Painted wooden figure of the Goddess Nephthys
Ptolemaic Period, 664-30 BCE, Brooklyn Museum of Art
“Say My Name That I May Live”
Ritual and Prayer for Victims of September 11th
On Thursday, September 20, 2001 at 6:38 pm, Laura Janesdaughter of Temple of Isis Los Angeles sent out the following message:
It was my 60th birthday on Monday and as part of my birthday work, I find that I have been called to organize an effort to Name the people who died in the terrorist attacks last week in New York City, Pennsylvania, and Washington, DC and offer prayers to them in the name of Nebhet/Nephthys and Her Dark Sisters to help them through their transitions.
Somehow the Naming is important and though I’m sure all will be Named somewhere else, few will focus on this aspect. It also seems important that the work be done between now and Samhain.
This work can be whatever you might wish it to be and I have some suggestions inspired by some things other people have done should you wish them.
This seems like a daunting task but can be done. Please email me if you (or a group you represent) would like to participate. I’m not quite sure yet how to go about ‘organizing’ who has been Named by whom but will figure this out soon.
Meanwhile, if you have someone or ones you like to undertake, please let me know.
May the Wings of Nebhet protect and guide those who perished,
“To live is to die a thousand deaths, but there is only one fire, one eternity.” - ‘Becoming the Phoenix’ from “Awakening Osiris”, translated by Normandi Ellis
While the initial networking with those interested in participating in this important work began, Laura and her group members obtained lists of the names of those who had been killed on September 11th. This included those who died in the bombings, those who died in the crashed airplanes and those rescue workers who lost their lives.
The names were divided and distributed amongst 30 volunteers, and the work began. We were called upon to say prayers daily for the deceased, mentioning their names one at a time, with the petition “Say my name that I may live.” This work continued for 70 days without ceasing, in accordance with ancient Egyptian tradition as Normandi Ellis had advised.
Each participant performed the same basic observances, but each was free to add onto this simple rite whatever devotions seemed personally right. The usual method of working was to light a candle on the altar as each name was spoken aloud, say the prayer “Say my name that I may live” and then strike a chime or bell.
FOI members from the United States, Australia, Germany, Canada and the United Kingdom participated in this 70 day ritual of Naming the Dead.
“Nephthys” Winter Solstice 2001, Issue 14 of The Isis Papers
Laura Janesdaughter is the editor of The Isis Papers. She wrote in the editorial of this issue:
“…I had felt called to make some commitment because of my birthday and then I knew - in the Name of Nebhet, Goddess of Transitional Death, the Names of the Dead could be Named. It took me a week to work up to asking other people to participate in the Naming. When I sent the first message out, Normandi Ellis immediately responded and said that “Say my name that I may live’ was an ancient petition and so this became the common prayer that 30 women who participated have used for Naming. We have Named 2000 of the September 11th Dead so far. At the FOI Convocation at Isis Oasis, the TOI/LA women and others lit 343 candles on the steps of the Temple for the New York Fire Department men who died and spoke all of their Names. I went out around 1am on Sunday morning to see this blazing Altar of flames and souls united - and felt I had done Her Work and was now Her Priestess.”
Those of us who participated in this work with Laura and TOI/LA and attended the Convocation at Isis Oasis in 2001 will never forget the sight of those candles glowing on the steps outside the Isis Chapel at Isis Oasis Sanctuary. The Naming of the Dead was a profound and important work, which sprang into being through the conscience and loving heart of a devoted Priestess.
For more information about the "Nephthys" Isis Papers, please visit the link below:
For more information about the Temple of Isis Los Angeles (TOI/LA) please visit the links below: