Omm Sety – The Grand Lady of Abydos Egypt

The Englishwoman, Dorothy L. Eady, believed from a child that she was a reincarnated priestess of Seti I, Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt.

Omm Sety, born Dorothy Louise Eady (1904-1981) in London, England of Irish parents, grew up believing that she had once been the priestess Bentreshyt of the temple of Egyptian Pharaoh Seti I (ruler of Egypt in the 19th Dynasty, ca.13th century B.C.), serving in his temple at Abydos.

Omm Sety’s Life

Omm Sety records that at the age of three she fell down a flight of stairs and was pronounced dead by the doctor, only to rise again an hour later. Following this accident she had strange dreams in which she was in a large temple with huge columns and a garden. At the age of four, her parents took her to the British Museum, and upon seeing the Egyptian section she felt that she had come home, running through the aisles and kissing the feet of the statues. Later, seeing a photo of Abydos, she believed that she had found the source of her dreams, but now in ruins.

Omm Sety diligently studied Egyptology and was taught to decipher hieroglyphs with Wallis Budge, the great Egyptologist at the British Museum. At 29 she married an Egyptian and gave birth to a son she named Sety. She thus became known as Omm Sety, or the mother of Sety. Omm Sety was the first woman to work at the Egyptian Antiquities Service where she stayed for 20 years. She did research on the Temple of Isis, eventually becoming the keeper of the temple. Following her divorce in 1956, she moved to her ancient home of Abydos, continuing her research and working with archaeologists. Omm Sety died in 1981 and was buried there in her beloved community of Abydos.

Omm Sety’s Tragic Past Life

As Omm Sety records in her diaries, as the Priestess Bentreshyt she took part in the enactment rituals of Osiris death and resurrection. She had a chance meeting with Sety I in the garden of the temple and they fell in love. After she discovered that she was pregnant she chose to commit suicide rather than cause scandal for the Pharaoh and herself.

Omm Sety’s Predictions

Remarkably, Omm Sety was able to assist archaeologists at Abydos in finding buried buildings. Based upon her ideas recalled from three thousand year-old memories, she indicated precise spots to dig for artifacts and structures. One of these alleged predictions was the garden attached to the temple which she had often dreamed about. She also told archaeologists that there would be a tunnel running under the northern part of the temple. Subsequent excavations found these features. She shared information allegedly given to her by the pharaoh Seti I which refutes some claims about sites at Abydos and the origin of the Sphinx, stating that it was older than commonly believed and built to represent the god Horus.

The Pharaoh Seti I

Seti I, whom Omm Sety fondly remembers from dreams, was buried in the Valley of the Kings in a large royal underground tomb (KV17), but his famous temple is located further north at Abydos (Abdju in Egyptian, and al-Arabah al-Madfunah In Arabic). Abydos is a very important archaeological site, holding the burials of the First and some of the Second Dynasty kings. In the 19th Dynasty, Seti’s temple at Abydos, dedicated to the god Osiris, god of resurrection, contains the famous hieroglyphic inscription known as the “Abydos King List” which enumerates pharaohs from Narmer, the first pharaoh, to Seti I’s father Ramses I. Seti I’s successor was Ramesses II, better known as Ramses the Great. The mummy of Seti I is well preserved and he appears to have been around the age of 40 at the time of his death, unlike the pharaohs preceding and succeeding him who lived very long lives.

Omm Sety’s Legacy

Those who encountered Omm Sety at the temple of Abydos recall her respect for the temple and its meaning by taking off her shoes before entering its sacred ruins. She offered her services as a temple guide to many visitors who were greatly enriched by her knowledge. Omm Sety wrote several books and assisted others in research and writing, however, most of her diaries remain to be published. Many of her predictions of sites yet to be uncovered will hopefully continue to be pursued by Abydos archaeologists.

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