothy reported visitations of a spirit named Hor-Ra. he told her the story of her first life, or previous incarnation.
Evidently she had been called Bentreshyt. Bentreshyt was of humble origin. her mother was a vegetable seller, and her father, a soldier. This was a the time of Seti (1290BC-1279BC)
When she was three years old, her mother died and she was placed in the Temple of Kom El Sultan.
There she became a Priestess.
At twelve years old she took the vows to become a 'Consecrated Virgin'.
Over the next couple of years, Bentreshyt acted in various plays about the gods. One day Seti visited her, and they became lovers.
When she became pregnant, she told the High Priest, and to her horror she was told that it was a sentence of death to break her vows.
Bentreshyt committed suicide instead of waiting for the sentence to be carried out.
Over the years Dorothy worked as an archaeological research assistant. Then after the break up of her marriage, Dorothy moved to Abydos. By this time it was 1956, and she was 52 years old.
This was the time that Dorothy began to be known locally as Omm Sety, as the village people always named a woman after the first born. As in mother of Sety.
And this is where her knowledge was tested.
Would her previous live be proved? Was Dorothy really the reincarnation of the Priestess of the Nile?
Abydos was a special place for Dorothy. This is where she believed that as a young girl, thousands of years ago, she had lived, worked and loved. Then met her tragic death.
The location was powerful. Not only to Dorothy who remembered her past, but for others eager to test her theories of her past life.
On one of her trips to the Temple of Seti where she believed she had worshipped thousands of years ago, the chief inspector from the Antiquities Department, who knew of her claims decided to test her theories about reincarnation. Was she real? Had her soul travelled through time to become the Omm Sety who they knew today?
Asking her to stand near a particular wall painting in near darkness, the inspector told her to identify them according to her previous life times memories.
The answer to the question whether she had retained her memories, was simple.
It was yes. The paintings and markings had never been published in an Egyptian book, magazine or anywhere else in the world. Not only did she know the answers but she told them things that they hadn't even discovered for themselves.
Either Dorothy was a great liar, or good con artist. Or she was telling the truth.
Along with her knowledge of ancient paintings and wall art, she went on to translate difficult pieces and works of art that even the most hardened of scientific minds found difficult.
Her astonishing memory, skill and knowledge of the language of Egypt was a great help to the archaeologists who were working at the site.
Then came the moment when there could be no more doubt in her abilities and her previous life.
Each morning and night Dorothy would go to the Temple to pray. On the birthdays of Isis and Osiris, she would observe the ancient food ceremonies, and bring offerings of beer, wine and bread.
On this particular day, Dorothy said that when she was Bentreshyt, the Temple used to have a wonderful garden where she would sit and meditate and would meet and talk to Sety.
At that time there was no sign of a garden.
Then, whilst staying in Abydos, archaeologists unearthed something amazing. It was a garden. And not only a garden.
It was placed in the same location, exactly, as Dorothy had said. Surely this was proof of reincarnation?
Over the years Omm Sety, or Dorothy continued to live and work in the area. The locals came to trust her, and asked her for her medical knowledge, and listen to stories told about the time of Seti.
Whether the West believed her or not, the local people did. And surely it must be their thoughts that we should take into consideration. They would know more about their own country than outsiders.
Over the years, Omm Sety, Dorothy or Bentreshyt, whatever you want to call her, worked her magic with the local people, the Media and the archaeologists.
Did they believe that she was the reincarnation of Bentreshyt a local girl from 1290BC? I believe many people did.
Of course there will always be skeptics.
Dorothy died on the 21 April 1981. her body was interred in an unmarked grave facing west, outside a Coptic cemetery in Abydos . Unlike the burial she had asked for, a tomb in the manner of the ancients.
There is so much information about Dorothy and her reincarnation to Omm Sety. The intrigue and magical quality of her story makes me believe that surely there must be something in the amazing belief that she really was a young girl reincarnated into recent times.
Along with the knowledge of the paintings that were undocumented at that time, to the discovery of the gardens in the Temple of Seti.
But what if it was all based on a dream she had as a child? Had she seen books and magazines about ancient Egypt? Did something catch her eye and fill her with wonder at the amazing statues in the British Museum?
Surely, over the years in England then Egypt she would have acquired lots of information that would have only added to her belief that she really was here for the second time. Her easy knowledge of learning the language and her further translations may well have just given her more information that she may have believed was coming from her own mind or soul.
I don't think we will ever really know.
But to be honest, if there really is such a thing as a travelling of the soul, reincarnation or something else we may not even have thought of, Dorothy Eady was definitely a very special lady.
I for one, would love to believe that our souls transmigrate into other people. What a wonderful thing that would be.
© 2013 Nell Rose