Dorothy Eady

Dorothy Eady
BornDorothy Louise Eady
(1904-01-16)16 January 1904
Blackheath, London, England
Died21 April 1981(1981-04-21) (aged 77)
El Araba El Madfuna, Egypt
Other namesOmm Sety
OccupationAuthor / draughtswoman, antiquities caretaker, folklorist
Known forEarly practitioner of Kemetism, association with Egyptology, author on Egyptian folklore

Dorothy Louise Eady, also known as Omm Sety or Om Seti (16 January 1904 – 21 April 1981), was keeper of the Abydos Temple of Seti I and draughtswoman for the Department of Egyptian Antiquities. She is especially well known for her belief that in a previous life she had been a priestess in ancient Egypt, as well as her considerable historical research at Abydos. Her life and work has been the subject of many articles, television documentaries, and biographies. A 1979 New York Times article described her life story as "one of the Western World's most intriguing and convincing modern case histories of reincarnation".[1]

Early life

Seti I making an offering to Osiris

Dorothy Louise Eady was born in London in 1904 into an Irish lower-middle-class family as the only child to Reuben Ernest Eady, a master tailor and Caroline Mary (Frost) Eady,[2] and raised in a coastal town.[3] At the age of three, after falling down a flight of stairs, she began exhibiting strange behaviours, asking that she be "brought home".[4] She also had developed the foreign accent syndrome. This caused some conflict in her early life. Her Sunday school teacher requested that her parents keep her away from class, because she had compared Christianity with "heathen" ancient Egyptian religion.[5] She was expelled from a Dulwich girls school after she refused to sing a hymn that called on God to "curse the swart Egyptians".[5] Her regular visits to Catholic mass, which she liked because it reminded her of the "Old Religion", were terminated after an interrogation and visit to her parents by a priest.[6]

After being taken by her parents to visit the British Museum, and on observing a photograph in the New Kingdom temple exhibits room, the young Eady called out "There is my home!" but "where are the trees? Where are the gardens?" The temple was that of Seti I, the father of Rameses the Great.[7] She ran about the halls of the Egyptian rooms, "amongst her peoples", kissing the statues' feet.[8] After this trip she took every opportunity to visit the British Museum rooms. There, she eventually met E. A. Wallis Budge, who was taken by her youthful enthusiasm and encouraged her in the study of hieroglyphs.[9]

After a close escape during a bombing raid during World War I, she moved to her grandmother's house in Sussex. Here, she continued her study of ancient Egypt at the Eastbourne public library.[8] When she was fifteen she described a nocturnal visit from the mummy of Pharaoh Seti I.[10] Her behaviour, coupled with sleep walking and nightmares, led her to be incarcerated in sanatoriums several times.[8] On leaving school at sixteen she visited museums and archaeological sites around Britain, facilitated by her father's investigations into the nationwide booming cinema industry.[11]

Eady became a part-time student at Plymouth Art School and began to collect affordable Egyptian antiquities.[8] During her period at Portsmouth she became part of a theatre group that on occasion performed a play based on the story of Isis and Osiris. She took the role of Isis and sang the lamentation for Osiris's death, based on Andrew Lang's translation:

Sing we Osiris dead, lament the fallen head;
The light has left the world, the world is grey.
Athwart the starry skies the web of darkness lies;
Sing we Osiris, passed away.
Ye tears, ye stars, ye fires, ye rivers shed;
Weep, children of the Nile, weep – for your Lord is dead.[12]

At the age of twenty-seven, she began working in London with an Egyptian public relations magazine, for which she wrote articles and drew cartoons that reflected her political support for an independent Egypt.[8] During this period she met her future husband Eman Abdel Meguid, an Egyptian student, with whom she continued to correspond when he returned home.[8]

Other Languages
العربية: دوروثي إيدي
español: Dorothy Eady
Bahasa Indonesia: Dorothy Eady
Nederlands: Dorothy Eady